You're Probably Not Going to "See the Evidence," Baer

A former CIA officer should know that the evidence he's asking for, to be of use in evaluating the truth of the claim, would have to reveal the sources and methods of collection. Otherwise, you'd have stuff that reads like, "We assess with high confidence that Russia had the goal of electing Donald Trump, and here's the evidence: [Redacted] and on [Redacted] date [Redacted] [Redacted] [Redacted]..."

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.

'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.'
Richard Fernandez recommends a two-step solution as an initial measure to prevent future concerns:

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....

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.
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.


raven said...

"This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country. "

Sure. Right. And I have this bridge to sell ya.

This is ALL about a partisan issue, to wit, casting enough doubt to call into question the election results.

raven said...

My belief is this is disinformation designed to influence the election outcome.

The CIA report is just a way to legitimatize the idea "the Russians hacked the election". So the public , who never reads more than the headline, assumes somehow the results are invalid.

The CIA is just as riddled with career leftist bureaucrats as any other dept. Maybe more. Remember the WMD report?

Grim said...

The report doesn't even claim that the Russians "hacked" the election, as far as I know. It claims that they hacked the DNC, and then selectively released damaging information to hurt Clinton's chances.

The only one of the states Jill Stein targeted to complete its recount found that the count was mostly accurate, having undercounted by a mere 131 votes for Trump. There were real problems in Detroit, but those look more like the same sort of problems Detroit has in general with aging capital and maintenance of equipment.

Dad29 said...

The NYT cites "a swell of evidence", but gives ZERO actual "evidence."

Althouse simply demolishes this crap:

Meantime, the parties who ought to know something (Wikileaks) swear up and down that the DNC emails were leaked by a DNC insider who was a fervent Bernie guy. Democrats claim that the Russkis got into the RNC data systems; RNC swears they did not.

Sure, Putin prefers Trump. But then, so do 49.8% of US voters.

Ymar Sakar said...

Compared to how much the Clintons and other Democrats sold to Russia and China national secrets, what are they going to protect now a days?

douglas said...

"Sure, Putin prefers Trump. But then, so do 49.8% of US voters."

Sure about that? Which party had a president tell the right hand man of Putin "Tell Vladimir I'll have more flexibility after the election"? Which party did the recent SoS belong to that cleared a Russian company to gain controlling interest in a uranium mining outfit in the United States after they funneled money into her 'charity'? Whose party had the campaign manager for their presidential campaign whose other job is lobbyist for Russia's biggest bank? Under which parties leadership has Russia gained more in power around the world? I think it's quite reasonable to assume that Russia would very much have liked Hillary to win.

Grim said...

I don't doubt they would have loved a third Obama term.