The words "WikiLeaks" and "Russia" have been linked by top American intelligence officials for many months, including President Obama as the Inquisitr previously reported. Top intelligence officials, as well as the president, have been warning media and the public about the use of WikiLeaks material, saying that there is enough evidence to warrant that Russia has been using WikiLeaks to distribute hacked and unreliable information in an effort to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.
Today, NSA Director Michael S. Rogers told the Wall Street Journal in an open forum that there is enough evidence to now confirm what President Obama previously stated. Quartz reports that the head of the United States National Security Agency told the Wall Street Journal that a "nation state" has consciously targeted America in order to achieve a specific effect.
Rogers did not specify the country of Russia, nor did he say the desired effect was to tamper with the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. But with the NSA being part of the intelligence community that linked Russia and WikiLeaks officially last month, this is implication.
Quartz reports that Rogers, a highly decorated naval officer and director of America's largest security agency, responded to a question by Wall Street Journal in a conference today about WikiLeaks and Russia. Quartz reports that Rogers stated that WikiLeaks was furthering a nation-state's goals by publishing information hacked from the Clinton campaign and from the Democratic National Committee.
President-elect Donald Trump, who as presidential candidate was privy to the same security and intelligence briefings that Hillary Clinton was during the campaign, has consistently refuted that it could be Russia that has anything at all to do with WikiLeaks. He has stated on the record during a presidential debate that "It could be Russia, but it could be China, could also be lots of other people. It could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds."
While Rogers did not say today that it was Russia, he definitely connected enough dots to repudiate the notion that a 400-pound individual was responsible for the hacking of material that led to repeated and consistent WikiLeaks dumps during the United States presidential campaign. He described a highly sophisticated agenda that was well planned and specific. He said today,
"There shouldn't be any doubt in anybody's minds, this was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect."[embed]https://twitter.com/WSJ/status/798647324687929344[/embed]
As Fox News reports in the footage below, although the nation-state in question was not named, it did not need to be. It was just last month when United States intelligence agencies, of which the NSA is a part, released a joint statement that directly accused Russia's "senior-most officials" of authorizing hacks with the intent to interfere with the Clinton campaign, reports the Wall Street Journal. Donald Trump's campaign never once had any leaks issued on WikiLeaks.
Fox News reminded the public on last month's statement today saying,
"The Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked emails on sites…are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts."[embed]https://twitter.com/FoxNews/status/798958599544279040[/embed]
Rogers also said today at the Wall Street Journal conference that the NSA was working to "make life harder" for hackers, reports Quartz. This, after he previously told NPR that when it comes to cyber warfare, "We are not in a world of clear definitions right now."
This information from the NSA today arrives in the wake of an election that shocked the nation, and indeed the world, when Donald Trump became the president-elect in spite of all numerical formulas, including exit polls generally considered accurate, favoring Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
On Election Day, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, published his last note before the election saying, "WikiLeaks must publish. It must publish and be damned."
He mentioned the Clinton campaign repeatedly in this address, but has since denied having any bias or affiliation with any one political party. WikiLeaks, however, has only ever published information about one specific party during the presidential campaign.
This information from the NSA today also comes shortly after Vice President Joe Biden appeared on Meet the Press last month, essentially declaring that a counter-attack was possible on the country that would be found responsible for the hacks that led to WikiLeaks dumps during the American election.
In his interview with MSNBC's Meet the Press last month, Vice President Joe Biden stated that the United States would covertly retaliate against any cyber warfare committed by Russia.
The New York Times reports that Vice President Joe Biden said, "We're sending a message. We have the capacity to do it. And it will be the time of our choosing. And under the circumstances that have the greatest impact."
The New York Times reports that the two weapons that the United States has at their disposal for such a counter-attack included sanctions and a reciprocal cyber attack. The New York Times also says that if the United States does engage in counter-attack against the "nation-state" discussed by Rogers today, it could make use of its new arsenal of cyber weapons, or it could apply economic sanctions to the country in question.
[Feature Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]