Did The Washington Post Once Again Promote ‘Fake News’ With Regard to Russian Election Interference?

The very next day after essentially telling the world that the “consensus view” of intelligence agencies is that the Russians interfered in the U.S. election in order to help Trump, The Washington Post had to admit that the FBI disagreed.
“The bureau, true to its law enforcement roots, wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable drawing inferences from behavior.”
In other words, the CIA is more comfortable with making shit up.


From Michael Krieger:

In its recent hysterical tirades against the ambiguous plaque of ‘fake news,’ mainstream media outlets are engaged in a well known psychological practice known as projection. Here’s a quick description of Psychological Projection:

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting.

This appears to be precisely what the mainstream media has been obsessively engaged in ever since Hillary Clinton’s embarrassing, but entirely understandable, election loss. The most obvious example of such media projection appeared on Thanksgiving Day when The Washington Post published a widely panned, and easily disproven fake news article about “fake news” (for my analysis, see: Liberty Blitzkrieg Included on Washington Post Highlighted Hit List of “Russian Propaganda” Websites).

Although a full retraction would have been the appropriate response from any paper with an ounce of integrity, The Washington Post has no such integrity. Nevertheless, the paper was indeed forced to add an editor’s note to the top of its article, effectively admitting the entire piece was a complete fabrication, primarily sourced via a clownish anonymous group with apparent ties to Ukrainian fascists.

Undaunted, The Washington Post went ahead and published another “blockbuster” article this past Friday. If the same piece was published by some random alternative media blog, it would’ve immediately been dismissed as unsubstantiated fake news by the endlessly chattering, terminally wrong mainstream media punditry class. The gist of the entire thing can be seen within the first two paragraphs. Here they are:

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

Let’s start with the first paragraph. This entire story is based on the comments of “anonymous officials,” who are likely Democratic Senators, or possibly even a warmongering neocon Republican or two, like John McCain or Lindsey Graham. The reason these officials want to remain anonymous is because if we knew who they were, their real motivations would become apparent to most. One of the most likely sources on the Democratic side is Harry Reid, who has a storied history of inventing things for political gain with zero remorse.

For example, let’s take a look at a few excerpts from an article published by The Washington Post back in September, Harry Reid Lied About Mitt Romney’s taxes. He’s Still Not Sorry:

One of the strangest incidents of the 2012 presidential campaign was when then-Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid accused then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney of having not paid any taxes over the past decade. That Reid made that allegation from the floor of the Senate made it even odder.

The problem with Reid’s allegation? It’s just not true. We know that, at least in 2011 and 2010, Romney did pay taxes. How do we know that? Because Romney released his tax returns for those years. In 2011, Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes; in 2010, he paid slightly more than $3 million in taxes.

Yet Reid (D-Nev.) not only refuses to retract the allegation but also seems to take great pride in it. When pressed by CNN’s Dana Bash last year about continuing to defend a statement that is not true, Reid responded, “Romney didn’t win, did he?“

Then there’s this from Reid via Terris:

Is there a line he wouldn’t cross when it comes to political warfare?

“I don’t know what that line would be,” [Reid] said.

Was Harry Reid one of The Washington Post’s sources?  I’d certainly like to know, especially considering his history of lying. This is why it’s so important to have actual named sources as opposed to “anonymous officials.” Readers need to be able to ferret out the credibility of sources for themselves, particularly when it comes to a story of such national importance. But The Washington Post doesn’t want its readers to come to their own conclusions, it wants to tell you what to think. Talk about fake news. 

Moving on to the second paragraph, the paper notes “intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails.”This is an incredible claim, and incredible claims demand incredible proof, yet the The Washington Post provides no such proof.

On the other hand, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray does have something to say about it. From the piece, The CIA’s Absence of Conviction:

I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton’s corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news. I suspect it is leading the American broadcasts also.

A little simple logic demolishes the CIA’s claims. The CIA claim they “know the individuals” involved. Yet under Obama the USA has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilise a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions against Russian individuals? Plainly it stinks. The anonymous source claims of “We know who it was, it was the Russians” are beneath contempt.

As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks – there is a major difference between the two.And it should be said again and again, that if Hillary Clinton had not connived with the DNC to fix the primary schedule to disadvantage Bernie, if she had not received advance notice of live debate questions to use against Bernie, if she had not accepted massive donations to the Clinton foundation and family members in return for foreign policy influence, if she had not failed to distance herself from some very weird and troubling people, then none of this would have happened.

Now both Julian Assange and I have stated definitively the leak does not come from Russia. Do we credibly have access? Yes, very obviously. Very, very few people can be said to definitely have access to the source of the leak. The people saying it is not Russia are those who do have access. After access, you consider truthfulness. Do Julian Assange and I have a reputation for truthfulness? Well in 10 years not one of the tens of thousands of documents WikiLeaks has released has had its authenticity successfully challenged. As for me, I have a reputation for inconvenient truth telling. 

Contrast this to the “credible sources” Freedland relies on. What access do they have to the whistleblower? Zero. They have not the faintest idea who the whistleblower is. Otherwise they would have arrested them. What reputation do they have for truthfulness? It’s the Clinton gang and the US government, for goodness sake.

In fact, the sources any serious journalist would view as “credible” give the opposite answer to the one Freedland wants. But in what passes for Freedland’s mind, “credible” is 100% synonymous with “establishment”. When he says “credible sources” he means “establishment sources”. That is the truth of the “fake news” meme. You are not to read anything unless it is officially approved by the elite and their disgusting, crawling whores of stenographers like Freedland.

Craig Murray is a close associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, so he should have better insight into the origin of the email leaks than say, Democratic Senators. Not according to the once relevant Washington Post; however, which proudly parroted the opinions of anonymous sources to its gullible readers. I suppose the paper realized after its debacle with PropOrNot that propaganda is simply more effective when you don’t reveal your sources at all. I suspect this is because its sources are junk.

Then the very next day, after essentially telling the world that the “consensus view” of intelligence agencies is that the Russians interfered in the U.S. election in order to help Trump, The Washington Post had to admit that the FBI disagreed. We learn:

In a secure meeting room under the Capitol last week, lawmakers held in their hands a classified letter written by colleagues in the Senate summing up a secret, new CIA assessment of Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Sitting before the House Intelligence Committee was a senior FBI counterintelligence official. The question the Republicans and Democrats in attendance wanted answered was whether the bureau concurred with the conclusions the CIA had just shared with senators that Russia “quite” clearly intended to help Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton and clinch the White House.

For the Democrats in the room, the FBI’s response was frustrating — even shocking.

The FBI official’s remarks to the lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee were, in comparison, “fuzzy” and “ambiguous,” suggesting to those in the room that the bureau and the agency weren’t on the same page, the official said.

The divergent messages from the CIA and the FBI put a spotlight on the difficulty faced by intelligence and law enforcement officials as they try to draw conclusions about the Kremlin’s motives for hacking Democratic Party emails during the 2016 race. Officials are frequently looking at information that is fragmentary. They also face issues assessing the intentions of a country expert at conducting sophisticated “influence” operations that made it hard — if not impossible — to conclusively detect the Kremlin’s elusive fingerprints.

The competing messages, according to officials in attendance, also reflect cultural differences between the FBI and the CIA. The bureau, true to its law enforcement roots, wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable drawing inferences from behavior.

More comfortable “drawing inferences from behavior.” In other words, the CIA is more comfortable with making shit up, which we already know.

“The FBI briefers think in terms of criminal standards — can we prove this in court,” one of the officials said. “The CIA briefers weigh the preponderance of intelligence and then make judgment calls to help policymakers make informed decisions. High confidence for them means ‘we’re pretty damn sure.’ It doesn’t mean they can prove it in court.”

Pretty damn sure about WMD in Iraq too. Yet that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the CIA. For a quick history lesson on the CIA’s influence on the mainstream media, watch the following:

But apparently it’s now “liberal” to blindly trust the CIA. How times have changed.

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