Salon has a good column summarizing the argument presented by Patrick Lawrence in the Nation asserting that the alleged Russian hack of the DNC email was rather an inside job. It nicely complements our previous installments in this series. Author Danielle Ryan quotes the official DNC response to Lawrence’s Nation article provided to the Nation after publication and now appended to the article:
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the DNC in an attempt to interfere in the election. Any suggestion otherwise is false and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration. It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.
Ryan rightly comments that the statement “is so lackluster it is almost laughable[.]” Students of logical fallacy may recognize both the argument from authority and the ad hominem in the three-sentence DNC statement. That is pathetic.
PAUL ADDS: The case that the Russians hacked the DNC emails has always been based on the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies. To my knowledge, these agencies have not provided the information that forms the basis for their conclusion. Thus, the public has never been in a position to assess the conclusion’s validity.
As long as there was no credible person or organization building a case to the contrary, I was willing to believe — naively perhaps — that the conclusion of the intelligence agencies was very likely correct. Now, it seems that a credible case to the contrary is emerging.
I think it is time for the intelligence agencies to back up their conclusion if they can, so that those who defend it don’t have to rely on argument from authority.