The crumbling of Russiagate focuses attention on the considerable evidence that Russian intelligence agencies charged with intrusion into DNC servers had nothing to do with it.
By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News
Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak. The mini-empire of allegations, presuppositions, fallacious syllogisms, leaps of logic, imagined connections and mis– and disinformation marshaled to support charges of Russian interference in the 2016 elections is more or less a ruin.
The total collapse of the Russiagate orthodoxy now appears within reach — this for the first time since the Democratic National Committee set the narrative in motion after its email servers were compromised during the Trump–Clinton presidential contest. There is a good chance — though this is not a certainty — that Attorney General William Barr’s just-launched investigation will fully expose the numerous charges of Russian intervention as fabrications. Evidence of these fabrications, long available but ignored in a remarkably prevalent case of willful blindness, continues to grow such that it may be difficult to obscure it much longer.
It is now officially acknowledged that there is no credible evidence that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. At this point, the demonstrably bogus assertion that Russian intelligence hacked into the DNC’s email system in mid–2016 is the one remaining feature of the Russiagate orthodoxy that is commonly considered rock solid.
The mythology on this question remains deeply embedded, the absence of any supporting evidence notwithstanding. Press and broadcast reports rarely miss an opportunity to cast Russian responsibility for the DNC email intrusion as a foregone conclusion. But this, too, is a tower built on sand. To put Russiagate decisively in the past now comes to demolishing this last, unsound edifice. The rest is already too discredited for anyone but naïve liberals, wishful-thinking “progressives” and the most committed ideologues to take seriously.
This focuses attention on the evidence — considerable and accumulating — that Russian intelligence agencies, officially charged with intrusion into the DNC’s servers, had nothing to do with it. It is now two years since technically qualified intelligence professionals of long experience reported via Consortium News that the theft of Democratic Party email in 2016 was neither a hack nor a Russian intelligence operation. In July 2017 Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity presented persuasive evidence that the DNC’s servers had been compromised by someone with direct access to them.
The email messages subsequently posted by WikiLeaks had been pilfered by an insider of unknown identity: This was the conclusion VIPS drew in VIPS50, the group’s report on the mail incident, on the basis of the evidence it had gathered while working with other independent forensic investigators. The “hack,” in short, was not a hack. It was a leak.
A cacophony of objections erupted after Consortium posted VIPS50. Much — vastly too much — has been made of a group of “dissenters” within the VIPS organization who did not endorse the report. But neither these dissenters nor the many others attempting to discredit VIPS50 have succeeded in doing so. No countervailing evidence from any quarter has been presented. Based on continuing research, VIPS subsequently altered some of its initial conclusions, as noted in this space a year ago. But its principal findings stand.
This puts VIPS50, while still officially excluded from the record, among the most consequential documents to be published since the Russiagate narrative took shape three years ago. If we are to recover from the destructive, divisive nightmare Russiagate has become, VIPS50 will be key to the process. There are indications now that its findings, based on impartially conducted data analysis and forensic science, will soon get the consideration they have deserved from the first. My sources suggest Barr’s office is making use of VIPS report and subsequent findings as it begins its investigation into the genesis of the Russiagate allegations.
Much anticipation preceded the publication in mid–April of the report on Russian interference completed in the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Contrary to prevalent expectations, however, the 448–page document failed to confirm the case for Russiagate and did much to weaken it. Not only did the report conclude that neither President Trump nor anyone in his campaign colluded with Russia as he fought the 2016 election; it also made clear that the special counsel’s office did not undertake a credible investigation of the charge that Russian intelligence hacked the DNC’s mail servers.
Mueller failed to call numerous key witnesses, among them Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and publisher, and Bill Binney, formerly a technical director at the National Security Agency and one of several technical experts in the VIPS group. He also failed to pursue alternative theories in the email-theft case; a duty of any investigator in Mueller’s position. Only the willfully blind can accept these irregularities as legitimate conduct.
Remarkably enough, Mueller’s investigation appears to have conducted no forensic tests of its own to verify allegations of a Russian hacking operation. It relied instead on the patently faulty findings of Crowdstrike, the disreputable cyber-security firm that was working for the DNC by mid–2016. Critically, the special counsel also appears to have neglected to consult the NSA for evidence pertaining to the DNC incident. Had the intrusion been a hack conducted over the internet, by Russians or anyone else, the agency would have a fully detailed digital record of the operation and the means to trace the intervention to its perpetrators. Why, it is perfectly logical to ask, was such a record not cited prominently in the Mueller report?
Mueller’s testimony before two congressional committees on July 24 was a further blow to the Russiagate thesis. The special counsel came over as a detached, out-of-touch figurehead with a very loose grip on his own investigation and poor knowledge of the report bearing his signature. Soon afterward, even Trump’s adversaries in the Democratic camp began to give up the ghost. “In the hours and days after Mr. Mueller gave his opening statement before the House Judiciary Committee,” wrote Samuel Moyn, a Yale law professor, “it became clear how tenaciously many liberals and progressives are clinging to fantasy.” Moyn’s piece appeared in The New York Times. The headline reads, “The Mueller Fantasy Comes Crashing Down.”
Despite the stunningly anticlimactic outcome of the Mueller report and his subsequent appearance on Capitol Hill — which was intended from the first to be a matter of spectacle rather than substance — new allegations of Russian interference continue to arrive on front pages and in news broadcasts. The latest came the day after Mueller’s testimony, when the Senate Intelligence Committee reported that Russia intruded into the election systems of all 50 states during the 2016 campaigns. The report offered no supporting evidence, per usual. It was heavily redacted at the request of the relevant intelligence agencies, again per usual.
Question of Evidence
This brings us to the question of evidence. To go back to the initial allegations of Russian interference three years ago, at no point since have any of these commonly accepted charges been accompanied by hard, legally and logically sound evidence to back them up. This astonishing lacuna, while intently papered over in the media, on Capitol Hill, at the Justice Department, in the intelligence apparatus, and among law-enforcement agencies, has rendered the Russiagate orthodoxy vulnerable from the first. It now emerges that the evidence problem is worse than even the most committed critics of the Russiagate narrative had thought.
This came to light this spring, during the pre-trial discovery phase of the case against Roger Stone, the onetime Trump aide charged with obstructing justice and misleading Congress. When Stone’s attorneys requested Crowdstrike’s final report on the DNC email theft, which they said was relevant to his defense, prosecutors returned with the stunning revelation that Crowdstrike, the DNC’s cyber-security firm, never submitted a final report. “The government does not possess the information the defendant seeks,” the Justice Department responded via a court filing.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s failure to take possession of the DNC’s email servers from Crowdstrike after the mid–2016 intrusion, a shocking case of official malfeasance, has long been dismissed as an unimportant detail. We now know that the FBI, the Justice Department and the Mueller investigation relied on nothing more than three Crowdstrike drafts — all of them redacted by Crowdstrike — to build the case for Russia’s culpability in the theft of the DNC’s email.
Not only did the FBI fail to establish a proper chain of evidentiary custody after the incident at the DNC; it is now clear the bureau knows of the email theft only what Crowdstrike chose to tell it. There is no evidence that the FBI asked the NSA for its records of the incident. Nor is there any indication that Crowdstrike has ever given the FBI or prosecutors in the Stone case the data it used to produce its never-completed report. “Crowdstrike appears to have destroyed evidence or is hiding it,” Bill Binney said in a telephone interview.
The corporate media continue to pretend in their press reports and news broadcasts that the official investigation of the DNC email incident was conducted according to the highest standard of legitimacy. Democrats on Capitol Hill, still pursuing their own investigations, never question the validity of the officially constructed case alleging Russia’s responsibility. The revelation of negligence the Stone trial brings to light, which amounts to corruption, could hardly expose this prolonged charade more starkly.
Forensic investigators, meantime, continue to gather evidence supporting the leak-not-hack case made in VIPS50. The gap thus widens between the official story of the DNC mail incident and the case supported by forensic research done by VIPS and other independent investigators working in association with it.
Last February these investigators discovered that email pilfered in 2016 and subsequently conveyed to WikiLeaks had been stored according to a system called File Allocation Table, or FAT. The FAT system time-stamps data according to their last modifications and, because it is less precise than other storage systems, it rounds up time stamps to the next even number. If the FAT system is used to store data, it is a strong indication that the data were stored on a memory key or another such portable device.
In the 35, 816 email messages investigators examined, the FAT system assigned even-numbered time stamps to all of them. Binney, a mathematician by training, puts the chance of this occurring without the use of a portable storage device at 1 in 2 to the 35,816thpower — meaning it is a virtual impossibility.
The FAT numbering pattern detected in the email messages tested does not indicate at what stage or where a portable device was used. It shows only that such a device was used at some point in the handling of the data; a portable device may or may not have been used to execute the initial download. But the presence of the FAT system in the metadata of the emails tested adds another layer of circumstantial evidence supporting the VIPS case that the theft of DNC mail was a leak executed locally via a portable device and not a remote hack conducted through the internet. At the very least, it is an additional line of inquiry the FBI, the intelligence agencies, and the Mueller investigation have left unexamined.
Among the critics of VIPS50, none has influenced public opinion as much as the dissenters within the group’s membership. The presence of these dissenters has been evident since VIPS50 went through repeated drafts over a period of nearly two weeks. This is a group of honorable, in many cases brave people. But they advanced no coherent objections to the VIPS document prior to its publication, and this remained the case for some time after Consortium News posted it on July 24, 2017. Having begun reporting on VIPS50 shortly after that date, I found — and continue to find — the dissenters’ position heavily inflected with personal animosities and political leanings having no bearing on the validity of the VIPS50 findings.
A number of dissenters signed a contribution to a forum The Nation hosted after the magazine published a piece I wrote on VIPS50 in August 2017. This was the first time the dissenters publicly presented substantive objections to VIPS50, and they focused on the core of the VIPS case. This case continues to rest primarily on the speed at which a mail theft could be executed in mid–2016. The transfer speed, identified by an analysis of metadata found on documents stolen at that time, was considerably faster than the rate possible over the internet at the time of the intrusion, indicating a leak by someone using a portable storage device and with direct access to the DNC’s servers.
The dissenting group took specific issue with these findings. “Data-transfer speeds across networks and the Internet measured in megabits per second (or megabytes per second) can easily achieve rates that greatly exceed the cited reference in the VIPS memo,” the dissidents wrote.
It was at this point the dissenters repeated the failures of the intelligence apparatus and the Mueller investigation: They produced no evidence. There is no indication the dissenters conducted tests to support their assertion on the speed question. The VIPS memo applied scientific method to the DNC mail theft for the first time and was intended as an “evidence to date” document. This marked a transformative advance in how the DNC incident can be understood: The imperative since has been to bring countervailing evidence to the investigative process, which continues. No one —not the dissenters, not the DNC, not the “intelligence community,” not Mueller, not the press — has done so.
The dissenters have been silent since their contribution to The Nation’s forum. Members have declined invitations to work with VIPS50 signatories to develop further the evidence presented in the memo. When I queried a number of dissenters for this commentary, one replied. This person did not address the findings of forensic investigators while reproducing what VIPS50 signatories term the “emotional arguments” that have characterized the dissenters’ response to the memo since the drafting phase two summers ago. These continuing difficulties appear partly to reflect a desire not to be seen defending either Trump or the Russians.
The NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the Mueller investigation, the press — none has shown the slightest interest in the findings outlined in VIPS50. This can come as no surprise, given the heavy investments all of these entities have made in the Russians-did-it explanation of the DNC email incident. But this omission is nonetheless negligent when one considers the contradicting evidence VIPS and those associated with it continue to amass. A key question now arises: Will the Barr investigation into the genesis of allegations of Russian interference, begun three months ago, transcend this politically inspired ignorance to expose official accounts of the mid–2016 mail theft as fallacies?
The early signs were that Barr’s investigators would at last explode the Russiagate narrative. Trump was unmistakably determined to do so when he urged Barr to “investigate the investigators” last spring. In mid–May Barr appointed John Durham, a federal prosecutor, to direct this effort. Ten days later Trump gave Barr “full and complete authority to declassify information” related to the conduct of the intelligence agencies, the FBI, and the Justice Department.
It was clear very early that Trump was aware of VIPS50 and entertained a lively interest in its findings. In September 2017, two months after Consortium published the memo, he ordered Mike Pompeo, then director of the CIA, to interview Bill Binney, the leading technical expert within the VIPS group. Pompeo did so in October 2017, but by Binney’s account he flinched: Pompeo heard Binney out at the president’s insistence, but he never pursued the forensic findings the former NSA technical director walked him through.
This was an early sign, it is now plain, that even efforts to unearth the truth of the allegations against Russia that emanate from the White House would meet political resistance. Another came last Friday, when Trump was forced to drop John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican who pledged to support a full investigation of Russiagate, as his nominee to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence. While Ratcliffe considered the orthodox Russiagate narrative bogus, Coats was vigorous in his promotion of it.
This makes political will another key question to ask of the Barr investigation: Full exposure of the travesty of Russiagate is almost certainly within Barr’s power to achieve. Will he do so?
Whether Trump will remain consistent in his backing of Barr is another such question. While Trump habitually terms Russiagate “a hoax,” he has also indicated on a number of occasions that his true objective is simply to escape the charge that he colluded with Russians to win the 2016 election. “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election,” Trump tweeted earlier this year. “I said, ‘It may be Russia, or China, or another country or group, or it may be a 400–pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia—it never did!”
I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
A president who slips and slides, an administrative state — the Deep State if you like — thoroughly committed to defending falsified accounts of the mid–2016 intrusions into the DNC’s email servers, a supine press: It is impossible to say when or whether the truth of the events of three years ago will emerge. The evidence is there, sufficient now to conclude the Russigate case. The greatest remaining obstacle is the willful ignorance that incubated the Russiagate narrative and now prolongs it. We reach a point when evidence and more evidence, along with political integrity, are the only effective replies to this cynical, foolish, and costly recalcitrance.
Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (Yale). Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist. His website is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site.
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I am pleased to hear that at least some people in the know are dissatisfied with the lack of a thorough investigation given to the leaked Clinton campaign e-mails supposedly showing a Russian intrusion. The lack of a thorough investigation of the emails and the computer involved indicates a cover-up of major proportions. Now who would have an interest in such a cover-up ? It is Clinton herself I believe. Better to to blame the Russians than her own inability to win
>The total collapse of the Russiagate orthodoxy now appears within reach<
I doubt that it matters much.
Only fools weren't highly suspicious of it right from the start – it was plainly just more Hillary garbage.
A lot of the US population, especially those who have gone through college social "science" programs, don't have any ability or inclination to analyze anything or look for evidence and reasoning.
For them it's about emotions and virtue signalling.
Look back at the Kavanaugh hearing where some unsupported allegations of something going between boozed up teenagers 35 yrs previous, replaced an evaluation of the judge's actual provable bad positions on Constitutional issues.
And the allegations came from someone with a poor record of being honest.
Today’s (8/8/19) link to Michael Isikoff’s latest smear-all campaign. It had seemed as if CN has been totally devoid of anything meriting the anti-FOX innuendo in all things Rich….
Great link – very entertaining. I omitted NPR a long time ago as a credible source of info.
Isikoff seems to think the FBI’s McCabe and past Director Mueller are credible sources – which is interesting in itself.
Isikoff also says it really was the Russians who fed the emails to Wikileaks, indicating that Binney et al are mistaken, again interesting.
If the FBI really believed that, you would think they would have been eager to do their own forensics on the DNC hard drive(s) and to get Assange interviewed – they had great leverage over him, carrots and sticks. That has also been “interesting” for 2+ yrs now. ;-)
Also, there was some DNC lady staffer riding around on a golf cart after Hillary’s loss openly bragging about how the press was eating up the story the Hillary people were putting out about Russians and Trump collusion, again interesting (the Shattered book has that).
Issy credits a police detective stating that it couldn’t be a professional hit or else the killer would have finished him with a head wound.
That I find semi-credible. However, I tried searching for the type/caliber of weapon used and couldn’t find anything, which is odd – the bullets were either in the victim or somewhere to be found.
And, doing a head wound would MAKE it look like a professional job instead of a couple thugs panicking, wouldn’t it?
And, oddly, the cops can usually solve important street cases by putting out that they will amply reward street criminals who give info on suspects or people talking, but not this time…
Oswald got shot close range with a 38, and it is said that his MDs thought he would survive (handguns aren’t nearly as lethal as people think), but then they were ordered out of his room, some government people went in there, and for some reason Oswald croaked not long after, thus not being able to furnish his side of the story.
There’s an unverified story floating around that Rich’s wounds were also survivable, but then something similar happened to him.
Well, hospitals are dangerous places, and the world is a mysterious place full of oddities.
Now it’s down to the crock versus truth, and it seems that no action taken would mean a serious slide towards Fascism because when everyone’s heads are turned the other way, the devil does the best work.
Just wondering why the Kim Dotcom Bloomberg article and tweets that predicted the DNC leak weeks before it happened is not mentioned in this summary (or did I miss it?) I mean Kim Dotcom could be a weirdo and have a shady past, BUT that does not change the fact that he knew before anyone else that Hillary’s emails were coming out. And, as he stated in CN Live 4, he was in communication with Seth Rich. I would be happy to blow it off as a conspiracy theory as the MSM has pounded into our heads, but as he said, in the interview he’d have to be either a psychic or he really was approached about the emails before Assange.
Also, answers the fundamental question, “if Russia didn’t leak the emails, who did?” And, explains why the DNC was so intent on a cover-up and scapegoat. Had it come out that the leak was related to a disgruntled staffer who intended to protest the dirty dealings towards the Sanders campaign it would have ruined Hillary and likely produced Bernie Sanders as POTS… at least in the minds of the establishment, as at that time Trump was still not considered as a possible victor.
There would be only one loose end to take care of. The individual who leaked would have to be silenced…
“There would be only one loose end to take care of. The individual who leaked would have to be silenced…”
Except that there was more than one leaker. Craig Murray insists that the sources for the DNC leaks and the Podesta leaks are not the same.
OK, I went to Murray’s blog… It makes sense that any other leakers (associated with Seth Rich or completely separate) would need to be protected now for fear of their lives. So it goes. Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy, Bin Laden did 9/11, and the Russians hacked the DNC… The official narrative has been established under the weight of MSM and government propaganda. CN has made a valiant stand… and now betting Bar will save the day. We can only hope that truth will prevail.
It appears to me that whatever crime the USA commits nothing is going to be done about it. Even valid and truthful journalist can publish until the world’s supply of ink dries up and nothing will be done to stop the criminal acts of the USA.
Always glad to see your byline on Consortium News, Patrick. So it is once again. I will be interested to see some response to Daniel Lazare’s inquiry as well as someone hopefully responds.
I think the “teaching moment” of Russiagate hinges on what we truly expect to see when all is said and done, but I am not optimistic regarding our fate with that date.
The years of incestuous cross-party “I got dirt on you—you got dirt on me” or “We’re in this thing-‘Our Thing’ together”—is reflected in the observable tenuousness that began with Mueller’s dismissive attitude toward Assange and VIPS, Comey’s nixing of the Justice Department’s interviewing of Assange—a deal that was in motion—Crowdstrike’s Alperovitch’s extreme anti-Russian bias, the Atlantic Council / NATO’s desire to keep the fomenting of anti-Russia everything up ever since Putin called “check” on NATO in Crimea.
The primary desire of all of the top end actors seems to be keeping and growing the anti-Russia narrative, and sadly, I feel what “justice” will be served will likely be only the low-hanging fruit as evidenced in the burying of Seth Rich’s case for just one. I highly recommend last week’s synopsis on CN LIVE! (YouTube) for the latest on that, in particular how the heavily-surveilled by remote cameras neighborhood tapes were apparently never accessed during the time of his assault, nor were neighbors adjacent to his murder site ever questioned. And huh? Seth Rich’s computer has gone missing from D.C. police or FBI evidence possession?
“Houston, we have a particularly egregious can of worms here.”
We dream on and dawdle as if we yet live in a functioning democracy with all of the requisite pieces of the separation of powers puzzle (including the Fourth Estate) just humming merrily along, but with the kind of scrutiny most of us following the reportage of “PropOrNot”-condemned news sources know, something amorphous and terrible has grown up from within the Beltway, and it’s not about we proles and our well-being. A couple of wrist-slaps to the minor players with a “take your (our) medicine for us” for a few years, then the quiet parole or pardoning and thence sail away to your discrete tropical isolation on your new sailboat, never to be heard from again. Nice and tidy.
Which is why I feel another “Warren Commission” moment coming on.
I really take no pleasure in this addendum, but I just ran across it from Whitney Webb, who has proven to be a reliable and award-wnning intrepid reporter. this from a so-far 3 part MintPress series by her. The incestuous relationships of D.C. and Wall Street /Hollywood and beyond she exposes (with citations from Robert Parry and others) only serve to further articulate the ignominy of our perhaps held once upon a time in higher esteem “leadership.” This is from Part II:
“[Prominent D.C. conservative lobbyist and former 1980s ABC News correspondent Craig] Spence later stated that his contacts within the White House, which allowed him and his “call boys” access, were “top level” officials and he specifically singled out George H.W. Bush’s then-National Security Advisor Donald Gregg. Gregg had worked at the CIA since 1951 before he resigned in 1982 to become National Security Advisor to Bush, who was then vice president. Prior to resigning from his post at the CIA, Gregg had worked directly under William Casey and, in the late 1970s, alongside a young William Barr in stonewalling the congressional Pike Committee and Church Committee, which investigated the CIA beginning in 1975. Among the things that they were tasked with investigating were the CIA’s “love traps,” or sexual blackmail operations used to lure foreign diplomats to bugged apartments, complete with recording equipment and two-way mirrors.
Barr would later become Bush’s Attorney General, rising to that post yet again under Trump. Furthermore, Barr’s father worked for the precursor to the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and recruited a young Jeffrey Epstein, then a high school drop-out, to teach at the elite Dalton School, from which Epstein was later fired. A year prior to hiring Epstein, Donald Barr published a science fiction fantasy novel about sex slavery. Notably, the same year Donald Barr hired Epstein, his son was working for the CIA. Bill Barr has refused calls to recuse himself from the Epstein case, even though he worked at the same law firm that has represented Epstein in the past.
Donald Gregg is also connected to Roy Cohn’s “influence machine” through his daughter’s marriage to Christopher Buckley, the son of conservative journalist William Buckley, close confidant and friend of both Roy Cohn and Cohn’s law partner Tom Bolan.”
“It is also worth noting the role of the FBI in all of this, particularly in the Franklin child sex abuse scandal. Indeed, Larry King’s child sex abuse ring was quickly and aggressively covered up by the FBI, which used a variety of under-handed tactics to bury the reality of King’s sordid operation. Here, it is important to recall the key role former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover played in similar sexual blackmail operations that abused children (See Part I) and the close relationship between Hoover, Roy Cohn and Lewis Rosenstiel, who later employed Hoover’s former right-hand man at the FBI, Louis Nichols.
Years later, documents released by the FBI would show that Epstein became an FBI informant in 2008, when Robert Mueller was the Bureau’s director, in exchange for immunity from then-pending federal charges, a deal that fell through with Epstein’s recent arrest on new federal charges. In addition, former FBI Director Louis Freeh would be hired by Alan Dershowitz, who is accused of raping girls at Epstein’s homes and was once a character witness for Roy Cohn, to intimidate Epstein’s victims. As previously mentioned, Freeh’s past appointment as a judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York was orchestrated by Cohn’s law partner Tom Bolan.
Thus, the FBI’s cover-up of the Franklin case is just one example of the Bureau’s long-standing practice of protecting these pedophile rings when they involve members of the American political elite and provide the Bureau with a steady supply of blackmail. It also makes it worth questioning the impartiality of one of the main prosecutors in the Jeffrey Epstein case, Maurene Comey, who is the daughter of former FBI Director James Comey.”
I thank you, David, as well as many other contributors here–among them Hetro, Stephen Morrell (a v good interpretation), polistra, Anne R, geeyp (for general encouragement) and others. Good it is that we seem now to recognize that theevidence is in place, and it is a question of getting it accepted among the paranoid, the hysterical, the xenophobic, and the politically motivated. Please consider supporting the work via http://www.patreon.com/thefloutist. Ev’thing helps, friends. En avant! Patrick.
… And I’m especially interested in the exchange concerning FAT, initiated by my comapdre Jeff Harrison. — P.L.
If anyone has twitter and can tweet President Trump maybe suggest Bill Binney for DNI to him. I have no idea how twitter works, or facebook or any other social media app as I knew before they were popular they were toys for governments to spy on people. “Pat myself on the back for that foresight”, haha. I did have a myspace account in its early days though, great place to find bands at the time. But I just went back to NME as you can’t beat the original and awesome New Music Express.
Trump should appoint Bill Binney to the DNI, the entire western press would have a nuclear meltdown immediately. Retched Maddow would need to bring (2) 10 gallon buckets to her set to catch her tears as she bemoaned how un-American Binney is, at the end she’d ask, off air, just “Who is Bill Binney anyway”?
The purposes of Russiagate, and the McCarthyism 2.0 it’s spawned, are:
1. To provide the Democrats not only with an excuse for Clinton’s loss but a way of differentiating them from the GOP, because their actual differences with the GOP are next to zero.
2. To sate the bipartisan need to keep their donors happy, especially those from the MIC who forever require continuing ongoing ‘threats’, nuclear and conventional’, to keep those profits rolling in.
3. To distract the population from the real causes of their immiseration: capitalism, pure and unadulterated as it has been ministered over the last ~45 years.
4. To regiment the population into not dissenting or being ‘discordant’ though fear of being labelled a Russian tool, troll, bot or ‘useful idiot’ — just like the original McCarthyism except Russia is now a capitalist country but non-compliant with the empire. And witness the latest grotesquery from Kamala Harris who attributes Colin Kaepernick’s protests to Russian bots (!). This will continue and only get worse.
5. To provide the pretext for further internet censorship and restrictions of civil liberties, especially now as the ‘war on terror’ is running out of steam.
6. To regiment the population onto war footing, both nuclear and conventional.
Russiagate is the malignant seed of McCarthyism 2.0, and the latter certainly won’t go away easily, not even if the Democrats can find another way to differentiate themselves from the GOP (it seems they can’t), not even if Trump suddenly resigned or was clipped by the CIA.
McCarthyism 2.0’s promoters in MSM and the ‘deep state’, along with the deep-state shills still drinking the Russiagate Kool Aid, are otherwise nurturing this malignancy as best they can in fevered hopes that McCarthyism 2.0 will spread its roots to sprout from other wild allegations of Russian ‘malfeasance’. The allegations are getting wilder and sillier, and most of these McCarthyism 2.0 maniacs are Democrats, even ‘progressive’ ones like Sanders. Russophobia has spread to Europe and likely will spread further afield.
This is a very dangerous game in the name of propping up a dying empire, an empire that doesn’t have the economic clout to match its military might, an empire now naked without its veil of ‘the beacon of freedom and democracy’, so rudely ripped away by the Trump regime.
These precarious times are being fuelled, and made worse, by people who like to pose as ‘knowing better’, who many still think should know better. Looking at you TYT, Democracy Now, Guardian, Intercept.
The Russiagate emperor may have no clothes, the Russiagate Black Knight may now be a stump, but McCarthyism 2.0 will live on and metastasise.
The evidence was blatantly obvious from the start. It doesn’t matter. New documents are irrelevant. Deepstate never prosecutes Deepstate.
Coats was a neocon hack and plant-next interesting question is whether trump will appoint his deputy, who is gathering a crecendo of support from the neocons and coup plotters.
Trump really needs to get a pro into that position, maybe admiral rogers or general flynn
Given the case complexity, the number of potential defendants and their status, Attorney General Barr and his team(s) may need a year or more to achieve “visible” results.
I have a lot of confidence that Barr’s “visible” results will be flowing into the public’s eyes during next year’s election season.
The basics remain the same. Most votes come down to economic issues. From FDR until Clinton, the Dem voting base had consisted of the “masses” — poor and middle class, for the common good. The Clinton administration split this voting base wide apart, and the Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. Over 20 years into the Democrats’ war on the poor, we now have a generation who say, “Huh? What war?” No question, liberal media reframed their “inequality” discussion to the gap between middle class and rich, promoting the illusion that all can work, and viable jobs are available for all. Gee, isn’t capitalism great? Right. While Republicans haven’t been picking up voters, Democrats continue to lose theirs, and the utterly confused blame Russia.
“Most votes come down to economic issues”
A common assumption, but I’ve never seen the least genuine evidence for it.
Indeed, I tend to think it false.
People are moved by many simple, often poorly-defined appeals. “Support the troops” (support them doing what?) and “Yes, we can” (Can what?) and “Time for a change” (change to what?) and “We need a woman in the White House.”
A candidate’s attitude and animation can make a big difference too.
In most American elections, at every major level from Congress to President, the choice of candidates is uninteresting and stale and unchallenging – the political system is built to achieve that result – and people just usually vote the party they’ve long known out of habit.
Russia-gate was one tiny corner of the American establishment’s hatred of Russia.
And no seriously well-connected member of America’s establishment is going to be punished for such a matter.
It was genuinely feared early-on that Trump would betray establishment convictions on Russia and the Middle East Neocon Wars.
That’s why the frauds were perpetrated.
Well, he hasn’t. He’s joined them.
“Carthago delenda est!” goes right on.
It’s as big with Republicans as Democrats.
Thank you, Patrick. But I fear very much that, no matter what really existing evidence (unappraised) Barr’s investigation (assuming that he isn’t prevented from fully revealing any and all evidence (given the agencies involved a dubious proposition) might produce and reveal, the true believers in the “Russia did it,” the Strumpet is “Putin’s puppet,” the US electoral system is a “victim of heinous Russian meddling” will not give up their stupid, self-serving animus toward Russia, will not face the fact that Killary lost because of the Electoral College set up and her refusal to go to the pivotal states in that undemocratic fact of US presidential elections.
They manage nicely to ignore what those emails revealed because they don’t want to face DNC, Clinton machinations reality (the real interference in the presidential election), even as they willingly climbed on board the deception bandwagon where they remain.
And to point any of this out, to point out that the Strumpet’s admin, its actions and worldview, is in fact no different in reality, under the surface, than any previous American presidency. Grotesque, racist, imperialist, corporate-capitalist, bank balance lining, narcissistic, egocentric – yes DJT – but also his immediate and earlier predecessors although they were much smoother, or slap on the back chummier than the latest incarnation, is to be called a Trump supporter. Drives me up the wall. Nothing could be further from the truth. But I wasn’t an HRC supporter either – just because she’s female? Break the glass ceiling? Diversity? Gotta be joking. Thatcher should be the biggest warning to all those who think that you vote for someone just because she’s a she – or fits any other diversity community.
Russia had nothing whatsoever to do with the 2016 election. Democrats had split apart their voting base in the ’90s, middle class vs. poor, and the Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. Democrats divided and conquered their own voting base, and not many Republicans see any point in switching parties, going for “Republican Lite.” Democrats already lost 2020, and “Russiagate” will resume with a fury. Pray that Democrats don’t manage to spark a catastrophic war.
I never wrote that Russia had anything to do with the 2016 election. If you had read my comment carefully, you would see that.
I have no problems with Russia – how they manage their affairs is none of my business – nor should it be that of western governments who collectively as NATO and individually (especially FUKUS plus IS) have done nothing but interfere in other peoples governance, countries from invading, supporting proxy forces, to financing “velvet” revolutions, to engineering coups.
And I am only too well aware that the Dems and Reps are but one political construct with two mildly different heads (I have called this creature the Janus party).
Neither party reflects my political perspective (profoundly Left, anti-capitalist, pacifist – the closest would be the Diggers) at any bloody level. And I hold no Russo, Sino, or Irano-phobia at all. Nor any other – well, can’t stand elitists, money grubbers, capitalists, ethnic cleansers…. but they can be found all over the shop.
So – I would suggest that before you start casting aspersions you actually read and inwardly digest what you’ve read.
Good column, Patrick. I hope that it is read far and near.
What this reveals is the democrats are total tools of the MIC. They are in the position that nobody loves them anymore and they stink to most people.
So what do they do? Who can they turn to? How can they please some power broker out there?
The democrats have and are being strong armed by a big guy named Bugsy with a 5oclock shadow and a fat cigar wearing a suit that says “Listen up youse wise guys”. “Youse guys are all washed up. You’ve been wrung out and hung out on a drying line cause these days to most folks you stink.” “Your big supporters in the other gangs have given you up for dead.” “Well we are here to offer youse guys a deal we think you cannot refuse. We can change things up that give youse guys a fighting chance if you’re willing to go along with our plan. So I’m askin you one time if you are in or you are out. Here’s the deal. You blame the Ruskies for all the flap over the election and we will guarantee that the media goes along with the story. We control the media and they do what we say. If you doubt our bona fides then just look at how we got former administrations to go along with our plans to attack Iraq, Syria and Libya.
Now we have our own reasons to go against the current administration since it has tried to pull out of Syria, make friends with the Ruskies and cozy up to the North Koreans not to mention serious attempts to defund key military programs like the F35 Joint Strike Fighter. We don’t like these developments and we need some folks in government to become the champions for fighting the Russians, North Koreans, Syrians, etc. We are looking for candidates to replace Trump with a more friendly administration. Just remember that we will have the backs of any of you dems that are willing to play along with our game plan. So if you have any chance to win then this is our last best offer. So tell me are you in or are you out.
The results of the dems decision to hang their hats on the RussiaGate story and do the bidding of the MIC can be seen in the unanimous sanctioning of the presidents ability to negotiate with the Russians, the enactment of severe economic sanctions against Russia, the support of the war in Syria and the passage of the recent massive defense bill. While it is true that controversial moves by dems to limit funding of the Saudis based on their wars in Yemen and Ethiopia these moves were easily checked by the prez. The MIC are in the commanders chair as they play one side against the other to guarantee their financial objectives of increased military spending.
There is no doubt that the Russians were terrified by the prospects that Hillary Clinton, War Hawk Supreme, and someone that was completely devoted to the objectives of the MIC might be the next president. There is no doubt that they tried to influence the election in favor of Trump who they knew was opposed to excess military spending and had his own plans to encourage economic cooperation between Russia and the US. But there is no evidence he colluded with Russia to throw the election which is what the whole investigation was trying to prove.
In the end, it did not really matter. The MIC got what they wanted by using the Democratic Party to boost their profits.
Now in the new election cycle we can see which candidates are prepared to go along with the same militarism that was the hallmark of former republican and democratic administrations. Kamala Harris has emerged as the darling of the MIC running against Trump claiming he is too soft on the North Koreans and rebutting criticisms from one of her her detractors Tulsi Gabbard that she is an Assad apologist.
It is clear that the deal between democrats like Kamala Harris and the MIC is alive and well in the new election cycle. The same dynamics apply. The democrats have an alliance with the MIC and MSM as long as they tow the line. Kamala Harris was richly rewarded for her attacks on Tulsi Gabbard for being an Assad apologist.
The democrats have become the war hawks as the MIC and MSM give their approval to those candidates who tow the party line. Those dems that go along with all the propaganda will be supported and those that buck it will be trashed by the MSM.
This is the same MSM that swallowed the bait hook line and sinker that Saddam had WMD and was an existential threat. The same MSM that claimed Assad gassed his people and supported that war. The same MSM that will never breath a word about how our aims in Venezuela and Iran might be just all about oil. The same MSM that never takes a position on gerrymandering, black box voting, the influence of right wing spin and organizations that used propaganda to influence the election like Cambridge Analytica. The MSM never covered Citizens United and other laws designed to throw elections for the rich and powerful. They will never challenge the bogus allegations that millions of illegal immigrants vote for democrats in elections. They will always faithfully align the debate over healthcare and other government social welfare programs to the positions favored by the industries that fund them. They will never have a debate about Global Warming or the lies that are propagated to deny its existence.
These avenues of debate have been shut down by the MSM and not covered. The democratic debates have been steered away from these topics choosing instead to taunt democrats with going on the record that supporting any of these initiatives will raise taxes while ignoring the increasing costs for healthcare, insurance, defense, the environment, etc.
It is no wonder that they have propagated the fantasy that Trump colluded with Russia since it was they themselves that gave Trump 3 billion in free advertising in a successful plot to fleece the other republican candidates and their super PACS ot of all their campaign coffers in an effort to defeat their creation. They have a need to take the focus off of them and turn the debate into something that both distracts us away from their influence and focuses it on an old adversary for the benefit of the MIC which they stump for every day.
Trump is right on the money when he calls the MSM fake news and also the enemy of the people. What a shame that the dems have chosen to support it.
Thank you Patrick for an excellent article and you, C1 for an intelligent comment. However there are still some big WHYs not being discussed at all.
We have known that this all stemmed from the Democrats for a long time. Trump and his crew of uglies must have known that, being the falsely accused. Why have they neither seriously nor aggressively chased down Hillary’s own misuse of her privatized computer? Why and what were Hillary and Huma so anxious to hide from the Administration at large? Why did the FBI and CIA and MIC insiders cooperate so fully with Hillary? There are many whys, but so far everyone has only been digging up how and who, not the basic question – Why.
Tulsi Gabbard resigned from a major position in the DNC. Did she already know of the corruption being practiced by the Hillary owned Establishment? Why was she obliged to resign prior to the final resolution of who the candidate would be? In the past, the national DNC core did not have to be uniquely for the same candidate. That was the point of a democracy. Gabbard has been blackballed by the NYT whose political position has been formed over the last 3 years by Clinton and Barry Diller. They are known to be very aggressive and brook no dissent. Dissenters are followed with the nastiest forms of vengeance possible – see Assange. And Gabbard leaving the DNC for ethical reasons and to support Sanders was a heretic horror in Hillary’s eyes.
In my humble opinion as expressed here over several years, the Obama administration was chosen to run when it became evident that the possibility of any Republican being elected post 8 years of Bush were zero. The losers in the Obama/Clinton contest would be the next candidate. Having been promised the Queenship for 8+ years, the Princess went berserk when she lost. Hillary did not have the kind of mind to dream up Russiagate. She was appointed Secretary of State to give her the facade of Experience necessary to be the Post-Obama candidate. Her inexperience beyond surface knowledge was nil so she was briefed on the positions to take. That is why she became anti-Putin, anti Russian. That’s why the Middle East was set on fire. That’s why the Cold War was regenerated. That’s why Victoria Nuland set up the Ukraine regime change and Yemen destroyed. Now the question was who was whispering the details in her ear?
I think Obama was chosen, because he initially believed he would make real changes for black Americans. Hillary was chosen because her heart and head were besotted with the idea of the highest level of fame and fortune. Either were pliable, because of their very personal goals. Essentially they would be servile.
So, again, who was the whisperer? Who else, if not the mindset of the CIA/FBI/MIC, all of whom shared and still share the mindset called Deep State. If you don’t like that label, pick another, but it is no one person, it is a bias in one’s thinking pattern that has a certain capitalistic logic. Clapper, Brennan, Comey, Mueller, Petraeus, Panetta were the administration whisperers. God knows who were the MIC/ Wall Street ones. They all support support the 1%, not the public; the rich not the real victims in all of our victim pigeonholes, the whites with a few tokens thrown in. They’ve been there since the Henry Ford, Prescott Bush, Lindberg, and Dulles era and once they disposed of Kennedy, they grew stronger until GHW Bush put them in the Oval office, thank you.
Trump is just a wild card throwback to his ancestral Bavaria. I don’t know to what the Democrats (save for Gabbard) are a throwback to – possibly high school.
if you can figure this out, there’s gotta be more who can (no offense), and take it to the next level.
It is discouraging… that in light of more and more developing evidence that Allen Dulles orchestrated the Kennedy assassination (read Devils Chessboard if you are not familiar with this narrative), American historians are still not ready to set the record strait. If America could come to terms with this monumental “skeleton in the closet,” I think everyone would have to re-evaluate the power of Deep State vis-a-vis Democracy. It would change American identity fundamentally… in a good & honest way.
You make two assertions neither of which you support with evidence.
“…There is no doubt that the Russians were terrified by the prospects that Hillary Clinton, War Hawk Supreme, and someone that was completely devoted to the objectives of the MIC might be the next president. …”
There is considerable doubt that the Russian government was ‘terrified” that Clinton might be elected. From the first I have argued that Clinton had several advantages from a Russian point of view. One is that she and her husband were deeply compromised by their relationships with oligarchs. More importantly, but in the same vein, she was seen as a known quantity whose behaviour was easily predictable, rather than a loose cannon like Trump.
“…There is no doubt that they tried to influence the election in favor of Trump who they knew was opposed to excess military spending and had his own plans to encourage economic cooperation between Russia and the US…”
It is unclear whether the Russian state favoured either candidate, what is clear is that there was no reason why it should have favoured Trump-as his Administration has shown. And no evidence that it did favour him.
It is one of the curiosities of Russiagate that even critics appear to find it impossible to block their ears to the din of the propagandists . Invented out of whole cloth the narrative of Russiagate is utterly discredited. Nothing about it, not even the dates on which it is alleged to have occurred, is credible.
Craig Murray has recently made another useful contribution to the discrediting of this Deep State hoax.
Great comment, bevin!
I share your observations related to how journalists who are doing solid work weaving together all of these fabricated pieces into sensible information still feel the need to inject RussiaGate propaganda talking points into their work. When they do add such baseless and trivial nonsense it tends to distract and in no way helps the reader.
As you stated not one scintilla of factually based/supported detail about ALL of the neoliberal/progressive/commie contrived Russia narrative has ever been offered. It’s pure propaganda. A.L.L.O.F.I.T.
It makes zero sense that no one in any official capacity whatsoever has by now secured Assanges nor Murray’s testimony. Yet, these propagandists have fooled so many otherwise sensible people into believing Russia hacked the DNC computers solely based on ‘we said so.’ It’s beyond laughable to learn the vaunted FBI under St. Comey’s leadership accepted and relied on draft reports made up out of whole cloth by Crowdstrike, a known vendor who swims on the far left side of the aisle and who has a track record of reporting falsehoods.
That we’re still even having this conversation about the ‘whodunit’ three years later is seriously off the charts ridiculous. If we had law and order in this country we’d have been provided factual data by now substantiating whichever claim. It’s a ‘tell’ that we don’t. Because no such hacking of the DNC servers ever occurred. Thus, we have no law and order in this country and we likely haven’t had it for a very, very long time.
“There is no doubt that they tried to influence the election…”
Specifics..? Evidence..? That is what this column is all about. Not: “well everybody knows what nations (Russians) do to other nations as a matter of course, especially the U.S., but…”
You buried that in an otherwise fairly thorough and reasonably objective synopsis. Just sayin’. And I’m naturally curious. Thanks.
Cut the “it’s the oil” propaganda.
The US can buy oil anywhere at the same price as anyone else without using force.
It got no oil discount out of the Iraq oil, and not even much oil at ordinary prices.
China and India got more in Iraq and get what they need at the same price.
The US has been supporting Islamic militarism since Truman twisted arms at the UN to create Israel.
Sure the MIC always wants to kill in small weak countries, whether or not in the Mideast.
Sure the Reps will attack any social democracy like Venezuela or Libya, and some of those have oil.
But obviously that has nothing to do with oil, as we get no oil benefits whatsoever.
So don’t fall for that propaganda line concealing zionist genocides for land theft.
The Binney/VIPS analysis of file transfer speed is pertinent to a data transfer by Guccifer 2.0 on July 5th, 2016. (The data transferred is NOT the DNC emails published by Wikileaks.) As Binney has shown, the rate of this transfer is consistent with download to a thumbdrive (exactly consistent with that hypothesis) or a local LAN system, but not with a transatlantic transfer (as by a Russian hacker) in July 2016. However, Scott Ritter and others have pointed out that we can’t be sure that this transfer occurred from the DNC servers; the data might have been obtained from those servers previously, and then transferred to a thumbdrive somewhere else.
Which is why the Forensicator’s analysis of this transfer is of essential value. Using clever logic, he is able to deduce that this transfer occurred IN THE EASTERN TIME ZONE. To understand his logic, you can read his essay, or that of Elizabeth Vos, which provides the Forensicator’s findings in more summary form:
The data presented by the Forensicator only make sense if is assumed that the transfer occurred in the Eastern Time Zone. Which means that the alleged “Russian hacker” Guccifer 2.0 may have been working in Washington D.C. at the DNC at the time, or possibly in Peru or Canada – but definitely NOT in Russia or Romania. The most economical explanation of the findings is that Guccifer 2.0 did a thumbdrive download at the DNC – but in any case, he was in the Eastern Time Zone when he made the transfer.
Cyberanalysts have found that other file transfers done by Guccifer 2.0 at other times occurred in the Central and Pacific Time Zones. It may or may not be a coincidence that Crowdstrike has offices in both the Central and Pacfic Time Zones. Adam Carter links to the evidence for these conclusions:
In aggregate, these conclusions indicate that Guccifer 2.0, alleged by the Jan 2106 Intelligence Community Assessment and by the Mueller Report to be the Russian government hacker who obtained the DNC files published by Wikileaks, is in fact no Russian (unless he’s a Russian agent in the U.S.!). Other considerations strongly suggest that he is most likely a creation of Crowdstrike. Shawn Henry, the co-founder of Crowdstrike, used to be head of counterintelligence at the FBI (under Bob Mueller!), and hence has expertise in the creation of fraudulent computer personas, which he used in entrapment operations.
Moreover, Mueller’s tale of how Guccifer 2.0 delivered the DNC emails to Wikileaks is absurd on its face, as Daniel Lazare has demonstrated in this Consortium News essay:
It must be emphasized that these analyses DO NOT tell us how Wikileaks obtained the DNC emails it published, or how those emails were exfiltrated from the DNC system. Nonetheless, there are plentiful grounds for concluding that this exfiltration was a LEAK rather than a HACK, and that the DNC’s Seth Rich was involved in this leak.
But, whether or not this conclusion is accurate, we KNOW that the ICA/Mueller accusations against Russia as the source of WIkileaks’ DNC publications are unsupported by any credible evidence.
Moreover, there is reason to take seriously Ray McGovern’s suspicion that Crowdstrike’s report of a hack of the DNC by APT28/Fancy Bear in Spring of 2016 was entirely fabricated, as part of a scheme by the DNC/Crowdstrike to blame “the Russians” for an upcoming release of embarrassing DNC emails.
The key point that I would like to make here is that the findings of the Forensicator and Adam Carter need to be given prime attention in any effort to determine how the DNC emails got to Wikileaks, as an essential supplement to the intriguing findings of Binney and colleagues.
If anyone should know, it’s Julian Assange who, from day one, said that the emails he acquired, and made available for publication were leaked, not hacked.
Thank you Patrick Lawrence! The mythology remains indeed. Russia-gate became a pseudo-religion. America is filled with FoxNews true believers in these pews, with HillBillary followers segregated on the other side of the church.
Both sides are crazy. It’s as much an All-American loony bin as it is a church. So what really happened to Seth Rich and why? Enquiring minds want to know…
Ah, Patrick, you’ve got to be careful with these computer gurus. File system. I suspect many think that the file system is what you use in your filing cabinets at work. Not so. When a computer CPU writes data (or parts of a file) to an external device, it has to be able to find it when it needs it. Thus enters the file system which the computer’s OS uses to find where the files were put. It is a set of algorithms, data and scripts that controls what gets written where. The original Microsoft file system was FAT16 (for an 8 bit byte, 16 bit word) which grew to FAT32 for a 16 bit byte and a 32 bit word. Microsoft cut off the ability to access the kernel directly when they moved to NT and they brought out NTFS (new technology file system) which is more complex than FAT. FAT, due to its simplicity, is used for removable storage devices like thumb drives. Which is also why you have such a simple set of metadata. Unix, the OS used by most servers, uses some version of UFS (unix file system) or its spawn which would have provided a much more robust set of metadata. It’s important to note that, if it had been a hack, the files on the server would have been downloaded with their certainly more robust metadata attached. To get files from a FAT filesystem, the hacked DNC servers would have to have been running Windows 98.
Are you saying that:
1. A FAT (file attribute table) was included with each downloaded DNC file;
2. This is done only when files are written to flash drives, or sent by internet from older microsoft servers.
If so, why would VIPS have looked so closely at file write times, to show that they were written to flash drives?
Does no one know what OS was running on the source servers?
It’s actually file allocation table and its in the file’s header which contains the file’s metadata (data about data). Whenever a file is written to a new medium, or a new version of the file overwrites the original file, its metadata is updated. The metadata in the header will tell you what filesystem it was stored in since the different filesystems – FAT, NTFS, UFS, etc retain different bits of data. Why were VIPS focused on the transit times and not the file system? Dunno. It only occurred to me this afternoon that FAT was certainly not the filesystem they were stored in on the DNC servers.
You act as if not-so-important government systems couldn’t be years, or even a decade behind the curve. I actually don’t recall anywhere in this sordid episode if the actual OS version on their email server was revealed.
I believe I follow your line of reasoning. I was once considered a computer guru or nerd, as my profession (surveying and civil engineering) experienced the digital revolution long before it permeated everything else. But my days as an “expert” were long ago and IT specialists and consultants removed the burden from me of being both a senior surveying professional and the in-house computer mr. fix-it.
Is it true that flash drives or thumb drives still use the FAT16 or FAT32 architecture? I know absolutely nothing about hacking so I’ll have to take your word for it concerning the metadata being attached to those files in that instance. It has seemed to me ever since Binney et al presented this line of evidence that it points only to the latest copy of those files on THAT device, in this case a thumb drive as they speculate, and does not necessarily preclude the possibility that those files were originally purloined by another means (a hack via the internet, for instance.) It does defy all credulity that in 2015, DNC servers would be running windows 95. I, and most everyone else, were forced onto our current platforms (W10, 64bit, NTSF) just to maintain connectivity and access before 2015.
On the other hand, as Patrick and others have pointed out, Mueller’s handling of this “investigation” reeks of incompetence, malfeasance, and in fact does strongly suggest criminal conspiracy.
By default, most marketed USB storage devices are formatted in FAT32. It’s not hard to re-format these devices as NTFS, however.
Thanks. The “by default” was implied in my question and it makes sense that they can be reformatted. Not familiar with Mac’s but I assume that is true also. Though I’ve bought at least a dozen memory sticks it’s been awhile and I don’t recall if there was a packaging distinction between Windows and Mac, but that would only be for the convenience of pre-formatted(?)
Concerning your other musing above, that thought occurred to me also, as some agencies are either starved or bogged in bureaucratic inertia. However, we’re talking about the DNC, not government or even public, but private and unto the wishes of those that control it, as they have indelicately reminded those that demand change.
Yeah, they do. My daughter gave us a thumb drive with a couple of movies on it. I plugged it into my iMac and the answer came back that it was FAT. It wasn’t until this afternoon that the thought occurred to me that a hack would have downloaded the file (almost certainly) to the hard drive of the hacking computer. For it to be in FAT filesystem format, it had to have been put on a thumb drive.
I agree with Patrick. I think Mueller’s “investigation” was a coverup of deep state machinations to direct the outcome of the 2016 election.
none of this technical data ever seems to have been examined by the people who should have done that as far as they’re willing to tell the public.
A fascinating and truly informative article, thank you. But what a huge amount of money must have been spent (wasted?) in dealing with the presentation of the true facts and this seems to be one of the most detrimental features of our modern times in which dangerous and untrue accusations are freely made left, right and centre, and stirred up further by the worst side of social media. (I’m not American, incidentally.)
At times, I’ve had the thought that we need something akin to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 for news media. Violations of the following are punishable in federal civil cases:
“By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper—whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it—an attorney or unrepresented party certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:
(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;
(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;
(3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and
(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on belief or a lack of information.”
Something like Rules 11(1) and (3) perhaps, but the Rules of Procedure for courts are designed to ensure that, in the final judgment, the facts are known. Journalism is the outermost layer of investigation, after which (in a better world) would follow investigations and analyses, then legal discovery of detailed evidence, and pleadings subject to court rules. It should try to be factual and check sources, and should be liable for knowing lies or libels, but should be able to publish imperfect evidence so that it may be investigated further.
“Nor is there any indication that Crowdstrike has ever given the FBI or prosecutors in the Stone case the data it used to produce its never-completed report. “Crowdstrike appears to have destroyed evidence or is hiding it,” Bill Binney said in a telephone interview.”
Crowdstrike’s subversive activity has been undermining the democratic institutions in the US.
“Nor is there any indication that Crowdstrike has ever given the FBI or prosecutors in the Stone case the data it used to produce its never-completed report. “Crowdstrike appears to have destroyed evidence or is hiding it,” Bill Binney said in a telephone interview.”
Crowdstrike’s subversive activity has been undermining the democratic institutions in the US.
But what about Nathanial Freitas’s contribution to the Nation forum? He was pretty hard on VIPS. Does Binney have any response?
To me, the validity of VIP’s assessment, while important, is still secondary. Even if this assessment is flawed (or even wrong), it remains that Moeller did not question Assange, did not have DNC computer investigated and did not question Binney. Moeller’s job was to do a white wash.
So what did Freitas say, already?
Was he hard on VIPS or on their evidence?
follow the link to the nation article: https://www.thenation.com/article/a-leak-or-a-hack-a-forum-on-the-vips-memo/
he’s hard on occam’s razor imo.
I’ve responded to Nathanial’s objections on some of the research and his statements about RSIDs at: http://g-2.space/thenation/
On Joe Lauria’s comment CN Live Mueller’s big dud report now filtering out into the courts JL; courts siding with the facts.
From Judge Koeltl:
If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet. But that would impermissibly elevate a purely private privacy interest to override the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. The DNC’s published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.
Hetro, If CN had “like” buttons, you’d get a ton of them for this post.
Thank you TU. It does seem to me that this Koeltl position is key to Julian’s defense. All they are left with is the accusation he somehow assisted in the theft, or was a co-thief, versus simply the recipient, which we know is not the same as encouraging a whistle blower to provide a leak.
But what about Nathanial Freitas? He was the outside expert invited by the Nation to contribute to the same forum, and, crucially, he failed to substantiate the VIPS findings. Have Binney or the Forensicator responded to his analysis?
Freitas made assumptions and speculated inaccurately at what could cause RSIDs to match up between documents. I tested his assumptions and showed that, no, copying and pasting does not result in the same output as that which was observed in Guccifer 2’s docs. I did email Katrina to ask that this be corrected/updated but never heard back. see: http://g-2.space/thenation/
Which objections/disagreement/etc raised by Freitas would you like to see responded to?
Thank you, Patrick.
If Trump coopts the Russia narrative as to appear to possibly side with it (“I never said Russia did not meddle in the election”), thus allowing his DOJ people to side-step a decent investigation “to protect their own,” he is more formidably entrenched than ever with Establishment Politics. Bill Binney, for example, on CN Live stated that his interview with Pompeo, after presenting the considerable evidence on the leak, went nowhere.
Bill Binney also on CN Live:
The government has exposed itself as shown in the data they’ve been trying to protect;
NSA can gather and retrieve every email sent by everybody in the world;
Courts are realizing they’ve been fed a line by these intelligence agencies; this is what’s hopeful that may come out by the current machinery with Barr et al;
What we have now are permanently petrified politicians.
But what about Nathanial Freitas’s analysis, which also appeared as part of the Nation forum and which failed to support VIPS50? Any response from Binney or the Forensicator?
((“The dissenting group took specific issue with these findings. “Data-transfer speeds across networks and the Internet measured in megabits per second (or megabytes per second) can easily achieve rates that greatly exceed the cited reference in the VIPS memo,” the dissidents wrote.
It was at this point the dissenters repeated the failures of the intelligence apparatus and the Mueller investigation: They produced no evidence. There is no indication the dissenters conducted tests to support their assertion on the speed question. The VIPS memo applied scientific method to the DNC mail theft for the first time and was intended as an “evidence to date” document. This marked a transformative advance in how the DNC incident can be understood: The imperative since has been to bring countervailing evidence to the investigative process, which continues. No one —not the dissenters, not the DNC, not the “intelligence community,” not Mueller, not the press — has done so.”)) from the article.
Didn’t Binney and VIPS associates carry out tests on transoceanic transfers following that dissent (and still found that transoceanic transfers couldn’t reach the transfer rates discovered in the NGP-VAN archive)? see: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/03/13/vips-muellers-forensics-free-findings/
Nor is there any evidence that Russia violated the INF missile treaty: