The DHS deceptively pushed the story that Russia hacked U.S. voter databases; and both Democratic & Republican elites fear popular revolt against their failed polices but refuse to change, as Gareth Porter explains.
The guest on Episode 3 of Consortium News Radio is Gareth Porter, a long time contributor to Consortium News. Gareth is an independent investigative journalist and historian who has been
studying the national security state for nearly two decades and is the author of two books on the subject: Perils of Dominance on the U.S. going to war in Vietnam and Manufactured Crisis, on the false narrative about the Iranian nuclear program.
Gareth speaks about two of his articles recently published on Consortium News. The first is an original piece about how the Department of Homeland Security Created a Deceptive Tale of Russia Hacking US Voter Sites. The second story was originally published on Truthout. We gave it the title: The Establishment’s Bi-Partisan Fear of Popular Revolt.
The runtime is 23 minutes and 46 seconds. The episode is also available as a podcast on Consortium’s podcast page.
And now Gareth Porter on Consortium News Radio:
If you enjoyed this original interview please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.
If the people who mis-rule my country were genuinely afraid of we ordinary people, that would a good thing. They might stop impovrrishing us. I don’t think they are afraid, though.
I think they are terrified. Trump was a shock to the system and republicans voted against the bush republicans and Gop. Trump is a stiff middle finger to the entire process and system.As Sanders was if he were not cheated he would be president today.
Both parties had outsiders who pushed against the status quo .
Trump is a wrecking ball and he pulled the mask off the blatant corruption that has taken over with abandon and has been rubbed in our face for decades.
No more pretending and the deep state is desperate to get rid of Trump and trying to keep their crimes against the Democratic process and conspiracy against Trump and Sanders hidden.
There is a lot of annoying background noise in your video. I suggest that you learn the proper ways to get rid of all this audio annoyance. I did carefully check to be sure the noise wasn’t being generated by my home environment.
I realized that you’ve just started this “CN Radio” program. I figured you’d appreciate hearing about this annoying problem for listeners.
Don’t forget this issue in Georgia in 2016. This sure wasn’t the Russians! But, it was likely a prelude to a false flag hack to blame them. Read about Vault 7 on Wikileaks and then come back to this article..
TOP-SECRET NSA REPORT DETAILS RUSSIAN HACKING EFFORT DAYS BEFORE 2016 ELECTION
Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle, Ryan Grim
June 5 2017
RUSSIAN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.
The top-secret National Security Agency document, which was provided anonymously to The Intercept and independently authenticated, analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light.
While the document provides a rare window into the NSA’s understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, it does not show the underlying “raw” intelligence on which the analysis is based. A U.S. intelligence officer who declined to be identified cautioned against drawing too big a conclusion from the document because a single analysis is not necessarily definitive.
NSA Report on Russia Spearphishing
The report indicates that Russian hacking may have penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than was previously understood. It states unequivocally in its summary statement that it was Russian military intelligence, specifically the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU, that conducted the cyber attacks described in the document:
Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate actors … executed cyber espionage operations against a named U.S. company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions. … The actors likely used data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.
Reality Winner: NSA contractor jailed for five years over classified report leak
>> Winner, WHO LEAKED A REPORT ON RUSSIAN ELECTION INTERFERENCE, <<
Reality Winner was a useful idiot who took the planted “bait” designed to lend credibility to Russiagate. The Intercept enabled the psyop.
Maybe you’re right, willow, she could well be “the useful idiot” — possibly The Intercept publishers are useful idiots as well… ?
I cannot accept the ultra harsh treatment/punishment of this young woman, vis-a-vis the ‘leak’ she and many others downloaded and exposed as proof of Russian hacking. Moreover, why has there been this absolute media Silence that has rendered Miss Winner a virtual Ghost? — Why have NO reporters followed up or provided opportunities to question her??? Why has she been shunted and shuttered away treated so explicitly treacherously ?!? — What EXAMPLE/Characterization have we overlaid upon Ms. Winner for her supposed/theoretical act of “patriotism” – and/or sense of alarm vis-a-vis A Russian Hack of our elections… ?
Winner’s document apparently did not prove Russian hacking of electoral databases.
THE GOVERNMENT’S ARGUMENT THAT REALITY WINNER HARMED NATIONAL SECURITY DOESN’T HOLD UP. HERE’S WHY.
August 23 2018, 10:38 a.m.
WHISTLEBLOWER REALITY WINNER was officially sentenced to 63 months in prison on Thursday, after a federal judge rubber-stamped a plea deal already agreed to by the prosecution and Winner’s lawyers. As the prosecution acknowledged, it is the longest sentence for a journalist’s source in federal court history.
The defense agreed to the plea deal in part to bring closure to Winner and her family. Her mother, Billie Winner-Davis, said when the plea was first announced that it was in her daughter’s “best interest” since the Espionage Act does not afford her any public interest defense.
But it should not bring closure to the crucial issues raised by this case, namely, the Justice Department’s contention that “national security” claims by the executive branch can never be challenged; that the executive branch has the sole authority to decide when information should be secret; and that the DOJ can prosecute journalists’ sources for “harming” national security with no public evidence whatsoever.
At issue in Winner’s case is a document she leaked to a news outlet. The Intercept published an article on June 5, 2017 about a five-page National Security Agency report that detailed how alleged Russian hackers targeted election vendors with phishing attacks in an attempt to access voters rolls in several states. The Intercept was not aware of the identity of the source who provided the document, though other news organizations connected it to Winner.
In its sentencing memorandum two weeks ago, the prosecution made several dubious statements about why a sentence of this unprecedented length was necessary, chiefly that “the defendant’s unauthorized disclosure caused exceptionally grave harm to our national security,” a claim that was repeated several times. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby Christine, who was appointed last year by President Donald Trump, went further on Thursday, calling Winner “a quintessential example of an insider threat.”
“Winner will serve a term of incarceration that will give pause to others who are entrusted with our country’s sensitive national security information and would consider compromising it,” Christine told reporters after the sentencing at the federal courthouse in Augusta, Ga. “Anyone else who may think of committing such an egregious and damaging wrong should take note of the prison sentence imposed today and the very real damage done.”
The government did not produce one iota of public evidence to back up its claims, citing only an unnamed “expert” whose comments are completely classified, and referring to the “top secret” marking on the document that they say “by definition” proves their point.
But new evidence published by The Intercept for the first time today, along with one of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent indictments, undercuts the government’s claims.
August 23, 2018, Augusta, Georgia, prosecution Bobby Christine, the current United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, speaks to press after Reality Winner’s sentencing.August 23, 2018, Augusta, Georgia, Reality Winner’s attorneys speak to press after Reality Winner’s sentencing.
At left, prosecution Bobby Christine, speaks to press after Winner’s sentencing on Aug. 23, 2018. At right, two of Winner’s attorneys, John Bell and Titus Nichols, make a statement.Photos: Dustin Chambers for The Intercept
WHEN THE INTERCEPT first published the top-secret document, reporters and editors went to the government — as they do every time The Intercept publishes classified documents — to hear the NSA’s views about any information that might truly harm national security. After listening to the agency’s arguments, and out of an abundance of caution, The Intercept redacted a few pieces of information from the document before publishing it.
A key phrase that the government wanted withheld was the specific name of the Russian unit identified in the document. The government was particularly insistent on that point. Since it wasn’t vital to the story that the unit’s name be revealed, nor was it clear — at least at the time — that revealing the unit’s name was in the public interest, The Intercept agreed to withhold it.
But in the indictment of alleged Russian military intelligence operatives that Mueller’s office released last month, the Justice Department revealed the same name: GRU unit 74455. (The unit is also known as the Main Center for Special Technology or GTsST.) The indictment went on to reveal information almost identical to that contained in the document Winner admits to disclosing:
MORE : http://theintercept.com/2018/08/23/reality-winner-sentenced-leak-election-hacking/
The government’s conduct in the detention hearings was rather egregious. As Nichols put it, the prosecutors “took a molehill”—some casual and irreverent text messages—and they built a “mountain to depict her as the second coming of Osama bin Laden.”
It effectively planted nefarious views about Reality Winner in the judge’s head and the minds of other judges in the court system. Then, the government fabricated allegations about Winner’s behavior to ensure she was denied bail, which they later apologized for in court.
Winner’s defense team raised this issue during their second detention hearing. “There was no connection to al Qaida. There was no plan to flee the country. There was no scheme to hide money from the government. There were no additional documents,” Nichols said.
“We pointed all that out, and the government admitted those statements panned out to be false. Unfortunately, it didn’t make a difference in regard to bond being denied.”
“In fact, if you get deeper into the weeds, one of the reasons the magistrate court denied her bond the second time was because of threat to the community. Whereas when we appealed that saying, well, the statute doesn’t require analysis of the threat to the community,” the district court judge still denied bond.
Nichols contended, “There’s a reason why you can’t say certain things in front of the jury. Because if you say, hey, this person kicks puppies and burns down orphanages and then you come back and say, my mistake. That was somebody else. You can’t unring that bell.”
“So it’s the same in this situation, where simply by giving a proffer without fully investigating a case you really do have carte blanche to say whatever. The court’s going to rely on the government’s statement, and then months later, after the person’s bond has been denied, you can come back and say, well, that wasn’t accurate.”
The government never accused her of treason in the charged offense. They never specifically suggested she worked with an agent of a foreign power. Nevertheless, in Espionage Act cases, they get away with constantly intimating such details to color the perception of the accused.
Nichols agreed she was treated more extraordinarily than other criminal defendants.
“Typically, you have to bribe or tamper witnesses to get your bond revoked,” Nichols argued. “But here, just from the very beginning, (a) the case was placed under a spotlight (b) you essentially had the full weight and force of the Department of Justice against this one person and so it was totally different than a typical criminal case I might handle or represent somebody, such as a DUI.”
Lincolnton County Jail is not setup to hold detainees for any lengthy period of time. It is in a rural area and had next-to-no experience housing high-profile detainees. Nonetheless, Nichols said every time he went there or called the facility, they allowed him to talk to Winner. There was no interference or games played. “I honestly feel like her being detained there [was] better than other places she could’ve been detained.”
“There is no federal statute against disclosing classified information. Like the government classifies everything. I’m pretty sure there is some piece of paper within the Army that has my name, my height, my weight, and it’s stamped classified,” Nichols added. “If that were to be disclosed to Yahoo! News or whatever, it’d be a violation of military rules. It’d probably be a violation of some agreement, but it’s not a crime.”
“The crime is if the information is national defense information, and looking at the case law, because the case law is just so sparse, there is no definitive definition of what is national defense information.”
Finally, Winner’s defense team highlighted in their briefs to the court how President Bill Clinton vetoed a bill that would have criminalized the disclosure of classified information.
“The reason that the President of the United States did not want to sign that and make that a crime is because it criminalized First Amendment activity,” Nichols said. It could have also had a chilling effect on journalism.
There is a lot that could be done in the way of reform. Nichols believes Congress needs to step up and pass a law so the Espionage Act is no longer applied to leaks. He also recognizes the risks for those enlisted in the U.S. military.
“If someone were to be accused of the Espionage Act, what proper defense do they have? Like obviously, I’m a soldier, but I know that Espionage Act is not taught in military law school.”
“So if you’re a JAG officer for active duty at Fort Gordon and someone gets arrested for this, who is going to properly defend them? That soldier doesn’t have any money. The military’s not about to go scour the country for experts,” Nichols said.
When the Espionage Act was enacted, there was no concept of how technology would evolve. It should not be that someone who believes there is something the public has the right to know is treated like an enemy of the state, like they intended to hurt the government when there is no evidence to support that allegation.
how about a transcript?
I don’t think anyone is going to stop you.
Why would an “overlay to discourage listeners?” be put in? Was the “annoying little squeal” of equal importance to the “powerful voice for fact-based truth?”