Last year during the election campaign, the servers at the Democratic National Committee were penetrated by still unknown actors. From early on, I’ve held that the Russian Government did NOT hack the DNC computer. I have not seen any evidence that says otherwise. Here are two equally probable Russian suspects with no ties to Vladimir Putin … the man with the best villian-name ever, Boris Badunov, and his lovely partner in crime, Natasha Fatale …
Let me lay out the ideas and the evidence in the DNC server case, and you can decide for yourself.
• My initial unease, the very first thing that set off my urban legend detector, was the following thought—The Russians are usually interested in material for blackmail, not for publicity. They know how well blackmail works. If they had found “compromat” on the DNC servers, compromising material, surely they would have held on to it so they could apply future pressure on a clearly anticipated Clinton administration. Why waste valuable compromat on the lost cause of vainly attempting to deny her the inevitable Presidency, when the same material would be much more useful for post-election blackmail?
• Like everyone else, the Russians were sure that Clinton would win. What possible good would it do the Russians to publish the damning DNC information? They’d just be antagonizing her for no gain.
• The Russians had no reason to prefer Trump over Clinton, and every reason to prefer Clinton over Trump. They’d watched her foolishly pushing her big red “RESET” button on TV, and they had taken her measure as Secretary of State. They’d been able to get her to agree to selling them 20% of our uranium in exchange for money for Bill Clinton and money for the Clinton Foundation; they’d watched her negotiating skills; they seen her actions in Libya and knew her views on the Syrian “red line”; they figured they could predict her responses … what’s not to like?
Trump, on the other hand, was known to be unpredictable, to be a hard-nosed negotiator, and to approve of and surround himself with strong generals and alpha males … which, as the Russians surely knew, is not a good combo for Putin and the Russian global ambitions, as post-election events have proven. See “T. Rex” Tillerson and General Mattis as examples …
• The US Government intelligence report on the DNC server intrusion, which was widely reported to be put together by “all seventeen US intelligence agencies”, merely parroted the findings of CrowdStrike, the private company hired by the DNC to investigate the penetration.
• The intelligence agents writing the report never got to examine the DNC server. This is one of the most damning pieces of evidence, regardless of the interpretation put on it. What was on the computer that the DNC was working so hard to protect from their very own FBI???
• As a result of having been denied access to the DNC server, the US Government intelligence analysts could not and did not have anything to go on except what CrowdStrike had reported. Unfortunately, in a case involving the penetration of a server, if there is no server to analyze, there is no evidence … and with no evidence there can be no analysis.
• The intelligence report analysis was not done by 17 intelligence agencies, it was done by only three. And not three agencies, mind you. Three very carefully “hand-selected” individual researchers … and when you have to puff up the provenance of your three-person analysis by bringing in 14 other agencies to give it fake credibility, it greatly ups the odds that you are telling porkies …
• If the Russian Government hacked the DNC, do you seriously think they would use what were obviously Russian code tools and identities? Yet that is exactly what CrowdStrike, the private company that “investigated” the leak, and who were shamefully parroted by the US Government, would have us believe. They basically said that they found Russian bootprints at the scene of the crime, and that proves it was Russians what done it, honest it was … really? The hackers I read say that if they find Russian bootprints at a scene, the Russians automatically become the last suspects, not the first. Because as you might expect, any hacker who is worth his salt wears someone else’s boots …
• CrowdStrike, the company used by the DNC to investigate the DNC penetration, was forced shortly afterward to publicly retract false information and bogus accusations that they had put forward about another claimed Russian hacking operation.
• The founders of CrowdStrike, two Ukrainians, are very anti-Russian. The organization has ties to both the US Government and to the Clintons. So it is no surprise that they would conclude that Russian bootprints mean Russian actors, and look no further …
• Julian Assange says it was not done by the Russians, that the information was leaked to his organization rather than being hacked. And while Assange is no friend of the US, I don’t know of his ever having made a false statement about the provenance of his revelations.
• Julian Assange’s “close associate” Craig Murray says that he was the one who personally picked up the memory stick containing the leaked information from the leaker (or the leaker’s confederate) and passed it to Assange.
• And finally, an analysis of the timing of the interchange shows that the DNC server information was transferred to either leakers or hackers at a speed of 22.6 Mb per second. And while this speed is much too fast to be achievable online, whether from Russia or even over a local VPN, it is a typical speed for transfer of files to a memory stick.
Given all of that, I’d say that the case that it was all the actions of the usual Russian suspects is far, far from being established. Where is the tiniest scrap of actual evidence that the Russian Government had anything at all to do with the DNC penetration? It may indeed be the case that they did it … but without evidence, to date we can’t begin to claim that the accusations against the Russian Government are true in the slightest.
It’s my belief that the information above is accurate. If you find otherwise you are welcome to post your information. Free and open discussion is the source of an informed population and a core strength of democracy.
My best to everyone,