Intelligence community (ic). Image: cia
The russian threat to the elections has become a plaything for political interests since 2016, now moscow is said to support trump and sanders at the same time
In the u.S. Presidential campaign, it is once again evident that spreading warnings about interfering with the election has become a political tool used by all sides. U.S. Intelligence agencies appear to be siding with conservative democrats here in trying to set the mood against both donald trump and bernie sanders.
The latter could be an even rougher opponent for the power elite because, unlike trump with his left-wing program, he threatens to change much that affects mainly the rich and super-rich, but he also sharply criticizes the high military spending approved by most democratic congressmen, and funds for the bloated intelligence apparatus. Edward snowden’s leaks he found to be "extremely important" to uncovering the extent to which the nsa has abused its power and violated americans’ constitutional rights. Assange’s indictment under the espionage act is seen by sanders as an attack on the first amendment.
Last week, intelligence agencies warned the house intelligence committee that russia was again interfering in the u.S. Election in an attempt to truncate the re-election of donald trump and, at the same time, bernie sanders. The allegation was launched before the nevada caucus, where sanders nevertheless outspent all other candidates. According to sanders, he had already been warned by the secret service a month earlier, with the leaked information they probably wanted to take the wind out of his sails for nevada. This does not seem to have been very concrete. According to sanders, russia and perhaps other states were going to support him.
Nevertheless, sanders had to deny any suspicion: "unlike trump, i do not consider vladimir putin a good friend. He is an autocratic boshevik who is trying to destroy democracy and crush the opposition in russia." sanders himself is using the russians to talk about possible interference with his campaign. There are hateful postings attributed to his supporters and aides. But these could also be russian trolls, sanders said.
Russian "infowar" with "covert campaigns on social media"
Earlier, the intelligence committee had been informed that moscow was allegedly again trying to help make trump the election winner. As early as 2016, the alleged russian interference campaigns and hacks were widely exaggerated and were not allowed to have had any, at least any decisive, influence on the election. Finally, despite the leaked emails and the nasty handling of sanders to throw him out of the race, clinton had managed to get three million more votes than trump, but she had come to fewer electoral votes because of the american electoral system and the swing states trump focused on.
The first step had already been taken on 6. February fbi chief christopher wray, who told the house judiciary committee at a hearing that the u.S. Was highly mabe target of "foreign interference operations" using a variety of tactics to identify and "spread disinformation, sow discord, challenge the political goals of foreign nations, and ultimately undermine confidence in our democratic institutions and values".
Two years ago he was "foreign influence task force" (fitf) were set up to identify and counter such interference operations. Thus, he said, russia was running a "infowar" with regard to the presidential election with "covert campaigns in social networks", but no attacks on the election infrastructure had been observed. And actually, such campaigns were held all year and had never stopped since 2016.
What’s really behind it attorney general william barr, christopher wray, homeland security secretary chad wolf, now ex-dni chief joseph maguire and christopher krebs, director of the cybersecurity agency revealed in an article on 19. February. There is a need for a society-wide effort to combat attempts to influence the elections, the authorities could not prevent all disinformation, all foreign propaganda and all cyber attacks. So the picture is painted of a dangerous threat with authorities naturally determined to fight, but at the same time said in passing: "we have yet to identify any activity aimed at preventing elections or changing votes."
Trump appoints richard grenell as top intelligence chief
Then shelby pierson from the top intelligence agency dni, which is responsible for election security, reported to the intelligence committee of the house of representatives that russia had already started to influence the election campaign in favor of donald trump, but also bernie sanders. Russia was deployed full spectrum: hacking, attacks on election infrastructure and "weaponizing social media". Weaponizing information or communication has been a term used for years to play up and make dangerous events that have always existed. Now people are guessing why moscow would want to support trump and sanders at the same time, sanders could also be supported to help trump as he would have less chance than a mabied democratic candidate like bloomberg, buttigieg or biden.
A day after that, trump summoned top intelligence official (dni) joseph maguire to see him. He had not been briefed, he explained, and accused adam schiff, the democratic chairman of the intelligence committee who had appeared during the impeachment proceedings against trump, of leaking the information to the media. Maguire was likely put in front of the ture for that reason, and on 19. February replaced by trump loyalist richard grenell, who until now acted as u.S. Ambassador in berlin, where they are probably glad to get rid of him. He announced his joy ("happy to jump in and serve our country and our president") dismissed as acting dni also immediately people, others kundigten, in order to precede that.
The appointment is criticized by the washington post, the new york times and in other media because grenell has no intelligence experience and will work in favor of trump, while it is supposedly the job of intelligence agencies to report only the facts and not serve political interests. It is even called by the "death of truth" spoken.
Difficult situation for the secret services
Cnn reportedly have three "officials" from the intelligence services said that piersen exaggerated against the congressmen, that is, did not present the facts. The intelligence services had concluded that russia wanted to influence the election and that trump was a president moscow could get along with because he was a dealmaker. But there was no evidence that the impact was aimed at trump’s re-election. Pierson had been driven to exaggeration by questions from members of the committee, she had not taken into consideration the "nuance" which is important for the correct representation of the conclusions of the intelligence services. Are the intelligence services taking cover from the president with this??
Cnn, however, hastens to are that russia supported trump in 2016. The had always denied this and tried to downplay the importance given to it by the intelligence agencies and the democrats, with which he could not be entirely wrong. Now he says it’s the democrats who have endorsed sanders "russian sympathizers" want to represent, by "disinformation hoax number 7" apply, because they do not want "crazy sanders" nominated: "it’s all rigged, again, against crazy bernie sanders!"
Presumably, however, trump wants sanders as his opponent because he believes that this will increase his chances of winning. Trump’s security adviser o’brien, in turn, claims to have heard from the fbi that the russians want sanders to be president, "because he wants to put money into social programs and probably divert it from the military".