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02 January 2017

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divadab

It's embarrassing to see this created hysteria based on thin to no evidence. SO irresponsible; so weak; so pathetic. All to cover the incompetence and corruption of the losing Clinton campaign.

A thin reed of hope that Trump will handle foreign policy better than these clowns, because domestically it will be a four-year shitshow. Count on it.

oth

Jan Oberg in Aleppo can't find the genocide:

https://janoberg.exposure.co/humans-in-liberated-aleppo

BillWade

The future national evening news should be interesting - it seems Trump doesn't want their "filters" and will go direct to the people/bloggers via Twitter etc..

Lemur

"part hyper-nationalist aggressiveness"

It's a very ersatz nationalism though. We're being whipped into a frenzy because a foreign power is alleged to have manufactured consent instead of our managerial elite.

Eric Newhill

It seems this hysteria is designed to serve multiple purposes, but, at bottom, to delegitimize Trump and keep the citizenry open to the idea of hostilities against Russia (i.e. business as usual).

I am seeing an emerging meme that Trump, because he seeks improved relations with Russia, is a traitor (their word, not mine) and Trump supporters are de facto traitors. This holds true for both the McCain/Ryan aspect of the Borg, as well as the Obama/Clinton Borg aspect (if the Borg can be divided into nuanced sub-groups). Also, they Borg thinks it can gain leverage over Trump with this.

So Trump is on his own, again. IMO, he's just fine that way and he is going to make the Borg look like a bunch of foolish clowns, again. He will be coming out shortly with his position on this and it will be contrary to what the Borg is hastily proclaiming. He has already mentioned the false Iraq WMD "intelligence" in conjunction with this matter of lack of solid evidence for "hacking". He knows what's going on and how to handle it.

It is sad that US intelligence services have discredited themselves so much that thinking people must take what they say with a grain of salt. But that is now the situation.

I am thinking the computer in VT - that was not connected to the power grid - got the malware because some employee used a company machine to view Russian porn. Happens all of the time. Hardly international espionage. Assange has said the emails did not come from Russia, but from a DNC insider. Hopefully Trump is ready to prove what Assange has said. The Borg will have a tantrum so furious that it's circuits will explode. This is going to be fun.

rjh

The preventive measures are worth reading and following. I imagine a bunch of information assurance folks saying "They won't read our whitepapers, guidelines, checklists, advisories, .... Maybe if we make them part of this report we'll get people to pay attention and start hardening their systems."

For the rest, it reads like a description of a professional intel gathering operation. The attribution looks weak, but plausible. The ex-fil methods and destinations are said to be commonly used Russian ex-fil practices.

The part that I don't see is where this is any different from a standard intel operation. I expect every intel organization to be actively targetting all major candidates and political parties. Getting caught is a bit embarassing, but it happens.

The response so far is not that different from the response to discovering a particularly annoying intel operation. You expel some diplomats and change some agreements. It's pretty normal. You know everyone is spying. But get caught doing something a bit too annoying and there will be diplomatic retaliation.

Haralambos

For those wondering about chasing down the rabbit hole of this "hack," this in the first link has been out several days. The first link is the sleuthing. Many will be more interested in the FAQs, the second link

https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/


https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2017/01/election-hack-faq/

For those who have not had the opportunity to watch _Zero Days_, the documentary recommended by Col. Lang about a month ago, do it now! It details the sleuthing of the Stuxnet virus:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VgIayOpjEc This is the trailer.

ked

All manufactured hysteria is not equal.
The WMD threat arguement was linked to 9/11... to the killing of 3000 on our soil by foreign terrorists - a far more profound national tragedy than a election-tampering; real, imagined, effective or not. I wouldn't worry too much about the issue driving actual public opinion (as opposed to opinion about public opinion). At most, it will be a watershed in The Great Cyber Game that is to be part of 21st Century international relations... and a great excuse to extend the National Security State further into Internal Security even further detached from Constitutional protections than the Patriot Act (note the new WH staff position on par w/ the NSAdv). Oh, & a great path to a new trough of funding to soon spill forth from the Swamp.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

The frothing at Russia for invading Crimea is farcical. Russia has had a naval base at Sevastopol since 1783 and fought wars with the Ottoman Empire, Great Britain, France and Germany there. San Diego has been a US naval base since 1904. The only reason for the war drums is a diversion from the political reality that the Democratic Party is dead since Rural and Rust Belt voters switched to Donald Trump. The only way to win these voters back is to bring back the New Deal (universal medical care, government jobs and social security) which would alienate their rich pay masters. Instead the Democrats, to stay in power, have joined together with John McCain and Lindsey Graham to scapegoat Vladimir Putin. The USA will be at war, all the time, everywhere.

steve

Just exactly what interest will be advanced on the part of the intelligence people? If this is supposed to somehow help Clinton, she is done. She no longer has relevance in American politics. Do you really advance your career in the CIA by looking backward towards someone who never even got elected? Really, it seems if you would want advancement you would be looking to please the person who is going to be your boss for the next 4 years, not someone who never got elected, or someone who has a month to go. If this is really about some Clinton legacy thing, then the folks in the CIA are not only self-serving, they are plain stupid. Certainly doesn't work that way in the private sector. Once you know the old boss is leaving, people start lining up to curry favor with the new person even well before they take over.

Steve

hans

The loudest boosters of 'the Ruskies did it' hereabout are the Clinton deadenders who can't tolerate for a second the idea she might've been inept - hell, way beyond inept; she almost lost Minnesota. Well, these Clintonites are pulling out all the stops to exculpate themselves and hang on to power within the dem party by creating, if they can, a frothing-at-the-mouth mob of reactionaries by red-baiting. Fools - the monster of their own creation hates them far more than imaginary hackers and the moment it dawns on the frothers it's the dems who have failed to protect us from these superman hackers there'll be hell to pay.

Ghostship

I can understand Obama's bitterness towards Putin:
"Obama Sees Russia Failing in Syria Effort"
By PETER BAKER and NEIL MacFARQUHAR OCT. 2, 2015
WASHINGTON — The already fragmented battlefield in Syria grew even more complicated on Friday, as Russia and Iran expanded their military efforts to defend the beleaguered Syrian government in defiance of President Obama, who predicted that their actions would lead only to a “quagmire.”
In his first comments since Russia began airstrikes on Syrian targets this week, Mr. Obama said that Moscow was acting “not out of strength but out of weakness.” Bristling at criticism of his own Syria policy, he rejected domestic opponents who offer “half-baked ideas” that amount to “a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.”
“An attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire and it won’t work,” Mr. Obama said during a news conference at the White House on Friday, referring to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, a longtime ally of both Russia and Iran. “And they will be there for a while if they don’t take a different course.”

It must hurt to be proved so wrong when you've paid attention to the intelligence briefings.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/03/world/middleeast/syria-russia-airstrikes.html?_r=0

wisedupearly

the BORG are steaming that they have lost their Syrian NFZ. Obama proved rather easy to roll but Trump is proving far more mettlesome.

Peter in Toronto

Col. Lang, this entry serves as a perfect segway to this leaked video of Kerry candidly chatting up with his pro-Jihadist "NGOs" on the ground in Syria, with the conversation past the 18 minute mark being most revealing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4phB-_pXDM

Jack

All

"we don't learn much at all about what led our government to determine a) that these hacks were directed by the Russian government,"

What I find amusing is the ridiculous nature of the "Russians have done it" hysteria led by the loser Democrats and the MSM. They can't get over the fact that they were going to roll right over the "loony" Trump who they wanted to run against and then he upended two political dynasties in the campaign. Now that they lost so bad they can't accept responsibility for their poor candidate and campaign so they have to manufacture that some unexpected and nefarious force caused their defeat.

I hope that as more folks start to recognize how lame the stories like the electric grid hacking in the WaPo are they'll lose whatever remaining credibility they have.

AlanQ

Wordfence, a Wordpress security company, did a thorough technical examination of all the evidence provided with the DHS and FBI report, showing how there is nothing in any of the data provided to link it back to Russia or Russian intelligence. Their findings - the malware used is outdated, freely available to anyone and the authors of it say they are from Ukraine. The IP addresses are commonly used in everyday attacks an again nothing pointing back to Russia

https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/
https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2017/01/election-hack-faq/

Larry Kart

But if "these agencies are run by self-serving political hacks who may once have been people of integrity but who, by the time they reach the top, will say or proclaim anything that advances their personal interest" (a premise it would be foolish not to grant), why now are they advancing dubious allegations about Russian hacking that they know are anathema to the president-elect? Surely they don't think that what they're alleging can prevent Trump from being inaugurated? (If they do think that, I think they're nuts.) And if they can't prevent Trump from being inaugurated, wouldn't it be in their interests to try to ingratiate themselves with him, should that be possible?

You've often said (and are not the only one to say so) that the besetting sin of the intelligence agencies in recent times has been their eagerness to tell the sitting president just what they think he wants to hear. So what game are they playing now? The WMD fiasco, sure, but that was for the benefit of a new administration that wanted an excuse to invade Iraq and thought it would have all the time it needed to neatly wrap things up. With what feasible circles of power is this batch of intelligence "professionals" currently trying to align themselves? Certainly not the already irrelevant Obama?

ann

The illiterate are always easy to whip into a frenzy. I read one of the Dakotas passed a law this past year saying it is okay to not teach the first 100 years of U.S. History.

When you do not know your history, you are condemned to repeat it. I think somebody famous said that.

robt willmann

Scrambling to recover after the vague statements from the FBI and "Homeland Security" paper on alleged Russian hacking have drawn laughter rather than the desired acceptance, the main stream media is pipelining the latest claimed "basis": there are "digital fingerprints" somewhere -- who knows where! -- on a DNC hard drive? -- that exist because computer keyboards that contain Cyrillic characters were used in the alleged hacking. I guess that means that Russian hackers and the Russian FSB and GRU are the only people on earth who have computer keyboards that have some Cyrillic characters on them.

On today's (2 January) CNN Anderson Cooper 360 television program, he was pushing this line on the loquacious Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump's campaign manager / counselor to the upcoming president.

The issue was best addressed in the article published on the Consortium News site back in December--

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/

William Binney, who led the team at the NSA which developed the automated, worldwide surveillance system, said in the article that the NSA likely could trace computer hacks back from the U.S. to where they came from and/or where the hacked data was downloaded to. Surprisingly, before Sean Hannity went on vacation for the holidays, his producer somehow got Binney past the radio gatekeepers and censors and he appeared briefly on Hannity's radio show, syndicated nationwide. He said basically what was in the article, and that the NSA has been silent on the matter. When Congress conducts an "investigation" into the Russians and the presidential election, we will see if Binney and Ed Loomis will be called as witnesses (they will not be).

Then today, as if by a coincidence, the computer system of the "Customs and Border Protection" part of the Department of Homeland (Internal) Security had a nationwide outage and was not working for about four hours, which they called a "technology disruption", resulting in airline passengers stacked up all over the country trying to get through customs--

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nationwide-customs-border-protection-outage-clogs-multiple-airports-irritated-travelers-n702451

ancient archer

What is concerning is the anti-Russian frenzy that the media is currently engaged in. Clearly the media is engaging in the government project of vilifying Russia, but the real question is whether this will all stop after Trump takes over the reins. I don't think so. The way it has gone, I think once POTUS, Trump will continue to side-step the traditional media and reach people directly through Twitter (or something else). The media doesn't realise it is is dis-intermediated, though with each fake news/alarm/vilification campaign, they lose more of their credibility. Will the media slowly mold itself to the new administration or will it continue to spew neocon propaganda hoping that repeating a lie enough times will make it the truth. Will the media change over its masters with a change in the administration or will it keep holding on to the coattails of its neocon owners? That is the question..

Freudenschade

Col.,

I agree that the report is weak and that concern about Russian criminal and government hacking is being swept up into general anti Russian hysteria. That still doesn't justify throwing out the baby with the bath water. Criminal and government hacking -- by China, Korea, Russia, etc. -- has been a growing problem for over a decade.

We are not the superpower here, our criminal laws don't allow it. Let's see if Germany is any better at warding off the Russian machine.

NotTimothyGeithner

Not just the Clinton campaign but the elected Democrats and super delegates from the states that Sanders won or even a state such as Ohio where Sherrod Brown went all out for Hillary for a promised VP spot according to Podesta's emails. If you liked Brown and believed his support of Hillary was genuine and voted for Hillary over Sanders, you might be upset now. Even states where Hillary beat Sanders such as Massachusetts, Sanders won young voters which means he would win the 16 and 17 year olds who get to vote next time.

Dems can't blame Nader, Iraq, GOP spending, or a tough, political environment, so they will pick Russia.

Dr. Puck

PL wrote: "Now, we have yet another attempt to generate mass hysteria through the manipulation of public consciousness."

Perhaps, but this needs conclusive evidence just like the hacking allegation requires same.

One of the problems going forward is that the concept of credibility, and its being funded by conclusive evidence, is not likely to be restored by the incoming swamp builders.

Edward Amame

Courtesy of The Intercept: "Edward Snowden suggests the NSA has a way of collecting evidence of Russian hacks..."

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity says:
"The bottom line is that the NSA would know where and how any “hacked” emails from the DNC, HRC or any other servers were routed through the network. This process can sometimes require a closer look into the routing to sort out intermediate clients, but in the end sender and recipient can be traced across the network."

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/29/top-secret-snowden-document-reveals-what-the-nsa-knew-about-previous-russian-hacking/

So it would seem likely that the NSA can trace the hacks to the Russian government. However, knowing exactly who leaked the hacked emails and for what reason remains to be seen, IMO. I'm sure congress will want to jump on that.

shargash

This should put a fork in the "Russia did it" hysteria: https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/. It probably won't though.

The article is kind of geeky (and the headline is misleading), but it links to an FAQ that summarizes things pretty well.

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