Obama Under Pressure To Put Up Or Shut Up On Russia Allegations

Obama Under Pressure To Put Up Or Shut Up On Russia Allegations

Another metaphorical chicken is coming home to roost in the waning days of the Obama Reign of Douche.

The Obama administration is under intense pressure to release evidence confirming Russian interference in the presidential election before leaving office.

The administration up until now has provided little documentation to back up its official October assessment that the Russian government was attempting to interfere in the U.S. election.

Nor has it corroborated subsequent leaks from anonymous officials contending that the CIA believes the campaign was an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to ensure Donald Trump’s victory.

President Obama has ordered the intelligence community to produce a complete review of its findings before Trump takes office on Jan. 20. The White House has said it will make as much of the report public as it can.

But officials have warned that the document will contain “highly sensitive and classified information” and it is unclear how much concrete evidence it will be able to release.

That is the most succinct description of what has transpired that I have seen. Let us stipulate up front that both candidates for president had odious, odiferous, and unhealthy business ties to Russia. It was Clinton who, in exchange for Russian cash to her foundation, sold the development rights to US uranium to a Russian company owned by a Putin crony. Of course, as he does, Trump made things worse by having Putin apologists and at least one alleged money launderer for the Russian mob in his inner circle.

Obama’s directive that a review be completed before he left office, which is odd as the CIA leak was presented as a conclusion which implies a review had already taken place, is really just a way of buying time and hoping that this unsupportable story will die on its own. The CIA presented a “best guess” of Russian motivations. One doesn’t know how they came up with that guess but one does know why they leaked it. They leaked their assessment to damage the incoming Trump administration and to put it on notice that the CIA was going to do as it damned well pleased. To date the only evidence consists of “trust me:”

Obama has asked the public to take the assessment of Russian interference largely on faith, suggesting that the American people already know everything they need to know to accept the conclusions of the CIA report.

“There are still a whole range of assessments taking place among the [intelligence] agencies,” Obama told NPR earlier this month, referring to the report. “But that does not in any way, I think, detract from the basic point that everyone during the election perceived accurately — that in fact what the Russian hack had done was create more problems for the Clinton campaign than it had for the Trump campaign.”

And we get this push back:

“I’m sure what is happening right now is they are going through the calculus of, ‘How much intelligence, how many sources and methods are we willing to burn to make our point?’” said one former White House official.

“My guess is they will have information that indicates course of conduct and links to activities that suggest motivation,” but no smoking gun that will convince those who aren’t already convinced, he said.

I think we are beyond the point of caring about this. Either the Russians intervened to elect Trump or they didn’t. Either the CIA and its fellow spooks have hard evidence of this to present to the public, or they need to apologize publicly for their allegations.

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