Intel Report: Like a typical Chinese meal …

Fortune cookie was the best part … and I’m hungry again.


Over the weekend, we posted : Intel Report on Russian hacking … my take.

Now that the dust has settled, I’m getting that “where’s the beef feeling”?

Best I can do is:

Key points: Russians were more #NeverHillary than pro-Trump … no evidence that the election was impacted …  none of the purloined emails were fakes or forgeries … Russians held back some of the juicier information-bombs to drop during Clinton’s expected presidency (and, they still have those morsels stockpiled).

click to view report


My questions:

1) How were the sleuths able to able to find cyber-prints in this case but came up empty on the Clinton server (though the FBI reported that there was a high probability the enemy agents hacked that server, too)?

2) Wasn’t there any evidence of other foreign forces hacking into the same information bases, say the Chinese or North Koreans? Or, did our spies succumb to “fixation bias” (with a little “confirmation bias” thrown in) and only looked at a Russian connection? Maybe the problem is bigger and broader than reported.

By the way, what’s up with the Feds failing to haul in the suspect computers & servers and analyzing them for clues and evidence? Geez, on every episode of American Greed, the cops haul off the perp’s computer …

3) What info are the Russians holding in storage, waiting for an opportune time to cause some real havoc? Hmm. Maybe they have some of the classified material that was held safe (?) on Clinton’s and Weiner’s computers. Isn’t anybody worried about that?

Those are the questions that I’d like to see answered.

I’m not holding my breath …


Though it was generally superficial and disappointing, I did ID one useful part of the report (seriously) …


Here’s what I found most useful in the report …

On the last page of the reports “annex”, the Feds spelled out their vocabulary for charactering the level of certainty they have regarding their assessments.

Here’s what the report says:

Estimative language consists of two elements:

1) Judgments about the likelihood of developments or events occurring, and …

2) Levels of confidence in the sources and analytic reasoning supporting the judgments.

Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.

Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents.


Judgments of Likelihood.
The chart below approximates how judgments of likelihood correlate with percentages.

Unless otherwise stated, the Intelligence Community’s judgments are not derived via statistical analysis.

Phrases such as “we judge” and “we assess” – and terms such as “probable” and “likely” – convey analytical assessments.



Confidence in the Sources Supporting Judgments.
Confidence levels provide assessments of the quality and quantity of the source information that supports judgments.

Consequently, we ascribe high, moderate, or low levels of confidence to assessments:

High confidence generally indicates that judgments are based on high-quality information from multiple sources. High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong.

Moderate confidence generally means that the information is credibly sourced and plausible but not of sufficient quality or corroborated sufficiently to warrant a higher level of confidence.

Low confidence generally means that the information’s credibility and/or plausibility is uncertain, that the information is too fragmented or poorly corroborated to make solid analytic inferences, or that reliability of the sources is questionable.


Most of the assessments that were summarized in the report were said to be in the “high confidence” category, though little evidence was provided (presumably because it’s classified).


Bottom line: This assessment scheme is pretty cool.

I may use  in my analytics course … really.



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