When reading the following CNN story, before every statement, and again after, ask yourself: which document, which witness(es) actually support and will testify to this conclusion? Don’t make any assumptions, question every step, every conclusion, every facet of this argument.
Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with an attorney. He used to work for one of the State’s Attorney Generals. He said that the AG made many cases based solely on circumstantial evidence, he didn’t need direct evidence.
I found this appalling. A person’s life could easily be ruined through conjecture. Trial by the press.
As I read through the following article, I realized that even though I agreed with many of the conclusions, I had to wonder what document, witness or other evidence provided the basis to support each conclusion at each step?
Another thing that struck me is how did the author quantify his conclusions or even have any sort of measurement? We know, for instance, that Russia attempted to influence the US 2016 election. Let’s call that a given. But did Russian meddling cause Trump’s victory? By what percentage points? Was there a 0.00001%, 0.1%, 1% or 10% change? Did exit polling ask how the voters were influenced and by how much? Is exit polling the right place to ask? How are the pundits accounting for all the myriad of variables? Did spending really matter? Did this meme or that ad? Was it an accumulative effect, a compilation or a cacophony?
Then again, ask. Is this what is needed for a “trial by the press”? How about bringing charges? Impeachment? Can I collect a pool of talented writers and invent a script that would bury any candidate or politician? How about a political party? We wouldn’t need tapes, documents, emails, or testimony. We could just invent “a” version of the truth. Somehow this already sounds like Russia, is this what we want in the US? Is this what we have?
We already know about political warfare. Is this the political warfare of now and of the future?
It’s getting harder to say Russian meddling didn’t actually help lead to Trump’s victory and Clinton’s loss
Washington (CNN)Before we get to James Comey, fake Russian intelligence and the fact that it’s getting very hard to say the Russians didn’t affect the outcome of the election, let’s start this with the obvious caveat that there were a great many factors that led to Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.
She had a clear advantage in pre-election polls, the better political resume, longer experience in government, a more clearly defined platform, the united backing of most of her party, years to plan an effective campaign, and the benefit of years of Democratic victories in the Democratic firewall of the Rust Belt.
The Russians were trying to influence the election. The US intelligence community has been unified on that point even as they have been unified in saying there is no way to “gauge” or say definitively whether Russian meddling influenced the result.
New reporting Friday from CNN’s Dana Bash, Shimon Prokupecz and Gloria Borger that Comey knew the intelligence was fake but still he told Congress it drove his decision — he went around his bosses at the Justice Department to announce publicly there wasn’t evidence there to charge Clinton with the crime of mishandling classified information, but that she was reckless and careless with state secrets — makes it more difficult still.
Here’s an argument explaining how the Russians’ fake memo works its way to influencing American politics:
“I think one of the lessons that the Russians may have drawn from this is: this works,” Comey said.