Instead of collecting the “cold-hard facts and present those facts as evidence,” US intelligence agencies went for a second option, handing over the matter to analysts “in the absence of facts,” who then made “analytical conclusions based on the bits and pieces that they are able to collect,” Kiriakou said, commenting on the recently-released ODNI report.
“We have something that have been massaged by the CIA analysts and they have drawn analytical conclusions based on what little evidence they have,” the CIA officer-turned-whistleblower said.
The former CIA analyst is certain that if there was indeed a hacking operation, the NSA would have been able to reveal technical evidence that would locate the exact source of the hack’s origin.
“If this hacking actually took place, there would be an electronic trail back to the point of origin. We haven’t seen any electronic trail. We haven’t heard anything coming from the director of the NSA saying that there had been a successful hack,” Kiriakou said, adding that the NSA’s silence on the matter leads him to believe that “the evidence doesn’t exist.”
Kiriakou believes that although senior elected officials in Washington keep using the word “overwhelming” to describe the evidence, which they claim points to Russia’s direct involvement in the hacks, the Democratic Party was not eager to assist the FBI with examining its servers.
“In fact, if you look at this report that the Democratic Party issued, the evidence is not overwhelming. That, coupled with the fact that the Democrats did not allow the FBI access to the server, just makes me think that there’s nothing behind the story,” Kiriakou said.
Kiriakou further warned that the assessments given in the report should be treated with extreme caution, as US intelligence agencies have a record of duping the American public. Back in 2013, NSA Director James Clapper was accused of perjury by several US State Senators after it emerged he lied under oath while assuring Congress the NSA did not collect data of the American citizens.
“I really don’t believe anything that comes out of the intelligence community that is meant for the consumption of the American people. The CIA record on this issue, on the honesty to the American people is dismal, frankly,” Kiriakou said.
At the Senate Intelligence Committee open hearing on the accusations of hacking against Russian government, FBI Director James Comey testified that the investigators were denied access to the servers, despite repeated requests, and had to use a third-party company to complete the task.
This remark runs contrary to the earlier statements by the Democratic National Committee in which it dismissed allegations that it had impeded the probe, with its deputy communications director Eric Walker claiming in an email to Buzzfeed that the DNC was fully cooperating and “the FBI never requested access to the DNC’s computer servers.”
Despite US officials claiming the DNC servers were “hacked,” there have been calls within the broader US intelligence community to treat the “attack” on DNC servers as an insider leak based on known technical details. Last month, former CIA and NSA spies from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) penned an open letter arguing that the evidence of hacking, if there was one, could have been long ago produced by NSA “without any danger to sources or methods.”
Speaking on the potential threat to American democracy ensuing from perceived Russian hacking, Kiriakou said that such estimates do not hold up, adding that it would be only the case if “Russia or any other country had actually hacked… into voting machines or hacked into the Federal Election Commission.”
Instead of blowing the alleged involvement of Russia in the US democratic processes out of proportion, the Democratic Party might want to search for the root of the debacle at the polls within its own ranks, Kiriakou said.
“The truth of the matter, and I say this with a heavy heart, because I’m a lifelong Democrat… is that Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate. The evidence shows that Hillary Clinton essentially stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders,” Kiriakou said, noting that Clinton’s own conspiracies rebounded back on her.
“That is why Hillary Clinton lost this election, not because of any hacking scandal,” he concluded.