If you wandered into any left-leaning blogs, forums, or news sites over the course of the last year, you were likely to see a paragraph that looked like this:
“Russia. Russia Russia. Putin. Russia, Putin, Russia. Evil Trump. Racism, hate and bigotry. Russia, Trump supporters almost as evil as Trump. Putin, Putin, Putin.”
They might add a line or two about Bush, but that’s basically the gist of it. Unable to process the inconceivable notion that Hillary was a horrific candidate, they toiled desperately to place blame. Every single corner or the pro-Hillary mindset was consumed with the ‘inarguable’ proposition that Russia “hacked the election” in an effort to elect President Trump.
If you dared point out that there was no hard evidence that any of this actually happened, you were shouted down like a flat-Earth heretic and reminded of the “17 agencies” talking point.
A new report, published over at The Nation, utterly demolishes that narrative. It’s main conclusions are as follows:
- There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year—not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.
- Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language. Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source—claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.
The rest of the piece is interesting too, and includes a detailed breakdown of how desperately Trump’s detractors need to believe the conspiracy theory, while skewering the official, evidence-free, investigation that led to the infamous “17 agencies” claim.
By any balanced reckoning, the official case purporting to assign a systematic hacking effort to Russia, the events of mid-June and July 5 last year being the foundation of this case, is shabby to the point taxpayers should ask for their money back. The Intelligence Community Assessment, the supposedly definitive report featuring the “high confidence” dodge, was greeted as farcically flimsy when issued January 6. Ray McGovern calls it a disgrace to the intelligence profession. It is spotlessly free of evidence, front to back, pertaining to any events in which Russia is implicated. James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, admitted in May that “hand-picked” analysts from three agencies (not the 17 previously reported) drafted the ICA. There is a way to understand “hand-picked” that is less obvious than meets the eye: The report was sequestered from rigorous agency-wide reviews. This is the way these people have spoken to us for the past year.
Behind the ICA lie other indefensible realities. The FBI has never examined the DNC’s computer servers—an omission that is beyond preposterous. It has instead relied on the reports produced by Crowdstrike, a firm that drips with conflicting interests well beyond the fact that it is in the DNC’s employ.
As I said, the article is extremely in-depth, and well worth your time. It’s already irritating the Democrat Party, which has issued a statement claiming “It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.” It seems that, as usual, if you don’t toe the Hillary line, you’re labeled part of ‘the conspiracy.’
We may never know precisely what happened with the DNC email fiasco, but if you’re someone who has a hard time believing that a mysterious Russian hacker managed to sway even one voter away from Hillary Clinton – and into the arms of Donald Trump – this piece may go a long way toward reinforcing that opinion.