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What I Learned Last Year

By Ray McGovern

— That Bill Casey, Reagan’s CIA Director, has largely succeeded in the objective he set forth at a cabinet meeting in Feb. 1981:
“We’ll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false.”

— The media is the cornerstone of the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-MEDIA-Academia-Think-Tank) complex. Wall Street and Silicon Valley, of course, fit under that rubric — as does what has become of the Democratic (as well as the Republican) Party.

— “Trump Derangement Syndrome” also plays a significant role. The understanding accorded a broken clock — which is correct two times a day — is withheld from anything liar-in-chief Trump says. Accordingly, if he is correct in saying that he was spied upon, and that Russia-gate was a fraud (as Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has proved), well, the very suggestion that Trump might be telling the truth — if only twice a day — is anathema. (Many are astute enough to realize that this has to do with politics, not truth.)

— The most “progressive” of analysts/editors can feign an inability to understand how the deep expertise of former NSA Technical Directors and other senior NSA analysts, the revelations of Edward Snowden, and the application of the very principles of physics allowed VIPS to prove, as with a theorem, that the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked — QED. That was more than four years ago: (See: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/ .)

— Nevertheless, Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was able to hide the fact that there was no, repeat no, technical evidence that the Russians — or anyone else — hacked those DNC emails that were so embarrassing to the Clinton campaign. The head of CrowdStrike, Shawn Henry, testified to that under oath on Dec. 5, 2017; Schiff did not release his testimony until May 7, 2020, when he was forced to by the Director of National Intelligence. The NY Times has suppressed Henry’s testimony since May 7. What does that tell you? (See: https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/09/ray-mcgovern-new-house-documents-sow-further-doubt-that-russia-hacked-the-dnc/ .)

— Simply stated: Russia-gate is too big to fail. The media, the sine qua non for the MICIMATT to succeed, rule the roost. To suggest that Establishment media and politicians are being flat-out dishonest on the “threat” and the frequent “attacks” from Russia is to put yourself, ipso facto, in “Putin’s pocket”. This is dangerous.

— The possible extradition of Julian Assange poses an extremely serious threat to the freedom of the press enshrined in the first amendment, but the corporate media do not give a rat’s patootie. As long as today’s journalists/stenographers keep feeding from the trough of the Security State, and criticize those who don’t as “conspiracy theorists”, they will continue to live high on the hog.

These thoughts, including Casey’s braggadocio, were brought into bas relief yesterday, as I read “Letters from an American”, the blog of Professor Heather Cox Richardson (See:
https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/december-30-2020/comments#comment-957134 ). I wrote the following”

Professor Richardson writes:
“… Trump was eager enough to make sure a Democrat didn’t win that, according to American intelligence services, he was willing to accept the help of Russian operatives. They, in turn, influenced the election through the manipulation of new social media, amplified by what had become by then a Republican echo chamber in which Democrats were dangerous socialists and the Democratic candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was a criminal….”

This is the prevailing narrative but it is seriously mistaken. The trust placed in “American intelligence services” by Establishment media and academe is stunningly misplaced. It seems nothing was learned from their noxious collaboration in adducing pre-Iraq-war “intelligence” that was “uncorroborated, contradicted, or even nonexistent” (Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller, describing the bipartisan results of a five-year investigation). And, speaking of “non-existent”, the evidence for what Richardson writes about Russia-gate is equally “uncorroborated, contradicted, or even nonexistent”. It is, to put it politely, male bovine excrement consumed by the likes of NYT’s David Sanger (of WMD fame) and spit onto the pages of a paper that once bragged about publishing all the news that’s fit to print.

Here’s a small case study:

We no longer have to rely on what David Sanger is fed by “the American intelligence services” to figure out how blaming Russia got its big push. To experienced observers, what was happening was clear enough way back on the first day of the Democratic Party convention and the day that followed.

July 25, 2016: writer/journalist Patrick Lawrence wrote this:
“How the DNC fabricated a Russian hacker conspiracy to deflect blame for its email scandal,” https://www.salon.com/2016/07/25/shades_of_the_cold_war_how_the_dnc_fabricated_a_russian_hacker_conspiracy_to_deflect_blame_for_its_email_scandal/ (For more on this, see: https://raymcgovern.com/2020/09/30/uh-oh-was-hrc-behind-the-russian-dnc-hack-canard/ )

July 26, 2016: This day saw the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services”, according to a letter from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sept. 29, 2020. (https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/09-29-20_Letter%20to%20Sen.%20Graham_Declassification%20of%20FBI’s%20Crossfire%20Hurricane%20Investigations_20-00912_U_SIGNED-FINAL.pdf .)


In his letter Radcliffe indicates that, according to then-CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten notes, Brennan briefed President Obama and other senior officials on this information, which came from “Russian intelligence analysis”. The Russian analysis was deemed serious enough that on Sept. 7, 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding “U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server.” James Comey testified on Oct. 30, 2020 that this does not “ring a bell”.
(https://consortiumnews.com/2020/10/05/ray-mcgovern-comeys-amnesia-
makes-senate-session-an-unforgettable-hop-skip-jump-to-fraud/
)

July 26, 2016: David Sanger, the NYT’s Chief Washington Correspondent, shows that he “got the Memo”. Sanger co-authors an article with Eric Schmitt titled: “Spy Agency Consensus Grows That Russia Hacked D.N.C.”
(See: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/27/us/politics/spy-agency-consensus-grows-that-russia-hacked-dnc.html .)
“WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have ‘high confidence’ that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence.”

About Sanger: those who were alert before the Iraq war may remember that David Sanger was second only to Judith Miller in spreading the party line on the existence of WMD in Iraq.  For example, Sanger apparently “got the Memo” from his intelligence leakers shortly after July 20, 2002, when then-CIA Director George Tenet told his British counterpart that “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. …” (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-secret-downing-street-memo-xh9h29xhqzr )

Lapping up “intelligence” from sources in the intelligence community nine days later, Sanger’s sewing machine went into full swing weaving WMD out of whole cloth.  With co-author Thom Shanker, Sanger flat-facted WMD into Iraq no fewer than seven times in “U.S. Exploring Baghdad Strike As Iraq Option on July 29, 2002”, of July 29, 2020 (http://nytimes.com/2002/07/29/world/us-exploring-baghdad-strike-as-iraq-option.html ).

Fast forward to 2016: In my view, Trump won in 2016 mostly because too many Americans saw Mrs. Clinton as a deeply flawed candidate.  Perhaps enough voters saw through the “Russia-hacked” diversion and actually read some of the DNC emails showing how Bernie was cheated out of the nomination — maybe enough disenchanted Bernie supporters to make a difference and give clown Trump the edge in key states.  Attentive voters (who read more than the Establishment media) could also see that Clinton was let off the hook by the same Security State seniors who did their best to sabotage Trump as candidate (and then succeeded in emasculating him as president).  But you will not read about this in what has become of the New York Times regurgitating leaks from “American intelligence services”.

Empathy

I’m trying to understand.  I am from New York City, was educated there, and I remember how much trust most of us put in the NY Times several decades ago. Most of my well educated friends still believe it publishes all the news that’s fit to print — and that if it’s not in the Times it didn’t happen and cannot be true.  And Trump Derangement Syndrome makes it virtually impossible for them to believe that anything Trump has claimed — like Russia-gate being a hoax — could possibly be true.

In addition, I am aware that my intelligence veteran friends and I enjoy the freedom of not having to teach, administer and mark exams, and navigate university bureaucracies.  I appreciate that, truly, just as I did during the many years I spent as a CIA analyst.

But still.  Well, let me put it this way: What are we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and the work we have painstakingly put forward on these neuralgic issues? Chopped liver?

I close with Voltaire and John Adams:

“If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.”  Voltaire

“Be not intimidated… nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.” John Adams

FBI: Another Fraud on the Court?

By Ray McGovern, Dec. 21, 2020

Can the FBI be trusted?  You decide, but only after you learn about the Bureau’s most recently revealed fraud on the court.

Establishment media are ignoring the latest FBI flip-flop (surprise, surprise); they are reporting instead that incoming president Joe Biden wants Christopher Wray to stay on as FBI director? What’s that all about?

Again, you decide after reading what follows.  The latest known FBI caper involves hiding materials regarding the neuralgic, (dont-even-think-about-it) issue of why the Democratic National Committee 27 year-old insider, Seth Rich, was murdered on July 10, 2016.

Media coverage of L’Affaire Rich has been so scant in recent years that some background seems needed to grasp the facts, their relevance, and the implications for the ever-increasing immunity enjoyed by the Security (aka Deep) State.  Those generally aware of some of the detail may find this background a helpful refresher. Those who wish to can scroll down for a discussion of the most recent episode of FBI malfeasance.

Context

On June 12, 2016, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced he had “emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.”  Those emails had been copied in late May 2016 onto an external storage device (probably a thumb drive) and given to WikiLeaks.

— On July 10, 2016, Seth Rich was shot and killed.  The motive was said to be robbery, but nothing is known to have been taken from him.

— On July 22, 2016, three days before the Democratic National Convention began, WikiLeaks published the DNC emails.

There was speculation at the time that Seth Rich was involved in the leak of the damaging emails (which showed how the DNC had stacked the deck against Bernie Sanders), and that perhaps the leaker had been identified by DNC cyber-sleuths.

Adding fuel to the fire, on August 9 2016, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange publicly implied that Rich may have been a WikiLeaks’ source. ( See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G21u6YnLoA ) That same day, WikiLeaks announced “a $20,000 reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich”.  (See: https://www.businessinsider.com/wikileaks-20000-seth-rich-dnc-2016-8 )

An Insider, Not Russia

On Dec. 12, 2016, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) formally ruled out, on technical grounds, the possibility that the Russians “hacked” those DNC emails.  Drawing on the expertise of former technical directors at NSA, material revealed by Edward Snowden, and applying the principles of physics, VIPS concluded that:

“… the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone … with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC.” (See: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/ )

A year later on Dec. 5, 2017, Shawn Henry, the head of the cyber-security firm CrowdStrike hired by the DNC (and highly touted by then-FBI Director James Comey) to do the forensics, testified under oath that there was “no concrete evidence” the emails were hacked — by the Russians or by anyone else.)  (See:  https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/09/ray-mcgovern-new-house-documents-sow-further-doubt-that-russia-hacked-the-dnc/ )

 AND

( https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/sh21.pdf ). The supplementary “circumstantial” evidence that Mr. Henry adduced to blame Russia could not pass a smell test by anyone with a nose in working order.

But House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff did not release Henry’s testimony until May 7, 2020.  Establishment media picked up where Schiff left off and have been hiding Henry’s testimony since May 7.

Seth Rich

By almost all accounts, Seth Rich had excellent access to DNC computers. But the possibility that he played a role in leaking the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, and then paid for it with his life, proved too much for Official Washington to handle.  Besides, the “Russian hack” canard was not only a handy way to attribute Mrs. Clinton’s loss to Russian interference and to prove Donald Trump wrong on Russia.

It also proved a convenient way to divert attention from the fate that befell Rich.  What would happen to the Russia-did-it story that media hacks were pushing, if it became widely known that there was a simpler way to explain how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks. (Julian Assange had denied strongly that any state actor was involved.) 

Oddly, President Obama himself was not fully persuaded by the rump, misnomered “Intelligence Community Assessment” (written by “hand-picked” analysts from FBI, CIA, and NSA), that pinned the “hack” on Russia.  At his last press conference, less than two weeks after being fully briefed on the Assessment’s “high-confidence” findings, Obama pointed out that one of its conclusions — how the DNC emails reached WikiLeaks — was “inconclusive”. ( See: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/20/obama-admits-gap-in-russian-hack-case/ ).

As to the killing of Rich, there was no official investigation worthy of the name — despite a host of anomalies and unanswered questions.  Those who did try to look into it, and were willing to raise speculative hypotheses anathema to the official narrative, were branded “conspiracy theorists”. The same thing happened to highly experienced scientists who applied the principles of physics and took advantage of highly relevant information revealed by Edward Snowden.  Here’s one telling example of swords drawn by pundit mercenaries enlisted to promote the Establishment narrative — the (Democratic) party line, if you will — on Russia’s 2016 “hack”.

Risen on “Rising”

Erstwhile investigative journalist James Risen, now apparently a self-styled expert on the forensics of hacking, brought up Seth Rich during an interview on “Rising” on Aug. 5, 2019.  Risen charged that VIPS’s widely respected former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney (primary author of the Dec. 12, 2016 VIPS Memo) had gone into “conspiracy theory mode”.

The charitable explanation is that Risen had not performed due diligence by doing his homework before the interview.  Had he taken the trouble to read the December 12, 2016 VIPS Memo (with its revealing embedded charts from Edward Snowden), Risen would have known that it is not a matter of what Binney and the other NSA alumni in VIPS believe, it is what theyproved in writing four years ago — proved, as in QED. (See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OxZEhN9RBY

(The relevant part of Risen’s remarks runs from minutes 2:34 to 4:00.) Risen, by the way, is still at it ( See: https://theintercept.com/2020/12/23/assange-snowden-whistleblower-pardons-espionage/  AND  https://theintercept.com/2020/10/21/trump-presidency-summary/ ).

Question Most Awkward: If It Wasn’t the Russians …

By late last year, Seth Rich’s family was suing just about anyone who wrote or implied that Seth might have played a role in leaking the DNC emails.  As VIPS kept reporting new technical evidence that the culprit was not Russia, the avoid-at-any-cost, awkward question kept raising its ugly head. “If it wasn’t the Russians, then who gave those emails to WikiLeaks?”  There was only one known insider candidate, but mentioning his name could get you sued by a family with seemingly unlimited funds to pay lawyers close to the Democratic party.

There were even … dare I say conspiracy theorists? … like an erstwhile British investigative reporter in the mold of the latter-day James Risen, who implied that we were — whether witting, or duped — agents of the Kremlin.  And so began a witch hunt into the computers of those VIPS members most directly involved.  In the fall of 2019, 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 — not once but twice.  In my initial response last December to the first subpoena, I took some pains to lay out, as concisely as I could, what VIPS had proven 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 to the first subpoena.  ( See: https://raymcgovern.com/?s=subpoena.)

FBI Comes Clean — John Ehrlichman-Style

The expression “modified limited hangout” coined by Nixon adviser John Ehrlichman seems an apt description for what the FBI did two weeks ago when it blithely reversed an earlier sworn FBI Declaration that it had no records on Seth Rich. Readers of the barren Establishment media will be surprised to learn that, after three years of denial — the last two under Director Christopher Wray — the FBI has now admitted that it does, after all, have thousands of records relating to Seth Rich.  Its “initial search” has identified “approximately 50 cross-reference serials, with attachments totaling over 20,000 pages, in which Seth Rich is mentioned”, as well as “leads that indicate additional potential records that require further searching.”

The FBI also admitted to having custody of Seth Rich’s long-gone-missing laptop.  These confessions came in an unapologetic Dec. 9, 2020 letter to attorney Ty Clevenger  (See: Clevenger’s informative blog post, “FBI changes story, finally admits it has thousands of pages of documents about Seth Rich” at https://lawflog.com/?p=2410.)

In admitting to having thousands of records relating to Rich, the FBI ipso facto conceded that its Oct. 3, 2018 “Declaration”, sworn “under penalty of perjury”, was — at best — misleading. The FBI fall guy is David M. Hardy, who swore that he could find no records on Rich. (See: https://lawflog.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Hardy-Declaration.pdf .) Hardy was FBI Section Chief, Record/Information Dissemination Section, Information Management Division.  Those working for Hardy — the Hardy Boys & Girls, if you will — number in the hundreds; they appear well trained in how not to find information responsive to Freedom of Information Act requests, when zero results are the objective.

Ty Clevenger’s client, Brian Huddleston, had filed an FOIA request on April 9, 2020 for information regarding Seth Rich and Seth’s brother Aaron but initially was stiff-armed by the FBI.  Now, eight months later, thousands of records are to be made available. But wait.

Still Slow-Rolling: FBI Wants 3 More Months

“Can’t wait to find out what those magically appearing records on Seth Rich reveal,” you may be saying to yourself.

Not so fast, says the FBI which explained in its letter to Clevenger how it intends to proceed:

“At this time, FBI anticipates processing only the pages where Seth Rich is mentioned, along with perhaps another page or two in each situation to provide context. The issue right now with this batch of documents is the amount of labor required to ingest all of the material so that the responsive pages will, first, be in a page format, secondly, can be identified from among the thousands of non-responsive pages, and finally, be processed. The FBI is also currently working on getting the files from Seth Rich’s personal laptop into a format to be reviewed.  As you can imagine, there are thousands of files of many types.”

Pouring more cold water on eager anticipation, the FBI letter added, “Unfortunately, these efforts are hampered by FBI FOIA office’s reduction to a 50% staffing posture due to Covid.”

And here is an additional wet blanket for those still waiting:

“In light of the status of this search and the work left to be done, we propose an additional three months [Emphasis added] to complete the tasks described above.  At that time, we will propose a production schedule and briefing schedule.” If that were not enough to dampen spirits, the FBI adds that it “will continue to evaluate the responsiveness of these files under the FOIA.”

And one can certainly anticipate copious redactions of any politically/bureaucratically/embarrassing material.

Waiting for Godot …

Director Wray seems to have ordered the Hardy Boys & Girls to continue dragging their feet.  Let’s see; three months will take us well into the Biden administration with the Democrats calling the shots.  If, as has been reported, Joe Biden lets Christopher Wray remain as FBI director, well, Godot is likely to arrive before any significant material on Seth Rich.

… and for John Durham

In his blog entry ( See: https://lawflog.com/?p=2410 ), Ty Clevenger includes a link to an important October 12, 2020 letter ( See: https://lawflog.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2020.10.12-Letter-to-Barr-Durham-redacted-v.1.pdf ) he sent to Attorney General William Barr, US Attorney John Durham (who for the past year and a half has been investigating the FBI inquiry into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia), and Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz.  Clevenger writes that he has learned that “Durham will not be investigating whether former Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich provided DNC emails to WikiLeaks in 2016.” [Emphasis added.]

Mr. Clevenger says former FBI agent John Eckenrode explained to him that inquiry into a possible internal, non-Russian, source for the emails leaked to WikiLeaks does not have a direct bearing on Mr. Durham’s investigation.  Clevenger registered strong dissent, pointing out that “Robert Mueller himself acknowledged the possibility that the DNC emails were not transmitted remotely by email to Wikileaks, but were provided by hand delivery from someone originating in the United States.”

In his letter Clevenger notes: “Shawn Henry of Crowdstrike has testified under oath that Crowdstrike did not observe any exfiltration of emails from the DNC, but that had observed “preparation for exfiltration’, which would be consistent with a local download to a DNC user”.  Taking the gloves off, Clevenger claims that “the failure of the relevant agencies to investigate thoroughly the possibility of an internal source is an indication of the type of result-driven, error-ridden and highly damaging investigative work identified by Inspector General Horowitz in his review of various FISA abuses.”

Seymour Hersh Deposed

In his indictment of the Justice Department’s lackadaisical approach to the Seth Rich issue, Clevenger cites what Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh asserted in a deposition in a pending court case.  Hersh stated that it was “absolutely true that his source told him that Seth Rich transmitted emails to Wikileaks and requested payment”.  Hersh described his source as “very, very knowledgeable”, someone “senior” in the intelligence community, and a person Hersh had known for over 30 years.

The information provided by Hersh’s source cries out for either confirmation or denial.  Such could readily come from the National Security Agency which collects everything on the Internet. Has NSA not been asked?

Hersh said during his deposition that he had not been contacted by anyone from Robert Mueller’s team, nor from Durham’s team, nor from the Attorney General’s office.  Clevenger added the following footnote, which speaks for itself:

“Likewise, no one from the Office of Special Counsel made any attempt to interview Julian Assange”, even though Assange had hinted that Seth Rich might have been a source for the DNC emails: “As far as I can determine, nobody from Mr. Durham’s team, the FBI, nor the Justice Department has made any attempt to interview Mr. Assange … even though Mr. Assange would know better than anyone else how and from whom he obtained the emails.”  VIPS called attention to this strange anomaly as soon as the Mueller report was released ( See: 

“VIPS Fault Mueller Probe, Criticize Refusal to Interview Assange”, https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/16/vips-fault-mueller-probe-criticize-refusal-to-interview-assange/ ). 

Attorney General William Barr, who jumped ship on Dec. 23, has left John Durham to an unenviable, uncertain future.  ( See: https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2020/12/04/barr-kicks-durham-can-down-the-street/ .) 

So, Were the “Investigations” a Sham?

Seems so, from the looks of it.  By all appearances, the top officials at the Justice Department, the FBI, and intelligence agencies who — for political purposes —  conjured up the “Russian hack”, emasculated Trump, and led the U.S. into a new Cold War with Russia will walk free.  Section Chief David Hardy may get a slap on the wrist or a letter of reprimand in his personnel file.  And it is a safe bet that FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who committed an earlier fraud on the court, by altering a consequential email relating to a FISA application, is not likely to face much, if any, jail time.

Presumably, many senior law enforcement and intelligence officials eagerly await the arrival of President Joe Biden, who has zero incentive to hold them accountable for what they did over the last four years.  (As if any president would be courageous or foolish enough to try to hold them accountable, in any case).

Biden has been on the Washington scene for so many years that he does not need Sen. Chuck Schumer to warn him — as Schumer warned President-elect Donald Trump indirectly via Rachel Maddow on Jan. 3, 2017 — not to get crosswise with the “intelligence community”, noting that it has six ways to Sunday to get back at you. (See: https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/schumer-trump-being-really-dumb-to-fight-with-intel-agencies-847022147815 .)

President Donald Trump’s weird combination of arrogance, ineptitude, and naïveté made him an easy target. As the years went by, it became clearer and clearer that the president was not really in charge. The Security State is riding higher than ever.  And that’s not good. 

Russia-gate Limps On

On Wednesday Ray addressed the latest episode of Russia-gate with Aaron Mate of “Push Back”. (See:  https://youtube.com/watch?v=GfmiCfg3uX0&feature=youtu.be ).
The walking-wounded Russia-gate limps along — witness how many former functionaries will still sign on to anything Clapper/Brennan sponsor and give to a hungry Establishment media to regurgitate.

It was a relaxed, free-wheeling interview.  A lot of ground can be covered in 40 minutes when your interviewer is as sharp, objective, and well informed as Aaron. He and Ray dissected the lame claim by Clapper, Brennan, and other ex-intelligence officials that the information on Hunter’s hard drive “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation”. ( See: https://politico.com/news/2020/10/19/hunter-biden-story-russian-disinfo-430276 .)

How odd.  Both the Director of National Intelligence and the FBI were quick to point out that they have zero evidence of that.  Clapper, Brennan & Associates, Adam Schiff, and the NY Times are still making stuff up. And Trump lacks the guts to face them down. 

Not to worry; former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin tells us we should be grateful; in his inimitable words: “Thank God for the Deep State.”

Uh-oh: Was HRC Behind the “Russian DNC Hack” Canard?

Uh-oh: Was HRC Behind the “Russian DNC Hack” Canard?
By Ray McGovern, Sept. 30, 2020

The “Russian hack”, it turns out, was apparently HRC’s love child.

https://judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/09-29-20_Letter%20to%20Sen.%20Graham_Declassification%20of%20FBI’s%20Crossfire%20Hurricane%20Investigations_20-00912_U_SIGNED-FINAL.pdf

We thought — and wrote — so from the very start. Yet, yesterday’s report came as a surprise to the few who saw or heard about it.  Turns out, though, that the Russians were aware; and so were top U.S. intelligence officials.

=======================

A MUST READ: Real-pro journalists can quickly pinpoint the woman/man behind the curtain and figure out who is working the levers. So it was with Patrick Lawrence, whose initial take was a “grand slam” — in more ways than won.

======================

Hillary Clinton’s PR honcho, Jennifer Palmieri, inadvertently revealed the agitprop game plan on the “Russian hack” of the DNC, with an odd kind of naive pride; April 2017

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Ray asks Adam Schiff about the evidence on “Russian hacking”
Jan. 25, 2017 (2 minutes)

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Can You Handle the Truth on Russia-gate?
(Maybe now they can; maybe.)
Ray in Seattle, Aug. 4, 2018. Yes, it was clear by then.

=====================

Please tell the two or three of your friends who may still have an open mind.

Tilting With Windmills

A Stillborn Letter to the NYT, from Ray

Since he has been so critical of the NY Times, Ray thought, in all fairness, he would give the Times a chance to fess up on how the Gray Lady has become a woman of easy virtue when it comes to Russia-gate.  Ray took some pain to adhere to the required NYT rubrics and was careful to keep the word count down below the limit; he also tried to be respectful — gentle, even.  But, alas, his letter (text follows) did not appear.  It has now been 110 days since it was revealed that Crowdstrike fessed up in December 2017.

August 16, 2020
To the Editor:
Re “Ex-F.B.I. Lawyer Expected to Plead Guilty in Review of Russia Inquiry” (Aug 15, p. A16)
(https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/14/us/politics/kevin-clinesmith-durham-investigation.html)

Reporting on the false data given the surveillance court, Adam Goldman notes that US Attorney John Durham “has also been examining the intelligence community’s most explosive conclusion … that President Vladimir V. Putin intervened to benefit Mr. Trump.”

That “most explosive conclusion” is a dud. Its propellant was an “assessment”, sans evidence, that Russia hacked the DNC emails. That was defused by horse’s-mouth-type congressional testimony by Shawn Henry, president of the cyber firm CrowdStrike. Asked by Rep. Adam Schiff on Dec. 5, 2017 for “the date on which the Russians exfiltrated the data”, Mr. Henry admitted, “We just don’t have the evidence that says it actually left.”

The FBI let CrowdStrike do the forensics on what was being called an “act of war”. Ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was still claiming in Nov. 2018, “The forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done.”

Mr. Schiff kept Mr. Henry’s testimony secret until May 7, 2020 — 100 days ago.

Ray McGovern
Raleigh, NC
Chief, CIA’s Soviet Analysis Branch (1970s)
Morning briefer of the President’s Daily Brief (1981-1985)

NO FORENSIC EVIDENCE RUSSIA HACKED DNC EMAILS

Hey, NYTimes! Tell Us Why This Is Not ‘Fit to Print’
By Ray McGovern, August 21, 2020

It has been 105 days since Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, was forced to release sworn testimony by Shawn Henry, President of Crowdstrike, admitting there was no forensic evidence that the DNC emails so damaging to Hillary Clinton were hacked — by Russia or anyone else.  ( See: https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/09/ray-mcgovern-new-house-documents-sow-further-doubt-that-russia-hacked-the-dnc/  )

The following excerpts from Henry’s testimony speak for themselves. The dialogue is not a paragon of clarity; but if read carefully, even cyber neophytes can understand: 

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Ranking Member Mr. [Adam] Schiff: Do you know the date on which the Russians exfiltrated the data from the DNC? … when would that have been?

Mr. Henry: Counsel just reminded me that, as it relates to the DNC, we have indicators that data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have no indicators that it was exfiltrated (sic). … There are times when we can see data exfiltrated, and we can say conclusively. But in this case, it appears it was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don’t have the evidence that says it actually left.

Mr. [Chris] Stewart of Utah: Okay. What about the emails that everyone is so, you know, knowledgeable of? Were there also indicators that they were prepared but not evidence that they actually were exfiltrated?

Mr. Henry: There’s not evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. There’s circumstantial evidence … but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. … 

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“QED”, said former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney.  “Quod erat demonstrandum: that which was to be demonstrated” (for those a bit stale in the old rubrics of geometry).

We in VIPS had been saying what Shawn Henry finally admitted since Dec. 12, 2016.  See: US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims, ( https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/  ).

Finally, we thought, the truth emerges.  Better late than never — and how late it was!

Sadly, we have not yet seen the end of the wait.  The Establishment media story that Russia hacked the DNC emails is too big to fail.  CrowdStrike’s admission had been suppressed.  We feel as though we are waiting for Godot.

Shawn Henry testified under oath on Dec. 5, 2017, but it was not until May 7, 2020 — TWO AND A HALF YEARS LATER — that he was forced to release Henry’s testimony, parts of which actually do merit the usually-overused term “bombshell”.  How, we wondered, would the NY Times and other Establishment media handle this puncture of the hot air balloon named “Russian hack of the DNC”?

Well, it turns out that a quick-reaction “bombshell removal team” was summoned into action to defuse and bury both bomb and shell.  Readers of the Times and other “mainstream” media have been prevented from learning of the CrowdStrike president’s testimony.  Incredibly, the MSM seem to be on their way to duplicate Adam Schiff’s two-and-a-half year deep-sixing caper — only 26 months to go.

On August 18, Lee Camp invited Ray onto “Redacted Tonight” to discuss this, Julian Assange plight, and other front-burner issues.  Lee, a comedian by trade, was in a deadly serious mode, having done serious homework, asking serious questions.

By the way, one of his best programs aired three years ago, after Patrick Lawrence told “the saga of the missing hack” in an excellent article in The Nation, which raised hackles among the HWHW (Hillary Would Have Won) partisans there.  Lee’s coverage of the hack canard then is a hoot.  I’ll include a link to that one below the interview this week.

Here’s the link to my interview (Tuesday) that aired yesterday:

Julian Assange Prosecution an “Abomination” Says Former CIA Man

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfqrD3vd14I.

August 20, 2020, 16 minutes

_____________________________

And below is the link to the Lee Camp-McGovern Interview 3 years ago. With artful use of video clips; enjoy!

Intelligence Analysts Say Russia Didn’t Hack U.S. Election

August 26, 2017 (16 minutes)

For extra credit:

1 —

Former CIA Analyst on the Agency’s History of Lying to the Public

September 7, 2017 (21:40 minutes)

2 —

Lack of a Hack: for Dummies

August 5, 2020

https://raymcgovern.com/2020/08/05/lack-of-a-hack-for-dummies/.

Finally: Some good advice on “accommodating”:  Huckleberry Finn’s black friend, Big Jim, answers Huck’s question about accommodating to the conventional wisdom — in this case on slavery: ”Just because … everybody believes it’s right, that don’t make it right.”

Just because almost everyone believes the political hacks, hacking the Russian-hack story, that don’t make it true.

Lack of a Hack: For Dummies

By Ray McGovern

What? DNC Emails Not Hacked By Russia?  Comedian Lee Camp explained it all three years ago.  If you need some comic relief right away, feel free to avoid the turgid prose below and scroll right down to the highlighted links below.

The vast majority of Americans can be forgiven for still believing that Russia hacked the DNC emails and gave them to WikiLeaks. This is largely because they have no way of knowing that Shawn Henry, head of the cyber company CrowdStrike which the DNC hired to do the forensics on the DNC computers, has admitted that there was/is no concrete evidence that those DNC emails were hacked — by Russia or by anyone else.

Henry admitted this in sworn testimony to the House Intelligence Committee on December 5, 2017.  Do the math: was that was 32 months ago?  But his testimony was kept secret until House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D, California) was forced to release it on May 7, 2020. Do the math: was that three months ago?  And you still haven’t heard?

Here’s how Mr. Henry answered a leading question from then-ranking member Schiff on December 5, 2017:

Mr. Schiff: Do you know the date on which the Russians exfiltrated the data from the DNC? … when would that have been?

Mr. Henry: Counsel just reminded me that, as it relates to the DNC, we have indicators that data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have no indicators that it was exfiltrated (sic). … There are times when we can see data exfiltrated, and we can say conclusively. But in this case, it appears it was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don’t have the evidence that says it actually left.”

You would think that the media — including the legacy corporate media — would have jumped on the release of that bombshell testimony.  And you would be wrong in thinking that.  You would think that surely the alternative media would report it — wrong again. This makes it more understandable that so few Americans take the trouble to look into how they have been misled on this neuralgic issue.  It’s over: Fagettaboutit!

Almost no one in the media — legacy or alternative — wants to risk being seen as supporting President Trump, and few are willing to have their belief system punctured — not to mention their residual trust in organs like the formerly reputable New York Times.  We VIPS, too, have no interest in being seen as supporting Trump.  But the “mainstream media” have shown they cannot be trusted.  As for us VIPS, we cannot seem to shake our ingrained proclivity to seek and tell the truth, without fear of favor — even though friends and family cannot understand why we would write “anything that might help Trump.” (See: https://raymcgovern.com/2020/08/05/losing-friends-confusing-others/ .)

That we got this key issue right, as we did on the issue of the (non-existent) WMD in Iraq is of little consequence.  We take zero delight in having been right about either Iraq or Russia-gate; we don’t do victory laps.  Just look at what is still at stake!  And, still, so few award.  Are you not disturbed at how the corporate media is able to suppress key facts like Shawn Henry’s testimony 32 months ago … and, sadly, virtually all of the “alternative media” as well?

Need a Good Laugh?

For those who prefer video over turgid prose, we resurrect two episodes featuring comedian Lee Camp, who uses humor and some precious video clips to illustrate the points VIPS was making three years ago.  Full Disclosure: Lee did not consult with any of us VIPS in preparing his segment.  Rather, he took the time to understand what VIPS wrote in our key Memorandum for the President of July 24, 2017. ( See:  https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/ .) That a comedian could grasp the main points, when others with more ostensibly “serious” credentials did not seem willing/able to grasp them, speaks volumes.

Camp took a month to prepare the following segment.  Perhaps his presentation will go down easier with those reluctant to read VIPS memos:

Intelligence Analysts Say Russia Didn’t Hack U.S. Election

August 26, 2017 (16 minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGp3tFrtyCo

Two weeks later, Lee interviewed me to elaborate on “Russia hacking” and related issues:

Former CIA Analyst on the Agency’s History of Lying to the Public

September 7, 2017 (21:40 minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASeiY-jnxIQ&t=1307s

In sum, Lee Camp had assimilated — and acted out — the gist of it three years ago.  Refer these links to your friends — particularly his spoof of August 26, 2017.  Lots more can be found on Consortium News ( https://consortiumnews.com/vips-memos/ ) and on raymcgovern.com, both of which have easily usable search capabilities.

Here are links to two others you might include:

Finally: Some good advice on “accommodating”:  Huckleberry Finn’s black friend, Big Jim, answers Huck’s question about accommodating to the conventional wisdom — in this case on slavery: ”Just because … everybody believes it’s right, that don’t make it right.”

Just because virtually everyone believes the hacks who hacked the Russian-hack story, that don’t make it true.

Russia-gate’s Guccifer 2.0 “Unmasked”

Is Obamagate a figment of Trump’s imagination? Does Trump dare ask who is behind “Guccifer 2.0”?https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/21/guccifer-2-0s-hidden-agenda/

Binney/McGovern do intrusive autopsy/dissection of the various “-Gates” with Gate-keepers Lauria & Vos. Watch CN Live; see if you can handle the truth. It is now, as Adam Schiff used to say (about his alternative truth), “in plain sight.”
https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/25/cn-live-new-episode-russiagate-who-was-guccifer-2-0-watch-the-replay/