What? “NEVER leave ‘proof’” — if that were true, there would never be evidence of any hacking.
You misunderstand. Careful with the words here. As you say, there can be proof of entry; figuring out WHO entered is another matter entirely; and proving that a particular party was the one who entered is especially difficult. In no place that I have seen has the IC said that they had proven that the Russians hacked the DNC. Their findings are couched in probabilities.
Evidence. Your remark implies that the only evidence the United States has to prove hacking by Russia is forensic. This is unlikely. It’s way more likely that we hacked, wiretapped or found other evidence of Russians that confirmed their involvement.
Possibly. Of course, if they had something other than forensic evidence, I would venture to say that they would have been a bit more affirmative in their report. However, I am aware that drawing a conclusion from an absence of evidence is not very good logic.
Fourth. “Let’s suppose the Russians did hack the DNC. So what?” No. Not so what. Let’s say you’re right, they weren’t able to influence the election at all. They believed they could. The Russians would not have attempted a campaign of influence if they didn’t believe it could work. Intent matters.
You misunderstand. My point is that a hack of the DNC is not causal to the influence of an election. You cannot connect those dots directly. And I have seen no credible theorizing as to the Russian’s intentions, if they were in fact the perpetrators.
The bottom-line: There has been no credible evidence that the United States Intelligence Community is involved in a massive conspiracy to claim that Russia attacked our election process. This is a big claim, it requires big evidence.
I didn’t suggest they were involved in any conspiracy. My view on the matter is that unless you’re versed in IT security, misinterpreting the findings of an IT security investigation is easy to do. Especially if you already have a preferred narrative.
And I see people doing this in spades.