Trust Me, I’m The DNI

Today I heard our one-time California Representative, Democrat Jane Harmon, reassure people that all is well in the world of US intelligence. She said that after the two big intelligence failures, the US intelligence services had been totally reorganized. I wondered, which two big failures? She listed them as missing 9/11 despite lots of indications, and of being wrong, wrong, wrong about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the second Gulf War. Fair enough.

She pointed out that after those failures a new post, the Director of National Intelligence, was created to bring some order and coherence to our no less than seventeen! spy agencies.The current DNI, James Clapper, was testifying today before Congress regarding Russian involvement in the DNC penetration. Ex-Rep Harmon said that she believed that now, everything was just wonderful, and she was shocked to see the Donald not bow down to Clapper’s superior knowledge …

spy-vs-spy

My first thought, of course, was of President Obama calling ISIS the “Junior Varsity” and saying that they posed no threat. Obviously he was basing his claim on the combined output of our new you-beaut all-for-one seventeen intelligence agencies, topped off by the wisdom of DNI James Clapper.

Unfortunately for Clapper and the US, in the event ISIS turned out to be the number one threat of the 21st century to Europe and to the US. This is not a minor miss. This is not our intelligence agencies failing to notice some obscure Russian action in Kyrgyzstan.

This is our seventeen intelligence agencies working together in their combined wisdom to totally miss the biggest threat of the century to date.

Then I remembered this from last year:

More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast has learned.

The complaints spurred the Pentagon’s inspector general to open an investigation into the alleged manipulation of intelligence. The fact that so many people complained suggests there are deep-rooted, systemic problems in how the U.S. military command charged with the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State assesses intelligence.

“The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command,” one defense official said.

Finally, I remembered that DNI James Clapper went before Congress not long ago and solemnly assured both Congress and the American people that nobody was spying on dni-james-clappermillions of Americans … only to be outed as a damn liar not long afterwards when Edward Snowdon revealed that yes indeedy, they absolutely were spying on millions of us.

So Ex-Representative Harmon will have to forgive me if I do not take the assessments of James Clapper and “the senior level of the intelligence command” at face value. He has demonstrated that even when he raises his hand and swears to tell the truth you can’t trust him.

And further, I’m not buying Senator John McCain’s claim that this is some kind of test of being a real American, based on whether we accept without question the unsubstantiated claims of the often-wrong US intelligence community. Given their recent history of errors, mistakes, and false claims including the DNI flat-out lying to Congress, we’d be fools not to question their claims.

Let me take you through the current example, the hacking of the DNC and Podesta emails. I wrote a précis of this before, let me repeat it here.

First fact. It’s very possible (few things in espionage are ever fully clear) that Russia hacked the DNC. However, the information released to date is far from convincing.

Next fact. There is no evidence at all that the Russians released one scrap of whatever they found if they hacked it. I read the Joint Action Report (JAR). It has one sentence on the release of the information, saying:

The U.S. Government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed.

That’s it. That’s all they say about it. 

Note the clear distinction I make between HACKING information and DISCLOSING the hacked information, which I will continue to make in this post with capital letters. Over and over I see people conflating the two, either deliberately or not, including the intelligence community. Hacking information and disclosing information are very, very different.

Sadly, the only information we have from the seventeen agencies to date, the Joint Action Report (JAR), is a joke. It is only two pages long, and they merely parroted the findings of the investigation of CrowdStrike, a private security firm hired by the DNC to investigate the hack. The CrowdStrike study was published half a year ago, on June 12th, 2016. It was then picked up by CNN and broadcast on June 14, 2016. It showed evidence that two kinds of software known to be used by two different Russian private hacker groups had penetrated the DNC server. The CrowdStrike report strongly suggested but provided no evidence of Kremlin involvement in the hack.

OK, let me stop here and ask an interesting question. Care to guess why the two-page joint effort of the seventeen intelligence agencies contains no more information than the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC hack?

You’ll love this … the intelligence agencies don’t know more than that because the intelligence community never even examined the DNC servers. Seriously. And why didn’t the intelligence community examine the the DNC servers? Why did they rely on CrowdStrike for their information? From CNN:

The Democratic National Committee “rebuffed” a request from the FBI to examine its computer services after it was allegedly hacked by Russia during the 2016 election, a senior law enforcement official told CNN Thursday.

The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” a senior law enforcement official told CNN. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.
This statement is in response to reports that the FBI never asked the DNC for access to the hacked systems.

And now, of course, Democrats angrily rubbish Trump’s name for not trusting the same intelligence community that the DNC didn’t trust to examine their own servers.

In any case, about a week after it was revealed by CNN that the Russians had penetrated the DNC server, on June 22nd, Julian Assange’s organization Wikileaks published the emails in question. Assange said since then and emphatically repeated this week that the emails were leaked to them by a disgruntled Democrat who was sickened by the information that the DNC had secretly colluded to throw Bernie Sanders under the bus.

Of the intrusion, the JAR says the following:

In summer 2015, an APT29 spearphishing campaign directed emails containing a malicious link to over 1,000 recipients, including multiple U.S. Government victims. APT29 used legitimate domains, to include domains associated with U.S. organizations and educational institutions, to host malware and send spearphishing emails. In the course of that campaign, APT29 successfully compromised a U.S. political party. At least one targeted individual activated links to malware hosted on operational infrastructure of opened attachments containing malware. APT29 delivered malware to the political party’s systems, established persistence, escalated privileges, enumerated active directory accounts, and exfiltrated email from several accounts through encrypted connections back through operational infrastructure.

In spring 2016, APT28 compromised the same political party, again via targeted spearphishing. This time, the spearphishing email tricked recipients into changing their passwords through a fake webmail domain hosted on APT28 operational infrastructure. Using the harvested credentials, APT28 was able to gain access and steal content, likely leading to the exfiltration of information from multiple senior party members. The U.S. Government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed.

Note that they have clearly laid out the HACKING of the information, giving lots of details taken from the CrowdStrike report. However, the crack that they are trying to peanut butter over and hope you won’t notice is the total lack of information about the DISCLOSING of the information. They put in one throwaway sentence at the end of the report … pathetic.

And in particular, the name “Wikileaks” was never mentioned, which is very revealing.

Look, I’m not a fanboi of Julian Assange. In my opinion he did not sufficiently sterilize some of the military information that he leaked, and it may have compromised allies and sources, possibly lethally. And for this he is roundly and perhaps justifiably hated by both the military and the intelligence communities. Today Senator McCain asked DNI James Clapper if he gave any credence to Wikileaks, and Clapper sneered an emphatic no.

Which means that if the US intelligence community had the slightest scrap of evidence implicating Wikileaks you can be damn sure it would be in their report. And that, in turn, means that they have no such evidence and don’t want you to notice that.

Now like I said, I’m not fond of Assange … but here’s the thing. He has never been shown to be lying in a single document that he leaked, or in a single statement he made about how Wikileaks obtained a document.  Everything he has put out there has been true and verified. His leaking may indeed be morally wrong. And as to him being anti-Amercan, likely so, although not exclusively.

But all the same … what he has leaked and what he has said has been 100% true.

Yes, I understand that Assange is hated, perhaps justifiably … but that assuredly doesn’t mean he is wrong. And yes, the Russians may well have HACKED the DNC emails … but I find it very doubtful that they DISCLOSED the DNC emails. Here are my reasons:

  1. The HACKED information was much more valuable to the Russians as blackmail material, particularly because at the time (June) no one dreamed that Trump could ever win. The Russians love blackmail, as do all intelligence services. They’d be wasting blackmail gold on a very long-odds bet that Trump would triumph. Imagine what the Russians could have done with blackmail material on an incoming Clinton Administration.
  2. The Russians would have known they’d already been associated with the HACKING when CNN broadcast it at least a week before the DISCLOSURE. So they would have known that blowback would be inevitable if they DISCLOSED the information—they would be sure to be blamed.
  3. Long term, if you were Putin would you rather face Trump and James “Mad Dog” Mattis, or Hillary and Joe “Attack Poodle” Biden? Yes, I know back then Mad Dog wasn’t chosen yet … but really, as Putin would you rather face Trump and Pence, or Hillary and Huma?
  4. Assange says he absolutely didn’t get the info from the Russians, often and loudly, and his offsider backs up his account.
  5. US intelligence has provided zero evidence that the Russians DISCLOSED the emails.

So when I add it all up, the odds that Russia is behind the HACKING are pretty good, although far from conclusive … but the odds that the Russians are behind the DISCLOSURE are about zero. I think the emails were both leaked and hacked … which means that the Russians may indeed have further blackmail material about the Democrats.

Which brings me to my final point. Our cyber defenses suck. Badly. As just one example among many, China hacked records of sensitive personal details for 22 MILLION people who applied for Government jobs. These contained all kinds of personal details including security vetting issues, often embarrassing and potentially illegal, about all these millions of people.

Where was this full-court-press kind of hysteria about spies under the bed back then? Why were no Chinese diplomats expelled? Why no Chinese sanctions? And this was only one successful attack on the US Government among many on Obama’s watch.

So my final point is that yes, I think that cybersecurity is a very important issue, and from appearances Trump thinks the same … but the lack of any US reaction to the loss of sensitive data on twenty-two million Americans clearly shows that the Obama Administration doesn’t share my concern.

=========

Here it was a lovely day, sunny but cold. I worked setting up my tools in my new shop. For the first time since forever, I have an actual shop space with room for all my tools. We have two days in between storms here, so I’ve been drying gear and bringing my tools out from my previous hobbit shop that I hand-dug under my house … life is good.

I wish the best of this world for each of you,

w.

PS—In your comments, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE REFERRING TO so we can all understand what you are discussing.

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61 thoughts on “Trust Me, I’m The DNI

  1. Good (and probably correct) analysis. The main things this episode has accomplished is to deflect attention from what was *in* the emails and to deflect attention away from so many other national security risks. Sadly, so many unintended consequences will emerge.

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    • As someone who paid close attention and then voted for Trump, I have seen zero evidence that any of the information I based my decision on was incorrect.

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  2. Of the 800-something IP addresses listed in the Grizzly Steppe
    https://www.us-cert.gov/security-publications/GRIZZLY-STEPPE-Russian-Malicious-Cyber-Activity
    report, 42% of them were simply Torr exit node server addresses. That simply proves nothing about Russian hacking. So a big FAIL in the attempt by DNI//NSA to mislead about attribution.
    Read more here:
    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/04/the-u-s-government-thinks-thousands-of-russian-hackers-are-reading-my-blog-they-arent/

    And I agree with Willis that retired General Clapper is a liar who should have been fired and prosecuted for perjury before Congress. But in the Obama Admin, lying to Congress is/was a badge of (dis)honor, to be worn as a sign of loyalty, or in more recent parlance, a virtue signal.

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  3. The political class is still in denial that Trump won on his own … they want to believe that something sinister was involved and the Russian conspiracy talk fills the bill … confirmation bias. The other problem is that those lifetime career politicians are still fighting the Cold War … the world is now a lot more complicated than just two superpowers facing each other. Let’s see what Trump’s team turns up in 3 months.

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    • CtM – You need to read with greater care. Assange never claims to be the source, merely first to publish. Steve Mc’s anal retentive obsessive compulsive recounting that Mosh and Id and etc. beat WikiLeaks by 19 minutes is a horse race comment about who won. No one back then (2009) had any real awareness of the pervasiveness and speed of the C Cubed (Climate Critics Confab) and WikiLeaks just assumed they, as always, were first to the party.

      Whilst I am not a confessor, or G#d or an Angel, I find no fault of intentional truth that weakens Willis’ statements even one bit. WL has yet to be found lying about content or sources, and once upon a time, were, unbeknownst to them, 19 minutes late to the party.

      Cheers ans soldier on, the fight has not even yet begun…

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  4. Well, we don’t bother with being hacked in UK. We hand piles of private citizens details over to call centers in India via our phone companies. And it may well be much worse than that. Our Govt is p*ss poor at any kind of security which it easily contracts out. It angers me that so called authority enables our military to be exposed. Will anything ever be learnt in this context?

    I note a call from a US failed nominee (Evan McMullin (Utah)) last night on our news channel…more NATO (US) support into Europe. Just hope Trump can calm this stuff down PDQ.

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  5. From Australia so probably uninformed – Lots of noise about the hacks/leaks but very little about the substance of the leaks. Was the CONTENT true or not?

    Can we be assured that the CIA and other US security organisations are not and never have hacked another countries political infrastructure nor influenced an election or leadership?

    Pot, kettle and black come to mind, particularly after Snowden’s leaks.

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    • John, the content was 100% true, which is why it was described as “propaganda” by the Democrats.

      As to the US trying to influence elections, Obama spent a third of a million dollars and sent his political operatives to Israel to try to prevent Netanyahu from winning … so as is often the case, he’s hypocritically excoriating others for doing what he does …

      w.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He also came over here to the UK to try and influence us to vote to stay in the EU. He even said we would be at the back of the queue for a trade deal with the USA.

        Leftists don’t know how NOT to interfere.

        Hope you are well & happy Willis 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thanks, Jack. I’d forgotten Obama’s pathetic attempt to influence the Brexit vote, which in the criminal arena would be classified as attempted extortion, viz:

          “Nice economy ya got there, Britboys … be a shame if something wuz to happen to it …”

          w.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. A thought from the UK. It’s possible that somebody in the DNC is a little bit smart.

    I accept your point that the Russians had strong reasons for not DISCLOSING the blackmail fodder. For the DNC, getting it into the public domain via Wikileaks would kill off the blackmail potential while retaining the right to be morally outraged by the disclosure. Since Hillary was going to win any way, the disclosure couldn’t to any harm, could it? The moral outrage might even help.

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  7. @John_in_Oz

    From what I can tell, the content in the Podesta’s emails (he was the chief of Clinton’s campaign) are indeed emails from his account and are as true as intended by the writers. Shows a lot of collusion between the Democratic National Party and Mainsteam Media including media people who were slated to “moderate” the so-called debates, and much about the Party’s efforts to de-rail one/all of the candidates not named Clinton.

    Interestingly, the media and government are not (consistently) specific about what accounts/people were “hacked”.

    There is circumstantial evidence I remember reading in the summer–who knows if true? as media not following up the leads–that the release was by a disillusioned DNC staffer (later found murdered in the streets of Washington).

    “House of Cards” all over again.

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    • Isn’t amazing how that story was “a robbery”. I may be wrong but when his body was discovered he had his wallet, cash and his watch still on . Apparently he was killed by a shot to the back of his head. But gee all these stories have totally disappeared in the MSM. I would love to see a follow up on that!

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  8. in 2014-2015, APT28 penetrated the State Dept unclassified network so thoroughly that it had to be shut down for a while to try to sanitize it. From there, they penetrated the White House unclassified network.

    It’s interesting that there was negligible official outrage or sanctions for hacking of the State Dept and White House in spring 2015.

    Of course, the existence of the unprotected Hillary server had just become known in March 2015 and, as we now know, Cheryl Mills ordered the bleaching of its server logs so that it would no longer be possible to determine the presence of APT28 or APT29. In retrospect, publicizing the hack of the State Dept unclassified email at the time would have drawn far more attention to the lack of security of the Hillary server.

    In addition, the email phishing penetration expands by harvesting email addresses – that’s how APT28 penetration of the White House was traced back to State Dept. Wouldn’t it be curious if the penetration of the State Dept unclassified network began with penetration of the Clinton server? But we won’t know because it was bleached – a clear obstruction of investigation into potential hacker penetration of the Clinton server.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Steve. I was surprised that the JAR said that over a thousand penetrations had been attempted … make you wonder how many of them were successful.

      I also had to laugh at the timing of the critical document that Obama just got today, the final result that he DIDN’T wait to read before slamming the Russians with sanctions.

      Have you read anything at all saying the Russians gave the data to Wikileaks or anyone else?

      All the best,

      w.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. If you don’t want the world to hear/read about something, don’t put it in an email. Government agencies, unless extraordinary measures are taken, should assume that their mail is being read by the other side. Probably by allies as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Former President Jimmy Carter has said on record that he does not use email to communicate for that reason. He says he only hand writes letters and double seals them. And a President is read into everything. Of course the internet was not around when he was Prez, but he knew what NSA could and would do with any network… penetrate it, collect the info in it, sift it, index it, highlight keywords/phrases. As this blog highlights, international boundaries do really exist on the WWW.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. And not just email …

    Amazon’s Alexa has popped up in everything from copycat speakers to humanoid robots to connected fridges. Put it this way: you can now order a pizza by talking to your table lamp.
    [ … ]
    Ford, Hyundai, and Volkswagen are a few of the manufacturers that have already put Alexa in the dashboard, and there are likely more coming.

    http://www.theverge.com/ces/2017/1/6/14186174/amazon-alexa-ces-2017-smart-home-ford-wearables

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  11. Ah yes, the “Spy vs Spy” cartoon. It takes me back a half century to my boyhood days reading “MAD” magazine.

    (Also, great research offered up here, not found in the MSM.)

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  12. The Russian intelligence services are perfectly capable of infiltrating someone into the DNC who would appear to Assange and anyone else as a disgruntled Democrat. Hell, they infiltrated the US nuclear program during and after WW II and the British MI6 (Kim Philby and at least four others). By comparison the DNC would be child’s play (as would the RNC — during a campaign they both accept almost anyone as a volunteer). So Assange’s assertions regarding his source could be absolutely truthful and wrong at the same time. Only the Russians know for certain and they have denied it, which is exactly what you would expect if they were guilty. I put this assertion in the “cannot be determined reliably” category.

    But the media focus on Russian involvement is a convenient distraction so people do not discuss:

    1) The content and import of the emails themselves. In simplest terms they reveal the the DNC and
    the Clinton campaign were meddling in the US election. Let me repeat that: the only entities
    actually proven to be unfairly influencing the US election were the DNC, the Clinton campaign, and
    various members of the mainstream media.
    2) The involvement of the MSM has been given a total pass by, well, the MSM. None of the people
    shown to be colluding with the Clinton campaign have been fired. Well, Donna Brazille resigned as
    a CNN contributor but then promptly moved into the job of DNC chair. Glenn Thrush, the Politico
    reporter who sent stories involving Clinton to the Clinton staff to vet in advance, has been hired by
    the New York TImes (motto: All the DNC propaganda that fits, we print!). No sense of outrage over
    their own grossly partisan behavior from within the MSM; they talk about “fake news” instead.
    3) Speaking of “fake news”, where have they been? Elections are nothing but “fake news” put out by
    all campaigns to make their candidate look better than the others. Reporting latest poll results is
    as much intended to shape perceptions as to discover and report them, IOW “fake news”.
    The campaign appearances carefully crafted to drive the news cycle are “fake news”. And the
    MSM gleefully pick it up and repeat it because that drives reader/viewer-ship, which maximizes
    advertising rates. If they stuck to reporting only real news their income would drop. What Democrats
    are really upset about is “their” fake news was better than “our” fake news.
    4) John Podesta fell for a “spear phishing” attack. A Chief of staff to Bill Clinton and counselor to President
    Obama with presumably access to all kinds of classified information who fell for the most basic
    attack every corporate IT employee is warned about in required annual training, and people are
    worried about Trump coming up short against Putin? I have heard one report which I cannot confirm
    that his password was “password”.
    5) Democrats and liberal interest groups consistently block all attempts tighten up well known and long
    practiced forms of election fraud on the increasingly flimsy excuse they will disenfranchise minority
    voters. They apparently do not consider it important those same minority voters can’t drive a car,
    buy alcohol or get on a plane.

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    • You’re very right that the “kerfuffle” about Russian hacking is mostly distraction. The Democrats (including their allies in the intel community) are desperate to keep the conversation away from the information that was leaked/hacked/distributed. The hacking, the infiltration, the possible attempts at “nudging” the election are all what we should expect from Putin, and it’s something that probably goes on all the time. In other words, it was very routine spyfare. So why the huge uproar?

      The corruption within the DNC, while despicable, wasn’t illegal as far as I can tell, so that can’t be a huge issue. The possible attempts to hack the election itself don’t seem to have been much more than a curiosity. It might be that Democrats are trying to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s election, but that doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere. So what’s really going on? Does all of this tie into the Clinton e-mail server as well?

      I am beginning to wonder if what was “lost” from Clinton’s server was important enough that its loss cannot even be acknowledged. We know that very sensitive information transited that server, and that Clinton and/or her aids were pretty cavalier about how high-level intel was handled. If the lost intel was really that important, perhaps that’s the reason that Clinton & Company isn’t being prosecuted. You see, if it was prosecuted, the loss of an intel “jewel” would have to be revealed in court.

      Of course, this is just a theory, but it does seem to fit.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alan Watt Climate Denialist, Level 7 January 6, 2017 at 7:03 am

      The Russian intelligence services are perfectly capable of infiltrating someone into the DNC who would appear to Assange and anyone else as a disgruntled Democrat. Hell, they infiltrated the US nuclear program during and after WW II and the British MI6 (Kim Philby and at least four others). By comparison the DNC would be child’s play (as would the RNC — during a campaign they both accept almost anyone as a volunteer). So Assange’s assertions regarding his source could be absolutely truthful and wrong at the same time. Only the Russians know for certain and they have denied it, which is exactly what you would expect if they were guilty. I put this assertion in the “cannot be determined reliably” category.

      Alan, in the head post I gave five separate reasons why I don’t think the Russians disclosed or would disclose the information. Sure, as you point out they COULD have done it, but it would have been AGAINST THEIR INTERESTS to do so. The information was worth much more undisclosed, and in June the odds of the release changing the outcome were miniscule. Russians are not fools.

      w.

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      • I was just pointing out that even if you believe Assange it could still be the Russians, so his credibility is not really at issue. I agree the most likely play is to hang on to the information for later leverage, but there could have been other considerations. We’re at a disadvantage trying to decide what Russian spooks would “most likely do” when we aren’t Russians, aren’t spooks and don’t have the same information.

        You are correct that such reasoning at best gets you “could have” and the same standard of evidence yields a lot more suspects (CIA anyone? plenty of Democrats believe they were behind the Kennedy assassination, which could be called “election fixing with extreme prejudice”, so leaking hacked emails is tame by comparison).

        However, if the Russians (or the Israelis, or the Chinese, or the CIA ….) decided to leak information to damage the Clinton campaign, then I would absolutely expect them to cover their tracks to make it look like an insider.

        And in the end it doesn’t matter. Anything in the way of hacking the Russians can do today Iran, N. Korea and ISIS will be able to do in another 2 to 5 years, and expelling diplomats will have no deterrent effect on them. For information we legitimately need to secure, we need to plug the holes.

        When it comes to involvement of foreign intelligence agencies, the best we can do at this time is speculate. Meanwhile the only entities we know were engaged in election fixing are the DNC, the Clinton campaign and elements of the media. Oddly enough, those are the same entities who want to spend all the time talking about Russian hackers.

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  13. The dates of the purported “hacks” are important.
    Mrs. Clinton’s server was done in the early summer of 2015.
    What was Mr. Trump’s rating as a candidate in the summer of 2015? Wait for it…Nada, zero.
    Mr. Podesta spear-fished himself on or shortly after March 19, 2016. The primary elections had just begun.
    Did any pundit or polling organization pick Mr. Trump as the leading GOP candidate? No, No!
    It’s ironic, that one of Mr. Podesta’s emails concerned the creation of the three “Pied Pipers”.
    They were Trump, Senator Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson. The thought was if, the DEMs could rally their partners in the media to these three, all would be easier to beat than Jeb Bush.
    Two closing thoughts:
    1. Don’t wish for something. You might get it.
    2. We should drop all of the million dollar pollsters. Let’s hire Vlad! He knows all and early.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The left has redefined the narrative from hacking the DNC to hacking the election. Their first objective is to distract from the actual information revealed showing the reality of who the Dems are and how they operate. Second, and more importantly in my opinion, is to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Trump election in the eyes of their blind followers. This will incite those blind followers to feel justified in the belief that Clinton could not lose a fair election. They will also justify disruption of the Trump agenda making every effort to prevent a successful administration. As long as the DNC can keep their followers in this mindset the money will continue to flow into their coffers. Just another fake crisis in order to keep the troops in line.

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  15. Well, I was going to write about this yesterday but I couldn’t find any solid data to back it up … today I find this on CNN:

    The Democratic National Committee “rebuffed” a request from the FBI to examine its computer services after it was allegedly hacked by Russia during the 2016 election, a senior law enforcement official told CNN Thursday.

    “The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” a senior law enforcement official told CNN. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.”
    This statement is in response to reports that the FBI never asked the DNC for access to the hacked systems.

    The DNC were so concerned about the hack that they refused to let the FBI look at it … and now they’ve condemning Trump for not believing the FBI???

    I’ll update the head post.

    w.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Willis, thank you for a well thought of assessment of the situation. The DNC refusing a FBI involvement is a nice touch.

      I subscribe to the San Francisco Chronicle. Today it reported that “Clapper’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee was short on concrete evidence of Russian activities, but it raised the stakes in the intelligence community’s standoff with Trump. Clapper indicated the agencies he leads would not back down in their assessment, even if that threatens a prolonged crisis of confidence with their next commander in chief.”

      A nice summary. The Chronicle is full of stories about children getting scared of Trump, with an occasional parent correcting – we should not teach our children to fear Trump; we must teach them to fight him. They keep calling for diversity – as long as it excludes any deplorable Trump supporters. In a nice display of chutzpah, they complain of a divisiveness and hatred promoted by Republicans, and call for a healing. I see a pattern.

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  16. Under the banner of Judicial Watch I saw a report suggesting that America’s real worry was not terrorism from ISIL or anyone else, but was instead the supply of drugs entering the USA. I said if I recall right that usage of these substances was causing the death of 14,000-16,000 per annum. That sounds to me something that the intelligence community might focus on.

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    • Barry, we don’t know anything. Our “president”, for the next two weeks, has informed us that AGW is our “greatest threat”.

      (Yeah, I can’t figure it out either….)

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  17. On Friday, Mr. Comey will join Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, as well as the heads of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, in giving President-elect Donald Trump a classified briefing about what U.S. agencies have concluded about alleged Russian hacking efforts aimed at influencing the presidential election.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/james-comey-to-brief-donald-trump-on-russian-hacking-friday-1483696800

    Should be an interesting meeting.

    Like

  18. There’s an excellent analysis by a longtime NSA staffer here. Money quote:

    Mr. Trump’s skepticism is warranted not only by technical realities, but also by human ones, including the dramatis personae involved. Mr. Clapper has admitted giving Congress on March 12, 2013, false testimony regarding the extent of NSA collection of data on Americans. Four months later, after the Edward Snowden revelations, Mr. Clapper apologized to the Senate for testimony he admitted was “clearly erroneous.” That he is a survivor was already apparent by the way he landed on his feet after the intelligence debacle on Iraq.

    Mr. Clapper was a key player in facilitating the fraudulent intelligence. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put Mr. Clapper in charge of the analysis of satellite imagery, the best source for pinpointing the location of weapons of mass destruction — if any.

    When Pentagon favorites like Iraqi émigré Ahmed Chalabi plied U.S. intelligence with spurious “evidence” on WMD in Iraq, Mr. Clapper was in position to suppress the findings of any imagery analyst who might have the temerity to report, for example, that the Iraqi “chemical weapons facility” for which Mr. Chalabi provided the geographic coordinates was nothing of the kind. Mr. Clapper preferred to go by the Rumsfeldian dictum: “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” (It will be interesting to see if he tries that out on the president-elect Friday.)

    w.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Duquesne, you ask an interesting question, viz:

      In whose interests was it to disclose the hacked material?

      It was definitely in the interest of the American people, as is any exposé which reveals collusion and corruption in high places.

      w.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No contest – but was there an ulterior motive? Did disclosure short-circuit an otherwise potentially uncomfortable experience? Was it better to let the word out and manage any resulting reactions, than to allow somebody else (whether the hacker or not) to release it at a time of their own choosing?

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Accusing the Russians of hacking the DNC and phishing Podesta’s email is like complaining about someone walking through your house while you were on vacation, had left all the doors and windows wide open and had not arrange for anyone to cut the grass or pick up the newspapers. And, in Podesta’s case, placed a notice in the newspaper that you would be out of town for a month or two. The total carefree and indifferent attitude they all (i.e. Hillary, Podesta, the Democratic Party) have toward national security is not just disturbing but alarming, annoying, bothersome, depressing, discouraging, distressing and every other synonym I can think off. Any idiots at those levels should know from history that any device, computers included, that is attached to the internet is a wide open book, regardless of whether you attended the security briefings or not. I guess that in their case the inverse Peter principle is correct; they’ve been promoted to a level where their incompetence is no longer obvious. It only shows up at critical times.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. What is so infurating is the ‘incoming message captain’ approach of the MSM. This morning on CNN Philippines, an ‘expert’ claiming there was no doubt about the hacking (again, collapsing the distinction between ‘hacking’ and ‘disclosure’).

    He continued this should not be used as a criminal tool to unseat the incoming president (he didn’t say ‘criminal’).

    Duh! What planet do these people live on? That’s the whole idea!

    On the same newscast, the horror in Florida. CNN line: Gun control. O yeah, and he was ‘nuts’ – because he heard voices from the Koran? Islamophobes!

    Another intelligence ‘community’ success?

    Not really.

    Like

  21. Pingback: Nothing But The Truth? | Skating Under The Ice

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