Citizen Action Monitor

What’s behind the unproven US allegations of Russian hacking?

Washington and its lapdog corporate media have a long history of lying, so why should we believe them now?

No 1860 Posted by fw, December 31, 2016

“…on Thursday, Clapper’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report on alleged Russian hacking in the 2016 election. The document contains no specific allegations, much less evidence, of attempts to access confidential data. Given that the actual content of the document is so scanty, it is not surprising that the statement hedges its findings, declaring, ‘The US Government can confirm that the Russian government, including Russia’s civilian and military intelligence services, conducted many of the activities generally described by a number of… security companies.’”Andre Damon, WSWS

What is the Obama administration up to with these repeated allegations of hacking by Putin’s government? With prominent Republic politicians fomenting the Russian baiting,  Damon speculates that the allegations might be Obama’s desperate attempt to box Trump into a confrontation with Russia:

“Alongside this military buildup, the White House, the Times and much of the American media have sought to whip up the most hysterical anti-Russian campaign since the 1940s and early 1950s—carrying with it the stench of that period’s McCarthyite witch-hunts. The main concern of the Times, as spelled out in an editorial published four days after Trump’s election, is to ensure that the incoming administration does not ‘go soft on Russia.’”

Until Obama comes forward with some irrefutable hard evidence, Democratic and Republican neocons, aided and abetted by a spineless media, will continue to make mischief with their malicious fabrications.

Below is a slightly modified repost of Damon’s article, including added subheadings, text highlighting and a SEE ALSO link to a video interview with a former FBI whistleblower. Alternatively, read his piece on the World Socialist Web Site by clicking on the following linked title.

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The lying campaign on Russian hacking by Andre Damon, World Socialist Web Site, December 31, 2016

On Thursday, US President Barack Obama announced a series of measures targeting Russia, presented as retaliation for alleged cyber attacks carried out by the government of Vladimir Putin. The moves include the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the imposition of economic sanctions against Russian intelligence agencies and officials.

The media, led by the New York Times, praised the actions, with the Times declaring in a lead editorial that “there should be no doubt about the correctness of President Obama’s decision to retaliate against Russia for hacking American computers and trying to influence the 2016 presidential election.”

US media hypocrisy – accuses Russia while running world’s largest hacking/cyber espionage operations

The US media does not see fit to mention that the government making the accusations against Russia runs the world’s largest hacking and cyber espionage program, the aim of which, according to documents released by Edward Snowden, is to collect or hack all the data in the world, under the slogan “Collect it all… Exploit it all.”

US used Stuxnet worm to attack Iran, spy on Merkel and UN

This is the government that, with Israel, created and released the Stuxnet worm to attack Iran, and was shown to have tapped the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and spied on Internet connections at the United Nations.

US has long history of manipulating political events in other countries

As for “influencing” the elections of other countries, a history of the covert operations by the US and its intelligence agencies to manipulate political events, swing elections and overthrow elected governments around the world would comprise several volumes.

World still waiting for proof that Russian government was behind DNC hacking during 2016 election campaign

It does not take a great deal of imagination to surmise that Russia, like any other country, carries out espionage over the Internet. But in this case, the allegations that Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee are unsubstantiated.

Neither the White House, nor the US intelligence agencies, nor the media, nor any private security firm has produced any information that would lead an impartial person with basic knowledge of communications technology to conclude that Russia carried out a major cyber attack against the United States.

So far, Washington hacking allegations are characterized by their generality and lack of specific details

In his statement announcing the moves against Russia, Obama declared, “In October, my administration publicized our assessment that Russia took actions intended to interfere with the US election process.

Obama was referring, in a deliberately vague manner, to a statement published October 7 by James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, declaring that “the Intelligence Community… is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.”

The aim of Clapper’s statement, issued in the run-up to the November election, was to discredit the revelations published by WikiLeaks that the Democratic National Committee rigged the primary process to secure the victory of Hillary Clinton over her challenger for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders.

Clapper’s statement, a mere three paragraphs in length, like all of the allegations by the White House on this issue, was characterized by its generality and lack of specific details. Its use of the term “confident” is highly significant, as it denotes a lower level of conviction than the word “certain.”

Simultaneously with Obama’s statement on Thursday, Clapper’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report on alleged Russian hacking in the 2016 election. The document contains no specific allegations, much less evidence, of attempts to access confidential data. Given that the actual content of the document is so scanty, it is not surprising that the statement hedges its findings, declaring, “The US Government can confirm that the Russian government, including Russia’s civilian and military intelligence services, conducted many of the activities generally described by a number of… security companies.”

Even the propaganda plagued New York Times admitted the evidence “fell short”

The facts laid out in the document released by Clapper are so weak that the New York Times’ lead article on Friday was forced to point out that the evidence in the report “fell short of anything that would directly tie senior officers of the GRU or the FSB [Russian intelligence agencies]… to a plan to influence the election.”

The lack of hard evidence does not concern the Times, which simply echoes the “official” US government’s version

Why then, in the absence of any evidence, does the New York Times declare, “It would have been irresponsible for [Obama] to leave office next month and allow President Vladimir Putin to think that he could with impunity try to undermine American democracy.”?

That there are no facts to justify such retaliation does not concern the “newspaper of record.” This is because it, like the rest of the US media, does not serve to question or check the false assertions of the US government, but rather to propagate them.

In light of Bush’s scandalous 2003 WMD propaganda-based justification of the Iraq invasion, can Washington ever again be trusted to tell the truth?

There are echoes in the present campaign of the Bush administration’s false claims of “weapons of mass destruction” that were used to launch the war in Iraq in 2003. Then, as now, the Times and other publications not only repeated and amplified the administration’s lies, but actively developed a false narrative of events as part of the government’s propaganda effort to justify war.

Obama’s latest actions are part of an extended anti-Russian campaign by the White House and the New York Times, which has been accelerated by the collapse of the US-backed regime-change effort in Syria.

Are the Russian allegations Obama’s desperate attempt to box Trump into a confrontation with Russia?

This campaign takes place in the context of substantial divisions within the American state over the target of US military aggression. The faction for which the New York Times speaks is seeking a more direct intervention against Russia, while President-elect Donald Trump and the section of the state with which he is aligned see a conflict with Russia as a distraction from the real enemy: China.

To this end, the Obama administration has sought to create new “facts on the ground” before leaving office that would lead the Trump administration into a confrontation with Russia. Earlier this month, the White House announced that it was accelerating the deployment of 4,000 US/NATO troops to the Russian border, meaning they will be in place by the time the new administration takes office.

The plot is afoot to ensure Trump’s administration does not “go soft on Russia”

Alongside this military buildup, the White House, the Times and much of the American media have sought to whip up the most hysterical anti-Russian campaign since the 1940s and early 1950s—carrying with it the stench of that period’s McCarthyite witch-hunts. The main concern of the Times, as spelled out in an editorial published four days after Trump’s election, is to ensure that the incoming administration does not “go soft on Russia.”

SEE ALSO

Retired FBI Agent: Russia Sanctions Moves the US Closer to Another Cold War by The Real News Network, December 30, 2016 — Former FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley raises doubts about Washington’s allegations of Russian hacking, says the evidence the Russian government hacked and interfered with US elections must be made public.

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