Beliefnet
At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

The 25 page Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” has just been released. Contrary to the impression that the Democrat-dominated media is anxious to convey, this assessment supplies no substantial evidence for the Democrats’ latest narrative that the Russian government intervened in the election.  In fact, what “evidence” it does offer undermines this narrative.

As for the notion, implied but never directly stated, that the Russians essentially handed President-Elect Donald J. Trump his victory, the report is even more telling. But we’ll get to this in due time.

(1)The authors of the ICA inform us in advance that because this is a “declassified” version of a “highly classified assessment,” the “full supporting information” that can (allegedly) be found in the latter to show that the Kremlin launched an “influence campaign” is absent from the former.

To repeat: One needn’t read any further than the first page of this “assessment” to discover that the remaining 24 pages will not provide any more substantiation for the charge against Russia that Trump’s detractors have been making since not long after Election Day.

That is, there is no substantiation disclosed in the version of the ICA that is available to the public.

But matters are even worse than this.

(2)Even the original classified document lacks proof for the charge made. The report is an “assessment” based on the “judgements” of the CIA, FBI, and NSA.  On page 13, we are told how our intelligence agencies understand these terms. “Judgements are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.” As for assessments, these “are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents” (emphases added).

However plausible is the idea that the Russian government, like the governments of America, China, Israel, and a whole lot of other countries, tried to influence the politics of another nation, the US Intelligence Community admits to having zero “proof” that the Russians did any such thing. It also admits that the information on the basis of which it levels this damning accusation against the second most heavily nuclear-armed nation on the planet is “incomplete or fragmentary.”

(3)Since there was never any intention on the part of our intelligence agencies to supply any proof for their claim, the question arises: Why release this document at all?

The answer, I submit, is obvious enough.  The political hacks who preside over the American intelligence community are motivated by exactly the same aching desire to undermine Trump that fuels leftist Democrat politicians and their media propagandists.

Unless this was the case, the thoughtful must ask, then why, when the report itself concedes that Russia has long sought to intervene in American elections, is the American government only now, after this election, making, quite literally, a public case out of it?

Why has our government permitted this to not only continue but (allegedly) worsen?

Why, after the most rancorous of election contests and at a time when the country remains as heavily divided as it is, why would anyone at this critical moment during a presidential-transition announce that a foreign government interjected in the election?

The most plausible answer to all of these questions is that Trump’s opponents want for Americans to think that if not for Russian interference, Hillary Clinton would be preparing to assume the office of the Presidency.

They want for Americans to think that Trump won 30 of America’s 50 states and 2600 of her 3100 counties because Vladimir Putin cheated for him.

The ICA is intended to lend a veneer of authority to this insinuation.

(4)Of course, this is just an insinuation. No one, or at least no one with an IQ above room temperature and the least bit of political savviness, would be willing to explicitly say that the Russian government won the election for Trump. Once stated this baldly, it is seen for the unmitigated nonsense that it is.

Least of all do our intelligence officials want to be associated with this assertion. In fact, in the report in question, the authors expressly assure us that intelligence agencies do “not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election” (emphasis added).

Read this last line carefully.  It isn’t just that intelligence agencies provide no evidence that Russia helped to get Trump elected.  It isn’t that they withheld information that was in some highly classified assessment regarding the latter.  They admit here that they have no such evidence because they never even pursued this possibility!

The ICA does, however, stress in boldfaced type that the Intelligence Community concludes that “the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.”

(5)That the ICA has nothing of substance to support its position is borne out by what flimsy considerations it adduces.

For starters, while it does indeed refer to Russia’s “cyber activities,” the report is remarkably speculative in tone on this score.  “We assess with high confidence,” the ICA reads, “that Russian military intelligence…used the Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks.”

Now, Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.com may very well have been front operations for the Russian government. The argument provided for this conclusion in the ICA, though, is scandalously unpersuasive.

Guccifer has always self-identified as “an independent Romanian hacker,” the ICA acknowledges.  Then it informs us that “he” [Guccifer] “made multiple contradictory statements and false claims about his likely Russian identity throughout the election,” and that “press reporting suggests more than one person claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 interacted with journalists” (emphasis added).

This is a garbled paragraph if there ever was one. The reasoning seems viciously circular: Intelligence authorities begin their assessment with the suspicion that Guccifer is “likely” to be Russian or connected with the Russian government.  Because he denies this, intelligence authorities determine that he is of “likely Russian identity.”

To this the authors of the ICA may object that it isn’t Guccifer’s denial of his “likely Russian identity” per se that exposes him but, rather, the “multiple contradictory statements and false claims” that he made regarding it.  As to what this means, however, I confess to being oblivious. At a minimum, whether Guccifer 2.0 is one person or multiple parties, as the ICA thinks, nothing that it has provided here points to the Russian government.

The argument for regarding DCLeaks.com as a front outfit for the Russians is just as circular as this last.  The Intelligence Community “assesses” that in March of 2016 “the GRU [General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, or Russian military intelligence]” extracted “content” from “e-mail accounts” that, three months later, began appearing at DCLeaks.com.

So, because our intelligence agencies suspect (on the basis of “incomplete” and “fragmentary” information) that the Russians obtained these emails on this date, and because those emails appeared at website X sometime after this date, website X must be one and the same party as the Russians who initially obtained the emails!

To see how weak this argument is, consider an analogy.  Suppose that the answers to a test that I was planning on giving to my students went missing from my classroom.  There is one student in particular who I have reason, good reason, in fact, to suspect is guilty of the transgression.  Let’s call him “Bob.”  Bob has earned a reputation for dishonesty and, given his otherwise poor academic performance, he would likely stand the most to gain from having the answers in advance of the test. Yet try as I may, I can never directly link the stolen answers to Bob.  Not long after I search Bob, though, I find the answers in the notebook of “Suzie,” another student of mine. Suzie is respectful, diligent, and the last person who I’d suspect of cheating.  But she has the answers and admits that she did, in fact, steal them.

If I were to conclude from this that Suzie must be in cahoots with Bob, even though both Suzie and Bob staunchly deny Bob’s involvement, or if I concluded that Suzie really is Bob, the illogic could immediately be seen for what it is.

Yet this is the same reasoning that is exhibited in the ICA report.

Given that, as we now know, DNC servers were as unsecured as they were, and considering that America is the world’s preeminent superpower, is it not more likely than not that many independent entities, state and non-state actors alike, would have had both the capability and the will to acquire emails?

That the ICA never so much as raises this as a possibility reinforces the impression that its results are cooked.

(6)Of course, the cooked nature of the ICA is gotten easily enough from the broadness and elasticity of the term—“influence”—with which it chooses to label Russia’s activities vis-à-vis the election.

“Influence” functions not dissimilarly in this context to the way in which “sexual assault” has been made to function for radical feminist activists who try to show that one in four college women are attacked. Just as “sexual assault” has been stretched to cover everything from forced sexual intercourse to one fully clothed person rubbing up, “in a sexual way,” against another person, so too “influence” is designed to cast as large a net as possible.

Thus, it is no coincidence that a substantial portion of the ICA is devoted to RT. The latter is Russia’s first international news channel. Founded in 2005, RT has three 24 hour channels that broadcast in English, Arabic, and Spanish. It is available to 700 million people in five continents and 100 countries.

RT America airs straight from Washington D.C.

According to the ICA, such “state-owned Russian media” as RT “made increasingly favorable comments about President-elect Trump as the 2016 US general and primary election campaigns progressed while consistently offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton.”

For more than one reason, the ICA’s allusion to RT is disconcerting.

First, there is nothing in the least objectionable about the citizens and/or government of one country expressing judgments—or assessments—about the affairs of another country. For anyone, especially American media figures and politicians who find it difficult to only comment on foreign affairs, or whose comments typically involve calls for force (sanctions, military operations)against other countries, to suggest otherwise is, at best, the textbook display of national chauvinism.

Should, lest Russia be guilty of waging war by other means, those in Russian media refrain from expressing any opinion whatsoever regarding the United States election?

Second, among those who have their own shows at RT America are people like Larry King and former MSNBC host Ed Shultz—hardly Trump supporters or Russian apparatchiks.

Third, it is just patently incorrect that RT America has been a Trump propagandist outlet. As the site Zerohedge has shown, the network has featured such prominent guests as Bernie Sanders, who accused Trump of injecting “bigotry” into the election.  RT’s own hosts have devoted shows to such topics as, “Is Donald Trump a Traitor or Merely Stupid?”  And it publishes news stories with titles like: “Pay to play? Donald J. Trump Foundation has ‘dubious’ and ‘surprising’ practices-report.”

In the meantime, RT has aired debates between third-party presidential candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.  Whether this was meant, as the US Intelligence Community allegedly believes, to “undermine public faith in the US democratic process,” we can be sure that neither Trump nor any other candidate of either of our two national parties has any sort of interest invested in third-party candidates receiving air time.

There is more that can be said about this ICA report. Hopefully, from the foregoing, the reader will recognize that it has the marks of any other piece of political propaganda. This is unfortunate, for the Intelligence community has been undermining its credibility repeatedly since it insisted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

With this latest excursion into politics, it has undercut itself further.

  

By now, there is scarcely anyone who isn’t familiar with the repulsive video.

Two young black men and their black female counterparts—let’s call them “the Chicago Four”—recorded themselves as they beat, bound, cut, kicked, and tormented a cognitively challenged white teenager over a two day period in Chicago.

These monsters in human form punctured their terrorism with explicitly racial taunts.  They forced their victim to declare his “love” for “black people.”  They also screamed, “F**k Donald Trump!” and “F**K white people!”

The world is outraged (or at least behaving as if it’s outraged) by this episode.  This, though, is only because it has been made into a video that has gone viral.  Black violence, including and especially black interracial violence, is as ubiquitous as it is horrific a national phenomenon, and it is has plagued the country for decades.  To judge from the reaction of commentators to this latest story, one could be forgiven for thinking that the latter is an anomaly.

Tragically, it is anything but this.

Those who pretend otherwise are intellectually dishonest and, to be blunt, lacking in courage. Crime statistics consistently establish beyond the possibility of any credible doubt that in virtually every category blacks commit crime and engage in interracial violence at a far higher rate than do Hispanics, whites, and Asians.  And the statistics coincide seamlessly with the mountain of anecdotal evidence that has accumulated from a staggering plethora of sources—including the daily newspapers of cities and towns from around the country.

Colin Flaherty, a fearless investigative reporter, has an entire Youtube channel devoted to doing the job that those in the media, both “liberal” and “conservative” alike, are unwilling to do.  Several times a day every day he shares video of black criminality and violence from all over America.

In spite of all this, for years and years, leftist and alt-leftist elites have peddled the Big Lie that it is white racial violence that is the biggest problem.  They have aggressively pushed the Big Lie that blacks are perpetual victims of “racism.” A whole industry, what I call the “Racism-Industrial-Complex” (RIC), depends upon this lie.

This being so, it is long past due for the promulgators of the Big Lie—let’s call it “Big Racism”—to recognize that their hands are not bloodless.  Even those who do not harp on the fiction of black victimhood but who are fearful of expressing the truth are culpable.

And it’s high time for the rest of us to hold them accountable for aiding and abetting the likes of the Chicago scum on which the nation is currently focused.

To those who would object to my implicating our “anti-racists,” they should consider that in assuring generations of blacks that they are victims just by virtue of an accident of birth, “anti-racists”—RIC merchants—have helped them to believe that however indecently or outrageously they behave, however evil their actions, blacks can do no wrong, for they are simply responding to a “legacy of slavery” and “racism.”

To be sure, if the Big Lie wasn’t a lie at all but the truth, then it would be irresponsible not to pronounce it.  In reality, though, the Lie is a lie, a gargantuan assault against the truth.

What’s worse is that it is a lie that undoubtedly has led to countless numbers of people, blacks and non-blacks alike, being harmed and even murdered.

There is another point.  It is not by coincidence that the very same “anti-racists” who grease the wheels of Big Racism are one and the same people who are fanatically hateful toward Donald J. Trump.  With respect to the President-Elect, they have been no more truthful than they have been with respect to American race relations.

Many Democrats and other leftists, i.e. those who occupy the ranks of RIC, have taken to social media (and other media) to assure Americans that the Chicago Four, though spouting anti-Trump rhetoric, weren’t motivated by any political animus.  I agree with them. I’d be willing to bet anything that not only were the thugs not in the least driven by political considerations; neither did they have any reason to think that their victim was a Trump supporter or a political partisan at all.

At the very least, it is highly doubtful that anyone, regardless of race or party, would take issue with the verdict that the Chicago Four don’t know a damn thing about politics.

So, then, why would they scream obscenities about the President-Elect while acting with such hate-filled cruelty to an innocent human being?  The answer is actually quite simple: Whether they believed it or not, the Chicago Four imbibed the hateful and cruel lies regarding Trump that have served as standard Democratic Party boilerplate for nearly the last year.

Trump is a “sexist,” “homophobe,” “Islamophobe,” “xenophobe,” “anti-immigrant,” and, of course, a “racist.” This has been and continues to be the mantra of the left.  To be fair, Republican “NeverTrumpers” have fueled these flames as well.

Moreover, the Chicago Four have probably been treated to a steady media diet of the patent lie that Trump supporters have been roaming the countryside since their candidate’s election in search of people of color to pummel.  In addition, we now know that Democrats and their propagandists at the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere have dehumanized Trump supporters by in effect justifying the violence to which the Democrats’ rental thugs have subjected them at Trump rallies.

Is it such a stretch to think that the Chicago Four monsters noticed all of this along the way?

I’d like to believe that this event of black-on-white brutality may help “anti-racists” and the Trump haters to take stock of the toxicity of their words.  The power of the Racism-Industrial-Complex, however, leaves me skeptical.

 

 

“Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9).  “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the Devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11).  “To fear the Lord is to hate evil [.]” (Proverbs 8:13). “Let those who love the Lord, hate evil” (Psalm 97: 10).

The Christian’s Bible, its Old and New Testaments, is ridden with resounding renunciations of evil and God’s call to combat it in no uncertain terms.  Regrettably, contemporary American Christians hear little of this from the pulpits of the churches to which they belong.  From my Pope, for example, we can count upon hearing incessant denunciations of the free market, say; but as for real evil, not so much.

And one of the greatest evils, perhaps the greatest evil, facing America today is verboten in “respectable society,” including in the Church.  It is the evil of black criminality and violence.

Though blacks constitute but 13% of the nation’s population, over 50% of all murders are committed by blacks. The latter are as well disproportionately represented as the perpetrators of assault, rape, and robbery.  Blacks commit crimes at a rate far exceeding that of Asians, whites, and Hispanics.  The numbers are staggering. Moreover, blacks are less likely than the members of any other race to be the victims of interracial crime, and more likely to than the members of any other race to be the perpetrators of interracial crime and violence.

For many people, however, statistics may have an air of unreality.  This accounts for why veteran investigative journalist, the fearless and indefatigable Colin Flaherty, eschews them altogether in favor of the moving image.

This author of such hits as White Girl Bleed A lot and Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry created a Youtube channel in which, multiple times a day every day, he shares with his viewers videos of the phenomenon of black-on-nonblack criminality and violence from around the country. 

Colin’s visual approach kills two birds with one stone as it simultaneously supplies two invaluable services: It reveals the ubiquity and all too common savagery of black-on-nonblack crime and violence, on the one hand, while, on the other, putting the lie to the notion of “white racism.” Colin frequently puts his detractors’ out to pasture thus: If, he calmly asks, there is all of this white-on-black racism, as they tirelessly insist, then where’s the video?

(I too have found Colin’s channel particularly handy in my exchanges with self-styled “anti-racists.” Whenever they wax indignant over, say, a Paula Deen who is reported to have used a racial epithet decades ago in describing a black criminal who victimized her, I now offer this response: “If you are really that concerned about ‘racism,’ then how about I arrange for you to receive daily videos from Colin Flaherty of black-on-nonblack violence?” Unsurprisingly, my interlocutors never take me up on this offer. They do, however, cease with their moral exhibitionism—at least around me).

Written stories of individual acts of black-on-nonblack violence, like video, can also be more effective than statistics in conveying the wickedness of this phenomenon.

One especially graphic story of which everyone in the country would have intimate knowledge had the victims been black and the victimizers white is that of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, a young white couple in their early ‘20’s from Knoxville, Tennessee. Ten years ago on January 6, the two were carjacked.  Over a span of days, they were repeatedly raped, sodomized with instruments, and murdered by four black men and a black woman.  Chris was shot execution-style in the head and his body was burned.  Channon was stuffed in garbage bags and left to slowly suffocate after having been made to ingest a chemical agent of some sort that her assailants hoped would erase traces of their semen from her mouth.

Among those who are aware of it, this grisly event is now known as the “Knoxville Horror.”

The “Wichita Massacre” occurred earlier, in December of 2000.  Two black brothers carried on a six day campaign of crime in Wichita, Kansas.  All of their victims were white. On the final night of their crime wave, they robbed, physically beat, and tortured five white friends, three young men and two young white women.  The criminals forced the men, at gunpoint, to have sex with the women and the women to have sex with one another. They too continually raped their female victims.

Later, the brothers drove their prey to a deserted football field, shot them in the backs of their heads, and drove over their bodies with the cars that they stole from them. One of the five, a white woman, survived.

More recently, on New Year’s Day, 19 year-old Austin Fareni, a soldier in the United States Army who returned home to spend the holidays with his family, was jumped by a dozen or so blacks while leaving the Mummers Parade with his mother, Lori, and his girlfriend. According to the former, seconds before attacking him, the assailants made derogatory remarks regarding Austin’s military uniform.  When Lori and the serviceman’s girlfriend tried intervening, they were punched in the face and Austin’s girlfriend was thrown into the street.

Austin wound up in Jefferson University Hospital where he had to have plates inserted into his face. His mother says that he will also have his jaw wired shut for the next eight weeks.

On January 4, Chicago Police arrested four young blacks after they videoed themselves beating, threatening, and tormenting a special needs white man who they had abducted and bound.  These demons cut the man’s head, kicked and beat him, made him drink water out of a toilet, and threatened to “shank” him.  The terrified captive screamed and begged his tormentors to stop.  Instead, they laughed while shouting, “F**K Donald Trump, nigga!  F**K white people!”

Police report that the man, who is in stable condition, has been traumatized by his ordeal.

Go figure.

Regrettably, I no more expect to hear the priests of my church talk about any of this wickedness this Sunday than I expect for Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, or any other leftist “anti-racist” to do so.

Regarding the Russians-Made-Us-Do-It narrative that the Democrats and their propagandists in the media are busy pushing, some sober thought is much needed.

First, that the world’s sovereign states regularly attempt to interfere with the internal politics of other sovereign states, including their allies, is an open secret among those in the know.  The United States is no exception to this rule. And given America’s eminent role as a geopolitical power, everyone has an interest invested in its politics, particularly and especially its national presidential elections.

Second, this being said, the proposition that the Russian government has made attempts (whatever this means) to intervene in our affairs is not implausible. However, it is no more plausible than the proposition that any other country attempted to do the same. In fact, given the wild unpopularity of Obama among Israelis, as well as the justified belief on their part that a vote for Hillary Clinton would be a vote for more of the same, it is more plausible that the Israelis would’ve pulled out all of the stops to insure her defeat.

Given the ever-growing perception that Obama and his fellow partisans are “anti-Israel,” however, the allegation that the Israelis hacked our election, though as baseless as that now being made against “the Russians,” is not politically palatable.

When Russia was ruled by brutal communist dictators, the left couldn’t love it enough. Now, though, in a post-Soviet age when its internationalism has given way to nationalism and Russia is presided over instead by a tough, politically incorrect white man, leftists, like Obama, sound the war drums.

There isn’t much political fallout for a contemporary American politician to fear in talking tough about Putin and Russians.

Third, the Regime (or the Government-Media-Complex) rely upon language—words like “interfere,” “hacking,” “intelligence agencies,” and, most typically, “the Russians”—that, by design, is sorely lacking in precision.  The merchants of the narrative count upon the public conflating these terms and drawing inferences that haven’t even come close to being substantiated.

For example, “interfere” is so broad as to mean virtually anything that the user of the term wants for it to mean.  Is a foreign head of state who speaks critically of another head of state or prospective head of state, particularly during a time at which the latter is up for election, say, guilty of “interfering” in the affairs of another country?  At the very least, “interference” is far from synonymous with “hacking.”

As for our “intelligence agencies,” they constitute a multifaceted tapestry of vastly intricate bureaucratic organizations that are as divided internally as they are with respect to one another. When it is stated that “our intelligence agencies” have concluded one thing or another, the implication is that there is some unanimity of judgment on the subject at hand.  Yet there is anything but a consensus amongst those in the intelligence “community” as to what, if any, role “the Russians” played in the presidential election of 2016.

This is another specimen of slippery language, for while “the Russians” are meant to implicate Putin and his government, there is no necessary connection between the two.

Fourth, investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald—a gay man who has written for The Guardian and who is no admirer of Republicans generally and Trump specifically—has blasted away at the Democrat Party and its proxies in Big Media for cooking the case against Russia. Greenwald notes, for starters, that even those “anonymous” intelligence officials who allegedly remarked in a “secret assessment” that “Russia” hacked DNC emails also admitted that it had absolutely zero evidence to link any of this with the Kremlin.

In other words, there is as much available evidence that Putin had anything to do with hacking DNC emails as there is evidence that Superman or Mickey Mouse were the culprits.

Moreover, even according to Democrat-friendly media, publications like the Washington Post, there is little evidence to defend pointing the finger at any Russians.  “Anonymous” sources and “secret assessments” are no grounds for doing so.  And even within this “secret assessment,” the Post was forced to (eventually) concede, there were “minor disagreements” between CIA members.

Tellingly, as to what these disagreements were, the Post coverage refuses to divulge.

While some anonymous CIA officials allegedly think that Russia hacked and arranged for Julian Asange to leak DNC emails so as to insure a Trump victory, the FBI has maintained that this position remains wholly unsubstantiated.

Fifth, if the Putin government had hacked away at the DNC email, wouldn’t a man who is supposed to be as big of a thug as everyone says Putin is want to exploit all of that information to blackmail Hillary Clinton and her party?  It would have made eminently good sense for a master conniver like Putin to help Clinton win so that he could exert control over the American presidency for the next four or eight years.

On the other hand, if, as Democrats like Obama assure us, the hacked emails were “boring,” then why would a heavy-hitter like Putin even waste his time with them? If they were so unremarkable, then how did they manage to undermine trust in the Democrats and tilt the election in favor of Trump?

The Democrats can’t have it both ways here: If the DNC/Hillary emails were dull, then there would’ve been no point for the Russians, or anyone else, to have hacked them, for no one is going to care about dull emails.  If, though, the Russians or anyone else went through the trouble of hacking and releasing these emails with an eye toward catapulting to victory a candidate who was the Underdog of all underdogs, and if this strategy worked, then the content of those emails must have been anything but “boring.”

As per usual, the Dems are trying to square a circle.