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Did Russiagate begin as a Clinton campaign conspiracy? New forensic research suggests it

Forensic report by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity implies that DNC/Podesta hacks and “Guccifer 2.0′ personas were concocted to discredit Wikileaks in advance of publication of the DNC/Podesta emails and to cast suspicion on Russia.

Alexander Mercouris

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Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (“VIPS”), one of the most formidable commentary groups in the world, which includes such heavyweights as William Binney, the former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, the former top CIA analyst Ray McGovern, and many others, has published another in its highly enlightening series of public memoranda addressed to the President of the United States.

This evidence sets out a forensic examination of the hacking allegations which are at the centre of the Russiagate scandal and which allege that it was Russian intelligence which hacked the computers of John Podesta and the DNC and which stole the emails they found there and passed them on to Wikileaks.

Critically this latest memorandum is co-authored by Skip Folden, who is the retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, and who has undertaken precisely the sort of forensic examination of the hacking allegations that the FBI disastrously has failed to undertake.

Before discussing this memorandum in detail, I feel I need to make first an admission and an apology.

Firstly, as to the admission, I am not at all an IT person, and unless a point about the hacking allegations is explained thoroughly and carefully – as it is in the VIPS memorandum – I am likely to miss its significance.  In this case talk about Skip Folden’s forensic examination has been swirling around the internet for some time, but it is only since reading the VIPS memorandum that I have understood its significance.

Secondly, as to the apology, in an article I wrote on 3rd July 2017 I said that Daniel Lazare was the first person who to my knowledge had pointed out that in the absence of a forensic examination of the DNC’s and John Podesta’s computers there could not be absolute certainty that a hack had occurred at all.  As several people swiftly pointed out this is simply untrue, and this very point has been made by many people including by someone called ‘richardstevenhack’ who comments on my own threads.

Not only must I apologise for this error but I should say that on reading the VIPS memorandum the full significance of this point is now finally clear to me.

The heart of the point made by the VIPS memorandum is in my opinion contained in these words

The Key Event

July 5, 2016: In the early evening, Eastern Daylight Time, someone working in the EDT time zone with a computer directly connected to the DNC server or DNC Local Area Network, copied 1,976 MegaBytes of data in 87 seconds onto an external storage device. That speed is many times faster than what is physically possible with a hack.

It thus appears that the purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 (the self-proclaimed WikiLeaks source) was not a hack by Russia or anyone else, but was rather a copy of DNC data onto an external storage device. Moreover, the forensics performed on the metadata reveal there was a subsequent synthetic insertion – a cut-and-paste job using a Russian template, with the clear aim of attributing the data to a “Russian hack.” This was all performed in the East Coast time zone….

…….the independent forensic work just completed focused on data copied (not hacked) by a shadowy persona named “Guccifer 2.0.” The forensics reflect what seems to have been a desperate effort to “blame the Russians” for publishing highly embarrassing DNC emails three days before the Democratic convention last July. Since the content of the DNC emails reeked of pro-Clinton bias, her campaign saw an overriding need to divert attention from content to provenance – as in, who “hacked” those DNC emails? The campaign was enthusiastically supported by a compliant “mainstream” media; they are still on a roll.

“The Russians” were the ideal culprit. And, after WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, “We have emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication,” her campaign had more than a month before the convention to insert its own “forensic facts” and prime the media pump to put the blame on “Russian meddling.”

…….he purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else. Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider. The data was leaked after being doctored with a cut-and-paste job to implicate Russia. We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI.

In what I am now going to say I am going to join up the dots in a way that takes me beyond me what the VIPS actually say.  If by doing so I am misunderstanding and misrepresenting the new evidence and I apologise in advance and I would ask them to correct me.

Briefly, the scenario suggested by the new evidence is explained by the VIPS by reference to a brief chronology in this way

The Time Sequence

June 12, 2016: Assange announces WikiLeaks is about to publish “emails related to Hillary Clinton.”

June 15, 2016: DNC contractor Crowdstrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: On the same day, “Guccifer 2.0” affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the “hack;” claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with “Russian fingerprints.”

We do not think that the June 12 & 15 timing was pure coincidence. Rather, it suggests the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to “show” that it came from a Russian hack.

I have always expressed doubts that “Guccifer 2.0” has any connection either to Russian intelligence or to Wikileaks or was actually the source of the emails published by Wikileaks..

What this scenario seems to be suggesting is that following the revelation by Julian Assange on 12th June 2016 in a British television interview that Wikileaks was about to publish damaging emails about Hillary Clinton someone within the DNC who was presumably anxious to protect the Hillary Clinton campaign set about creating a false trail so that the leak of the emails would be blamed not on a DNC insider but on the Russians.  That way it was hoped that the focus would be not on the content of the emails themselves but on Russian meddling in the election.

This was done by concocting a fake “Guccifer 2.0” persona to create the impression that the emails were stolen not by a leak but by way of a hack, and by setting up this persona to make him look like a front for Russian intelligence.

Here I should say that I have always thought “Guccifer 2.0” to be a far too crude and obvious persona to be a front for Russian intelligence.  Also I have never understood why – assuming it really was Russian intelligence which stole the emails – they would want to create such a persona at all.  Surely by doing so they would be merely providing more clues leading back to themselves?

As well as concocting “Guccifer 2.0” – who interestingly has had only an ephemeral twitter presence since these events – Crowdstrike was brought in to provide a report further claiming that the emails were stolen by way of a hack rather than a leak and to say that the Russians were responsible.

Lastly, a further attempt was made on 5th July 2016 – the “key event” which is the focus of the VIPS memorandum, and which is the subject of the latest forensic examination – to link the fake “Guccifer 2.0” persona to the theft of data from the DNC’s computer, and to do so in a way that also pointed to the Russians through a “subsequent synthetic insertion – a cut-and-paste job using a Russian template, with the clear aim of attributing the data to a “Russian hack.””

This is an extremely disturbing scenario if it is true.  It would mean that there is someone within the DNC who is perfectly aware that the whole Russiagate conspiracy is fake, and who has in fact deliberately concocted it, making the Russiagate scandal in effect a fraud.

Moreover whoever that person is, he or she is clearly a person possessed great resources and influence: having access to the DNC’s computer, able to concoct a fake “Guccifer 2.0” persona at short notice, able to bring in Crowdstrike to lend credence to the fraud, in possession of malware necessary to lay a false trail pointing to Russia, and – most worrying of all – able to dissuade the FBI from carrying out its own forensic examination of the DNC’s and John Podesta’s computers, which had it been carried out would presumably have quickly exposed the fraud.

The last point of course goes directly to the one which people like Daniel Lazare and “richardstevenhack”have made: in the absence of a proper examination of John Podesta’s and the DNC’s computers by the FBI we cannot be sure that there ever was a hack.  If the scenario that appears to be set out in the VIPS memorandum is true then it would seem that there never was a hack and that the evidence that there was is concocted.

Before proceeding further I should say that there might be contrary arguments to this scenario.  “Guccifer 2.0” might be the creation not of someone engaged in a cover-up on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign, but of the original leaker seeking to cover his tracks by throwing suspicion onto Russia.  Alternatively it may be that “Guccifer 2.0” is the concoction of some opportunistic narcissist within the DNC, out to claim credit for the leak of emails which had nothing to do with him.  Unfortunately there are such people, and they are often the cause of huge confusion.

What however argues against these alternative theories is the involvement of Crowdstrike, as well as the FBI’s willingness to be persuaded to accept Crowdstrike’s report rather than carry out its forensic examination of the DNC’s and John Podesta’s computers.  Perhaps whoever it was who concocted “Guccifer 2.0” was simply lucky that neither the DNC nor John Podesta nor the FBI seem to have been keen on a proper investigation.  However on the face of it that does seem rather unlikely.

Of course it is also open to anyone who does not agree with the scenario outlined by VIPS to contest the conclusions of their forensic investigation.  However if that is to be done successfully then whoever will do it will have to match the expertise in this field of people like William Binney and Skip Folden.  That does look like a rather tall order.

At a relatively early stage of the Russiagate scandal I said that the true scandal – which the concocted Russiagate scandal seemed intended to conceal – was the illegal surveillance of US citizens during the election.

If the scenario outlined by VIPS is correct  – or if I have understood it correctly – then there is a far greater scandal behind the Russiagate scandal even than this, for in that case an attempt was made to swing the election through a fraud in which sections of the US’s intelligence and security services appear to have colluded.

That is a very disturbing possibility, and one which if true would mean that the political and constitutional system of the United States is in profound crisis.

Far more evidence is needed if what is still only a possibility is to be accepted as true, but the fact remains that unless I have misunderstood them completely the highly experienced and professional people who make up VIPS have just published a memorandum which points in that direction.

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Forensic technology is now more developed but we need to aware about this. To get more better result our honesty is more important in here.

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Theresa May goes to Brussels and comes back with a big fat donut (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 39.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Theresa May’s trip to Brussels to try and win some concessions from EU oligarchs, only to get completely rebuked and ridiculed, leaving EU headquarters with nothing but a four page document essentially telling the UK to get its act together or face a hard Brexit.

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Via Zerohedge


Any confidence boost that might have followed Theresa May’s triumph this week over her party’s implacable Brexiteers has probably already faded. Because if there was anything to be learned from the stunning rebuke delivered to the prime minister by EU leaders on Thursday, it’s that the prime minister is looking more stuck than ever.

This was evidenced by the frosty confrontation between the imperturbable May and her chief Continental antagonist, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, which was caught on film on Friday shortly before the close of a two-day European Council summit that descended into bitter recriminations. After offering token praise of May’s leadership, Brussels’ supreme bureaucrat criticized her negotiating strategy as “disorganized”, provoking a heated response from May.

Earlier, May desperately pleaded with her European colleagues – who had adamantly insisted that the text of the withdrawal agreement would not be altered – to grant her “legally binding assurances” May believes would make the Brexit plan palatable enough to win a slim victory in the Commons.

If there were any lingering doubts about the EU’s position, they were swiftly dispelled by a striking gesture of contempt for May: Demonstrating the Continent’s indifference to her plight, the final text of the summit’s conclusions was altered to remove a suggestion that the EU consider what further assurances can be offered to May, while leaving in a resolution to continue contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit.

Even the Irish, who in the recent past have been sympathetic to their neighbors’ plight (in part due to fears about a resurgence of insurrectionary violence should a hard border re-emerge between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland), implied that there patience had reached its breaking point.

Here’s the FT:

But Leo Varadkar, the Irish premier, warned that the EU could not tolerate a treaty approval process where a country “comes back every couple of weeks following discussions with their parliament looking for something extra…you can’t operate international relations on this basis.”

Senior EU officials are resisting further negotiations — and suggestions of a special Brexit summit next month — because they see Britain’s requests as in effect a bid to rewrite the exit treaty.

Mr Varadkar noted that many prime ministers had been called to Brussels “at short notice” for a special Brexit summit “on a Sunday in November,” adding: “I don’t think they would be willing to come to Brussels again unless we really have to.”

In response, May threatened to hold a vote on the Brexit plan before Christmas, which would almost certainly result in its defeat, scrapping the fruits of more than a year of contentious negotiations.

Given that Mrs May aborted a Commons vote on her deal this week because she feared defeat by a “significant margin,” her comments amounted to a threat that she would let MPs kill the withdrawal agreement before Christmas.

Mrs May made the threat to German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Emmanuel Macron and EU presidents Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk as the two day Brussels summit descended into acrimony, according to diplomats.

“At the point where there is no prospect of getting anything more from the EU, that’s when you would have to put the vote,” said one close aide to Mrs May.

If this week has taught May anything, it’s that her plan to pressure the EU into more concessions (her preferred option to help her pass the Brexit plan) was an unmitigated failure. And given that running out the clock and hoping that MPs come around at the last minute (when the options truly have been reduced to ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’) leaves too much room for market-rattling uncertainty, May is left with a few options, two of which were previously ‘off the table’ (though she has distanced herself from those positions in recent weeks).

They are: Calling a second referendum, delaying a Brexit vote, pivoting to a softer ‘Plan B’ Brexit, or accepting a ‘no deal’ Brexit. As the BBC reminds us, May is obliged by law to put her deal to a vote by Jan. 21, or go to Parliament with a Plan B.

If May does decide to run down the clock, she will have two last-minute options:

On the one hand she could somehow cancel, delay, soften or hold another referendum on Brexit and risk alienating the 17.4 million people who voted Leave.

But on the other hand, she could go for a so-called Hard Brexit (where few of the existing ties between the UK and the EU are retained) and risk causing untold damage to the UK’s economy and standing in the world for years to come.

Alternatively, May could accept the fact that convincing the Brexiteers is a lost cause, and try to rally support among Labour MPs for a ‘softer’ Brexit plan, one that would more countenance closer ties with the EU during the transition, and ultimately set the stage for a closer relationship that could see the UK remain part of the customs union and single market. Conservatives are also increasingly pushing for a ‘Plan B’ deal that would effectively set the terms for a Norway- or Canada-style trade deal (and this strategy isn’t without risk, as any deal accepted by Parliament would still require approval from the EU).

But as JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank anticipated last week, a second referendum (which supporters have nicknamed a “People’s Vote”) is becoming increasingly popular, even among MPs who supported the ‘Leave’ campaign, according to Bloomberg.

It’s not the only previously unthinkable idea that May has talked about this week. Fighting off a challenge to her leadership from pro-Brexit Conservative members of Parliament, the premier warned that deposing her would mean delaying Britain’s departure from the European Union. That’s not something she admitted was possible last month.

The argument for a second referendum advanced by one minister was simple: If nothing can get through Parliament — and it looks like nothing can — the question needs to go back to voters.

While campaigners for a second vote have mostly been those who want to reverse the result of the last one and keep Britain inside the EU, that’s not the reason a lot of new supporters are coming round to the idea.

One Cabinet minister said this week he wanted a second referendum on the table to make clear to Brexit supporters in the Conservative Party that the alternative to May’s deal is no Brexit at all.

Even former UKIP leader Nigel Farage is urging his supporters to be ready for a second referendum:

Speaking at rally in London, Press Association quoted Farage as saying: “My message folks tonight is as much as I don’t want a second referendum it would be wrong of us on a Leave Means Leave platform not to get ready, not to be prepared for a worst-case scenario.”

Putting pressure on Brexiteers is also the reason there’s more talk of delaying the U.K.’s departure. At the moment, many Brexit-backers are talking openly about running down the clock to March so they can get the hard Brexit they want. Extending the process — which is easier than many appreciate — takes that strategy off the table.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has continued to call for May to put her deal to a vote principally because its defeat is a necessary precursor for another referendum (or a no-confidence vote pushed by an alliance between Labour, and some combination of rebel Tories, the SNP and the DUP).

“The last 24 hours have shown that Theresa May’s Brexit deal is dead in the water,” said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “She’s failed to deliver any meaningful changes. Rather than ploughing ahead and recklessly running down the clock, she needs to put her deal to a vote next week so Parliament can take back control.”

The upshot is that the Brexit trainwreck, which has been stuck at an impasse for months, could finally see some meaningful movement in the coming weeks. Which means its a good time to bring back this handy chart illustrating the many different outcomes that could arise:

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Ukraine’s President Says “High” Threat Of Russian Invasion, Urges NATO Entry In Next 5 Years

Poroshenko is trying desperately to hold on to power, even if it means provoking Russia.

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Via Zerohedge


Perhaps still seeking to justify imposing martial law over broad swathes of his country, and attempting to keep international pressure and media focus on a narrative of “Russian aggression,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denounced what he called the high “threat of Russian invasion” during a press conference on Sunday, according to Bloomberg.

Though what some analysts expected would be a rapid flair up of tit-for-tat incidents following the late November Kerch Strait seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and their crew by the Russian Navy has gone somewhat quiet, with no further major incident to follow, Poroshenko has continued to signal to the West that Russia could invade at any moment.

“The lion’s share of Russian troops remain” along the Russian border with Ukraine, Poroshenko told journalists at a press conference in the capital, Kiev. “Unfortunately, less than 10 percent were withdrawn,” he said, and added: “As of now, the threat of Russian troops invading remains. We have to be ready for this, we won’t allow a repeat of 2014.”

Poroshenko, who declared martial law on Nov. 26, citing at the time possible imminent “full-scale war with Russia” and Russian tank and troop build-up, on Sunday noted that he will end martial law on Dec. 26 and the temporarily suspended presidential campaign will kick off should there be no Russian invasion. He also previously banned all Russian males ages 16-60 from entering Ukraine as part of implementation of 30 days of martial law over ten provinces, though it’s unclear if this policy will be rescinded.

During his remarks, the Ukrainian president said his country should push to join NATO and the EU within the next five years, per Bloomberg:

While declining to announce whether he will seek a second term in the office, Poroshenko said that Ukraine should achieve peace, overcome the consequences of its economic crisis and to meet criteria to join the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during next five years.

But concerning both his retaining power and his ongoing “threat exaggeration” — there’s even widespread domestic acknowledgement that the two are clearly linked.

According to The Globe and Mail:

While Mr. Poroshenko’s domestic rivals accuse him of exaggerating the threat in order to boost his own flagging political fortunes — polls suggest Mr. Poroshenko is on track to lose his job in a March election — military experts say there are reasons to take the Ukrainian president’s warning seriously.

As we observed previously, while European officials have urged both sides to exercise restraint, the incident shows just how easily Russia and the West could be drawn into a military conflict over Ukraine.

Certainly Poroshenko’s words appear designed to telegraph just such an outcome, which would keep him in power as a war-time president, hasten more and massive western military support and aid, and quicken his country’s entry into NATO — the latter which is already treating Ukraine as a de facto strategic outpost.

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The Stampede of the Gadarene Swine: US Leaders Allowing Ukraine to Pull Them into Global War

There is no way in any sane assessment that the Ukrainian forces – and certainly not the neo-Nazi militias recruited in the west of the country to terrorize the east – can be regarded as “brothers” of the US armed forces.

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Authored by Martin Sieff via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel was right – Again: The only thing the human race learns from history is that it learns nothing from history.

In 1914,the British Empire, largest in human history and one of the longest-lasting, charged into World War I to defend “gallant little Belgium” whose King Leopold over the previous 30 years had carried out one of the longest, largest genocides of all time, killing 10 million people in the Congo.

Germany, wealthiest, most prosperous nation in Europe, blundered into the same needless war when feckless Kaiser Wilhelm II causally gave sweeping approval to Austria-Hungary to annihilate the tiny nation of Serbia. Millions of brave and idealistic Russians eagerly volunteered to fight in the war to protect “gallant little Serbia.” Most of them died too. There is no record that any of the Serbian leaders after the war visited any of their mass graves.

Now it is the United States’ turn.

Since the end of the Cold War US policymakers, presidents and their congresses have carried out virtually every stupidity and folly imaginable for any major power. The only one they have so far avoided has been the danger of stumbling into a full scale world war.

However, now, with the escalating and increasingly hysterical US support for the shady and risk-taking junta in Kiev, President Donald Trump risks committing that most dire and unforgivable of all horrors.

Trump today is no more than putty in the hands of his national security adviser John Bolton, one of the masterminds of the catastrophe that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Bolton is just like his hero Winston Churchill a century ago during World War I. He always gets his way, always gets the wars and battles he wants and bungles them embarrassingly every time. And like the young Churchill, Bolton never learns, never mellows and he never changes. It is always everybody else’s fault.

Churchill finally did grow and learn. His famous activities of the 1930s were not meant to start a new world war with Germany under the far worse leadership of Adolf Hitler: He wanted to avert such a war.

The invaluable diaries of Ivan Maisky, the Soviet Union’s ambassador to Britain through the 1930s make clear that even then Churchill was eager – alone in the British ruling classes – to establish a serious close defensive alliance with Josef Stalin and the Soviet Union. He recognized that would be the only way to box in Hitler and prevent a global catastrophe.

But Bolton has not learned from his hero – Quite the reverse. He is now impelling Trump on a reckless course of empowering the dangerous adventurers who with US support have seized Ukraine and have spent the past nearly five years wrecking it.

Even worse, the same kind of absurd sentimentalizing of an obscure, tiny or unstable ally that doomed Britain, Russia and Germany to unimaginable suffering and loss in 1914 now permeates US decision-makers, strategists and their pontificating pundits about Ukraine. On March 1, 2016, US General Philip Breedlove, then NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) memorably referred to “our Ukrainian brothers and sisters” in a Pentagon press briefing

There is no way in any sane assessment that the ramshackle Ukrainian forces – and certainly not the neo-Nazi militias recruited in the west of the country to terrorize the east – can be regarded as “brothers” of the US armed forces. The US and Soviet troops who met on the River Elbe on April 25, 1945 after advancing a combined more than 2,000 miles to liberate Europe from the darkest tyranny in its history could truly be called “brothers.”

However, the US military today and the Ukrainian forces they are being drawn in to protect certainly are not “brothers and sisters.” No poll has been taken since then across the United States, as far as I am aware as to whether the American people would be willing to risk full-scale nuclear war to defend a government in Ukraine that is demonstrably unpopular among its own people.

Trump was elected president in November 2016 precisely because he was the only candidate in that shock election who unambiguously called for the United States to end its 70-year fixation with getting pulled into one endless war and confrontation after another around the world. It would be the darkest of ironies if instead he took America into its last and most catastrophic conflict – a nuclear confrontation from which there could be no recovery, no escape and no survival.

Britain, Russia and Germany in 1914 were all destroyed by the deliberate plotting and manipulations of vastly smaller or weaker allies run by psychopathic gamblers. The rulers of Kiev today, in their entirely reckless disregard for the dangers of global thermonuclear war clearly fit into that category.

Policymakers in Moscow recognize this dire reality. Their counterparts in Washington remain amazingly totally blind to it. Their only idea of strategy is the suicidal stampede of the Gadarene Swine in the Gospels off the end of a cliff. And they are taking the entire human race with them.

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