Published On: Sat, Apr 21st, 2018

Former CIA director John Brennan says President Obama refused to counter cyber warfare from Russia

According to former CIA director John Brennan under President Obama, the administration refused to counter the cyber warfare attacks from Russia, never wanting to go on the offensive and retaliate against Moscow.

Speaking at the University of California, Berkeley, Brennan admitted that there was a plan to respond and retaliate against Moscow that had been formulated by the intelligence community, but Obama refused to act, instead weakly issuing a verbal warning to Russia. Brennan acknowledged, “President Obama was the ultimate decision-maker on that.”

President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at his dacha outside Moscow, Russia 2009 Pete Souza photo

The former CIA director defended the Obama administration’s handling of what is widely viewed as a significant counterintelligence failure during the presidential election.

Free Beacon summarized that “The disclosure that Obama scrapped a cyber plan to retaliate against Moscow for election interference comes as a former senior counterintelligence official, Michelle Van Cleave, revealed in congressional testimony last week that the Obama administration weakened American counterintelligence programs by downgrading a top counterspy office.”

Brennan said he had “great confidence” the Russian influence operation was authorized and directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB intelligence officer. The Russian intelligence services also “know what the mission is, know what their capabilities are, and will apply them to issues that are of interest to Russian national security,” he said.

Brennan called the meddling “unprecedented in terms of its scope and intensity, and made full use of the digital domain.”

Obama also made clear to the CIA that he did not want the agency doing anything “in reality or in perception” that would have advanced the Russian disinformation and propaganda campaign, Brennan said.

“We were really trying to strike the right balance between doing everything we could to prevent and thwart as well as to uncover and understand what the Russians were doing without doing anything that would almost advance their interests in trying to disrupt our election,” he said.

Obama also was afraid any U.S. action against the Russians might be perceived as an outgoing Democratic president working to influence the election outcome.

“So if we did more things and stood at the hilltops and cried out, ‘the Russians, the Russians are trying to help Trump get elected,’ and if President Obama who is the titular head of the Democratic Party were to do that, I think that there would have been a lot of people would believe, I think with some justification, that the President of the United States was trying to influence the outcome of a presidential election,” Brennan said.

Brennan also said the Obama administration opposed aggressive action because of the president’s belief that any effort to punish the Russian might produce stepped up activities.

photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON


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