A side note before I address the question asked by the post title: one incredibly frustrating thing is how most post-election commentary (well, and pre-election too) are arguments by proxy. One issue is raised to bash someone over another one. For example, some are claiming that concerns over Russian interference in the 2016 election is an attempt by Clinton-aligned Democrats to deflect blame from Clinton and her surrogates. That is probably correct in some cases, but that doesn’t mean that Russian interference isn’t something to be angry about.*
Here’s the thing–I don’t trust the CIA or our other security forces for many reasons. They’re spies, and spies never tell you the whole truth. And we should acknowledge that Ukrainian nationalists are also trying to manipulate the U.S. But piercing through motives is a mug’s game especially with those assholes. However, there are ways to determine if they should or shouldn’t be trusted in this case.
If we think back to the run up to the Iraq War, the evidence for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) used to justify the war was rediculous (heh)**. As a microbiologist, I worked on a close relative of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, and the idea that Iraq had a fleet of small, mobile trucks in which they were manufacturing biological weapons without anyone detecting the anthrax was absurd (the trucks, by the way, turned out to be various food trucks.
TACO TRUKKS! ZOMG!). Consider the difficultly the CDC has had with anthrax, without hiding, in a stationary facility with adequate room. It was silly. Add to that the centrifuge experts who said the aluminum tubes were for rockets, not uranium enrichment, along with the whole yellowcake fiasco, and it became clear the technical argument that Iraq had WMD was utter bullshit.
But what I haven’t heard from the skeptics about the Russian interference claims is how the evidence could false. It seems feasible that our spy services could detect interference. That doesn’t mean I trust them, but I don’t think we should rule this out at all.
*One of the more mendacious arguments is that U.S.-ians should get over foreign interference because the U.S. has done that. It’s stupid because the people who opposed such interference in the U.S. are likely to be hurt or killed if things get really bad here (and there’s now a negligible chance that will happen).
**Rediculous is a mala-Trumpism.