The Office of the Secretary of National Intelligence has released its report on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections. The full report can be found here. Or accessed below:
I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.
Here are the key findings (bold emphasis is in the actual report, not added by me):
Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections
6 January 2017
Key Judgments Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations. We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.
We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.
Moscow’s approach evolved over the course of the campaign based on Russia’s understanding of the electoral prospects of the two main candidates. When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign began to focus more on undermining her future presidency.
Further information has come to light since Election Day that, when combined with Russian behavior since early November 2016, increases our confidence in our assessments of Russian motivations and goals.
Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations—such as cyber activity—with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “trolls.” Russia, like its Soviet predecessor, has a history of conducting covert influence campaigns focused on US presidential elections that have used intelligence officers and agents and press placements to disparage candidates perceived as hostile to the Kremlin.
Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets associated with the 2016 US presidential election, including targets associated with both major US political parties.
We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign. iii obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks.
Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards. DHS assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.
Russia’s state-run propaganda machine contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.
We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes.
Joint Publication 2-0/ Joint Intelligence (JP 2-0) explains analytic confidence as:
INTELLIGENCE CONFIDENCE LEVELS IN ANALYTIC JUDGMENTS
a. Intelligence analysts should distinguish between what is known with confidence based on the facts of the situation and the OE and what are untested assumptions. Intelligence can be facts that have been observed, or it can be a conclusion based on facts of such certainty that it is considered to be knowledge. Intelligence can also be conclusions and estimates deduced from incomplete sets of facts or induced from potentially related facts. The commander’s determination of appropriate objectives and operations may rest on knowing whether intelligence is “fact” or “assumption,” and knowing the particular logic used to develop an intelligence estimate, as well as knowing the confidence level the J-2 places on the provided intelligence and related analytic conclusions.
b. The following chart (Figure A-1) is intended to illustrate confidence in analytic judgments intelligence personnel may use to indicate a subjective judgment regarding the degree of confidence they place on the analytic conclusions contained in intelligence products. Confidence levels may be used by intelligence producers to present analysis and conclusions to decision makers in a uniform, consistent manner.
Expressing Confidence In Analytic Judgments Confidence in a judgment is based on three factors: number of key assumptions required, the credibility and diversity of sourcing in the knowledge base, and the strength of argumentation. Each factor should be assessed independently and then in concert with the other factors to determine the confidence level. Multiple judgments in a product may contain varying levels of confidence. Confidence levels are stated as Low, Moderate, and High. Phrases such as “we judge” or “we assess” are used to call attention to a product’s key assessment. Supporting assessments may use likelihood terms or expressions to distinguish them from assumptions or reporting. Below are guidelines for likeliness terms and the confidence levels with which they correspond.
- Uncorroborated information from good or marginal sources
- Many assumptions
- Mostly weak logical inferences, minimal methods application
- Glaring intelligence gaps exist
- Could, may, might
- Cannot judge, unclear
- Partially corroborated information from good sources
- Several assumptions
- Mix of strong and weak inferences and methods
- Minimum intelligence gaps exist
- Likely, unlikely
- Probable, improbable
- Anticipate, appear
- Well-corroborated information from proven sources
- Minimal assumptions
- Strong logical inferences and methods
- No or minor intelligence gaps exist
- Will, will not
- Almost certainly, remote
- Highly likely, highly unlikely
- Expect, assert, affirm
Linky no workee.
You probably still know more about the issue than Trump.
@Roger Moore: depends on the Trump. I hear Baron is pretty good at the cyber.
does not have a link attached, but it does change the mouse pointer.
If I copy the link with a right click it says:
I don’t know why..this cracked me up
I am now inventing a scenario in my head where the CIA was trying to create electoral trouble for Hillary because they’re still pissed about Benghazi (which happened in large part because of the conflict between the CIA and State) but didn’t realize how deep Russia’s tentacles went domestically, so they managed to tilt the election to Russian operative Trump and didn’t realize their mistake until it was too late. Whoops!
You gotta admit, it would make a great screenplay.
Mike in DC
I gave it a quick skim. They mostly put together their conclusions and observations, and the sources and methods stuff is left out. The Group of 8 in Congress, plus Obama and Trump, have all been given the classified version, though.
Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones)
I know this is a BFD. You will likely be the one who reads it & explains it to me, so take your time ?. (Normally I’d skim any summaries, but I just don’t have any zitzfleysh to do such a thing right now).
@rikyrah: My work here is done!
Eh…I don’t think so.
I think they told the FBI and thought that the FBI would handle it, because the FBI is domestic.
When they didn’t, and Comey came out with the Hillary shyt, they went
WHAT THE PHUCK?
I’ve written before…
This isn’t a case where they believe that the occupant of the White House is ‘weak’.
This is a case where The Spooks believe that the incoming occupant of the White House is a supplicant of our ENEMY.
That’s a whole other dynamic.
Remember, The Spooks consider themselves a special brand of patriot.
And, know more than most that Vlad used to be the head of the KGB. I don’t know why that’s never reported in the MSM – it should.
@Mnemosyne: That would make a great screenplay. Do the good guys win? Who are the good guys? Is there a CIA hero somewhere?
Conclusion: Russia wins Cold War by TKO.
Hard to read report through the blinding fury it induces. Rage at Putin. Rage at Trump for caring more about Putin than the US.
Rage at Mitch McConnell for blocking release of info.
Report very clear that Putin ordered a cyber invasion to hurt Democracy and Hillary’s chances. An assault was staged on Hillary’s reputation.
So HRC fought Putin, the FBI Director, the media, 35 years of slander, entrenched misogyny and she still got almost 3 million more votes.
The next idiot who says “But she didn’t talk enough to white men in the Rust Belt” needs to be muzzled.
Adam L Silverman
Adam L Silverman
@Roger Moore: I’ve updated it with the key findings and the definitions of analytic confidence so that everyone knows what it means when an assessment is deemed to be High Confidence.
@Adam L Silverman: Fangs alot!
Yes, but Weakest Candidate Ever. Because reasons that totally aren’t because she doesn’t have a peni$.
Adam L Silverman
@Millard Filmore: I fixed it. Not sure what the actual problem was.
Adam L Silverman
@Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones): I put the key findings up top, so give those a read. That gets you the Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF).
Trump statement (NYT link):
That last bit about the RNC is ridiculous.
Adam L Silverman
@raven: Fyou’re Felcome!
@BGinCHI: That end of history gloating by neocons is looking especially stupid now.
O. Felix Culpa
Naaah. Too farfetched.
Great deal of focus on RT and the scope of their media reach. Also worth noting Rachel Maddow’s segment last night on how the Trump campaign may have used the National Enquirer as a source of influence in much the same way.
That’s what makes it an interesting screenplay — maybe they only find out at the midpoint that the FBI hates Hillary as much as the CIA does, so the FBI had their own anti-Hillary campaign already running that they couldn’t stop, and now both agencies have to stand by while the new president hands the keys over to the enemy.
The end is still to be written. I’m a little afraid we might be stuck in a new version of The Parallax View, where the hero discovers too late that he was a pawn and the evil guys win.
@Yarrow: Actually, the report says that Russia did infiltrate conservative sources, but simply didn’t release the information. So that’s nearly directly contradicted by the report.
Also note that they just. couldn’t. stop. being petty and said “Democrat National Committee.”
LONG SHOT: JOE TURNER (Robert Redford) looks up and sees iconic logo of The New York Times and heads to the door with his whistleblower information of CIA corruption. Door is locked. Sign on Door “Out of Business. Lousy Reporters. Sad.”
Immediately picked up by The Trump Organization Security in Gold Leaf shirts and jackboots made of Rich Corinthian leather.
Da. That was the way it happened.
@MazeDancer: I have no rage directed at Putin. To paraphrase the late Dennis Green “he is who we thought he was.”
The Big O: so, try to deligitimize me over some punk birth certificate, huh? here’s a mouthful of shit for you to masticate on you short-fingered infantile daddy’s boy.
OT question for you about Hidden Figures — is there actual space program stuff in it, or is it all people in offices talking to each other? I’m trying to get G to see it because he loves stories about the space program, but they need to actually have rockets in them at some point. ?
For reference, he loved the HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon,” so he’s totally open to the lesser-known stories. He just wants to make sure there are rockets, too.
man, he’s only just begun to whine.
O. Felix Culpa
Totally. Which makes me wild with fury. Because it’s all about WATB white men who – thirty years after the factories closed – still can’t figure out what to do with their lives. Are still waiting around for Big Daddy to rescue them, while hating on Evil Mommy. In the meantime, HRC should be #45 and that evil buffoon will be instead.
And don’t get me started on the evangelicals. Grrrrr.
Yeah, I can’t really be mad at Putin either. He had no responsibility to protect our democracy. That was our job, and we failed utterly.
Comey knew all this. Comey knew everything in the report and the sources.
He knew Russia wanted to destroy Hillary’s reputation. He knew Russia wanted to elect Trump. He knew all this.
And then he helped Russia reach their goal.
And 10 minutes out of his briefing Trump Tweets it was all hogwash.
We are so screwed. Maybe the CIA will ‘help us’ with this ‘problem’ like they did with JFK.
Adam, why do you think the NSA’s confidence is lower?
Maybe they need a hug?
“The Republic National Party has great cybers, the best! You should see them.”
Those Trump-lovin’ FBI insiders landed their whale. I hope to hell they’re happy, now that he’s telling everybody how incompetent they are.
@schrodingers_cat: The “end of history” doesn’t mean that nothing happens any more. It means that historical parallels cease to be either explanatory or predictive.
I’m going to give the report a careful read this weekend. I’d like to know when the Russian effort to “denigrate Secretary Clinton” and “harm her electability and potential presidency” began in earnest. I suspect it was during the primaries. Certainly by the time of the Democratic Convention it was in full swing.
@p.a.: Yeah, he plays the game he’s supposed to play, we retaliate, everything continues.
Instead, a whole bunch of alleged Americans collaborate with and defend him because he’s not Barack Obama. I hope they realize what they’ve done before they die.
@Frank Wilhoit: Does “end of history” include ignoring history because it’s not what you feel in your gut and by golly you just know that Donald Trump isn’t going to do all the things he repeatedly promised?
Well, it is about how they get the rockets into space. We do see the problems with the rockets, and the liftoffs.
Davis X. Machina
@tobie: It happened during the 2011 Russian elections, when Hillary tried to deny Putin his rightful victory. This go-round the Russian were just getting even. And we have to suffer through Trump as penance because both sides do it, and besides, Mossadegh.
Trump’s second term will be our penance for Allende.
“We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes.”
It’s not just Moscow. Every bad guy with half a brain the world over sat right up in bed when Trump won. You can change elections in the worlds most powerful nation with a relatively cheap disinformation and social media campaign. It’s a different world we are living in now.
@MazeDancer: Cannot be said often enough.
I think I mentioned before that from Spring/Summer on, the Enquirer headlines blasting HRC were very visible in checkout lanes at every grocery store I frequent. Now Trump–spit–is getting the headlines stating how he’s going to fix the intel agencies etc. Even if you never would pay for that publication, those headlines were hard to avoid.
This. This and this again.
@Davis X. Machina:
“his rightful victory”? Do you know the first thing about Russia?
Adam L Silverman
@BGinCHI: Without seeing sources and methods, which are classified and which I don’t have a need to know, I cannot say. And if I did have a need to know and did see them I then could not say.
Davis X. Machina
@zhena gogolia: I don’t have to. All I need to know, all any true progressive needs to know, is that foreigners don’t actually have agency, all the bad stuff that happens out there is directed from a couple of office parks in Northern Virginia, and that the US is the Focus of Evil in this the Modern World, because Deep State.
Me, too. While in prison.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, but I still would like to know who the anonymous source was who told the Times that HRC was about to be charged criminally in connection with the email server. Was that someone so well placed that his tipoff was impeccable? So impeccable that the Times could risk looking like shills yet again?
Thru the Looking Glass...
Ya know… there’s one sure fire, infallible way for Donnie & the GOP to lay to rest any suspicions about Russian interference in the election… and that’s to back a painfully thorough and completely transparent investigation for the whole frickin’ mess…
Not only would that clear Donnie of doubts, it would also make Dems look like fools…
So much to gain by doing the investigation… IF… Donnie is indeed innocent…
I wonder why he keeps refusing to do so and continuously denigrates the intelligence community in the same breath, and apparently takes the word of Putin, Assange, and now Sean Hannity over the FBI, CIA, & NSA?
I think someone above pointed out that Comey, as head of the FBI, most certainly had complete access to ALL the information available and appears to have sided w/ Trump and Putin… farkin’ traitor…
Adam L Silverman
I’m all breaking newsed out! I’m going to prep dinner, get it in the oven, and vacuum. I’m never covering the Friday shift here again!
@Davis X. Machina:
Sorry, I didn’t see the snark.
Why are CNN and MSNBC covering a (as these things go, relatively minor nonterrorist) shooting instead of this?Hope things get better in the evening shows
Muzzled first, and then kicked down a long flight of very steep stairs. Preferably into a body of very deep water.
@Adam L Silverman:
First read that as “…get in the oven and vacuum”, which would be out-Coleing Cole bigly.
Mike in DC
I think the next shtick will be “where’s the proof”, which will result in Obama ordering a selective declassification of some of the full report.
@zhena gogolia: DMX was just heightening the contradictions.
I rarely watch TRMS any more but when she went into her 10 minute tongue bath of Greta V Susteren I decided there is no fucking thing she has to say anymore I give a shit about listening to.
@MazeDancer: You know who else knew all this? Obama and the entire Obama admin.
Nancy Smash wasn’t wrong when she called the report “stunning”. So we are about to install a Russian puppet into the White House. And almost half the country is either in denial or simply not listening. We may not be fucked, but we are certainly bent over and all lubed up.
@Frank Wilhoit: QFT, amen, aho:
This wall to wall coverage of the shooter in FL is fine and all…but come the fuck on people.
Adam, maybe after you’re done vacuuming the oven you could re-up this thread and over-bigfoot the last two posts? If news media is not going to give a shit about this vs another fucking useless ass shooter then maybe we can promote it vs door finishes and cranky old man yells at clouds posts?
Iowa Old Lady
@Corner Stone: No matter how much damage that shooter did, Trump will do more.
@bystander: Was thinking more of, as the bullet passes through the roof of their mouth in the final millisecond of their miserable existence.
@MazeDancer: You are so right about this that I had to make my first reply on BJ.
@Feebog: Oh, look at you, thinking we get lube.
I think he was nervous that it was just going to be a bunch of talking heads, but if there are actual liftoffs, I think I can get him there.
We go to, like, one movie a year at the theaters now, and we just saw Rogue One, so lift-off will be difficult in more than one way. ?
Adam L Silverman
@Corner Stone: I have no idea how to reup a post
Actually, Trump’s most upset that NBC knew about the contents before he did.
@Adam L Silverman: And you want to be my Latex Salesman…
@Mnemosyne: They’re all still convinced, according to an acquaintance who, shall we say, works outside of McLean, that Benghazi was all State’s fault since they never took the CIA’s worries seriously.
Well, having scanned the report, it is quite clear why Greenwald and Assange have been increasingly hysterical over the last week. Greenwald should be in Gitmo and the Ecuadoran embassy in London should be stormed and that albino fucker dragged out and hung by his balls on the nearest lamppost.
And Donnie Little Fingers is nothing more than Putin’s hand puppet.
I am so disgusted. I really didn’t think I had any outrage left, but I’m just furious at this. Anyone working for RT and Wikileaks should be shunned as traitors to the country.
The Fat Kate Middleton
@Mike in DC: I’ve already been seeing this all over the various comments sections on this story. The study of which has lead me to note that I never really realized until today how many Russian trolls are out there.
@The Fat Kate Middleton:
It’s partly trolls, and partly stupid lefties who have fallen for Russian propaganda. There’s a reason the Russians were careful to hire Ed Schultz and Democracy Now! for their Russia Today channel here in the US. Now they have a direct line to disrupt anything that liberals want to do to oppose them.
@BGinCHI: I have been watching some of the computer security engineers talk about this on Twitter. Basically, they can tie hacks to an entity but tying that entity to a country is more difficult. With the Sony hack, it was easy to say that Sony had been hacked, but it took them a while to decide who hacked Sony. I thought that they were blaming disgruntled employees before they settled on saying that was North Korea.
And that have nothing to do with millions of people having their right to vote stolen from them by suppression, caging, Crosscheck, voter IDlaws.
I’m still fuming that all the privacy rights “progressives” can’t be bothered to defend our most fundamental right.
@The Fat Kate Middleton: Honestly, I don’t think that’s the case. There’s just a lot of people who have a LOT invested in the idea that they weren’t played for stooges by Russia and Trump. There’s also a few that are just suspect of everything the intelligence community does, and especially don’t want to believe they were wrong in their hatred of Hillary.
I think that things still could get interesting despite Trumps stone walling. Actually it’s Putin calling our bluff through Trump, assuming we don’t really have the goods and daring CIA to show it. Maybe they think we will have to hurt a lot of sources or risk major internal conflict to really tell the whole deal effectively enough to stop Trump. They are betting that the will to do that is not there They may be right but if they are wrong we could be looking at some heavy very scary brinkmanship. If we can’t call their bluff it’s over
We’re such a stupid fucking country. Our democracy just had a sustained and successful attack on our elections process, we’re days away from putting the most unqualified, inept and ridiculous buffoon in the WH. But one more active shooter out of literally hundreds that have happened over the last 12 months is what we are going to broadcast about non-stop.
Adam L Silverman
@Corner Stone: Huh?
@Adam L Silverman: It’s a Seinfeld bit.
Adam L Silverman
@Corner Stone: Okay, never watched Seinfeld.
Adam L Silverman
@Adam L Silverman: I will be doing a more thorough post on this, if not over the weekend, then on Monday. So we’ll be revisiting it.
@? Martin: Of course Putiepoot and co.didn’t release the info on the Repub hacks – that’s their future ammunition over Trumplethinskin, in case all the finance stuff doesn’t work out for some reason.
@Adam L Silverman: Just goes to show that a little bit of time in the oven helps a person get a second wind after the friday afternoon shift.
Adam L Silverman
@WaterGirl: Oy vey…
Burn After Reading: The Russianing
Not to mention any presidential candidates who openly encouraged acts of cyber warfare against the US.
@Greenergood: Good catch there.
I skimmed it; it seems to me the unclassified summary of a much longer report and there also isn’t much new there. Which I suppose is as it should be, but people are reasonably asking “The CIA? Why should I trust the CIA?”
Other than the fact that all of the other available evidence is pointing the same way?
What I learned from the Iraq fiasco is that if all of the available evidence is pointing one way but the CIA claims it shows something else, we should believe the evidence. Apparently the only lesson some people took from that was Never believe the CIA regardless of the actual evidence.
@Mnemosyne: Ah, hell, did you see Charles Pierce’s “My Two Minds Are at War” post? Yes, it’s reasonable in this case to trust the CIA. But, wow, it makes my head hurt. (Josh Marshall also discusses this.)
I think where I’m drawing the line in my mind is that, in this case, I don’t have to “trust” the CIA. The CIA is one of multiple agencies, both in the US and among our allies, that say this happened, and their saying this is in line with all of the evidence I’ve seen myself about Trump’s multiple ties to Russia through people like Manafort, Tillerson, Flynn, etc etc and so on.
The CIA’s opinion is just one data point in the whole picture, so I don’t see any reason to discard all of the other evidence just because the CIA also agrees.
I think Charlie Pierce’s problem is that he’s starting to worry that the CIA may be the only institution left that can help save us, which is the kind of realization that make me want to lie down with a cold cloth on my head, too.
@p.a.: If they tell you who they are, believe them.
I could hear the words in The President’s voice! That was delicious!
Not quite. The phrase’s meaning is as ridiculous as it seems: The End of History
Liberal Democracy, such as it is, is the ultimate expression of human organization. Really?