Even a Rolling Stone writer sees the con game underway on ‘Russia hacking election’

The unity of the Progressive chorus repeating the evidence-free assertion that Russia “hacked” our election has been marred by an inquisitive writer for Rolling Stone, of all publications.  Matt Taibbi, a progressive in good standing, can’t ignore the “stink” he sees around the storyline.

Whatever his motives (Taibbi loves to sneer), Taibbi deserves credit for potentially opening a few minds on the left to the fraud being perpetrated.  He writes in “Something About this Russia Story Stinks”:

Absent independent verification, reporters will have to rely upon the secret assessments of intelligence agencies to cover the story at all.

Many reporters I know are quietly freaking out about having to go through that again. We all remember the WMD fiasco.

"It's déjà vu all over again" is how one friend put it.

You can see awkwardness reflected in the headlines that flew around the Internet Thursday. Some news agencies seemed split on whether to unequivocally declare that Russian hacking took place, or whether to hedge bets and put it all on the government to make that declaration, using "Obama says" formulations.

The New York Times was more aggressive, writing flatly, "Obama Strikes Back at Russia for Election Hacking." It backed up its story with a link to a joint FBI/Homeland Security report that details how Russian civilian and military intelligence services (termed "RIS" in the report) twice breached the defenses of "a U.S. political party," presumably the Democrats.

This report is long on jargon but short on specifics. More than half of it is just a list of suggestions for preventive measures.

At one point we learn that the code name the U.S. intelligence community has given to Russian cyber shenanigans is GRIZZLY STEPPE, a sexy enough detail.

But we don't learn much at all about what led our government to determine a) that these hacks were directed by the Russian government, or b) they were undertaken with the aim of influencing the election, and in particular to help elect Donald Trump.

The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up.

So here is a writer for a failing and discredited magazine staking out a position contrary to that of the New York Times.  Does he suspect that under the Trump administration, the underlying facts will be exposed?

Hat tip: Byron

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