Friday, December 30, 2016

Taibbi on the Russian hack hysteria

See his article here. Basically he suggest caution in believing the recent FBI/DHS report because, well, government agencies lie and have their own agendas too. True enough. He also says that the evidence provided so far doesn't have independent verification, that the intelligence reports are all we have. And we should wait until we get that before deciding if the story is true, false, or some combination. Again, true enough. But it's always been the case that national security keeps secret very sensitive information to protect its sources and agents in the field.

Granted, again like above, with this sort of cover it could just be a propaganda campaign and we're right to suspect that. And we won't know of course unless we can get another hack, or whistle blower, that reveals the 'true' story. But one might also surmise that were the official hack story not valid there would be hackers and whistle blowers all over this by now and as yet there isn't any outside evidence to the contrary. We'll see.

Taibbi also thinks the US response with expelling spies and sanctions doesn't seem an appropriate punishment for such a transgression. But then he also says the Russians chose not to retaliate to our punishment in order to not escalate the situation toward war. How come he didn't apply that logic to the US response, because more harsh US penalties might have had the same effect? This seems to indicate Taibbi's own bias for not trusting our government while accepting Russia's explanation at face value.

Taibbi juxtaposes the two extremes of the story: An excuse the Democrats use for their humiliating defeat with a treasonous alliance between Trump and Putin. He's left with "we just don't know." Quite ironic, as this is Twamp's favorite line about climate change, the Russian hack itself and just about everything else.* I know, climate change has a lot of verifiable scientific support and the Russian hack story relies on secret intelligence which evidence  may never see the light of day. And we don't have that sort of transparency with intelligence agencies. But Taibbi is quick to assume the worst about said agencies given past failures and/or subterfuge, yet not a peep about the countless times such intelligence has proven accurate and true. And that in itself recommends caution in accepting his anti-intelligence rhetoric (and paranoia). At least he admits there is some evidence that Russia hacked the DNC emails, but Taibbi's doubts have no contradictory evidence whatsoever.

* Hell, even Twamp used this reasoning--ok, reasoning is a strong word when it comes to this idiot--when he failed to reveal his plan to defeat Isis based on national security. In this particular case it's more than likely an excuse because he didn't actually have a plan. But the national security argument does have some validity nonetheless.

PS: And the above didn't require me calling Taibbi a Kremlin agent. Greenwald's sardonic suggestion is also indicative of the same type of unbalanced paranoia above.

PPS: And I adore both Taibbi and Greenwald. But I also take them with more than a grain of salt.

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