The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The DNC "Hack"

Earlier this summer, many observers of the political scene (including your truly) noted (with appropriate qualifiers) that the Seth Rich murder and the Imran Awan IT scandal had dark undertones that could potentially be traced to the supposed DNC "Russian hack." If that were true, the entire Russian collusion story falls apart. Of course, as the Rich and Awan stories emerged, the Democratic Smear Machine labeling any suggestion of scandal as "insane" and the stuff of "conspiracy theory." They 'controversialized' the people who reported the story and suddenly, people who claimed to have information began to recant their testimony. Even got into the act, labeling the allegations "false" even though there was little evidence to support that claim.

Now, a shockingly in-depth report, entitled, "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack," appearing in The Nation, a generally left-wing magazine and website, argues that "Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system."

The author of the piece, Patrick Lawrence, reviews the media frenzy to tie the leaks to Donald Trump and the Russians and then writes:
All this was set in motion when the DNC’s mail server was first violated in the spring of 2016 and by subsequent assertions that Russians were behind that “hack” and another such operation, also described as a Russian hack, on July 5. These are the foundation stones of the edifice just outlined. The evolution of public discourse in the year since is worthy of scholarly study: Possibilities became allegations, and these became probabilities. Then the probabilities turned into certainties, and these evolved into what are now taken to be established truths. By my reckoning, it required a few days to a few weeks to advance from each of these stages to the next. This was accomplished via the indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly in our leading media.

There, are, our course, explanations of the embarrassing DNC email release that are considerably more plausible than a Russian "hack." Put simply, a low level staffer (possibly a Bernie Sanders supporter disenchanted with the DNC's pro-Hillary stance) copied the emails onto a thumb drive and transmitted them to the leakers. That is the essence of the Seth Rich scandal, and might also have something to do with Imran Awan. It's only fair to note that there is no hard evidence to support those suppositions, but then again, there is absolutely no hard evidence (except the unsubstantiated statements of selected government intelligence officials who have a history of bending the truth) that the Russian government was involved in the DNC hack.

Lawrence goes on to write:
Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists of long experience and strongly credentialed are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year. Their work is intricate and continues at a kinetic pace as we speak. But its certain results so far are two, simply stated, and freighted with implications:
There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year—not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.

Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language. Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source—claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.
This article is based on an examination of the documents these forensic experts and intelligence analysts have produced, notably the key papers written over the past several weeks, as well as detailed interviews with many of those conducting investigations and now drawing conclusions from them. Before proceeding into this material, several points bear noting.
Lawrence continues:
... there are many other allegations implicating Russians in the 2016 political process. The work I will now report upon does not purport to prove or disprove any of them. Who delivered documents to WikiLeaks? Who was responsible for the “phishing” operation penetrating John Podesta’s e-mail in March 2016? We do not know the answers to such questions. It is entirely possible, indeed, that the answers we deserve and must demand could turn out to be multiple: One thing happened in one case, another thing in another. The new work done on the mid-June and July 5 events bears upon all else in only one respect. We are now on notice: Given that we now stand face to face with very considerable cases of duplicity, it is imperative that all official accounts of these many events be subject to rigorously skeptical questioning. Do we even know that John Podesta’s e-mail was in fact “phished”? What evidence of this has been produced? Such rock-bottom questions as these must now be posed in all other cases.
Unless and until special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators answer these and many other pertinent questions about the events surrounding this and other leaks that supposedly crippled Hillary Clinton's campaign, their conclusions will be suspect.

Lawrences report is extremely detailed, citing little known intelligence analysts and sources. That doesn't make it suspect, but it does work directly into the hands of the Democratic Smear Machine, allowing them to claim conspiracy hysteria. A compliant media (The Nation excepted in this case) has done nothing to investigate these claims further.

Spend the time to read the entire report and then ask yourself—has this entire episode been a disinformation campaign conducted to smear Trump and deflect from Clinton's loss and DNC incompetence and bias? Worse, it is a true conspiracy involving elements of the intelligence community? Even worse still, will it be further smothered by the Mueller investigation?

The Nation and Patrick Lawrence should be commended for this work. To understand its impact, follow the response to it. If there are crickets, that's an important sign. If the author undergoes personal attacks on his credibility, that's still another. And if none of these issues is addressed as part of Mueller's probe, that ices it. Then the system is, as Donald Trump so famously noted, "rigged."


Mollie Hemingway discusses another story of biased and dishonest media coverage that has re-emerged over the past week—the meeting between Obama's AG, Loretta Lynch, and Bill Clinton, while his wife was being actively investigated during the 2016 campaign. She outlines how the trained hamsters in the mainstream media approach any hint of a scandal when Democrats are involved and compares it to their approach to the current Trump White House. But more important than the outright hint of corruption in the Lynch case, is her take on the meta-game that a dishonest and biased media plays. It's absolutely applicable to the emerging DNC hack scandal noted in the main body of this post. Here is Hemingway's take:
... the media’s problem is that everyone outside of the resistance — whether that’s the actual activists, the NeverTrump Republicans, or the media themselves — can see the unfairness in the media coverage of President Trump relative to the media coverage of President Obama and other Democrats. There is the flood-the-zone, histrionic-headline, up-the-ante, worst-construction approach versus the put-to-rest, boring-headline, wait-days-before-being-forced-to-cover, best-construction approach. People aren’t stupid. They can very clearly see the game that’s being played here.[emphasis mine]
But here's the thing: the fake news reported by once respected media sources has now jumped the shark. Their bias is so palpable, I honestly think it helps Donald Trump by making him the victim. When he criticizes "the failing NYT" as a fake news source, few, other than the #Resistance, would disagree. After all, a vote for Trump is a poke in the eye for "the failing NYT" and its many other Fake News bretheren. The media is either too blinded by ideological fervor or too stupid to understand that simple reality.