President Obama Orders Intel Agencies To Produce Report On Russian Election Influence

from the but-will-it-be-made-public? dept

We just recently wrote about Senators on the Intelligence Committee requesting that President Obama declassify information about the Russians' activities in trying to influence the last election. While much of "the Russians did it!" chatter that's been going around has felt exaggerated, the real issue is that so little actual evidence has been presented one way or the other. It would be good to actually reveal publicly what has happened, if anything. Now comes the news that President Obama has, at least, asked the intelligence agencies to compile a report on the evidence:
President Obama has ordered American intelligence agencies to produce a full report on Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, his homeland security adviser said on Friday. He also directed them to develop a list of “lessons learned” from the broad campaign the United States has accused Russia of carrying out to steal emails, publish their contents and probe the vote-counting system.

“We may have crossed a new threshold here,” Lisa Monaco, one of Mr. Obama’s closest aides and the former head of the national security division of the Justice Department, told reporters Friday. “He expects to receive this report before he leaves office.”
Receiving the report before he leaves office is one thing. Declassifying it and releasing it to the public is another. Hopefully he is willing to do both. Of course, the article notes that some agencies, such as the FBI, consider it an "active investigation" and thus are not happy about the idea of revealing anything publicly. Of course, without revealing the evidence -- one way or the other -- it just leads to greater speculation and conspiracy theories. And even just a report summarizing the findings will be kind of useless as well. Remember, we've already had the administration accuse Russia of hacking in relation to the election -- but without providing any actual evidence to back it up. And, again, that has resulted in people not being willing to trust the claim.

Given all that, it seems the most logical response should be to get this report and then to declassify it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there's little in the Obama administration's history that suggests this is the path it will take.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 1:29pm

    Also compare versus previous elections

    We should also have them report on the same type of activity during previous elections. If they are deep diving into the elections and manipulations though, are they going to produce everything they find out about any and all parties found to have attempted to manipulate it? Since this has been requested by a biased party, the requested results are suspect right from the start.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 1:41pm

      Re: Also compare versus previous elections

      lol.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 2:31pm

      Re: Also compare versus previous elections

      ...You're aware that there are official records from this election stating physically-impossible results in certain WI counties in favor of Trump, right?

      There are very good reasons for verifying electoral integrity, and the fact that the PResident-0elect kept calling the integrity into question at all is utterly stunning, especially when you consider the fact I pointed out above.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 9 Dec 2016 @ 2:51pm

        Re: Re: Also compare versus previous elections

        I'd need to see a citation on the Wisconsin results you mention, but, more broadly, I favor a recount/audit just to make sure the count is above board.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 9 Dec 2016 @ 5:48pm

        Re: Re: Also compare versus previous elections

        could only find one story on the wisconsin 'more votes than voters'; and it was skimpy on details, BUT did mention the vote was corrected...
        i have been riding a broken-election-system hobby horse for DECADES (as, of course, have MANY OTHERS), and *NOW* dem'rats -in particular- are weally, weally -like- mad at the electoral college and hackable voting systems ? ? ?
        first, fuck you, where have you been, the system has been fucked up forever...
        second, uh huh, ONLY when YOUR ox is gored (pun definitely intended) do you show a GLIMMER of interest in fixing a broken system...
        i *guess* better late than never, but i don't believe you crybabies are serious and sincere about reforming the election system... i have ZERO faith you will follow through and we will join hands in solidarity to reform the election system from top to bottom...
        nah, won't happen, the dem'rat (or rethug) party operatives you take your marching orders from don't want to 'fix' the system, they thought they already 'fixed' the system to their advantage, and don't want anyone mucking that up...
        after you johnny-come-latelies get over your butthurt, you will not stick with the reform bandwagon...
        there will still be an electoral college, there will still be mutually beneficial gerrymandering, there will still be the two hydra heads of the one Korporate Money Party, there will still be hackable, flawed, unauditable computer-based voting systems, there will still be obscene amounts of money raised, and since money has become equivalent to political speech, you and i will have none, and the 1% will have it all...
        ...and Empire will go merrily rolling along, no matter who is Empress/Emperor
        same as it ever was...
        same as it ever was...
        same as it ever was...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 1:48pm

    If Obama doesn't declassify it, then it's pretty much guaranteed that Trump, who has publicly stated his admiration for Putin, isn't going to declassify it - especially if there are hints that Russian hackers actually did try to influence elections in Trump's direction. Election rigging is bad... till you appear to benefit from it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 1:53pm

      Re:

      I would look at it with a suspect eye either way.

      The US has made it clear WE WILL LIE TO pedal a narrative without hesitation. And unfortunately there are far to many sycophants around to nay-say anything.

      I wouldn't trust jack shit America or any of its agencies say at this point in time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 9 Dec 2016 @ 2:09pm

        Re: Re:

        But the entire point of declassifying the intelligence is that as long as it's classified, "just trust us" is the entire argument. If it becomes declassified and published, then it's no longer a question of trusting what they say, it's a question of checking their work and seeing if it holds water.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), 9 Dec 2016 @ 1:51pm

    So Obama wants a report on Russian activity in influencing the US election.

    I am going to guess we will never drr a report on the U.S. involvement in trying to influence the election in Egypt, or Iraq, Pakistan, India or in Poland or the many other countries were the U.S has poured millions of dollars to influence regime change from behind the scenes.

    So you will have to excuse me at the hypocritical report being ushered because of everyone crying foul over this year election results when the U.S. has been meddling in other countries elections and governments for years

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anon E. Mous (profile), 9 Dec 2016 @ 1:53pm

      Re:

      drr should be see, didn't see the typo...sorry folks

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 2:07pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm sure Obama has seen the influence reports you're asking about -- they likely exist and are highly classified. Those countries likely also have their own reports on such things.

        Your logic isn't sound though, as that's a false comparison.

        For instance, let's say that for years, I had been eating parts of people's lunches from the lunch room. People had done various investigations into who was doing it, but nobody had ever caught me red handed.

        Now lets say that someone eats my lunch, and I'm pretty sure I know who it was. Are you saying that it would be hypocritical for me to investigate who it was? I agree that it would be hypocritical for me to hunt them down and pound them to a pulp, or to call them out in the middle of the lunch room and scream at them for doing such a horrendous thing as depriving me of my lunch, but doing an investigation, much like everybody else did, seems par for the course.

        But yes, we're never going to see a declassified version of the report without a LOT of redactions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 3:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, if you are lunch thief 1 and you create an environment of distrust and hate over your actions that results in a lunch thief 2 or 3 starting up. You have created the problem for no objective reason and now are being extremely hypocritical by becoming upset and investigating others for doing what you started. You lower the bar and then get upset when others adopt to the new rules. Get over yourself. You are the problem.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 9 Dec 2016 @ 5:51pm

        Re: Re:

        you mean you didn't drr the typo...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 9 Dec 2016 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      Wait a tic....exactly how is commissioning an investigation into the potential influencing of an election by a foreign state hypocritical? Spycraft is a reality of the world. I don't for a moment argue that we didn't do the things you suggest, but how in the world is trying to discover what happened on our end hypocritical? In your estimation, we should just cover our eyes and pretend something might not have happened?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 9 Dec 2016 @ 6:03pm

        Re: Re:

        1. isn't crying foul about the THEORETICAL/UNPROVEN involvement of foreign gummints in OUR elections the very definition of hypocrisy when WE HAVE BEEN THE biggest perpetrators of interfering in elections the world over for for-fucking-ever ? ? ?
        NOT saying it isn't prudent to 'investigate' such an issue, but are you REALLY thinking that is what this is about; or is it simply a putin/russkie bashing exercise, with a side order of 'fake news' repression ? ? ?
        2. again, that WE HAVE grossly and materially interfered in COUNTLESS elections of foreign nations is beyond dispute; for US to cry about POTENTIAL interference in OUR elections is hypocrisy squared, no way around it... REGARDLESS of whether we do/don't 'investigate' (color me skeptical) any real foreign influence/interference/hacking, etc...
        3. this hypothetical figleaf of yours doesn't fit... if the figleaf doesn't fit, you must quit...
        4. if ANY OTHER nation could be seen as interfering in both the elections as well as 'our' (sic) gummint policies in general, it would certainly have to be israel...
        5. what insulting, arrogant, presumptuous pricks the dem'rats are: the ONLY way killary could have lost is by some sort of cheating or foreign influence... what loser scumbags...
        (obligatory disclaimer: wouldn't vote for t-rump in a thousand years, but i wouldn't vote for killary in a million years... i dispute the progressive principles of ANYONE who did...)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 2:06pm

    Ummmm

    Fake News!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 2:17pm

    What is it with the Democrats? Hillary Clinton didn't win the election so get over it. Jill Stein's recount effort failed miserably and results in the disclosure of massive voter fraud that came from Hillary Clinton's camp (the recount lost Hillary Clinton 22,000 votes and Trump gained 18,000 votes). The donations that Jill Stein collected were gone just a week or two after they were collected (OOPS) resulting in donors getting scammed and the reason why Jill Stein couldn't post that $1 million dollar bond. (SAY WHAT)? LOLS

    That is why Hillary didn't request a recount because she knew her own campaign had committed the voter fraud. Now, rather then let sleeping beasts lie down, Obama decided he wants to jump into the fray because Obamacare is now going to be repealed.

    Let the Democrats keep pressing with this because it's starting to make the 2000 election recount look like a minor event and if Democrats keep pushing the issue, expect Hillary to be charged and convicted with voter fraud.

    "Hillary Clinton, former New York Senator, charged with Election Fraud" will be the headlines everyone will see.

    By the time this is all over, and Trump will still be sworn in as President of the United States, this whole mess will uncover massive fraud and deal a severe blow to the Democratic Party and nobody will ever trust them again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 9 Dec 2016 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      What is it with the Democrats? Hillary Clinton didn't win the election so get over it.

      Would you feel the same if she had won the election and Trump was demanding a recount (as he promised he would if he lost, following months of rhetoric that the election would be rigged)?

      Jill Stein's recount effort failed miserably and results in the disclosure of massive voter fraud that came from Hillary Clinton's camp (the recount lost Hillary Clinton 22,000 votes and Trump gained 18,000 votes).

      [citation needed]

      [Infowars and Trump's Twitter feed don't count]

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2016 @ 10:01am

      Re:

      You have no idea how voting, recounts, or numbers work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2016 @ 5:02pm

      Re:

      The Dems are desperate. You are correct, any fraud will have come from them. Just like rigging their own primaries.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2016 @ 6:31am

      Re:

      What is it with the Democrats? Hillary Clinton didn't win the election so get over it.

      Trump brought up that the election is rigged before anyone else — Monday, August 1st, 2016 in multiple speeches and interviews

      So are you really implying we shouldn't take what he says seriously?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 5:55pm

    "FBI, consider it an "active investigation" and thus are not happy about the idea of revealing anything publicly."

    Yet discussing an active investigation that ultimately led to nothing the week before an election was just fine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2016 @ 12:34am

    Birther Payback?

    Let's not forget that the 9/11 Commission Report was not a true quest for answers, but a highly limited investigation with narrow scope and no subpoena power, controlled by Bush loyalists. Essentially a predetermined result (i.e., a whitewash) from the very start.

    If Russia was indeed hacking voting machines and changing election results, it probably did not begin and end with Trump. Remember that Barack Hussein Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner, was considered much friendlier to Russia than McCain, as were many Democrats throughout numerous election cycles. Will this "investigation" really be an unbiased probe into Russia's meddling in US elections or is it another partisan attempt to try to belittle and invalidate Trump's presidency?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2016 @ 4:29am

    Since you asked for a citation:

    http://alexanderhiggins.com/wisconsin-recount-day-3-hillary-loses/
    http://stateofthenation20 12.com/?p=58905
    http://viralliberty.com/told-wisconsin-recount-just-uncovered-massive/

    The Wisconsin recount resulted in Hillary losing 18,422 votes giving trump a bigger lead in the election in Wisconsin. Next time, don't ask. Jill Stein has embarrassed the Democratic Party. Can't wait to see what else she has planned.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim, 10 Dec 2016 @ 6:39am

    Turn about fair play:

    I'm one of those who have been watching the elections since the start of their use in elections. I have never never figured out why computers were never secured, and the election programm not made by the government or open sourced.
    Just as American interests in fair elections is called into question, we read of Russian involvement, like we, Americans, have never interested in someone else's election, oh, say chili, venuzaula Cuba Liberia, and many fledgling democricies, and helped turn a election to a dictatorship! More,eye, beam stuff.
    Party wise, just go back several elections, there were servers in Kentucky, forwarding vote information from several surrounding states too Florida, prior to being forwarded to the state secretary, to be reported as election results, which was prior to 2000, suspicious, no, foreign involvement, no, so maybe we should clean our mess first. Verify the vote, and then start pointing the fingers as to who is influencing the direct vvote.
    Hill was a bad choice candidate, but she is not guilty. The don, is another bad choice candidate, and is unable to think of the public or the consumer. Thats why he keeps going bankrupt. Better get ready for the sale of the US to foreign interests. Aught to be interesting to see China and Russia vying for Yellowstone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 12 Dec 2016 @ 7:55am

      Re: Turn about fair play:

      Firesale Today!! Get in early for the new Trump Park sale (formerly Yellowstone National Park). Lots going for as low as 1$ an acre!! Free heating and plumbing!

      All checks made out to the Trump Foundation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2016 @ 1:29am

    Threshold

    "We may have crossed a new threshold here..."

    You mean the threshold from stupidly silly into surreally specious. The Prez phrased his demand for the report in terms that presuppose a specific outcome. During the election, Hillary advocated war-level counter-attacks on Russia for unproven allegations of hacking of the DNC, a private citizen group (no matter how much they prefer to be considered otherwise). Lesser nut-bags claim that Putin gave Trump the election. Yup - threshold crossed.


    As for "Declassifying it and releasing it to the public is another."

    Of course, it'll be released (in some form, no matter how tenuous). There will be no smear-value against the Prez-elect, if the report is not released.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Frozen Njal (profile), 13 Dec 2016 @ 3:06am

      Re: Threshold

      How can you 'smear' a man who actively called for the Russians to hack a fellow candidate's campaign, and actively threatened her with jail just for daring to run against him? A man who 'smeared' the current President for all of this decade so far?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Peter, 11 Dec 2016 @ 2:53pm

    Not in my election

    I find this debate rather funny as the USA has tried to influence the election in dozens of countries over many decades. They have probably even had a go influencing the Russian elections. The surprise that everyone is showing that another country might want and is capable of doing so, shows how inward looking many Americans are. Given how the US press just spit out "leaks" without investigating if its true, is the real "fake news" we should be scared of.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    intrautarchy, 12 Dec 2016 @ 7:52am

    What's worse than Trump or Clinton?

    "If the Electoral College votes for Hillary or is hung, it is safe to assume that there will be objections to the vote in Congress and lawsuits filed in the courts. Should Congress delay certifying a Hillary election or voting for President (after a hung electoral vote) until all the objections and lawsuits are settled, the process could very well end up taking more than two weeks to resolve. And this means the offices of President and Vice-President would be vacant on January 20, and Paul Ryan would temporarily take the Presidency."

    http://redefininggod.com/2016/12/the-strategy-behind-jill-steins-recount-effort/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GEMont, 12 Dec 2016 @ 6:42pm

    You can fool all of the people most of the time.

    Methinks ye may have misunderstood Obama's demand.

    He is not asking for a factual report to prove the allegations of Russian tampering, as there is no such animal and he is fully aware of this fact.

    He is simply telling his "damage control" people in the Surveillance Industry, to come up with something that will appease the public curiosity and insure the original misinformation has some back up misinformation to help sell it widely through the pet media.

    It'll be a Fox News-worthy report, devoid of anything resembling facts, except for the manufactured BS "factoids" that will become History.

    In plain words, he is asking the Spy Guys to manufacture something plausible that will convince the gullible public that there was some kind of Russian interference and that American Fascists had nothing to do with the fixing of the (S)Election that placed a mentally ill, chronic opportunist upon the White House throne.

    The pattern is obvious. Were the report to be factual, it would have to be classified as national security and buried like the Torture Report. In order for it to be disclosed to the public, it must instead be composed of essentially plausible bullshit. This is Federal policy.

    But look at the bright side folks.

    You're all finally gonna find out just what Bush meant when he coined the term, "Ownership Society".

    The world's richest criminals are already migrating to the best safe haven for billionaire crooks on earth - the USA. And now that Mister Trump is King of America, the migration is guaranteed to increase exponentially.

    The street slogan "Get Rich or Die Trying" is now the only real directive in the USA, as anyone without a certain level of income (from any source), will be considered as a peasant with peasant's rights. That is, the right to be exploited, abused and killed according to the needs of the super-wealthy - the Owners of America.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 13 Dec 2016 @ 2:32am

      Re: You can fool all of the people most of the time.

      And the sheeple will all go along with it because they're terrified of the boogeyman, I mean "Socialism."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        GEMont, 14 Dec 2016 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re: You can fool all of the people most of the time.

        It has always amazed me how politicians in the States can actually alter the meaning of words and gain wide acceptance of the new meanings, over and over again, and the population just goes along with the new meaning as if the original meaning never existed.

        The only connection between fascism and socialism, is the fact that Hitler used the term to hide his fascist control plans for Germany. He called his party "NAZI" - short form for "National Socialist", because the public would never allow a fascist organisation to enter German politics openly.

        Today, "socialism" means fascist/nazi to people who do not think for themselves - a majority of the population apparently. Its that "Fool them all most of the time" thing.

        With any luck, Trump's agenda should change the meaning of the term "Republican Party", to the "American Fascist Party", once he gets the ball rolling - downhill.

        ---

        Hmmmmm - suggestion for testing.

        Every time I type the word Trump, my cursor becomes sticky and the editor slows down. I'd be interested in seeing if anyone else here notices this "oddity".

        ---

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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