January 6, 2017

JOHN HINDERAKER: Today’s Intelligence Report Proves Nothing.

The report constitutes, allegedly, the long-awaited proof that Russia (specifically, Vladimir Putin) meddled in the 2016 presidential election by, most notably, hacking into email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta and distributing emails from those accounts to Wikileaks and others.

Does the report prove that claim? No, it merely states it. There is zero evidence in the report tying the Russian government (or anyone else) to the crude spearfishing effort or to the generic, out-of-date malware that invaded the DNC’s and Podesta’s email systems. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Related: To the FBI, CIA and NSA: Where Were You When We Needed You?

While failing utterly to provide evidence (let alone persuasive evidence) that Russia intruded into the DNC’s email system, today’s intelligence report is not without interest. The most notable sections of the report are those that tie Russia’s government to a series of left-wing propaganda campaigns in the U.S. No member of the Occupy movement, for instance, can read the report without squirming. If true, it vindicates what we conservatives have been saying for decades, going back to the unilateral disarmament and nuclear freeze movements of the 1950s through 1980s.

Those didn’t constitute a national crisis, because they enhanced Democratic power rather than harming it.

Plus: “Remember the anti-Diebold campaign from the Democrats in 2012? That propaganda effort may have been inspired, and was supported, if today’s report is credible, by Russia’s government.”

And: “Russia has supported environmental groups to try to suppress fracking, which strikes at the heart of Russian economic strength. . . . I personally think that the anti-fracking movement is mostly a creation of the Russian government. That view is at least consistent with today’s report.”