All you'd end up with evidence of is that the CIA had produced an assessment.
Now, one of the immediate and pressing problems facing American intelligence is these Russian information warfare programs. Giving up our sources and methods would cripple our ability to address these programs. We would have to start all over from zero.
Of course, President Obama could choose to do that anyway. Or he could reveal only part of the evidence, sacrificing only part of our collection efforts in order to make what he thought was the strongest aspect of the case.
The bipartisan group of Senators speaking to this issue, by the way, are talking more sense.
'While protecting classified material, we have an obligation to inform the public about recent cyberattacks that have cut to the heart of our free society.Richard Fernandez recommends a two-step solution as an initial measure to prevent future concerns:
'Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyberattacks.
'This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country.
'We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security.'
1) Go back to paper ballots,
2) Require a secure ID to vote on Election Day.
If you do those two things, the concerns about the vote being hacked largely disappear. You still have the Tammany Hall concerns, but not the computer hacking issues. Nobody would be able to electronically alter vote totals: you'd have to get physical access to the election sites, and the ballots themselves.
Apparently Baer is not the only former CIA officer who has not thought through the ramifications of publicizing our sources and methods, on the very topic we are most sensitive about right now. This one does, at least, know who is at fault for the information not being public already.
Obama knew before any other policy maker that the Russian government attempted — and possibly succeeded — in altering the outcome of an American presidential election to Russia’s (at least theoretical) advantage. So, the obvious and deeply troubling question is this: why did Obama not make the CIA assessment, and all supporting raw intelligence used in its production, public within a day of receiving it? It’s possible he believes the CIA’s case is not as strong as the CIA asserts....You want highly classified information touching on how we know about Russia's efforts to influence our election systems read into the public record? Leaving aside the legal questions related to intentionally exposing Top Secret information -- after the continued support of the Democratic Party for Hillary Clinton, I have to assume that we just don't care about the laws pertaining to handling classified information any more -- are you sure that's really the best way to proceed here? At least Nancy Pelosi's daughter is calling for "temporary security clearances" for Electors, although I doubt she has any idea what would be involved in cranking out 535 of those in a week.
The mistake the seven Senators made in their declassification request letter to Obama was in not giving him a deadline to make the information public. They should do so now and tell him that if he has not made the information public by close of business on December 12 — one week before the Electoral College meets — they will take to the Senate floor during Tuesday’s pro forma session and read into the record everything in their possession on Russian interference in our election.
I’m not holding my breath that they will do this, but if these same Senators truly believe the CIA’s evidence of Russian interference — or even steering — of our 2016 presidential election is credible, they have a duty to communicate that evidence to American voters, and now.