News ID: 175499
Published: 1023 GMT January 10, 2017

US hacking accusations against Russia hard to verify: Analyst

US hacking accusations against Russia hard to verify: Analyst

The US accusation that Russia used cyber attacks to influence the 2016 US presidential election is difficult to verify, especially after the faulty US intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, says an American political analyst.

“It’s very difficult to ascertain how seriously to take the US intelligence," said Alan Bean, the executive director of Friends of Justice, a civil rights group in Arlington, Texas.

“The problem is that, during the buildup to the Iraq War, the [US] intelligence community got it so wrong and clearly misled the people of the United States,” Bean told Press TV on Tuesday. "It's very difficult to assess the credibility this time."

"The general public has not been briefed on the actual evidence," the analyst explained. "We have the conclusions, but we don't have the evidence leading up to the conclusions." 

“So it’s very difficult for American citizens, whether they be Republican or Democratic, to really assess the legitimacy of the accusations that are being made,” he added.

In 2003, former US President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq under the pretext that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. In October 2004, however, a CIA report revealed that Saddam did not have any active WMD program at the time of the invasion.

On Friday, US intelligence agencies published a report on Russia’s alleged cyber attacks to influence the US election. Russia has denied the allegations.

The US agencies made the assessment that Russia hacked Democratic organizations and officials during the recent presidential contest to help incoming Republican President Donald Trump defeat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The hacked emails, which were reportedly provided to WikiLeaks by individuals working for the Russian government, were a regular source of embarrassment to Clinton and may have contributed to her defeat.  

Republican Senator John McCain said Monday he would join Democratic Senators Ben Cardin and Robert Menendez in introducing new legislation that calls for "comprehensive" sanctions on Russia over the alleged election meddling.

Washington and its allies had already levied broad economic sanctions against Russia and blacklisted dozens of its citizens after Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukraine conflict.

Despite the hacking allegations, Trump has called for closer ties between the United States and Russia, saying that only “stupid” people or “fools” would think close ties were unwise.

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