While the various intelligence agencies in the United States all agree there was Russian interference in the 2016 general election, the evidence they have presented is neither adequate nor watertight. This can lead to policy responses that are ill-informed and erroneous as well retaliatory measures that would be harmful to global stability.
Hacked DNC servers
One of the instances in which the intelligence agencies failed to act professionally was with regards to how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the Democratic National Committee’s servers that were hacked. Apparently, the FBI did not act swiftly and instead examined the servers a bit too late. Consequently, the forensic evidence that has been offered to the public comes from a privately held cyber security company, CrowdStrike. The firm attributes the hacking to the Russians courtesy of the fact that it found malware associated with the Russians. That, though, is not enough proof as anyone could have gotten their hands on the malware.
The leaks that preceded the publication of the report also did not portray the US intelligence community in good light. Not only did it reduce the credibility of the intelligence bodies in the eyes of the public but it also lends credence to the view that there might have been political interference.
For the agencies involved, it would have served them better if they had done their job without rushing as it would have resulted in a more credible report. A section of the unclassified report released cites evidence from the media. An in-depth report not reliant on the press would have been better.
The report also makes the wrong inferences with a view to suiting a predetermined conclusion. This came to the fore when the various intelligence agencies said that among the things that prove that Russia wanted Trump to get elected was the favorable coverage that the U.S. President-elect received from the RT – the television station owned and funded by the Russian government.
Additionally, the report says that the Russian government was in plans to denounce the victory of Hillary Clinton, in the event that she won. Sadly, the only evidence that the spies could produce was a Twitter campaign hashtagged #DemocracyRIP. These and many other reasons prove that the U.S. intelligence community could have done a better job.