The CIA and FBI in the 2016 election

During the election campaign, FBI statements about Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information hurt her and helped Donald Trump.

CIA statements about alleged Russian hacking of Clinton campaign e-mails hurt Trump and helped Clinton.  As it turns out, the FBI counter-intelligence service is not convinced that it was the Russians who hacked the Clinton campaign.

cia-logoAnd, in fact, Craig Murray, a former British diplomat and human rights activist close to Julian Assange, claims to have personal knowledge that the Clinton campaign leaks came from a disgruntled Democratic campaign staffer.

President Obama wants the “intelligence community” to produce a report on whether Russian intelligence agencies have interfered in U.S. elections going back to 2008.  And he wants the report done before Donald Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20, which seems like an impossible deadline to produce anything more than informed—or uniformed—opinion.

Meanwhile Democrats who are trying to change the Electoral College vote want the electors to be briefed by the CIA on alleged Russian inference.

I have no evidence that the disagreements between the FBI and CIA are any more than an honest difference of opinion.   Even if that is so, I don’t like the idea of presidential candidates being vetted by the CIA.

∞∞∞

The main argument for believing that the Russian FSB hacked the Clinton campaign e-mails is that they have the capability to do it, they have a motive to do it, and the Russian and Soviet intelligence services have a history of subverting foreign governments.

But they aren’t unique in that respect.  The CIA has at least an equal record in manipulating elections and subverting foreign governments.

Western intelligence agencies have been known to interfere in their own countries’ politics.  There was the notorious Zinoviev letter, a forged document believed to have contributed to the defeat of the Labor Party in the 1924 British elections.

In the USA, Robert Woodward’s “deep throat” source for his Watergate expose was Mark Felt, a top FBI official.   The CIA spied on Senate staff members who were investigating it.

I think the CIA is fully capable of manipulating information to influence the outcome of a U.S. election.  But that’s just my opinion.  I have no proof, nor do I know where I could obtain proof.

[Update 12/17/2016]  In other words, my argument is for skepticism and critical thinking.  All I, as a private citizen, can do is connect the dots—draw inferences from know facts.  My inferences might be wrong, but that is not a reason why I or other American citizens should accept either the FBI’s or CIA’s conclusions without knowing the basis for those conclusions.

LINKS

The Russian Bear Uses a Keyboard by Craig Murray.

Wikileaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails by Alana Goodman for The Daily Mail (London)

Donald Trump and the New Red Scare by Noah Millman for The Week.

FBI Disputes CIA’s ‘Fuzzy and Ambiguous’ Claims That Russia Sought to Influence Presidential Election by Tyler Durden for ZeroHedge.

FBI Disagrees With CIA On Russian Influence in the Presidential Election by Russ Reed for The Daily Caller.

Historical and Structural Reasons for Skepticism of CIA Claims by David Price for Counterpunch.

Freedom’s Just Another Word by Peter Van Buren for We Meant Well.

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