Still not showing evidence, U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper told senators he’s really sure Russia was the source of “hacked” Democratic emails, but the case remains weak, say ex-intelligence officials William Binney and Ray McGovern.
By William Binney and Ray McGovern
It has been several weeks since the New York Times reported that “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” led the CIA to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin “deployed computer hackers” to help Donald Trump win the election. But the evidence released so far has been far from overwhelming.
The long anticipated Joint Analysis Report issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI on Dec. 29 met widespread criticism in the technical community. Worse still, some of the advice it offered led to a very alarmist false alarm about supposed Russian hacking into a Vermont electric power station.
Advertised in advance as providing proof of Russian hacking, the report fell embarrassingly short of that goal. The thin gruel that it did contain was watered down further by the following unusual warning atop page 1: “DISCLAIMER: This report is provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.”
Also, curiously absent was any clear input from the CIA, NSA or Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Reportedly, Mr. Clapper will get a chance on Friday to brief an understandably skeptical Donald Trump, who has called the briefing delay “very strange,” even suggesting that top intelligence officials “need more time to build a case.”
Clapper’s Checkered History
Mr. Trump’s skepticism is warranted not only by technical realities, but also by human ones, including the dramatis personae involved. Mr. Clapper has admitted giving Congress on March 12, 2013, false testimony regarding the extent of the National Security Agency’s collection of data on Americans. Four months later, after the Edward Snowden revelations, Mr. Clapper apologized to the Senate for testimony he admitted was “clearly erroneous.” That he is a survivor was already apparent by the way he landed on his feet after the intelligence debacle on Iraq.
Mr. Clapper was a key player in facilitating the fraudulent intelligence. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put Mr. Clapper in charge of the analysis of satellite imagery, the best source for pinpointing the location of weapons of mass destruction — if any.
When Pentagon favorites like Iraqi émigré Ahmed Chalabi plied U.S. intelligence with spurious “evidence” on WMD in Iraq, Mr. Clapper was in position to suppress the findings of any imagery analyst who might have the temerity to report, for example, that the Iraqi “chemical weapons facility” for which Mr. Chalabi provided the geographic coordinates was nothing of the kind. Mr. Clapper preferred to go by the Rumsfeldian dictum: “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” (It will be interesting to see if he tries that out on the President-elect Friday.)
A year after the war began, Mr. Chalabi told the media, “We are heroes in error. As far as we’re concerned we’ve been entirely successful.” By that time it was clear there were no WMD in Iraq. When Mr. Clapper was asked to explain, he opined, without adducing any evidence, that they probably were moved into Syria.
With respect to the alleged interference by Russia and WikiLeaks in the U.S. election, it is a major mystery why U.S. intelligence feels it must rely on “circumstantial evidence,” when it has NSA’s vacuum cleaner sucking up hard evidence galore. What we know of NSA’s capabilities shows that the email disclosures were from leaking, not hacking.
Here’s the difference:
Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or other cyber-protection systems and then extracts data. Our own considerable experience, plus the rich detail revealed by Edward Snowden, persuades us that, with NSA’s formidable trace capability, it can identify both sender and recipient of any and all data crossing the network.
Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization — on a thumb drive, for example — and gives it to someone else, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did. Leaking is the only way such data can be copied and removed with no electronic trace.
Because NSA can trace exactly where and how any “hacked” emails from the Democratic National Committee or other servers were routed through the network, it is puzzling why NSA cannot produce hard evidence implicating the Russian government and WikiLeaks. Unless we are dealing with a leak from an insider, not a hack, as other reporting suggests. From a technical perspective alone, we are convinced that this is what happened.
Lastly, the CIA is almost totally dependent on NSA for ground truth in this electronic arena. Given Mr. Clapper’s checkered record for accuracy in describing NSA activities, it is to be hoped that the director of NSA will join him for the briefing with Mr. Trump.
William Binney ([email protected]) worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA. Ray McGovern ([email protected]) was a CIA analyst for 27 years; he briefed the president’s daily brief one-on-one to President Reagan’s most senior national security officials from 1981-85. [This article previously appeared in The Baltimore Sun at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-hacking-intelligence-20170105-story.html]
All of this blaming of Russia for interfering in our governmental processes is so redolent with hypocrisy that I have to hold my nose.The list of countries in which we have instigated “regime change” to oust duly elected leaders is a long one. And, we know which ones they are. We have upended governments and economies. And, now, we are going all electric, pointing fingers at Russia for perhaps a bit of tampering in ours. What hypocrites we are!
The current psychological operation to distract Americans and humanity has taken the form of accusations of computer hacking during the 2016 presidential election by Russia(ns) and so-called RT “propaganda”. The psyop is designed to distract people everywhere on Earth from the damning content found in DNC and John Podesta emails published at WikiLeaks.org. Those revelations include: 1) those related to DNC emails of 2014 describing Saudi and Qatari money and logistical support to ISIS (Daesh) and 2) Podesta emails whose content strongly suggests through circumstantial evidence acts of pedophilia, or illegal sexual contact with children.
Reporting on DNC leaked emails pointing to state sponsorship of ISIS-Daesh terrorists, Clinton (and many others in both parties) knowledge and inaction (misprision or treason in light of U.S. terrorism laws), and potentially blowing the lid off of covert operations similar to the Iran-Contra scandal has dried to a trickle – at best. Media crickets are what people are hearing regarding the Podesta pedophilia allegations going around the world on the internet. It seems the Russia psyop has thus far been extremely successful.
One of the key facts missing from all the commentaries above and so far, is that the NSA has suffered a criminal indictment, based on hard evidence, in two of Europe’s highest courts; the Irish High Court (18/6/2014) and then the European Court of Justice (6/10/2015) for precisely that activity that Mr Clapper attributes to Russia, but without legally valid evidence. Those two indictments stand, and place 9 of the largest internet companies in the US at risk of legal action. In terms of ‘leak’ and ‘hack’ how is what those 9 did to be categorised ? They intercepted their clients e mails, a criminal offence in the UK, and stole their clients data, for the NSA, head man Mr Clapper. For William and Ray, for whom I have the highest respect, it is vitally important that someone explain to the citizens of the US that Mr Clapper, who lied about PRISM in the USA to Congress, has gone on lying about it, ignoring both the criminal and financial consequences for the 9 corporations. And that in Europe the activities Mr Clapper sponsored were both criminal and unlawful.
The report released on Friday (https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf) adds nothing to the previous report that McGovern and Binney link to here. David Spring wrote an article that appears to me (as a non-nerd) to completely demolish the claim that the JAR report contains any evidence of anything at all (see https://turningpointnews.org/exposing-political-corruption/dhs-fbi-claim-of-russian-hacking-is-fake-news). I am wondering why Spring’s article has not gotten more attention. Any thoughts?
Paul Craig Roberts – “The Coup Against Truth”:
“The CIA’s open, blatant, and unprecedented propaganda attack against a president-elect has caused Trump to throw down the gauntlet to CIA director John Brennan. There are reports that Trump intends to revamp and reorganize the intelligence agency. The last president who said this, John F. Kennedy, was murdered by the CIA before he could strike against them. Kennedy believed that he could not take on the CIA until he was re-elected. The delay gave the CIA time to arrange his assassination.
Trump appears to understand his danger. He has announced that he intends to supplement his Secret Service protection (which was turned against JFK) with private security.
Isn’t it striking? The president of Russia states publicly that Washington is driving the world to thermo-nuclear war and that his warnings are ignored. The president-elect of the United States is under full-scale attack from the CIA and knows that he cannot trust his official security force. One might think that these extraordinary topics would be the only ones under discussion. But you can find such discussion only on a few alternative media websites, such as this one, branded by PropOrNot and the Washington Post as “under Russian influence.”
Wow, that last paragraph says it all. You want a strong intelligence community so that you maintain a good balance of power in the world, but this has gone too far.
Great article, William Binney and Ray McGovern! Keep up the good work. Everybody here needs to get these articles posted all over the Internet.
Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, on Rachel Maddow’s show a few days ago:
“Maddow: He’s taking these shots, this antagonism, this taunting to the intelligence community.
Schumer: Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, and they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you. So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.
Maddow: What do you think the intelligence community would do if they were motivated to?
Schumer: I don’t know, but from what I’m told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them. And we need the intelligence community. Look at the Russian hacking. Without the intelligence community, we wouldn’t have discovered it.”
OMG, can you believe this? Absolutely no evidence, and yet Chuck Schumer is telling the world that the President-Elect had better get in line. They’re very upset with how Trump has treated and talked about them? What? I think Trump has shown tremendous restraint, but with this crap going on, Trump needs to fire their asses on his first day in office.
Who do these people think they are? Who does Chuck Schumer work for?
The US Spooks have released the unclassified version of their claims: https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf
It appears to be all bluster and no content. They again assert, without offering any evidence, that Russian-sponsored hackers were involved in conveying some info to Wikileaks. They do not say which info this is. They do not say what basis they have for believing that it happened. They do not claim it is untrue info. They do not even say if Wikileaks released that batch of info.
They add the absurdly uninteresting and irrelevant claim that the website RT.com has Russian govt. connections and gave its own opinions about the US election. I have read RT.com and find it to be a healthy alternative to mainstream US news. It is one source, among many, that is independent from the mainstream. It’s coverage doesn’t really stand out in any way besides being more international in focus and more independent. I’d put place it on a line about halfway between the TheGuardian.com and InfoWars.com.
They add the claim that Russian-sponsored hackers penetrated some State election boards – not voting machines – but make no claims about how they know that or it having any effect on anything.
These allegations, even if true, are minute in comparison to the scope of the black ops run by US Intel against both rivals and allies. It must feel like an embarrassment to US intel pros to be making so much noise about them. The lack of substance does support to the claim made by ConsortiumNews and other sites that the goal here is to undermine Trump politically to try and discourage him from cutting any portion of the >$1 trillion dolllar/year and rapidly growing US Security state budget.
In one case of hacking against a State office of elections, the State of Georgia is claiming that the US Dept. of Homeland Security is evidently behind the attacks on its site:
Unlike the CIA, the GA board of elections is explaining the forensic basis of their charges.
Glenn Greenwald had a good piece entitled, “WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived”.
“But while these debacles are embarrassing for the paper, they are also richly rewarding. That’s because journalists — including those at the Post — aggressively hype and promote the original, sensationalistic false stories, ensuring that they go viral, generating massive traffic for the Post (the paper’s executive editor, Marty Baron, recently boasted about how profitable the paper has become).
After spreading the falsehoods far and wide, raising fear levels and manipulating U.S. political discourse in the process (both Russia stories were widely hyped on cable news), journalists who spread the false claims subsequently note the retraction or corrections only in the most muted way possible, and often not at all. As a result, only a tiny fraction of people who were exposed to the original false story end up learning of the retractions.”
There really ought to be a law whereby these liars are made to post a huge retraction on their front page. Instead, they’re saying they were mistaken sometimes weeks later, if at all, and few see this. Greenwald goes over their possible motives:
“But what was the Post’s motive in publishing two false stories about Russia that, very predictably, generated massive attention, traffic, and political impact? Was it ideological and political — namely, devotion to the D.C. agenda of elevating Russia into a grave threat to U.S. security? Was it to please its audience — knowing that its readers, in the wake of Trump’s victory, want to be fed stories about Russian treachery? Was it access and source servitude — proving it will serve as a loyal and uncritical repository for any propaganda intelligence officials want disseminated? Was it profit — to generate revenue through sensationalistic click-bait headlines with a reckless disregard to whether its stories are true? In an institution as large as the Post, with numerous reporters and editors participating in these stories, it’s impossible to identify any one motive as definitive.”
They’re turning into the Washington Enquirer.
The story that matters is not if the Russians hacked or not. Of course they did and so do we and every other country with the capability to do so. What no one seems to be asking is why Trump and Putin are fisting each other. Why is no one exposing the business deals that both Trump and Exxon had with Moscow before the election and how much money was at stake? Why is no one comparing how both Trump and Putin feel about Muslims? You can turn this into another narrative about another McCarthy witch hunt all you want. If a news organization really had balls they would be reporting on the oil reserves in Russia, the players involved and the future marginalization by Russia and the U.S. of the fastest growing religion in the world.
Mark West: Actually the information leaked to Wikileaks was just that, leaked, not hacked…not the same thing. No, Russia didn’t hack the DNC. As for friendship between Putin and Trump, that won’t last I suspect (Putin is so much smarter) but if it does last, that is a very, very good thing. Don’t know about you, but I will be glad if we skip the cold-and-then-hot war with Russia that Hilary and friends had so looked forward to. That darn thing that Obama passed on….allowing the US to make the first strike (nuclear) if there is “an existential or perceived” threat from another country deviates from the old rule of not attacking unless first attacked. We, of course, attack one country after another when none of them have been any threat at all. I am not aware of Putin having animosity toward Muslims, though Trump certainly spoke ill of Muslims to get votes by trading on fear. Putin isn’t pro-religion or anti-religion of any kind. BTW, Islam has been the biggest religion in the world for a long time. Another thing, it’s better to deal in oil with Russia than with the odious Saudi Arabia who has nearly eliminated the poor Yemenis (with the US supplying the arms instead of protesting).
“The rationale behind ‘fake news’ implicates that lies in traditional, mainstream media, are purely accidental and isolated events. In fact, mainstream media participates actively in selling corporate points of view about basically everything regarding human life, as well as pushing for wars by repeating, many times without questioning, State narrative, directly from government sources or even unidentified officials. When this narratives are debunked or challenged they fall back with an editor’s note, but the propagandistic effect remains.
“The many wars destroying the Middle East in the last decades have substantial similarities and patterns that corporate journalism seems incapable of grasping, like ‘regime change’ being sold under the ‘humanitarian intervention’ scheme. The UK House of Commons report on Libya 2011 uses exactly those words.
“The result of this ongoing propaganda campaign is the widely believed theory that the US is under cyber-attack by Russia and must retaliate. Putin is clever and resourceful enough to put a stooge in the Oval Office, destroying Hillary Clinton’s political carrier and the US democracy in the process, leaving none or little trace. Around the world, mainstream media aren’t necessarily reminding its public that the Russian hacking story is based on allegations, and its now being treated as received knowledge, they aren’t reminding its readers and viewers about the many inaccuracies and retractions issued by the ‘agenda setting’ media either. Those are treated as mere details around a central and strong idea that remains out of discussion: the Russians are coming (again).
“The other idea being pushed into the collective mind is that alternative news sources are not trustworthy, you never know what’s true and what’s a lie, unless authoritative media says it.
“Finally, the Washington Post was used to deliver an inherently defamatory and blatantly false accusation on a number of independent news outlets by the anonymous Propornot, some of those independent media were fairly reputed. The Post was also used as a prominent mouthpiece for intelligence sources without questioning or skepticism, establishing what hundreds of other sources would later repeat as news, quite diligently.”
From Official Policy To Mainstream Discourse: Propaganda In The Making
By Daniel Espinosa
The United States is now a has-been global power….When the elected sold out to the Jew/Israel/Zionist agenda there was no real room for the citizens of the USA……However the USA is a massive military machine that could cause the entire plant to be inhabitable….You people need to storm the castle and take it from the JIZ……The United States Citizens owes nothing to the JIZ agenda
Our first reaction should be to note how grotesque it is that the US, of all nations, should demand respect for the democracy of other nations. It’s like a professional burglar espousing the sacredness of private property.
That argument that Clapper previous perjury under threat of prison is irrelevant would be only valid if he presented hard core evidences of Russian hacking. But when he tries to rely on his nonexistent trust and credibility it is only appropriate to say ” no way Jose ” show me evidences, your word means nothing anymore.
Trump saw it all and found no evidence of election rigging but hacking as usual by some teenagers or provocation by some agencies or groups.
Morons from Senate proved themselves as such, warmongering impudent morons, a laughing stock not even
deserving 5% approval rating they are getting.
This whole situation is insane. There is clear undisputed firsthand “evidence”: Not one, but two people associated with Wikileaks — the organization’s founder Julian Assange and former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray have both said flatly that there was no hack. The DNC emails were LEAKED by an insider. They know who gave wikileaks the data, and it wasn’t the Russians.
This puts an overwhelming burden of proof on the intelligence “community” and the Democrats to show that Assange and Murray are lying. Dear Mr. Clapper: Produce a body or go find some other pack of lies to peddle for your budgets. I’m sure there are Yemeni weddings waiting to be bombed. Dear Democrats: produce a body or go back to fucking up elections. There are still more than a dozen states that the Republicans don’t completely control. Find some corporate hacks quick or an actual human being may run for office and win.
I was reading a story at The Saker site when I saw this:
Mr. Binney’s name caused me to remember this thread – one I had only skimmed. It has been obvious to me all along that the NSA had Hillary’s emails – same as they possess those of everyone else. That’s a consequence of the American semi-Police State. What hadn’t occurred to me was the possibility somebody at the NSA decided to intervene in the US election.
Add that to the fact that Clapper is a serial liar, and Obama’s case disappears. Not that it really matters – he has the Corporate Media and their Fake News to overwhelm every other source.
By the way, the link story presents a fascinating new (to me) theory about how Trump squeaked past Queen Hillary. At first pass I find it to be quite plausible.
Gee whiz, our government is all up in arms because they say Vlad hacked the Dems, exposing some embarrassing unscrupulous behavior. Note the “hacking” becomes the issue not Queen Hillary’s corrupt behavior, which our highly compromised 4th estate is happy to ignore while tooting the horn for Cold War 2.0.
Meanwhile no one is mentioning “crosscheck” and the various proven methods of voter suppression aimed at minorities( the most likely Democratic voters) that the Repugnants used to throw the election. It has been demonstrated,see http://www.gregpalast.com/ that these efforts easily wiped out enough likely Democratic voters to tip the key states to Trump and other Repugs. So the whole thing is a smokescreen,a cover up, and an attempt to sabotage Trump’s efforts at detente – the enemy is not with out it is with in.
By the way American election fraud is much more extensive and professionally done than any of Putin’s rigging of Russia’s elections.
This answers everything, so I’ll quote from McGovern’s article to emphasise:
“With respect to the alleged interference by Russia and WikiLeaks in the U.S. election, it is a major mystery why U.S. intelligence feels it must rely on “circumstantial evidence,” when it has NSA’s vacuum cleaner sucking up hard evidence galore. What we know of NSA’s capabilities shows that the email disclosures were from leaking, not hacking.”
James Clapper lied to Congress before, about electronic security issues, until exposed by Wikileaks. Now he says without evidence that Wikileaks is evil. Sure. It caught him, and he still resents it.
Clapper ought to be in jail, not testifying to Congress again with what may be just more lies.
Yes, I thought perjury was a crime. But maybe they’ve changed the law? Or perhaps there’s a separate law for his ilk.
US Interfered In Foreign Presidential Elections At Least 81 Times In 54 Years – https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/12/no_author/us-interfered-foreign-presidential-elections/
“The US was found to have interfered in foreign elections at least 81 times between 1946 and 2000 – not counting US-backed military coups or regime change efforts.”
Before those events were the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans from their nations, annexation of what is now America’s Southwest, the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars and regime changes in Latin America setting up banana republics and other dictatorships. Since 2000 there have been Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Honduras, Syria and who knows what else.
Mr. Clapper has admitted giving Congress on March 12, 2013, false testimony regarding the extent of the National Security Agency’s collection of data on Americans.
Despite this character reference at yesterdays senate armed services committee charade members on both sides of the cesspool were prepared to accept what they wanted to hear from the mercifully departing director of national “intelligence.”
Lying to Congress is illegal, but Mr. Clapper proved, contrary to Barack Obama’s claims, some people are above the law.
During the election, it was Hillary’s band who used the Russian angle to demonize Trump. The leaked emails were not disinformation but real information. From the beginning Hillary’s camp knew that bringing the Russians into the campaign was the only way to redirect the criticism from the her to the Russians and therefore to Trump. Now, along with the Post and Times, they have devised another creative way to use the leaked emails. The issue now is how Trump will respond to the briefing. One can only fantasize, but a scenario where Trump exposes and fires the CIA Director would be uplifting. Is it really true that he opined that the Iraqis sent their WMDs to Syria?
Is it really true that he opined that the Iraqis sent their WMDs to Syria?
Anyone touting that story had to be too dumb for words or figured that was the level of intelligence of the people that story was directed at. There is a great deal of negative criticism that could have been leveled at Saddam Hussein, but the man was anything but stupid enough to get rid of weapons he could have used to defend Iraq when he was threatened.
It’s guys like you who talk sense that make the U.S. government want to ban all independent news sources on the internet.
I am very concerned about how that piece of parting legislation that Obama signed to ensure that “truth” (as the government and its media propagandists see it) prevails in the public arena. Some fear that sites like this will be forced to disappear in about six months, when the prescribed machinery is in place. No independent fact gathering, no dissemination of dissenting analysis or opinion, and, by all means, no thinking will be allowed!
Every recent president has handed down more and more repressive powers for controlling the masses (and giving license to the wealthy, the powerful and the corporations) to his successor. The establishment intended that Queen Hillary receive the sceptor, but the people gave it to interloper Building Magnate Donald Trump (like something out of an Ayn Rand novel, eh?) whom they fear because he is not a member of (as George Carlin put it) “the Club.” Hope they enjoy the “blowback.” They deserve it (and so do the people for not demanding more from our leaders). Hope Trump survives the sure-to-come assaults on his policies and person. The people at least now have legal marijuana to serve as their 21st century “soma.” Don’t think that was just fortuitous.
The Washington Post, made a bold effort today to bounce back from its embarrassing investigation-free reporting about the Vermont electric-grid. The top of the fold story ‘reveals’ what was never hidden: that Russian government officials cheered Trump’s victory. Case closed! They preferred Trump, therefore they installed him.
The real problem in America is its system of education. The Post can apparently get away with writing anything at all, no matter how illogical and absurd.
CNN has showed signs of backing off slightly from the Russians-did-it story last night, but their mouthpieces were at it again this morning.
What did our Super Spooks do – find something on Youtube? It’s really amazing that these “Russian government officials” were careless enough to show their feelings about not facing a near-certain nuclear war in their future.
I can’t say I “cheered” about Trump’s win in November, but I distinctly remember being vastly relieved Hillary wasn’t going to move into the White House with access to The Button.
I can’t say I “cheered” about Trump’s win in November, but I distinctly remember being vastly relieved Hillary wasn’t going to move into the White House with access to The Button.
It looks like we were on the same page on November 8th. My thought then was that we dodged the Clinton bullet but Trump will be the price we will have to pay.
Yes, Russian fingerprints are all over this, and when fingerprints are all over something, case closed. But our interpreters have overlooked an insight that the Russian cheering and celebrating was staged for the purpose of further duping our interpreters.
I live in Los Angeles and listen to Pacifica kpfk and heard a security expert from Arstechnica on Mitch Jeserich program (to give everyone credit) explain how much work it took to do the hacking. I am a software professional, but not a hacking professional, and I understood most of what was being said. He estimated that it took 5 or 6 people of differing skills to do the hack and set up by acquiring web domains, creating a website that appears to be a legitimate website, and delivering a payload that includes finding desired information and sending it to a recipient. These people had to be paid by someone and there are only a limited number of organizations or countries that would pay for such a project and the possibilities are limited. I found a somewhat technical discussion of the evidence of the hacking on Robert Scheer’s website, Truthdig, and realize the evidence presented was not definitive proof, but the number of organizations that would pay for such a project is limited, and it would not be cheap, although using inexpensive workers from a foreign country would be more cost effective.
Ken H – or they were leaked (sounds like Seth Rich was professionally whacked) by disgruntled individuals. Or Podesta fell for phishing (I think it’s already been proven that he did do this).
Also a software engineer, Ken H. There are very many scamming setups with multiple websites, usually one or a few engineers, often sharing utilities, often using websites and servers for multiple scams. Those minor resources certainly do not indicate a state sponsor, let alone a particular state. It is a hobby-level process. All states do this, and probably thousands of other groups. There is still zero evidence of any hacking of DNC. Zero evidence!
The hacking propaganda is designed solely to cover up the contents of the emails.
The story is that the Dems are controlled by Israel and Saudi Arabia, with MIC/WallSt influence!
As Trump likes to reply: “Wrong”.
One doesn’t need to “acquire web domains” (what a nonsense) and create a website and have 5-6-member team. A single player with an appropriate skills set and experience would do the trick relatively easy. That could take some time, it’s not a 5-minute job, but absolutely doable.
1) Regarding your note on a number of team members – Andres Sepulveda (ALONE) hacked and spied in elections in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela for 8 years.
2) Well known hacktivist group Anonymous doesn’t have backing of any gov. entity, nor they have super-budgets and bil.-dol. finansing. And they are not alone, there are plenty of such hacktivist groups and talented individuals out there.
Please try to listen closely what Trump says in that regard, that is note just his crazy fantasies, he has some talented cyber security people on his team of IT consultants.
All those diagrams that one can find in infamous 15-page FBI report are simply copied from white papers and/or text books on network penetration, diagrams have been modified by changing some tags and annotations, but still are flat out plagiarized originals (almost identical).
When all is said and done with this Russian hacking fake news business is over, I just want to know one thing, how much of our civil liberties will we the people lose this time?
Mr. Binney and Mr. McGovern
“………..Reportedly, Mr. Clapper will get a chance on Friday to brief an understandably skeptical Donald Trump, who has called the briefing delay “very strange,” even suggesting that top intelligence officials “need more time to build a case.”…..”
President Obama has already indicated the meeting to discuss the intelligence findings with Trump was scheduled for Friday. Clapper lied to Congress, and there were no WMD’s in Iraq. That’s a given, however, it’s also irrelevant to the DNC hack. Either the Russians were behind the hacking of the DNC to influence the election – or they weren’t. Because Clapper lied to Congress has no bearing on the DNC hack. Independent cyber-security firms like Crowdstrike corroborated the findings of US intelligence. The New York Times goes into detail over their investigation of the DNC hack (12-13-2016; “The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.” http://nyti.ms/2hKidyL).
The Russian government had a large stake in the outcome of the election so an attempt to influence the election seems like a fairly obvious step. Clinton Erlich writes in Foreign Policy (“The Kremlin Really Believes That Hillary Wants to Start a War With Russia” http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/07/the-kremlin-really-believes-that-hillary-clinton-will-start-a-war-with-russia-donald-trump-vladimir-putin/):
“……..Let’s not mince words: Moscow perceives the former secretary of state as an existential threat. The Russian foreign-policy experts I consulted did not harbor even grudging respect for Clinton. The most damaging chapter of her tenure was the NATO intervention in Libya,……..Currently, the only voice for rapprochement with Russia is Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump. If she vanquishes him, she will have a free hand to take the aggressive action against Russia that Republican hawks have traditionally favored…….Moscow believes that Crimea and other major points of bipolar tension will evaporate if America simply elects a leader who will pursue the nation’s best interest, from supporting Assad against the Islamic State to shrinking NATO by ejecting free riders. Russia respects Trump for taking these realist positions……….”
Besides the tens of billions of dollars in cost to the Russian economy each year because of the US-EU sanctions – according to Clinton Erlich – Russia seeks a “bargain” over the illegal annexation of Crimea (as well as their illegal military support for the secessionists in Eastern Ukraine) and the shrinking of NATO by “ejecting the free riders”. Hillary was clearly antagonistic toward Russian interests. The “motive” was certainly present for the Russian government to commit the cyber-crime to influence the outcome of the election.
Could you put a percentage to how much influence the Russians had over America’s 2016 presidential election? Is the percentage 25%, 30%, or as high as 50%, or what? Did Putin advise Hillary to go to West Virginia and tell coal miners how they would be put out of business? Is James Comey on Russia’s payroll? Was Hillary’s fainting spells brought on by her being drunk on Russian vodka? Are you even in the slightest alarmed at how the DNC and Hillary sabotaged the Sanders Campaign? No doubt you believe that Putin knew how to capture the Electoral College vote in favor of Trump.
Yes, obviously Putin understood the mindset of the American voting public much better than the American media and the rather substantial and sophisticated polling industry which pegged Hillary as having a 98% probability of winning the election. You remember, the folks who got angry at Nate Silver for daring to suggest her advantage might only be something like 65-70%. This being the conventional wisdom, any rational actor would have given up on the idea of trying to influence the outcome by any means, let alone pissing off the expected winner by hacking her websites (the DNC and Mr. Podesta). But the omniscient CIA and NSA understands that Putin knows more about America than any American and can micromaniputlate American public opinion more facilely than Madison Avenue, and now they are going to make him pay for his effrontery! Or, could it be that Craig Summers is just a CIA troll and his regular assignment is to dispense a daily dose of anti-Russian bullshit on this website? Or is not turnabout fair play, Mr. Summers? Since you seem to think that only you and the anti-Trump intelligence community should be allowed to make up, not only fake news, but fake accusations and peddle them as the gospel truth. I’m sure Obama has arranged a nice pay raise for your yeoman efforts at trying to deceive the public in his service. Bask in his legacy, you feisty little provocateur.
John McAfee still has enough functional neurons in his brain to make James Clapper look like a rank propagandist in several recent interviews he has given, including this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7t5zbKnvQk
BTW, what’s your end game, Craig, if the Deep State warmongers get their way, somehow depose Trump and start the war you all seem to long for? How do you survive it and what’s the payoff for you? What did the liar-in-chief promise you? Forty acres of green glass parking lot and a dead mule? It’s one thing to posture on behalf of your warhawk friends on this forum, quite another to die in support of their mad dreams of world conquest.
Realist, what I find most disturbing is that there are those who upon hearing any objective criticism against the ‘Putin Did It’ narrative being driven by the DC NeoCrowd feel it quite alright to accuse an objector of this madness, as being a traitor. With this kind of anti-Russian response we have now returned to the ‘Red Scare’ days when McCarthyism reined supreme. Besides that 33% of the public who buys into anything official, it does make me wonder to where all of this is going when viewing our Congress and America’s spy agencies…plus the ever deceitful MSM.
It would appear that we maybe on our way to having censored news here in America. You could ask yourself, if Donald Trump will be impeached for treason in his first year in office? I’m seriously concerned that within the DC Beltway there are warmongers biting at the bit to confront Russia militarily….as long as they don’t have to go fight them. So far all we know of what a President Trump will do is pure speculation, but Senate Russian Hacking hearings are real, and that is worth worrying about. I mean where are we headed with this thing?
Funny how like when Bill Maher named Hillary’s private unsecure server breach a ‘Nothing Burger’ no one cared about what information Hillary may have loss to another foreign entity….no big deal, but now oh boy Russia Putin is hacking into our high officials servers and the Russkies are taking away our democracy. My advice to these Hillary supporters, is to find another candidate, and pick one who doesn’t lie as much this time…her lying is what is bringing us all down, not some Russian who is just trying to overcome Western imposed sanctions…get real America, you can do better!
Unfortunately, this vast conspiracy between the pols, their owners with money, and the corporate propagandist media are not engaging in this scorched earth smear of Russia and Trump just to get their jollies, or even to get some revenge for Killary and Obomber’s loss in the election. This is right out of the novel “1984” and Goebbels’ playbook. This is the cultivation of the Big Lie which they are going to use as the pretext for some form of power grab in the not too distant future, be it an impeachment, an assassination, or a raw naked coup d’etat and then a world war under the new management.
They are counting on the American people being thoroughly habituated to the notion of both Trump and Russia being evil, power-hungry oppressors who want to subjugate the American citizenry. After all, the American people have heard nothing else since before the election, and now Obama has signed legislation (which hardly anyone has even heard about, let alone paid any attention to) which will formally suppress the independent media (sites like this one) and outlaw its putative “fake news.” Even the 1 or 2% of Americans who read sources outside of the “mainstream” corporate propagandist media will no longer have access to additional hard facts, diverse opinion and alternative analysis. See, they don’t even want the truth on the record for people to look up later after yet more American foreign policy comes a cropper. All this ruckus is about setting the table for regime change in our own country, since the “proper” candidate did not win in November.
As to the malarkey spewed by James Clapper and force fed to Trump today, Zero Hedge had another good take on it (among many similar analyses by the alternative media): http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-06/here-us-intelligence-report-accusing-putin-ordering-campaign-influence-us-election . I hope Trump doesn’t simply “accept” the rubbish dished out to constrain his options in foreign policy, and that his cabinet nominees in State and Security counter with their own public narrative which can serve as a foundation for the policies he wishes to pursue vis-a-vis Russia and the other world powers, rather than default to the discredited and dangerous neocon position being schlocked by the current establishment which we-the-people voted to overturn.
Today we so easily forget the uncomfortable facts of
history. The “red scare” was under a Democratic
Administration (the Palmer raids of Wilson).
The Attorney General’s List was under a Democratic
President, Harry Truman.
Anti-communism was the chief instrument of the
entire Truman Administration. The Secretary of
State (Dean Acheson) used the word “commie” in
US Senate Hearings etc.
The Loyalty Oaths were under a Democratic
Administration, Harry Truman. My father was compelled
to sign a loyalty oath.
My Dad always boasted that he was a member of
“the anti-communist left”. He and his liberal friends
felt that there could be no meaningful progress on
domestic issues if one were too left he used
Within the field of civil rights there are many
examples of claims of communism etc. The
trial of the (so-called)” Scopes Boys”(excuse) were
only one example.
On a personal basis, I well remember attending
a Swedish School of Social Administration where
fellow students were giving out communist books.
Imagine! In plain daylight! (At that time, the
Communist Party was about 4% in Sweden,
often the tiny margin that the Socialist Workers
Party —“SAP”— needed in parliament.)
Thanks, as always, for your views.
—Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA
Sounds like you would be a rare example of an American who could make a simple definition of the word Communist. Not as one, just know what it F’n signifies.
I don’t think it’s quite the same as ”witchcraft”, but not too sure. Like they throw these words around, and worse idiots than me seem to be so confident they know all about it.
Somewhere between Pavlov, and Goerbles, maybe over near Animal Farm, there is some cheat sheet taht ‘splains the meanings of words that are used by these mfr’s who lack any sense of humor for starters!
Like you say, Democrats, when was the last time they really stood up for the folks, no, they provide a thin veneer so as to be able to do the real dirty work, while the button down bunch twittles it’s thumbs on the side.
It would certainly be hard to deny that the Russian government had a motive to make it more difficult for Hillary Clinton. Although Trump may be unreliable, she and her neocon supporters were seen by many as a clear threat.
But on the basis of what is known publicly, the e-mails from the DNC and Podesta were obtained with simple phishing, not with something as sophisticated as with the Stuxnet attack. Therefore, many people could have the motive and the ability for doing the phishing.
Apart from the Russian government, other groups could have had a strong interest in getting the e-mails published:
– People from the Democratic party who were appalled at the unfair behavior of the DNC against Bernie Sanders in the primaries
– People in many countries, especially Russia, where Hillary Clinton was unpopular and seen as dangerous. While in Western Europe, polls mostly showed a preference for Hillary Clinton, in Russia, there was a strong preference for Donald Trump. There are many Russian hackers that may well have been ready for doing the phishing without any involvement of the Russian government or secret services. I think Obama’s statement that “not much is going on in Russia without Putin” mainly shows that he does not have a good understanding of Russian society.
Of course, the Russian government and its secret services are among the suspects, but so far, there has been no convincing evidence. I really think it would be better just to concentrate on improving security, so that people do not behave in such an extremely negligent way like Podesta are not duped by simple phishing e-mails instead of throwing around accusations without evidence (although one could, of course, also argue that there was a certain public interest in the publication of the e-mails, especially as far as the behavior of the DNC in the primaries was concerned). The influence of these Wikileaks e-mails probably was not too large because they mostly confirmed problems with the primaries many people suspected, anyway.
Israel had motive as well and expertise and plenty of Russian educated/Russian speaking Jewish hacking/surveillance specialists to fake this amateurish provocation using a old code available freely on dark web. If you missed it Netanyahu, having long connections to republican party hates Obama and is a friend of Putin after last visits in 2016 agreed to cooperate in Syria. But you will not find it in “fake MSM news”.
Your circumstantial case against Putin is much weaker than my case against Netanyahu who want what Trump wants, to kill Iran deal. Hillary did not want that and hence Netanyahu was against her openly criticizing Obama policies and Hillary following them.
On the top of that now even lying Clapper says that no influence of outcome of elections has been detected or was likely ever.
This is all McCarthyian political witch-hunt nothing more than anti-Trump hysteria among warmongers.
The latest mutterings from Western propaganda troll “craigsummers”:
“Independent cyber-security firms like Crowdstrike corroborated the findings of US intelligence.”
FALSE: Crowdstrike is not “independent” of the US military-industrial-surveillance complex.
Dmitri Alperovitz, co-founder and chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council “regime change” think tank.
Alperovitz, quoted frequently as the main source of the Russian hacker/Trump “compromised” story, has said that Crowdstrike has “high confidence” it was “Russian hackers”.
“But” said Alperovitz. “we don’t have hard evidence”.
Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against “threats” have the ability to manufacture “threats”.
The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth.
The US and UK possess elite cyber capabilities for both cyberspace espionage and offensive operations.
Both the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are intelligence agencies with a long history of supporting military operations. US military cyber operations are the responsibility of US Cyber Command, whose commander is also the head of the NSA.
US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China.
The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally.
Recent US domestic cyber operations have been used for coercive effect, creating uncertainty and concern within the American government and population.
The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect.
US offensive cyber warfare operations work in tandem with aggressive US and NATO propaganda efforts against governments that fail to cooperate with Washington’s diktats.
“But we don’t have hard evidence,” Alperovitch said.
Washington Post, June 14, 2016
Crowdstrike analysis claimed that North Korea hacked Sony. Crowdstrike has zero credibility. Alperovitz is in friendly communication with the OUN (Bandera) party in Ukraine. OUN (Bandera) openly advocates for the United States to go to war with Russia. Notice the entity “craigsummers” always throws in a wisecrack about Putin invading Ukraine. It is likely that the fake evidence trail Crowdstrike touts was generated by elements in Ukraine in an attempt to frame Russia similar to the frame up generated around MH-17. I might be mistaken, but I believe I read that Alperovitz is a Fellow on The Atlantic Council. Notice the similar tone to the media hype on MH-17 and the Russian hacking story.
The fact that Hillary got three million more votes than Trump shows the emails had little effect on the American public. The warmongers are looking for any kind of excuse for Hillary ‘why-am-I-not-fifty-points-ahead’ Clinton’s loss. Nope, the loss is on her. I have no idea whether Crowdstrike is independent or not; quite a few tech savvy people believe Binney and McGovern are right. Let’s say Russia did hack. The US has hacked, ‘putsched’, assassinated, caused color rebellions, invaded, etc., many nations worldwide. The US now has a taste of its own medicine—if we were hacked—and I lean toward no, we weren’t. I agree with F.G., “Nobody is concerned with the contents of the emails, which reveal indisputably despicable behavior.” Nothing about the hacks was untrue, and I’ll take truth regardless of the source, even from a hack. By the way I am not a Trump supporter. I stopped voting after the 1992 election for theological reasons. Some time after that I saw that voting is an exercise in futility anyway; there is not a nickel’s worth of difference between them. The people count for nothing as shown by the recent Princeton Study:
The most recent sign of empire crumbling is the effort to cut off alternative news sources. The US is becoming more Orwellian by the day, but the people are too Brave New World to notice. Soma and Friday Night Feelies anyone?
So…let me get this straight. Kosovo’s secession engineered by USA was legal, but Crimea’s retrocession to Russia by the same mechanism isn’t? Spending five billion dollars through NGO outfits to elicit an illegal coup d’etat against the Yanukovych government was apparently perceived as a “bargain” by the West. What a bargain! What was a tottering state is now a failed state relying on Western loans which they will never pay back. Their main export is now prostitution and organized crime. Crowdstrike’s legitimacy as an independent, untainted source is dubious at best. How could the NYT possibly do a legitimate “investigation” of the DNC “hack” when they have no access to the required sources or expertise…except for their ‘Operation Mockingbird’ cutouts? Since you oppose the “secessionists” in Eastern Ukraine who seek relief from the neo-Nazi goon squads terrorizing them, can we assume you are a neo-Nazi sympathizer? Secession is not “illegal” just because you think the Russians favor it. Secession is a U.N. recognized action to throw off tyranny when democratically conducted. International observers confirm that the Crimean referendum was legitimately conducted. Your rants are consistently constructed of misrepresentations and falsifications. I assume you are a paid agent for some government. Since you addressed your comment directly to Messrs. Binney and McGovern, I hope they will respond. I would be curious to know how two actual intelligence specialists would respond to obvious state-sponsored disinformation.
I’d add further that Bill Binney was THE technical guru at the NSA- he was its technical director for years, supervising and/or or setting up the systems at the Agency and, had he remained, he would have installed something much more cost effective and functional for preventing ‘terrorist incidents’ than the cost overrun bloated dragnet system advocated by Hayden. Furthermore his analyses about the faux allegations of Russian hacking of the DNC have been up-to-date, having factored in the relevant systems disclosures by Ed Snowden.
As for Ray, for years he held the Soviet portfolio at the CIA and was at the top of the Agency’s game about Russia, but also about Agency’s surveillance and analysis capability.
And then of course there are others- Larry Johnson, for example, who has written extensively about this on his blog, noquarterusa.net, Melvin Goodman (another guru about the Soviet Union and Russia) and William McAfee (the computer security guru).
It is the very best like these that Congress should have been- and should be consulting. Yet, do you notice how those voices are ignored in order that their message not be heard?
IMHO, the Democrats (and Establishment/neocon Republicans) are shooting themselves in the foot for what can only be short term advantage. Whether or not Trump follows through he will have the capability to influence the mainstream media through his Administration- and a CIA (with all of its imbedded journalists) he will control, and an NSA, with ‘full spectrum’ knowledge of all the dirt on every legislator and lobbyist in the country. It is unspeakable power and the risks of abuse are huge- it is power that should not exist- but given that he has it, he has the opportunity to clear out the dead weight and sycophants within those Agencies and
use those Agency’s capabilities and the leverage that they provide to neuter, or back off the neocons, and redirect our foreign policy in a more rational and sustainable direction.
Yes, executive overreach is now necessary to restore democracy, to “use those Agency’s capabilities and the leverage that they provide to neuter, or back off the neocons, and redirect our foreign policy” although we have only a chance that Trump will see that a do it before being captured by the social pressures of DC.
Yes, the “large stake” you refer to was and still is a very real concern, not just from the perspective of Russians, but also from the perspective of millions of rational people around the world who want aggressive warmongering to end. Clinton’s policies epitomize the term “aggressive warmongering”. And her warmongering stoops to the point of using vile terrorist mercenaries to achieve vile ends. But you don’t get that, do you? Just like you continue to insist that the leaks were hacks. And your reference to a N.Y. Times “investigation” into the matter is side-splitting.
I was going to address your love for neo-Nazi neanderthalism and your stupid insistence on portraying the Crimean referendum wrongfully, but F.G. Sanford has that covered.
See A Spy Coup in America? December 18, 2016 Consortiumnews. Among other information, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray claims he transferred the email data from a go between for insiders in the Democratic party who were disgusted with Hillary’s corruption. This occurred in DC not Russia, in the woods next to American University. He then sent it on to Wikileaks. Contrary to Clapper he has a history which includes whistleblowing which negatively affected his career. Acting against his own career and monetary interest certainly makes him a better reference than some American apparatchik, who has made a career of climbing the US intelligence ladder.
Clapper’s history of disinformation, commonly called lying which before Congress is a crime, is certainly relevant;as it obviously impugns his integrity and demonstrates a likelihood of lying again when in his interest.
Craigsummers certainly makes case for Russian motivation, but no evidence that Russians did it.
Poor reasoning, craigsummers. Not worth detailed response, because insincere.
Yours is an accurate assessment of the probable cause for the Russian state to seek to discredit Clinton. She most certainly had a negative view of Russia and Putin which she no doubt would have acted out if elected President. At the same time, her hawkish, war mongering views were also ample motivation for domestic anti-war/anti Hillary Progressives to view Clinton as a threat as well. It isn’t a stretch to conclude that “leaking” is far more likely than “hacking’ in this case when the consideration of 4 mysterious deaths around the campaign- one in particular who was an insider with access to the very specific kind of information that ultimately ended up at W.L. . Besides, why Crowdstrike to corroborate findings of the CIA when our own NSA is usually the corroborator of choice for security validation?
“Leaked” vs. “Hacked” – The Zimmermann Telegram Revisited.
It’s almost a perfect mirror-image of the current controversy. The Brits and their “Room 40” code breakers deciphered a telegram from the German Foreign Office to Germany’s ambassador to the US. It said that Germany intended to engage in unrestricted submarine warfare against Britain during the First World War. Should these actions draw the Americans into the war, Germany intended to engage the Mexicans and Japanese in territorial designs against the Americans. The implied promise was naval bases for Japan in the Baja Peninsula, and retrocession of Texas and New Mexico to the Mexicans. The telegram essentially overcame any resistance to public sentiment against war, and it served as the impetus to prod a reluctant Woodrow Wilson into the fray. The initial controversy surrounded whether or not the telegram was a hoax, a leak or a “hack”. The Brits initially withheld sharing the telegram with the Americans for selfish reasons. They didn’t want the Germans to know their codes had been “hacked”. In other words, they hid information vital to America’s national security despite an “alliance”. Germany later sent another such telegram to the Mexicans, but the wording was slightly different. This telegram was then presented to Wilson and the public alleging that it had been “leaked” by the Mexicans as opposed to being “hacked” by the Brits. Never mind that the Japanese and the Mexicans both thought the proposal was ludicrous. All attempts at peace through negotiation were sidelined. The leak/hack got the world into the most tragic war history had seen to date. The repercussions are ongoing today.
The idea that the DNC emails are anything but an exposure of unmitigated corruption is just as ludicrous. But given the omnipotent oversight and universal surveillance capabilities of the NSA, one must consider alternative theories. Occam’s Razor insists that the emails were “leaked” by a disgruntled insider. By the same token, the Zimmermann Telegram saga suggests that, if the emails were “hacked”, the NSA did the hacking and the leaking, and is happy to have the Russians take the blame. Either way, the American public is falling for the scam, just as they did in 1916. Nobody is concerned with the contents of the emails, which reveal indisputably despicable behavior.
Good point – you always need an “explanation”, and Hillary’s silly blathering about the Russians gave them a perfect cover.
The Zimmerman Telegram by Barbara W. Tuchman was a book I found long ago in falling-apart paperback, and after reading it decided I had to have a good hardback. Well, I found one, and at the time it cost me a small bundle. Just a couple of weeks ago I had it out and reread some of the sections.