By Ray McGovern (plagiarizing the latest “Intelligence Community Assessment”)

“Foreign governments or other foreign actors often try to influence the politics and policies of other countries. They may, for example, advocate for and try to shape other countries’ foreign policies in ways that benefit their political, economic, and military interests.” 

Thus begins the inspiring formal Intelligence Community Assessment released today, “Foreign Threats to the 2020 U.S. Federal Election”, which has already inspired headlines like this predictable one (from the NY Times): “Russian Interference in 2020 Included Influencing Trump Associates, Report Says”.

Good God! We pay these “Intelligence” folks to write such drivel, assessing this, and assessing that; and always assessing “Russian interference”?

See: https://twitter.com/raymcgovern/status/1371933732798672899 

The Times also recorded for posterity a profound warning from President Biden’s neophyte Director of National Intelligence:

“Foreign malign influence is an enduring challenge facing our country,” Avril B. Haines, the director of national intelligence, said in a statement. “These efforts by U.S. adversaries seek to exacerbate divisions and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions.”

Haines comes highly lauded by one of her distinguished predecessors, James Clapper. A former Air Force general, Clapper seems to have matriculated at The Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay School of Russian Studies.  Clapper, you see, knows all about the Russians; I imagine he left graffiti on his office walls to warn successors not to succumb to the wiles and snares of those devils.

During an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on May 28, 2017, Clapper provided his own “assessment”, referring back to the 2016 election: “In the context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians who, typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So, we were concerned.” (sic)

Comparisons can be invidious. Haines is supposed to be smarter than Clapper.  Hard to tell the difference so far.