This declaration from Democrats’ new favorite pundit, former George W. Bush speechwriter and Clinton voter David Frum, has been retweeted over 3,500 times in approximately three hours. Media superstars such as John Harwood and Peter Daou joined in on the retweeting action. How many casual news consumers cursorily saw this tweet, accepted it as accurate, and then continued on with their day? Many, many tens of thousands, surely. And yet what the tweet omits, as does most every other account of the contents of the laughably anticlimactic DNI report, is that this much-anticipated document contains no new evidence corroborating the Government’s claims regarding “Russian Hacking.”
The whole point of this Big Serious Report, at least according to the weeks of hype which preceded its release, was that the American public would finally be furnished with all the evidence they need to conclude with unshakable confidence that the Russian Government and Scary Dictator Putin were directly responsible for ordering the “hack” of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta. The report certainly asserts that this is what happened, but various “U.S. Officials” have been asserting such for months through a variety of channels. The main response to these assertions from skeptics has always been: show us actual evidence to support your extreme and highly incendiary claims. After months and months of tortured debate and histrionics, still no evidence is forthcoming.
Government Officials and their sycophants in the media can insist all day that providing specific evidence would somehow compromise “sources and methods,” but this could just as easily serve as a pretext for covering up evidence that is either fundamentally flimsy or doesn’t exist — revelations which the Government would rather not divulge because were they to do so, the public would know once and for all that this Russian Hacking Mania has been nothing but a blame-deflecting sham from the beginning.
Russian Hacking hysteria has been such a dominant theme for so long now that you’d think the Government would be eager to share evidence demonstrating without a shred of doubt that Putin personally set about to “interfere” in the U.S. election. Several members of Congress, including Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) stood up on the floor of the House during today’s certification of the Electoral College vote and screamed about Russian “interference” and/or “intrusion,” as if the Electoral Votes of any given state should be discarded on account of their worries about Putin. The point is: given how pervasive this narrative has been, the impetus to provide all the requisite factual substantiation should be extra pressing — but even now, at this late juncture, we are left with nothing. There’s still no evidence. I agree with Julia Ioffe’s insinuation: the proof in all likelihood doesn’t exist, and this flurry of recent activity from the Intelligence “Community” basically amounts to last-minute ass-covering.
Bizarrely, the report spends much of its time ranting about RT, formerly known as Russia Today, as if an obscure TV network which a minuscule portion of Americans have ever even heard of had any significant role whatsoever in affecting the outcome of the election. Why are they so fixated on RT rather than corroborating the central claim of the report — that Russia did the hacking? Maybe as a diversion? Possibly. Hmm. Even more bizarrely, the report spends a lot of time talking about Occupy Wall Street, a movement which hasn’t existed in any tangible form for over 4 years. So here we are, waiting for the Intelligence Community’s final verdict on “Russian Hacking,” and we’re treated to a weird tangent about how RT covered Occupy street protests in 2011…?
This continuing uncertainty and lack of proof hasn’t stopped any number of Liberal Media People from acting as though the Final, Unalterable Word has been handed down by some omniscient heavenly body.
There’s your new head of the Center For American Progress Action Fund, Mr. Jentleson, essentially proclaiming that every U.S. media outlet was a witting enabler of a foreign espionage campaign.
The American people are getting scammed, and as ever, the credulous media is egging it on.