Left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald noted the lack of evidence in Friday's declassified intelligence report in support of the claims that Russia had provided hacked emails to WikiLeaks in order to benefit then presidential candidate Donald Trump’s electoral fortunes.
Speaking with left-wing CNN Democrat Brian Stelter on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, Greenwald rejected the assertion that statements made by the “intelligence community” should be accepted as articles of faith:
“You’re not obligated through patriotism or decency to simply accept what the CIA says lest you be accused of siding with a foreign dictator or being unpatriotic. What should determine the discourse is the evidence presented. And on the key claims - that Putin directed this hacking and that he did so to elect Donald Trump - there is no evidence for it; not unpersuasive evidence or inadequate evidence; no evidence. Just CIA assertions over and over and that just simply is not enough.”
Greenwald reflected on the partisan divide over intelligence assessments regarding weapons of mass destruction in the lead up to the 2003 Iraq War to topple Saddam Hussein’s government:
“We don’t just blindly and uncritically accept the claims of the intelligence community, especially provocative claims about a foreign adversary, without seeing convincing evidence presented by them that those claims are true, and we absolutely have not seen that in this case.
And now you have a complete role reversal, where it’s Republicans who are expressing skepticism of the CIA and Democrats who are saying if you don’t believe the CIA, it means you’re disloyal and unpatriotic and you’re siding with a dictator against your own country.”
Watch the segment below.
A declassified intelligence report released on Friday provided no evidence of the claims that Russian state apparatuses - under the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin - hacked into the aforementioned email accounts for the purpose assisting Trump’s presidential campaign.
The report included the following preface in an attempt to explain the lack of evidence to support its assessment, claiming that such a release would compromise national security:
The Intelligence Community rarely can publicly reveal the full extent of its knowledge or the precise bases for its assessments, as the release of such information would reveal sensitive sources or methods and imperil the ability to collect critical foreign intelligence in the future.
Thus, while the conclusions in the report are all reflected in the classified assessment, the declassified report does not and cannot include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence and sources and methods.
Fox News Channel's Catherine Herridge noted that the joint DNI-CIA report provided no evidence of its conclusions:
"This unclassified report really has absolutely no backup data about sources or methods, and critics will use this as a way to say that the intelligence community politicized this report and they're hiding behind protecting sources and methods by not releasing the information."
President Barack Obama has asserted - with the support of political and media allies - that Russia hacked the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chair John Podesta for the purpose of assisting Trump's presidential campaign.
Left-wing and Democrat-aligned news outlets such as The Washington Post have consolidated around the narrative of “Russian hacking” in order to cast the 2016 presidential election and incoming Trump adminstration as illegitimate. In most instances, the claims of anonymous government sources were provided as meaningful evidence to bolster the narrative.
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