Friday, January 06, 2017

With Apologies In Advance To Trump-Putin’s Useful Idiots


Just a small handful of members of Congress objected to the certification of Putin’s puppet as president: Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), John Conyers (D-MI), James McGovern (D-MA), Maxine Waters (D-CA) and two of the freshmen Blue America backed this past cycle, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD). Biden, always the corporate asshole, presided over the joint session of Congress, and refused to accept the objections. No Senators— not Bernie, not Elizabeth Warren— joined them, an omission that makes Putin’s successful coup a settled matter. Pramila: “Tonight, I took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and made one last attempt to challenge Trump's presidency. When I stood up, I knew nothing I could say would undo the presidential election. But I felt it critical that the American people saw that we know how democracy has been undermined and votes have been suppressed. I raised my voice to show you what we progressives are going to do for the next four years: We're not going to stop being shocked. We're never going to become complacent. And we're never going to give up."

Today the American intelligence agencies— admittedly not the most trustworthy or reliable bunch— released the assessment Obama ordered about Russian interference in the U.S. election, something it’s worth mentioning the U.S. routinely does around the world on a very regular basis and has been doing for decades— not that that makes it OK for Russia to be doing it too. The declassified version of the report doesn’t deal with any Russian tampering with voting machines or anything of that nature, just, basically, with hacking into the DNC, Clinton’s campaign and using the stolen treasure trove for propaganda too help Putin’s candidate. Trump and most Republicans— and some naive progressives— have continued to defend Putin, even after the release of the report.
The report, a damning and surprisingly detailed account of Russia’s efforts to undermine the American electoral system and Mrs. Clinton in particular, went on to assess that Mr. Putin “aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.”

The report described a broad campaign that included covert operations, including cyberactivities, with “trolling” and “fake news.”

In the unclassified version of the report, the intelligence agencies also concluded “with high confidence” that Russia’s main military intelligence unit, the G.R.U., created the “persona” called Guccifer 2.0 and a website,, to release the emails of the Democratic National Committee and the chairman of the Clinton campaign, John D. Podesta.
The report makes the points that the cyber attack was unprecedented in scale, “a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort” beyond previous election-related activities and that it was ordered by Putin himself with the purpose for putting Trump into the White House. The intelligence agencies have been careful to not completely delegitimize Trump’s election.
"Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards. DHS assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying."

"We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election. The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion."

The idea that Russia pushed Trump over the line, of course, is a big reason he hasn't embraced the intelligence community's findings. They risk de-legitimizing him. In the first statement here, the report says there is no evidence the actual vote was hacked. But it also says it can't conclude whether Russia's influence changed the result of the election (which is probably to be expected, given that's very difficult to determine and not the job of intelligence officials).

It's also worth noting here that a widely held Democratic belief -- 52 percent, according to one poll -- that Russia hacked the actual vote isn't supported.

…"This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment. This document’s conclusions are identical to the highly classified assessment, but this document does not include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence on key elements of the influence campaign."

This is a disclaimer. The report has far less details because it's unclassified. That lack of detail, of course, makes it harder to prove any one given point and easier for Trump to cast doubt. Which he apparently will continue to do.

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At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, many unflattering things were said on this site, articles and comments, about HRC.

If, as apparently we must believe, HRC lost only because of the alleged Russia hack, must any and all of us who said those things now scurry to emigrate to Russia to avoid the long arm of the McCain/Graham commission? (Will their investigation include inquiry of the death of Seth Rich a DNC staffer shortly after HRC claimed the DNC servers were hacked?)

We CAN be sure that no GOP-controlled investigation will touch the real issue Jayapal mentioned: voter suppression. And we are to believe that fascist governors of Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin chose THIS election to renounce their party's well-oiled election fraud machine?

To quote a commentator on Reader Supported News: "All this bullshit about who leaked the emails is simply a red herring to detract from the content of the emails. And boy, did they succeed. You bought it hook, line and sinker."

Perhaps the critical insight was just delivered by Obumma who just accused Sanders's supporters for undermining his "signature" ObummaCare. (DNC, DNCC & DSCC inability to hold on to massive congressional majorities, notwithstanding.)

I'd suggest this entire project has more to do with DNC retaliation against, and an attempt to purge itself of, the "subversive" progressives in its ranks. Their candidate, Sanders, did more to expose Clinton for who she is than did any, alleged, Russia hack.

John Puma

At 4:38 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Many factors propelled Trump into office, voter suppression being a big one. Yes, the media went after Hillary hook, line and sinker and fanned the hatred against her, with many of the criticisms well deserved and exposed via Bernie. Some of it was useless, such as the big stink about Benghazi. The emails turned out to be nothing big (and ultimately not pursuable any further, as Comey said). Even her financial ties were nothing relative to his. Certainly in comparison to Trump's glaring faults, hers were a few specks of dust. I mean even now companies involved with the hotel in Washington are claiming he has not paid them five million dollars that he owes them. (You would think Trump would currently be attempting to look more honorable and responsible, but no, he continues to do what he has always done, screw companies that have deals with him and people who work for him). This will be how he runs our government, too. He is now saying he'll stick us Americans with the bill for that STUPID wall. He will spend our money like it is his. He thinks America is now his company and he will run us into the ground.

We will never know how much the Russian interference actually affected the results, although undoubtedly it did to some extent. Since the election was so close it likely swung it to Trump, The horror of it all, however, was that Hillary hatred (again much of it deserved) blinded the populace to the mind boggling horrors of Trump. Chomsky saw the light but not enough people listened. With all of her faults, the choice was crystal clear that she was BY FAR the better alternative to Trump, as would have been a chimpanzee. They were not in the same ball park. Bernie saw this, and kudos for him for it, but too many people continued to focus all of their energy on hating her, rather than looking at him. As my progressive cousin kept ranting about her, I kept telling him, "Look at Trump, look at him!" But he did not, nary a mention of him, as he was so incensed about her. He was quite disparaging about anyone who would vote for her just to stop him. To me, the same old crap we have had, with much of it continued under Hillary, looks like nirvana right now. The gilded swap is here and Trump the monster will drown us all in it.

Before Trump is even in office, he has been absolutely horrifying. I am dreading his first 100 days. As Olbernann recently said so succinctly, "There is something wrong with this man." VERY WRONG. VERY VERY WRONG. Olbermann even suggested that in the end, the Republicans might actually have to step up and remove him from office. Imagine what horrors he would have to have done for this to happen.

At 5:04 AM, Blogger PDiddie said...

If the report can explain how the Russians convinced Hillary Clinton not to campaign in Wisconsin, that they brainwashed her staff to order those buses of SEIU ground troops headed for Michigan to turn around and go back to Iowa, or show proof that Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear put DNC emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop, then I can be convinced.

But I couldn't find that in the report. Did I just miss it?

At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget Russia for a moment. Greg Palast has revealed, to the sound of crickets, that the Crosscheck system in 27 states had purged 7 million mostly minority voters.
Crosscheck is purely for the purpose of preventing blacks (and meskins and Asians) from voting in 27 (including several key swing) states.

Again, this has been NOT been covered by the press and has been ignored by Democraps.

The rules of the proceeding say that an objection to the electoral count must be in writing and be signed by both a member of the house and a member of the senate.

So the deafening silence of the Ds and the absence of a sig from Bernie or Elizabeth must be taken as proof that they are part of the problem.

But this is nothing new. It's been now 16 years of silence. Democraps are loathe to make voting fair, verifiable and unhackable. It would appear that they actually WANT to be in the minority forever.

I say make theirs a minority of ZERO asap. If the Ds don't want votes, don't give them any.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger VG said...

Speaking of voter suppression, above is a must-read, imho.


At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Dorothy Reik said...

You can.t leak damning e-mails if there are no damning e-mails.

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Dorothy Reik said...

Oops - you cannot leak damning e-mails if there are no damning e-mails.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger calltoaccount said...

DNC Refused to Give FBI Access to Its Servers … Instead Gave Access to a DNC Consultant Tied to Organization Promoting Conflict with Russia
Posted on January 5, 2017 by WashingtonsBlog
CNN reports:

The Democratic National Committee “rebuffed” a request from the FBI to examine its computer services after it was allegedly hacked by Russia during the 2016 election, a senior law enforcement official told CNN Thursday.

“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” a senior law enforcement official told CNN. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information.


The FBI instead relied on the assessment from a third-party security company called CrowdStrike.

As first reported by George Eliason, CrowdStrike’s Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder Dimitri Alperovitch – who wrote the CrowdStrike reports allegedly linking Russia to the Democratic party emails published by Wikileaks – is a fellow at the Atlantic Council … an organization associated with Ukraine, and whose main policy goal seems to stir up a confrontation with Russia. [1].

The Nation writes:

In late December, Crowdstrike released a largely debunked report claiming that the same Russian malware that was used to hack the DNC has been used by Russian intelligence to target Ukrainian artillery positions. Crowdstrike’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, told PBS, “Ukraine’s artillery men were targeted by the same hackers…that targeted DNC, but this time they were targeting cellphones [belonging to the Ukrainian artillery men] to try to understand their location so that the Russian artillery forces can actually target them in the open battle.”

Dmitri Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

The connection between Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council—which is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk—has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. As I pointed out in the pages of The Nation in November, the Atlantic Council has spent the past several years producing some of the most virulent specimens of the new Cold War propaganda.

It would seem then that a healthy amount of skepticism toward a government report that relied, in part, on the findings of private-sector cyber security companies like Crowdstrike might be in order.

The Atlantic Council is also funded by the U.S. military and the largest defense contractors, including:

United States Army
United States Navy
United States Air Force
United States Marines
Lockheed Martin
Northrop Grumman
[1] Here’s an example of the Atlantic Council’s bellicose rhetoric from July 2016:

Poland should announce that it reserves the right to deploy offensive cyber operations (and not necessarily in response just to cyber attacks). The authorities could also suggest potential targets, which could include the Moscow metro, the St. Petersburg power network, and Russian state-run media outlets such as RT.

At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's still a free country with free speech right? Are we to censor the views or hacks of the Russian's because they wanted a candidate to win. Hell no! We eat freedom fries here and whoever does the hacking is welcome to leak, say. or display what they like in a free market global economy. If they bring actual truths then why would/should we oppose such truths/fact just because of where it came from?? Hillary and Deb Wasserman-Schultz were OK to screw Bernie because it was US based? But if a Russian did the same exact thing then we should start a war and murder people right? Well welcome to your global neo liberal politics of thought; where not only products have no tariffs and states have no sovereignty but alas ideas, truths and emails are all part of your great global economy. Head to Tijuana or Minsk and enjoy your next political election vacation.


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