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The evolution of public discourse in the year since is worthy of scholarly study: Possibilities became allegations, and these became probabilities.Then the probabilities turned into certainties, and these evolved into what are now taken to be established truths.Freitas lays out several scenarios in which the DNC could have been hacked from the outside, although he does not rule out a leak.Freitas concludes that all parties “must exercise much greater care in separating out statements backed by available digital metadata from thoughtful insights and educated guesses.” His findings are published here.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.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.

He has evaluated both the VIPS memo and Lawrence’s article.

to be troubled by the paucity of serious public scrutiny of the January 2017 intelligence-community assessment (ICA) on purported Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election, which reflects the judgment of the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA.

That report concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered the hacking of the DNC and the dissemination of e-mails from key staffers via Wiki Leaks, in order to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

As part of the editing process, however, we should have made certain that several of the article’s conclusions were presented as possibilities, not as certainties.

And given the technical complexity of the material, we would have benefited from bringing on an independent expert to conduct a rigorous review of the VIPS technical claims.

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