Manufactured hysteria – once again.


"The New York Times was more aggressive, writing flatly, "Obama Strikes Back at Russia for Election Hacking." It backed up its story with a link to a joint FBI/Homeland Security report that details how Russian civilian and military intelligence services (termed "RIS" in the report) twice breached the defenses of "a U.S. political party," presumably the Democrats.

This report is long on jargon but short on specifics. More than half of it is just a list of suggestions for preventive measures.

At one point we learn that the code name the U.S. intelligence community has given to Russian cyber shenanigans is GRIZZLY STEPPE, a sexy enough detail.

But we don't learn much at all about what led our government to determine a) that these hacks were directed by the Russian government, or b) they were undertaken with the aim of influencing the election, and in particular to help elect Donald Trump.

The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up.

If the American security agencies had smoking-gun evidence that the Russians had an organized campaign to derail the U.S. presidential election and deliver the White House to Trump, then expelling a few dozen diplomats after the election seems like an oddly weak and ill-timed response. Voices in both parties are saying this now."  Matt Taibbi


We've been here before, pilgrims.  We've been here before.  I wrote the Iraq War hysteria generation up extensively in my 2003 article "Drinking the Koolaid," (link below)

The Bush '43 administration deliberately lied in the media to get the US public to accept war and occupation in Iraq.  Paul Wolfowitz admitted that while testifying before the US Senate.  There had been Iraqi nuclear weapons and chemical weapons programs before the First Gulf War but they were destroyed by UN search parties of inspectors after the war.  In this work they were assisted by US intelligence who sent the inspectors to the right places to find the elements of the programs.  The inspectors got just about everything, all the enrichment devices for fissionable material, all elements of the chemical program.  In the case of the latter the UN took masses of material, piping, etc.,  and gave the Iraqi government no receipts.  As a result after the Bush '43 Administration decided to go to war with Iraq it was possible to claim that the declared inventory of the chemical program was larger than the materiel on hand and that this was "proof" that some of the materiel was hidden somewhere, somewhere…  BTW the Iraqi biological weapons program was ever anything but a research program.

Now, we have yet another attempt to generate mass hysteria through the manipulation of public consciousness.  In this case the "enemy" is Russia against which an aura of hostility is being created that is part ignorance, part hyper-nationalist aggressiveness, and part residual fear of the USSR (which has not existed for decades).    This in spite of the simple truth that if such hostility proceeded to its logical conclusion in a nuclear exchange there would be many millions of dead and wounded on both sides.

As the "icing on the cake" the media now proclaim that the Intelligence Community is a vessel of integrity and patriotic self-sacrifice that, since it hints to us that "the Russians done it," must be believed without question.  Well, pilgrims, those who really know the Intelligence Community know that these agencies are run be 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.

Are we mad enough to believe such people?  Perhaps Trump is not.  pl

This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Borg Wars, Current Affairs, Media, Russia. Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Manufactured hysteria – once again.

  1. divadab says:

    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.

  2. oth says:

    Jan Oberg in Aleppo can’t find the genocide:

  3. BillWade says:

    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..

  4. Lemur says:

    “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.

  5. Eric Newhill says:

    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.

  6. rjh says:

    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.

  7. Haralambos says:

    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
    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: This is the trailer.

  8. ked says:

    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.

  9. VietnamVet says:

    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.

  10. steve says:

    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.

  11. hans says:

    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.

  12. Ghostship says:

    I can understand Obama’s bitterness towards Putin:
    “Obama Sees Russia Failing in Syria Effort”
    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.

  13. wisedupearly says:

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

  14. Peter in Toronto says:

    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.

  15. Jack says:

    “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.

  16. AlanQ says:

    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

  17. Larry Kart says:

    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?

  18. ann says:

    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.

  19. robt willmann says:

    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–
    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–

  20. ancient archer says:

    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..

  21. Freudenschade says:

    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.

  22. NotTimothyGeithner says:

    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.

  23. Dr. Puck says:

    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.

  24. Edward Amame says:

    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.”
    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.

  25. shargash says:

    This should put a fork in the “Russia did it” hysteria: 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.

  26. oth,
    If Jan Oberg’s piece doesn’t make people (those who read it) re-think their conceptions of the Syrian Civil War, there’s no hope for the notions that objectivity and empirical evidence will win out. It should be widely disseminated but probably won’t be.

  27. Clueless Joe says:

    This manufactured hysteria – which is a clear example of “fake news” if there ever was – comes, by sheer coincidence, from the mainstream media who spends time denouncing other outlets as the bearers of “fake news”.

  28. turcopolier says:

    Dr. Puck
    “The incoming swamp builders” Well, you just lost your credibility as an obvious partisan. You want me to prove to you that consciousness is manufactured by memetic manipulation? You must be a social “scientist.” Have you been living on this planet for the last 15 years. How was the weather on Arcturus 3?

  29. Coverage and reactions to these hacks have been driven by hysteria and partisan info ops. Back in the day, this would have all stayed in classified and limited distribution channels. I look back at how one of the earlier intrusion sets was handled. Much of the info has only recently been revealed through FOIA requests. MOONLIGHT MAZE was a multi-year espionage campaign that stole thousands of sensitive documents from USG networks and research centers. Our present inter-agency network defense and investigative enterprise was established in direct response to these intrusions. It took a long, full scope investigation and a little bit of luck to determine this was a Russian operation.
    I know of other cyber operations targeting the US that dwarf MOONLIGHT MAZE in scope. They even, IMO, dwarf the OPM hack. These are not public knowledge. I was not privy to what we did in response to those operations since I clearly didn’t have a need to know.
    Contrast this with how quickly we learned that we were behind Stuxnet. I was shocked when “Soup” Campbell spilled the beans on that one. He was one smart SOB in this field, but his public outing of this operation was beyond boneheaded. There is nothing in Stuxnet that absolutely required state sponsorship. We could have maintained deniability.
    Now we have a cyber operation that apparently attempted to influence our election. Whether it actually had a critical influence will probably never be determined, but will be a subject of political argument until the end of days. Who’s behind it. A disgruntled DNC insider? Some patriotic Russian hackers acting independently? Or was it a Kremlin orchestrated master plan? This, even less so than Stuxnet, did not require state assets or sponsorship to pull off. I do firmly believe the culprit will eventually be known. However, if USI’s current theory is right and Russia is behind this, I doubt we will be offered truly convincing proof. It has to be more than code analysis and traceroutes. If we are willing to blow our sources and methods just to prove a now moot political point, we are petty fools.
    Here’s a good article on the history of MOONLIGHT MAZE and a short talk by Thomas Rid on the subject. I understand he covers it in depth in his new book “Rise of the Machines.”

  30. turcopolier says:

    IMO it is a futile notion to believe that what are and have long been normal SIGINT collection operations can be criminalized on an international basis. pl

  31. turcopolier says:

    larry kart & steve
    What you don’t seem to understand is that the toadying to the government of the moment is done by a very small group of politicals at the very top of these agencies. These people are so identified by everyone as wholly owned property of a political party and administration that they have no hope whatever of making a transition to an opposition led government. They have no “future career.” They made it to the top. that’s it – finished except for an appointment to Brookings, Moveon, etc. And they might come back someday, risen from the dead like a John Bolton or Jim Woolsey. BTW the subordinates however senior in the intel agencies at entirely at the mercy of the barons that rule the agencies. pl

  32. Valissa says:

    Fox news is not going along with narrative. For their own political reasons, of course, but nonetheless they are fighting it.
    Assange: Russian government not the source of WikiLeaks emails
    Hannity sat down with Assange in London’s Ecuadorian embassy, where the Australian native has been holed up for five years battling extradition to Sweden on unrelated charges. Part I of the interview is set to air Tuesday night at 10 p.m. on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”
    In excerpts released prior to airing, Assange is adamant that the hacked emails his organization released of Clinton official John Podesta did not come from Russia, as the Obama administration has claimed.
    “We can say, we have said, repeatedly that over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party,” Assange said.
    … Asked if he thought Obama was lying to the American people about Russia’s actions, Assange said the president is “acting like a lawyer” with his allegations.
    “If you look at most of his statements, he doesn’t say that. He doesn’t say that WikiLeaks obtained its information from Russia, worked with Russia,” Assange said.
    But he said he believes the administration is “trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House. They are trying to say that President-elect Trump is not a legitimate president.”
    Suggest listening to the audio interview with Hannity as well. Hannity also mentions US interference in Israel’s recent election.

  33. robt willmann says:

    The propaganda surrounding the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was the subject of a parody done by the creative comedian Dave Chappelle, who put together comedy sketches as well as doing standup. Here he plays a Black president George Bush jr., and the skit includes the Black Tony Blair and the Black director of the CIA (along with risque and edgy language)–—uncensored
    Events over the last several months can provide Chappelle with plenty of material to do a new version.

  34. jld says:

    Unfortunately LOTS and LOTS of people have gone bonkers over Trump and it is very likely that there will be enough popular support for even the most outlandish claims of the propaganda.
    Look at the insanity top notch researchers indulge in: Never, never, never normalize this
    A clear case of Nassim Nicholas Taleb IYI aggravated by an heavy overdose of leftism.

  35. Eric Newhill says:

    Genuinely curious here… the name of the game, at this point, for the top people, is to play the Borg hand to it’s fullest and then, having demonstrated loyalty to it, retreat to think tanks, etc. and await the return of a new Borg POTUS – this strategy, I presume, because they are political animals and sensed that Trump would can them anyhow?
    I’m having difficulty understanding why they would not attempt to ingratiate themselves to Trump. They are true believers? Just doesn’t work that way in DC or in their heads?
    I could never achieve past Dept Director level (and struggle there sometimes, “politically”) because I believe in an honest day’s work, honest representation of the facts despite upsetting someone above who’s pet concept isn’t working. I’d feel remiss if I didn’t. I’ve always wondered how people could do otherwise and yet excel. Sometimes loyalty is preferred above the bottom line even in business.

  36. jld says:

    Sorry, no, facts do not matter, read Scott Adams.

  37. Larry Kart says:

    I did understand all (or most of) that — that, in particular, that these “barons” probably have no “future career” in government, given the advent of a new administration, was part of my premise. (Compare the situaiton of these barons to Tenet under Bush II.) What I don’t understand is why, given that reality, these baron-toadies would take the I assume not inconsiderable risk and trouble of cooking up a pack of lies — lies that would involve not just themselves but probably subordinates well down the line. Also, even though “subordinates however senior in the intel agencies are at entirely at the mercy of the barons that rule the agencies,” why would those barons take the I assume not inconsiderable risk that once those current barons are out the door, which may happen ASAP under Trump, some of their now-no-longer-at-the mercy-of-the-barons subordinates will blow the whistle on what went down/was cooked up, saying in effect, “We opposed/tried to stop this but were threatened and/or overruled by our bosses.” Certainly a fair number of subordinates from the WMD days did or tried to do some such ex post facto whistle-blowing. As for those barons feathering nests for themselves at Brookings, Moveon, etc., that seems to me both unnecessary (THAT’s the pay off? And if they are simpatico with such outfits, they probably are known to be and would be welcomed there) and, again. hardly worth the effort and the risks I’ve mentioned above.

  38. turcopolier says:

    Eric Newhill
    What were you Deputy director in? pl

  39. Eric Nehill says:

    I apologize for being unclear. I was referring to my experience in the corporate world, not government. My highest achievement in govt employment was a lowly GS-10 (or maybe 11 – I honestly can’t recall after all these years).
    My question was based on my seeking to understand the similarities and differences, private v government, as far as internal politics are concerned.
    Govt sounds like it is brutal to the point of inefficiency when it comes to leadership. I imagine that a couple layers down is where institutional integrity and continuity are preserved, assuming there is a preservation.

  40. Eric Nehill says:

    ah….”Dept” = department; not “deputy”

  41. scott s. says:

    Thanks for that link. Makes good reading. My take-away is that the evidence offered by the IC provides no link to any specific actor, government or non-government. So the question is, did the IC provide this “evidence” under the idea that gullible MSM or public at-large would accept it based on trust of the IC? Of course, the IC could have other evidence, not released, but if so why bother with this release?
    Of interest in the analysis was the use of TOR to hide the attack sources. We know that FBI has compromised TOR in the past by setting up compromised TOR routers. So it is conceivable that the IC was able to work backwards from the listed TOR exit IP to some ultimate originating machine, but that is just conjecture.

  42. Dr. Puck says:

    I’m a partisan for sure. How I came to be that way may be a simple matter, and, I’m confident you could demonstrate this to your own satisfaction.
    However, I was speaking of how difficult it is to determine what actually happened when there aren’t many certifiable facts. Whereas my characterization of the fact-minders in the new administration points out the obvious; well, obvious to me.

  43. Dr. Puck says:

    I should read Scott Adams? Really? Why?
    Is he going to tell me that facts do not matter to everybody, certain people, your average surgeon doing surgery? Will he describe where facts are really essential or will he just state that facts are always secondary, and as such facts do not matter.
    Reading Adams pontificate inexpertly is not recoverable time. What one feels about the hacking situation could boil down to, well, feeling. I can scan the landscape where the emotional glue holds people fast to their certainties.
    By implication, I was just wondering ‘out loud’ if we will ever have a credible accounting about the hacking.
    As it happens, PL has supplied one of the handful of critical pointers about the President-elect’s communication; that “He will say anything to get to where he can ace the deal.” However, that people are persuaded does not supply the crucial warrant for the sake of establishing what is a fact.

  44. Fred says:

    The ones being whipped into a frenzy are the liberally college educated. The erasure of history you write about is an extension of the cultural marxist efforts to erase the aspirational nature of our society and replace it with their own utopian idealist one.

  45. Walrus says:

    There is a difference between the corporate and Government environment. Corporate activities are related to the generation of profit. That is the ultimate measuring stick.
    Government ? Not so much. If your Director says the moon is made of cheese then you had better agree if you wish to have a career.
    Col. Lang termed the act of sacrificing your integrity for advancement as “drinking the Kool Aid”.

  46. Sam Peralta says:

    The Democrats and the big media got “trumped” big time, and so did all the GOP primary candidates including another Bush. Rather than get back to the drawing board to run a more credible campaign for 2020, they’re all getting hysterical at the Russians. That is just pathetic! Look at McCain and his office wife and all the Democrat whiners and the bleating of the WaPo, the NYTimes, CNN & NBC. What a bunch of losers!!!
    Larry Johnson notes the complete bias of the Washington Post who tried to persuade the voters with a drumbeat of negative stories on Trump and failed, and claim to be arbiters of “fake news” when they are one of the biggest purveyors of falsity masquerading as news.
    Larry says it real well. “Rather than accept the fact that Hillary was terrible candidate who had the media trying to carry her across the goal line, but she fumbled the ball and Trump ran it back for a touchdown, they are pushing the fiction that Russia hacked the election and changed the outcome. Ridiculous.”
    Mike Shedlock also puts it straight about the whining coming from the team that has tried to influence politics in many countries.
    “There is one guarantee I am prepared to make: The US has meddled in more foreign governments than any other nation on the planet. Worse yet, most of the US meddlings had disastrous consequences.”
    Let’s assume the Russians hacked Podesta’s emails and tried to gin up a color revolution like we do around the world, how does that change what the actual contents of the emails show, that the Democrats, the media & the Clintons were a bunch of deceitful hacks.

  47. Sam Peralta says:

    Get over the fact that your partisan team got crushed by a smarter, more efficient campaign. The man you despise will be POTUS and the party you can’t stand will have the majority for the next two years.
    Maybe you guys should reflect on the fact that the OBAMA (PL edit) was all hat and no cattle at least as far as your partisan team is concerned.
    “During Obama’s eight years in office, the Democrats have lost more House, Senate, state legislative and governors seats than under any other president.”

  48. Freudenschade says:

    I should add that by Korea I mean South Korea, although they’ve fallen off in recent years in the hacking sweepstakes.

  49. fred says:

    Long time (grateful) reader, but first time I felt qualified to comment.
    I am middle aged and no longer do such things but many of my salad years were spent in ‘hacker’ communities (I was, for those that care about such things, a ‘cracker’ – a very good one – wading through machine code to removing copy protection from software.. and rubbed elbows with many hackers and know the mentality and tricks especially as related to finding actual code flaws.)
    From a technical perspective, the word-press article link given by previous posters is fantastic, accurate, spot-on work. 100x better then any NYT or WaPo coverage.
    For those of those who did not read it or didn’t want to wade through the tech details, the summary is simple: the ‘sophisticated’ hack that must have been government sponsored is actually an out-dated version of a shitty, widely-available script-kiddie Ukrainian PHP script. I dare say a professional organization would never use it out of pride (and such things matter, BTW)
    Entering the realm of opinion, who knows. It’s well known that Russia has a wild west mentality about hacking where they cultivate/turn a blind eye as long as its causing general mayhem/annoyance to external parties. So maybe these folks had some broad ‘support’ in that sense. Maybe it was someone random. There is, from the info released, no way to know. Maybe not all the info was released and more is known. But that can’t just be assumed. The FBI and even the NSA aren’t magic. There is no reason to think they know just because.
    Just one other fuzzy point – without going into useless characterizations, let me be vague and say that Clinton rubbed the hacker mentality the wrong way – for many of the same reasons as some posters here. In addition her/bill’s policies, for right or wrong, left a wide swath of really pissed Eastern Europeans – many of whom were accomplished in the matters under discussion. It makes complete sense to me that she would be a preferred targeted.
    Personally, I think some folks out there did this for the lulz and are having the time of their lives watching the shit they stirred up.
    PS: We would be wise to follow the advice of the poster who warned about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.. the hacking attempts on the national computer resources/university I work at are non-stop (and mostly from China, BTW)

  50. LeaNder says:

    Edward, vaguely with Puck’s fact obsession in mind. Maybe sometimes the type of facts we would like to have cannot be solidly established? Maybe even if they are, or seem to be, there is enough space for interpretation? IT both security and forensics is a highly interesting field.
    Fast response. I have to look closer. But after scanning the article slowly: I may be even more skeptical concerning Ramzan Kadyrov then Putin. How many other interested parties that could have been involved for whatever type of interest in Anna Anna Politkovskaya’s murder am I not even aware of? But I’ll save the link.

  51. jld says:

    A pretty convoluted response.
    I guess that to Scott Adams who “inexpertly” predicted Trump election you prefer the “expertiness” (sp?) of the ones like Nate Silver?

  52. LeaNder says:

    thanks, interesting, shargash. But not a bit surprising. Babble alert.
    I have always had mixed feelings about US intelligence & IT. On one hand as curious nitwit I surely understood their desire to use IT to know as much as possible. If their data collection tools are as good as some feel, I admittedly would often like to see the data myself or get the available hard facts. I admittedly occasionally had that desire. 😉
    On the other hand I seem to vacillate between absolute openness and a desire for privacy. Not least concerning the collection of my data for purely economical reasons. Or related more black hat issues. And I surely had IT troubles of my own, including what I would call the occasional botnet or rootkit paranoia.
    Among the multitude of IP addresses, in the context of the seemingly private IP’s Hetzner surfaced in my own closer looks at matters too. The rest made my head almost explode occasionally, admittedly. There was also one or the other surprise, that may not have been as surprising as it felt at the times in the community…
    Concerning Tor, I tested it more then a decade ago. It’s useless if you want to correct, amend or ask a short question on Wikipedia anonymously as minor user. Not once was the respective IP not blocked. But interesting. I never felt like entering my data using Tor. Even more then a decade ago. But the fact made me think. …

  53. turcopolier says:

    We already have a “Fred.” Please use another name. pl

  54. LeaNder says:

    It’s well known that Russia has a wild west mentality
    that’s a funny coinage.

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The man who interrogated Saddam Hussein states that intelligence did not matter…

  56. Eric Newhill says:

    Must be nice to “work” in an unaccountable La La land awash in other people’s money; all except the part about sacrificing one’s honor to the Chief Schizophrenic.
    It’s going to be very interesting watching Trump in this environment. How they must fear and loathe him.

  57. Dr. Puck says:

    My goodness. Coin flippers might have predicted Trump’s election too.
    You assume I haven’t read Mr. Adams, you assume that I am naive about the field of communications, and, finally, most revealing of all, you hold up for appraisal, “facts do not matter.”
    The appeal to authority you supply is: a cartoonist. (See, I can indulge in fallacies of informal logic too!)
    So: “that people are persuaded does not supply the crucial warrant for the sake of establishing what is a fact.” I can turn this around on Mr. Adams too: he persuaded himself that Trump was going to win, no facts were involved, and, thus, the coin came up tails.
    As for the hacking, we do not have many facts.

  58. Dr. Puck says:

    Got crushed (!) by 80,000 votes in three states. This led to an impressive EC victory, and, as well, the clear proof that Trump’s approach to the campaign was far superior to that of his opponent.
    But, I do not despise Trump. I just think he’s seriously mentally ill. I feel sorry for him. He is pitiable. I hope it turns out very well for main street and the working class.
    As for President Obama, he had two years where he could legislate his partisan agenda. He did so. He had six years where the GOP would have allowed him to legislate on their behalf their own partisan agenda. He chose not to do so.

  59. turcopolier says:

    Dr. Puck
    “I just think he’s seriously mentally ill.” What is your diagnosis, doctor? pl

  60. ‘Dr. Puck,’
    ‘But, I do not despise Trump. I just think he’s seriously mentally ill. I feel sorry for him.’
    This exactly what Soviet officials used to say about the ‘dissidents’ they sent for psychiatric treatment.
    If the dangers were not so serious, I would find this all hilariously funny.
    The spectacle of all those self-professed ‘liberals’ discovering their ‘inner Tailgunner Joe’ was bitterly amusing enough. The spectacle of their discovering their ‘inner Suslov’ gets even better.

  61. jld says:

    Ah! I see, another one who get paid by the word count.
    You won’t last long here.

  62. turcopolier says:

    What do you think? Hasbara winding up for a curve ball? Or just another conceited troll? pl

  63. Jack says:

    Well, if Trump is “seriously mentally ill” to run a superior political campaign and defeat two political dynasties despite the onslaught of the big money and big media as well as the establishment of both political parties, then he should not be pitied but instead we should pity you as his “mental illness” will cause you much grief.

  64. ancient archer says:

    Anyone want to take a bet that WaPo will change its aggressive anti-Russian anti-Trump tune at some point in the next 4 years and will at least mellow down? I am willing to bet the NYT will, at the least, mellow down a bit, but that WaPo won’t. WaPo seems to be the bleeding edge of liberal extremism and owned by Bezos of (near) infinite wealth, who btw has a personal thing going on with Trump, is the least likely of the liberal rags to accept reality and veer away from propaganda. Truly sad! They will, in my opinion, just keep the anger alive in liberals and prevent healing the country!

  65. different clue says:

    Dr. Puck,
    Adams called it right. Apparently credentialled expertude is not the only royal road to genuine knowledge.

  66. different clue says:

    The “Putin diddit” campaign is bigger than a bunch of disappointed Clintobamacrats and their supportive MSM (including their supportive NPR). Elder Republicans McCain and Graham are/ have been pushing this as hard as anybody, and they are not disappointed Clintobamacrats. Whose deeper agenda are they advancing?

  67. Thomas says:

    “Whose deeper agenda are they advancing?”
    Wittingly or unwittingly, the Nouveau Khans who are rightfully fearful that if (though really when) the secrets of the past sixteen years of their actions are revealed, then ten years in a federal penitentiary will be considered mild punishment.

  68. SAC Brat says:

    I like how the collective group of clowns who stared deep into their belly buttons and told us Trump COULD NOT WIN are suddenly supposed to reliable on any other subject. We’ve got their number. We’ve seen the back of their baseball cards. They can’t even be trusted to report on daylight now.
    To console my D friends I like to suggest that maybe we elected a good Hitler now.

  69. Fred says:

    Dr. Puck,
    Yes, poor ole Putin. He hacked the election and gave Hilary an extra 2,000,000 votes and she still lost. Someone in Russia really should have read the copy of the Constitution that immigration lawyer was waiving around at the Democratic National Convention.

  70. steve says:

    Then they must be very desperate. If they are just making this up knowing they will gone in a few weeks, it will be easy to disprove. They will look really stupid. Sadly, you are correct that no error seems to be deemed large enough to keep politicos from coming back.

  71. jld says:

    Hasbara or not but definitely some sort of Borg operative.
    They cannot afford to leave SST alone even if desperately unsuccessful.

Comments are closed.