What Are the Democrats Hiding? by Publius Tacitus


The mainstream media appears to be working overtime to ignore the following story:

EXCLUSIVE: FBI Seized Smashed Hard Drives From Wasserman Schultz IT Aide’s Home

This is the story of Pakistani born Imran Awan. In late May the NY Post reported that:

The criminal probe into a cadre of Capitol Hill techies who worked for dozens of Democratic lawmakers remains shrouded in mystery, months after their access to congressional IT systems was suspended.

It’s still not clear whether the investigation by the Capitol Police into the five staffers, who all have links to Pakistan, involves the theft of classified information.

The staffers are accused of stealing equipment and possible breaches of the House IT network, according to Politico, which first reported on the investigation in February. . . .

In the midst of the criminal probe, Imran and Abid Awan are now being accused of more wrongdoing, this time by a member of their own family. Last month, their stepmother accused them of threatening her in order to force her to sign a power of attorney to gain access to assets in Pakistan.


In court papers filed in Fairfax County, Samina Gilani alleges her stepsons of wiretapping her phones, threatening to kidnap family members in Pakistan, and preventing her from seeing her dying husband in a Virginia hospital unless she granted them power of attorney. She also accused them of trying to remove her as the beneficiary of her husband’s $50,000 life-insurance policy. Her husband, Mohammad Ashref Shah, died in January, and the insurance payout is being disputed in court.

And in a recent twist in the criminal probe, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) demanded that Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa return equipment belonging to her office that was seized as part of the investigation — or face “consequences.”

Virtually no one is paying attention to the fact that a group of Pakistani muslims, working for a Jewish Congresswoman from Florida, had full computer access to a large number of Democrat Representatives. Most of the press is disinterested in pursuing this matter.

Politico was the first on this story:

The five current and former House staffers are accused of stealing equipment from members’ offices without their knowledge and committing serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the probe. . . .

Awan has long-standing relationships with Meeks, Wasserman Schultz and Fudge. Meeks was one of the first lawmakers Awan worked for after coming to Capitol Hill in 2004. He joined Wasserman Schultz’s office in 2005 and started working for Fudge in 2008.

In addition, Meeks and, to a larger extent, Wasserman Schultz, are said to have a friendly personal relationship with Awan and his wife, according to multiple sources.

Awan made nearly $2 million since starting as an IT support staffer for House Democrats in 2004, according to public salary data. Alvi, who worked for House Democrats beginning in 2007, earned more than $1.3 million as an IT staffer during that time.

As shared employees, Awan, Alvi and their relatives worked for dozens of House Democrats at a time, meaning no one lawmaker was responsible for paying their full salary.

The access to the House IT network means that, at a minimum, Mr. Awan had access to the emails of several members of Congress. What are the odds that he had obtained compromising information? I would say high. But that is not the only possibility. Members of Congress running for office need money. Normally they steer clear of foreign money. Is it possible that Mr. Awan was knowledgeable of a scheme to bring in foreign money but disguise it as a domestic source? Or, and this is more far fetched, was Awan acting on behalf of a foreign intelligence organization to penetrate and monitor the Congressional email accounts?

No answers yet. The facts must be determined by investigation. I am in touch with a Pakistani friend who is investigating this matter. I am waiting eagerly to find out what he comes up with.


This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Borg Wars, Pakistan. Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to What Are the Democrats Hiding? by Publius Tacitus

  1. dilbert dogbert says:

    Finally they will get the evidence on Chelsea Clinton’s criminal actions at Benghazi!!!

  2. SteveSA says:

    VIDEO: Ex-Obama Official Evelyn Farkas Urges Intel Community to Compromise Sources, Methods
    Evelyn Farkas, a former top Obama administration Defense Department official, has advocated for the intelligence community to consider compromising sources and methods when it comes to “saving American democracy.”
    “And I know that we have to preserve our sources and methods,” Farkas said, speaking about the U.S. intelligence community. “But at some point you know, sometimes maybe you have to actually compromise some kind of source or method if it comes down to saving American democracy.”

  3. SteveSA says:

    Jordan releases video showing US troops (Green Berets) surrendering before deadly shooting
    A Jordanian military guard hunted down and ruthlessly killed three U.S. Special Forces soldiers as the men held their hands up in surrender, newly released video of the controversial November incident shows – contradicting the Jordan military’s original claim the American troops didn’t follow proper protocol when trying to enter the military base.
    Security camera footage released Monday revealed details of the Nov. 4 shooting at King Faisal Air Base in southern Jordan where Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27, Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, 30, and Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty, 27, were gunned down. The video had previously been shown to the families of the U.S. Army Green Berets.

  4. TV says:

    Another contributor (would be) to the “silent coup.”
    How dare this county elect an unacceptable “orange buffoon”, etc. to the Presidency – an office only to be held by a member-in-good-standing of the self-anointed “ruling class?”

  5. ked says:

    I wonder what William of Ockham might’ve made of the same reports.
    Are there many Pakistani IT services working the gov sector in DC area?
    Do small businesses sometimes experience troubling internal management events and behavioral dynamics?
    Are there many members of Congress who are Jewish? Does being one indicate anything in particular?
    Might a Congress-person reasonably desire the return of personal property containing personal information that was swept-up in a criminal investigation?
    What is a “…said…friendly personal relationship”… what is the criteria for it being determinative of criminal behavior and by that standard, did a crime occur?
    Was actual IT work performed and how did the invoiced amount compare to industry norms for equivalent contracted work for Congressional services?
    I think it’s great intellectual fun to generate alternative narratives for a given set of assertions. It may serve as a template for surfacing and evaluating corroborative evidence… or not. The razor may indeed be a good tool to separate wheat from chaff.

  6. John_Frank says:

    fyi According to Chad Pergram of FOX News:
    Feds/USCP bust Hse IT staffer Imran Awan & charge him with multiple counts of bank fraud as part of Hse IT procurement scandal
    Feds/USCP picked up Imran Awan at Dulles Aiport last night as he was “trying to leave the country.” Has been arraigned. Surrendered passport
    Awan had been at center of scandal where he allegedly double charged Hse for IT equipment & may have exposed Hse info online
    Group of Hse Dems fired other Hse IT staffers probed by USCP. But Wasserman Schultz kept Awan on payroll. He was barred from Hse servers
    Fox is told that Hse IT staffer Imran Awan is still on Hse payroll for moment under Wasserman Schultz.
    Awan & his relatives worked for Hse IT for more than decade, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars. He declared bankruptcy in ’12

  7. Kooshy says:

    It all sounds like attorney general Sessions is done, like Ann Richard said, he’s done you can put a fork in him. It all reminds me of early days of watergate ( my first year in US) starting with small incremental leaks, followed with big newsprint and TV stories till the White House becomes overwhelmed and start acting irrationally and “illegally?” Who knows how much more he (DT) has, but IMO, he will not go out without a fight, but now I think, out, he will go, since no one in the establishment (media, gov, etc.) wants him or is willing to work with him. Unfortunately this will cause a period of instability which looks like Borg has accepted and is willing to pay the price.
    Some in Iranian academic and intellectual circles believe, the reason Iran was able to scape the grip of US hegemonic control over Iran’s politics back in seventies, was only possible under this similar circumstances of destabilization in US’ global and internal policy and policy making. Then it was the cause of Vietnam and watergate.Now Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. and the Russian gate. It don’t smell good.

  8. Sam Peralta says:

    Yes, looks like the dude was arrested at Dulles attempting to flee the country.
    …Imran Awan being paid nearly $2 million working as an IT support staffer for House Democrats since 2004. Abid Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, were each paid more than $1 million working for House Democrats. In total, since 2003, the family has collected nearly $5 million.
    Nice change for IT services work!!
    Of course, if Republicans and/or members of the Trump administration hired foreign-born IT specialists who were suspected of committing a laundry list of federal crimes and then smashed a bunch of hard drives just before skipping town…we’re sure the media would still gloss right over it in much the same way they’re doing for the the Democrats in this instance.
    Does Pakistani intelligence have a hand in the DNC “hack”?

  9. SteveSA says:

    Let me introduce you to one Faisal Ahmed, formerly of Karachi, Pakistan. Remember the OPM data breach? The Chinese have all the info of military, defense contractors, etc. OPM outsourced its IT to the Department of the Interior.
    From Ars Technica:
    Government IT official ran law enforcement data systems for years with faked degrees
    Interior official resigned when caught, then took a job at Census Bureau.

    SEAN GALLAGHER 7/16/2015
    The Department of the Interior’s computer systems played a major role in the breach of systems belonging to the Office of Personnel Management, and DOI officials were called before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday to answer questions about the over 3,000 vulnerabilities in agency systems discovered in a penetration test run by Interior’s Inspector General office. But there was one unexpected revelation during the hearing: a key Interior technology official who had access to sensitive systems for over five years had lied about his education, submitting falsified college transcripts produced by an online service.
    The official, Faisal Ahmed, was assistant director of the Interior’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security from 2007 to 2013, heading its Technology division. He claimed to have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and a master’s degree in technology management from the University of Central Florida—but he never attended either of those schools. He resigned from his position at Interior when the fraudulent claim was exposed by a representative of the University of Central Florida’s alumni association, who discovered he had never attended the school after Ahmed accepted and then suddenly deleted a connection with her on LinkedIn.
    Faisal did not leave government service, however—he took another government job at the Census Bureau, and is apparently still there, according to a report by the National Journal. While his name had been redacted from the official report, Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming mentioned him by name multiple times during the committee hearing.

  10. Fred says:

    Apparently at least one of them has something to hide:

  11. VietnamVet says:

    This is the truth popping up through the cracks. It is impossible to drive Donald Trump from office without investigating the corruption and the information operation that supports the American Empire; in particular, the Clintons and Obama who are getting a free ride. It is shocking how inept the Trump family and the Russians are. To survive they will have to cultivate the truth and speak directly to the people. It is said that cassette tapes brought down the Soviet Union. Today we have the internet. Yesterday I read Tim Hayward’s “It’s Time to Raise the Level of Public Debate about Syria”. Appendix 1 states the obvious:
    “The truth will be what it is forever, without any input from anyone, whereas a lie becomes increasingly high maintenance in the face of simple questioning. It is endlessly difficult to maintain the back story, and then the back story’s story, and so on, until the effort required to avoid self-contradiction simply becomes too much and the simple truth just comes out again, like a plant through cracked tarmac. That is why the propaganda campaign needs to be so vast and long term. It is a gargantuan feat that we only see the tip of.”

  12. ked says:

    Steve, if there’s a specific link between Ahmed & Awan, I’m too dense to recognize it. Please help.

  13. different clue says:

    The only reason I can think of for Trump to want Sessions removed from the Attorney Generalship is so Trump can get another Attorney General who can be said to be unconnected to Russian-whatever, and can therefor DE-recuse himself back into the Russia investigation. Trump would then want his new Attorney General to fire Mueller and fire whomever Mueller reports to. I can’t think of any other reason why Trump would want Sessions removed.
    For someone with nothing to hide, Trump sure behaves like someone with something to hide. The problem here is that Trump has such a trashy personality and such all-around trashy behavior that pure spite and irritation for no good reason at all is just as good a motive for Trump to want Sessions gone.
    Sessions won’t want to go. He has a legal-ideological mission at Justice. He won’t resign. He will tough it out in place as long as he can.
    Hopefully some thread of this Trump bussiness will be wound around some thread of the Democrats’s bussiness, giving Mueller a plausibly defensible reason to pull some Democratic affairs into this Trump investigation.

  14. Augustin L says:

    John Helmer on Jared Kushner’s testinomonial to stupidity and unfitness. http://johnhelmer.net/jared-kushners-testimonial-to-stupidity-and-unfitness-american-and-russian/

  15. bks says:

    Perhaps Trump asked sessions to fire Mueller and Sessions refused?

  16. Kooshy says:

    I agree with the first part of your comment, but IMO the reason he wants Muller (or any Special investigator) removed is that he don’t want his past business dealing and tax returns to be investigated, IMO they are scared of old days business deals, write off etc. and i think that’s what Demos and Borg wants to pull out in a legal public way, and not the Russian connection. IMO the real sewer lies in past business and tax deals.

  17. ked says:

    Does his behavior so far really strike you as that of an intel asset?
    Or a screw-up flying too close to the flame?
    Some of both… even a wanna-be free agent nothing burger?
    I’m not sure, so I’ll patiently await more “facts”.

  18. different clue says:

    That could be, but we will never know as long as Sessions remains AG. Because Sessions will remain focused on the DoJ mission, and not get involved in a spat-fight with Trump.
    Also, if indeed Trump did ask Sessions to fire Mueller and Sessions declined to do so; perhaps Sessions has given Trump reason to understand that firing Sessions would play right into the “Obstruction of Justice” narrative which the Remove Trump forces are engineering. And perhaps Sessions will have given Trump reason to understand further that even having given Sessions the reQUEST to fire Mueller could in itself further the “Obstruction of Justice” narrative. But in the event of imparting that further level of understanding unto the Trumpster, Sessions will then have followed up by reassuring Trump that as long as Trump does not fire Sessions, no one need ever know that Trump asked Sessions to fire Mueller. In the event of all these dominoes having fallen “just so” in a private discussion between these two men, Sessions will have reassured Trump that “no one need ever know about the request” . . . for as long as Sessions remains AG without being fired.
    This is all pure speculation following on from your speculative question. We of the Great Uncleared will never know what has or hasn’t been said behind the locked doors of steel and oak.

  19. different clue says:

    Perhaps the Democrats knew this was going to start breaking and to divert attention from it they ( or somebody on their behalf) decided to rev up the “Mrs. Sanders college-collapse scandal” in order to somehow get Sanders so discredited that even if the Democrats collapse into a visibly dead beehive full of foul brood disease, Sanders would be rendered “un-turnable-to” as an alternative.
    I hope the Democrats fail in that effort.

  20. LJ says:

    Politico was not the first on this. George Webb was all over this months before. It’s just now starting to leak out. He links the Awan brothers to the Clinton Foundation.

  21. LondonBob says:

    The Awan brothers (whatever is the deal with that), the unmasking/spying scandal, the Clinton foundation and related Clinton criminality. There is a lot to be concerned about, hence the hysteria.
    Trump publicly chewing up Sessions looks like another smokescreen.

  22. ked says:

    If the “real sewer lies in past business and tax deals” and those happen to be penetrated by “the Russian connection”, what then?

  23. Dr.Puck says:

    And if the conspiracy–with the Dems’s black ops at the center–is never demonstrated to be factually the case, and Clinton and Obama skate away, it will be described by dead-enders as a “perfect crime.”
    I still know lots of people who who have for 16 years remained sure Dick Cheney Inc. masterminded 9-11, (an earlier ‘perfect crime.’)

  24. FB Ali says:

    I think the VIPS memorandum is quite conclusive on the subject. The DNC “hack” was in fact a leak. The leaked data was then doctored (on the East coast of the US) to implicate the Russians. In fact, there was no Russian hack.
    The real story in all this is the lack of any serious investigation of these shenanigans by the FBI or anyone else. Thus allowing the ‘Russiagate’ story to spread and dominate the narrative.
    I recall that TTG here was quite adamant about an official Russian hack of the DNC computers. I’m afraid I find the VIPS to be a much more reliable source on this subject.

  25. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    Would you agree that this sounds like a criminal conspiracy? pl

  26. FB Ali says:

    I would!
    But I’m surprised that no one ‘official’ is treating it as such.

  27. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    That, of course, is DJT’s main charge against Sessions. pl

  28. Jack says:

    There is so much fog around all of this that it is hard to conclude anything with certainty. A few points strike me as odd:
    – the FBI were never permitted to examine the DNC servers yet they are willing to put their imprimatur on the Russians did it story line.
    – Brennan and Clapper are publicly going after Trump and essentially accusing him of being a Russian stooge, and in doing so disclosing the most sensitive intelligence secrets.
    – Mueller has not publicly announced what is the scope of his investigation. Is he looking into who and how the DNC servers were hacked or is he just focused on the connections between Trump campaign team and Russian nationals?
    – why is Trump tweeting about leaks of intel and lack of investigation into Hillary? Can’t he order such investigations?

  29. Brigadier Ali,
    You’re right in that I find it much more plausible that Russians hacked the DNC as part of a much wider info op than the idea that this is all a far reaching Democratic/Borg hoax or conspiracy. As I said many times before, my years of experience with these things leads me to reach this conclusion, not any evidence published or leaked to date.
    The evidence in the VIPS memorandum relies on the study done by the Forensicator that supposedly proves that the DNC data published by Guccifer 2.0 was copied locally and directly on site rather than exfiltrated by a remote hack. The Forensicator and VIPS conclude that the initial speed of transfer for the data was too fast for it have been done through a remote hack. They also point out that the data was initially transferred to a device using Eastern Daylight Time, the same as the DNC server.
    Both assume that hacked data would be initially transferred to Russia if it was a hack. Only the most incompetent hacker would do such a thing. Normally one traverses through several intermediate boxes (usually compromised servers, routers or switches) before connecting to the target. I’ve seen this and have done this many times in the past. The data being exfiltrated is moved the same way. The initial copy of the data would be transferred to a box that is fairly close in network distance to the target box. Ideally, it would be in a data center providing the primary network connection to the target box. That data center would far more likely than not, be in the same time zone as the DNC server. It would also normally be geographically close. In this case, the first hop would probably be from the DNC server in Washington DC to a data center very likely in the Ashburn, Virginia area.
    The Forensicator indicates that the initial data transfer was at a rate of 22.6 MB/s, too fast for a hack from Russia. Again, it is very unlikely that the data exfiltration would be directly from DC to Russia. It would be from DC to Ashburn. A gigabit ethernet connection, the most likely connection used by the DNC, is easily capable of this speed even passing through a number of routers and switches along the way.
    Thus, the idea that the Forensicator proved this was a local leak and not a foreign hack is not supported by facts. Of course it doesn’t prove the reverse either.
    Back in my post “A response to Publius Tacitus concerning those meddlesome Russians” there were a few revealing responses to the listing of the Forensicator’s conclusions posted by Publius Tacitus and others. Both TonyL and even Richardstevenhack pointed to a few technical inconsistencies in the Forensicator’s conclusions. TonyL went so far as to say “On further examination of his/her findings, I’d say the Forensicator did not have a good enough technical expertise to perform a forensic examination.”

  30. ked says:

    the FBI is getting around to dealing with RE mortgage fraud after all…
    “Awan is accused of trying to defraud Congressional Federal Credit Union, a popular bank for Capitol Hill staffers, by misrepresenting a $165,000 home equity loan he attempted to obtain for a piece of rental property. FBI Special Agent Brandon Merriman, who penned the charging document, stated in an affidavit that Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, misrepresented the property for which the loan was to be granted, identifying it as a “principal residence.” CBS News

  31. LondonBob says:

    I don’t agree with any of the comment. Mueller’s investigation serves the purpose of politically handicapping Trump and it looks like a classic perjury trap, they are trying to get him or his circle for obstruction of justice. Something remarkably easy to do as Martha Stewart or Frank Quattrone could attest. Trump’s background will have already been gone through thoroughly, he is clean.
    Sessions offered his resignation a while back after he recused himself, Trump refused. Spicer went quickly and quietly, so would Sessions if he wanted him gone.

  32. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Unfortunately, the notion of “gigabit ethernet speeds” doesn’t apply unless you assume that the hacker is sitting in a building or organization with an OC-12 (Optical Carrier-12) or higher data line.
    For a hacker, this is highly unlikely – unless you assume the hacker was sitting in either the Russian Embassy (which might have such a speedy line) or some other organization with a need for such a line. Direct access to such a line is unlikely for a hacker unless they have compromised an ISP or other company with such lines.
    This of course is not impossible and has been done in the past but it makes it much less likely.
    See here where the Forensicator addresses this specific issue:
    MB: Mega Bytes or Mega Bits
    A minimum line needed is an OC-12 which Wikipedia defines thus:
    OC-12 / STM-4
    OC-12 is a network line with transmission speeds of up to 622.08 Mbit/s (payload: 601.344 Mbit/s; overhead: 20.736 Mbit/s).
    OC-12 lines are commonly used by ISPs as Wide area network (WAN) connections. While a large ISP would not use an OC-12 as a backbone (main link), it would for smaller, regional or local connections. This connection speed is also often used by mid-sized (below Tier 2) internet customers, such as web hosting companies or smaller ISPs buying service from larger ones.
    End Quote
    In other words, you need a building or company with enough speed requirements that it needs a dedicated line. And in most such organizations, that line is shared among its customers, meaning each customer does NOT get access to the full bandwidth of the line unless he is directly connected to the router or one else is using the line.
    It is MUCH more likely that those speeds reflect a local area network (LAN) connection.
    Also note that most commentators and people accusing Russia of this alleged hack assume the hack was done over the Internet. The Forensicator’s analysis makes this doubtful at the very least. If the alleged hack was NOT done over the Internet, then why does CrowdStrike make a big deal of IP addresses in Russia?
    It does support my suggestion that IF – I say IF – a hack was conducted by Russian Intelligence, it would have been done by a wireless peer-to-peer connection (or a physical penetration.) Which is the way an intelligence agency would do it to avoid detection by the NSA.
    Assuming that they didn’t simply use standard tradecraft and bribe or blackmail someone into giving them the data.
    If by wireless, it would require 802.11n (which offers up to 300 Mbps maximum – but this speed is rarely in the real world) or 802.11ac which offers up to 1 Gbps (1000 Mbps) maximum, also rarely in the real world. Nonetheless, these cards are readily available as is and the routers to connect to in many companies.
    So the Forensicator’s analysis doesn’t TOTALLY prove that the alleged hack was done via a local LAN connection, but clearly that is the easiest likely explanation. A wireless attack is also a very likely explanation for how someone doing a local copy would do the copy without being directly connected to the LAN. This still allows for a local LEAKER rather than a hacker.
    My other comments previously on the Forensicator’s analysis were mostly related to the WinRAR file compression program, which I suggested wasn’t necessarily the only utility that could produce the compressed files discussed. This might or might not have any effect on his conclusions. In no way did I intend to dispute the Forensicator’s primary conclusions that the files were copied over a local LAN connection.
    TonyL’s suggest that the Forensicator doesn’t know forensics was unsupported by any actual evidence, merely an assertion, so it can be dismissed.

  33. dilbert dogbert says:

    My late wife was a CPA with many small business clients in Silicon Valley. She had many stories about the minor league miss behavior in “cooking the books”.
    If the FBI were to pursue these minor league crimes in California, let alone in the nation, it would need a vast increase in agents. I would guess someone high up in the food chain sickked the FBI on him.

  34. Eric Newhill says:

    “Both assume that hacked data would be initially transferred to Russia if it was a hack. Only the most incompetent hacker would do such a thing.”
    And yet they – according to you – left their signature all over the “hack”. They’re either trying to be covert, or not. Either leaving an extended middle finger to the DNC or hiding their activities by routing through various servers, etc. I don’t see how you can have it both ways and be correct.
    I think you should prepare to be proven wrong. A bottle of whatever top shelf drink you like (Bourbon man myself) says that by year end, this will have been proven to be a leak (a local download).

  35. Richardstevenhack,
    I am now thoroughly convinced that you either clueless about this technology or totally blinded by your desire to exonerate Russia. Perhaps both. Your discussion of gigabit ethernet is embarrassing. Don’t you realize gigabit ethernet is now widely available for home use? It does not require an OC-12 or optical fiber. It can be done over cat 6 or even cat 5e copper cable.
    I also doubt your fundamental understanding of an internet connection. Here’s an example. I am sitting in a Cuban cafe in Miami with the original Mac Powerbook G4 Titanium and a T-mobile flip phone connected to the G4 through a USB 1.1 connection. Using that phone as a modem, I connect to a shell account. From that shell account I connect to another and then to a third. All of these shell accounts are on boxes with 10/100 ethernet. From that third shell account, I log into a server within a data center with gigabit capability. I then proceed to transfer a large amount of data from that server to another server in another data center at gigabit speed, faster than the 22.5 MB/s quoted by the Forensicator. This is accomplished with an internet connection from my Powerbook that clearly does not have a gigabit connection to the two data center servers. And each hop along the way has its own IP address. That’s how the internet works. That’s also how hackers work.
    If the Forensicator shares the same understanding of the internet as you apparently do, he too doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

  36. Ingolf Eide says:

    Is definitive forensic proof even possible? Maybe the potential for misdirection of various kinds means we can never know for sure, not even in the best of circumstances.
    In this case, they’re anything but. Like the crude “fingerprints” supposedly left behind that Eric just mentioned, the apparent refusal of the DNC to allow the FBI to investigate their server(s) directly is another of the oddities that characterise this business.
    One thing does seem clear to me. Only one side was powerfully motivated and it wasn’t the Russians. I don’t doubt they take every opportunity to acquire useful information and at times also sow disinformation. However, under Putin they’ve been cautious and farsighted in everything they do. Their reputation, their brand value if you like, has long been their primary consideration. So, even assuming they got their hands on the DNC emails, would the uncertain reward of using that information justify the immense risk? After all, they’re only too aware of the deep-seated animus against Russia within US politics. In my view, for them to engage in covert ops against one side in the US election would have been a wild, speculative flyer with catastrophic downside risks. And, IMO, entirely out of character.
    The Clinton Democrats, on the other hand . . .

  37. novicitus says:

    Day 280 seems like a pretty good summary.

  38. FB Ali says:

    You say your “years of experience” and NOT “any evidence” leads you to believe that Russia carried out the hack (rather than someone else, or the stuff being leaked). I’m afraid that is as clear a statement of bias as any I’ve come across in this discussion.
    The above discussion also leads me to believe that no conclusive technical proof is possible. That forces one to consider the balance of probabilities. As in any crime, motive is critical. Here I would go along with Ingolf (above). It is extremely unlikely that such an act would be worth the risk for Russia. Putin runs a tight ship, and he has much bigger fish to fry than getting involved in US domestic political dirty tricks.

  39. Ingolf Eide,
    You don’t think the Russians were powerfully motivated to do what they could to ensure Clinton lost and Trump won? I think the Russians have good and valid reasons to defeat Clinton. I’m sure a lot of US voters voted for Trump for the same reasons. We all wanted to reduce the possibility of WWIII to a minimum. For the Russians not to attempt to influence the outcome of the election would have been negligent on their part. In my opinion, they have nothing to be ashamed of.

  40. Eric Newhill,
    From the time of the MOONLIGHT MAZE intrusions in the mid-90s, the Russians were stealthy and difficult to track. The Chinese, on the other hand, were much more noisy and bold in their intrusions. It was as if they didn’t care if we knew they did it. In the last few years, the Russians began operating more like the Chinese. This was glaringly apparent in the November 2014 intrusion into the State Department unclassified system. NSA and FBI had a running battle with the intruders for days before they were able to finally expel them. Fortunately, NSA capabilities to track the hackers across the internet in real time were well advanced at that time. An allied intel service also hacked the surveillance cameras inside the the hackers’ workspace. The attackers were what became known as the Cozy Bear hackers and were tracked every step of the way. This information wasn’t make public until late 2015.
    Flash forward to the DNC hacks. The FBI first notified the DNC in September 2015 that they noticed Cozy Bear hackers had compromised at least one DNC computer system. Neither the FBI nor the DNC took this information as seriously as they should have. In November 2015, the FBI informed the DNC that the hackers were connecting back to Moscow from the DNC network. The actions of both the FBI and DNC remained lackadaisical. It wasn’t until March 2016 that the DNC contract computer tech met the FBI Special Agent and was convinced this wasn’t some hoax or put on. The DNC finally installed some halfway decent monitoring tools in April 2016. By the end of the month, the DNC knew they had a serious problem and hired CrowdStrike. The rest of the story is more widely known.
    I long ago promised someone I would not be a betting man, but if I was, I’d take you up on that bet. I’m 99% sure this whole thing is part of a Russian IO and not a vast left wing conspiracy. The last time I drank bourbon was the night before my first jump at Benning. Drank way too much and never touched the stuff after that. I have developed a taste for barrel-aged craft beers though. I guess we’ll see who’s right… eventually.

  41. Richardstevenhack,
    OK. I was a bit harsh there. But the idea that the Forensicator has proven that the DNC hack had to be due to a local leaker and couldn’t possibly be due to a Russian IO is insultingly bogus to me. I’ve seen article after article claiming just that.
    The scenario I described is doable to any decent hacker. Three shell accounts in bogus identities in locations around the world can be had for less than the cost of a home DSL connection and can be set up by anybody. It doesn’t take the support of an intelligence organization.
    I do agree with you and Binney that the NSA would probably have confirming information of the DNC hacks. Maybe even as much as they have from the 2014 State Department hack by Cozy Bear. Perhaps that’s why the IC continues to say it was the result of a Russian government cyber operation. I don’t expect them to release all they have for many years. There’s a lot of stuff they have on many hacks that I know of that is not being released… and it won’t be released.
    I do hope the local leaker theory is examined seriously. As you said, there is no reason that both the hack and the leak could have both occurred. However, Assange ought to explain why the Wikileaks servers were all moved to Russian providers before the election. Perhaps the NSA already knows what went into these servers, when it went in and from where. I don’t think the public will get the full answer to any of these questions for quite some time.

  42. Brigadier Ali,
    Yes, I have to admit I am biased by my knowledge. Unfortunately I cannot provide you the information I gleaned from my years of experience beyond what is publicly available. We’ll just have to wait for whatever the USG eventually releases to us all.
    I provided an answer to Ingolf about his doubts. To your point that Putin wouldn’t risk this, I point out the 2014 State Department hack in which the Cozy Bear hackers brazenly battled the NSA and FBI defenders for several days. If Putin is bold enough to do this, I believe he is bold enough to run an IO to influence the outcome of our last election. Many of us were convinced that the stakes involved the real chance of stumbling into WWIII.

  43. Ingolf Eide says:

    If a genie had offered them a clean choice, I don’t doubt Russia would have gone for Trump. In the real world, I don’t think the decision for them would have been anything like as clear. As I see it, it’s a matter of upside vs downside with the latter weighted far more heavily.
    The potential benefits were uncertain and the odds of Russia being able to substantially affect the result would have seemed low, probably vanishingly so. Had a covert operation been exposed, on the other hand, the risk (at many levels) was potentially catastrophic. Far more so than Clinton’s threatened no-fly zones. That could, IMO, have been managed in one form or another; Putin and Lavrov are almost preternaturally good at this sort of stuff. They have patience and strategic clarity while the US has neither.
    As things turned out, the US has become so unmoored that to date it hasn’t much mattered whether Russia did or didn’t.

  44. likbez says:

    > In November 2015, the FBI informed the DNC that the hackers
    > were connecting back to Moscow from the DNC network.
    Looks like you are incompetent. Especially your over-confidence. Qualified people have doubts. You don’t. I will give you knowledge of some basic facts about networking. But that’s it.
    Anybody can connect “back to Moscow”. Especially Balts, Ukrainians and Israelis. To say nothing about the USA. Actually anybody with a credit card, to say nothing about botnet owners.
    No conclusive evidence were presented about IP space they were talking about. Was it ISP IP space or what?
    You just parrot neoliberal propaganda.
    The fact that DNC hired CrowdStrike and withhold any information from FBI speaks volumes. This really requires investigation: what they were hiding from FBI? Instead MSM fed us nonsense about “Russian hacking”.
    The fact that this explosive revelation, which clearly suggests cover up, was swiped under the carpet by neoliberal MSM also undermines your argumentation.

  45. likbez says:

    “I point out the 2014 State Department hack in which the Cozy Bear hackers brazenly battled the NSA and FBI defenders for several days.”
    Looks like you know way too much 😉

Comments are closed.