- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Did the Russians hack our election?

Absolutely not — although many in the mainstream media would like you to believe they did. Headlines of “election hacking” have been used by The Washington Post, CNN and The New York Times.

There is zero evidence that Russia manipulated any voting machines in any state to alter the outcome of our presidential election. Therefore, no “election hacking.”



What has been indicated by intelligence sources is Russians successfully phished the email of John Podesta and penetrated the email firewalls of the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Russians then released those emails with the hopes of creating a negative American perception of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — and this last assertion is just that, there is no proof their intent was to inflict damage on Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, it’s just been inferred by some unnamed intelligence sources.

Also, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange repeated his claim this week to Fox New’s Sean Hannity that the Russian government was not the source of hacked Democratic campaign emails he released before the U.S. presidential election.

No one should trust Mr. Assange outright — he’s not a friend to the United States — but his denial does cast more suspicion on all of the Russian hacking claims.

Moreover, the U.S. government’s analysis of the hacking only asserts there was Russian meddling, it doesn’t prove it. Mr. Obama offered no smoking guns in the joint FBI, Department of Homeland Security document.

“The US government’s much-anticipated analysis of Russian-sponsored hacking operations provides almost none of the promised evidence linking them to breaches that the Obama administration claims were orchestrated in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 presidential election,” technical blog Ars Technica wrote about the intelligence release.

The blog said many independent security analysts believe it’s impossible to know the true origins of the attacks, a claim Mr. Trump has made repeatedly.

Nonetheless, President Obama ordered 35 Russian diplomats to leave the country last week and issued sanctions on Russia to retaliate against the country for their alleged infiltration into the 2016 election.

The Obama administration says it’s “100% certain” about Russian involvement, but there is reason to doubt, especially given the political nature of the claims.

In July, a few hours after WikiLeaks started releasing the emails, Mrs. Clinton’s Campaign Manager Robby Mook took to the Sunday shows and claimed — without any proof — that the Russians were behind the attack in order to help Mr. Trump win the election.

There is no way, at the time, Mr. Mook could’ve possibly known this. It was the political narrative he wanted to set — and the press was all too willing to pick up, without any evidence.

Moreover, if this was the case — why didn’t Mr. Obama take his action against Russia at the time? Why did he wait until after the election in order to carry out his sanctions and expel Russian diplomats?

One can believe Mr. Obama and the press is politically motivated to delegitimize Mr. Trump, especially given they never saw his victory coming. One can also believe that our intelligence agencies have been politicized — because they have been in the past.

In August, intelligence officials at the Department of Defense said they were pressured to skew their reports on the military campaign against the Islamic State, making it seem more successful than was actually warranted by positions on the ground, according to a report by a joint task force on the U.S. Central Command.

Then there was the famous weapons of mass destruction claim made during the Iraq War.

Even Rolling Stone is skeptical of the Russian hacking narrative being propagated by the administration and the mainstream media — as it should be.

“The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up,” Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi wrote.

Indeed.

CIA Director John Brennan told PBS Newshour Tuesday that his report on Russian hacking was in the “final throes” and would be delivered to Mr. Obama in the coming days.

Until it’s made public, and concrete evidence is provided, we should all be viewing these “Russian hacking” stories with a skeptical eye. Mr. Taibbi is right — something about them just stinks.

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