A Demand for Russian ‘Hacking’ Proof

More than 20 U.S. intelligence, military and diplomatic veterans are calling on President Obama to release the evidence backing up allegations that Russia aided the Trump campaign – or admit that the proof is lacking.

MEMORANDUM FOR: President Barack Obama

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: A Key Issue That Still Needs to be Resolved

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office Friday, a pall hangs over his upcoming presidency amid an unprecedentedly concerted campaign to delegitimize it. Unconfirmed accusations continue to swirl alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized “Russian hacking” that helped put Mr. Trump in the White House.

President Obama in the Oval Office.

As President for a few more days, you have the power to demand concrete evidence of a link between the Russians and WikiLeaks, which published the bulk of the information in question. Lacking that evidence, the American people should be told that there is no fire under the smoke and mirrors of recent weeks.

We urge you to authorize public release of any tangible evidence that takes us beyond the unsubstantiated, “we-assess” judgments by the intelligence agencies. Otherwise, we – as well as other skeptical Americans – will be left with the corrosive suspicion that the intense campaign of accusations is part of a wider attempt to discredit the Russians and those – like Mr. Trump – who wish to deal constructively with them.

Remember the Maine?

Alleged Russian interference has been labeled “an act of war” and Mr. Trump a “traitor.” But the “intelligence” served up to support those charges does not pass the smell test. Your press conference on Wednesday will give you a chance to respond more persuasively to NBC’s Peter Alexander’s challenge at the last one (on Dec. 16) “to show the proof [and], as they say, put your money where your mouth is and declassify some of the intelligence. …”

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona. October 4, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

You told Alexander you were reluctant to “compromise sources and methods.” We can understand that concern better than most Americans. We would remind you, though, that at critical junctures in the past, your predecessors made judicious decisions to give higher priority to buttressing the credibility of U.S. intelligence-based policy than to protecting sources and methods. With the Kremlin widely accused by politicians and pundits of “an act of war,” this is the kind of textbook case in which you might seriously consider taking special pains to substantiate serious allegations with hard intelligence – if there is any.

During the Cuban missile crisis, for instance, President Kennedy ordered us to show highly classified photos of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba and on ships en route, even though this blew sensitive detail regarding the imagery intelligence capabilities of the cameras on our U-2 aircraft.

President Ronald Reagan’s reaction to the Libyan terrorist bombing of La Belle Disco in Berlin on April 5, 1986, that killed two and injured 79 other U.S. servicemen is another case in point. We had intercepted a Libyan message that morning: “At 1:30 in the morning one of the acts was carried out with success, without leaving a trace behind.” (We should add here that NSA’s dragnet SIGINT capability 30 years later renders it virtually impossible to avoid “leaving a trace behind” once a message is put on the network.)

President Reagan ordered the U.S. Air Force to bomb Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s palace compound to smithereens, killing several civilians. Amid widespread international consternation and demands for proof that Libya was responsible for the Berlin attack, President Reagan ordered us to make public the encrypted Libyan message, thereby sacrificing a collection/decryption capability unknown to the Libyans – until then.

As senior CIA veteran Milton Bearden has put it, there are occasions when more damage is done by “protecting” sources and methods than by revealing them.

Where’s the Beef?

We find the New York Times- and Washington Post-led media Blitz against Trump and Putin truly extraordinary, despite our long experience with intelligence/media related issues. On Jan. 6, the day after your top intelligence officials published what we found to be an embarrassingly shoddy report purporting to prove Russian hacking in support of Trump’s candidacy, the Times banner headline across all six columns on page 1 read: “PUTIN LED SCHEME TO AID TRUMP, REPORT SAYS.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

The lead article began: “President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia directed a vast cyberattack aimed at denying Hillary Clinton the presidency and installing Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office, the nation’s top intelligence agencies said in an extraordinary report they delivered on Friday to Mr. Trump.” Eschewing all subtlety, the Times added that the revelations in “this damning report … undermined the legitimacy” of the President-elect, and “made the case that Mr. Trump was the favored candidate of Mr. Putin.”

On page A10, however, Times investigative reporter Scott Shane pointed out: “What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. That is a significant omission.”

Shane continued, “Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to ‘trust us.’ There is no discussion of the forensics used to recognize the handiwork of known hacking groups, no mention of intercepted communications between the Kremlin and the hackers, no hint of spies reporting from inside Moscow’s propaganda machinery.”

Shane added that the intelligence report “offers an obvious reason for leaving out the details, declaring that including ‘the precise bases for its assessments’ would ‘reveal sensitive sources and methods and imperil the ability to collect critical foreign intelligence in the future.’”

Shane added a quote from former National Security Agency lawyer Susan Hennessey: “The unclassified report is underwhelming at best. There is essentially no new information for those who have been paying attention.” Ms. Hennessey served as an attorney in NSA’s Office of General Counsel and is now a Brookings Fellow in National Security Law.

Everyone Hacks

There is a lot of ambiguity – whether calculated or not – about “Russian hacking.” “Everyone knows that everyone hacks,” says everyone: Russia hacks; China hacks; every nation that can hacks. So do individuals of various nationalities. This is not the question.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

You said at your press conference on Dec. 16 “the intelligence that I have seen gives me great confidence in their [U.S. intelligence agencies’] assessment that the Russians carried out this hack.” “Which hack?” you were asked. “The hack of the DNC and the hack of John Podesta,” you answered.

Earlier during the press conference you alluded to the fact that “the information was in the hands of WikiLeaks.” The key question is how the material from “Russian hacking” got to WikiLeaks, because it was WikiLeaks that published the DNC and Podesta emails.

Our VIPS colleague William Binney, who was Technical Director of NSA and created many of the collection systems still in use, assures us that NSA’s “cast-iron” coverage – particularly surrounding Julian Assange and other people associated with WikiLeaks  – would almost certainly have yielded a record of any electronic transfer from Russia to WikiLeaks. Binney has used some of the highly classified slides released by Edward Snowden to demonstrate precisely how NSA accomplishes this using trace mechanisms embedded throughout the network. [See: “U.S. Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims,” Dec. 12, 2016.]

NSA Must Come Clean

We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks. If NSA can produce such evidence, you may wish to order whatever declassification may be needed and then release the evidence. This would go a long way toward allaying suspicions that no evidence exists. If NSA cannot give you that information – and quickly – this would probably mean it does not have any.

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence.

In all candor, the checkered record of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for trustworthiness makes us much less confident that anyone should take it on faith that he is more “trustworthy than the Russians,” as you suggested on Dec. 16. You will probably recall that Clapper lied under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee on March 12, 2013, about NSA dragnet activities; later apologizing for testimony he admitted had been “clearly erroneous.” In our Memorandum for you on Dec. 11, 2013, we cited chapter and verse as to why Clapper should have been fired for saying things he knew to be “clearly erroneous.”

In that Memorandum, we endorsed the demand by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner that Clapper be removed. “Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it,” said Sensenbrenner in an interview with The Hill. “The only way laws are effective is if they’re enforced.”

Actually, we have had trouble understanding why, almost four years after he deliberately misled the Senate, Clapper remains Director of National Intelligence – overseeing the entire intelligence community.

Hacks or Leaks?

Not mentioned until now is our conclusion that leaks are the source of the WikiLeaks disclosures in question – not hacking. Leaks normally leave no electronic trace. William Binney has been emphasizing this for several months and suggesting strongly that the disclosures were from a leaker with physical access to the information – not a hacker with only remote access.

Former National Security Agency official William Binney sitting in the offices of Democracy Now! in New York City. (Photo credit: Jacob Appelbaum)

This, of course, makes it even harder to pin the blame on President Putin, or anyone else. And we suspect that this explains why NSA demurred when asked to join the CIA and FBI in expressing “high confidence” in this key judgment of the report put out under Clapper’s auspices on Jan. 6, yielding this curious formulation:

“We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.” (Emphasis, and lack of emphasis, in original)

In addition, former U.K. Ambassador Craig Murray has said publicly he has first-hand information on the provenance of the leaks, and has expressed surprise that no one from the New York Times or the Washington Post has tried to get in touch with him. We would be interested in knowing whether anyone from your administration, including the intelligence community, has made any effort to contact Ambassador Murray.

What to Do

President-elect Trump said a few days ago that his team will have a “full report on hacking within 90 days.” Whatever the findings of the Trump team turn out to be, they will no doubt be greeted with due skepticism, since Mr. Trump is in no way a disinterested party.

A wintery scene in Moscow, near Red Square. (Photo by Robert Parry)

You, on the other hand, enjoy far more credibility – AND power – for the next few days. And we assume you would not wish to hobble your successor with charges that cannot withstand close scrutiny. We suggest you order the chiefs of the NSA, FBI and CIA to the White House and ask them to lay all their cards on the table. They need to show you why you should continue to place credence in what, a month ago, you described as “uniform intelligence assessments” about Russian hacking.

At that point, if the intelligence heads have credible evidence, you have the option of ordering it released – even at the risk of damage to sources and methods. For what it may be worth, we will not be shocked if it turns out that they can do no better than the evidence-deprived assessments they have served up in recent weeks. In that case, we would urge you, in all fairness, to let the American people in on the dearth of convincing evidence before you leave office.

As you will have gathered by now, we strongly suspect that the evidence your intelligence chiefs have of a joint Russian-hacking-WikiLeaks-publishing operation is no better than the “intelligence” evidence in 2002-2003 – expressed then with comparable flat-fact “certitude” – of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Obama’s Legacy

Mr. President, there is much talk in your final days in office about your legacy. Will part of that legacy be that you stood by while flames of illegitimacy rose willy-nilly around your successor? Or will you use your power to reveal the information – or the fact that there are merely unsupported allegations – that would enable us to deal with them responsibly?

In the immediate wake of the holiday on which we mark the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it seems appropriate to make reference to his legacy, calling to mind the graphic words in his “Letter From the Birmingham City Jail,” with which he reminds us of our common duty to expose lies and injustice:

“Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up, but must be opened with all its pus-flowing ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must likewise be exposed, with all of the tension its exposing creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer (ret) and former Office Director in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research

Thomas Drake, former Senior Executive, NSA

Bogdan Dzakovic, Former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security, (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)

Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official, ret.

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (Ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)

Brady Kiesling, former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, ret. (Associate VIPS),

John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003

Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.)

Scott Ritter, former MAJ., USMC, former UN Weapon Inspector, Iraq

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)

Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.)

Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer (associate VIPS)

Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat

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89 comments for “A Demand for Russian ‘Hacking’ Proof

  1. Bob Van Noy
    January 17, 2017 at 10:42 am

    A truly great document, please add my endorsement to that list. And, many thanks VIPS, plus Consortiumnews…

  2. BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
    January 17, 2017 at 10:56 am

    A Great Article. If you can add my endorsement, use my “title”: Dr. Bart Gruzalski, Professor Emeritus, Northeastern University, Boston

    Obama, as usual, is going out with a tinkle and it’s not good. He can’t even stand up and say what evidence there is for his insane charges against Russia.

    • just joe
      January 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      Why are you singling out President Obama. This information was presented in full to Trump and Obama. They both have all of the information. Sounds like a grudge, not an “independent” question.

      • rosemerry
        January 17, 2017 at 6:20 pm

        Obama cleverly read into it something not there-evidence, and the sheeple reading the MSM followed.

      • Henry
        January 18, 2017 at 1:58 pm

        Trump already said it is all crap. It is for Obama to say what evidence he has.

      • Charles Fasola
        January 18, 2017 at 10:44 pm

        Go back into your hole moron. Your comment exposes your abject stupidity. Sorry to all, but this huy takes the cake.

  3. Michael Morrissey
    January 17, 2017 at 11:06 am

    This memo should be sent to the NYT, WaPo, the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The Nation, and as many other mainstream outlets as possible, and a record kept of their rejections!! The contrast between their readiness to publish statements by unidentified state dept. employees endorsing Clinton as well as their “assessment” garbage, and what will no doubt be their flat-out refusal to publish this important memo by highly competent ex-intelligence officials will be dramatic.

    • January 17, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Where it would be promptly filed under lost. Or confined to the paper shredder. These news outlets are currently ginning up the public for war with Russia, they will not let a bunch of recognized experts throw a monkey wrench into their plans.

    • Brad Benson
      January 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Good idea. I think they probably did this, but they didn’t say so we better remind them!

    • Litchfield
      January 17, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Absolutely.
      Agree.
      Especially
      ##The Nation, which made a fool of itself in its wholesale endorsement of Clinton in which they ignored the deep flaws of her candidacy and her cabal; instead it sufficed for t hem simply to ridicule Donald Trump

      ##Harpers, which made a fool of itself in the same way, plus disgraced itself by running a Photoshopped photo of Trump behind bars on the cover of their post-election issue

      The editorial boards of these mags have to fess up to having been fools and showing open contempt and ridicule not only for Trump the person and candidate but also, and more tellingly, for the 50% of American voters who decided that Trump was the lesser evil in the election just past.

      Both of these magazines should be pressured to explain themselves. I expect little from the right-wing press. I do expect much more from the supposed left-wing press.

    • January 17, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      The NYT, WaPo, the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The Nation et al know perfectly well that they have been spreading toxic sewage. But this is their designated task right now. Their editors and reporters know only one thing: money do not stink.

  4. mike k
    January 17, 2017 at 11:10 am

    It is nauseating and disgusting how CNN, the NYT, Wash. Post, etc. are fawning over the intelligence “community” as if they were some kind of unquestionable authorities on the truth of anything, rather than the cabal of professional liars that their record clearly prove them to be. George Orwell must be rolling in his grave over the hubris of this phony modern incarnation of the Ministry of Truth.

    • Brenda
      January 18, 2017 at 3:19 am

      If one can’t believe our intelligence agencies who are we to believe?

      • backwardsevolution
        January 18, 2017 at 5:09 am

        Brenda – I’m sure there are many good people at the intelligence agencies, but the ones at the top at now crooked and corrupt. Trump needs to send them packing.

  5. MEexpert
    January 17, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Instead of Assange, Manning, and Snowden being in jail or harassed, the people who need to be in jail are Obama for violating the oath of office and murder of innocent women and children, Hillary Clinton for lying, endangering the secret information of the United States and murder of Qaddafi, and Clapper for lying under oath to Congress. The sad part is that the congress is made up of a bunch liars.

    • Patricia Victour
      January 17, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Unfortunately, the “Ministry of Truth” is no longer a sick joke. When Obama signed the Defense Authorization Act, smuggled into the $6 billion Defense Budget, it contained the go-ahead for a “Global Engagement Center,” created to “surveil populations most susceptible to propaganda” and to “counter foreign propaganda and disinformation critical of the U.S. Government.” Consortium News was on PropOrNot’s “fake news” list of Russian dupes, so one can assume that it, along with many, many other reliable sources, will be a target of the GEC. For an excellent run-down on this story, see Sarah Lazare’s December 31 article at AlterNet, “Obama Just Signed Off on a Shadowy New Anti Propaganda Center That Will be Handed Over to Trump.” This horror will be part of Obama’s shredded legacy. I hope he’s proud of himself.

      • Chloe
        January 17, 2017 at 1:16 pm

        Amen to that! He signed this new law on a Friday afternoon, and it received little to no coverage from the Propagandist wing of the Democratic Party (WaPo, NYT, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC etc.). It’s a scary new law which has effectively created a “Ministry of Truth.” Gee, thanks a lot to former Constitutional Law Professor, soon to be former failed president, Obama!

      • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
        January 17, 2017 at 5:27 pm

        Patricia Victour,

        Your comment is incredibly important. At least the government is not upfront about being the main propagandist in the world. As for Obama? He’s been dancing to the tune of the Deep State ever since they photographed his affair with Beyonce. Blackmail works at all levels.

  6. Mark Andersen
    January 17, 2017 at 11:48 am

    i only wish more of the american public held the same scrutiny instead of following the word of a known liar (under oath) blindly and faithfully just because they he tells us to.

  7. Michael
    January 17, 2017 at 11:54 am

    I’m surprised that this letter didn’t stress the damage to the “Office of the President” that is being done by allowing the facts to remain hidden by those in the IC. Examples of other Presidents ordering the release of critical info to set the record straight gives cover to Obama to put this to rest before Trump investigates. This was well written and persuasive to me, but the weak outgoing President is putting politics above country, again, at a time when significant changes for the better in the operation of the IC seem imminent.

    • Brad Benson
      January 17, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      As the ultimate “political” candidate, who preached “change (we) could believe in” and then attacked five new countries to add to Bush’s two, we should expect no more! He was the ultimate tool of the MIC. I’m so sick of this phony SOB, I could puke. Trump can do no worse.

      • Daniel
        January 17, 2017 at 1:46 pm

        Hear, hear! If only he would disappear from the national stage upon leaving office, but no doubt he will be the deep state’s favorite lobbyist from that day forward. Disgusting

  8. Wm. Boyce
    January 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    As I said in an earlier comment on another thread, I’m open to either possibility; leak and/or hack, but there has to be proof of something. The huge irony here is that President Obama has been one of the most paranoid pursuers of leakers in presidential history, yet he might let this go unsaid, whether this is leak or hack?

    • Rudy Jubecza
      January 17, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      The only “hacking” involved is the activity of all the “political hack” appointees in these agencies.
      D.C. Police judged the murder of Seth Rich to be the result of a robbery, although apparently nothing was taken, unless it was another thumb drive that the “robber” may have pocketed… Just sayin’.
      How is it that all the great Democratic political minds of the 20th century, (Tip O’Neill, Richard J. Daley, LBJ, Harry Truman, Jack & Ted Kennedy, et al) all realized that politics is a retail business, but Mrs. Clinton ran an embarrassingly inept wholesale campaign, running, as it were, as if she never heard of something called the Electoral College, not campaigning in states that she needed, but yet spending great chunks of time in states that she would have won even if “golden showers” videos of her in the Lincoln Bedroom had actually been released. Talk about throwing money down a rathole! And then to blame the whole fiasco on the Bogeyman? You have to be kidding! Be a “man” about it, will you?!!
      I could have never voted for Mr Trump, but I don’t think I’ll ever vote for a Democrat again.

  9. Chloe
    January 17, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    It is so very obvious to anyone who has scratched the surface on this issue, that Obama and his neoliberal Dem cohorts, are blowing a lot of smoke just to deflect from the content of the DNC and Podesta leaks, which are very damning to his presidency and to the Democratic Party in general. Despite his soaring and progressive rhetoric during the 2008 campaign, Obama’s cabinet was almost entirely chosen, a month before the presidential election even took place, by Michael Froman, from Citigroup. The DNC actively conspired, against their charter, to delegitimize the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, employing racial and religious slurs against him. John Podesta and his ilk in HRC’s campaign reveal a cold-bloodedness and lack of interest in the well being of the people, whereby their entire campaign was orchestrated by focus groups, polls, and continuously shape shifting policy proposals. Hillary’s speeches to Wall Street and other industry giants showed that she had private and public positions, which were not aligned. She dissed environmentalists, and said about them: “get a life!”. These are only a few of the most glaring revelations; there are many, many more.

    So, instead of admitting to their deceptions and lies, the Dems are screaming about the Russians, in a very dangerous and confrontive way, risking war with a nuclear superpower, all because of their own deceit. It’s sickening and horrifying.

    Thank you to all of those from intelligence community who are asking for proof. We the People must demand it as well.

    • Daniel
      January 17, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Sickening is right.

    • evelync
      January 17, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Great comment Chloe! Thank you.

    • Bob Van Noy
      January 18, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Very well done Chloe, please keep contributing. Thanks.

  10. January 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I thank the VIPS, as a group and individually, for their honor and courage.

  11. Sceptic
    January 17, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    It is doubtful that Obama will, in this case, do what is best for the country, but it is praiseworthy of the letter’s signatories to at least show him what that would imply.

    They should know in any case that they have proven themselves the real patriots.

    • January 17, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Obama does not care. He is not a human being anymore but a psychopath drunk on power and money. A thug.

      • January 18, 2017 at 4:58 am

        Your right Anna, he is not human!
        The most solid view!

  12. Bob
    January 17, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Our secret spy agencies demand blind trust. Less than 20 percent of Americans trust our government.

  13. Bill
    January 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Obama doesn’t have any proof. Is Obama stupid or does he know he’s telling a big lie?

  14. January 17, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    The letter is well written and timely and I would only take exception with the idea that the current President has any credibility. Neil Young once wrote: I never knew a man who could tell so many lies; He had a different story for every set of eyes; How can he remember who he’s talking to; Cause I know it aint me, and I hope it isn’t you. As Isaiah once wrote: “and judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and judgment cannot enter.” So what if the Russians did prefer to deal with Mr. Trump over Mrs. Clinton? Maybe they are not quite prepared for the inevitable WWIII, or perhaps they are more aware of the destruction which can be brought to the “Homeland”. (Apology to Mr. Young if my memory of Ambulance Blues is incorrect).

  15. John Hawk
    January 17, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Ray McGovern and VIPS do outstanding work 24/7. However, they know like I know there is no evidence. Any questions?

  16. Bill Bodden
    January 17, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Actually, we have had trouble understanding why, almost four years after he deliberately misled the Senate, Clapper remains Director of National Intelligence – overseeing the entire intelligence community.

    You have trouble understanding that? Nothing could be easier. Clapper is a member of a select group enjoying the privilege of being above the law. Obama has said on many occasions, especially when referring to whistleblowers, that no one is above the law. Now that is either a blatant lie or, to give Obama the benefit of considerable doubt, unadulterated bullsh*t. And, what does Clapper’s lying to the senate intelligence (sic) committee say about its members letting Clapper get away with contempt of Congress? Perhaps, these committee members considered Clapper’s lies were not as serious as the baseball player’s fibs about using performance enhancing drugs. On the other hand, why only charge Clapper with contempt of Congress when most of the nation has contempt for that perennially despised assembly?

    • January 17, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      There is no need in giving Obama the benefit of doubt. Any time for any tiny bit of trust had passed.

  17. Abe
    January 17, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    “Obama will soon leave office as the only president in American history to serve two complete terms at war […]

    “Obama’s administration has in fact brokered more arms sales than other since the second world war. And despite campaigning on the building ‘the most transparent administration in history’, he has waged a war against whistleblowers and official leakers, invoking the 1917 Espionage Act more than all previous presidents combined.

    “Obama spoke of his dramatic commitment to building a nuclear weapons-free world on the campaign trail. Once in office, he committed the country to a trillion-dollar modernization of US nuclear production facilities and weapons, including warheads with adjustable yields that, according to the New York Times, make the weapons “more tempting to use”.

    “One of the most consequential international developments to occur under Obama’s watch was the deterioration of US-Russia relations and the revival of Cold War antagonisms, marked by the covert American role in the 2014 coup in Ukraine that brought to power a crude, corrupt and pervasively anti-Russian regime.

    “The largest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the second world war has unfolded under Obama’s watch, and the White House has moved in lock-step with the US intelligence community to propagate the anti-Russian line that has now captured American politics […]

    “A great deal of Americans, especially those in African-American communities, desperately and sincerely want to believe in the hope that Obama inspired in them. Unfortunately, Obama’s key achievement has proven to be his skillful usurpation of progressive rhetoric in the interest of an extreme militaristic and pro-corporate political agenda.

    “While many fear the spectre of Donald Trump’s incoming presidency and the new forms of authoritarianism and state violence that will inevitably accompany it, none should forget that it was President Obama who set the precedent for the extreme executive authority that President Trump will soon enjoy.”

    Obama’s Achievement was Whitewashing Permanent Warfare with Eloquence
    By Nile Bowie
    http://journal-neo.org/2017/01/17/obama-s-achievement-was-whitewashing-permanent-warfare-with-eloquence/

  18. Abe
    January 17, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Old school “intelligence community” agencies once suffered the indignities of supplying “magic bullets” and “magic passports” to plug enormous plot holes in “regime change” narratives, both foreign and domestic.

    New school “intelligence community” agencies have outsourced the indignities to digital “magic passport” suppliers like CrowdStrike and virtual “magic missile” launderers like UK-based deception operative Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat.

    A key “source” for ODNI allegations of cyber activity is CrowdStrike, an American cybersecurity technology firm based in Irvine, California

    Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council “regime change” think tank.

    Like Higgins and Bellingcat, Alperovitz and Crowdstrike are charged with providing on-demand “regime change” propaganda material.

    Alperovitz, quoted frequently as the main source of the Russian hacker/Trump “compromised” story, has said that Crowdstrike has “high confidence” it was “Russian hackers”.

    “But we don’t have hard evidence,” Alperovitch said in a June 16 Washington Post article.

    Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against “threats” have the ability to manufacture “threats”.

    The US and UK possess elite cyber capabilities for both cyberspace espionage and offensive operations.

    Both the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are intelligence agencies with a long history of supporting military operations. US military cyber operations are the responsibility of US Cyber Command, whose commander is also the head of the NSA.

    US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China.

    The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally. The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth.

    Recent US domestic cyber operations have been used for coercive effect, creating uncertainty and concern within the American government and population.

    The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect.

    US offensive cyber warfare operations work in tandem with aggressive US and NATO propaganda efforts against governments that fail to cooperate with Washington’s diktats.

  19. evelync
    January 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you so much for this document!
    Your quote from MLK:
    “Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up, but must be opened with all its pus-flowing ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must likewise be exposed, with all of the tension its exposing creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

    People want to be able to trust their elected officials to serve the public interest.
    The leak/hack just provided the hard evidence that people’s mistrust (backed up by frequent polls during the presidential election) of our Democratic candidate was warranted. It just confirmed for us what Bernie was saying all along that we had way too much money sloshing around in our political system, giving special interests control over our elected officials.

    Hillary Clinton refused to release her Wall Street speeches. As we suspected, the leaks/hacks showed our candidate was beholden to those interests. We also learned that there was, indeed, no daylight between the DNC and Hillary Clinton. Party leaders at the DNC lied about treating Bernie and his supporters fairly.

    People trusted Bernie. People did not trust the stock Republicans. They didn’t trust the stock Democrats either.
    Endless regime change wars and the financial debacle from deregulation/predatory trade deals leaving millions of people as collateral damage in their wake were what cost the establishment its credibility.
    The leaks/hacks just reinforced that perception.

    They expected us to believe that they were really doing their best to serve the public interest but kept fucking up….. “How could we tell?” – was their excuse for voting for the AUMF, supporting “regime change” to “spread democracy”, predatory trade deals, the irresponsible financial deregulation, for profit prisons, “3 strikes and you’re out”, in a nutshell the conscious dismantling of the New Deal.

    It’s convenient to blame the messenger. But it’s not so easy, apparently, to acknowledge the truth, revealing a gross disrespect for the intelligence of average Americans who are the bedrock of this country.

    As Gorbachev once said about Russia in an LA Times interview “Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being taken for fools”. And that helps to explain the 2016 election result.

    And for this government to try to brush everything under the rug by blaming the messenger – whoever that was – violates the principles of what Martin Luther King was trying to tell us.

    A start to establishing that trust would be the release of the evidence.
    The Neocon/Neoliberal agenda of the last few decades has skimmed maybe 30% off the backs of average working people.

    It is remarkable and much appreciated that concerned veterans of our intelligence community, have stepped up to call for lancing the “boil”
    Thank you.

  20. Jonathan
    January 17, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Excellent letter which goes right to the several points which need making about this whole absurd and damaging theater.
    Thank you for a glimpse of sanity and daylight.
    I would add that such unfounded allegations, about a leading political figure, should NEVER have been leaked to the press, causing a perfectly predictable storm of partisan reporting and abuse, discrediting the office of the US president and indeed, from my European perspective, the entire US State.
    One wonders who, apart from John McCain, is behind this. Could it have anything to do with someone losing the election? It is beyond absurd to trust the likes of Mr Clapper, a proven liar.
    I believe it would be better to focus on policies and principles rather than on personalities.

  21. Buzz Davis, Vets for Peace
    January 17, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you! When we think the world may go up in nuclear explosions based on what is going on in America today regarding these issues, it reminds me of the false pushing America into a larger Vietnam War by LBJ using the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, and the illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, etc. The desire to destroy other counties/leaders/religions for profit, greed and power never seems to end. And in America today this crazyness is getting worse.

    MR. OBAMA YOU MUST STAND UP AND TELL THE TRUTH AND SET YOURSELF FREE. AND SET US BACK ON THE ROAD TO TRUTH AND AWAY FROM A WORLD OF FALSE NEWS AND PROPAGANDA. USE YOU POWER TO FORCE US TO STEP BACK FROM THE STUPID BRINK OF NUCLEAR WAR. THIS IS WHAT LEADERSHIP IS. DO YOU HAVE IT?

  22. Buzz Davis, Vets for Peace
    January 17, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    This is accurate

  23. Antonio Cafoncelli
    January 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Excellent letter. The industrial military intelligence complex needs another cold war and has all its objectives placed in demonizing Putin, so a new cold war is being built. See the last military deployment in Poland and all the warmongering exercises by Nato lately. Keeping and blaming Putin is the last strategy of the intelligence complex that serves the neoliberal, warmongering establishment. Also the desire of the warmongers is to invade Syria and defeat Assad. Russia and maybe Trump is spoiling their dreams.

  24. Geoffrey de Galles
    January 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Should Trump attempt imminently to reconfigure the so-called Intelligence Community, he could no better than to summon and consult with VIPS — or at least a few representatives thereof, such as Binney, Drake, and McGovern. He would also do well to fire the moronic Giuliani pronto, and in his stead to appoint Snowden and Assange as his (& the US’s) National Security Advisors (– I don’t doubt that, as POTUS, he could employ FIAT to award Assange honorary US citizenship). Come to think of it, though, perhaps best of all in this respect would be a collaborative troika of Snowden, Assange, and Kim Dotcom, all appointed by Trump to make America great again. I’m confident all the POTUS would have to do to accomplish this would be to drop all extant charges brought by the DOJ (all thanks to Hollywood & Biden) against Kim Dotcom — as of course, mutatis mutandis, in the cases of Snowden and Assange, too — and, thereby, with bestowal of US citizenship, to allow the USA to be beneficiary of the bloke’s veritable genius in the digital domain. By the way, I imagine the constitutional attorney Glenn Greenwald would make a splendid Secretary of Ethics and, overnight, develop a fine working relationship with Snowden, Assange, & Kim Dotcom (maybe in consultation with Amy Goodman, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Jimmy Dore, Cenk Uygur and the UK citizen George Galloway).

  25. January 17, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Hats off to VIPS for providing a focal point for exposing misleading intelligence! Some readers may remember the Time Magazine cover story of July 15, 1996 describing how US political operatives secretly stole the Russian Presidential election from Gennady Zhuganov in favor of Boris Yeltsin. In the intervening two decades you might have expected intelligent “intelligence services” to have learned a thing or two more about how to “hack” elections, as we just may have in the Putin and Poroshenko elections, in Russia and Ukraine, in 2012 and 2014, respectively. This is of course secret, but regime changers par excellence we are, right? Is the pot calling the kettle black?

    Where can we sign on to support the VIPS agenda, not the politically compromised intelligence services who have all but taken control of our nation’s corporately driven foreign policy, leaving corporately dictated domestic matters to an overwhelmed President either wanting to be re-elected or to leave a positive legacy. Thank you ladies and gentlemen for putting intellectual honesty ahead of political expediency. When can you guys go back to work?

  26. F. G. Sanford
    January 17, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    You simply gotta ask yourself…”If our intelligence “community” is so skillful, competent, trustworthy and reliable, hows come they didn’t catch anybody in the act, nip it in the bud, or stop it before it happened?” We spend something like $60 billion a year on this veritable jobs program for otherwise unemployable geeks, nerds, peeping toms, voyeurs, pathological liars and sociopathic disreputable mercenaries. Much of what they do is directed against people who object to their obscene budgetary abuses and self-justifications. What threat to democracy did they ever mollify or prevent? If there has been one, I’d certainly appreciate some expert coming forward to explain it. Shipping cocaine into Mena, Arkansas to buy arms for murdering, raping fascist mercenaries in obscure Central American dictatorships doesn’t count, either.

    • Bob Van Noy
      January 18, 2017 at 9:52 am

      F.G. Sanford, as always thanks. Let me direct you (and others) to a very prescient article by Greg Maybury who was introduced to us on this site by Robert Parry. He presents a “big picture” analysis that seems totally accurate. Not only that, but by incorporating hot links the piece reads as a new type of journalism with incorporated footnotes and state of the art graphics. I’ve been intrigued by his writing since his introduction here…

      http://poxamerikana.com/2017/01/16/the-great-american-perpetual-motion-war-machine/

      • F. G. Sanford
        January 18, 2017 at 3:48 pm

        Thanks, I read it. Pretty well sums up the whole conundrum – a self perpetuating threat machine which provokes the responses used to justify its own existence. All the while, it is slowly but surely consuming the ability of the middle class tax base which permits its profligate consumption. Sadly, there is hardly a viable solution in sight save hoping to survive the inevitable disaster and start over…if there is anyone left.

        • Bob Van Noy
          January 19, 2017 at 9:18 am

          I read Jacques Barzun’s “The House of Intellect” in which he compares intelligence with the alphabet and intellect with something like Literature; one is a tool, the other Art. Could it be that our “intelligence” services lack intellect?
          I offer this link… http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/01/17/who-is-michael-morell.html

  27. Gregory Kruse
    January 17, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Obama is like a jack-in-the-box. His handlers turn the crank until suddenly he pops up with a big smile and makes a pretty speech about rights, then they have him authorize a bunch of wrongs, stuff him back into the box, and close the lid again. This has been done so many times in the last 8 years that it has become as stultifying as the music in the grocery store. I am apprehensive about Trump’s intentions, but I’m relieved that at least I won’t have to listen to a “Jill-in-the-box”.

  28. David Otness
    January 17, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    A wise Canadian friend came up with this scenario which is interesting and compelling, definitely thought-provoking.
    That said, I am not in agreement until facts prove otherwise, and as facts are purposely and purposefully in such short supply in these times, one can find fertile and plausible fields for such a construct quite readily enough.
    Nonetheless, knowing the far-above average sentience of regular Consortium News readers, I offer this up:

    “Here’s some more analysis following on from yesterday’s post about Trump’s election being part of Putin’s geopolitcal game plan. The bottom line is that, true to his KGB roots, Putin has apparently executed a brilliant and quite comprehensive “stitch-up” on America.
    Putin’s geopolitical objective is as clear as it is simple: to destabilize the USA in order to reduce its hegemony. To that end he supported Donald Trump’s candidacy. Not despite the fact that he is an incompetent buffoon, but because of it. That’s why Russia is making no big issue out of the dossier. Putin even used the word “prostitutes” today, as a way of making sure we know Trump is a hopelessly compromised buffoon, that we know that Putin did it, and that he knows we know he did it..
    The goal of his “worse than prostitutes” comment was to further delegitimize Trump’s presidency by essentially confirming that Putin has kompromat on Trump. That new delegitimization further destabilizes American politics. Essentially Putin’s work has given America a president that it can’t get rid of, and that fewer and fewer people regard as legitimate. It’s a perfect recipe for political paralysis.
    The options for Trump’s removal seem to be intractable. Impeachment is the only legal avenue to remove Trump, but the GOP can’t afford to do that – their political futures and probably even their party would collapse, so they’ll refuse to impeach. Trump’s psychological disorder of narcissism will make it impossible for him to resign voluntarily. If he were to be assassinated the country would go into such convulsions that Putin’s objective would be met anyway. This all means that a president who everyone understands to be illegitimate will probably stay in power.
    Given that Trump remains in power, his actions are likely to destabilize Europe, which is another region that Putin wants to to neuter geopolitically. American relations China are already taking a hit, and will get much worse over the next four years. America will be so busy trying to cope with the walking catastrophe of an incompetent President they can’t get rid of, that it will not be able to present any credible counterbalance to Russia’s expanding geopolitical influence.
    And when Trump inevitably fails to deliver on his political promises, America is going to turn on itself. His voters – who have had their expectations manipulated and their urges toward physical and political violence validated throughout this sorry process – will be primed to explode.
    I’m realizing more clearly every day that Putin, true to his KGB roots, has executed what’s called a “stitch-up” on your entire country. You may be far more fucked than you realize. Reacting by mocking Trump and Putin is not going to be helpful. Turning on Trump supporters, as viscerally satisfying as that may be, plays straight into Putin’s game. Unfortunately, thanks to the air-tight nature of the stitch-up, I don’t think such conflict is avoidable any more.
    You’re stuck with Trump and the national and international consequences of his election. It’s a done deal. If you move on him, his supporters will go berserk, and the GOP will refuse to contemplate impeachment; if you don’t move on him, his supporters will go berserk when he fails to deliver. American politics will be essentially paralyzed for the next four years. Your relations with Europe and China are toast, and the European experiment is probably over.
    Putin is the fox, America is the henhouse, and Trump was the key to the door. You’ve been royally rolled, but the consequences will only become clear over the next four years. This is a real-life nightmare.”

    • Abe
      January 17, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      This purported “wise Canadian friend” nonsense is quoted verbatim from some guys bloviation about “The Dossier” that appeared today on Democratic Underground site http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028485877

      An apparent mash-up of hysterical prognostications from Atlantic Council “regime change” screeds, “GliderGuider” alleges a diabolical Russian “long game” plot aimed at stirring up “antagonism” and “destabilizing democracies” that is supposedly “working extremely well inside the USA”.

      As every Canadian knows, the American long game is destabilizing its own democracy every four years (and democracies elsewhere perpetually), thank you very much.

      Hilarity ensues.

    • kathy mayes
      January 18, 2017 at 1:56 am

      At D. Otness: Oh, bite me please. You are so boring.

    • Brad Owen
      January 18, 2017 at 8:27 am

      I like Executive Intelligence Review’s analysis better: A new paradigm has been born, coming from Eurasian quarters; Putin and Xi are the midwives of this new paradigm, having already gone through the collapse that OUR Establishment is heading towards. Putin is no old-school KGBer, nor a post-communist crooked oligarch; he is the one who brought Russia back to sanity, and Xi is post-Mao/post-Tiennanmin Square. They bring the new paradigm that is replacing the Anglo-American, City-of-London/Wall Street Imperium. Trump got of whiff of this. The Anglo-American Imperial Establishment is freaked out about this, as it means the post-WWII/NATO/EU/Davos/Bilderberg/Trans-Atlantic era is now officially over. They lost hold of the steering wheel and can’t stand it.

      • Brad Owen
        January 18, 2017 at 12:34 pm

        Russia and especially China have consistently held the door open for US participation in the new Silk Road win-win policy. They are awaiting our own passage through madness and collapse…to come out finally on the side of sanity. There have been forces and Factions, feverishly at work, since from the death of FDR to right this very minute, to prevent this very step towards cooperation with Russia and China for World peace and development (win-win as China calls it).

  29. RJPJR
    January 17, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Using the term “the intelligence community”, as has been done repeatedly in this matter, is not only highly misleading but downright wrong. “The intelligence community” properly speaking includes all seventeen constituent elements, not three. Given the claims that what is involved is “an act of war” and so much more, it is noteworthy that the (full) intelligence community has remained silent, with only three of its constituent elements carrying on this campaign, one of which, the CIA, has long been associated with the Clintons.

    A real intelligence community assessment — backed by all constituent elements of the community — is called a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). The paper under discussion is no more an NIE than was the “government” paper on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, which was being used to trigger a bombing campaign that would have surely ended up being similar to the one unleashed on Libya.

    Further, “we assess” is NOT stardard usage for such an assessment, nor is the term “high confidence”.

    And an NIE is a consensus statement, which means no reservations on the part of any of the participating agencies.

    Treating this assessment as if it were a major and reliable intelligence estimate is a lie.

  30. Abe
    January 17, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    On 17 January 2016, during a joint press conference in Moscow with newly elected President of Moldova Igor Dodon, Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned what he called “a major continuation of the political fight in the US”.

    Putin opined that the people who make up “fabrications” that are “invented and used in the political struggle” in the US are “worse than prostitutes. They have no moral scruples.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnuZvlEJG0E

    Hard to disagree with that.

  31. Antidyatel
    January 17, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Why does the sensible talk from USA or any other western officials only come after the become former officials? It is a very clear trand.

  32. bob
    January 17, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    My journalism profession has been purchased by corporations. Since WW II the CIA formerly the OSS and FBI have paid corporate journalists to express specific opinions, Operation Mockingbird in the Fifties. From what I understand Bezos who owns Amazon was given a CIA contract from the CIA, taxpayer funds, which he was directed to buy the Washington Post. Essentially, the CIA owns the Washington Post, albeit its charter demands it not operate domestically but always has done so. I am a real print journalist, Viet-Nam War veteran. Judy Miller of the New York Times literally led America to the Iraq War, a nation Reagan armed from 81 to 88 to kill Iranians who provided America with oil and gas during both world wars through British Anglo-Iranian Oil, today’s BP. We overthrew Iran in 53 to reprivatize the oil after Mohammad Mossadegh nationalized, just like Iraq 2003. Do not listen to what they say, watch what they do. The CIA gave us the MKULTRA hypnotized assassins program. They are secret. The demand our blind allegiance. You know what they say about blind allegiance? It’s blinding. One may not bomb anyone without terrorizing them. Reagan began nuclear arming Pakistan in 81, 90 percent Muslim. It is difficult to nuclear arm Islam while simultaneously declaring Islam the root of all evil. Let’s put on our thinking caps and take our nation back from the psychopaths who pillage the earth in our name and have the audacity to declare they will deem who terrorizes. Ludicrous. Truth may be crushed but it always, always will rise again, indeed, Truth Will Set You Free, CIA motto. Good luck America.

  33. John
    January 17, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Okay the average USA citizen should be covered in debt about now………..What !!!……..Okay you don’t get it………

  34. Realist
    January 17, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Why is there absolutely no logic being used by the side incessantly sniping at Trump? I just walked into my house, turned on the tube, and there was Chris Matthews and Leon Panetta asking “why is Trump so insane as to start a war against the CIA and other intelligence agencies when, after all, he is going to have to rely upon their data when he becomes president?” Why do these idiots not ask the reciprocal question, especially since Trump’s actions have been entirely reactive against an adversarial intelligence community? Why, Christopher and Leon, have these governmental agencies decided to declare war on an incoming president and absolutely destroy his credibility with the public if, in fact, not prevent him from taking office? The election is over. These agencies are NOT supposed to have a political role in our government. They have no constitutional authority to decide who should or should not be president. Yet Chris, Leon, David Corn and all the “loyal opposition” who are given a monopoly on the airwaves seem to think that it’s entirely okay for them (as members of a supposed “neutral” free press) to effectively act as insurgents against our elected government. Some woman on one their panels just said that the Trump people are being hypocrites for incessantly challenging Obama’s legitimacy and now complaining when its turnabout against Donald Trump. Yet, the reciprocal question is just as fairly asked: how can the Democrats quickly adopt a strategy that they condemned for eight years when the Republicans used it?

    Another one of the great minds on Matthew’s panel suggested that Obama tried to cooperate with Putin on “terrorism” but the Russians simply wanted to sow “chaos,” which is a big laugh since the rest of the world calls the United States the “Empire of Chaos.” I contend that Putin has been desperately trying to maintain some semblance of stability in this world, and Obama was the “King of Chaos” who fervently wanted Hillary, the “Queen of Chaos” to replace him and is now in one huge snit because that did not happen, so he’s undertaken to bring down not only Putin but his own successor Mr. Trump. There is madness in the Washington air right now. I hope that doesn’t become the smell of charred human flesh in the atmosphere just because Obama, Clinton and the Dems are so outraged at their own incompetence which they dare not admit and cover up with lies like “the Russians stole the election.”

    And, Mr. Matthews, if you think your job has been transformed into one of constant Trump bashing, you should consider moving your show to You Tube.

    • Joe Tedesky
      January 18, 2017 at 2:07 am

      The directors of the CIA, FBI, NSA, Pentagon, and any other departments within the Cabinet serve under the command and by the privilege of the President of the United States of America, and not the other way around. This would make you more right Realist, than Matthews, Panetta, Corn, and all of the rest of the corrupted screwballs who you have seen on the TV. What we are watching, is a White House coup in progress, before the president elect even has had the time to be sworn in….amazing, utterly amazing!

      • Brad Owen
        January 18, 2017 at 12:26 pm

        I guess every Empire eventually gets a Praetorian Guard (a security service) to guard the Throne…and eventually controls who does and doesn’t get to sit on it.

  35. bob
    January 17, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    you censor comments. shame on you.

    • bob
      January 17, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      I apologize. I was wrong. I’m getting old.

  36. delia ruhe
    January 17, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Wow. The list of signatories makes every bit as intriguing reading as the text. But if there were evidence of the Russia-Wikileaks link, we’d have known about it by now, as the interference of Putin in the election is an important centrepiece in the Dems’ propaganda narrative. If they stopped sipping their own Kool-Aid, they’d have to withdraw into some serious self-examination — and that’s something no citizen within the Beltway will ever do.

  37. Robin Hensel
    January 17, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Where would we be without VIPS and their collective wisdom. Salute.

  38. Rosemary Brennan
    January 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you for this excellent article, and this brave yet necessary last call to action from these veteran intelligence experts to President Obama to do the right thing. Expose your “truth” with evidence, so the American people can have or regain a modicum of belief in their nation’s leaders again.

  39. January 17, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    It is as I thought. No Donald Trump supporter, but well versed in the murky area of our national politics, and of other nations. Thank you for this news, and please keep up the good work. The move to discredit the President-Elect is nauseating. And ultimately destructive.

  40. January 17, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Obama doesn’t have to reveal sources and methods. All he has to do is respond to this non-clasified report by civilian computer security experts.

    US Govt Data Shows “Russia” Used Outdated Ukrainian PHP Malware

    http://ssgreenberg.name/PoliticsBlog/2016/12/31/us-govt-data-shows-russia-used-outdated-ukrainian-php-malware/

  41. backwardsevolution
    January 17, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity – you are to be commended for sending this letter to President Obama. You are the type of people that make a country great. All you are asking for is the truth, and I hope that Obama will do the right thing and deliver that truth. If not, I would hope that President Trump hires you all back so that you may get to the bottom of it for the American people. Thank you.

  42. It's Dr.Bob -- I'm on the list
    January 17, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Abe, lighten up. It is a just a nice piece of tongue-in-cheek satire. Go back and read it again, and enjoy yourself. Apparently an upstart political rival of Putin’s made a brief pro-Trump video at one point. And while you are there, you can find a nice article meticulously debunking the “Russian hacking” claims.

  43. Geoffrey de Galles
    January 18, 2017 at 3:39 am

    Thanks for this, Abe.
    “Now is the world with such spookery [Spuk] so full that nobody knows just where to turn”
    (Goethe: Faust).

  44. exiled off mainstreet
    January 18, 2017 at 3:43 am

    An excellent article again, but I disagree that if the Obama regime “found” such evidence it would be credible, since their record of fabrication is monumental. But they don’t seem to even have any fake “evidence” they can present, or they would have presented it.

    • J'hon Doe II
      January 18, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Americans Claim Role in Yeltsin Win
      Wednesday, 18 January 2017, 4:10 pm | Gary Kohls

      WASHINGTON — A team of American political strategists who helped Gov. Pete Wilson with his abortive presidential bid earlier this year said this week that they served as Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin’s secret campaign weapon in his comeback win …

      More >>

      • J'hon Doe II
        January 18, 2017 at 5:24 pm

        18 January 2017
        Article: Gary Kohls

        Americans Claim Role in Yeltsin Win
        Russia: Consultants say they spent months in Moscow secretly devising U.S.style
        strategy.
        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1701/S00051/americans-claim-role-in-yeltsin-win.htm
        ::
        – excerpt –

        July 09, 1996 | ELEANOR RANDOLPH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

        WASHINGTON — A team of American political strategists who helped Gov. Pete Wilson with his abortive presidential bid earlier this year said this week that they served as Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin’s secret campaign weapon in his comeback win over a Communist challenger.

        And while some Muscovites are debating whether the Americans saved Yeltsin’s job or merely provided one voice among many working to revive the Russian president’s political chances, the consultants have now emerged to give interviews about how they quietly peddled advice to Yeltsin’s 36yearold
        daughter and key advisor, Tatyana Dyachenko.

        “I don’t have candidates generally who are as responsive as Boris Yeltsin,” said George Gorton, who worked for Wilson in 1994 and later ran Wilson’s abortive bid for the GOP nomination. “Certainly not Pete Wilson.”

        Hired in February through a San Francisco firm with connections in Moscow, Gorton said that the team members never met Yeltsin. Instead, they sent their detailed, unsigned memos to his daughter. “We were told that we were formally retained as advisors to the Yeltsin family.”

        Although the Americans spoke no Russian and worked through translators, they began secretly laying out an American-style campaign to counter the public sentiment running against Yeltsin.

        When they started, Yeltsin’s approval rating was about 6%, and, as they told Time magazine, Josef Stalin had a higher positive rating in their polls. Yet last week, Yeltsin defeated Communist candidate Gennady A. Zyuganov by more than 13 percentage points.

        In an interview here Monday, Gorton said that he and his colleagues quickly realized that Yeltsin did not trust his campaign advisors to help him win reelection and placed more value on the advice of his daughter.

        “However, she didn’t know anything,” Gorton said. “She’s very bright, very articulate, very strong-willed, but she didn’t have the first idea about campaigning, not even the ideas that a child here would have.”

        The Americans were brought in by a circuitous route. Felix Braynin of San Francisco, a Soviet immigrant who is now a wealthy consultant to American businesses working in Russia, began helping the Yeltsin
        campaign last year.

        After he asked about American advisors who could help, San Francisco lawyer Fred Lowell suggested Gorton and Joe Shumate, an expert on political polling, and Richard Dresner, a political strategist who has helped not only Wilson but President Clinton in his earlier campaigns for governor of Arkansas.

  45. Herman
    January 18, 2017 at 10:16 am

    There is another possible scenario–that what has been produced has damaged Trump and broadcast as fact by our most important media outlets and accepted by millions of people. The final blow then would be the production of “evidence” that would be trumpeted as the hard evidence demanded by VIPS. At that point the New York Times and the Washington Post describe the presidency in crisis, and formal action begins to bring down Trump. VIPS could question the new evidence but they would be ignored, the media discrediting them for questioning the Washington Post and the New York Times’ earlier claims.

    Bizarre? Unthinkable? Think how far this issue has come in the last several months. If that happens, let us hope President Trump has an effective response and important people rise to his defense.

  46. kirk
    January 18, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    the ‘intelligence community’ (an oxymoron) is reptilian in nature and lie for a living. they cannot ever be trusted.

    • J'hon Doe II
      January 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      the fascistic
      Allen Dulles established the “intelligence community”.
      Allen Dulles established ruthlessness methodology science,
      and like Rasputin,established the role of Authoritarian Power-

      the reptilian Rasputin Authoritarian
      Allen Dulles/ Trump Ruthlessness\
      and Supreme Court Power w/o limit
      bodes ill.

  47. J'hon Doe II
    January 18, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    A decade ago – how did we, US gov’t/CIA/”wealth creators” co-op Russia’s presidential election?

    http://info.scoop.co.nz/Gary_Kohls

    Americans Claim Role in Yeltsin Win
    Gary Kohls
    —18 January 2017

    WASHINGTON — A team of American political strategists who helped Gov. Pete Wilson with his abortive presidential bid earlier this year said this week that they served as Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin’s secret campaign weapon in his comeback win …

    ::

    — July 09, 1996 | ELEANOR RANDOLPH | TIMES STAFF WRITER
    excerpt
    WASHINGTON — A team of American political strategists who helped Gov. Pete Wilson with his abortive presidential bid earlier this year said this week that they served as Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin’s secret campaign weapon in his comeback win over a Communist challenger.

    And while some Muscovites are debating whether the Americans saved Yeltsin’s job or merely provided one voice among many working to revive the Russian president’s political chances, the consultants have now emerged to give interviews about how they quietly peddled advice to Yeltsin’s 36yearold
    daughter and key advisor, Tatyana Dyachenko.

    “I don’t have candidates generally who are as responsive as Boris Yeltsin,” said George Gorton, who worked for Wilson in 1994 and later ran Wilson’s abortive bid for the GOP nomination. “Certainly not Pete Wilson.”

    Hired in February through a San Francisco firm with connections in Moscow, Gorton said that the team members never met Yeltsin. Instead, they sent their detailed, unsigned memos to his daughter. “We were told that we were formally retained as advisors to the Yeltsin family.”

    Although the Americans spoke no Russian and worked through translators, they began secretly laying out an American-style campaign to counter the public sentiment running against Yeltsin.

    When they started, Yeltsin’s approval rating was about 6%, and, as they told Time magazine, Josef Stalin had a higher positive rating in their polls. Yet last week, Yeltsin defeated Communist candidate Gennady A. Zyuganov by more than 13 percentage points.

  48. Sr. Gibbonk
    January 18, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    The authors, in this and other articles, seem to imply that the intelligence reports have been crafted for nefarious political purposes rather than as objective analyses of Russian interference in the recent presidential election. That further implies that the assault on the integrity of the U.S. electoral system was carried out by our very own intelligence agencies. For the sake of argument, let’s say these former intelligence officers are right to suspect the claims of Russian hacking. One would then have to ask what possible motive the DNI, et al, would have for delegitimizing the election of Trump? Hmm, let’s see. For starters they might want to knee-cap the man before he even gets into office so as to ensure that detente with Russia is off the table. As the Trumpster himself would say, so sad. Yes Trump is an erratic narcissist who changes positions more often than a sex addict in a bordello but he has been remarkably consistent on wanting to defuse the tense, dangerous situation with Russia. He even stated recently that he would press for a new disarmament treaty between our two nations. Unfortunately that flies in the face of the Empire’s strategy of Full Spectrum Dominance and that will not and cannot stand. Diffusing the new Cold War is clearly bad for business especially when the client list for American arms is growing daily. But the deeper reason for sabotaging Trump is that he is not playing by the Deep State Rules which require a compliant head of state. He’s even dissed the CIA. Just who does he think he is? Now I consider Trump and his whole team unfit to govern – even under the watchful eye of the Corporate/Military/Industrial/Surveillance state. Further, I suspect he will be brought into line or will be forced to quit. But either way, we have much to fear in these ‘interesting times’, most particularly the rush to war. But such is the state of ‘American Democracy’.

    This all brings to mind the Gulf of Tonkin incident which was the pretext for the Vietnam war. It was ginned up by the Johnson Administration, disseminated by a compliant press, and led directly to the deaths of several million people. Here is a link to a 1994 article on the subject:

    http://fair.org/media-beat-column/30-year-anniversary-tonkin-gulf-lie-launched-vietnam-war/

    Sorry, wish instead we all had happy feet.

  49. Sr. Gibbonk
    January 18, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Sr. Gibbonk
    January 18, 2017 at 7:44 pm
    The authors, in this and other articles, seem to imply that the intelligence reports have been crafted for nefarious political purposes rather than as objective analyses of Russian interference in the recent presidential election. That further implies that the assault on the integrity of the U.S. electoral system was carried out by our very own intelligence agencies. For the sake of argument, let’s say these former intelligence officers are right to suspect the claims of Russian hacking. One would then have to ask what possible motive the DNI, et al, would have for delegitimizing the election of Trump? Hmm, let’s see. For starters they might want to knee-cap the man before he even gets into office so as to ensure that detente with Russia is off the table. As the Trumpster himself would say, so sad. Yes Trump is an erratic narcissist who changes positions more often than a sex addict in a bordello but he has been remarkably consistent on wanting to defuse the tense, dangerous situation with Russia. He even stated recently that he would press for a new disarmament treaty between our two nations. Unfortunately that flies in the face of the Empire’s strategy of Full Spectrum Dominance and that will not and cannot stand. Diffusing the new Cold War is clearly bad for business especially when the client list for American arms is growing daily. But the deeper reason for sabotaging Trump is that he is not playing by the Deep State Rules which require a compliant head of state. He’s even dissed the CIA. Just who does he think he is? Now I consider Trump and his whole team unfit to govern – even under the watchful eye of the Corporate/Military/Industrial/Surveillance state. Further, I suspect he will be brought into line or will be forced to quit. But either way, we have much to fear in these ‘interesting times’, most particularly the rush to war. But such is the state of ‘American Democracy’.

    This all brings to mind the Gulf of Tonkin incident which was the pretext for the Vietnam war. It was ginned up by the Johnson Administration, disseminated by a compliant press, and led directly to the deaths of several million people. Here is a link to a 1994 article on the subject:

    http://fair.org/media-beat-column/30-year-anniversary-tonkin-gulf-lie-launched-vietnam-war/

    Sorry, wish instead we all had happy feet.

  50. John P
    January 18, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Why not wait until the facts come out ? I think the Russians are probably silently smiling and slapping themselves on the back as they watch this growing fanatical diatribe and division in America. They are very good at playing people. Even Putin’s competition has said not to trust the man.
    Perhaps the facts can’t be released because it could point to someone or a group whose cover would be exposed. Remember the Valerie Plame story and how the Bush Jr’s administration did her in because her husband Joe Wilson crushed the Blair – neocon Niger story. We’ll never know if anyone else ( a contact or friend) was hurt by that exposure. Remember also that Russia has used polonium on other agents who have come over to the west.
    And as for Obama he inherited a Republican mess from Afghanistan, to Pakistan to Iraq. The new Shiah Iraqi government came down hard on the Sunni (just as the Sunni had been hard on them.) From that grew a deepening mess of politics and religion. Obama was stuck with a hard Republican wall obstructing what ever manoeuvers he had hope to use to calm things down. In wars, particularly with religious contexts, war is the last resort or fundamental irrationality takes over. Obama had inherited the mess when the fuse was already lit.
    With Syria, I think he should have sided with the Russians but there was a lot of hidden pressure I’m sure from lobbies supporting Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s position, both nations stirring up the blood. He didn’t have an easy job facing all those war mongers day in day out. He got a deal with Iran (they suffered under the US imposed Shah) that is now under threat. So soften up.
    Nobodies perfect, and I think he sold out the Palestinians. But perhaps in time the two sides reconcile and a truly democratic country evolve. I’m optimistic but Zionism and fundamentalism (all religions) is a power that worries me on that issue.
    I gather the BBC has revealed more allegations of a Russia Trump relationships which could be problematic. Detente is good but the world doesn’t want another Neville Chamberlain event. One needs to tread carefully as politics is full of those adept at using us.

  51. ahmad
    January 19, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Bangkok is nice

  52. Abe
    January 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    “Despite great effort recently put into bolstering the credibility of the ‘American intelligence community’ in the wake of their assessment regarding alleged ‘Russian hacking,’ it should be remembered that this same ‘community’ intentionally and maliciously fabricated a myriad of lies surrounding so-called weapons of mass destruction in Iraq which led to a destructive war that claimed upward to a million lives – including over 4,000 US troops.

    “A community responsible for verified, self-serving lies, has no credibility. Nor do the media organizations that repeated those lies without questioning the very flawed factual and logical fundamentals underpinning them […]

    “In reality, regardless of who sits in the White House, US foreign policy is primarily dictated by unelected corporate-financier special interests. This explains why the US has exhibited treachery and subversive tendencies toward Russia for decades – transcending US presidencies, and even entire eras of US politics. Banks, energy firms, and defense contractors have seen Russia as a competitor since World War II – a competitor to undermine, overrun, buy-off, or otherwise isolate and eliminate.

    “Skewing elections in favor of president-elect Donald Trump over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have made little to no difference at all in this decades-long struggle between East and West.

    “Understanding this, however, does much in explaining why the US is exploiting the DNC’s compromised e-mails to blame Russia. It provides yet another opportunity to further justify attempts to encircle, contain, and ultimately overthrow the political, financial, military, and industrial order in Russia – eliminating a significant obstacle to Wall Street and Washington’s ambitions toward global hegemony.

    “Without being able to cite ‘election hacking’ and other alleged threats Moscow poses to the West, the immense expenditure on military expansion – particularly by the US in Eastern Europe – would be inexcusable.”

    What’s Really Behind US Claims of “Russian Hacking?”
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/01/whats-really-behind-us-claims-of.html

  53. Kevin Beck
    January 20, 2017 at 9:54 am

    This information should be made public immediately. Otherwise, there’s no credibility for the regime to keep saying it without delivering the evidence. The credibility of the Obama regime is tied up in this claim, which they (so far)refuse to come clean on.

  54. Jane Christ
    January 22, 2017 at 9:12 am

    What was the end result of this request? Did the government answer it ?

Comments are closed.