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Last week news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had convened a grand jury, which issued its first subpoenas on August 3.Allegations of treason are common; prominent political figures and many media cultivate a case for impeachment.The most recent VIPS memo, released on July 24, whatever its technical merits, contributes to a much-needed critical discussion.Despite all the media coverage taking the veracity of the ICA assessment for granted, even now we have only the uncorroborated assertion of intelligence officials to go on.Indeed, this was noticed by ’s Scott Shane, who wrote the day the report appeared: “What is missing from the public report is…hard evidence to back up the agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack….Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to ‘trust us.’”, my purpose in publishing Patrick Lawrence’s article was to make more widely known the VIPS critique of the January ICA assertions, the questions VIPS raised, and their counter-thesis that the disseminated DNC e-mails resulted from a leak, not a hack. Subsequently, contributor, accurately reported the VIPS analysis and conclusions, which he did.This official intelligence assessment has since led to what some call “Russiagate,” with charges and investigations of alleged collusion with the Kremlin, and, in turn, to what is now a major American domestic political crisis and an increasingly perilous state of US-Russia relations.
In retaliation, Moscow has announced that the United States must cut its embassy staff by roughly two-thirds.In presenting this follow-up, hopes to encourage further inquiry into the crucial questions of how, why, and by whom the DNC e-mails were made public—a matter that continues to roil our politics.We especially hope that other people with special expertise or knowledge will come forward.The president’s ability to conduct foreign policy, notably but not only with regard to Russia, is now crippled.Forced into a corner and having no choice, Trump just signed legislation imposing severe new sanctions on Russia and European companies working with it on pipeline projects vital to Russia’s energy sector.
We have obtained such a review in the last week from Nathan Freitas of the Guardian Project.