First a note about the John Brennan report being delivered to Barack Obama tomorrow regarding the bogus claim that Vladimir Putin hacked the U.S. election. It is not an “Intel Community” document. It will be presented on the news as such, but it is not a fully coordinated intelligence document like a National Intelligence Estimate. This is nothing more than a political document prepared under the direction of John Brennan to push a meme that is completely and totally without evidentiary foundation.

If you recall, Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper claimed (falsely I might add) that the “17 intelligence agencies” agreed Russia had hacked the DNC and Podesta emails:

The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.

But no such interagency document existed on that date (7 October) when Clapper made the claim. In fact, if what Clapper claimed on that date was true then there was no need to wait until tomorrow (Thursday, January 5, 2017) for a “report” to President Obama. Hell, the Intelligence Community should have had that as the top item in the Presidential Daily Brief on October 7 or 8. It was not there and no such brief for the PDB was prepared.

But let’s get down to some real numbers. In the wake of the stunning upset of Hillary Clinton, the American people are being asked to believe that the Vladimir Putin directed the Russian Government to “steal” emails from the DNC and from John Podesta and then pass those to Julian Assange, who in turn published those emails on Wikileaks. Once published on Wikileaks, these revelations would be widely reported in the press and would damage Hillary Clinton so badly in the eyes of the voting public that Donald Trump would move to the front of the pack.

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, the Russian Government did steal the emails from the DNC and Podesta. One little problem, there is not a shred of evidence showing that Russia provided that material to Wikileaks. As noted previously on this blog, Assange vociferously denies any ties whatsoever to Russia.

Let’s ignore all of that and look at what the Washington Post did with these “explosive” revelations from Wikileaks. I have looked at every headline on the Washington Post from 7 October, when Wikileaks dropped the first load of Podesta emails, thru 7 November, the day before the nation voted for President. I searched each day on four separate terms:

  1. Clinton
  2. Trump
  3. Wiki
  4. Email

If Wikileaks really was such a game changer, then we should expect to see it dominate the news coverage. Now, I concede that this is a sample only of the Washington Post (I challenge others to do the same for the New York Times, the AP and the major cable channels), but it provides a nifty test of the hypothesis, i.e., The Wikileaks release of the emails received so much publicity that it damaged Hillary and helped Trump.

Here are the total numbers:

The name “Clinton” appeared 190 times in 32 days in the headlines on the Washington Post (the search was conducted on “Highbeam“). That is an average of 5.9 items per day.

The name “Trump” appeared 474 times in 32 days in the headlines on the Washington Post. That is an average of 15 items per day. In other words, Trump got almost three times the coverage of Hillary. But that is not good news. The articles (well over 90%) were highly critical of Donald Trump and did not cast him in a positive light. Here are a couple of the typical stories pushed by the Post:

(I welcome anyone reading this to make the case how such articles fueled positive fervor for Donald Trump).

The term “WIKI” shows up only 16 times in 32 days. Let me repeat that, 16 TIMES IN 32 DAYS. Yep, Washington Post was all over that damn story. They went all Woodward and Bernstein on it.

And the term “EMAIL?” Only 32 times. An average of once per day, but when you drill down on the actual articles you will discover that Hillary’s emails exposed by Judicial Watch, not Wikileaks, accounted for about 50% of the mentions.

So, will someone explain to me, like I am a six year old, how the Podesta emails and the scant coverage they subsequently received in a mainstream publication like the Washington Post killed Hillary’s campaign? Anyone? Ferris?

If this is the best that the Russians can do to “meddle” in our election (which is pure bunk in my view) then I don’t think we have much to fear from Moscow. We have far more to fear from Jeff Bezos and the editors of the Washington Post, who tried desperately to drag a politically dead Hillary Clinton across the electoral finish line.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.