The Intel Community Lie About Russian Meddling by Publius Tacitus
Americans tend to be a trusting lot. When they hear a high level government official, like former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, state that Russia’s Vladimir ordered and monitored a Russian cyber attack on the 2016 Presidential election, those trusting souls believe him. For experienced intelligence professionals, who know how the process of gathering and analyzing intelligence works, they detect a troubling omission in Clapper’s presentation and, upon examining the so-called “Intelligence Community Assessment,” discover that document is a deceptive fraud. It lacks actual evidence that Putin and the Russians did what they are accused of doing. More troubling—and this is inside baseball—is the fact that two critical members of the Intelligence Community—the DIA and State INR—were not asked to coordinate/clear on the assessment.
You should not feel stupid if you do not understand or appreciate the last point. That is something only people who actually have produced a Community Assessment would understand. I need to take you behind the scenes and ensure you understand what is intelligence and how analysts assess and process that intelligence. Once you understand that then you will be able to see the flaws and inadequacies in the report released by Jim Clapper in January 2017.
The first thing you need to understand is the meaning of the term, the “Intelligence Community” aka IC. Comedians are not far off the mark in touting this phrase as the original oxymoron. On paper the IC currently is comprised of 17 agencies/departments:
- Air Force Intelligence,
- Army Intelligence,
- Central Intelligence Agency aka CIA,
- Coast Guard Intelligence,
- Defense Intelligence Agency aka DIA,
- Energy Department aka DOE,
- Homeland Security Department,
- State Department aka INR,
- Treasury Department,
- Drug Enforcement Administration aka DEA,
- Federal Bureau of Investigation aka FBI,
- Marine Corps Intelligence,
- National Geospatial Intelligence Agency aka NGIA or NGA,
- National Reconnaissance Office aka NRO,
- National Security Agency aka NSA,
- Navy Intelligence
- The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
But not all of these are “national security” agencies—i.e., those that collect raw intelligence, which subsequently is packaged and distributed to other agencies on a need to know basis. Only six of these agencies take an active role in collecting raw foreign