Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’

Exclusive: The gauzy allegations of Russia “hacking” the Democrats to elect Donald Trump just got hazier with WikiLeaks’ new revelations about CIA cyber-spying and the capability to pin the blame on others, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

WikiLeaks’ disclosure of documents revealing CIA cyber-spying capabilities underscores why much more skepticism should have been applied to the U.S. intelligence community’s allegations about Russia “hacking” last year’s American presidential election. It turns out that the CIA maintains a library of foreign malware that could be used to pin the blame for a “hack” on another intelligence service.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

That revelation emerged from documents that WikiLeaks published on Tuesday from a CIA archive that WikiLeaks said had apparently been passed around within a community of former U.S. government hackers and contractors before one of them gave WikiLeaks some of the material.

The documents revealed that the CIA can capture the content of encrypted Internet and cell-phone messages by grabbing the material in the fraction of a second before the words are put through encryption.

Another program called “Weeping Angel” can hack Samsung “smart” TVs with built-in Internet connections, allowing the CIA and British intelligence to covertly use the TVs as listening devices even when they appear to be turned off.

Besides the 1984-ish aspects of these reported capabilities – Orwell’s dystopia also envisioned TVs being used to spy on people in their homes – the WikiLeaks’ disclosures add a new layer of mystery to whether the Russians were behind the “hacks” of the Democratic Party or whether Moscow was framed.

For instance, the widely cited Russian fingerprints on the “hacking” attacks – such as malware associated with the suspected Russian cyber-attackers APT 28 (also known as “Fancy Bear”); some Cyrillic letters: and the phrase “Felix Edmundovich,” a reference to Dzerzhinsky, the founder of a Bolsheviks’ secret police – look less like proof of Russian guilt than they did earlier.

Or put differently — based on the newly available CIA material — the possibility that these telltale signs were planted to incriminate Moscow doesn’t sound as farfetched as it might have earlier.

A former U.S. intelligence officer, cited by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, acknowledged that the CIA’s “Umbrage” library of foreign hacking tools could “be used to mask a U.S. operation and make it appear that it was carried out by another country…. That could be accomplished by inserting malware components from, say, a known Chinese, Russian or Iranian hacking operation into a U.S. one.”

While that possibility in no way clears Moscow in the case of the Democratic “hack,” it does inject new uncertainty into the “high confidence” that President Obama’s intelligence community expressed in its assessment of Russian culpability. If the CIA had this capability to plant false leads in the data, so too would other actors, both government and private, to cover their own tracks.

Dubious Forensics

Another problem with the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment is that the forensics were left to private contractors working for the Democrats, not conducted independently by U.S. government experts.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

That gap in the evidentiary trail widens when one notes that CrowdStrike, the Democratic Party’s consultant, offered contradictory commentary about the skills of the hackers.

CrowdStrike praised the hackers’ tradecraft as “superb, operational security second to none” and added: “we identified advanced methods consistent with nation-state level capabilities including deliberate targeting and ‘access management’ tradecraft — both groups were constantly going back into the environment to change out their implants, modify persistent methods, move to new Command & Control channels and perform other tasks to try to stay ahead of being detected.”

In other words, CrowdStrike cited the sophistication of the tradecraft as proof of a state-sponsored cyber-attack, yet it was the sloppiness of the tradecraft that supposedly revealed the Russian links, i.e. the old malware connections, the Cyrillic letters and the Dzerzhinsky reference.

As Sam Biddle wrote for The Intercept, “Would a group whose ‘tradecraft is superb’ with ‘operational security second to none’ really leave behind the name of a Soviet spy chief imprinted on a document it sent to American journalists? Would these groups really be dumb enough to leave cyrillic comments on these documents? Would these groups that ‘constantly [go] back into the environment to change out their implants, modify persistent methods, move to new Command & Control channels’ get caught because they precisely didn’t make sure not to use IP addresses they’d been associated [with] before?

“It’s very hard to buy the argument that the Democrats were hacked by one of the most sophisticated, diabolical foreign intelligence services in history, and that we know this because they screwed up over and over again.”

Sources and Methods

The WikiLeaks’ disclosures on Tuesday also demonstrate that the pro-transparency Web site has a well-placed source with access to sensitive U.S. intelligence data.

WikiLeaks logo

That reinforces the suggestion from WikiLeaks’ associate, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, that the emails purloined from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta originated from U.S. intelligence intercepts and were then leaked by an American insider to WikiLeaks, not obtained via a “hack” directed by the Russian government.

Podesta’s association with the international lobbying firm, the Podesta Group, could justify U.S. intelligence monitoring his communications as a way to glean information about the strategies of Saudi Arabia and other foreign clients.

Murray suggested that the earlier WikiLeaks’ release of Democratic National Committee emails came from a Democratic insider, not from Russia. In addition, WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange has denied that Russia was the source of either batch of Democratic emails, although he refused to say who was.

Of course, it would be possible that Russia used American cutouts to launder the emails without WikiLeaks knowing where the material originated. And some cyber-experts, who were cited in press reports about the new WikiLeaks’ disclosures on Tuesday, speculated, without evidence, that perhaps Russia was the source of them, too.

Still, there are now fresh reasons to doubt the Official Narrative that Russia “hacked” into Democratic emails in a covert operation intended to throw the U.S. election to Donald Trump.

Those doubts already existed – or should have – because the U.S. intelligence community refused to release any hard proof that the Russians were responsible for the purloined Democratic emails.

On Jan. 6, just one day after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper vowed to go to the greatest possible lengths to supply the public with the evidence behind the accusations, his office released a 25-page report that contained no direct evidence that Russia delivered hacked emails from the DNC and Podesta to WikiLeaks.

The DNI report amounted to a compendium of reasons to suspect that Russia was the source of the information – built largely on the argument that Russia had a motive for doing so because of its disdain for Democratic nominee Clinton and the potential for friendlier relations with Republican nominee Trump.

A Big Risk

But the DNI’s case, as presented, was one-sided, ignoring other reasons why the Russians would not have taken the risk.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

For instance, while it is true that many Russian officials, including President Putin, considered Clinton to be a threat to worsen the already frayed relationship between the two nuclear superpowers, the report ignores the downside for Russia trying to interfere with the U.S. election campaign and then failing to stop Clinton, which looked like the most likely outcome until Election Night.

If Russia had accessed the DNC and Podesta emails and slipped them to WikiLeaks for publication, Putin would have to think that the National Security Agency, with its exceptional ability to track electronic communications around the world, might well have detected the maneuver and would have informed Clinton.

So, on top of Clinton’s well-known hawkishness, Putin would have risked handing the expected incoming president a personal reason to take revenge on him and his country. Historically, Russia has been very careful in such situations, holding its intelligence collections for internal purposes only and not sharing them with the public.

While it is conceivable that Putin decided to take this extraordinary risk in this case – despite the widely held view that Clinton was a shoo-in to defeat Trump – an objective report would have examined this counter argument for him not doing so.

But the DNI report was not driven by a desire to be evenhanded; it was, in effect, a prosecutor’s brief, albeit one that lacked any real evidence that the accused is guilty.

Though it’s impossible for an average U.S. citizen to know precisely what the U.S. intelligence community may have in its secret files, some former NSA officials who are familiar with the agency’s eavesdropping capabilities say Washington’s lack of certainty suggests that the NSA does not possess such evidence.

That’s the view of William Binney, who retired as NSA’s technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and who created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.

Binney, in an article co-written with former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, said, “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.”

Released last summer — around the time of the Democratic National Convention — the DNC emails revealed senior party officials showing a preference for former Secretary of State Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders although the DNC was supposed to remain neutral.

Later in the campaign, the Podesta leak exposed the contents of speeches that Clinton gave to Wall Street banks, which she wanted to keep secret from the American voters, and the existence of pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation.

News articles based on the WikiLeaks’ material embarrassed the DNC and the Clinton campaign, but the rupture of secrets was not considered a very important factor in Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump. Clinton herself blamed that surprising outcome on FBI Director James Comey’s last-minute decision to briefly reopen the investigation into her improper use of a private server for her emails as Secretary of State.

After Comey’s move, Clinton’s poll numbers cratered and she seemed incapable of reversing the trend. More generally, Clinton faced criticism for running an inept campaign that included her insulting many Trump supporters by calling them “deplorables” and failing to articulate a clear, hopeful vision for the future.

However, after the shock of Trump’s stunning victory began to wear off, the outgoing Obama administration and angry Democrats began singling out Putin as a chief culprit in Clinton’s defeat.

Despite the appearance that they were scapegoating America’s old adversary – the Russkies – liberals and Democrats have used the allegations to energize their base and put the young Trump administration on the defensive, even though hard evidence to support the accusations is still lacking.

The liberals and Democrats also don’t seem to care that they are using these dubious allegations to ratchet up tensions between the world’s two nuclear superpowers, thus putting the future of the world at risk.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

90 comments for “Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’

  1. Daniel
    March 20, 2017 at 02:17

    The very last thing I heard about the Clinton Foundation was that they brokered a deal to give Putin and Russia control of 20% of the uranium produced in the world (including USA). After losing the election Hillary claimed (excuse #5) that Putin had it out for her. If so, why was that? wasn’t the uranium good enough? maybe not weapons grade? Kind of like a bad dope deal I guess.
    I kind of wonder how stupid Hillary and her ilk think we are?

  2. Fern
    March 17, 2017 at 19:53

    Please do not just report on US intelligence. What about Russian intelligence? If you want to be credible and honest then report on them also.

  3. Dorsal Finn Danny
    March 14, 2017 at 03:14

    Who are these people writing comments on this log and never asking the question, “Why hasn’t Trump’s enemies in the NSA,CIA, and FBI, leaked Trumps tax statements?

  4. Dave
    March 13, 2017 at 22:32

    This article really does not do justice to the facts. Robert Parry, of all people, should understand that calling Trump supporters “deplorable” is a molehill that the right-wing media made into a mountain. Meanwhile, dozens of scandals in Trump’s past (and present) were swept aside. All during the campaign, Wikileaks was used as a mouthpiece for the Trump campaign, and for the Russian government. Today the trend continues with Wikileaks exposing CIA information that could prove damaging to the United States.

    Why do you suppose Wikileaks is not exposing Russian hacking methods? Do you suppose it is because they are a clean operation that would never stoop to hacking iPhones? Or do you suppose it is because Wikileaks had been coopted by the Russian government to only release leaks that are personally approved by Putin?

    I understand there is a need to pursue the truth even when the U.S. (and Democrats) stray over the line. But increasingly, ConsortiumNews is always taking the side of Russia, even when all available evidence indicates that you are just editorializing.

    • dan
      March 20, 2017 at 02:19

      Dave I think you’ve been watching NBC too long.

  5. Amen Dicant
    March 13, 2017 at 21:04

    I would ask this question… Why would the DNC deny the FBI access to their servers during the six month investigation into Russian hacking? Or… Why did the FBI never request access to the DNC servers as part of their investigation into hacking by the Russians? Both of which were reported but no clarification either way was ever actually reported before the storm moved on. Too many unanswered questions leaves room for doubt and if there is any doubt you can not make a reasonable case for a guilty finding. Everything about this Russian interference in the election process exudes the unmistakable aroma of manure.

  6. AC
    March 11, 2017 at 23:48

    One thing is for sure. The assessments pertaining to Guccifer2.0 was massively flawed.

    Raw proof of a false flag / false attribution effort to frame Russia.

    It can even be checked and verified:

    For the bigger picture on the subject of Guccifer2.0 see:

  7. Bob In Portland
    March 11, 2017 at 16:59

    Also, look at Crowdstrike’s connections with the rightwing think tanks, and also Dmitri Alperovitch’s background. And Chalupa, in the DNC.

  8. Bob In Portland
    March 11, 2017 at 15:34

    Immediately after the Ukrainian coup there were reports of a large contingent of CIA people taking over the top floor of the US embassy in Kiev. Considering the fingerprints of Ukrainian fascists on the WaPo’s PropOrNot okeydoke, I would suggest investigators begin looking at a Ukrainian connection for the generation of this hoax.

  9. Anti Govt Rebel
    March 10, 2017 at 22:42

    Until the killing of DNC staffer Seth Rich is solved, all the talk of Russia is a distraction

  10. MDallas
    March 10, 2017 at 16:36

    You obviously did not actually READ the Wikileak documents themselves, but just took the media chatter at face value. Here is a report by a professor (not a NYT journalists), who did analyze the documents and found Wikileak’s allegations as false, inflammatory and basically just Assange looking for attention (and possibly for money from tech firms looking to protect themselves). Please do due diligence in your reporting…people are shaping their opinions based on articles like this. Thanks, Mark

    • David
      March 10, 2017 at 16:45

      Too funny. You accuse him of not reading the documents, and instead rely on someone else to tell him what they say/mean, and then you post a link so someone who told you what they say. Fucking hilarious!

      Anyone who reads the NYT is a sadist. How many times can a person get caught lieing to you and still have credibility?

      Thank you sir! May I have another?

  11. Ray Shelton
    March 10, 2017 at 14:05

    If all that Parry says is true, then how does one explain the behavior of Flynn, Sessions, Carter Page, Jared Kushner and several others meeting with the Russians during the election campaign and thereafter and then DENYING it? Isn’t that odd?
    It also doesn’t explain the unabashed, gushing praise that both Trump and Putin heaped upon each other repeatedly during the campaign.
    Looks like Parry’s opinion piece has several holes in it.
    Should be taken with a grain of salt.

    • David
      March 10, 2017 at 16:36

      “It also doesn’t explain the unabashed, gushing praise that both Trump and Putin heaped upon each other repeatedly during the campaign.”

      I am going to bet you have never actually heard what Putin said, you are only parroting what someone else told you he said. I would urge you to actually find and read the quotes from Putin. There was no “unabashed, gushing praise”, it was more of a neutral, non-committal polite statement about a person who may or may not become the leader of a country he would have to work with in the future.

    • March 11, 2017 at 09:44

      no problem when O met with european heads of state during his campaign. flynn did admit to his phone call. some cyber guys may agree with the cia propaganda , but many also work for the state and many do not agree. one explanation is thee people are fearful and immature politians.

  12. Perry Logan
    March 10, 2017 at 11:37

    “How plausible is it, really, that Democrats, the media, every U.S. intelligence agency, and the vast majority of cybersecurity professionals are in on a conspiracy to spare Hillary Clinton’s feelings and discredit Donald Trump?”
    –Taylor Griffin

    • Heman
      March 10, 2017 at 11:52

      Perry, not to spare Hillary Clinton’s feelings.

  13. March 10, 2017 at 01:15

    Of all the comments, Geoffrey de Galles’ stands out about Warren Flood of LaGrange GA. His company is called Bright Blue Data LLC and he states his company business includes political campaigns. If this was sent to Intercept, why not a followup? Someone should be looking into this connection, as described by Geoffrey’s above posts.

  14. Heman
    March 9, 2017 at 12:57

    “While that possibility in no way clears Moscow in the case of the Democratic “hack,” it does inject new uncertainty into the “high confidence” that President Obama’s intelligence community expressed in its assessment of Russian culpability. If the CIA had this capability to plant false leads in the data, so too would other actors, both government and private, to cover their own tracks.”

    Any resolution that determines guilt or innocence is therefore impossible and the Democrats can continue to say Trump did it and the Republicans can say he didn’t. The new disclosures will leave the media and the Democrats where they are today, freely throwing the Russians and Trump did it about even if it makes no sense. As Mr. Parry points out, that the Russians would take the risk.

    I would add that even, which is unlikely, they did do it. it would have been great grist for investigative reporters, because it brought into the light of day Hillary and friends did. We don’s seem to have them with the Post and the Times. They tend to be very selective and very eager to point out some things and ignore others. Not what we think investigative reporters should do.

  15. exiled off mainstreet
    March 9, 2017 at 06:50

    The Russians would have released everything or nothing on their own. The limited release and the death of Seth Rich indicates it was a leak not a hack. The new documents prove, as is indicated in the article, that the CIA could false flag a “hack” if they wanted to. The whole controversy reveals the moral and physical bankruptcy of the democratic party, the soros elements,and the mainstream republican party.

  16. Joe Tedesky
    March 9, 2017 at 01:26

    Back in 2014 when a N Korean group using the name ‘Guardians of Peace’ had supposedly hacked Sony Pictures over Sony’s release of a movie called ‘the Interview’ many here on consortiumnews cried foul. I remember well how many of us here on consortiumnews comment board had felt that this was nothing more than an inside job, and that possibly the motive was to promote Seth Rogan’s and James Franco’s totally absurd portrayal of the N Korean leader Kim Jong-un was the work of a disgruntled Sony employee, and not the N Koreans. Besides the disgruntled Sony employee suspect, there were those of us who thought it could have been a higher power of security espionage as well. I bring this up as exhibit ‘A’ that consortiumnews and it’s comment board participants often get our world news much more right than those who follow the mighty MSM.

    Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the bulk of us here who frequent consortiumnews are that much smarter than the average American, but I will say this, that for those who rely solely on our MSM for their news are a sorry lot for allowing themselves to be lied to in the way the MSM lies to their comprehending eyes and their gullible listening hears. With that I feel it’s hopeless that the majority of Americans will follow through by bringing down this ease dropping big brother with this release of Wikileaks Vault 7 file, and that any thing of much substance will hinder our spook agencies in any way. We Americans are weaned on sound bits, 24 hour news cycles, and distracted even further with insultingly stupid celebrity stories, as to fill our daily discourse with friends and family with the barest essentials of trivia to no end.

    Not talking about the most important items in our news, is as good as you remodeling your house and then ignoring to pay down the mortgage. Kind of like the old burlesque skit where a man plays a boring tune on the violin while a stripper disrobes behind him. Distractions, and loss priorities, are all a part of the game in any regard, and forgive my poor metaphors to be excluded…But my point is the distraction we observe in our news isn’t any accident, but a well thought out maneuver to hide the truth.

    911 ramped up a war which had already started in 1991. Although the U.S. foot print in the Middle East goes much further back than 1991, 1991 could be viewed as the real start up of something big. Funny how in 1991 America’s Cold War rival Soviet Russia had ceased to exist, and then there was Desert Storm. Given that ten years later 911 would occur it lends to the theory that 911 would be an opportunity for the rogue elements of our America government would with the tradegy of 911 be able to impose a heavily enforced security state across the entire American landscape, all in the name of keeping us scared Americans save from terrorist.

    This security state has slowly but surely taken our American freedoms away. This slow moving blob moves so slow that a person loses sight of where, and how we were before all of this surveillance took us to where we find ourselves now. Us older folk may be able to recollect an American life gone by, but our grandchildren will not. The generation that follows ours will not have any recollection to find a bench mark to argue for a return to the past. For them government surveillance will be a way of life.

  17. Michael Schlabig
    March 9, 2017 at 00:57

    There’s one correction I’d like to submit to your article. Not a single Liberal supports RussiaRussiaRussia claims. Liberals and progressives support only Bernie Sanders. Neoliberalism and Neoliberals are those who support Hillary and the Russia hacking claims.

    In the future please use the correct terminology.

    • Brad Owen
      March 9, 2017 at 05:57

      Yeah Bernie is the REAL President of the people, just happens to be sitting in the Senate for now. I really hope he removes himself from the war criminals in the D-Party, and takes his 13 million donors into a new party, and courts the blue-collar cohorts that cast a vote for Trump. D and R would fold like a cheap tent, the remnants combining to become the DSO Party (DSO being deep state oligarchy). Bring Dennis Kucinnich and Ralph Nader along too. All of this would provide a rallying point and focus for the people.

      • Bob Van Noy
        March 9, 2017 at 14:36

        Perfect. Thanks Brad.

  18. CitizenOne
    March 9, 2017 at 00:16

    All 17 intelligence agencies in unanimous agreement stated that there was a massive attempt by the Russians to hack into the democrats “secure” website, release the information to WikiLeaks, create fake news, pollute Facebook with lies, turn ordinary regular Hillary Clinton loving fans into diehard Trump supporters etc. There never was any evidence presented for the case for Russian interference in the last presidential election here in America. There was also no evidence found in German intelligence investigations where Merkel’s government, fearful of Russian hacking, launched their own intelligence sleuthing and found no evidence the Russians were involved in German election influencing either.. Two for two against evidence of Russian hacking, fake news, etc.

    New information revealed by WikiLeaks about the CIA toolkit named Vault7 in which “Year Zero” documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration’s commitments may result in the real possibility that despite conclusions by the same intelligence agencies that were united in their evidence-lite conclusions that the Russians influenced the election are in fact the same agencies which might have spied on the Trump campaign by using the recently revealed toolkits by WikiLeaks.

    Even if Obama did not authorize CIA use of the revealed spy techniques, they were implemented on Obama”s watch. Therefore even though Obama may claim innocence, an investigation into whether CIA tapped Trump Tower is warranted.

    All that is needed to implicate Obama is some tacit approval of the spy program to implicate him as being a accomplice to any spying of Trump performed by his agencies.

    FBI and NSA urging DOJ to discredit Trump’s claims he was “hacked” or wire tapped is similar to the band of distinctly different intelligence organizations blaming Russia for “hacking” the election or, in this case, vouching for each other saying “just trust us” there was no spying on Trump which is the same argument they used to defend their claims about Russian hacking.

    At some point, there needs to be a full investigation into the awesomely powerful tools available to our national security agencies and their ability to pry into daily human activities which would be normally considered private like using a cellphone or watching TV which are now known to be not private.

    We may be looking at an Alice in Wonderland scenario where we are all seen through the looking glass and what we think are intelligence agencies devoted to finding criminals are in fact devoted to a cause and are spying on us.

    That cause in the light of the new cold war with Russia is a frightening place where the official truth might be a lie told by professional intelligence agencies. Potential allies who have done nothing to warrant alleged crimes are portrayed as enemies. Politicians who stray from the teleprompter are portrayed as lunatics and politicians who have every right to suspect they have been spied on are met with a new Iron Curtain of unanimous denial even in the light of WikiLeaks..

    Given the new WikiLeaks release of Vault7 and Year Zero operations which reveal the depth of the penetration into spying on everyone, is it really a stretch to think that they might use those tools to spy on an outsider candidate?

    I’m fairly sure Trump has a leg to stand on with his allegations that intelligence agencies that have falsely concluded he was elected by a foreign enemy might also have spied on his campaign. The release of the WikiLeaks information reveals powerful tools to spy on just about everyone which makes their motive and opportunity to do that just that more apparent. Therefore, they are suspect.

    I certainly don’t approve of Trump’s first 100 days. His appointments are Reagan redos which will result in harm for our economy and our citizens and our planet. However, I cannot help but conclude that intelligence agencies fearful of Trump’s friendliness with Russia have created a machine designed to destroy him and create or renew our old cold war fear of Russia.

    Economists and others need to step up and analyze the situation in its present form of a dichotomy. Will we be better served by forging economic ties and partnerships with Russia or will we be better served by making them the enemy and presenting our president as a Russian dupe and dangerous leader?

    The conclusion of our national intelligence agencies and our military industrial complex is clear. They would favor war with Russia in their own self interest. They favor disenfranchising our president unless he follows the leadership of the military establishment.

    This is a coup and has implications for our future. We are facing an intelligence network which has falsely concluded our president was elected by the enemy and that is a very dangerous position.

    At the same time, our intelligence agencies are making every effort to dismiss claims by the Trump administration that he might have been spied upon.

    A power struggle is developing between Trump and the intelligence community. That is a very dangerous situation. The fact that the intelligence side has all of the tools to spy and verify or deny any position is equally disturbing.

    A full investigation into the CIA and other intelligence agencies who have made “conclusions” about recent events based on no presented evidence is warranted.

    Similarly, Trump’s skeletons in the closet should also be investigated. If his tax returns reveal a shady relationship with Russia then that needs to be brought forth.

    As long as both sides play hide and seek with information and accuse the other of foul play it is a very dangerous situation.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 9, 2017 at 01:46

      I told this story once before, but many moons ago I knew a lawyer who worked for Peter Rodino. My having asked this lawyer when was Richard Nixon going to be send up to prison this lawyer told me then…never. When I asked why not this lawyer said because all of the Washington critters who sat in judgement of Nixon were guilty of the same or even much worst crimes, and that’s how DC works.

      So listening in, filming acts, are all a part of the game when real power must prevail. Kind of like the old joke of taking a camera to the company Christmas party…if you know what I mean. Man it’s hard ball and these government trolls know how to play it.

      Another great comment CitizenOne…Joe

      • Realist
        March 9, 2017 at 02:54

        And the truth-tellers they cannot blackmail because they are clean as a whistle, let’s say Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul, as hypothetical examples, or because they are simply not embarrassed by their peccadilloes, let’s say Gore Vidal, are simply dismissed as simple-minded, deranged or the victims of cult beliefs, and nobody pays any attention to their analyses or warnings. First off, anyone so clean and virtuous would stand out as an oddball in today’s society, and so be easy to isolate and ignore as a Cassandra. Look at what America has done to Snowden. He can never go home again, and he may not have a lot of life options where he is because of who he is. However, I am interested to see what he makes of himself over there. He is a truly smart guy who could become a top contributor in his area of expertise. I hope he becomes more than just an exiled whistleblower and designs systems to mitigate the problems he has identified, maybe makes himself a few million bucks and a stellar reputation in the process. Putin would be smart to encourage the kid to express his full creative potential with top job and business prospects.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 9, 2017 at 09:03

          I think when it comes to people such as Kucinich or Ron Paul their credibility is marginalized by the media to great extent. Do you remember back in 2004 when Kucinch was asked during a presidential candidate debate about his watching with Shirley MacLaine UFO’s flying over his home? And I always get upset when news anchors interview Ron Paul, because the interviewer either has a little chuckle, or the interviewer makes facial expressions of stunted disbelief after Ron Paul makes a statement. It’s a cruel world out there, and I’m not sure everyone can see through it.

          In the case of Snowden the media reports up to the edge of what Snowden revealed and then they pull back to question his patriotism. Then the media parades out Feinstein or Clapper types, and the question is always, ‘is Edward Snowden an American traitor’. People are left to believe that Snowden may have given the enemy our nuclear codes, but never a word mentioned to how Snowden was warning us the public to what goes on inside our data sweeps.

          There is something for everyone, and every type, inside the play book of deception. Getting the goods on people, or by making a person look silly, is the oldest game in the world. Although if there were such a thing as a reliable media much of this dirty intrigue could be stomped out, but there I go again with the ‘if only’s’.

          Do something you love to do Realist, and forget how nasty the world is for a moment, because it will still be here when you return. Always a pleasure to read your comments, take care…Joe

          • Realist
            March 9, 2017 at 16:03

            Oh, the privilege is all mine, to always get such high quality well thought out responses from yourself, Joe.

        • CitizenOne
          March 9, 2017 at 21:48

          In a propaganda state the truth is the enemy. It is a completely rational move to marginalize and continuously discredit individuals who have access to the media. Edward Snowden has a powerfully loud megaphone with WikiLeaks. Therefore his patriotism must be questioned at every instance of mentioning his name. It is McCarthyism. During the blacklisting anti communist hearings in McCarthy’s Star Chamber, scant evidence was used to incriminate Hollywood actors as enemy agents. The reason was the same then as it is today with all the Hollywood liberal bashing performed by the pundits and media talking heads. There is a requirement in a propaganda state to continuously call into question the patriotism of anyone who has access to a microphone and who is not on the list of approved public speakers. There is an ever present danger that one of them might go off the reservation and actually tell the truth. The truth can blow up the lie and so, since in America, these folks cannot be shoved in a van and thrown in the ocean, there must be another tool used to program the minds of Americans to automatically dismiss whatever they say. That tool is the decades long effort to paint entertainers who might say the wrong thing in public as lunatics or as aligned with enemy forces.

          The propaganda state does not hate people like Snowden or Hollywood actors because they really think they are all traitors but it knows it must respond to every public speaking event by anyone who has access to a microphone which goes off into forbidden truth telling as a traitor.

          That is also the reason this website was listed by the shady ProporNot website, the self appointed arbiters of fake news, on its list of Fake News sites.

          Now we have an outsider as president who has the same propensity to go off the reservation and he has a very big microphone. What must the propaganda state do? Why of course they must associate him with the communists.

          This is an age old game and it is very effective. In the days of the Church State, such people were branded heretics and often were burned at the stake.

          Anyone going up against the entrenched power is going to be made to look bad. Heretic, Traitor, Communist, Liberal, the label is just picked to suit the times.

          As Mark Twain said, “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel”.

          Kudos to Trump for being brave enough to do just that. I guess he really does have balls.

          As far as I’m concerned the media really is the enemy of the people. It is the enemy of the truth. It is part of the propaganda state.

          Recent events show this to be absolutely true. I hope they choke on it.

  19. Kalen
    March 8, 2017 at 21:29

    “Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’”;

    How about it is just an understatement of the year.

    I would put it as “Final Nail to the Coffin of an Absurd about Russians rigging US elections”;

    It sounds much better.And we may bury this absurd especially that CIA specializes in faking cyberattacks from China and Russia using their own stolen or bought old hacking software as they admitted in the Vault 7 Wikileaks release.

    At the end CN own post proved true again. No proof of hacking because there was no hacking.

    Another case of CN proving its own high credibility while WaPo and NYT should shut down in shame.

  20. fudmier
    March 8, 2017 at 21:03

    the words in these posts ” contrived clues” == “orchestrated moves”==”establishment persons(propaganda wheeling opinion leaders)”==”concerns of privacy”==”fake narrative hustling”==”false guilt framing”==”connections by and between” produce
    the question in my mind: could a rationale to debunk blue sky propaganda be developed? What would such a debunking rationale need to be effective?

    Structure (constructed objects), or methods that depend on structure, or interfaces that bind structure:to:structure, method:to:method, or method:to:structure. Could this simple idea provide an alternative media mechanism to debunk mainstream propaganda and false narratives?

    Iraq could have been avoided if such were well known and highly distributed among the population.

    • Erik G
      March 9, 2017 at 09:57

      If I understand, you mean a rational process rather than a rationale (rational or quasi-rational explanation).
      Generally rational journalists and commenters try to provide criticism of the rationality of arguments.

      If you are suggesting an AI mechanism or computerized tool to show the rational structure of an argument and its faults, the main problems will be (1) difficulty of use (most people prefer not to hassle in getting out ideas), (2) lack of evaluation of evidence, (3) the use of reasoning by analogy is common and powerful, but unreliable in determining the applicability of similes.

      Making debate more rational requires an institution of textual debate among experts of all disciplines and regions, including even the most unpopular viewpoints, and producing public commented summaries of debate rather than forcing consensus, as I propose to form, perhaps to be called the College of Policy Analysis or Debate. It is a lot of work to participate in, or even study, such rational debate, and most will not do so. But it would allow rapid policy education, and pointed questioning of demagogues and deceivers.

  21. atong
    March 8, 2017 at 20:52

    The CIA announced that Russia was behind the hacking . . . I now believe that they, the CIA, did it!

    • Realist
      March 8, 2017 at 21:39

      At least there is strong evidence that they have refined the tools to do so… and then have the capability to make it look like the Russians did it. The released findings make what you say entirely plausible, and if we take motive into account, even probable.

      Again, I would ask, with these new revelations in mind, will the congress continue to keep barking up the wrong tree (the one where “the Russians did it!”) or will they wisely turn their attention to the CIA (and other intelligence agencies) and investigate them? Or, has there simply been too many deals made with the devil, too many payoffs, and too much incriminating evidence of their collusion with these con artists to ever expect a real investigation of any part of the Deep State by the congress or by the media?

    • Sam F
      March 9, 2017 at 09:43

      I have seen a case where an internet piracy operation, criminally selling copyrighted material, tried to blame it on Russia by simply using the name “TzarMedia” for one of their websites, and claiming on their own authority that two of its servers were in Moscow. But their office was in Texas. So this is nothing new even among amateurs.

  22. JS
    March 8, 2017 at 19:58

    I may be a little muddled about this today, but I want to know if Snowden’s statements about the Vault 7 release comport with Parry’s analysis above. They are two of the sources I trust most (the third being Glenn Greenwald). Speaking clearly about the whole matter has been a lonely position. I have always sought evidence, and I have always been disappointed to find that my party’s leaders didn’t really care about evidence if not expedient to their narrative.

    If it is true as Snowden says that the election WAS hacked by Russians; that it was rigged FOR Clinton by other parties but then hacked at the last by Russians to put Clinton over the top, then we must ask WHO it was that rigged it for Clinton? Snowden’s scenario would explain Clinton’s anger and bafflement on election night. (Sort of like Karl Rove’s hissy fit when he found that his plan to steal the election for Mitt was upended.) WHO rigged the election for Hillary? We need those names, Edward Snowden (or anyone else in the know) That is an investigation I would be happy to see Congress pursue.

    • Sam F
      March 8, 2017 at 20:50

      Snowden did not say that Russia did any of the alleged hacking, he said that they apparently did not do that.

      • JS
        March 8, 2017 at 21:26

        No. I quote Snowden here: ““What is most surprising about this election, according to my information, is that the electronic voting machines were clearly rigged in Hillary Clinton’s favor, but Russian hackers cunningly used this to their advantage and inverted the process towards Donald Trump in the last moments leading to his election,” he added.”

        Your disagreement may lie with my use of the word “hacked.” But Snowden himself uses it. “Russian hackers cunningly used (rigging of electronic voting machines for Hillary) to their advantage….

        The question remains. Who rigged the voting machines FOR Hillary?

        • JS
          March 8, 2017 at 22:43

          I apologize. This story may be crap. There is no other source to be found for Snowden’s comments.

    • Kiza
      March 8, 2017 at 22:21

      Trust no-one. I respect the three individuals you mentioned, especially Snowden for his bravery, but I do not unconditionally trust even him.

  23. Josh Stern
    March 8, 2017 at 19:13

    Another angle I haven’t seen discussed is the possible connection between “Russian hacking” claims and Liz Crokin’s reporting that DNC donors were having their credit cards illegally charged, multiple times. In order to advance a theory, we need to separate the things Crokin claimed evidence for and her anti-Clinton theories about the explanation for those things. She has a story here: and more detail in this YouTube video she made as a kind of insurance policy when she felt her life was in danger, while she was being stalked and attacked:

    What if it was not DNC insiders abusing the credit cards but rather, as seems more likely some sort of thieves that got the cards through some sort of hack, either electronic or social engineering? The e-mails given to Wikileaks had a lot of credit card data in them. What if she was not being attacked by any DNC criminal because of credit card reporting or Pedo-gate but rather by some Spook who didn’t want the story to get out that thief type hackers were using the credit card data. That story would raise questions about why the FBI or DC police were not tracking the thiefs and it would deflect suspicion away from the “Russia did it” story.

  24. Sceptic
    March 8, 2017 at 18:55

    An admirably calm, rational review of the evidence — or rather, the lack thereof.

    I wonder whether a big part of the problem here isn’t the constant exposure of Americans to action movies (spy films, etc.), along with the allied genre of US foreign policy speeches? Though very evil, and of course cunning (in an evil way), the enemy du jour is also always very stupid. Of course they do the one thing guaranteed to destroy them! Of course they leave obvious digital finger prints by which to find them! Of course they make half-hearted use of chemical weapons at just the right moment to justify tripping the red line set by a power a hundred times more powerful than they are! How else is the plot going to move forward?

    Hollywood/Inside the Beltway bad guys are, in other words, the inverse of the ‘rational actor’ they teach us in college poli sci classes. Let’s call it the ‘convenient enemy actor’ model. For educated readers, its use should serve as a big red flag.

  25. evelync
    March 8, 2017 at 17:48

    Why can’t official Washington understand that the public is not so easily confused and distracted as they believe?

    The Democrats and Republicans ran between them close to 2 dozen establishment candidates, most of whom acquiesced to policies that saddled the country with endless regime change wars and a near catastrophic financial meltdown that had devastating effects on millions of people. That same government without a peep from most of these candidates bailed out the banks but hung middle America out to dry with lost jobs from unfair trade practices and lost homes from ruthless foreclosures. Both Party’s establishment candidates were therefore not trusted.

    In the end, the Democratic Party had succeeded in knee capping Independent Bernie Sanders, (at heart really a “New Deal democrat”) who had earned the trust of most people across party lines whether they agreed with his policies or not. Hillary Clinton as shown by the polls was not well liked or trusted and seen as a supporter of unfair trade deals and unscrupulous bankers who played fast and loose with a deregulated – on her and Bill’s watch – financial market.

    Trump was a “faux” Bernie Sanders who persuaded those who voted for him that he “got it”; he understood their pain. But the polls told us that Bernie could have beaten Trump in November.
    We don’t know, we will never know for sure, how the election would have gone if the leaks never took place. But Keith Ellison, over a year before the election, was warning that Trump could win the Republican nomination and that the Democrats should watch out:

    The Democrats were in denial over Trump and payed no attention to the polls that said Hillary could not beat Trump but Bernie could:

    So, it’s disconcerting that they are now pushing so hard to avoid admitting their mistakes and are instead pushing the Russian narrative instead of acknowledging where they went wrong.
    The election could well have been decided long before the leaks came out, although the leaks did help confirm peoples’ existing opinions about Secretary Clinton.

    It was discouraging, at the White House Correspondents Dinner, how President Obama acknowledged that his preferred candidate Secretary Clinton’s candidacy was “trudging up HILL”. He should have payed attention to his own prescient joke.

    • David
      March 10, 2017 at 16:11

      “Why can’t official Washington understand that the public is not so easily confused and distracted as they believe?”

      Because its not true. Americans in general are the stupidest most easily confused and distracted people on the planet. I know, I am an American.

  26. Zachary Smith
    March 8, 2017 at 17:44

    Mr. Parry mentioned Comey. A google headline has him saying that the cost of being the most-free people in all history is that we accept being the most spied-upon people in all history.

    “There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America,” FBI director James Comey has declared after the disclosure of a range of hacking tools used by the CIA.

    Comey was delivering prepared remarks at a cybersecurity conference in Boston, but his assessment has deepened privacy concerns already raised by the details of CIA tools to hack consumer electronics for espionage published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday.

    “All of us have a reasonable expectation of privacy in our homes, in our cars, and in our devices. But it also means with good reason, in court, government through law enforcement can invade our private spaces,” Comey said at the conference on Wednesday. “Even our memories aren’t private. Any of us can be compelled to say what we saw … In appropriate circumstances, a judge can compel any of us to testify in court on those private communications.”

    This character must have some mighty good dirt on Trump for him to still be around.

    • David
      March 10, 2017 at 16:06

      It would have been nice if he has made the distinction of being a suspected criminal as grounds for this intrusion of privacy, and not simply being alive as grounds for this intrusion.

  27. D5-5
    March 8, 2017 at 17:30

    1) We should also recall that the smoke blowing against Russia and this furor started well back at the end of June with the DNC hacks/leaks. It didn’t just begin after Trump’s surprise win. In June it was Guccifer 2.0 being pinned as leaker, supposedly a Romanian, who then on investigation supposedly turned out to be Russian-allied, due to what are now considered very clumsily contrived clues pointing to this conclusion. This info was then all over the MSM with the inference Russia did it. However, just a few days ago on this site, we were invited to check another source which had closely examined the trail toward another conclusion. (See the “politics behind Russia-gate” thread.)That is, that Guccifer 2.0 could be a false-flag op from the very CIA and its bag of tricks we are now looking at with yesterday’s revelations. This consideration thus asks for several kinds of clarification: how many leakers were there, who leaked what, and why US intell (if en role as Guccifer 2.0) would release info on pay for play at The Hilton Foundation.

    2) Blaming Clinton’s loss on Comey does not hold up given her plurality in popular vote numbers (mostly from California), plus the short time Comey entertained the re-opening before clearing her a second time (the first time he said merely that she was “extremely careless” with her emails). Given the electoral and county results across the country there was little doubt in Trump’s win (although perhaps someone can clarify the impact in these same red state regions of Greg Palast’s study).

    3) The Russia-hacking meme then was appropriated following Trump’s surprise win in a series of orchestrated moves to try to dump him, which continue. Thus the Russia-hacking demonizing has different phases, it’s not all one seamless action from just recently. This site has repeatedly indicated the “no evidence” claim from Establishment Reps such as Tom Friedman and James Clapper stating there is no evidence only “assessments” which Mr. Parry stated are “guesses” just the other day. All the intell agencies relied on CrowdStrike for their information, which is a service working for Hillary Clinton and includes biased representatives with axes to grind re Ukraine and Russia’s role in that conflict.

    4) Mr. Parry’s discussion of Putin plausibility in the current putinoia syndrome is helpful and has been a long time in coming. IMO it’s ridiculous that Putin would take such a step when all signs indicated, not only to him, but to Americans, even on election night itself, that Trump would be beaten badly. If it is “conceivable” that Putin might take this action it seems mostly inconceivable and very dubious. Putin is not stupid, and let me ask who amongst us could predict what sort of leader Trump would be, and how reliable going forward on what he supposedly stood for?

    • raf
      March 8, 2017 at 18:07

      Excellent analysis.

    • Kiza
      March 8, 2017 at 21:30

      I would like to add two more points which I have not seen mentioned before.

      False accusations are not free, they have a cost. The most common cost of false accusations is the loss of credibility of the accuser and increase in the credibility for the accused. If the Democrats are knowingly falsely accusing Russia of hacking, this is not a good course of action, but if their buddies in the US intelligence are doing so then this is treason. It is as if the US intelligence has a huge credibility credit now, after several self-made disasters, especially about the Iraqi WMDs. The Democratic Party and their intelligence buddies are destroying credibility of US and giving extra credibility to Russia, which gives Russia, the stated enemy, more maneuvering room in international relations. For example, who will trust US on who shot down flight MH17 if they are prepared to lie easily and constantly?

      Domestically, if they keep abusing their credibility, they will have to keep applying stronger and stronger level of propaganda internally in the countries under their thumb, which risks turning off more and more people (there are too many angry people already).

      There is no costless (no reaction) action in governance. The current approach of the Democrats of blaming Russia for all their ills is extremely selfish, shortsighted and potentially treasonous.

      Finally, one has to wonder about the motivations of so many leakers inside the US establishment. It appears that there are always individuals who are not prepared to live in the dirt. Why do Russians not have the same problem? Is it possible that this is because they are not dirty?

      • March 9, 2017 at 11:11

        you are vastly correct. one point wikileaks published 800,000 russian documents.

      • David
        March 10, 2017 at 15:52

        “Finally, one has to wonder about the motivations of so many leakers inside the US establishment. It appears that there are always individuals who are not prepared to live in the dirt.”

        And yet these individuals knowingly and voluntarily sought out the pig pen, which is disgustingly filthy, as anyone standing outside the pen can clearly see. Someone who is not prepared to live in the dirt would never enter the pig pen to begin with.

        Yes indeed, one has to wonder about the motivations of such people.

    • Geoffrey de Galles
      March 9, 2017 at 04:55

      Dear D5-5, You’ll doubtless remember me as the fella who, some days back, sought to alert you & others here @ ConsortiumNews to the alternative & competitive version of the Guccifer 2.0 DNC leaks advocated on-line by one Adam Carter who — fundamentally on the basis of a close scrutiny of all the documents’ metadata — implicated members of the DNC itself (if not allied persons in the CIA and/or FBI) in a conspiratorial false-flag operation, relying on the tactical application of a mode of ‘guilt by association’, to implicate and to accuse Russia, and hence ad absurdum Putin himself, of being behind Wikileaks’ by then publicly heralded release of a cache of DNC/HRC dox (viz., the Podesta emails, etc., as we were soon to learn). I might mention as an aside that, with an almost identical comment, I sought also to alert those @ The Intercept to that new and important ‘Carter’ development, but apparently to no avail, at least so far.

      Anyway, to my point:- I am rather distraught that, to my knowledge, no investigative journo has even to this day followed up on the extraordinary fact — as demonstrated by Carter — that the ‘hacked’ DNC documents published on line by Guccifer 2.0 were computer-generated only some 30 minutes earlier by, of all folks, a DNC contractor, one Warren Flood and, thus, in some or other fashion, constituted far more likely a tactical, internal ‘leak’ than any kind of a malicious external ‘hack’. As I indicated in my posting, this Warren Flood is alive & well and currently living in LaGrange, Georgia, with his recently wed wife, @AliceMcAlex — a former Obama campaign cheerleader; a Biden devotee; and a passionate HRC versus DLT advocate. Won’t you or some investigative journo (like RP?) try to establish contact with Mr. Flood (i.e., by telephone and/or internet) and try to find some innocent enough explanation for what ranks otherwise as: all too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence? (I would so so myself but am living in, and writing from, the Middle East.)

      • Bob Van Noy
        March 9, 2017 at 14:16

        Thank you Geoffrey de Galles, I for one, am following your posts and think them quite valid. Please keep posting here as you see fit. I’m sure we’re not alone…

      • D5-5
        March 9, 2017 at 15:07

        Geoffrey, it reminds me of WMD in 03. Day after day of MSM coverage on it while at the same time a UN investigative team, in Iraq, was finding nothing. Then we found out, via the Blair government, “the facts were being fixed around the policy.” I don’t think we can expect much from journos on this case study by Carter. I don’t know why this is, but I’m not surprised. Then again look at how little attention right here in CN your post received. It suggests the smoking gun which puts to rest all this Russia bashing nonsense. Then again look at how little attention the corrupted DNC ops received in sabotaging Sanders, and how little paid to The Clinton Foundation. Why is not ALL THIS more important in terms of sabotaging a US election than the absurdity of a Putin directed effort? The essential stupidity of this claim, and its nakedness as stupidity, is being dutifully absorbed and repeated with nodding heads all over the country. No wonder our credibility is an issue and seriously declining at the global level, as Kiza indicates. Sorry, Geoffrey, for this disappointing response.

      • David
        March 10, 2017 at 15:59

        “… that the ‘hacked’ DNC documents published on line by Guccifer 2.0 were computer-generated only some 30 minutes earlier by …”

        Does this not strike you as odd, if not impossible? Hundreds and hundreds of documents created in a matter of minutes? Generated 30 minutes before being released?

        Lets assume that they were created by the person you say, would he not want to proof read the hundreds of documents before he released them, at least to make sure his forgeries looked authentic?

        Your premise is simply implausible.

        I dont have to open that bag to see that it is full of shit, I can smell it from here.

        • Geoffrey de Galles
          March 14, 2017 at 06:17

          Sorry I’m catching up with this comment by now so late in the day. Sorry, but you simply don’t get it. I was not myself the author of the Guccifer 2.0 / DNC leak-versus-hack thesis, but a certain Adam Carter was. He is his own best advocate so I would suggest you first address your objections to him, not me. As far as I and many others are concerned, he makes a cogent and compelling case for what he contends and maintains. I am not myself so computer literate as to be able to confidently address digital matters; but I think everyone knows & appreciates that any amount of digital data can get generated almost at the speed of light. Hasn’t it occurred to you that perhaps the techy Warren Flood was simply calling up particular documents as specified by a senior member of the DNC with an interest in getting them on-line — as, putatively, a Guccifer 2.0 hack — ASAP?

    • Bob Van Noy
      March 9, 2017 at 14:29

      Great thread here. Thanks to all…

      • Geoffrey de Galles
        March 9, 2017 at 16:00

        Dear D5-5 and Bob Van Noy, Thanks so much to both of you for your feedback. But D5-5, please don’t get me started on Bernie. As naive and untutored as I am in terms of US politics (i.e., as a Brit, albeit that I lived in America all of half my life), I simply can’t get over the fact that, when it came out thanks to Wikileaks that the DNC had rigged the primaries to the illicit benefit of HRC, Obama did not use some kind of fiat (i.e., in his role as POTUS) to declare them null & void — and to demand that those primaries be held all over again. A useless PTSD lamentation, I know. But I can’t help but grieve to think that Bernie — and especially had he affiliated with the truly erudite and intellectually-gifted Jill Stein — was the one person capable of unifying a fast disintegrating America. — Once again, thanks. I shall keep posting as & when appropriate.

        • David
          March 10, 2017 at 16:04

          “… truly erudite and intellectually-gifted Jill Stein …”

          The same Jill Stein that raised millions of dollars for recounts in three states? Recounts that couldnt possibly have helped her in any way shape or form? Who stood to benefit from the recounts? Hillary? Jill blew whatever credibility she may have had with that single effort.

          • Geoffrey de Galles
            March 11, 2017 at 15:24

            During the past year I have watched as many as a dozen or so lengthy interviews with Jill Stein — with, e.g., Chris Hedges, Larry King, Cenk Uygur, Amy Goodman, George Galloway, and Abby Martin — and have always been deeply impressed by her erudition her intellectual acuity, her lucidity, her rhetorical command, and her consistently principled stance. Indeed, I would venture that, intellectually speaking, she was the only truly competent presidential candidate — Trump talked so much word salad; Clinton reveled in empty cliches; Johnson was on another planet; while Bernie was excellent, just so long as he could keep on repeating variations on his memes and themes. It seems clear to me, then, that Stein’s motivation in seeking those recounts was altogether rational and patriotic — that, as a passionate long-time advocate of rank-voting, she sought to expose to the light of day the deficits, untenabilities, and even absurdities of the US electoral system, of which her grasp is really very profound. That you should regard her action on the cui bonoi? principle, as though her only interest could have been that of her own self-aggrandizing interest, is banal and vulgar to say the least. And, to tell you the truth, it invites and allows a foreigner like me to enjoy quite a little bit of Schadenfreude gloating over the unholy mess the US has created for itself, thanks to any number of folks with your kind of a mind-set.

  28. SteveK9
    March 8, 2017 at 17:12

    The well-reasoned arguments about the unlikelihood of the Russians ‘hacking the election’ (although Democrats now regularly call this beyond dispute), just feel superfluous. The whole thing smelled like garbage from day one.

    • JS
      March 8, 2017 at 19:43

      EVERYONE has accepted that narrative, it seems. Talking heads, elected officials of all stripes. It is today’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. The propagandists outdid themselves framing this.

    • Sam F
      March 8, 2017 at 20:44

      Yes, it smelled foul at the outset, but Mr. Parry does a fine job of calmly reasoning it out for the unconvinced reader, a great journalistic skill. He keeps the potential counter-arguments in mind, and the sub-questions, and visits them to settle all doubts and counter any flimsy opposing argument. This helps in settling some of the fools grabbing at straws to avoid admitting that they were obviously wrong.

      • jimbo
        March 8, 2017 at 22:56

        Yeah, ain’t Parry the cat’s pajamas! He’s brilliant! I am, however, involved in chat room debate over this very topic and I have liberals there, HRC-bros, who dismiss him as an Alex Jones for the left! .Arrrgh!

    • Kiza
      March 8, 2017 at 23:34

      The second application by FBI, the Counter Intelligence and the Treasury Department Investigators to the FISA court for Trump Tower surveillance was done on the basis of a server in the Trump Tower which was doing email spamming of the (two) Russian banks whose employees slept in Trump hotels when they visited US on business (and left their business cards in a bowl to get a prize). We know already that the FISA court turns down all of 0.05% of applications, but that they would approve the second request for surveillance of a competing party’s campaign on such “narrowed down” flimsiest evidence possible just shows how much the surveillance system is rigged. Then think how easy it would be to “narrow down” the reasons for your own surveillance, maybe you received a suspicious spam email from Tatyana of the Russian Brides website? Good enough for FISA, because you are obviously cavorting with the enemy!

      Personally, I would have been more surprised if the Democrats did not surveil Trump’s campaign because they unleashed IRS on their political opponents during their reign. Why would they then not do surveillance of the opposition’s election campaign which is much more important?

      This just goes to prove that surveillance is something that nobody should be entrusted with, nobody. It will always, always be abused. FISA court is a joke.

    • Kiza
      March 9, 2017 at 00:05

      Perhaps Trump should not have kept his election campaign HQ in the Trump Tower, thus mixing commercial and political activity. But, like most ordinary Americans, he had no clue how ubiquitous the surveillance is. He has been naive. Well, he is angry and not naive any more. Let us see what he does about it.

      It appears that Snowden’s revelations have not sunk in yet even with some rich people on top of the business heap. I wonder how many CEOs are buying competitors’ commercial secrets from the good “intelligence” people of US as I type this. Secrets of domestic competitors probably cost a little more than the secrets of foreign competitors, but money can surely buy anything.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 9, 2017 at 02:03

        KIza I don’t think Trump or anyone else of some notable stature could escape the wired ear of the surveillance state. In fact if I were suddenly to discover I were being bugged I would after freaking out believe I just have finally made it into the big time. Getting the goods on someone can pave the way for getting whatever it is you want. Imagine if you were a builder and you had the low down on a zoning commissioner. Better yet imagine how far you could go by getting the dirt on a congressperson or a sitting senator…there’s no end to what leverage you could attain if you were to do this.

        I know you know this, but I thought I would just jump in here and expound upon your written thought…Joe

        • Kiza
          March 9, 2017 at 04:38

          Thanks Joe, I like to read your thoughts – you are explaining how useful it would be to have dirt on someone by having access to their surveillance. However, you do not have to hit big time to be a target of surveillance because we all are under this all-enveloping-net. If you hit the big time, someone will definitely bother checking out what could be used against you. This is unless you pop out of an algorithm because you pronounced some unfortunate combination of words on the phone or wrote it in an email.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 9, 2017 at 08:37

            You are right we all have our weak spots.

            I have often thought of how it could be possible that a government could be run by society’s most undesirable by choice, and not so much by accident. Let’s just say you are in charge of the police and there is a crack down on pedophiles. Rather than throw them in jail you put them in important places within government. Having the right blackmailed people in the most strategic positions would no doubt yield the blackmailers some profitable results.

            Godfather 2 has a great screen where a U.S. Senator wakes up in a Nevada brothel, and low and behold he finds he has killed the prostitute he was with. If I recall the movie leaves room to if he did it in a drunken state of mind, or that he was drugged and the prostitute was killed by another while the passed out senator was asleep. Either way this kind of stuff goes on.

            I agree every person has a weak spot, and for some others it’s a price. Regardless the deep state underworld gets what they want, and that’s that.

          • Kiza
            March 9, 2017 at 09:59

            You said it so nicely: “every person has a weak spot, and for some others it’s a price”. In the DC Swamp Underworld, if you are clean you are definitely not suitable for any political position of importance. I wrote long ago that everyone in DC must have skeletons in the closet but HRC is so beloved by the Deep State because she has whole graveyards in her’s. If the Deep State can turn the internationally standard diplomatic activity into a crime on a dime, how difficult would it be to pour out HRC graveyards into MSM if ever needed?

            I read recently a comment by some insider that DC Swamp dwellers’ main extracurricular activity is collecting files of dirt on anyone and everyone else, because the more dirt you have on others the better candidate for promotion you are.

        • March 9, 2017 at 10:06

          no dirt, no weak spot, ……. small plane crash….. dumbells on the throat,….. three bullets in the back ….. nuclear tea.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 9, 2017 at 10:19

            Yes BannanaBoat there’s that too.

    • AnotherLover
      March 10, 2017 at 14:07

      That’s because it’s a lie, bro! Nobody realized the intel community was running for the office, but they have assumed power regardless, no? The whole Russian angle is fake. It’s FAKE. Trump needs to add it up and slap the intel community down a notch or two _in public._ He can’t be led around by fake intel like this. But, we are talking about a guy that gets his news from the TV. So, if you were to debate Trump in the comments section you’d win, probably. Pretty scary to write that.

  29. Realist
    March 8, 2017 at 16:45

    All right, even if we got all the goods on these rascals, down to chapter and verse of what they did to subvert our own democracy and repeatedly blackmail the president (and probably congress), how do we root them out of government? Do the politicians entrenched in power even want them removed for being played by them? Or are they more than happy to remain the pawns of these behind-the-scenes bad actors?

    • LJ
      March 8, 2017 at 17:27

      Realist you are either an amateurish, sophomoric intelligence asset being paid by the word or you are just plain stupid, This anti- Rouskee narrative is childish. Paul Joseph Goebbels would be embarrassed to dissemble the “truth” with such childish nonsense even in the interests of the National Socialist Regime. . Good-Bye

      • Sam F
        March 8, 2017 at 20:39

        Read it again: he is criticizing the secret agencies, not Russia. It could be more clear.

        • LJ
          March 8, 2017 at 23:04

          Dunno, Got a maybe Sam. I struggle with plain English. If I got you wrong sorry Realist.

      • Realist
        March 8, 2017 at 21:21

        Uh, sure thing, LJ, just as I have been saying all along for the past several months. Where have YOU been hiding out and who taught you the use of English as a foreign language. Idiot.

        Clearly, I was asking what happens to the traitorous spooks in our intelligence agencies who have been subverting our elected governments and are now caught with their pants down.

        I recommend you go practice your snarkery on your little brother some more before you again try to impress us out in the real world.

        • JWalters
          March 8, 2017 at 21:41

          LJ’s post reads like an intentional attempt to plant confusion in the discussion. It sort of takes the side of good, but then sabotages that. Also telling, it includes no facts or logic. A oligarchy agent.

        • Halit
          March 10, 2017 at 22:35

          Spot on.
          Reading comments here remind me comment on the walls of toilet.

      • mike carroll
        March 10, 2017 at 13:48

        LJ – May I suggest a remedial reading course for you. Realist said bad actors not rouskees. Good-Bye

    • turk151
      March 8, 2017 at 19:07

      Very good questions, Realist.

    • Evangelista
      March 8, 2017 at 21:38


      Although I have not found an explicit evidenciary quote to confirm, evidences indicate that the phrase “American Exceptionalism” was coined by Thomas Jefferson’s friend Lafayette after the United States survived its first paranoia driven national upheaval, initiated by John Adams’ second president administration, and ended, politically, by change of administration, to the Jefferson third president’s one (although some residuum remained on law books, which continue to create problems today). The United States had, by then, evolved through three stages of experiment: 1. the half-assed (as revolutions go) rebellion of 1776-1812, in which the Colonies lost consistently, but won independence for Britain perceiving them ‘colonies playing at being independent’ and bound to collapse, until trying to slap them down failed in 1812, 2. the Confederation government, which almost precipitated war between some colonies and forced recognition of need for a reconsideration, which produced 3. the Constitution and Constitutional United States government. All of these in lieu of the more usual, or inevitable, explosive violence, violent revolution and then slaughter in retributions. Lafayette and Jefferson, friends, carried on discussions of these American events, and the historically evidenced more usual revolutionary events demonstrated in the French Revolution. Hence, the designation of the easy and civilized American course as “exceptional” and “American Exceptionalism”, which phrase is turned to an “unAmerican” meaning today.

      Today, in the 21st century the United States has degenerated from its exceptional beginnings to what we are currently experiencing, a historically very standard imperial state, in a historically usual degenerative state. And, of course, moving inexorably forward in degeneration toward historically evidenced inevitable upheaval and eruption, and revolution, Russian Revolution,.French Revolution, English Revolution (Roundheads v Royalists), etc. on back in historical examples that could be carried to prehistory. Today the United States is no longer exceptional, only an empire, whose imperial elite style themselves so.

      For this the French Revolution model, with its Terror, examples our future. For this, the answer to your question, “how do we root them out” is, necessarily, or will necessarily be, an updated version of the French Revolution’s Revolution and Terror.

      Will we end up with a 21st century version of a Napoleon? The answer to that will depend on if, and how, we might be able to direct the destructive forces of our 21st century Terror version. If we are able to direct the initial force of our unexceptional inevitable Terror to our United States Judiciary, among whose responsibilities, defined explicitly by John Marshal, were to maintain correlation between the laws and actions of the congressional and executive branches and the Constitution, and who, in the 20th century, turned their talents from doing this to ‘lawyering’ the Constitution, slicing and dicing, finagling and finnessing its words and phrases, first, and then conspired ‘theories’ of what they imagined it ‘meant to permit’, and to the administrations of the law schools, who trained the lawyers who corrupted the United States Judiciary, and trained then more lawyers in the lawyered in corruptions, so that we clear out and away all of the detritus those have heaped on to obscure, deface and debase the United States Constitution, so that the United States Constitution and the fundamental law of, by and for The People may reappear on the surface, we may be able to salvage the Constitutional United States and make a new start.

      If we fail to slaughter that lot first, and especially if, as in the French, and the Russian, revolutions, the lawyers get into the drivers’ seats (get into, hell, they are already in, so I mean if we fail to throw them out and prevent them getting back in) all effort will be for naught and chaos will ensue, to provide the conditions that provide Napoleons, Hitlers, Stalins etc. the opportunities they need.

      • Sam F
        March 9, 2017 at 09:07

        Good analysis. I’m glad that you see well that the US Judiciary is inseparably part of the problem and not the solution. It is an interesting idea to “direct the initial force … to our United States Judiciary” but that would require control of Congress or a “terror” that would include all branches, unless you think that a fearful judiciary would do their job. I think that they would rely upon hiding behind false names in gated communities as they do now, and their usual tricks and traps to abuse office for benefit of the oligarchy. Large raids would be needed, with refusal of enforcement agencies to stop them, which requires a larger and more militant opposition. But terror against them would be a good sign that the public sees the problem.

        Another option is to restore democracy in elections and mass media by getting amendments to the Constitution to restrict funding of elections and mass media to limited individual contributions. But doing that requires those same tools of democracy, the elections and mass media already controlled by oligarchy.

        The fastest path to restore democracy would be executive overreach, investigating Congress and the judiciary, tossing out the bribed and influenced, appointing new judges and holding new elections, demanding the constitutional amendments and throwing out Congress militarily until they are passed. Clearly Trump is not part of that, nor the MSM or DemReps or their sponsors, so the chance of such an election is remote. A dark horse president could do that by surprise, but we might as well wait for the saviour of your favorite religion. This might be called the coup option, still less violent than a revolution.

        It would certainly be worth studying other means of using functioning parts of the corrupted government together against the other parts.

        Secessions of states would also have the effect of rallying the truly patriotic in other states. That might require several concurrent secessions (CA, NH-VT-ME, MI-WI-IL-IN-OH-PA, others) to split and intimidate the opposition.

        Without those means, something more like the fall of Rome or the demise of Britain’s colonial empire seems likely. Perhaps a succession of Vietnams and discrediting events and bubble depressions leading to the US becoming surrounded and embargoed by better governments. It could lead to a gradual isolation in 40-80 years, or could end precipitously in a limited nuclear war. But to force the US government to restore democracy, probably an unprecedented depression or complete military defeat would be necessary.

      • David
        March 10, 2017 at 15:23

        Joseph Stalin
        WASHINGTON — The most interesting fact to surface in the ensuing debate over “American exceptionalism” is that the phrase was first coined by Putin’s long-ago predecessor, Joseph Stalin.

        I stopped reading your drivel after the first couple of sentences. When you begin with an easily disproved premise, all that follows is bullshit.

    • JWalters
      March 8, 2017 at 22:03

      First we have to understand the (extremely) “bad actors” behind the scenes. As usual, it’s about money, in this case war profiteers who want to keep the wars rolling.
      “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”

      At the center of the efforts to push America in war, with Iraq, with Iran, and now with Russia, are the Israelis.
      “Let’s talk about Russian influence”
      “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis”

      Since the mainstream “cover-up” media is owned by these bad actors, thus making sites like Consortium News essential for the survival of America’s democracy, informed people can inform others of where the truth can be found. It seems to me that a critical mass of awareness can make the democratic machinery work despite the overwhelming money of the bad actors. That money can be discredited, and become a liability in the public’s mind.

      • David
        March 10, 2017 at 15:36

        “Since the mainstream “cover-up” media is owned by these bad actors, thus making sites like Consortium News essential for the survival of America’s democracy …”

        How do you know that CN is telling you the truth? How do you know that they arent owned by the same people?

        I am not saying they are, but I dont know for certain they arent.

        How can anyone know the ‘truth” when everyone is lieing all the time? This countries entire history is nothing but lies! Truth left the building a long time ago and it aint coming back. I realized quite some time ago that no one has any chance of knowing the ‘truth’, the best you can do is spot the lies, and then stop listening to the liar.

    • Renee
      March 11, 2017 at 12:06

      What a crock of shit. I have fresh doubts about Parry. Cancelled my subscription. Independent news my ass.

    • Renee
      March 11, 2017 at 12:11

      Bob Parry was a journalist hero to me. No longer. He is shilling for Russia now. WTF?

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