‘Clinton quite effective at discrediting herself, doesn’t need Putin’s help’ - ex CIA analyst
The main goal of the whole “Russian hacking” US election narrative is a propaganda stunt aimed at discrediting Trump by claiming that Vladimir Putin personally intervened to discredit Hillary Clinton, retired CIA analyst Larry Johnson has told RT.
“It’s designed to smear Trump. Because even the language that developed the notion that Vladimir Putin took it upon himself and instructed the intelligence organs in Russia to go out and discredit Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton didn’t need any help being discredited, she was quite effective at it herself,” Larry Johnson said.
"It was not Vladimir Putin that put the email server in her bathroom,” Johnson added.
“It was not Vladimir Putin who told Hillary Clinton to use a private email account and conduct US-government business over that account and to share classified information. And her repeated lying about it. The fact that you would just focus a story on it somehow makes you an agent of Vladimir Putin. This thing is so ridiculous. It’s amusing we have talk about, but it’s so serious because it shows just the level that the intelligence community in the United States has fallen to. They are playing and interfering in domestic policies,” he said.
The report lacks any factual evidence, because the intelligence services apparently don’t have any, Larry Johnson believes. “I don’t think they’re hiding anything because they don’t have anything. These are ‘or and how’ intelligence estimates as opposed to an intelligence analysis based on fact. There’s no fact underlying this. There are analytical assumptions,” Johnson said.
“You can tell that because whenever they use the language like ‘we assess that’ or ‘we believe that’ or ‘it’s likely that.’ That means they don’t know, because if you knew, you could say … in public ‘according to multiple sources we know that.’ You state facts,” he explained.
“This thing it’s a joke. If I’m a Russian intelligence analyst, with one of your intelligence services, I would be suspicious and think ‘What are the Americans up to? They really can’t be this stupid.’ And let me just reassure the folks on your side of the ledger – yeah, they actually are,” he added.
When the intelligence community raises such assumptions, it should be really confident and unanimous about them. It was, however, only somewhat coordinated within three of the agencies, namely FBI, CIA and NSA, according to Johnson.
“It was only CIA and FBI that ‘strongly agree’ but the NSA, who’s the only one in that group that would actually have the physical evidence of the hacking, if that existed… took a middle of the road position,” Johnson told RT.
The whole situation around the “hacking” report gives an impression of a well-staged spectacle, Johnson believes.
“Yesterday, the Arms Services Committee in the Senate holds a hearing alleging Russian hacking, about when hacks took place domestically in the United States and that Arms Services has no jurisdiction over intel side. That was entirely a propaganda ploy, and not a single journalist in the major outlets over here raised questions about that, it was an observed performance,” Johnson said.
The attack on Russian media and RT specifically, undertaken in the report despite its theme supposedly being the “hacking,” is quite understandable, according to Johnson, and emanates from hostility toward actually objective news coverage and jealousy towards RT being capable of such journalism.
“Because you’re actually a more objective news channel than Fox, CNN, MSNBC, the main stream media here in this country. I say that sincerely. I was a Fox New analyst, I’ve been on ABC, CBS, NBC, all of the cable channels … and I discovered that the kind of bias and propaganda they’ re accusing RT of engaging in is in fact what they themselves are doing.“
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.