by Claire Bernish, Activist Post:
Outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the campaign to sway the election in favor of Donald Trump did, in fact, involve Russian government-coordinated hacks, but,
Hacking was only part of it. It also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, and fake news.
This heavy-handed and “multifaceted Russian campaign” attempted to undermine the United States, Clapper asserted, and — although these Russian hackers did not manage to infiltrate any voting machines or tamper with the vote count — there would be no way for the U.S. Intelligence Community to assess the total impact on the election.
Stopping a hair’s breadth from calling this campaign an act of war, Clapper posited,
“Whether or not that constitutes an act of war. I think, is a very heavy policy call that I don’t think the intelligence community should make” — and then added, “It certainly — would carry, in my view, great gravity.”
NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers and undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Marcel Lettre, also testified on reports of Russian interference in the election — but testimony by Clapper, and questions from the committee, eerily echoed sessions with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the first Red Scare in the 1950s.
Acknowledging the United States and other allies routinely engage in espionage, Clapper explained of Russia’s operation,
I don’t think we’ve ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to interfere in our election process than we’ve seen in this case.
For all of this posturing about Russian meddling with computer systems of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, among others, intelligence officials have not aligned behind the allegation — a fact which has garnered condemnation and outright ridicule.
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