09 December 2016

Obama Directs All U.S. Intelligence Agencies "Full Review" And "Deep Dives" Of Cyber Attacks And Foreign Intervention In 2016 Election To Report Before Leaves Office 20 January 2017 To Share Results With Lawmakers And Others

     Friday, 9 December 2016, WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Obama this past Tuesday, 6 December 2016, delivered a major national counterterrorism speech in the works for months recounting his administration's efforts and successes and referring to a 61-page report released the day before on Monday, 5 December 2016. The President spoke at MacDill Air Force Base, the Tampa, Florida home to both the U.S. Central Operations Command and the U.S. Special Operations Command each of which have undertaken operations central to Obama's role as Commander-In-Chief during the term of his Presidency and thus an appropriate venue to seek to defend his legacy in this area.
     Obama doubtless also now will wish to take whatever possible further opportunity arises to try to educate, inform and prepare his "unexpected" successor President-elect Trump. This dutiful most serious effort made perhaps to appear more casual and thus more palatable to Trump despite the extremely responsible President Obama's well-founded deep concern and probable consternation if not growing alarm as to what if any advice or intelligence no matter how compelling of which President-elect Trump cares to avail himself. Trump presently appears more committed to using his valuable transition time holding further "campaign" rallies of no apparent productive purpose rather than concerning himself overly with the nuances of intelligence he publicly has dismissed and national security daily briefings he has mostly missed not to mention apparently President Obama's long-prepared speech on United States counterterrorism efforts.
     The unusually reportedly unambiguous U.S. government intelligence that President-elect Trump has continued to disparage, discredit and dismiss despite it being of the most immediate and escalating public and congressional concern including as it further evidences broad ongoing cyberthreats to national security has already been warned of by the DNI and Department of Homeland Security both directly having taken the very rare step of specifically issuing statements calling out Russian highest-level government malfeasance before the election specifically identified as computer hacking and theft of and dissemination of confidential communications intended to damage Democrats in particular and/or otherwise interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential electoral process.
     This was accompanied by an unprecedented unspecified but definite retaliatory threat from Vice-President Biden nevertheless still followed by Russian meddling later affirmed by the NSA's Admiral Michael Rogers and now seemingly confirmed by every other U.S. intelligence agency as well as members of Congress particularly including those on intelligence committees requesting that confidential intelligence be declassified so that it can be made public. Even despite White House assurance as to the "integrity" of the election results now at least publicly as of today, President Obama himself who has said that he had previously spoken to Vladimir Putin and told him there would be "consequences" for and to "cut it out" as to Russian meddling in the 2016 electoral process Obama nevertheless also has found it necessary to put further steps in motion to more thoroughly examine the nature and extent of Russia's hostile actions.
     At an event today homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco informed reporters that President Obama has put these further steps in motion that will result in a report for distribution to lawmakers and "other stakeholders." She said that while working as a senior FBI official that she was aware of "malicious cyber activity" related to both the 2008 and 2012 U.S. presidential elections. Ms. Monaco said that in 2008 the FBI had notified then-Senator Obama's and Senator McCain's campaigns that their computer systems had been infiltrated by the Chinese. She said she did not know if the cyber attacks in the 2016 election just held had "passed the threshold" of the earlier attacks.
     Asked whether President-elect Trump had shown sufficient concern about the Russian hacking and interference, since he has not publicly retracted his complimentary mentions of Vladimir Putin during the campaign nor retracted his invitation for Putin to hack and steal Hillary Clinton's emails Ms. Monaco said it was "too early to tell" in Trump's incoming administration was sufficiently concerned about any threat from Russia.
     Another source from the Obama administration said the review was sparked in part by a demand from lawmakers for further information about what response had been taken against Russia. The lawmakers as previously reported in an earlier post here also requested that the Obama administration review information of the Russian election hacking and interference and determine what intelligence could be declassified so that it could be disclosed to the public.      
     Specifically President Obama now has directed all U.S. intelligence agencies to conduct a "full review" of cyber attacks and foreign intervention into the 2016 election. White House deputy spokesman Eric Schultz said that President Obama wanted a "deep dive" that would look back for a pattern of such behavior continuing over a period of several years. He said that President Obama wanted the review completed "under his watch." Schultz emphasized that "[t]his is a major priority for the president of the United States."
     Readers interested in more information about President Obama's counterterrorism speech reviewing efforts and successes through his administration as well as the current state of affairs and more can go to the first link below. Those readers interested in more information regarding the announcements and information from Obama administration officials and spokespersons giving some apparently new background on past presidential election hacking as well as the significant broad "deep dive" and "full review" announced today to be done by all United States intelligence agencies to deliver a report to President Obama before he leaves office to be shared with lawmakers and other "stakeholders" as well as unclassified information to be disclosed to the public can go to the second link below.
     Readers interested in more information on the above from the publication which hosted the event where the intelligence review of election tampering was announced by the Obama administration homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco can go to the Christian Science Monitor article at the third link below. Readers interested in watching a brief video of White House deputy spokesman Eric Schultz' press statement on the above with links to the accompanying Washington Post articles can go to the fourth link below.




Copyright 2016 Martin P. All World Rights Expressly Reserved

02 December 2016

Declassify Secret Russia Role In U.S. Election Intelligence President Obama Urged To Disclose By Seven Intelligence Committee Senators In Open Letter

     Friday, 2 December 2016, WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seven Democratic senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee in an "unprecedented"  three sentence open letter to President Barack Obama obtained, shown and read verbatim yesterday to viewers by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow urged the President to declassify further intelligence concerning Russian interference with the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election so that the information can be disclosed to the American people. The senators apparently were familiar with the classified information but disclosed nothing in their short open letter which concluded by stating they would follow-up with specifics to President Obama through "classified channels" and thanking him for giving his attention to this important matter. The Republican senators on the committee declined to sign the letter.
     To date there have been rare direct public statements by two U.S. intelligence agencies before the election those being the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security specifically placing blame for cyberattack hacking interference attempts directed at the U.S. election as being perpetrated by the Russian state including particularly by targeting both the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton then feeding stolen and possibly altered emails through Wikileaks for internet release specifically to damage Ms. Clinton's campaign to the benefit of now President-elect Trump's campaign.
     Following the election Admiral Michael Rogers director of the National Security Agency delivered an emphatic public statement again emphasizing that to a certainty Russia was the state party responsible for attempts and/or interference with the U.S. election. Admiral Rogers gave the strong impression that he meant to warn the public that it should take the Russian threat seriously which has not necessarily been the case to date doubtless not helped as Mr. Trump largely has conveyed a lack of confidence or concern or even interest in the intelligence he has been provided on matters of national security in his position as President-elect.
     Also as previously reported here in an earlier post a "top official" with the "administration" provided on condition of anonymity for undisclosed reasons a brief written statement devoid of any detail but "defending the integrity" of the election. The warnings of intelligence officials now augmented by the senators' letter to President Obama strongly suggest that the White House is downplaying some matter of significant concern including by withholding information necessary for the American people to grasp its gravity. Nor has further information been forthcoming as to the unusual somewhat cryptic uncharacteristic quiet threat with a slight smile by Vice-President Biden during an interview before the election that the United States was going to (presumably) retaliate for cyberattack interference with the presidential election or possibly anything else assessed as an attack against U.S. interests essentially "in an appropriate manner in a time and a place of our choosing."
     Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul briefly interviewed in the video link below when informed of the senators' open letter to the President said that such an action was to his knowledge "unprecedented". Although not being privy to the classified information at issue as he has been out of the government for a couple years and now is a professor at Stanford University he stated that just given the fact that these senators had felt it necessary to take such an unprecedented action as the open letter urging the President's disclosure of some classified intelligence was "deeply disturbing" and indicative of something quite consequential of which the American people have not been apprised. Senator Wyden of Oregon who apparently was the lead senator on the letter would provide no information whatsoever about the letter nor to what it referred. Readers interested in more information can go to the first link below which shows an MSNBC video about this matter of about ten minutes length.
     Readers can go to the second link below if interested in more broader background on Russian covert influence efforts that a "senior intelligence official" yesterday told Reuters have been increasing in Europe in recent years as part of a larger campaign against the United States and other Western nations seeking to disrupt and discredit democratic institutions, nations and alliances such as NATO as well as noting the coordinated efforts of these nations to monitor and respond to these threats, including as described by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in a September 2016 letter to Congress just made available to Reuters on 2 December 2016 asking that Congress not attempt itself to probe Russian covert influence attempts as there already are ongoing coordinated efforts with other nations with these efforts underway best left to U.S. and partner intelligence agencies to avoid duplication of effort and not risk disruption of already developed coordination between these nations' intelligence agencies.



Copyright 2016 Martin P. All World Rights Expressly Reserved