Tag Archives: FBI

More Holes in Russia-gate Narrative, by William Binney and Ray McGovern

William Binney and Ray McGovern further eviscerate the Russian hacking myth. From Binner and McGovern at antiwar.com:

It is no secret that our July 24 VIPS Memorandum for the President, entitled “Was the ‘Russian Hack’ an Inside Job?,” gave rise to some questioning and controversy – nor was it a surprise that it was met with almost total silence in the mainstream media.

The ongoing U.S. media campaign against Russia has been so effective that otherwise intelligent people have been unable even to entertain the notion that they may have been totally misled by the intelligence community. The last time this happened in 2003, after a year of such propaganda, the US attacked Iraq on fraudulent – not “mistaken” – intelligence.

Anticipating resistance from those allergic to rethinking “what everybody knows” about Russian “meddling,” we based our VIPs analysis on forensic investigations that, oddly, the FBI had bent over backwards to avoid. In other words, we relied on the principles of physics and the known capability of the Internet in early July 2016.

We stand by our main conclusion that the data from the intrusion of July 5, 2016, into the Democratic National Committee’s computers, an intrusion blamed on “Russian hacking,” was not a hack but rather a download/copy onto an external storage device by someone with physical access to the DNC.

That principal finding relied heavily on the speed with which the copy took place – a speed much faster than a hack over the Internet could have achieved at the time – or, it seems clear, even now. Challenged on that conclusion – often by those conducting experiments within the confines of a laboratory – we have conducted and documented additional tests to determine the speeds that can be achieved now, more than a year later.

To remind: We noted in the VIPs memo that on July 5, 2016, a computer directly connected to the DNC server or DNC Local Area Network, copied 1,976 megabytes of data in 87 seconds onto an external storage device. That yields a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.

To continue reading: More Holes in Russia-gate Narrative

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So Deep It’s Sunk, by Robert Gore

If you strike the king but do not kill him, by definition your position is weak.

There has never have been a deeper deep state than the Soviet Union’s. It controlled everything: the military, intelligence, the judicial system, the rest of the government, the press, and the economy. It operated in shadows and darkness; there was no loyal opposition or media to shine the occasional light. Yet at 7:32 p.m., December 26, 1991, the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin and replaced with the Russian flag. The Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union’s declaration number 142-H recognized the independence of the Soviet republics. Mikhail Gorbachev had resigned, handing power to Boris Yeltsin. The Soviet Union and its deep state were no more.

There are still lessons to be generally recognized from the fall of the Soviet Union. First and foremost: command and control doesn’t work. That’s a lesson US commanders and controllers and their media and academic fellow travelers ignore at their peril. They cling to their cherished vision of American life directed from above, with the infamous Deep State at the apex of the power pyramid, the ultimate string pullers. Recent maneuvers, however, suggest a Deep State so tangled in its own strings that any attempt to free itself will only make the situation worse.

A deep state operates submerged from public view. The US deep state had to emerge in its effort to topple Trump, an emergence that screams weakness (see “Plot Holes”). The ineptitude of the effort made the weakness that much more apparent. A claim that Russia had hacked the Democratic Nation Committee (DNC) last summer and then used Wikileaks to disseminate what it had hacked, all in collusion with Donald Trump’s campaign, was the cornerstone of this maladroit coup. It should have raised more eyebrows than it did that the DNC refused to turn over its servers to the FBI for analysis, and that the only confirmation of the hacking claim came from a contractor, Crowdstrike, which had numerous conflicts of interest, including that it was paid by the DNC.

No objective, scientific analysis of the evidence was performed until that of the Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). That group forensically analyzed the metadata associated with the alleged hack. The speed with which the material was downloaded precluded an Internet based hack. The only way it could have been downloaded so quickly was onto an external storage device. That’s a leak, not a remote hack. It had to have been done by someone with direct access to the DNC’s computer system, which suggests a DNC insider, perhaps Seth Rich.

Alternative news site consortiumnews.com published the VIPS’ analysis and conclusions . Mainstream “confirmation” followed at the left-leaning thenation.com. With its cornerstone gone, the Russian collusion story collapsed. For form’s sake Special Prosecutor Mueller will fan the embers for the next few months, perhaps uncovering a technical violation or two of this or that inconsequential law, perhaps releasing some sort of face saving report, but even the most rabid anti-Trumpers appear to recognize that the Russian hack dog won’t hunt.

If this is the best the supposed all-powerful deep state could come up with, then the deep state isn’t nearly as powerful as supposed. The way this affair was handled buttresses that conclusion, because it opens deep staters to serious legal liability.

Before the election they thought they would be shielded by a Clinton administration, but now they’re wide open to prosecution for a number of possible crimes. There is the FBI’s dereliction of duty, not performing its own analysis of DNC servers and accepting Crowdstrike’s conclusions without further scrutiny. (It was apparently in bed with the Clinton camp from the get-go.) There are the multiple leaks to friendly news outlets of classified information. There are the intelligence reports with their damning and much-reported, but evidence free, best assessments and probable conclusions. Potentially the most legally troublesome: a cabal of deep state insiders concocted their story to unseat a duly elected United States president. That makes out a prima facie case of treason.

If you strike the king but do not kill him, by definition your position is weak. He can exact ultimate retribution and your head is in a basket, or he can let you twist in the wind. The best guess is that Trump will do both, depending on the specifics of each conspirator’s situation and which course will be most useful to him.

When California Senator Diane Feinstein says conciliatory things about Trump, infuriating her base, you know things have changed. As ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, she has also joined chairman Charles Grassley requesting interviews with two high-ranking FBI officials concerning the discredited Trump dossier. She’s one of the shrewdest power players in Washington, a deep state stalwart. Her effort with Grassley and her conciliation aren’t magnanimous gestures from the bottom of her black heart. Rather she’s bending the knee; Trump has won the game of thrones.

When the major mainstream media outlets in unison condemn Antifa’s violent tactics, you know things have changed. George Soros, meet Donald Trump and the new order. The condemnations toss the latest kerfuffle about what Trump said after Charlottesville down the memory hole, and give Trump cover to do something about fringe violence in the future. The extremists are by no means finished; that wouldn’t serve anyone’s purposes. They’ll make handy scapegoats; you never know when there’s going to be a fire at the Reichstag.

There has been a tiresome litany of articles about Trump’s capture by the deep state, characterizing him as a puppet for the military and Goldman Sachs. Whatever idealism motivated his run for president is gone and he’s now supposedly just an errand boy. The commentators who bemoaned the firing of Michael Flynn dusted off their articles, changed and rearranged a few things, and bemoaned the departure of Steve Bannon. Poor Donald’s all by himself in big, bad Washington. Except he’s mowing down his enemies one by one (it looks like James Comey may be next), and he’s got the deep state cornered. As for his associates, if there’s one clear lesson from Trump’s life it’s that everyone—wives, employees, Goldman Sachs flunkies, generals, you name it—is expendable. Some of those he’s terminated in the past probably thought they had the upper hand.

Many of the same Trump-as-puppet commentators dusted off their articles bemoaning Trump’s bombing of the Syrian air base, changed and rearranged a few things, and bemoaned Trump’s Afghanistan escalation. Few of those latter articles mentioned that the Syrian government, with the aid of Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, has turned the corner on quashing the rebellion, ISIS is on the run, and Syrian refugees are returning home. All of which sets the stage for the US to eventually leave Syria. Look for something similar to eventually play out in Afghanistan, and to go similarly unremarked upon.

Donald Trump didn’t risk all for the Iron Throne to let Goldman Sachs and the military run the show. He has allied with those power centers, but he’s calling the shots. Trump has allied with another power center: state and local police departments. He has given them fulsome, vocal support, encouragement to be more brutal, rescission of President Obama’s civil asset forfeiture rollback, and promises of more military gear. This is what one would expect of a ruler bent on consolidating his power—secure the praetorians. The Bill of Rights won’t stand in the way of sealing that alliance.

Trump’s supporters can’t believe their man’s primary motivation is acquiring power. Trump’s enemies, other than Senator Feinstein, can’t believe how good he is at it. Neither side will recognize the real danger until it’s too late. Legions of worrywarts fret that an erratic, captured Trump will go off half-cocked and press a nuclear button or do something else almost as stupidly devastating. What should worry them are the precise calculations and bloodless strategies of the most ruthlessly Machiavellian president since Franklin D. Roosevelt as he further consolidates and extends his power. Given present jurisprudence, nothing in the Constitution stands in his way.

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Standoff brews between Senate, FBI over Trump dossier, by Byron York

Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Diane Feinstein, it’s ranking Democrat, would like to talk to two high-ranking FBI officials about the now infamous Trump dossier. The FBI and Justice Department are resisting. From Byron York at washingtonexaminer.com:

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, want to interview two high-ranking FBI officials about some key aspects of the bureau’s role in the Trump-Russia investigation — the Trump dossier, the firing of James Comey, and more. But the FBI doesn’t want those officials to talk — even though the Judiciary Committee has oversight responsibility for the FBI, and even though the request is bipartisan, and even though there appears to be no conflict with the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation conducted by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

A standoff could be developing.

It began on July 11, when Grassley and Feinstein wrote letters to James Rybicki, who was Director Comey’s chief of staff, and Carl Ghattas, head of the bureau’s national security branch. “The committee is investigating the removal of FBI Director James Comey, Russian interference in the 2016 election, and allegations of improper interference in law enforcement investigations,” the chairman and ranking member wrote. “Please make yourself available for a transcribed interview during the week of July 24, 2017.”

It didn’t happen. On July 27, Samuel Ramer, the acting assistant attorney general, wrote to say that Rybicki and Ghattas would not be talking. Noting the Mueller investigation, Ramer said, “Under these circumstances and consistent with the department’s long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters, the department cannot make Mr. Ghattas or Mr. Rybicki available for transcribed interviews at this time.”

Grassley and Feinstein did not agree. They knew that committee staff, Republican and Democrat, had had so-called “de-confliction” discussions with Mueller’s office on how the Senate investigation might proceed without interfering with Mueller’s criminal probe. And they didn’t see a conflict. So on August 25, Grassley and Feinstein wrote another letter, this time to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

To continue reading: Standoff brews between Senate, FBI over Trump dossier

Comey Bombshell: FBI Director’s Leaked Trump Memos Contained Classified Information, by Tyler Durden

The other shoe is dropping the Russiagate story. The first shoe, the Trump’s campaign alleged collusion with Russia, has gone nowhere. Now the other shoe: leaks of sensitive and classified material by the Obama administration, intelligence agencies, and the FBI to a complaisant press to undermine the Trump administration. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Amid the constant media outrage over everything Trump, Trump, Trump, some might have forgotten that in the political rollercoaster over the past 12 months, there were numerous other high-profile individuals involved, including not only former DOJ head Loretta Lynch, whose every interaction with the Clinton campaign is about to be probed under a Congressional microscope, but the man who some say started it all: former FBI Director James Comey.

First loved by the Democrats when he personally absolved Hillary Clinton of any sins regarding her (ab)use of her personal email server, then furiously loathed when he reopened the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton one week before the election, then finally getting into a feud with President Trump which cost his him job, Comey ultimately admitted to leaking at least one memo which contained personal recollections of his conversations with the president, in hopes of launching a special probe into the president’s alleged Russian collusion.

 

There was just one problem: according to a blockbuster report from The Hill, in addition to the leaked memos, Comey also leaked classified information in gross and direct violation of FBI rules and regulations. And just like that Comey finds himself in trouble. Only not just any trouble, but the virtually same trouble that Hillary Clinton was in in the summer of 2016… and which James Comey was tasked to investigate.

To continue reading: Comey Bombshell: FBI Director’s Leaked Trump Memos Contained Classified Information

DNC Server: Most Critical Evidence To Proving “Russian Hacking” Is Being Withheld From Mueller, Why? by Tyler Durden

This has always been one of the gaping holes in the Russiagate story: the DNC’s refusal to turn over to the FBI the servers that were allegedly hacked by the Russians. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

If there were any actual crimes committed during the 2016 presidential election, then the origin of those crimes can be traced back to a single piece of hardware sitting at the DNC which housed the emails that were stolen and subsequently shared with WikiLeaks.  Ironically, despite the fact that they’re apparently sitting on perhaps the most critical evidence available to prove that Russia “hacked the election,” an allegation that has been hammered 24/7 on CNN for the better part of a year now despite a lack of actual tangible evidence to support the allegation, the DNC has completely refused to cooperate with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and/or Robert Mueller’s independent investigation.  Which begs one very simple question, why?

As the Washington Times points out, a cybersecurity firm called CrowdStrike, is the only organization that has been allowed by the DNC to inspect their email server…an inspection which quickly resulted in the very ‘convenient’ conclusion that Russia was the culprit of the hack…even though minimal details supporting that conclusion were ever revealed to authorities.

 It is perhaps the key piece of forensic evidence in Russia’s suspected efforts to sway the November presidential election, but federal investigators have yet to get their hands on the hacked computer server that handled email from the Democratic National Committee.

Indeed, the only cybersecurity specialists who have taken a look at the server are from CrowdStrike, the Irvine, California-based private cybersecurity company that the DNC hired to investigate the hack — but which has come under fire itself for its work.

 Some critics say CrowdStrike’s evidence for blaming Russia for the hack is thin. Members of Congress say they still believe Russia was responsible but wonder why the DNC has never allowed federal investigators to get a look at the key piece of evidence: the server. Either way, a key “witness” in the political scandal consuming the Trump administration remains beyond the reach of investigators.

 “I want to find out from the company [that] did the forensics what their full findings were,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is leading the Judiciary Committee’s inquiry, told The Washington Times.

As you may recall, CrowdStrike is the very same ‘cybersecurity’ firm that attributed the Sony hack to North Korea…

To continue reading: DNC Server: Most Critical Evidence To Proving “Russian Hacking” Is Being Withheld From Mueller, Why?

‘Soft Coup’ on Trump, Hiding in Plain Sight, by Robert Parry

The mainstream media is trying to rouse some excitement about Trump’s supposed obstruction of justice in meetings with Comey, yet they can’t be bothered asking any questions about a meeting in which Comey arguably tried to blackmail Trump. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

Exclusive: Official Washington is abuzz about ex-FBI Director Comey’s testimony and excited about possibly impeaching President Trump, but that misses the underlying story of a “soft coup” by the Intelligence Community, says Robert Parry.

So what were we watching in ex-FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Thursday: an upright public servant punished for resisting a power-mad President or a participant in a political scheme to use the law as a way to overturn a U.S. presidential election?

There was a general consensus in the mainstream media that it was the first, that Comey was the noble victim and President Trump the conniving villain. And, surely, Trump could be criticized for his clumsy firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and ensuing expression of “hope” to then-FBI Director Comey that Flynn would not be punished further.

But – outside the view of the MSM – there are other troubling aspects of what is now unfolding, including the scene of FBI Director Comey informing President-elect Trump on Jan. 6 about a defamatory annex to an intelligence report detailing unproven but salacious allegations and then seeing those details leaked almost immediately to humiliate Trump in the days before his Inauguration.

In his Thursday testimony, Comey defended his role in alerting Trump to the Intelligence Community’s publication of the allegations, which summarized opposition research done to benefit Hillary Clinton’s campaign and alleging that Trump had hired Russian prostitutes to urinate on him as he lay in a bed once used by President and Mrs. Obama at the five-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow – while supposedly secretly videotaped by Russian intelligence.

In the testimony, Comey said that after he and other Obama’s intelligence chiefs briefed the President-elect at Trump Towers on Jan. 6 about their report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, “I remained alone with the President-elect to brief him on some personally sensitive aspects of the information assembled during the assessment.

“The I.C. leadership thought it important, for a variety of reasons, to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material, even though it was salacious and unverified. Among those reasons were: (1) we knew the media was about to publicly report the material and we believed the I.C. should not keep knowledge of the material and its imminent release from the President-elect; and (2) to the extent there was some effort to compromise an incoming President, we could blunt any such effort with a defensive briefing.

“The Director of National Intelligence asked that I personally do this portion of the briefing because I was staying in my position and because the material implicated the FBI’s counter-intelligence responsibilities. We also agreed I would do it alone to minimize potential embarrassment to the President-elect.”

 

To continue reading: ‘Soft Coup’ on Trump, Hiding in Plain Sight

The Impeach-Trump Conspiracy, by Patrick J. Buchanan

If you strike the king you must kill him, so the wisdom goes. If the conspiracy fails, and Comey’s testimony yesterday hurt more than helped, Trump’s liable to take a fearsome vengeance. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Pressed by Megyn Kelly on his ties to President Trump, an exasperated Vladimir Putin blurted out, “We had no relationship at all. … I never met him. … Have you all lost your senses over there?”

Yes, Vlad, we have.

Consider the questions that have convulsed this city since the Trump triumph, and raised talk of impeachment.

Did Trump collude with Russians to hack the DNC emails and move the goods to WikiLeaks, thus revealing the state secret that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was putting the screws to poor Bernie Sanders?

If not Trump himself, did campaign aides collude with the KGB?

Now, given that our NSA and CIA seemingly intercept everything Russians say to Americans, why is our fabled FBI, having investigated for a year, unable to give us a definitive yes or no?

The snail’s pace of the FBI investigation explains Trump’s frustration. What explains the FBI’s torpor? If J. Edgar Hoover had moved at this pace, John Dillinger would have died of old age.

We hear daily on cable TV of the “Trump-Russia” scandal. Yet, no one has been charged with collusion, and every intelligence official, past or prevent, who has spoken out has echoed ex-acting CIA Director Mike Morrell:

“On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark.”

Where are the criminals? Where is the crime?

As for the meetings between Gen. Mike Flynn, Jared Kushner, Sen. Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, it appears that Trump wanted a “back channel” to Putin so he could honor his commitment to seek better relations with Russia.

Given the Russophobia rampant here, that makes sense. And while it appears amateurish that Flynn would use Russian channels of communication, what is criminal about this?

To continue reading: The Impeach-Trump Conspiracy