Monday, January 9, 2017

Intelligence Testy

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, trump, intelligence, hacking, Russia, Putin, report
There are two related stories to discuss today, both on the subject of Intelligence. A word which, needless to say when referring to Washington, refers to "spying" instead of anything remotely like "smartness" or "proper brain function."

Specifically, President-elect Donald Trump has made it clear that he doesn't consider US intelligence agencies to be 100% reliable, especially when it comes to their consensus accusation that Vladimir Putin interfered with our election by disguising himself with a pair of Groucho glasses, then driving a schoolbus filled with Cossacks to various polling places in key electoral states.

But before Hope n' Change dives into the details of the "Russian hacking" story, let's look at Barack Obama's recent claim of advising Trump - strictly as a professional courtesy - that as President he should always trust the US intelligence community.

"There are going to be times," the miserable stain on the Oval Office said, "where the only way you can make a good decision is if you have confidence that the process is working, and the people that you put in charge are giving you their very best assessments."

Really, Barry? Is that how you've conducted your presidency? Not according to the Hope n' Change vault...

Let's review a few fun facts. As president, B. Hussein skipped the majority of his intelligence briefings including the one immediately following the debacle in Benghazi. Barry also had nothing but foreign policy failures, and repeatedly placed the blame on his intelligence agencies.

So why should Trump - or the rest of us - invest our trust in the intelligence agencies who failed to see the rise of Isis? Who missed nuclear weapons development by Iran during our negotiations? Who were unable to connect the dots preceding Putin's many successful aggressions - as well as those of China and North Korea.

These are the intelligence agencies whose keen insights helped bring about nightmare scenarios in Syria, Libya, and pretty much every other country which has mosques. Intelligence agencies which failed to flag September 11th as a potentially meaningful day for terrorists to attack in Benghazi.

Intelligence agencies which, at least according to the administration, found it "no big deal" that Hillary (as freaking Secretary of State) put all of our national secrets on an unguarded personal server just so she could dodge future Freedom of Information Act demands to see documents rightfully belonging to the American people.

All of which brings us back to the "Election hacking" story. The intelligence agencies have now offered up their (ahem) official report on this alleged election-changing, super-sophisticated act of cyber terror, and have found that (cue the shower-stabbing music from "Psycho") Vladimir Putin personally ordered a monumental campaign to undermine our election and put his personal buddy, Donald Trump, into office!

But there's one little problem. While the declassified report is happy to draw this apocalyptic conclusion, it offers virtually no proof. We're asked to accept this poppycock on sheer trust, which would be a lot easier if the Obama administration and intelligence agencies had even an iota of credibility anymore.

But let's look at a couple of important things the report says that we can agree with: there was no hacking or interference with any voting or vote-tallying machines, and the intelligence agencies do not assert that the alleged Russian campaign had any influence on voters or the election. Wow.

It is also noteworthy that the intelligence agencies were able to draw such detailed conclusions considering the DNC failed to cooperate with the investigation, and wouldn't grant the FBI access to their computers. And interestingly, the report fails to note that the sensitive emails eventually released by Wikileaks (again, without direct evidence of Russian involvement) weren't even obtained by "hacking," but rather by a simple "phishing" email sent to John Podesta, in which he revealed that his password (and the key to all of the DNC's documents) was..."password."

The report also states that Putin's evil plan to overthrow our election involved schemes like having Russian newscasts criticize Hillary Clinton more than Donald Trump. Which apparently made a huge impact on the many voters whose primary source of information was Russian newscasts.

We could go on and on (and already have!) but our point is this: thanks to the Obama administration our intelligence agencies no longer have a whit of credibility, nor does their preposterously politicized "Russian hacking" report.

Considering 8 years of wall-to-wall failures, it's not surprising that Americans have decided to turn their backs on alleged "Intelligence" in favor of Donald Trump's promise of common sense.


drjim said...

One of your all-time best, Stilt!

Happy New Year, and Happy New Administration.

I think Odumbo's initials "BHO" should forever be considered to mean "Big Headache....OVER"!

chef621 said...

With you 100% Stilt. A good analysis of the mess. Things have to get better, they couldn't get much worse.

Have a blessed year to you and yours.

Judi King said...

Is this the same "intelligence" that said Iraq had WMD's and who have been discredited for years? But now we are to believe whatever they report. Double standard anyone? And how could the Russians possibly do anything to aid a Trump win if the dims and HRC were innocent of any wrong doing that would cause her to loose support?
This is insane. And PS: I do believe Iraq had the WMD's and I don't believe Russia had any effect on our election. Bottom line....our "intelligence" agencies have lost all credibility.

Fred Ciampi said...

With all of the Hollywood types shedding tears about how sad they all are over O'bozo leaving the White House I can think of some of us who are shedding tears too, tears of joy: The million of Patriots and abused Veterans, that's who. As a veteran I am looking forward to a VA that is not led by incompetent people who have been placed there not for their ability to properly run a department but as repayment for political favors ... just like the rest of the administration!

And, is it at all possible that some folks in the FBI, CIA, and other Alphabet Agencies had an idea that Friday's airport shooter was a loose cannon but was fearful that if they said anything they would be accused of being racist? It seems that in an O'Bammy society it's better to have five innocent people murdered that wave a red flag and be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much sums up the whole "Russian hacking" meme. Nothing there, except sore losers, self-important Hollywood assholes, pajama boys and the circling the drain media. Boy are we going to miss your insights and wicked good humor every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

TrickyRicky said...

Oops, last comment by TrickyRicky

KanB said...

All this ignores the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Who would Putin rather have elected, an incompetent self aggrandizing corrupt criminal who could be rolled with a contribution to her "foundation", or a take-no-crap dude promising to restore our military to its former greatness? Duh.

KanB said...

All this ignores the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Who would Putin rather have elected, an incompetent self aggrandizing corrupt criminal who could be rolled with a contribution to her "foundation", or a take-no-crap dude promising to restore our military to its former greatness? Duh.

Rod said...

Good post Stilt. But it makes one think of a guy seeing his hot girlfriend walking around in undies while packing her things to leave. What did we say? What did we do? How can we fix this? [Grin]

Boligat said...

A relative of mine used to work for the DIA during Vietnam. He told me once that the CIA keeps a book of people from around the world that are in a position to affect world issues. Their original entry for Ho Chi Minh said something like: Obscure local leader of the Viet Minh. Will never amount to anything.

To paraphrase a very wise woman, "In this life you have to either laugh or cry to get through each day. Better to laugh than cry. Crying gives me a headache." Too bad we won't have HnC to help us laugh. I predict a whole bunch of headaches in the future. Miss you already Stilt.

G.W. Long said...

It sounds like Goal #35 of the Commie Agenda: Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI, CIA, DIA, et all. See: The Naked Truth, 2011, by James C. Bowers, pg. xvii and pg. 117-119, or go to: Always a good informative read.

Geoff King said...

I will have faith in government agencies the day that the TSA is actually successful in apprehending one single terrorist.
As for another 3 letter agency:

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@drjim- Glad you liked it. It's on the long-winded side, but as the old writer's joke/truism goes: "I didn't have time to do something shorter."

@chef621- I'm sure there are plenty of good people in our intelligence agencies. But those at the top have been politically corrupted and I have no faith in them. That really needs to change under Trump and I hope it does. My big question, if the intelligence is good but not want Trump wants to hear, will he accept it or - like Obama - make it clear that he doesn't want to hear it in the future?

@Judi King- I don't expect our intelligence agencies to never make mistakes. But the past 8 years have been disastrous, and Obama has been attacking those agencies for virtually his entire time in office.

@Rod- I'm afraid I lost my train of thought after you said "hot girlfriend walking around in her undies"...

@Boligat- That book you refer to makes me think of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and its description of Earth: "Mostly harmless."

And yes, it is better to laugh than to cry. I'm glad to have helped on that score and will continue to make it a theme of my upcoming projects, whether political or not.

@Gleason Long- I'll definitely read your suggested material. And you make a great point that it's hard to measure the long term damage caused when We The People lose faith in the integrity of our institutions (albeit for good reason).

I should point out that I do take cyber-security seriously, as well as the issue of anyone trying to mess with the (ahem) "integrity" of our voting system. But simply attempting to exert "influence" is something that every government and political player is going to do. Even if Russia is guilty as charged (which I don't believe), they're guilty of giving voters more truthful information than they would have otherwise had access to. That's not high on the list of things that keep me up nights.

@Fred Ciampi- I'm hoping that the Trump team will absolutely revolutionize what's going on with the VA. I did a cartoon some time ago in which Obama says "Our service people knew they could die when they signed up...what difference does it make if it's on a VA waiting list?" Since that cartoon, Obama has done NOTHING to remedy the VA situation. Geez, I can't wait to see him leave the White House.

Regarding the Ft Lauderdale shooter, it seems like there's still strange information coming out - including the fact that he gave himself an Islamic name online several years BEFORE his military tour of service.

@TrickyRicky- The whole "Russian hacking" story is being sold in a completely bogus fashion to delegitimize Trump's upcoming Presidency. Ironically, by misrepresenting and overstating the impact of this event, the Obama administration, intelligence agencies, and media are actually clouding an issue which deserves serious attention.

@Karen-n-Bill Hart- Exactly! If we accept the premise that Putin had enormous amounts of blackmail-worthy information about Hillary, why wouldn't he have used it to manage her presidency? Why would he want to put a complete wild card candidate into the Oval Office? Putin is a strategist, and strategists don't tend to like unpredictability of the kind that Trump has practically trademarked.

And speaking of 800 pound gorillas, there's another silverback in the room: why doesn't the official intelligence report talk about the abysmal lack of common sense cyber-security measures being used by the "hacked" parties? Might it be because they can't call for responsible cyber-security without admitting that Hillary Clinton violated every protocol and did untold damage to our nation?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Geoff King- One could argue that the TSA efforts have had a deterrent effect on terrorists trying their mischief on aircraft. In fact, there's clearly a deterrent effect because when dummy bombs and guns are used to test TSA measures, the weapons usually go through without detection. In other words, the bad guys aren't even trying to raise hell on airlines anymore (at least with standard, easily detectable weapons).

Stinking Bishop said...

Not to mention the protest filed by fifty Centcom intelligence analysts that they were being pressured by their superiors to produce happy-smiley-face reports so that the Administration could be all happy-smiley-face about their Mideast policy.

FlyBoy said...

Let's say for the sake of argument that the whole story is true; that the Russkies DID hack into our electoral system to get Trump into the White House. So how is it that the Hildebeast got 3 million more popular votes? Are they that incompetent? Or was it planned all along that Trump would lose the popular vote and win the electoral vote? If so, why would the Russians take that chance????

Side note to Dr. Jim: I recall that when Obozo first got elected that his name was an acronym for One Big Assed Mistake America!!!

John the Econ said...

Need I point out again that it was the Clinton campaign that worked to see that Donald Trump would be the candidate they'd be facing last November? And then having believed their own hype that they'd locked in the Electoral College, they directed their resources to make sure they won the popular vote as well, resulting in the epic fail.

The real question is: Did the leaks really make a difference in the Electoral College? I think I can say as a fact that the DNC & Podesta dumps didn't change anyone's mind here about Clinton. Did they really change anyone else's? If you were a socialist, DC establishmentarian, or "vagina voter", did these leaks change their minds? In fact, I doubt that these dumps changed very many minds at all. All they did do was to confirm what most people already knew, and that things were even more corrupt than we had imagined.

If our "intelligence" community had even a slightly better track record than they've had over the last decade or so, people might be giving this more credence.

Considering Obama's tenure of leaving the world's fate to the wind, it's amusing that the left has now rediscovered the importance of "intelligence", and feigns outrage that Trump isn't spending half his day in briefings instead of embarrassing them with tweets. Just consider it one of many issues that the left will be rediscovering after 8 years, like unemployment, homelessness, the national debt, etc.

genEarly said...

What a wabbit hole this Obamy has dug even deeper. This is an Intelligence Agency Scandal that looks to blow sky high when Trump gets the reins, even if behind the curtain of secrecy.

Colby Muenster said...

If you refuse to acknowledge a problem exists, it doesn't really exist, right? O'Liar's 8 year reign of incompetency is rife with ignoring the big problems, and magnifying the trivial ones. Makes me wonder how he would have handled the September 11, 2001 attacks. He would have probably tried his damndest to put up an SEP (Somebody Else's Problem) field around New York City and the Pentagon. You fans of Hitchhiker's Guide will know what I mean.

I'll echo what FlyBoy and John the Econ have said above. There is no flipping way the Russians wanted Trump. The Hag was already bought and paid for, and was the heir apparent to O'Liar's "flexibility" that he promised Medvedev.

Ten more days, folks! Lord only knows what a Trump presidency will bring, but I also thank the Lord we are finally getting O'Liar and his hateful wife out of our house, and out of our business!

Dave said...

I know, it was the ghost of Vince Foster and countless others who whispered in people's ears to vote for Trump.

Dan said...

Many of the powers-that-be in the intel agencies (especially in the DC area) are folks who went to the "proper" schools, same as the striped-pants state department folks, same as the media bigwigs, same as the west wing. Not too surprising they would be covering for one another.

As far as the integrity of our voting systems: The Democrats have been working for years to reduce the integrity. It would not surprise me if the Dems swapped methods and ideas about stuffing ballot boxes with the Soviets back in the day. After all, they were pretty much on the same side once the '60s got rolling.

And I think it'd be a good idea for Congress to pass, and the (new) President to sign, a law that photo ID be required for all Federal Office elections. Representative, Senator, VP and President. The states can do what they wish with state and local, but require ID for Federal. And that Federal requirement can include putting data into a national database to compare (by SSN) registrations for duplicates. Require that Federal voting be in person, except for genuine absentee-voter situations.

james daily said...

Currently, there is no intelligence department as they now are so politicized as to be useless. Other countries will not deal with them on a meaningful basis as they simply are not trustworthy. Can you imagine the Mossad giving this country anything worthwhile? A state department that lets the SS use a cobbled together computer system that a novice could hack? This will change and President Trump will create a sheit pot of intelligence jobs as there will be many vacancies as these agenda agents are let go. On the downside, still nothing will change until we have proven ourselves trustworthy. It is amazing that the greatest country ever had an idiot in charge for eight years. Just shows one how strong this country is that we have not reverted back to the stone age, except in large eastern cities.
Stilt: Doc, your abandoning Gods work with this site will drive me to drink and I have been completely sober almost 6 hours. My goal this year is to take a tour of all the distilleries in Scotland and those that give samples, twice.