In yet another lengthy hit-piece constructed around accusations from unnamed sources, innuendo, and repetition of previous unconfirmed allegations, the New York Timesdetails (and celebrates) the Obama administration deliberately trying to sabotage the incoming president by disseminating intelligence information throughout the federal government, as well as to foreign governments.
In laudatory terms, the Times describes the way in which the outgoing administration “scrambled to spread” potentially damaging information related to possible nefarious contact between Trump and his associates and the Russians, despite having no concrete evidence about the content of any of the alleged contact. Here’s how the piece begins:
In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.
The Times explains that the Obama operatives deliberately attempted to keep the information at “relatively low classification level[s]” by processing the raw intelligence into analyses designed to have “as wide a readership as possible.” Some of those analyses, the Timesnotes, were even sent to European allies, apparently with the intent of poisoning the waters for Trump internationally before he took office:
As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators — including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.
At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. This allowed the upload of as much intelligence as possible to Intellipedia, a secret wiki used by American analysts to share information.
But as the Times admits — though buried deep in the piece — the reality is that all of the information obtained so far shows no evidence of any wrongdoing on anyone from Team Trump. What exactly is in the classified documents, as the Times acknowledges, is “impossible” to know at this point. Citing “more than a half-dozen current and former officials,” who, of course, chose to remain anonymous since they were discussing classified information, the Times states that nearly all of the information “remains secret, making an independent public assessment of the competing Obama and Trump administration claims impossible.”