Don’t Be Like Mike

CIA’s Mike Morell tells us what “a normal administration” would have done w Russian bounty “intel.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/03/heres-how-normal-administration-would-have-handled-russian-bounty-intel/

Let’s examine Mike Morell’s track record. His boss George Tenet wrote that Mike was “the perfect guy” to brief Bush on how sure they were that Iraq had WMD’s and that he “coordinated” Colin Powell’s UN speech explaining how sure they were that Iraq had WMD’s. 
https://consortiumnews.com/2011/08/29/rise-of-another-cia-yes-man/

The Power of Song: The Black National Anthem

By Ray McGovern, July 4, 2020

You be the judge.  How moving do you find the tune and and lyrics of this poignant song, which we sang loud and clear on occasions like the 4th of July at the Washington inner-city church where I worshipped?

Below is included (1) a short video of introduction to the song; (2) the lyrics; (3) my favorite video of a most joyful recording of the song; (4) the Spelman College Glee Club rendition; and (5) a chorus of young men singing it.

(1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38sxYtHRGGw
4 minutes

(2) Lyrics of:

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING — “THE BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM”

Lift ev’ry voice and sing
‘Til earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty

Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on ’til victory is won

Stony the road we trod
Bitter the chastening rod
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died

Yet with a steady beat
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered

Out from the gloomy past
‘Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast

God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way

Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path, we pray

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee

Shadowed beneath Thy hand
May we forever stand
True to our God
True to our native land

(3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwWhu8tw4nU
(10 minutes); a fun video of a recording, w/ Deniece Williams, Al Green et al.

(4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOyVho1E4ZY
(3 minutes); the Spelman College Glee Club

(5) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngFDy52eCZY
(4 minutes); a chorus of young men

Happy Fourth of July!

Ray on the Archdeacon of NYT Pulitzer presstitutes re “Russian bounties” for killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan


July 1, 2020
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8mMmJ17n3Q
Ray’s 6 minutes begin at minute 3:20, but the intro is also interesting.

Ray’s article exposing/describing the “Archdeacon of Flat Fact” was published a couple of hours before the interview: https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/01/ray-mcgovern-new-york-times-deploys-heavy-gun-to-back-intel-on-russian-bounties/

UN Reporting on Torture of Assange Banned from Corporate Media

Marking International Day in Support of Torture Victims
By Ray McGovern, June 26, 2019

Nils Melzer, UN Rapporteur on Torture, belatedly learned that Julian Assange was being tortured.  Meltzer came to realize that he had been misled by the “news” about Assange in the Establishment media, so he did his own investigation.

With his findings and impressions in hand, Melzer thought that June 26, the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, would be a fitting occasion to publish an op-ed on the results of his investigation.  It turned out that his draft was as welcome as the proverbial skunk at a picnic.  Here is a note that Melzer appended to his op-ed once it was finally posted — in Medium:

“This Op-Ed has been offered for publication to the Guardian, The Times, the Financial Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, the Canberra Times, the Telegraph, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Newsweek. None responded positively.”

The title given his op-ed in Medium on June 26, 2019 was Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange: On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Torture Victims.  (See: https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian-assange-b252ffdcb768 .). Here’s a sample:

Beginning of text of Melzer op-ed, (with thanks to Medium):

I know, you may think I am deluded. How could life in an Embassy with a cat and a skateboard ever amount to torture? That’s exactly what I thought, too, when Assange first appealed to my office for protection. Like most of the public, I had been subconsciously poisoned by the relentless smear campaign, which had been disseminated over the years. So it took a second knock on my door to get my reluctant attention. But once I looked into the facts of this case, what I found filled me with repulsion and disbelief.

Surely, I thought, Assange must be a rapist! But what I found is that he has never been charged with a sexual offence.

True, soon after the United States had encouraged allies to find reasons to prosecute Assange, Swedish prosecution informed the tabloid press that he was suspected of having raped two women. Strangely, however, the women themselves never claimed to have been raped, nor did they intend to report a criminal offence. Go figure.

Moreover, the forensic examination of a condom submitted as evidence, supposedly worn and torn during intercourse with Assange, revealed no DNA whatsoever — neither his, nor hers, nor anybody else’s. Go figure again. One woman even texted that she only wanted Assange to take an HIV test, but that the police were “keen on getting their hands on him”. Go figure, once more.

Ever since, both Sweden and Britain have done everything to prevent Assange from confronting these allegations without simultaneously having to expose himself to US extradition and, thus, to a show-trial followed by life in jail. His last refuge had been the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Alright, I thought, but surely Assange must be a hacker! But what I found is … (For the rest, click on ( https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian-assange-b252ffdcb768 .)

Baby Steps in Truth

Expect to find almost nothing in the U.S. or other Western media about how a publisher of authentic documents has been set up to spend the rest of his live in prison, but there were some glimmers of truth shining through German, Swiss, and Austrian media early this year.  In February, one of the main German TV channels (ZDF) did a highly unusual, and instructive, interview with Melzer, focusing on the sexual allegations in Sweden.

Melzer is fluent in Swedish — a big help as he personally poured through the relevant documents, some of which had been “fixed”.  On hearing of the ZDF programs, Ray published “German TV Exposes the Lies That Entrapped Julian Assange”: https://consortiumnews.com/2020/02/06/ray-mcgovern-german-tv-exposes-the-lies-that-entrapped-julian-assange/ , February 6, 2020.

His article begins:

Truth has broken through for those confused about how a publisher ended up in a maximum security prison in London with a one-way extradition ticket to court in the U.S. and the rest of his life behind bars.
One of the main German TV channels (ZDF) ran two prime-time segments on Wednesday night exposing authorities in Sweden for having “made up” the story about Julian Assange being a rapist. 
Until last night most Germans, as well as other consumers of “major media” in Europe, had no idea of the trickery that enmeshed Assange in a spider-web almost certainly designed by the U.S. and woven by accomplices in vassal states like Sweden, Britain and, eventually, Ecuador. 
ZDF punctured that web by interviewing UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer. One ZDF “Heute Sendung” segment (in German) is especially telling from minute 13:00 to 15:30 . The second is ZDF “Heute Journal” (minute 25:49 to 30:19.)
Both ZDF programs show Melzer being interviewed, with minimal interruption or commentary, letting his findings speak for themselves about how allegations against Assange were “made up” and manipulated to hold him captive. 
The particularly scurrilous allegation that led many, including initially Melzer, to believe Assange was a rapist — a tried and tested smear technique of covert action — was especially effective.  The Swedes never formally charged him with rape — or with any crime, for that matter.  ZDF exhibited some of the documents Melzer uncovered that show the sexual allegations were just as “invented” as the evidence for WMD before the attack on Iraq. …
Melzer’s indefatigable efforts to expose what Assange has gone through, including “psychological torture”, met with some modest success ( See: https://raymcgovern.com/2020/01/31/a-must-read-on-assange/ ) in the days before the German ZDF aired their stories. Embedded in that Swiss article (in English) is by far the best interview (See:  https://www.republik.ch/2020/01/31/nils-melzer-about-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange ) of Melzer on Julian Assange.
____________________________________

You are encouraged to click on the two links in the above paragraph. The second link, in particular, is definitely worth a read.

Putin Tries to Set Record Straight

By Ray McGovern, June 22, 2020

“Why does life almost come to a halt on June 22? And why does one feel a lump in the throat?”

This how Russian President Vladimir Putin chose to address the fateful day in 1941, when Germany invaded Russia, with an extraordinarily detailed article on June 19: “75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future.” ( See: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/63527 )

Citing archival data, Putin homes in on both world wars, adding important information not widely known, and taking no liberties with facts well known to serious historians.  As for the “lump in the throat”, the Russian president steps somewhat out of character by weaving in some seemingly formative personal experiences of family loss during that deadly time and post-war years. First, the history:

“On June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union faced the strongest, most mobilized and skilled army in the world with the industrial, economic, and military potential of almost all Europe working for it.  Not only the Wehrmacht, but also Germany’s satellites, military contingents of many other states of the European continent, took part in this deadly invasion.

“The most serious military defeats in 1941 brought the country to the brink of catastrophe. … By 1943 the manufacture of weapons and munitions … behind the lines exceeded the rates of military production of Germany and its allies.  The Soviet people did something that seemed impossible. … the Red Army. no matter what anyone is trying to prove today, made the main and crucial contribution to the defeat of Nazism … Almost 27 million Soviet citizens lost their lives, one in seven of the population … the USA lost one in 320.”  [Emphasis added.]

Somber factual recollections. Significant, too, is Putin’s explicit criticism of “crimes committed by the [Stalin] regime against its own people and the horror of mass repressions.” Nor does he spare criticism of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, denouncing its “secret protocols as “an act of personal power” which in no way reflected “the will of the Soviet people.”

Putin notes that he asked for “the whole body of materials pertaining to contacts between the USSR and Germany in the dramatic days of August and September 1939,” and found facts “known to very few these days” regarding Moscow’s reaction to German demands on carving up Poland (yet again).  On this key issue, he cites, “paragraph 2 of the Secret Protocol to the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of August 23, 1939”, indicating that it throws new light on Moscow’s initial foot-dragging and its eventual decision to join in a more limited (for Russia) partition.

Look it up.  And while you’re at it, GOOGLE Khalkhin Gol River and refresh your memory about what Putin describes as “intense fighting” with Japan at the time.

The Russian president points out, correctly, that “the Red Army supported the Allied landing in Normandy by carrying out the large-scale Operation Bagration in Belorussia”, which is actually an understatement. ( See: “ Who Defeated the Nazis: a Colloquy: https://raymcgovern.com/2020/05/06/who-defeated-the-nazis-a-colloquy/ and “Once We Were Allies; Then Came MICIMATT: https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/08/ray-mcgovern-once-we-were-allies-then-came-micimatt/.

“No matter what anyone is trying to prove today,” writes Putin, who may have had in mind the latest indignity from Washington; namely, the White House tweet on V-E day this year, saying “On May 8, 1945, America and Great Britain had victory over the Nazis.” ( See: https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/1258842411524132865 .)

Lump in Throat

And why does one feel a lump rise in the throat? Putin asks rhetorically.

“The war has left a deep imprint on every family’s history. Behind these words, there are the fates of millions of people … Behind these words, there is also the pride, the truth and the memory.

“For my parents, the war meant the terrible ordeals of the Siege of Leningrad where my two-year old brother Vitya died. It was the place where my mother miraculously managed to survive. My father, despite being exempt from active duty, volunteered to defend his hometown. … He fought at the Nevsky Pyatachok bridgehead and was severely wounded. And the more years pass, the more … I treasure in my heart the conversations I had with my father and mother on this subject, as well as the little emotion they showed.

“People of my age and I believe it is important that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren understand the torment and hardships their ancestors had to endure … how their ancestors managed to persevere and win. … We have a responsibility to our past and our future to do our utmost to prevent those horrible tragedies from happening ever again. Hence, I was compelled to come out with an article about World War II and the Great Patriotic War.”

Putin was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) eight years after the vicious siege by the German army ended.  Michael Walzer, in his War Against Civilians, notes, “More people died in the 900-day siege of Leningrad than in the infernos of Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki taken together.”

Putin notes that the “human truth” of war, “which is bitter and merciless, has been handed down to us by writers and poets who walked through hell at the front.  For my generation, as well as for many others, their … piercing trench prose and poems have left their mark on the soul forever.” He calls particular attention to a poem by Alexander Tvardovsky, “I was killed near Rzhev,” ( See: https://www.reddit.com/r/ww2/comments/8h2uxb/part_of_a_poem_of_aleksandr_tvardovsky/ .) dedicated to those who fought the formidable German Army Group Center.

Putin explains, “In the battles for Rzhev … from October 1941 to March 1943, the Red Army lost 1,342,888 people, including wounded and missing in action. For the first time, I call out these terrible, tragic and far from complete figures collected from archive sources. I do it to honor the memory of the feat of known and nameless heroes”, who were largely ignored in the post-war years.

The Germans were hardly the first to invade Russia.  It was occupied for more than two centuries beginning in 1240 by Mongols from the east, after which its western neighbor was Europe, the most powerful and expansionist region in world history into the 20th century.  After the Mongols were finally driven out, in came invaders from Lithuania, Sweden, the Hanseatic League, Napoleon and, 79 years ago today, Hitler. 

“The Poet of Russian Grief”

Out of this history (and before the Nazi attack on June 22, 1941) came the deeply compassionate 19th century poet Nikolay Nekrasov, who, after Pushkin, became my favorite Russian poet.  His poem, “Giving Attention to the Horrors of War”) moved me deeply; I have carried it with me from my college days when I committed it to memory.

I visited Moscow in April 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the meeting of American and Russian troops on the Elbe at the end of WWII.  It was a heartwarming observance of the victory of our wartime Grand Alliance … and a reminder of what might be possible seven decades later. I was asked to speak at the ceremony celebrating the meeting on the Elbe, and was happy to be able to feature Nekrasov’s poem to compensate for my out-of-practice Russian.

On June 22, 2016, the 75th anniversary of the Nazi attack on Russia, I was in Yalta, Crimea, with an American citizens’ delegation and was again asked to speak.  It was an even more appropriate occasion to recite Nekrasov’s  “Giving Attention to the Horrors of War,” and I shall never forget the poignant experience of personally witnessing, and feeling, just why Nekrasov is called “the poet of Russian grief.”  There were several people in the audience old enough to remember.  

Finally, I recited Nekrasov again, in Brussels, at the annual EU Parliament Members’ Forum on Russia in early December 2015.  My talk came on the second day of the Forum; until then, almost all of the talks were pretty much head-speeches. So I tried a little heart therapy and called my presentation “Stay Human.”  The late Giulietto Chiesa, one of the Forum moderators recorded my speech and posted it on his website.

The link is: http://www.pandoratv.it/?p=5176 . The poem can be heard from minute 11:00 to 17:00. There is some voice-over in Italian, but I spoke mostly in English and some of that is intelligible — audible, I mean.  There is no voice-over for the Nekrasov poem.  I shall provide a translation** into English below:

** Poetry always loses something in translation, and this attempt is no exception. I have tried to be literal without undue sacrifice to verse and feeling. A lot is lost, though; so you may prefer the video.  I also include the original text for those who read Russian.

Внимая ужасам войны,
Heeding the horrors of war,

При каждой новой жертве боя
At every new victim of battle

Мне жаль не друга, не жены
I feel sorry not for his friend, nor for his wife,

Мне жаль не самого героя.
I feel sorry not even for the hero himself.

Увы! утешится жена,
Alas, the wife will be comforted,

И друга лучший друг забудет;
And best friends forget their friend;

Но где-то есть душа одна –
But somewhere there is one soul –

Она до гроба помнить будет!
Who will remember unto the grave!

Средь лицемерных наших дел
Amidst the hypocrisy of our affairs

И всякой пошлости и прозы
And all the banality and triviality

Одни я в мир подсмотрел
Unique among what I have observed in the world

Святые, искренние слезы –
Sacred, sincere tears –

То слезы бедных матерей!
The tears of poor mothers!

Им не забыть своих детей,
They do not forget their own children,

Погибших на кровавой ниве,
Who have perished on the bloody battlefield,

Как не поднять плакучей иве
Just as the weeping willow never lifts

Своих поникнувших ветвей.
Its dangling branches

++++++++++++++++++++++

Suffice it to add that I confess to being what the Germans call a “Putin Versteher” — literally, one who understands Putin. (Sadly, most Germans mean no compliment with this appellation; quite the contrary.)  As one who has studied Russia for half a century, though, I believe I have some sense for where Russian leaders “are coming from.”

That said, like almost all Americans, I cannot begin to know, in any adequate sense, what it is actually like to be part of a society with a history of being repeatedly invaded and/or occupied — whether from East or West.  In my view, U.S. policy makers need to make some effort to become, in some degree, Putin Verstehers, or the risk of completely unnecessary armed confrontation will increase still more.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing ministry of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  After serving two years as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer, he spent 27 years as a CIA analyst.  He was Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared The President’s Daily Brief for Presidents Reagan, Ford, and Nixon. In retirement, he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Questions Linger on Russia-gate

By Ray, June 18, 2020

After Consortium News published my June 15 article on the shadowy Guccifer 2.0 (See:  https://raymcgovern.com/2020/06/15/how-an-internet-persona-helped-birth-russia-gate/  ) a few commentators posted questions in the “Comments” section below the text of the piece.  One of them, “Sam”, had a number of questions, which I attempted to answer as soon as I saw them.

Sam came back with still more questions, which I answered this morning.  For those interested in Sam’s first set of questions and my replies to them, they were posted earlier in the “Comments” section under the article.  (The later exchange, of course, is also there.)

Some of the questions and answers are “down in the weeds”. But others are of more general interest, I copy/paste in below my reply to Sam’s second set of questions.

______________________

Ray McGovern

June 18, 2020 at 08:45

Sam,
Thanks for your reply to my reply. I could not agree more that, as you write, “These are really important issues and important to get right.” I’ll include below the text of your latest comment and will type my own comments in UPPER CASE. (Should you prefer a shortcut, you can go directly to my last few paragraphs at the end, where I include a list the most relevant, informative links.)

Your comment is copied in immediately below:

The problem is that even if you take Assange’s words exactly as he spoke them, how is one to infer he meant DNC emails? AN EASY INFERENCE, IN VIEW OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING DAYS.

The clear implication in your story is that on June 12, Assange says he has more emails ready to post. CORRECT, “PENDING PUBLICATION”, TO BE MORE PRECISE.

Your assumption is DNC officials are first of all paying attention to his interview CORRECT and secondly they conclude that even though he never mentions DNC, he means DNC emails. AS NOTED IN MY JUNE 15 PIECE FOR GUCCIFER 2.0’s 4TH BIRTHDAY ( https://raymcgovern.com/2020/06/15/how-an-internet-persona-helped-birth-russia-gate/ ), MUELLER GOT IT WRONG ABOUT WHEN THE DNC EMAILS WERE STOLEN. IT WAS ON MAY 23 AND 25, 2016.

ASSUMING THAT CROWDSTRIKE WAS NOT INCOMPETENT, I ADDED THAT “THIS WOULD HAVE GIVEN THE DNC TIME TO LEARN THAT THE STOLEN MATERIAL INCLUDED DOCUMENTS SHOWING HOW THE DNC AND CLINTON CAMPAIGN HAD MANIPULATED THE PRIMARIES AND CREATED A HOST OF OTHER INDIGNITIES, SUCH THAT SANDERS’ CHANCE OF WINNING THE NOMINATION AMOUNTED TO THOSE OF A SNOWBALL’S CHANCE IN THE NETHERWORLD [AND] THERE WOULD BE NO WAY TO CHALLENGE THEIR AUTHENTICITY.”

They then quickly pivot and in two days create a narrative out of thin air that Russians hacked DNC as a way to deflect from the content of the stolen emails, a small fraction of which revealed anti-Bernie bias among some DNC officials. THAT “SMALL FRACTION” WAS DEVASTATING — OR MIGHT HAVE BEEN, IF THE MEDIA HAD NOT QUICKLY PIVOTED TO BLAME RUSSIA.

It already doesn’t add up. Think about the assumption — what if Assange didn’t have DNC emails at all but instead had Clinton campaign emails. Why would DNC invent a story about Russian hacking DNC emails if Assange might have meant any number of other sources of emails?

THIS “WHAT IF” IS WHAT GRAMMARIANS CALL A “CONTRARY-TO-FACT-CONDITION”. ASSANGE DID HAVE THEM, YES? AND THE DNC/CROWDSTRIKE, AGAIN ASSUMING MINIMAL TECHNICAL COMPETENCE, WOULD HAVE KNOWN, OR AT VERY LEAST SUSPECTED, THAT WHAT HE HAD WAS DAMNING.

But, as I pointed out, DNC hired Crowdstrike on April 30th. Did the DNC somehow anticipate that Assange would claim a month and a half later that he had Clinton campaign related emails and hired Crowdstrike all those weeks earlier to be prepared with, as you claim, the false Russia hack narrative? That’s where the chronology you present really starts to crumble. AS YOU POINT OUT, SAM, THE DNC HAD ENCOUNTERED A NUMBER OF CYBER ATTACKS FOR MANY MONTHS.

I think you’ve done a good job stringing together bits and pieces of information and constructing a narrative to run contrary to the Russia hack narrative. NO. YOU SUGGEST A POLITICAL MOTIVE. I CONCEDE THAT IN THIS HIGHLY CHARGED POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE ONE IS ALMOST INEVITABLE. BUT IT JUST AIN’T SO, SAM. OUR MOTIVE IS TO GET AT THE TRUTH AND SPREAD IT AROUND, PURE AND SIMPLE.
And for those who aren’t carefully and skeptically comparing your narrative against the evidence in the public record, BY THE “PUBLIC RECORD” YOU MEAN THE ESTABLISHMENT MEDIA? THE FINDINGS OF VIPS HAVE BEEN SHUNNED BY ESTABLISHMENT MEDIA it sounds plausible. 

But once you start to really dig in, the narrative you present doesn’t hold together under scrutiny.

I’m sure you’ve spent time reviewing the chronology and evidence presented by Crowdstrike, which by the way is not, as is often suggested on this site, in the tank for Democrats. CROWDSTRIKE WAS WORKING FOR AND PAID BY THE DEMOCRATS; AND, SAM, YOU KNOW HOW CONTRACTORS WILL REGULARLY COME UP WITH THE WISHED FOR CONCLUSION. AND THEIR REPUTATION IS ON A PAR WITH THAT OF CHRISTOPHER STEELE, ALSO HIRED AND PAID FOR BY THE DNC.

AS CROWDSTRIKE BEGAN TO WORK FOR THE DNC, CROWDSTRIKE HAD JUST BEEN ADMONISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF UKRAINE FOR A REPORT CROWDSTRIKE HAD TO RETRACT; THE REPORT HAD CLAIMED THAT RUSSIA HAD HACKED THE UKRAINIAN MILITARY. EVEN VOA REPORTED ON THAT SCANDAL AT SOME LENGTH; THOSE DEPENDING ON THE ESTABLISHMENT MEDIA IN THE U.S. ALMOST CERTAINLY STILL DO NOT KNOW THAT. WHAT THEY “KNOW” IS THAT JAMES COMEY TOLD CONGRESS THAT CROWDSTRIKE IS A “HIGH-CLASS” OUTFIT. COMEY WAS SO PLEASED WITH CROWDSTRIKE THAT HE NEVER REQUIRED AN UNREDACTED FINAL REPORT FROM THEM. THAT SMELLS.

They are a big, well-respected company with a lot of corporate clients and with both Democrats and Republicans. According to industry experts I’ve talked to, they are one of the best cyber-security firms in the business. Anyway, here’s their narrative: https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/bears-midst-intrusion-democratic-national-committee/

Have you talked with Crowdstrike to challenge their narrative directly? VIPS’ BILL BINNEY WAS ABOUT TO HAVE A DISCUSSION WITH THEM SEVERAL MONTHS AGO. BILL’S WILLINGNESS TO SHARE HIS DATA AND ANALYSIS WITH THEM WAS NOT RECIPROCATED BY CROWDSTRIKE. THE DISCUSSION NEVER HAPPENED.

Or have you talked with cyber-security experts to help assess Crowdstrike’s information/reputation? OF COURSE; A LOT OF OUR MOST SOPHISTICATED SUPPORT CAME FROM INDEPENDENT, I STRESS INDEPENDENT, FORENSICS EXPERTS WHOSE MATERIAL VIPS’ TWO FORMER NSA TECHNICAL DIRECTORS AND OTHER SPECIALISTS WE ENLISTED FOR SUPPORT WERE ABLE TO VET. Wouldn’t that be part of a normal journalistic process to figure out what happened?

I have no problem with healthy skepticism and don’t think journalism works without skepticism. But if you are going to present the insider thumb drive theory, I think we need to nail down the evidence, chase down the facts and fill in the gaps.

For instance, have you wondered why the FBI contacted the DNC in September 2015 and several other times prior to April 2016? How does that fit into your narrative? IRRELEVANT. IF VARIOUS CYBER OPERATIONS, INCLUDING FOREIGN GOVERNMENT ONES, WERE NOT TRYING TO HACK THE DNC, THEY WERE REMISS.

THE QUESTION IS WHETHER ANYONE, THE RUSSIANS OR ANYONE ELSE, STOLE THOSE EMBARRASSING EMAILS VIA A HACK. WE HAVE BEEN SAYING NO, BASED ON TECHNICAL EVIDENCE. CROWDSTRIKE HEAD SHAWN HENRY TESTIFIED UNDER OATH ON DECEMBER 5, 2017 THAT CROWDSTRIKE HAD NO CONCRETE EVIDENCE THAT THE DNC EMAILS WERE HACKED (“EXFILTRATED OUT OF THE DNC). AND THE “CIRCUMSTANTIAL” EVIDENCE HE ADDUCED IS FAR FROM PERSUASIVE. IT WOULD BE GOOD TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THAT, AND WHY HIS TESTIMONY HAS STILL NOT BEEN REPORTED IN ESTABLISHED MEDIA.

Or are we saying all of those contacts were made up? NO; THEY ARE JUST, IN MY OPINION, IRRELEVANT.

Why would DNC turn in all their laptops on June 10th two days before Assange’s ITV announcement? PLEASE SEE ABOVE; THE DNC EMAILS WERE STOLEN ON MAY 23 AND 25 — QUITE ENOUGH TIME FOR CROWDSTRIKE TO DISCOVER AND TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HAD BEEN READIED FOR EXFILTRATION (BUT NOT YET EXFILTRATED, AS HENRY TESTIFIED) BY INSPECTING SERVERS, LAPTOPS, YOU NAME IT. Have you talked with DNC staffers about this? Have you talked with DNC staffers about the phishing emails they received?

If you think Seth Rich was the insider thumb drive guy as you insinuate, what do you know about Seth Rich? INSINUATE IS NOT SOMETHING WE VIPS DO. AS YOU AWARE, WE BELIEVE CONSIDERABLE EVIDENCE POINTS TO A DNC INSIDER. AS I NOTED IN MY COMMENT TO YOUR COMMENT, “THE LEADING INSIDER SUSPECT WAS STILL ALIVE FOR FOUR WEEKS AFTER ASSANGE ANNOUNCED HE HAD THE “EMAILS RELATED TO HILLARY CLINTON WHICH ARE PENDING PUBLICATION.” AND ASSANGE MENTIONED HIM BY NAME FOUR WEEKS AFTER RICH WAS MURDERED.

ASSANGE’S WORDS ABOUT SETH RICH, PLUS WIKILEAKS’ OFFERING A $20,000 REWARD FOR INFO LEADING TO CAPTURE OF HIS KILLER(S), WERE VERY VERY UNUSUAL. (PERSONALLY, I INFERRED AT THE TIME THAT A SOURCE WHO WAS DEAD WAS PERHAPS DEEMED TO REQUIRE A LITTLE LESS IN THE WAY OF SOURCE PROTECTION.). BUT WE HAVE BEEN VERY CAREFUL TO DRAW A SHARP DISTINCTION BETWEEN WHAT WE KNOW (NO HACK) AND WHAT WE CAN ONLY SPECULATE ABOUT.

SINCE OUR CONCLUSION IS THAT AN INSIDER WAS THE KEY … WELL, WE HAVE THE NAME OF ONLY ONE SUSPECT —SETH RICH. AND THERE ARE MORE ANOMALIES AND TROUBLING QUESTIONS REGARDING WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM THAN YOU CAN SHAKE A STICK AT. THEN THERE IS THE FBI LYING IN INITIALLY SAYING IT DID NOT INVESTIGATE OR, INDEED, HAVE ANY MATERIAL AT ALL ON SETH RICH … WELL, AS I SAID IN MY PREVIOUS COMMENT, THIS IS IN THE COURTS NOW, SO WE CAN EXPECT, FINALLY, SOME SWORN TESTIMONY BEFORE TOO LONG.

For instance, do you know he interned for one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress? Do you know he worked in voter registration efforts and loved his job according to friends and family? Do you know he believed so strongly that everyone should vote — and that friends say he didn’t care if you vote Dem or Republican, just that people from all political persuasions should be engaged? Does that sound like a disgruntle Bernie supporter? Have you called any of his friends and family to discuss any of these issues to get their take on things? Have you investigated whether Rich even had access to all those emails and files? Do you even know if he showed up for work on July 5th? Do you know he was offered a job on the Clinton campaign and friends think he was likely to accept it and move to Brooklyn? Do you know that when he was murdered, he was on the phone with a close friend and was approached on the street by two men a little after 4 in the morning, scuffled with them and was shot and left alive on the scene — he was alive when the police showed up — does that sound like a sophisticated assassination attempt? Are you aware of any other times DNC officials hired a hit squad to murder someone? Do you really think DNC or Democratic party leaders would respond to potentially unflattering emails by killing someone? IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT I THINK, SAM, LET’S SEE IF THE COURTS CAN SHED LIGHT ON ALL THIS. WILL THEY BE WILLING TO TAKE ON THE FBI AND ITS MANY MEDIA SYMPATHIZERS? REMAINS TO BE SEEN.

I just don’t buy the Rich was the insider theory and I have seen no tangible evidence at all supporting that theory. To the contrary, the evidence suggests he wasn’t. SAM, DO YOU HAVE A MORE PLAUSIBLE CANDIDATE? … ANY OTHER NAMES? WILL YOU BE OPEN TO CHANGING YOUR MIND IF A COURT COMPELS THE U.S. GOVERNMENT TO PRODUCE ALLEGED EMAIL EXCHANGES BETWEEN WIKILEAKS AND SETH RICH?

We could go on and on with this.

SAM, HERE’S A WAY TO AVOID HAVING TO GO ON AND ON WITH THIS. SUFFICE IT TO SAY THAT, AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, YOU INCORRECTLY RECALL THE CONCLUSIONS IN OUR KEY VIPS MEMO TO THE PRESIDENT OF JULY 24, 2017 (  https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/ .  LET ME SUGGEST THAT YOU READ IT AGAIN.THE ISSUES DISCUSSED ARE SOMEWHAT TECHNICAL, BUT YOU SEEM WELL UP TO HANDLING THEM.

HERE’S WHAT WE PUT IN THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, IN ORDER TO MAKE AS IT CLEAR AS POSSIBLE FOR THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ADVISORS TO UNDERSTAND. (AND, AS YOU MAY RECALL, TRUMP TOLD THEN-CIA DIRECTOR POMPEO TO INVITE BINNEY FOR A TALK IF HE WANTED TO REALLY KNOW ABOUT RUSSIA-GATE. THAT TALK TOOK PLACE ON OCT. 24, 2017.)

HERE WAS OUR BEST EFFORT TO PUT THINGS CLEARLY IN THE EXEC SUMMARY OF the VIPS Memo of July 24, 2017: IT HAS TO DO WITH GUCCIFER 2.0 WHO WE SUSPECTED THEN, AND KNOW NOW, IS AN OUT-AND-OUT FRAUD.

BEGIN QUOTE OF A “NOTE” FROM EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF VIPS’ MEMO OF JULY 24, 2017:

“NOTE: There has been so much conflation of charges about hacking that we wish to make very clear the primary focus of this Memorandum. We focus specifically on the July 5, 2016 alleged Guccifer 2.0 “hack.” … we conclude that the same inside-DNC, copy/leak process was used at two different times, by two different entities, for two distinctly different purposes:

-(1) an inside leak to WikiLeaks before Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, that he had DNC documents and planned to publish them (which he did on July 22) …

-(2) a separate leak on July 5, 2016, to pre-emptively taint anything WikiLeaks might later publish by “showing” it came from a “Russian hack.”

END OF QUOTE FROM VIPS MEMO (PLEASE SEE FURTHER SUGGESTIONS FROM ME BELOW, AT THE END OF MY COMMENT.)

For instance, if you look at the dates of the DNC emails on Wikileaks, the last one was sent on 5/25/16, which coincidentally is very consistent with the time frame Crowdstrike offers in their chronology of their work. Interestingly, their are a bunch of emails with a junk date stamp on them of 1/1/1970. But the oldest with a real date stamp is 9/16/2013. Then there is a trickle of emails from 2015. But the emails begin in earnest on 4/18/2016 and there are hundreds per day from that date through 5/25. Interesting pattern, don’t you think? Lots of possible explanations, NOT SURE HOW THIS RELATES IN ANY SUBSTANTIVE WAY TO THE ISSUES AT HAND. but it’s hard not to see a correlation between those email date stamps and the Crowdstrike chronology.

It’s also curious how the July 5th thumb drive download date lines up with these days. So we are to assume that Rich or someone in the DNC had access to all those emails, downloaded them on July 5th, but restricted the email dates in this way? Again, there might be some explanations, but doesn’t that seem a little strange? Why not download emails through July 5th. Why cut them off more than a month earlier?

Another curious question — So we’re supposed to believe DNC conspired with Crowdstrike to invent the Russia hack story after more then a month working with Crowdstrike (and before that with the FBI, but put that aside) and announce two days after Assange’s vague mention of more Clinton campaign emails — but it’s not until July 5th that a DNC insider downloads the emails? And Assange says he has emails nearly a month prior? That’s pretty curious, isn’t it? If there’s an explanation, I’d love to hear it.

I could keep going. DNC makes up this Russia hack story and then Podesta gets hacked then Russians are involved in earned and paid social media efforts to target voters. I’m not going to claim those social media posts had an impact — that’s a debate for another time. But seems pretty coincidental, no?

Also keep in mind the Trump Tower meeting, which I admit seems to have amounted to nothing, took place on June 9th, basically according to the official narrative around the time Crowdstrike blocked the hackers from DNC servers. Just plot those dates and sort out what makes sense. May 1, Crowdstrike starts working with DNC. May 25, the last time stamp on a DNC email. June 9th, Trump Tower meeting. June 10, DNC laptops swapped out. June 12, Assange says he has Clinton Campaign emails. June 14, Crowdstrike announces they have blocked Russian hackers from DNC. Then July 5th is when supposedly a DNC insider downloaded emails on a thumb drive? Any way to stitch this together because I’m not seeing it.

But again, as I have suggested, come forward with a full account*** and answer these questions. If you can develop a narrative that matches these facts, I’d love to read it. And I promise to keep an open mind. Until then, I’m not seeing truth here.

Thank you for your consideration.

+++++++++++++++++
*** OK; FOLLOWING IS A FULL ACCOUNT FROM ME (HERE LACKING UPPER CASE):

Late last year DNC-related lawyers and Seth Rich’s brother Aaron were working overtime in what seemed to be an effort to put the kibosh on any speculation that Seth and/or Aaron were instrumental in the leak of the DNC emails. Giving people the benefit of the doubt, it seemed that it was simply impossible for most folks to believe there could be a thing called professional, bias-free analysis.

The challenge was clear but, we did not think, insurmountable. We went to the unusual step of including in the text of our key VIPS Memorandum For the President of July 24, 2017. Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence, ( https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/ ) this truth-in-advertising-type notice:

“Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

“We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental. The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.”

SUBPOENA ENVY: Starting late last year, several VIPS members were served highly intrusive subpoenas on the Russian hacking issue.  I confess that, for a couple of months I had a touch of subpoena envy.  Then, alas, I was served — two subpoenas so far.

In my initial response last December to the first subpoena, I took some pains to lay out, as concisely as I could, what VIPS believes and why.  And I added enough links to help anyone seriously interested in learning the longer story of VIPS’ conclusions. The subpoena and my response was posted on raymcgovern.com, my website (see https://raymcgovern.com/?s=gottlieb ) ***

Sam, please have a look at this, including the articles I linked at the end of my response to the subpoena. After that, if you still have unanswered questions, please let me know.

***  (See raymcgovern.com website, “Text of Ray’s Subpoena Response to Aaron Rich and DNC-Affiliated Lawyers”.)

Ray McGovern