I’m surprised by the seeming lack of skepticism at BMG over Gen. James “there are definitely WMD in Iraq” Clapper’s claim that the Russkies hacked the DNC servers etc. and that there’s secret evidence just trust him. Or possibly I’ve only run into non-skeptics here, and haven’t conversed with the skeptics.
The one piece of “evidence” that I’ve seen that Russia did this is a phishing email that Podesta fell for. This phishing email was the least-sophisticated thing imaginable, simply a faked Google email:
This is the most obvious way imaginable to gain access to a password, has been done by many hackers for about as long as the Internet’s been “a thing”. A clever teenager could whip it up in a few hours. How this counts as evidence of Russian hacking… I’m not getting it.
In any case, the reason that I’m writing this is to give some visibility to a memo released yesterday by 20+ very seasoned veteran intelligence professionals, including folks like the former Technical Director of the NSA. They too are skeptical of the Obama administration’s claims on here, and are asking for proof.
From the memo:
We urge you to authorize public release of any tangible evidence that takes us beyond the unsubstantiated, “we-assess” judgments by the intelligence agencies. Otherwise, we – as well as other skeptical Americans – will be left with the corrosive suspicion that the intense campaign of accusations is part of a wider attempt to discredit the Russians and those – like Mr. Trump – who wish to deal constructively with them.
You told Alexander you were reluctant to “compromise sources and methods.” We can understand that concern better than most Americans. We would remind you, though, that at critical junctures in the past, your predecessors made judicious decisions to give higher priority to buttressing the credibility of U.S. intelligence-based policy than to protecting sources and methods. With the Kremlin widely accused by politicians and pundits of “an act of war,” this is the kind of textbook case in which you might seriously consider taking special pains to substantiate serious allegations with hard intelligence – if there is any.
During the Cuban missile crisis, for instance, President Kennedy ordered us to show highly classified photos of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba and on ships en route, even though this blew sensitive detail regarding the imagery intelligence capabilities of the cameras on our U-2 aircraft.
Our VIPS colleague William Binney, who was Technical Director of NSA and created many of the collection systems still in use, assures us that NSA’s “cast-iron” coverage – particularly surrounding Julian Assange and other people associated with WikiLeaks – would almost certainly have yielded a record of any electronic transfer from Russia to WikiLeaks. Binney has used some of the highly classified slides released by Edward Snowden to demonstrate precisely how NSA accomplishes this using trace mechanisms embedded throughout the network. [See: “U.S. Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims,” Dec. 12, 2016.]
I suspect that this will change few minds, if any, but it might be interesting to some.