A Reddit user and others are claiming that the recent inflammatory reports that President Elect Trump is linked to Russians are fictitious. It’s the latest in the most bizarre lead up to a presidential inauguration in recent memory. It’s unfortunate this ordeal has transpired and the nation should want to clean their hands of this mess and move on. It’s becoming surreal and our idea of what is normal and acceptable is probably changing without us knowing it. But something else is happening that’s truly frightening an open revolt and skepticism of our institutions. In particular when it comes to information of any kind.
It started with Snowden and it has caught fire. People are unsure they live in a fair society that looks out for their best interests. That’s because information is everywhere and no one is sure how an intelligence agency or officials could have information they do not have. But, of course they do, because they’re out in the world doing the work – cultivating people – and have tracked their institution’s knowledge and historical observations up to this moment. They need to be allowed to do their work. They do face scrutiny in their own community and based on results in the field. It might be for the better for an open debate discussing our intelligence institutions. But it has to be in the appropriate forum, at the appropriate time with experts. It’s the kind of work that you cannot have the full picture until you’ve lived it.
More important, when we question our intelligence and agencies designed to protect us – our partners begin asking the same questions. Every single person might tend to think they’re right when they believe in their information. The United States often brings authority with our estimates and information – but, instead, right now, any partner is justified to dispute. That’s dangerous for our operatives, for our special operators and diplomats who are made safer by the authority and security in that we’re reliable custodians of intelligence.
If the US Intelligence agencies were trolled by a Reddit user into believing an intelligence report – then that is scary. But I’m afraid it will be impossible to ever know the truth. The work of a private intelligence agency on this matter also reveals the future: private organizations could become the global power brokers. Nationstates and their institutions seem to always be under suspicion by a society. But, somehow, corporate entities have a kind of pass because they’re not held to the same standards.