Did John Ratcliffe issue a Russian dissolution on Clinton to help Trump?

It certainly looks like the person who is in charge of the entire US intelligence community, unclassifying selectively unverified intelligence to make Democrats look bad before the 2020 presidential election.

Worse: Intelligence, at least in the minds of some critics, may actually be Russian disintegration.

In a letter sent Tuesday to Sen. Lindsey Graham, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe – a former Republican congressman from Texas and a staunch ally of the president – the FBI and Russia regarding Donald Trump’s possible collusion for the 2016 presidential race Information related to the investigation of was disbanded. Campaign.

Here is the origin of the disclosure:

In late July 2016, US intelligence agencies gained insight into Russian intelligence analysis, alleging that US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had hacked Democratic against US presidential candidate Donald Trump by hacking Putin and the Russians A campaign plan to launch a scam against him was approved. National Committee The accuracy of this accusation or Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or concoction.

Let’s clarify what it says: The US received information that Russian spies believed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign had fueled ties between Trump and the Kremlin, but the US intelligence community could not confirm Whether it was true because Moscow probably made it.

In other words, Ratcliffe admitted that it released material that would likely be harmful to Clinton and Democrats – and helpful to Trump – without knowing its veracity.

But it gets worse: Recent news has revealed that Ratcliffe had uncovered intelligence against the advice of non-political, career U.S. intelligence officials, who feared doing so would allow “Kremlin-backed material Credibility will be found, ”according to the Walmart Journal.

As DNI, Ratcliffe should not listen to his subordinates. But the report further noted that Ratcliffe, who fiercely defended Trump during his impeachment hearing as the then member of Congress, prioritized Trump’s political interests over the interests of the entire nation.

The letter went into the first 2020 presidential debate between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden just hours before it was publicly aired. And, intentionally or not, the disclosure had an immediate effect: During the debate, the president mentioned what Ratcliffe issued. “You saw what happened to Hillary Clinton today, where it was totally a big job,” he said.

All of this is deeply disturbing and threatens to politicize the intelligence community when timely, clear information is at a premium. “She has disclosed the information partly for partisan reasons, and has done so underhanded,” said John Cipher, who led the CIA’s Russia operations during the agency’s 28-year career in the National Clandestine Service Drove.

In one fell swoop, Ratcliffe may have tarnished America’s reputation for working so hard to build spy agencies. “Damaging American intelligence will be difficult to undo for years,” said Elena Polakova, president and CEO of the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, DC.

“Among the worst sins of a professional intelligence officer”

The perceptions of the intelligence community as a whole are positive only when it is seen as a political entity providing unbiased, fact-based information to policy makers.

This information is usually presented only when US intelligence agencies have verified and placed it within a broader context to help government officials – a decision informed from below to the President.

Trump’s intelligence chief, who took over after the impeachment hearing, broke that cardinal rule.

“Ratcliffe’s actions are among the worst sins of a professional intelligence officer,” Cipher told me. “They know that a piece of information without the necessary context is meaningless. Releasing a piece of information without providing context is unprofessional and hurts the reputation of our intelligence community.”

To understand why this is so, it is appropriate to use the metaphor of a puzzle here.

It is difficult to see the whole picture by looking at one of thousands of puzzle pieces. Once they are mostly in place, the final image becomes clear and clear to everyone. The same, broadly speaking, goes to the intellect. One piece is good, but more pieces are better. And if detectives can show the entirety of a puzzle image to a policy maker, it is easier for them to make informed decisions.

This is why many experts were surprised by Ratcliffe’s decision. It is the job of intelligence officers to present as complete a picture as possible to their intended customers, not just hand over a piece and say, “Here you go, make it what you will.”

Let’s go one step further: what if that eccentric puzzle piece isn’t at all from the set? What if someone intentionally slipped into a piece Looks like Like it fits but no? Okay, the earlier piece can be discounted and left as not being part of the actual puzzle you want to put together, the better.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers did the same in the Senate Intelligence Committee. How Clinton intervened in the 2016 election did not feature at all in Clinton’s five-part report by Dallas Ratcliffe Declipified concerning Clinton. This is not to say that the committee was unaware of the tidbit or rejected it outright, but it clearly did not fit the overall picture.

Partly this is why critics of the administration immediately captured Ratcliffe’s decision.

“It is very disturbing to me that 35 days before the election, a director of national intelligence will release unverified information coming from Russia”, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told the New York Times.

After all, it is entirely possible that Russia wanted the American spies to “discover” that puzzle in order to mislead them. Russian hackers aimed to sow discord in the US during the 2016 election, and few things would have calmed the tensions more than taking the government into believing that Clinton created an explosive conspiracy theory to defeat Trump.

Ratcliffe defended his decision hours after the letter was released, saying in a statement that the intelligence he had “is not a Russian dissolution” and not evaluated by such intelligence community. He then reported that only Graham – and No Democrats – gave a briefing on the sources behind the snippet on Tuesday night.

Even though Ratcliffe is telling the truth about intelligence, it is more vaguely articulated than it is published and clearly shows Trump and his allies by far the biggest event in the 2020 election season Provides further weapons. He did so even after many US agencies said that Russia was once again intervening to aid the president’s reunion opportunities.

This is not the job of an impartial intelligence chief. This is the work of a crony.

Help keep vox free for all

Millions of people turn to Vox every month to understand that from the coronovirus crisis to racial vengeance, which is probably the most consequential presidential election of our lifetime. Our mission is not more important than it is in the moment: empowering you through understanding. But our distinctive brand of interpretive journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recover, your support will be an important part of maintaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you have not done so, please consider helping everyone create an increasingly chaotic world: Contributions from today as low as $ 3.