Tag Archives: Russian hacking

Why John Brennan, Peter Strzok and DOJ Needed Julian Assange Arrested – And Why UK Officials Obliged… by sundance

Julian Assange could blow the Russiagate hack fabrication to smithereens. From sundance at theconservativetreehouse.com:

According to reports in November of 2019, U.S Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr were spending time on a narrowed focus looking carefully at CIA activity in the 2016 presidential election. One recent quote from a media-voice increasingly sympathetic to a political deep-state notes:

“One British official with knowledge of Barr’s wish list presented to London commented that “it is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services””. (Link)

It is interesting that quote came from a British intelligence official, as there appears to be  evidence of an extensive CIA operation that likely involved U.K. intelligence services. In addition, and as a direct outcome, there is an aspect to the CIA operation that overlaps with both a U.S. and U.K. need to keep Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under tight control. In this outline we will explain where corrupt U.S. and U.K. interests merge.

To understand the risk that Julian Assange represented to CIA interests, it is important to understand just how extensive the operations of the CIA were in 2016. It is within this network of foreign and domestic operations where FBI Agent Peter Strzok is clearly working as a bridge between the CIA and FBI operations.

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“Putin Hacked Our Coronavirus Vaccine” Is The Dumbest Story Yet, by Caitlin Johnstone

The Russians never sleep and they’re everywhere, all the time. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

OMG you guys Putin hacked our coronavirus vaccine secrets!

Today mainstream media is reporting what is arguably the single dumbest Russiavape story of all time, against some very stiff competition.

“Russian hackers are targeting health care organizations in the West in an attempt to steal coronavirus vaccine research, the U.S. and Britain said,” reports The New York Times.

“Hackers backed by the Russian state are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said on Thursday,” Reuters reports.

“Russian news agency RIA cited spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying the Kremlin rejected London’s allegations, which he said were not backed by proper evidence,” adds Reuters.

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Hidden Over 2 Years: Dem Cyber-Firm’s Sworn Testimony It Had No Proof of Russian Hack of DNC, by Aaron Maté

Aaron Maté is one of a select group of alternative media journalistic superstars who kept digging and digging and helped expose the sham that was Russiagate. From Maté at realclearinvestigations.com:

CrowdStrike, the private cyber-security firm that first accused Russia of hacking Democratic Party emails and served as a critical source for U.S. intelligence officials in the years-long Trump-Russia probe, acknowledged to Congress more than two years ago that it had no concrete evidence that Russian hackers stole emails from the Democratic National Committee’s server.

Crowdstrike President Shawn Henry: “We just don’t have the evidence …”

CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry’s admission under oath,  in a recently declassified December 2017 interview before the House Intelligence Committee, raises new questions about whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller, intelligence officials and Democrats misled the public. The allegation that Russia stole Democratic Party emails from Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and others and then passed them to WikiLeaks helped trigger the FBI’s probe into now debunked claims of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to steal the 2016 election. The CrowdStrike admissions were released just two months after the Justice Department retreated from its its other central claim that Russia meddled in the 2016 election when it dropped charges against Russian troll farms it said had been trying to get Trump elected.

Henry personally led the remediation and forensics analysis of the DNC server after being warned of a breach in late April 2016; his work was paid for by the DNC, which refused to turn over its server to the FBI. Asked for the date when alleged Russian hackers stole data from the DNC server, Henry testified that CrowdStrike did not in fact know if such a theft occurred at all: “We did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated [moved electronically] from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated,” Henry said.

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VIPS: Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings, by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

The DNC computers could not have been remotely hacked via the internet in the summer of 2016. The material obtained had to have been directly downloaded by someone on site. From the VIPS at consortiumnews.com:

The final Mueller report should be graded “incomplete,” says VIPS, whose forensic work proves the speciousness of the story that DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking.

March 13, 2019

MEMORANDUM FOR:    The Attorney General

FROM:   Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT:   Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings

Executive Summary

Media reports are predicting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to give you the findings of his probe into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump. If Mueller gives you his “completed” report anytime soon, it should be graded “incomplete.” Major deficiencies include depending on a DNC-hired cybersecurity company for forensics and failure to consult with those who have done original forensic work, including us and the independent forensic investigators with whom we have examined the data. We stand ready to help.

We veteran intelligence professionals (VIPS) have done enough detailed forensic work to prove the speciousness of the prevailing story that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking. Given the paucity of evidence to support that story, we believe Mueller may choose to finesse this key issue and leave everyone hanging. That would help sustain the widespread belief that Trump owes his victory to President Vladimir Putin, and strengthen the hand of those who pay little heed to the unpredictable consequences of an increase in tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.

There is an overabundance of “assessments” but a lack of hard evidence to support that prevailing narrative. We believe that there are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of “evidence,” particularly if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions. We know only too well — and did our best to expose — how our former colleagues in the intelligence community manufactured fraudulent “evidence” of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

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US Midterms Expose Russia Hacker Myth, by Finian Cunningham

There’s been not a peep about Russian hacking after the recent elections. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:

Don’t hold your breath for it, but there should be an abject apology coming from US politicians, pundits, media and intelligence agencies.

For months leading up to the midterm elections held last week, we were told that the Kremlin was deviously targeting the ballot, in a replay of the way Russian hackers allegedly interfered in the 2016 presidential race to get Donald Trump into the White House.

Supposedly reliable news media outlets like the New York Times and heavyweight Senate panels were quoting intelligence sources warning that the “Russians are coming – again”.

So what just happened? Nothing. Where were the social media campaigns of malicious Russian-inspired misinformation “sowing division”? Whatever happened to the supposed army of internet bots and trolls that the Kremlin command? Where are the electoral machines tampered with to give false vote counts?

Facebook said it had deleted around 100 social media accounts that it claimed “were linked” to pro-Russian entities intent on meddling in the midterms. How did Facebook determined that “linkage”? It was based on a “tip-off” by US intelligence agencies. Hardly convincing proof of a Kremlin plot to destabilize American democracy.

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BuzzFeed Suing DNC For Proof They Were Hacked, by Tyler Durden

Buzzfeed was the first media outlet to publish the Trump Dossier. The dossier alleged that a Russian tech executive’s computer company hacked into the DNC’s computers. Now the executive, Alexsej Gubarev, is suing Buzzfeed for defamation, and Buzzfeed is suing the DNC for proof it was hacked. The problem is, the DNC wasn’t hacked via the internet, the information was downloaded direct from its computers by parties unknown. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

BuzzFeed is suing the cash-strapped Democratic National Committee (DNC) to force them to hand over information related to the “Steele Dossier” that might help the news outlet defend itself against a lawsuit lodged by a Russian businessman who was named in the document.

Three separate lawsuits have been launched against BuzzFeed in connection to the January 11, 2017 publication of the dossier, which states that Russian tech executive Aleksej Gubarev used his web hosting companies to hack into the DNC’s computer systems.

The dossier, without substantiation, said Gubarev’s U.S.-based global web-hosting companies, XBT and Webzilla, planted digital bugs, transmitted viruses and conducted altering operations against the Democratic Party leadership.

While one key name in the dossier was blackened out by BuzzFeed, Gubarev’s was not. He alleges that he was never contacted for comment, suffering reputational harm in the process. –Foreign Policy

As part of their defense, BuzzFeed issued a subpoena to the DNC for information which might help them defend against Gubarev’s lawsuit by verifying claims in the dossier – including “digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives,” as well as a full version of the hacking report prepared by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.

Since the DNC wouldn’t let the FBI look at the server and instead relied on the report prepared by CrowdStrike (founded by Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch – who sits on the very Anti-Russian Atlantic Council along with Evelyn “oops!” Farkas. The AC is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk, who apparently owns the Ukrainian gas company Joe Biden’s son is on the board of).

“As part of the discovery process, BuzzFeed is attempting to verify claims in the dossier that relate to the hacking of the DNC,” said BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenhal in a statement. “We’re asking a federal court to force the DNC to follow the law and allow BuzzFeed to fully defend its First Amendment rights.”

To continue reading: BuzzFeed Suing DNC For Proof They Were Hacked

Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence, by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

Independent cyber investigators have examined the metadata into the intrusion, erroneously called a hack, into the DNC’s servers in July 2016. Their conclusion: it was a downloaded leak, not a hack. From VIPS at consortiumnews.com:

In a memo to President Trump, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, cite new forensic studies to challenge the claim of the key Jan. 6 “assessment” that Russia “hacked” Democratic emails last year. 

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?

Executive Summary

Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device, and that “telltale signs” implicating Russia were then inserted.

Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack. Of equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S. Thus far, mainstream media have ignored the findings of these independent studies [see hereand here].

Independent analyst Skip Folden, a retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, who examined the recent forensic findings, is a co-author of this Memorandum. He has drafted a more detailed technical report titled “Cyber-Forensic Investigation of ‘Russian Hack’ and Missing Intelligence Community Disclaimers,” and sent it to the offices of the Special Counsel and the Attorney General. VIPS member William Binney, a former Technical Director at the National Security Agency, and other senior NSA “alumni” in VIPS attest to the professionalism of the independent forensic findings.

To continue reading: Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence

 

NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard, by Robert Parry

It was half-hearted, lukewarm, but it was a retraction. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

Exclusive: A founding Russia-gate myth is that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia hacked into and distributed Democratic emails, a falsehood that The New York Times has belatedly retracted, reports Robert Parry.

The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false.

On Thursday, the Times appended a correction to a June 25 article that had repeated the false claim, which has been used by Democrats and the mainstream media for months to brush aside any doubts about the foundation of the Russia-gate scandal and portray President Trump as delusional for doubting what all 17 intelligence agencies supposedly knew to be true.

In the Times’ White House Memo of June 25, correspondent Maggie Haberman mocked Trump for “still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected.”

However, on Thursday, the Times – while leaving most of Haberman’s ridicule of Trump in place – noted in a correction that the relevant intelligence “assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”

The Times’ grudging correction was vindication for some Russia-gate skeptics who had questioned the claim of a full-scale intelligence assessment, which would usually take the form of a National Intelligence Estimate (or NIE), a product that seeks out the views of the entire Intelligence Community and includes dissents.

The reality of a more narrowly based Russia-gate assessment was admitted in May by President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan in sworn congressional testimony.

To continue reading: NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard

Powerball, Part One, by Robert Gore

Only the loons are still talking about impeaching Trump.

What makes Donald Trump tick? Why has he done the things he has done? Analytically, it’s advisable to set aside partisanship and other emotions when attempting to answer those questions. Thus, the following analysis is Machiavellian, in the sense that it is stripped of moral considerations, condemnation, or approbation. It is an attempt to ask the right questions and construct from the available data the most plausible hypotheses. Only time will tell if the emergent hypotheses are correct.

Machiavelli’s touchstone was power—getting and keeping it. Let’s hypothesize that Trump ran for president first and foremost because he wanted power. For 99.999 percent of politicians that’s true, so ostensibly that’s an unremarkable assertion, but especially among Trump’s supporters, power is usually not acknowledged as a motivation, much less the primary one. In his quest for power, he had several advantages: his opposition did not think he could win and wrote him off as a blowhard idiot, they publicly denigrated his supporters, and Hillary Clinton ran an inept campaign. That opposition included a considerable number of establishment Republicans and most of the Deep State.

In their overconfidence, Trump’s opponents made mistakes. Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich was gunned down July 10, 2016. There was no sign of robbery; his watch and wallet were not taken. Twelve days later WikiLeaks released a trove of embarrassing DNC emails that documented DNC favoritism towards Hillary Clinton and a concerted effort to stop her opponent, Bernie Sanders. The emails led to the resignation of party chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz. There has been speculation that Rich was the WikiLeaks source. WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of his murderer.

ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY

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Let’s make two plausible assumptions, clearly labeled speculative. First, assume Rich was the source of the WikiLeaks’ disclosure. Second, assume DNC operatives instigated his murder. There would be two explanations why Rich’s killing was not set up to look like a garden-variety Washington robbery and murder. One is simple incompetence: Rich’s murderer or murderers botched it. The more plausible is that the murder was meant to send a message to anyone else in the DNC who might have been considering “betraying” the organization. Making it look like robbery and murder would have muddled the message. Within the DNC, the instigator or instigators believed that a proper investigation would be quashed by the Obama administration and what they overconfidently reckoned would be the incoming Clinton administrations.

After the WikiLeaks’ disclosure, the DNC concocted the Russian hacking story to discredit the disclosure and hired cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to “verify” it. CrowdStrike did no such thing, but the imaginary hacking served as the foundation for the specious Russian-Trump collusion story. Again, the DNC and its allies within the intelligence agencies, the FBI, and the media made an egregious mistake born of overconfidence. They assumed that with a Clinton victory the Russian story would have done what it was designed to do—discredit both the embarrassing disclosure and Trump—and most probably would have let it die.

Except Trump won the election. As SLL explained in “Plot Holes,” this put the entire establishment in a panic, and not because of policy differences.

The real story isn’t Russia. Do you mount a “soft coup” over policy differences when, after all the Washington give and take, those policies will, at worst, marginally affect your influence, power, and payola? Doubtful. (Keep in mind Trump wants to increase military budgets.) If, on the other hand, you’re facing complete disgrace and ruin, including a long stretch in a penal institution, there’s nothing you won’t do to save yourself.

It’s not what politicians and bureaucrats do sub rosa that poses the biggest danger to the country and the world, but what they do in broad daylight. However, there’s no denying that Washington is the world capital of sub rosa—the unethical, immoral, and illegal. To use a favorite Trump adjective, it’s a crooked place. Trump knows or suspects where some of the bodies are buried, and the powers that be fear he’ll go after them for everything from garden-variety graft, bribery, theft, and influence peddling to crimes as sordid as child molestation and murder.

Thus the frantic effort to depose Trump that began as soon as he won the election. The Russian story couldn’t be abandoned. Flimsy as it was, it was all his opponents had, although using it reeked of desperation and weakness (see “Desperation” and “Plot Holes”). The intelligence community, James Comey’s FBI, and the captive media did their best to put some lipstick on this pig, but anyone with a three-digit IQ and a shred of intellectual integrity could see there was no real evidence to support it. How could there be? Ominously for them, illegal intelligence and FBI leaks to the media were giving Trump and the Justice Department grounds for a counterattack: investigation of the leaks.

Two curiosities stand out in FBI Director James Comey’s firing. Unlike many stories in the leak-prone Trump administration, the dismissal came out of the blue; secrecy was tightly maintained. Also, Comey was essentially fired by television (a letter was later delivered) while he was 3,000 miles away from Washington in California. Per its usual practice the mainstream media attributed both to Trump’s shortcomings: impetuosity and rage at Comey’s investigation of the Russian connection. For the following contrary analysis, SLL is indebted to an article by a Mr. Livingston—who goes by the name of Doc—received in an email from a friend. Again, we are entering the area of speculation, but this speculation provides a more plausible explanation for the curiosities.

According to Livingston, Trump had long wanted to fire Comey but had to wait for the right moment. That moment was when Comey was out of Washington. Secrecy was maintained because if he had any inkling of what was going on, he would clean out his office and purge his computer files after saving them to a secure cyber-location. By handling the firing the way he did, Trump allowed his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to take control of Comey’s office and files. Livingston asserts that Sessions, as head of the Department of Justice of which the FBI is a part, had the legal authority to do so.

If Sessions, and by implication Trump, have Comey’s files and other materials, what are the implications? At the least, they have proof the Russia story was a fabrication. They probably know whatever Comey knows about the Seth Rich murder and Comey’s allies (some of whom may be leakers or receivers of leaks), not just within the FBI, but within the intelligence community, other agencies within the federal bureaucracy, the legislature, and the media. As head of the FBI, Comey, a seasoned and cynical Washington hand, undoubtedly collected secrets about both friends and foes. That’s the job’s best perk. If in fact Trump and Sessions have all this information, then they have much of official Washington by its testicles.

The question then is whether they use the information to launch a public swamp draining, or use it sub rosa to further their political goals. Part Two argues that in light of Trump’s recent trip abroad, the latter is more likely than the former, and that he has changed both the power calculus and American foreign policy.

THIS CENTURY’S BEST NOVEL

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Believing The Russian “Hacking” Claim, by David Swanson

The only thing missing from the Russian “hacking” story is evidence. From David Swanson at strategic-culture.org:

Believing the Russian ‘Hacking’ Claim

Believing the Russian ‘Hacking’ Claim

 

When the U.S. public was told that Spain had blown up the Maine, or Vietnam had returned fire, or Iraq had stockpiled weapons, or Libya was planning a massacre, the claims were straightforward and disprovable.

CIA Director John Brennan addresses officials at the Agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

Before people began referring to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, somebody had to lie that it had happened, and there had to be an understanding of what had supposedly happened. No investigation into whether anything had happened could have taken as its starting point the certainty that a Vietnamese attack or attacks had happened. And no investigation into whether a Vietnamese attack had happened could have focused its efforts on unrelated matters, such as whether anyone in Vietnam had ever done business with any relatives or colleagues of Robert McNamara.

All of this is otherwise with the idea that the Russian government determined the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. U.S. corporate media reports often claim that Russia did decide the election or tried to do that or wanted to try to do that. But they also often admit to not knowing whether any such thing is the case.

There is no established account, with or without evidence to support it, of exactly what Russia supposedly did. And yet there are countless articles casually referring, as if to established fact to the…

“Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election” (Yahoo).

“Russian attempts to disrupt the election” (New York Times).

“Russian… interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election” (ABC).

“Russian influence over the 2016 presidential election” (The Intercept).

“a multi-pronged investigation to uncover the full extent of Russia’s election-meddling” (Time).

“Russian interference in the US election” (CNN).

“Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election” (American Constitution Society).

“Russian hacking in US Election” (Business Standard).”

“Obama Strikes Back at Russia for Election Hacking” we’re told by the New York Times, but what is “election hacking”? Its definition seems to vary widely. And what evidence is there of Russia having done it?

To continue reading: Believing The Russian “Hacking” Claim