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Cohen: Russia Regards Biden’s Cyberwar Threat as Virtual Declaration of War

Oct. 20, 2016 (EIRNS)—New York University professor Stephen F. Cohen told radio host John Batchelor on Oct. 18 that Vice President Joe Biden’s threat of cyberwar against Russia, during a weekend TV appearance, "stunned" Moscow. According to a summary published in The Nation, the Kremlin spokesman and commentators in Moscow denounced Biden’s challenge as a virtual "American declaration of war on Russia" and as the first ever in history. Biden’s statement, which clearly had been planned by the White House, could scarcely have been more dangerous or reckless, especially considering that there is no actual evidence or logic for the two allegations against Russia that seem to have prompted it, including alleged hacking, reports a summary of Cohen’s radio interview published in The Nation.

Cohen, reports the summary, points out that, in fact, no actual evidence for this allegation has been produced, only suppositions or, as Glenn Greenwald has argued, "unproven assertions." MIT professor Theodore Postol has written that there is

"no technical way that the U.S. intelligence community could know who did the hacking if it was done by sophisticated nation-state actors."

Instead, Cohen suggests,

"the charges, leveled daily by the Clinton campaign as part of its McCarthyite Kremlin-baiting of Donald Trump, are mostly political, and he laments the way U.S. intelligence officials have permitted themselves to be used for this unprofessional purpose."

An intelligence expert pointed out to EIR that the use of the word "confident" by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, in their Oct. 7 statement accusing Russia of hacking into U.S. election systems and email accounts, indicates that, in fact, there is about a 55-45 split within the intelligence community on that conclusion, showing that there is widespread disagreement about who was actually responsible for the hacks.

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