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Wednesday
Jan042017

The Russian Hack: Jumping on the Bandwagon Again

I have no idea whether or not the Russians hacked John Podesta or the DNC. Neither do any of you reading this. Zero evidence has been presented to the American people or to the international community in favor of our government’s position. Allegations of a “digital fingerprint” in phishing software used for hacking have been made by U.S. intelligence agencies in a recent report, but what in the world is that and what does it have to do with the hack. According to Podesta and his internet security aide, Podesta was hacked because he responded to a request to change his password that came from a bogus site and the hacker used that password to access his archived emails. The phishing email reportedly came from a site labeled “Grizzly Steppe” by the U.S. that is “suspected” of having ties with the Russian government. That is hardly a “fingerprint.” Fortune magazine’s tech reporters claimed  that cyber security experts called the government report “fatally flawed.”

Julian Assange says that the material he published did not come from the Russian state. Assange is hardly neutral. He has shown himself to be pro-Trump and anti-Clinton throughout the hacked emails scandal. And not from the Russian state leaves open that the hacked material came from private Russian actors who acted with knowledge or approval of the Russian government.

Peter Bergen recently wrote that “No, President-elect Trump: Russian hacking is not like the CIA's WMD fiasco.” He argued that the faulty WMD information was based on deliberate lies by informants or information gained through torture from informants who would say anything.  Well, first of all, we don’t know what the evidence supporting the accusation against Russia consists of. Secondly, the media and much of the Washington establishment, including elected officials, have acted exactly as they did with regard to reports of WMD by labeling anyone who does not believe the accusations against Russia as denying reality, and many have jumped to the conclusion that Russia needs to be punished, despite their not yet seeing the evidence. According to CNN, the sanctions that have already been ordered by the president were made despite the fact that  “even Obama has yet to receive the full-fledged briefing on the Russian hacking...”

That Russia hacked the DNC and John Podesta is a claim made by our government, which is disputed by both Russia and Assange and for which no evidence has been presented to those of us in the American public and for which we also have no idea what kind of evidence, other than intelligence agency statements, has been presented to lawmakers, including the president. It doesn't matter that President-elect Donald Trump apparently disputes the conclusion that the Russians were behind the hacking. So far as we know, he has no evidence either. The entire debate, on both sides, is being conducted based on claims being made out of thin air.

What we should have learned from the WMD fiasco is that to jump on a bandwagon, no matter who or which side is driving the wagon, without any convincing evidence being presented for each of us to evaluate the worth of the claim, is a mistake.  So far, our whole country seems to be making the same mistake again.

Reader Comments (2)

So, really, don't all governments hack? Aren't we hacking China and Russia, while they are hacking each other and us? Is the DNC hacking the issue that Obama and his administration really want to hang their hats on? I would be more concerned with hacking dangerous and secret information that puts our country in jeopardy. As far as the Russians are concerned, we should have been more concerned with them as they invaded other countries, and started arming the Middle East, controlling the supply of Uranium, or befriending the Iranians. But hacking the DNC????? This is almost comical. The real issue is not that the hacking happened, but what the DNC said...which no one in the media real seems to want to address. They think Trump is bad with his comments? Have they not looked at the vile attitude, arrogance, name calling, prejudicial statements, voter manipulation, election stealing, and down right lies the DNC emails reveal? Oh wait...I have my answer. No...no they don't.

January 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Torphy

So, at this point we do not know a great deal. The biggest concern I have is that soon to be President Trump may make it a habit of making light sport of the intelligence he is provided by the Establishment. I have learned through the years that if you shoot messengers you stop getting messages. That may be a cliche but there is a certain truth in it. I expect most of the work done by U.S. Intelligence is pretty reliable and worthy of consideration.

January 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Halleck

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