23 intelligence-military veterans demand Obama release proof of Russian hacking or admit it’s a lie

23 U.S. intelligence, military and diplomatic veterans have written an extraordinary letter calling on Obama to release the evidence that Russia had hacked the 2016 presidential election in order to elect Donald Trump, or admit that there is no proof.

You don’t and won’t see this letter on the MSM.

The 23 former officials are members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

In their letter, the former federal government officials:

  1. Point out that the Obama administration’s published intelligence report — on Russia’s alleged hacking of the election and transmittal of hacked Democrat emails to WikiLeaks to publish — lacks evidence and is unconvincing.
  2. Assert that, if Russia indeed had transmitted hacked emails to WikiLeaks, the NSA should — but does not — have the incriminating  electronic communications between the Kremlin and Wikileaks.
  3. Assert that the Democrat emails obtained by WikiLeaks were leaked, not hacked, which would explain why there are no electronic traces. By “leaked” is meant that someone(s) handed to WikiLeaks the actual physical hardcopies of the emails. (Note: That is what WikiLeaks has maintained all along. Julian Assange had implied that the source of the leak was a DNC staffer named Seth Rich, 27, who was shot and killed in a D.C. street on July 10, 2016. His murder is still unsolved. We want Justice for Seth Rich!)
  4. Convey their dismay that James Clapper, who oversees the entire U.S. intelligence system as Director of National Intelligence, is still in office despite him having lied under oath to Congress and made outright erroneous claims.

Below is their letter. You can read it in PDF format here. I supplied the red color for certain sentences and paragraphs that I believe particularly merit your attention.

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

MEMORANDUM FOR: President Barack Obama
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: A Key Issue That Still Needs to be Resolved

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office Friday, a pall hangs over his upcoming presidency amid an unprecedentedly concerted campaign to delegitimize it. Unconfirmed accusations continue to swirl alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized “Russian hacking” that helped put Mr. Trump in the White House.

As President for a few more days, you have the power to demand concrete evidence of a link between the Russians and WikiLeaks, which published the bulk of the information in question. Lacking that evidence, the American people should be told that there is no fire under the smoke and mirrors of recent weeks. We urge you to authorize public release of any tangible evidence that takes us beyond the unsubstantiated, “we-assess” judgments by the intelligence agencies. Otherwise, we – as well as other skeptical Americans – will be left with the corrosive suspicion that the intense campaign of accusations is part of a wider attempt to discredit the Russians and those – like Mr. Trump – who wish to deal constructively with them.

Remember the Maine?

Alleged Russian interference has been labeled “an act of war” and Mr. Trump a “traitor.” But the “intelligence” served up to support those charges does not pass the smell test. Your press conference on Wednesday will give you a chance to respond more persuasively to NBC’s Peter Alexander’s challenge at the last one (on Dec. 16) “to show the proof [and], as they say, put your money where your mouth is and declassify some of the intelligence. …” You told Alexander you were reluctant to “compromise sources and methods.” We can understand that concern better than most Americans. We would remind you, though, that at critical junctures in the past, your predecessors made judicious decisions to give higher priority to buttressing the credibility of U.S. intelligence-based policy than to protecting sources and methods. With the Kremlin widely accused by politicians and pundits of “an act of war,” this is the kind of textbook case in which you might seriously consider taking special pains to substantiate serious allegations with hard intelligence – if there is any.

During the Cuban missile crisis, for instance, President Kennedy ordered us to show highly classified photos of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba and on ships en route, even though this blew sensitive detail regarding the imagery intelligence capabilities of the cameras on our U-2 aircraft.

President Ronald Reagan’s reaction to the Libyan terrorist bombing of La Belle Disco in Berlin on April 5, 1986, that killed two and injured 79 other U.S. servicemen is another case in point. We had intercepted a Libyan message that morning: “At 1:30 in the morning one of the acts was carried out with success, without leaving a trace behind.” (We should add here that NSA’s dragnet SIGINT capability 30 years later renders it virtually impossible to avoid “leaving a trace behind” once a message is put on the network.)

President Reagan ordered the U.S. Air Force to bomb Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s palace compound to smithereens, killing several civilians. Amid widespread international consternation and demands for proof that Libya was responsible for the Berlin attack, President Reagan ordered us to make public the encrypted Libyan message, thereby sacrificing a collection/decryption capability unknown to the Libyans – until then.

As senior CIA veteran Milton Bearden has put it, there are occasions when more
damage is done by “protecting” sources and methods than by revealing them.

Where’s the Beef?

We find the New York Times– and Washington Post-led media Blitz against Trump and Putin truly extraordinary, despite our long experience with intelligence/media related issues. On Jan. 6, the day after your top intelligence officials published what we found to be an embarrassingly shoddy report purporting to prove Russian hacking in support of Trump’s candidacy, the Times banner headline across all six columns on page 1 read: “PUTIN LED SCHEME TO AID TRUMP, REPORT SAYS.

The lead article began: “President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia directed a vast cyberattack aimed at denying Hillary Clinton the presidency and installing Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office, the nation’s top intelligence agencies said in an extraordinary report they delivered on Friday to Mr. Trump.” Eschewing all subtlety, the Times added that the revelations in “this damning report … undermined the legitimacy” of the President-elect, and “made the case that Mr. Trump was the favored candidate of Mr. Putin.”

On page A10, however, Times investigative reporter Scott Shane pointed out: “What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. That is a significant omission.” Shane continued, “Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to ‘trust us.’ There is no discussion of the forensics used to recognize the handiwork of known hacking groups, no mention of intercepted communications between the Kremlin and the hackers, no hint of spies reporting from inside Moscow’s propaganda machinery.

Shane added that the intelligence report “offers an obvious reason for leaving out the details, declaring that including ‘the precise bases for its assessments’ would ‘reveal sensitive sources and methods and imperil the ability to collect critical foreign intelligence in the future.’”

Shane added a quote from former National Security Agency lawyer Susan Hennessey: “The unclassified report is underwhelming at best. There is essentially no new information for those who have been paying attention.” Ms. Hennessey served as an attorney in NSA’s Office of General Counsel and is now a Brookings Fellow in National Security Law.

Everyone Hacks

There is a lot of ambiguity – whether calculated or not – about “Russian hacking.” “Everyone knows that everyone hacks,” says everyone: Russia hacks; China hacks; every nation that can hacks. So do individuals of various nationalities. This is not the question.

You said at your press conference on Dec. 16 “the intelligence that I have seen gives me great confidence in their [U.S. intelligence agencies’] assessment that the Russians carried out this hack.” “Which hack?” you were asked. “The hack of the DNC and the hack of John Podesta,” you answered.

Earlier during the press conference you alluded to the fact that “the information was in the hands of WikiLeaks.” The key question is how the material from “Russian hacking” got to WikiLeaks, because it was WikiLeaks that published the DNC and Podesta emails.

Our VIPS colleague William Binney, who was Technical Director of NSA and created many of the collection systems still in use, assures us that NSA’s “cast-iron” coverage – particularly surrounding Julian Assange and other people associated with WikiLeaks – would almost certainly have yielded a record of any electronic transfer from Russia to WikiLeaks. Binney has used some of the highly classified slides released by Edward Snowden to demonstrate precisely how NSA accomplishes this using trace mechanisms embedded throughout the network. [See: “U.S. Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims,” Dec. 12, 2016.]

NSA Must Come Clean

We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks. If NSA can produce such evidence, you may wish to order whatever declassification may be needed and then release the evidence. This would go a long way toward allaying suspicions that no evidence exists. If NSA cannot give you that information – and quickly – this would probably mean it does not have any.

In all candor, the checkered record of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for trustworthiness makes us much less confident that anyone should take it on faith that he is more “trustworthy than the Russians,” as you suggested on Dec. 16. You will probably recall that Clapper lied under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee on March 12, 2013, about NSA dragnet activities; later apologizing for testimony he admitted had been “clearly erroneous.” In our Memorandum for you on Dec. 11, 2013, we cited chapter and verse as to why Clapper should have been fired for saying things he knew to be “clearly erroneous.”

In that Memorandum, we endorsed the demand by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner that Clapper be removed. “Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it,” said Sensenbrenner in an interview with The Hill. “The only way laws are effective is if they’re enforced.” Actually, we have had trouble understanding why, almost four years after he deliberately misled the Senate, Clapper remains Director of National Intelligence – overseeing the entire intelligence community.

Hacks or Leaks?

Not mentioned until now is our conclusion that leaks are the source of the WikiLeaks disclosures in question – not hacking. Leaks normally leave no electronic trace. William Binney has been emphasizing this for several months and suggesting strongly that the disclosures were from a leaker with physical access to the information – not a hacker with only remote access. This, of course, makes it even harder to pin the blame on President Putin, or anyone else. And we suspect that this explains why NSA demurred when asked to join the CIA and FBI in expressing “high confidence” in this key judgment of the report put out under Clapper’s auspices on Jan. 6, yielding this curious formulation:

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.” (Emphasis [bold], and lack of emphasis, in original)

In addition, former U.K. Ambassador Craig Murray has said publicly he has first-
hand information on the provenance of the leaks, and has expressed surprise that no one from the New York Times or the Washington Post has tried to get in touch with him. We would be interested in knowing whether anyone from your administration, including the intelligence community, has made any effort to contact Ambassador Murray.

What to Do

President-elect Trump said a few days ago that his team will have a “full report on hacking within 90 days.” Whatever the findings of the Trump team turn out to be, they will no doubt be greeted with due skepticism, since Mr. Trump is in no way a disinterested party.

You, on the other hand, enjoy far more credibility – AND power – for the next few days. And we assume you would not wish to hobble your successor with charges that cannot withstand close scrutiny. We suggest you order the chiefs of the NSA, FBI and CIA to the White House and ask them to lay all their cards on the table. They need to show you why you should continue to place credence in what, a month ago, you described as “uniform intelligence assessments” about Russian hacking.

At that point, if the intelligence heads have credible evidence, you have the option of ordering it released – even at the risk of damage to sources and methods. For what it may be worth, we will not be shocked if it turns out that they can do no better than the evidence-deprived assessments they have served up in recent weeks. In that case, we would urge you, in all fairness, to let the American people in on the dearth of convincing evidence before you leave office. As you will have gathered by now, we strongly suspect that the evidence your intelligence chiefs have of a joint Russian-hacking-WikiLeaks-publishing operation is no better than the “intelligence” evidence in 2002-2003 – expressed then with comparable flat-fact “certitude” – of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Obama’s Legacy

Mr. President, there is much talk in your final days in office about your legacy. Will part of that legacy be that you stood by while flames of illegitimacy rose willy-nilly around your successor? Or will you use your power to reveal the information – or the fact that there are merely unsupported allegations – that would enable us to deal with them responsibly?

In the immediate wake of the holiday on which we mark the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it seems appropriate to make reference to his legacy, calling to mind the graphic words in his “Letter From the Birmingham City Jail,” with which he reminds us of our common duty to expose lies and injustice:

“Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up, but must be opened with all its pus-flowing ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must likewise be exposed, with all of the tension its exposing creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

-End of Memo-

The above memorandum to Barack Obama is signed by the following 23 former U.S. officials who represent the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS):

  1. William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military  Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
  2. Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer (ret) and former Office Director in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research
  3. Thomas Drake, former Senior Executive, NSA
  4. Bogdan Dzakovic, Former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security, (ret.) (associate VIPS)
  5. Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
  6. Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
  7. Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)
  8. Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official, ret.
  9. Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (Ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)
  10. Brady Kiesling, former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, ret. (Associate VIPS)
  11. John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  12. Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003
  13. Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.)
  14. David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
  15. Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
  16. Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
  17. Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.)
  18. Scott Ritter, former MAJ., USMC, former UN Weapon Inspector, Iraq
  19. Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)
  20. Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)
  21. Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.)
  22. Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer (associate VIPS)
  23. Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat

See also “Trump’s war with the CIA”.

~Eowyn

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22 responses to “23 intelligence-military veterans demand Obama release proof of Russian hacking or admit it’s a lie

  1. Great article, Dr. Eowyn. I don’t know how he will do it, but President Trump will need quickly remove the scum that have sneaked into our government. I suggest he call the ORKIN man.

    http://www.orkin.com

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: KOMMONSENTSJANE – SHOW PROOF OF RUSSIAN HACKING OR ITS ANOTHER LIE BY OBAMA | kommonsentsjane

  3. HAHHAHAHAHA, THERE IS NONE!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. FINALLY!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Pingback: 23 intelligence-military veterans demand Obama release proof of Russian hacking or admit it’s a lie | Fellowship of the Minds – Rebel Mama Dispatch

  6. “FINALLY!” What?
    It won’t matter to the LibTARD MEDIA.
    They have this excuse for Hillary losing that is “Not her Fault!”, and can half-assed blame it on Trump. So why do you think that the narrative will change??
    If the tell the BIG LIE long enough and loud enough, it becomes the “New Current Truth” for the LibTARDs as long as some of their idiots continue to repeat it.
    Remember “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”?
    Total fabrication, totally proven a lie, and it is still accepted as “Gospel Truth” by a large percentage of the population.
    This is the same.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “FINALLY!” some common sense from this whole charade…liberals are going to believe what they want to further their own narrative of lies…common sense stood up today.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Dr Eowyn . . . this is nothing short of being a fabulous, time worthy article. I am thrilled that so many people of high standing would declare . . . “Either put up, or shut up!”

    No one with an ounce of sense really thinks that Russia had anything to do with influencing the elections in this country! Once these emails were leaked and the American people saw that KIllary acts one way when talking to one special interest group, all the while taking a totally different stance when talking to the peons of this nation; and learning of John Podesta’s foibles . . . we decided as a nation we were sick and tired of this kind of horse pucky and we wanted something different. I am not going to tell you or anyone else that Trump is a perfect man, BUT I would rather have him on my side, even with all his warts and all, than have the lyin’ scum sucking individuals that the Democrats have put up during the last few years! If things had been allowed to remain on the same course they were headed–we would have soon reached the point of no return.

    People need to focus on the deceit and criminal acts perpetrated by today’s Progressives and that needs to be what they care about. Fortunately, it would seem that there is a remedy, and that remedy is Donald J Trump.

    God Bless America, and God Bless our soon to be new President!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Auntie, again, you write exactly what I am thinking.
      The people have learned over the years to think for themselves and come to their own decisions with the government. To challenge these lies we are being fed.
      What a refreshing time for these people to take this task on.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. The negro has been PROVEN a liar yet the MSM takes his every utterance as TRUTH!

    Yet, they demand no proof either from the liar.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Seems to be a comprehensive document. Covers just about every possible question and contingency. Clearly and completely removes all doubt about who the players are and what their agenda might be. No wiggle room here for the accused.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Pingback: 23 intelligence-military veterans demand Obama release proof of Russian hacking or admit it’s a lie | The Blogging Hounds

  11. OUTSTANDING

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Exemplary letter written by intelligent retirees of a former intelligent community. Whatever their ages by now, they never lost an ounce of their former career in the way they wrote and all agreed to every possible scope of the allegations in question. But just as an FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) that is supposed to be regarded with respect to every administration to comply to, I can bet the last 2 days of O’s administration will, of course, toss this to the trash they spill out of their livid mouths and forget about it. O and his operatives did the damage they wanted to do and Pres. O will walk out of OUR White House with his nose held high in the air as the arrogance of his narcissistic behavior has behooved him to be ever since his first day of office. But what caught me was the statement in (): ” That is what WikiLeaks has maintained all along. Julian Assange had implied that the source of the leak was a DNC staffer named Seth Rich, 27, who was shot and killed in a D.C. street on July 10, 2016. His murder is still unsolved. We want Justice for Seth Rich!)” I learned of that shooting on Fox News days after it occurred, and I had grave suspicions of someone in the DNC or an administration operative of Obama’s, because the damning evidence and admission of Julian Assange just gave away another “inside secret” of the DNC, this administration, and the POTUS himself. This is what our next President, Trump, should do about “Justice for Seth Rich” (even though I voted for Donald Trump on Nov. 8, and always been a Republican, this murderous tirade on a democrat just doing his job being shot down just blocks away from his home needs to be investigated as a justice for his unwarranted murder!): I watch now and then the TV show “Forensic Files” and they do a tremendous job of showing how they catch their “man” (or woman if it merits that) on all the cases they’ve produced and televised of what their Forensic discoveries have shown and the tiniest bit of evidence they find can be tracked down to the very suspect they are looking for, and justice is done for the victim’s families and loved ones. If President Trump, by the time he’s sworn in, can have the time to get to the producers of Forensic Files to have them air a special segment of why this young democrat man, who lost his future life to some operative that only shot him while walking home, left no traceable tracks or never pick-pocketed his pockets to steal a wallet (it was left alone) or took anything else of this young democrat, then something else tells you that the shooting was not just some “random” shooting, it was meant directly at him and no one else. Seth was the only person walking in his neighboring streets just a few blocks away from his home when he was shot. It was in a late afternoon, I forgot the time but police can get that or a coroner’s estimated time of death (usually pretty close to it), but Fox News reported it when the other “not-reported-network-news” (or as I call them, the “alphabet news”) never reported a word of it. Now how would that make Seth’s family (who probably are democrats since he was) feel? Any justice in that? Were any reporters at the Rich house interviewing Seth’s wife, his mother possibly if she was there? We never saw any of that. Just a report, and a still photo of the body of Seth Rich covered by police and coroner’s cloth. The show “Forensic Files” shows how the forensic communities in all these reported killings and murderers, as even assaults and accusations, can be proven who the real perpetrator was, how he/she did the crime, and where they committed the crimes of murder, and at the end of their findings, the discovery of the murderer who was finally caught, jailed and brought to justice shows their final judgment by the court they were brought into. Every case filed in the lawbooks, that forensic laboratories were used and whom allowed this television show to air the cases, shows their in depth knowledge and skills in providing full evidences for the case to be brought to justice and because of our new technologies emerging so quickly, forensic laboratories and personnel using them can now get the most minuscule of evidence and microscope it enough to get an evidence of a murder for the prosecutor’s case. President Trump can “make a deal” with “Forensic File” TV to look into the murder of Seth Rich, for his families’ sake, for his Party’s sake, and for the American people to be shown the real truth behind what really happened to Seth Rich in the way that he was murdered to death, a death that should never have happened at all. May the Blessings of Lord Jesus Christ and God be with the justice of Seth Rich and his beloved families, to prove to the World that there is a justice to every recurrence of an injustice to a human being.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is an extraordinarily good comment on many points; for me, it would have been more easily read formatted as several paragraphs. My attention span is long, but my vision’s not as it was three years ago.

      On the 26th July 2017 I read what appeared to be a fresh news release, posted as “Published time: 26 Jul, 2017 03:06, Edited time: 26 Jul, 2017 08:25” The common sense of that article prompted me to write Eo: “NOW can we stop the witch hunt and govern a nation in very dire straits?”

      It was in truth a repost of the same article from six months earlier, which Eo covered very well above, but I misread it as a current one, due to its dating.

      Why RT did this is impossible to know; perhaps to remind us that the deep state wants to take the President down ‘by any means possible’, even if the dirty tricks and betrayals bring us the verge of WW3. But even the elite of elites cannot escape either the consequences or the responsibility for their acts. All will come out in time, but NOT in time for us contemporaries.

      Like

  13. Brilliant, TY.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Intelwars2 – January 19, 2017 – (We welcome Donald J. Trump as the 45th President Of The United States Of America!) *Breaking News Headlines!* The Constitution – The Bill of Rights – And The Ten Commandments Are NOW UNDER RESTORATION! 24 Hour Emer

  15. Pingback: Intelwars2 – January 19, 2017 – (We welcome Donald J. Trump as the 45th President Of The United States Of America!) *Breaking News Headlines!* The Constitution – The Bill of Rights – And The Ten Commandments Are NOW UNDER RESTORATION! 24 Hour Emer

  16. Pingback: WikiLeaks: John McCain in 2008 illegally solicited campaign contribution from Russia – pennine_rainbows

  17. So much drama with the russians hacking, I really don’t know who is telling the truth and who isn’t

    Like

  18. Pingback: 92% of Democrats believe Trump-Russia collusion fake-news | Jim Campbell's

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