Latest Russia-hacking ‘revelation’ only exposes more 'garbage' US journalism
A report, allegedly based on leaks within the NSA, once again lacks underlying raw intelligence, yet reporters from The Intercept ran with it anyway, Brian Becker from the anti-war ANSWER Coalition told RT.
The US National Security Agency has arrested a former contractor after she allegedly leaked classified defense material.
A Department of Justice statement said Reality Leigh Winner had a complaint filed against her after stealing a document and supplying it to a news outlet.
Some Western media have already linked the arrest to a newly published article by 'The Intercept' about alleged Russian hacking.
The report by The Intercept alleges Russia carried out at least one cyberattack against the US during the 2016 election. Like other so-called intelligence, it does not provide any concrete evidence. Nor does it name the source of the information it based the article on.
RT: "The Intercept" has published a highly classified report by NSA stating that Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one US voting software supplier just days before the US presidential election. Do you think the report is credible?
Brian Becker: The article in The Intercept has to be read carefully, and I would say with a giant grain of salt. I actually think it is very shoddy journalism. Why would the NSA or NSA contractors, who have spared no effort to generate an anti-Russia witch hunt over the last year, release this document to The Intercept? Why not The New York Times, why not The Washington Post, why not CNN? The Intercept is one of the few websites that has some audience in the US that has had critical thinking from Glenn Greenwald and others who have doubted the veracity of the assertions. The report shows that the report from the NSA – again, which was given by someone working with the NSA to The Intercept for some reason - lacks all underlying raw intelligence. So we have again the formulation ‘a high degree of confidence’ and then mixing and matching as if the NSA, which has made this revelation available to The Intercept, found out that Russia was hacking American voting machines on the eve of the election. But again with no connectivity to trying to get Donald Trump elected, and yet that is what the article summarizes in its conclusion. It’s shoddy journalism; I would say it is garbage journalism and it is based on nothing with underlying intelligence. Again, why would the NSA, FBI, and CIA have been waging a war for the past year to convince the American people that Russia is taking over America, why would they release this document to The Intercept?
There are a number of things that are peculiar here. One of them is the circumstance of the arrest of this contractor so quickly after this item appeared in The Intercept. But on The Intercept article itself, it is a little odd: this is the first article that appears to be pointed toward any kind of compromise of the actual election system, as opposed to releasing information that maybe prejudicial to Hillary Clinton’s campaign that came from the DNC, which has been the allegation thus far. Also it seems odd it would be sent to some place like The Intercept rather than the usual vehicles for leaked information, like The Washington Post or The New York Times. - former US diplomat Jim Jatras
RT: Although it's supposedly the most detailed US report yet on claimed Russian interference in the election, it doesn't actually show the raw intelligence. Are we ever going to see the actual hard evidence?
BB: No one actually knows what the Russian intelligence agencies hacked or didn’t hack. We don’t know. We do know that during the past year when this has become the dominant narrative within the mainstream media, the dominant call by the Democratic Party elites, the primary allegation explaining why they lost the election, when we see all of this, and we realize to even us up today, even with this article, not one piece of hard evidence backing it up. Wouldn’t there be some hard evidence now, after all of this time showing the raw intelligence underlying the report? For some reason, the NSA wanted to use this liberal website in order to give them a top classified document again without any real facts or evidence contained therein.
Some people are touting this as the first counter-attack from the Trump administration to this tyranny of leaks that has been going on here in Washington. I certainly don’t see it as that. If we look at other leaks, like ones concerning General Flynn, or Comey’s conversations with Trump or the meeting of Trump and Lavrov, again, these went to the prestige media, New York Times and The Washington Post. Nobody has been nailed for any of those leaks. Those are things coming from within the deep state itself. Here is a 25-year old contractor, who doesn’t seem to be the kind of vehicle for this we are talking about, and she gets nailed right from the top on a very questionable report. This just happened today, but it almost seems like a provocation of some sort. - former US diplomat Jim Jatras
RT: Even if the hacking took place, why does the NSA insist the Russian government made the interference? Couldn't random hackers have done it with "patriotic leanings"?
BB: Because we are in the midst of a witch hunt. After WWII, and after the breakup of the US-British-Soviet military alliance that defeated fascism, the US media and the intelligence agencies, like CIA, like FBI, later now the NSA, joined to generate a witch hunt against anyone associated with the Soviet Union and thus Russia. We see the same thing happening today. There are no facts, there is no evidence, but there is a hysteria being created. The intelligence agencies, which have overthrown other countries’ governments if they win elections that the Americans don’t prefer, who have intervened in other countries’ governments, who have carried out assassination programs now are saying we are the champions and the defenders of American democracy from the great menace to American democracy which is posed by the Kremlin. This is political; it is actually pure politics.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.