By Ray McGovern, May 11, 2020
The commission I received from Consortium News to write about the newly revealed House Intelligence Committee testimony by Shawn Henry, head of CrowdStrike, came with a caution to avoid taking victory laps waving the flag of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. (Here is a link to the article that emerged: https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/09/ray-mcgovern-new-house-documents-sow-further-doubt-that-russia-hacked-the-dnc/ ).
As readers of Consortium News and of raymcgovern.com know, VIPS has been poking forks into the red herring of “Russian pre-2016-election hacking of the DNC emails” for three and a half years. In the process, we have called attention to the tarnished reputation of CrowdStrike, a viscerally anti-Russian cyber-security firm that has had to retract erroneous forensic findings in the past. We have also noted that, like former British intelligence sleuth Christopher Steele, CrowdStrike was paid by the Democrats; and that, instead of ordering the FBI to investigate, Comey chose to defer to CrowdStrike to look into the alleged Russian “hack”.
Tucker Carlson “Gets It”
Our conclusions have made us lepers — not to be touched by “respectable” mainstream media — at least until Tucker Carlson had the courage to look into it, and — to his credit — not for the first time. His Friday evening comments are instructive ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imhbncy9RJg&t=304s ).
Consortium News editor’s caution was understandable, given the predictable cognitive dissonance would greet any additional proof that “what everybody believes” about Russian-hacking of the DNC has been a lie. Thus, my article was given an understated title: “New House Documents Sow Further Doubt That Russia Hacked the DNC.”
“Russia-gate: Can You Handle the Truth?” is title I gave to a talk I gave to a progressive audience in Seattle on August 4, 2018. ( See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngIKjpucQh8 — with 222,000 views.). It turned out that most of them could not handle it. I should not have been surprised. Far too many who still believe that the NY Times still publishes “all the news that’s fit to print” will refuse to face the newly revealed facts pouring out of the freshly disclosed testimony of the 53 witnesses called by House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff and then covered up by him until last Thursday.
Intelligence Analysis vs. Punditry
It seems impossible for many people to understand the truth-in-advertising-type notice that VIPS was careful to place in the text of its key 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/ ). We gave it the college try to help readers appreciate the difference between honest intelligence analysis by former practitioners and talking heads. Here’s what we included in our Memorandum to the President:
“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.”
So if the Russians did not give the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, who did? There is a relatively well known candidate, but mentioning his or his brother’s name can get you sued by a family with apparently unlimited funds to pay lawyers close to the Democratic party. Go figure.
Starting late last year, several VIPS members were served highly intrusive subpoenas on the Russian hacking issue. I shall 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. Readers may wish to skim through my response, which follows:
Raymond L. McGovern
Michael J. Gottlieb
C/O Graebe Hanna & Sullivan, PLLC
4350 Lassiter at North Hills Ave., Suite 375
Raleigh, NC 27609
Re: Subpoena, Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-00681-RJL
Aaron Rich Plaintiff v Edward Butowsky et al.
Dear Mr Gottlieb:
Reference is made to “Document request No. 1,” to wit:
All Documents and Communications, excluding any Documents or Communications that you have published in public sources, relating to claims that (1) the Democratic National Committee was not hacked by the Russians in 2016 or (2) that the Democratic National Committee data was “leaked” and not “hacked,” including but not limited to claims made in memos by members of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (“VIPS”) found on line at
It is gratifying to see the subpoena highlight three of the key Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) Memoranda for the President (two to Barack Obama and one to Donald Trump), in which we applied the principles of physics and forensic science to show that the DNC emails were leakedin spring 2016 — not given to WikiLeaks via a hack by Russia or by anyone else. For the past three years, we have been trying to call attention to those findings.
I would call particular attention to the second referenced Memoranda (the one addressed to President Obama on January 17, 2017 entitled “A Key Issue [namely, Russian ‘hacking’ given to WikiLeaks] That Still Needs to be Resolved”). The following day Obama actually addressed that issue at a press conference, when he conceded that the intelligence community had no idea how the DNC emails reached WikiLeaks.
Although Obama was thoroughly briefed less than two weeks before by the rump intelligence-community trio of James Comey, John Brennan, and James Clapper, Obama was not buying their “Russian-hack-to-WikiLeaks” high-confidence assessment. At a public meeting on November 13, 2018, I asked James Clapper why his then-boss saw fit to call the trio’s “conclusions” on that key issue “inconclusive.” Clapper replied: “I can’t explain what he [Obama] said or why. But I can tell you we’re, we’re pretty sure we know, or knew at the time, how WikiLeaks got those emails.”
Pretty sure? Someone should ask Obama why he injected his surprising disclaimer into that press conference two days before he left town.
Also worthy of note is that, in our Memorandum to President Obama of December 12, 2016 entitled “Allegations of Hacking Election Are Baseless,” we told him that the evidence we already had could save Congress from “partisanship, expense, and unnecessary delay.” That time, the president chose not to listen.
President Trump, on the other hand, apparently was listening to what we told him in the third Memorandum cited in the subpoena — “Was the Russian ‘Hack’ an Inside Job?” (July 24, 2017). We told him this:
The January 6  “Intelligence Community Assessment” by “hand-picked” analysts from the FBI, CIA, and NSA seems to fit into the same agenda-driven category. It is largely based on an “assessment,” not supported by any apparent evidence, that a shadowy entity with the moniker “Guccifer 2.0” hacked the DNC on behalf of Russian intelligence and gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks.
The recent forensic findings mentioned above have put a huge dent in that assessment and cast serious doubt on the underpinnings of the extraordinarily successful campaign to blame the Russian government for hacking. …
You may wish to ask CIA Director Mike Pompeo what he knows about this. Our own lengthy intelligence community experience suggests that it is possible that neither former CIA Director John Brennan, nor the cyber-warriors who worked for him, have been completely candid with their new director regarding how this all went down.
We were gratified when the President ordered then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo to invite Bill Binney to CIA Headquarters to brief him on our findings. Binney did so on October 24, 2017 with his typically no-holds-barred explanation of our findings and of how Pompeo’s subordinates were being less than candid. There is no sign, however, that Pompeo followed up — by pursuing the matter with his own analysts, or by giving President Trump a report on the Binney-Pompeo meeting.
Our findings are a matter of public record, as is the evidence we adduce to support those findings. My colleagues Bill Binney, Ed Loomis, and Skip Folden tell me they have already provided tons of material in response to subpoenas like the one I received more recently than they did. Since all of my relevant email correspondence included at least one of those three colleagues, you already are in possession of what you ask from me.
It is true that I cannot be sure that my colleagues have included — as required by the subpoena — all their “comments, ‘likes’, ‘shares’, direct messages, all Social Media activity.” In any case, please be assured that I have never “liked” or “shared” or direct messaged.
That should take care of “Document request No. 1.”
I infer that plaintiff Aaron Rich, having read the three VIPS memos mentioned in the subpoena, has become convinced that the evidence that Russia was responsible for intruding into the DNC and giving the emails to WikiLeaks is spurious; that someone may have thought that Aaron’s brother Seth had something to do with how WikiLeaks got the emails; and that this may account for why Seth was murdered. I applaud Aaron’s apparent interest in putting the Russian story in the category of not-supported-by-evidence and assume he will redouble his efforts to find out who killed his brother.
Please pass along this one suggestion to Aaron: He might consider trying to pry loose Seth’s computer which reportedly is in the hands of the FBI. Department of Justice Michael Horowitz’s recent findings show that the FBI has long had a dog in this fight and has made many “mistakes” — all of them in support of that canine. In recent days, even Attorney General William Barr has made clear his distrust of ex-FBI Director James Comey. In conveying this to Aaron, please also ensure that he receives the following list of links to supplemental reading. And please consider this responsive to “Document Request No. 2” —“All documents and Communications relating to any member of the Rich family.”
Last, let me express my personal solidarity with Aaron Rich in his search to find out who killed Seth, and wish him success. Aaron’s effort strikes me not only as exemplary, but in close keeping with the biblical mandate to be “my brother’s keeper.”
While the three VIPS memos cited in the subpoena are well chosen as reference points, I list below, as a courtesy, additional links to relevant articles for further background. Most of them shed light on the analysis VIPS has been devoting to this issue — for three years now, and counting.
Links to Further Information/Analysis (Listed in Chronological Order): Particular attention is directed toward the last entry, which links to a detailed technical study just completed regarding “Guccifer 2.0.”
Raymond L. McGovern
December 21, 2019