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From: Ford, Christopher A Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 7:50 AM To: DiNanno, Thomas G Subject: Re: So what's the plan? Tom: Having myself served as PDAS in the bureau for longer than you have, | do actually have some familiarity with AVC's role, authorities, and responsibilities. | also know what they aren't, which I'd encourage you also to remember, for you ‘seem to be in danger of losing sight of them. Moreover, you have entirely missed my point. As | indicated before, having something that sounds scientific to say when making assertions to laymen is not the same thing as being correct. I do not have the scientific expertise to critique David's claims. Nor do you. Nor, in fact, does he have actual technical training in the first place. That doesn't necessarily mean he's wrong, of course, but it does have implications for how to deal with the complex and. controversial claims you guys are making about weedy bioscience. Let me be clear: the burden of proof is upon AVC here — particularly since the entire IC, even after having reissued its analysis after months of accumulating additional information, still has a completely different position on the facts. Your bureau needs to shoulder that burden, or stand down, Please stop playing games and ducking responsibility. Itis discreditable, you're right, you should be willing to prove it, and to confront experts who — unlike all of the people involved in building and making this argument for you — actually have training in the scientific field about which you make assertions. | really don’t know how | could possibly have been more clear about this over the course of the last month. Your allegations are dramatic, and potentially very significant indeed, but it's for precisely that reason that they need to be tested and evaluated carefully. AVC exists in order to help the Department and the U.S. interagency get to objective truth. The bureau doesn't have a license simply to dispense, ex caihedra, what everyone else must accept as truth. (To mistake wanting something to be true with it being true, and to confuse confident assertion with demonstrable and defensible fact, would be to betray the Verifier's mission ) Your claims need to be assessed by real experts — not just waved around as bullet points on slide decks in front of non-scientists who are then dared to prove you wrong. I'm glad to hear you are finally setting up a group to consider these questions, but | need you to tell me who is on it, what their backgrounds are, and whether they will have had the benefit of actually being able to read the details of your argument beforehand. (will be brutally honest: after all that has happened, I've become worried enough about good faith here to need some Feassurance that AVC will actually pick an objective panel. You guys have been quick to impugn the honesty of scientists who have disagreed with your conclusions, such as alleging conflicts of interest and claiming — although the syllogism is a logical fallacy — that because such arguable conflicts of interest allegedly exist those persons must therefore be lying. AVC now needs to live by the same standard you demand of others: you need to have a panel with sufficient third-party, objective integrity to protect you against being accused of deck-stacking.) (For similar reasons, you also need to have some kind of appropriate IC representation in the group, since Asher has made me very uneasy by repeatedly arguing against having inteligence analysts involved in assessing his arguments. Frankly, that makes me suspicious, especially given his tendency to refer breezily to conclusions he says he has reached on the basis of reading “all” of the intelligence reporting — claims the truth of which the average listener, of course, has no particular way to assess. If he's right, he shouldn't be afraid to have someone else in the room who really has read "everything,”) Understood? —Chris From: DiNanno, Thomas G Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2021 10:55 PM To: Ford, Christopher A; Turner, Bruce | Ge: Robbins, Hailey; Park, Christopher J (T); Wilson, Sean P (T) Subject: Re: So what's the plan? Chris ‘As you know ave is responsible for investigating potential arms control violations. This Is exactly what we have done and will continue to do. We have an expert panel scheduled for Thursday. We briefed our slides to you and your ‘experts at our initiation several weeks ago. I'd like to know what in those slides they find objectionable or where clarification is required and we'll happily clarify, source and amend as necessary. ‘Thank you Tom On January 5, 2021 at 4:27:24 PM EST, Ford, Christopher A wrote: Ive just read the 22 December NICA, and I'm planning to bring folks together in my SCIF in the next few days to hear directly from IC analysts on their reasoning and the information underlying their assessments in that document. (I'm struck by the fact that it seems to directly contradict some of what some people in the USG have been saying.) I have no doubt that they will be willing to come and defend their analysis. Itis, however, becoming embarrassing ~ and, if | may say so, more than a little worrisome — that AVC seems still to be ducking an expert-level engagement to evaluate its own WIV allegations, even while it has continued, over the last month or more, to brief its claims to non-experts across the interagency. So, gentlemen, please update me by C on your plans for getting an expert eyes-on assessment of David Asher’s slide deck. This is T direction, not just an “itd be nice to have" situation.