Putin has been very busy

What exactly constitutes "meddling"? And when did "meddling" become something to fear?
Did you ever hear anyone use the term outside of Scooby-Doo before 2016?
And the fact that they use the term "meddling" instead of "hacking" or "rigging" speaks volumes.

What constitutes a "hack" is also problematic.
Consider this breathless description of a Russian cyberattack on our elections.

As these deliberations were underway, more troubling intelligence got reported to the White House: Russian-linked hackers were probing the computers of state election systems, particularly voter registration databases. The first reports to the FBI came from Illinois. In late June, its voter database was targeted in a persistent cyberattack that lasted for weeks. The attackers were using foreign IP addresses, many of which were traced to a Dutch company owned by a heavily tattooed 26-year-old Russian who lived in Siberia. The hackers were relentlessly pinging the Illinois database five times per second, 24 hours a day, and they succeeded in accessing data on up to 200,000 voters.

Ooohhhh, scary.
Let's break this down a bit: "relentlessly pinging the Illinois database five times per second, 24 hours a day" means absolutely nothing at all.

First of all, you don't "ping a database". You ping a database server.

Secondly, pinging something five time a second, 24 hours a day, is not a hack. It's a denial of service attack, and if its only done by one computer it means less than nothing.
I could make my laptop do this with a single command. You don't have to be a hacker.

Thirdly, how this turned into hackers accessing data on up to 200,000 voters is a mystery the article doesn't explain, or prove. So I looked here.

According to the letter sent to Illinois voters by the Board of Elections, “We have found no evidence that they added, changed, or deleted any information in the database. Their efforts to obtain voter signature images and voter history were unsuccessful.” It is unclear what specific information was obtained during the hacking. The Board of Elections reported that “[T]he attackers took advantage of a programming flaw in the website’s database.”

A heavily tattooed 26-year-old Russian who lives in Siberia does not scream Kremlin. It sounds like bored, criminal hacker. Thus "Russian hack" doesn't necessarily mean what it implies.
Plus, you don't put a sensitive database on a web server. The sensitive data goes on a database server.

This article stirs panic, while shedding no real light because the author obviously knows nothing about computers.

Remember back in late January when the Dutch had announced that they hacked the Russian hackers.

The Netherlands' spy service broke into the computers used by a powerful Russian hacking group and may be sitting on evidence relating to the breach of the U.S. Democratic National Committee, a Dutch newspaper and television show jointly reported Friday.
Reports carried in the respected daily Volkskrant and the current affairs show Nieuwsuur said hackers working for the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service penetrated the computers used by the group, often nicknamed Cozy Bear, in mid-2014 and watched them for at least a year, even managing to catch the hackers on camera.
"In the summer of 2015 Dutch intelligence services were the first to alert their American counterparts about the cyberintrusion of the Democratic National Committee by Cozy Bear," reported Nieuwsuur, which airs on Dutch national broadcaster NOS.

It seemed like an amazing breakthrough. This story was reported literally everywhere.
It was the smoking gun. The Democratic establishment would be vindicated.
Bloomberg called for the evidence to be released to the public.

Release the Dutch Evidence of the DNC Hack
If the Dutch intelligence service watched the Russians breach the Democratic National Committee, there's no more reason to hide the evidence.

...and then the story, which was based on anonymous sources, went away.
No evidence was ever released to the public. No one ever demanded any backing up of the claim. We simply moved on to the next outlandish claim.

Even more curious was that just three weeks earlier the news was that the Dutch were the ones that got hacked by the Russians.
Around the same time, it was reported that the UK also warned us about Russians hacking our election too. The New York Times cited “two people familiar with the conclusions” of the report.

...and then that story went away too.
Two months later this report has not been released. I'm guessing that it never will.

Remember Konstantin Kozlovsky? Last December he made a dramatic claim.

A Russian hacker has confessed, in court, to being hired by Russian state intelligence to hack the Democratic National Congress’ computer systems in 2016.
Russian website The Bell, known for a generally critical stance towards President Vladimir Putin and the corruption under his rule, reported Monday that Konstantin Kozlovsky had testified to carrying out attacks at the request of state intelligence organs, notably the FSB (the KGB-successor for which Putin himself had worked in Soviet times).
The testimony is potentially explosive, as it is a first-hand account of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election that directly contradicts Putin’s denials of any involvement.

Just like the Dutch Intelligence, this was a confession that showed Putin was a liar. What's more, he could prove it.

A jailed Russian who says he hacked into the Democratic National Committee computers on the Kremlin’s orders to steal emails released during the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign now claims he left behind a data signature to prove his assertion.

Game, set, match, amirite?
Since then Kozlovsky has claimed involvement in hacking the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Olympics Committee, and FIFA. However, one thing missing from all of this is evidence, and some are starting to question the truth of his claims.

It's curious that the FBI hasn't pursued this guy, because they certainly seem willing with other hackers.

Nikulin was detained in the Czech Republic for allegedly hacking the servers of major sites LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring between 2012 and 2013. While awaiting trial, he claims in an undated letter reportedly given to U.S. Russian-language news site Nastoyashchoe Vremya by Nikulin's lawyer, Martin Sadilek, that the FBI visited him at least a couple of times, offering to drop the charges and grant him U.S. citizenship as well as cash and an apartment in the U.S. if the Russian national confessed to participating in the 2016 hacks of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta's emails in July.

This made me think about all the Russiagate claims that were either proven false, or just discarded.
For instance, many may know that to this day the FBI has never even looked at the DNC email server.
But did you know that the FBI never even interviewed the guy who discovered the hack?

Despite his central role, Johnston has never talked with investigators probing Russian interference, let alone with the media. But to people dealing with the crisis, “He was indispensable,” as a source close to the DNC put it.
Johnston was also largely on his own. The party had hired CrowdStrike essentially in place of the FBI — to this day, the Bureau has not had access to the DNC’s servers.

This is supposedly a federal criminal case here, so why is the FBI not interested in any first-hand knowledge of the facts? When has that EVER been true?
Why should the FBI just trust a private company with a history of making false claims about Russian hacking, that it later retracted?

Putin meddled in the Italian election, and as a result, Italy Has Dumped America. For Russia.
How do we know? Because we don't like the outcome. That's the proof.
It's just the latest of a series of elections with outcomes that we don't like, and thus proof of Russian meddling.
According to the Atlantic Council, Russia backs every non-mainstream political party. This includes parties on both sides such as Syriza and Golden Dawn in Greece.

populism db.jpg

My favorite example is the French election last May.
The NSA Confirms It: Russia Hacked French Election ‘Infrastructure’
Holy sh*t! The NSA confirmed it.
Proof! Evidence! The National Security Agency director Michael Rogers said under oath that Russia hacked France's election, according to Snopes.

Just one problem: France disagreed.

The head of the French government’s cyber security agency, which investigated leaks from President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign, says they found no trace of a notorious Russian hacking group behind the attack.
In an interview in his office Thursday with The Associated Press, Guillaume Poupard said the Macron campaign hack “was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone.”
He said they found no trace that the Russian hacking group known as APT28, blamed for other attacks including on the U.S. presidential campaign, was responsible.

I'll let you guess which claim got more press.

Now let's look at the German elections.
The Cyber Threat To Germany's Elections Is Very Real
German Elections 2017: How Russia Helped AfD's Rise

That's just two of countless headlines over those dastardly Russian hackers.
Except that there was no evidence at all.


German Election Mystery: Why No Russian Meddling?

Does anyone else find that NY Times headline full of implied assumptions?

populism index.jpg

There is obviously something going on here.
Populists are on the rise in Europe and the U.S.
Normally one would assume that there was something going on globally. That the center-left has failed and abandoned the working class.
This would lead to necessary political reforms and people in the Democratic establishment losing their jobs. In the end, we would be forced to imagine a future that looked different than the world of today.

Oooorrr, we could scream "Russia!"

But we can't do both.

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Comments

CB's picture

for Trump. Some of his cyber tools have been uncovered.

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20 users have voted.

@CB
Video games! Is nothing sacred?

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16 users have voted.
CB's picture

@gjohnsit
Vlad's cyber-warriors had discovered a huge untapped voter base, hidden deep in their parent's basements, that could be persuaded to get dressed and go outside to vote. It's still unknown how Vlad's software engineers instructed them to push the correct sequence of buttons on the voting machines to get the Trump icon to jump up and down on the Hillary icon until it was pounded into the ground.

Dmitry Pavlovsky and Vadim Gerasimov, Putin's cyber-warfare master programmers, are the ones believed to have developed Hilltendo. These men have also developed the global targeting software that is found on Vlad's hyper-sonic boost-glide weaponry. The reason Russia was able to develop these weapons quickly and efficiently was because it is based on the existing Nintendo platform - which wasn't covered by the sanctions. If you have ever played a game of Tetris you will understand the similarities - the infinite spin and variable gravity control.

In fact, this software was used to put the first man into space, Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin.

The next project is going to be cute, furry bears that talk. These are programmed to whisper commands in your children's ear as they sleep.

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19 users have voted.

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit

The Russians are genetically programmed to have the Neos outclassed and they're helpless before them...

Edit: and never to miss an opportunity for a letter-typo in a short sentence... clearly, the Russians made me comment before going downstairs to make coffee - the fiends!

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

zoebear's picture

@CB

Hahahahaha!!!

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9 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

CB's picture

@zoebear

Here's two fuckwits on CNN discussing how dangerous this has been to the American mind. Dylan Byers seems to be taking this personally. He is almost in tears describing how insidious this Russian psyop is. Maybe Pokemon is his favorite video game?

[PS: The two need a little rouge on their cheeks to be more realistic.]

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zoebear's picture

@CB

Really? Linked to the Kremlin in what way? From their demented minds to their blathering assurances that it is because we should trust them?

I'm glad I don't have a television. It might kill someone when I threw it out the window.

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3 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@CB

to inform State election officials that RUSSIAN!!! HACKERS!!! had purportedly hacked generally the public pages of their election websites by scanning them, thereby 'fixing the election'.

That's just the time-period allowed for those silly public sheep to forget that State Officials had already traced the typically failed hacking attempts of Homeland Security back to source, before Homeland Security realized they weren't getting universal permission to take control of electoral rolls they'd tried to get into along with all other electoral infrastructure and unconstitutionally stole the bunch away from any chance of public oversight, independent investigation of electoral cheating or free and fair elections for the American people.

Then, just rinse and repeat the claims until brainwashing finally works.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Pricknick's picture

proof?
New definition should be combined with speculation.
It pisses off people to no end when I ask them to show me proof. It's a conversation stopper which is what I want anyways.

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23 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick
That's how you know that this isn't about laws being broken

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21 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@Pricknick and it went poof!

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9 users have voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

Arrow's picture

They even named their national dish after af him! Putine!

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12 users have voted.

I want a Pony!

CB's picture

@Arrow

BTW, we are all out of ponies. Would you accept a donkey or maybe an ass? We have a whole shitload of those available.

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QMS's picture

@CB Poutine is a French-Canadian classic that is served across Canada. It's a hearty dish of French fries, fresh cheese curds, and brown gravy. It;s famous for its "day after" curative powers

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6 users have voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

snoopydawg's picture

for so long. You'd think that they would have gotten tired of having to come up with new lies every week. But the old lies have worked because people keep repeating them. People are not asking themselves "where is the evidence for what you are saying" because they want to believe that the only way Hillary could have lost to Trump is because of outside interference. To be that invested in someone with a possible war on the horizon because of it is just so damn mind boggling.

Geebus Hillary, own up to the fact that you lost because of who you are and how people felt about you instead of keeping this false story going. History is not going to be kind to you when the books are written.

Funny how no one remembers Obama's speech to the country about how safe our elections are and that no one interfered with them just before he left office. Funny, indeed. Is it ever going to end?

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GreatLakeSailor's picture

@snoopydawg
If you slog through this whole thing, Glen makes the same point.

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The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

@GreatLakeSailor Great video. Thank you.

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snoopydawg's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

If we can't believe the president of the USA, who can we believe? Let's remember that the Russian Russia Russia started with "Russia hacked the DNC computers and gave them to Wikileaks" That's how this whole damn propaganda campaign started and it's snowballed from there. Maybe a little "Trump is Russia's puppet" during the debates because he was hinting at detente with them and Her knew that Russia regime change was on the menu. But now they are just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. Even stuff that doesn't stick is still being repeated.

Remember this? "All 17 intelligence agencies agree that Russia interfered with the election", while it was only 3 people in 2 agencies. Clapper, Brennan and...? But people are still saying that it's all 17 still.

(we need a "shaking my damn head" emoji.

Nea

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zoebear's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

Was completely on the nose. The elite powers have no interest in any kind of a national reckoning of how the Trump presidency was a product of their systematic policies where they enriched themselves and left the rest of us for dead. Instead they are maniacally perpetuating the narrative that Trump's presidency is a freakish anomaly (The Russians did it!!!) and that as soon as we get rid of Trump, America will return to being the bright city on a hill it has always been.

And let's face it, folks. Its much easier for people to believe the latter scenario, than the former one.

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12 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@snoopydawg I thought that the Russia-did-it was dying before it could take off after Obama admin claimed that the election results were valid and attempts at interference were stopped.

U.S. Officials Defend Integrity of Vote, Despite Hacking Fears
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/25/us/politics/hacking-russia-election-f...

In fact polls were taken that showed that Dems were falsing believing Russians changed the vote using the Obama admin as the standard of proof. That is when the deep staters went into action and starting just throwing anything and everything against the wall to see what would stick and to resurrect the entire conspiracy. So we got the false story about the Vermont power hack.

But themes emerged. One critical one repeated was that the Russians got into the voting systems. To solidify this narrative, Homeland Security came out publicly and stated that states were attacked or compromised. Of course states pushed back and said "bullshit". But the press has duly followed up with this about how hackers showed they could break into comupters, etc.

The deep staters do watch the reaction to their accusations to determine what works and what is not working. And alter the narrative as appropriate. The thing is that they may have overplayed the conspiracy by just the sheer volume of "stories" they have released.

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

Not only Trump supporters, but many others who are seeing it for what it is. One website (dk) are blaming Russia for the ex spy who was poisoned in the U.K.. They are saying that we need to draw a Red Line against poisoning our allies, just like Obama did with Syria. "We gotta have our allies' backs."

Seriously? One person who used to be a double agent and has been out of a Russian prison for 8 years was killed by Putin's goons?

Nea

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@snoopydawg @snoopydawg Britain seems to coming to a "come to Jesus moment" regarding the poisoning of the Russian ex-spy. Do you (the Brits) really want to go to war with Russia as the hysterical really want? Is this really some act of war? Think hard now. Remember history.

I think the poisoning was done by lunatics who hate Russia and want to draw the UK into an actual shooting war with Russia. I strongly suspect either some Ukrainian or Polish actors did this. There was alot of weapoary left behind in the Warsaw Pact countries with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Warsaw Pact countries would conduct nerve gas games using "live" weapons. These sorts of attacks under a false flag have been used in particular by the Ukrainian Nazis. I think by now the Brits have an inkling and I suspect the insane rhetoric will die down.

Edit add: About the logic of the poisoning as you point out. It seems some serious spooks in the UK are looking at the situation and saying Putin would be insane to order the poisoning. And it is crazy. Why kill a spy who the Russians traded 8 years ago and who when convicted of spying in Russia was not given the death sentence. The KGB and Russian intelligence services are not known for long jail terms for ex-agents. It ususally is fairly quick execution.

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

As to whether the U.K. would want a war with Russia, that's a good question, isn't it? I've read that they are pushing back against the sanctions we have on Russia because the prices for their gas and oil are too high because we want them to buy it from us. Now whether they are crazy enough to risk war with Russia, let's hope not. European countries are much more knowledgeable about what a war in their country is like and I would think that some type of sanity would prevail. None of us have any idea what war is like because we haven't seen one on our soil since the civil war. And look at how it is glorified by so many people. 9/11 was the closest thing we've seen on what a war would look like, but that pales in comparison to our buildings and infrastructure being bombed out.

You may be on to something about that being a false flag event perpetrated by Poland. We have been putting troops and military equipment into it for about two years or so. Gawd I hope that this is just paranoid thinking by you and I Sad (shudder) There was a reason for why we overthrew the Ukrainian government, installed the Nazis and have been shipping weapons to them and I hope it's not for some reason to do with being another country or Russia's border.

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CB's picture

@snoopydawg
and mind manipulation works. Anyone who didn't closely follow the herd was culled.

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5 users have voted.

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg
If they didn't want to own up they could just say he got sick or was attacked by another prisoner. That last would work well if he had visible bruises. They could finish with a sharpened spoon in his heart. They knew he was a spy and had him in prison. So they let him out and killed him eight years later in England?

Stupid people.

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3 users have voted.

@snoopydawg
1. It's going to take a LOT more than 16 months to restore Her's ego.

2. There is no Democratic strategy beyond TRUMP! You don't have to support single payer health care or the $15/hr. minimum wage. You can be for or against various imperialist ventures as you choose. You no longer even have to support women's reproductive health. The only requirements to be a Democrat are to assert faithfully that Her was robbed and to support the move of Pelosi or Shumer to a bigger office, and Pelosi just endorsed someone who fails the latter test. Maybe he promised never to do it again.

There are some fine Democrats in congress. But take them as a whole and you see a chaotic, incoherent mess. They don't dare go beyond TRUMP lest the differences become glaringly apparent.

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snoopydawg's picture

@FuturePassed

There is no Democratic strategy beyond TRUMP! You don't have to support single payer health care or the $15/hr. minimum wage. You can be for or against various imperialist ventures as you choose. You no longer even have to support women's reproductive health. The only requirements to be a Democrat are to assert faithfully that Her was robbed and to support the move of Pelosi or Shumer to a bigger office, and Pelosi just endorsed someone who fails the latter test. Maybe he promised never to do it again.

This is the platform that the democrats are running on. Just like Her did. "We aren't Trump or the republicans." Their MFA bill is not going anywhere as long as Trump is president and the republicans are in the majority and they can tell us whatever we want to hear because it's not going to happen. Hillary saying that she was okay with late term abortion restrictions should have ended her campaign, which should have been ended when she laughed about Gaddafi's death.

Who did Pelosi just endorse? I read that she endorsed Lipinski who everyone is trying to get voted out.

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@snoopydawg

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@snoopydawg to Hillary; she makes Nixon's pouting look graceful and endearing. I've never seen anyone who lost in politics come within lightyears of her self-pity parade.

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Bollox Ref's picture

could be as little as a foreigner commenting on a US domestic forum.

Which should worry The Guardian, as people from all over regularly comment on stories regarding Brexit and other domestic UK issues.

My God!

(Edited: The Guardian being one of the chief international proponents of 'Boo hoo, Hillary lost/Trump is scum/Russiagate')

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15 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

Both in movies and in television, hackers are shown to do miracles with just a few keystrokes. Fourteen year olds can defeat the most secure servers. See the Russians did it.

8 Most Outrageous Hacking Scenes from Movies
http://moviesonhacking.com/outrageous-hacking-scenes/

The overwhelming majority of people do not know about networks and their administration and their security. So any mumbo jumbo can convince people that "spear phishing" is a super duper technique soley used by Russians far away. Trump was actually right when he said some fat guy could have stolen Podesta's email.

I am amazed how so many highly educated people have lost all sense of skepticism and creduality. Especially after what happened with the invasion of Iraq. In many ways, I have given up on expressing fact-based skepticism because the majority of people never were convinced of Russian interference in a rational way. Every new assertion by un-named sources alluding to un-examined "facts" is enough to keep the faith going. It truly is a cult.

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13 users have voted.

But why would the DNC refuse to turn over evidence (DNC server) that would either prove or disprove their assertion(s)?
There are not too many logical answers to that question.
#1 The evidence of Russian hacking doesn't exist on the DNC server.
#2 Other evidence on the server points to DNC wrongdoing they don't want revealed.
#3 Wimpy excuses about personal information etc., which would all be redacted, that would allow the truth to be found.
Imagine if a regular person in a regular situation made accusations but refused to provide the evidence. They would be either forced to stop making the accusation(s) or turn over the evidence.
No one can make accusations then refuse to turn over the evidence that would either prove or disprove their assertion(s).
That's a disqualifier.
The fact the DNC refuses to turn over the server speak volumes.
The answer should be "Put up or shut up".

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18 users have voted.

Mike Taylor

snoopydawg's picture

@Mike Taylor

If the intelligence agencies were going to make their case on the DNC computers hack, then why wouldn't people ask why the FBI didn't look at the computers? This seems to be the logical question that people are not asking. As has been stated many times, CrowdStrike was in charge of the DNC computers and they were a Ukrainian company whose CEOs were anti Russia. Of course there is much more to this story, but we can start with this.

Other evidence on the server points to DNC wrongdoing they don't want revealed.

Wikileaks has an email from Hillary and Podesta saying that they knew that the information in the DNC files that showed how the primary was rigged against Bernie and they came up with the idea to deflect from that information and make it all about Russia interfering with the election.

Imagine if a regular person in a regular situation made accusations but refused to provide the evidence. They would be either forced to stop making the accusation(s) or turn over the evidence.

Imagine if it was Trump who said that another country interfered with the election and that was why he lost it. Nobody would believe him. Right?

Good points, Mike

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@snoopydawg

If the intelligence agencies were going to make their case on the DNC computers hack, then why wouldn't people ask why the FBI didn't look at the computers?

Why didn't the FBI even bother to interview the guy who claimed to have found the hack?

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10 users have voted.
GreatLakeSailor's picture

Dear Fellow Citizen,

Last week, House Republicans used the present hysteria about Russia to try to discredit me and every citizen and activist who has ever spoken out against “fracking,” otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, and dangerous pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities.

A majority staff report of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology purports to expose the Kremlin’s efforts to interfere with U.S. energy markets by influencing domestic policy by spreading propaganda on social media. I was a target of this smear campaign for simply posting tweets against fracking and against the Sabal Trail Pipeline.

Apparently, a single retweet by a Russian internet troll is all it takes for these Republicans to smear U.S. citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.

The Republican majority staff report points to a Tweet of mine that I posted on October 23, 2016, stating: “Good news: Last night, Miami-Dade officials voted unanimously to ban fracking. #ProgressForAll” and then citing to a news report in the International Business Times, which is owned by Newsweek, not the Kremlin.

According to The Tallahassee Democrat, which is owned by the Gannett Company, the largest newspaper publisher in the country, since my tweet was re-tweeted by a Russian bot, it suggests that the Russians must have co-opted me to undermine the U.S. energy market. No wonder that John Quarterman of the Suwannee RIVERKEEPERS called this attack “rolling-on-the-floor laughable.”

I will not be intimidated by these tactics of fear and smear. Rest assured, with your help I will continue to speak out against fracking and dangerous pipeline projects and liquefied natural gas facilities. I will continue to advocate for 100 percent renewable energy and a green New Deal. Please donate what you can to help us fight back against this Russia hysteria and stand up for environmental activists everywhere.

The Russian posts and tweets in context

According to the Republican staff report, between 2015 and 2017, there were 9,097 Russian posts or tweets regarding U.S. energy policy or a current energy event on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. At least three tweets about the Sabal Trail Pipeline protests were linked to Russian Twitter accounts. That’s 9,097 posts and tweets out of what’s got to be literally millions of posts and tweets by Americans on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram dealing with U.S. energy policy during that same period of time.

What’s behind this Russian Red Scare Campaign

Of course, these Republicans and many establishment Democrats have every incentive to ignore the factual context and take cheap shots at environmental activists. They are in the service of the fossil fuels industry, which spends millions of dollars a year on campaign contributions to Republicans and Democrats alike, including Congressman Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who chairs the House Committee that issued this terrible report.

It’s shameful to see corporate interests that are so opportunistically using McCarthyism tactics to try to discredit American citizens. Just look who’s behind the 515-mile Sabal Trail Pipeline that will pump over a billion cubic feet a day of highly pressurized fracked gas through Alabama, Georgia and Florida – including through a fragile aquifer that supplies 60 percent of Florida’s drinking water. It’s a joint venture of Spectra Energy Partners, Duke Energy, and NextEra Energy, the parent company of Florida Power & Light (FP&L).

Next Era and FP&L have spent millions of dollars lobbying for fracking and pipelines and against citizen referendums for solar energy in the Sunshine State. They are among the biggest donors to our opponent Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and not surprisingly she has flip flopped many times on fracking in the Everglades and she has been completely silent on the dangerous Sabal Trail, the siting of liquefied natural gas facilities in our communities, and citizen referendums for solar energy.

A New McCarthyism

During the McCarthy Red Scare of the 1950s, American citizens were hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and asked, “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party.”

Look at how far we’ve come. Today, the question is becoming, “Have you ever been retweeted by a Russian troll?”

This Republican staff report does a disservice to the people of Florida and around the country who have opposed fracking and been actively fighting the Sabal Trail and other pipelines. And the shame falls on many Democrats as well. Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, said the Kremlin was trying to exploit “useful idiots” from unwitting environmental groups and activists to further Kremlin energy influence. It's disapointing to see Cardin engage in such petty name calling, particularly after he has been taking tens of thousands of dollars from fossil fuel companies, electric utilities, and other energy interests.

Covering Up the Real Dangers of Fracking and Pipelines

The county commissions that passed fracking bans all across the state of Florida were influenced by very real threats to our drinking water, based on scientific studies, not Kremlin propaganda. In fact, near the end of the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), after years of study, finally concluded that fracking does indeed contaminate drinking water.

As stated by Daniella Levine Cava, a Miami-Dade County Commissioner who voted to ban fracking: “This is about our water supply. In this kind of acid fracking, the chemicals are potentially very dangerous and not disclosed. The risk of them entering into our water supply through our porous limestone substrate is too high.”

Apparently, the majority staff report was not interested at all in considering actual scientific evidence about fracking. Because their objective was to discredit environmental activists and a political candidate, any arguments against fracking and pipelines are assumed to be nothing more than Russian propaganda -- even when the arguments are made before any Russian retweets.

The Russia Scare as U.S. Censorship

The Tallahassee Democrat went beyond the majority staff report by taking a swipe at me for being interviewed about the Sabal Trail Pipeline protests on Russia Today (RT) cable TV. And they then criticized a Sierra Club organizer for retweeting my RT video interview. RT did not compensate me in any way or provide any talking points, just as I have never received compensation or talking points from MSNBC, CNN, or FOX News for my interviews with them.

I have appeared on RT numerous times on shows hosted by Ed Schultz, Larry King, Lee Camp, and Thom Hartmann, among other programs, to discuss the issues, just as I would go on other foreign owned stations to get our message out – including the British Broadcast Company (BBC) and Al Jazeera TV. The question is not why RT would be interested in covering environmental activism in the U.S. The bigger question is why corporate-owned U.S. mainstream media -- such as MSNBC, CNN and FOX -- have blacked out all coverage of public protests and controversy over fracking, the Dakota Access, Sabal Trail, and other oil or gas pipelines. This news blackout is the real disgrace.

We know it’s time to push back against this Russia Red Scare hysteria when environmentalists and political candidates get attacked for simply being retweeted by foreign internet bots and trolls. Please donate what you can to help our campaign in this crucial hour when we are under attack by establishment conspiracy theorists.

We will not back down and we will continue to speak out on the issues that matter to the people of our country. We will call out these shameful “guilt by association” tactics for what they are, a New McCarthyism that seeks to discredit our growing grassroots and progressive movement.

It is shameful to see politicians use hysteria over Russia as an excuse why we should put up with threats to our land and drinking water from fracking and dangerous pipelines. We stand by our commitment to ban fracking and convert to a 100 percent renewable energy economy, a green and solar New Deal - not because of Russia, but because we need clean water to survive, a sustainable full employment economy that works for everyone, and a sustainable environment and ecosystem for future generations.

Thank you for all your support, keep the faith and keep fighting!

In solidarity,

Tim Canova

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15 users have voted.

The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

snoopydawg's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

This is what has been created. From the first accusation of Russia hacked the DNC computers, a monster has been released.

According to The Tallahassee Democrat, which is owned by the Gannett Company, the largest newspaper publisher in the country, since my tweet was re-tweeted by a Russian bot, it suggests that the Russians must have co-opted me to undermine the U.S. energy market. No wonder that John Quarterman of the Suwannee RIVERKEEPERS called this attack “rolling-on-the-floor laughable.”

Any time something happens here people are blaming it on Russia! This goes well beyond McCarthyism, it goes in to outer space and beyond. We look back at the times of the Red Scare and wonder how people could have been caught up in believing ole Joe. If we don't blow ourselves up in a nuclear war over this, historians are going to wonder how so many people could have been so Stuupid!

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CB's picture

@snoopydawg
!!!!Global warming is a fraud perpetrated by the Russians to bankrupt the US!!!!!

I kid you not. Is there anything in the world that Russia and Putin are NOT responsible for? The US has officially gone berserk.

"One must give the Soviets their due. No other country is capable as are the Soviets of manipulating public opinion in the West." – Natalie Grant Wraga

Why the Russians Conceived the Global Warming Scam
by Cliff Kincaid on June 20, 2017

One of my duties at Accuracy in Media (AIM) has been to expose left-wingers in the media and Congress who were soft on the old Soviet Union and are now acting like hard-liners on Vladimir Putin’s Russia. It is a fascinating topic which exposes the duplicity of the left-wing obsession with Russia.

These people, who were soft on the Soviet Union and now hard on Russia, are the worst kind of hypocrites. Their hypocrisy is further demonstrated by the abundant evidence that the global warming or climate change theory, which they now embrace, was conceived by Soviet communists as a means by which to destroy the industrial base in the United States. This disinformation theme has been embraced by the liberals now claiming to be tough on Russia.

Don’t take my word for it. When Natalie Grant Wraga died in 2002 at the age of 101, The Washington Post recognized her expertise as a Soviet expert, noting that she was “born in czarist Russia, saw great upheaval in her native land and became an expert in unmasking Soviet deception methods for the State Department…”

But the Post would not admit that fact in today’s political climate.

The liberal Economist magazine wrote, “She was perhaps the only person alive in the West who could claim such an intimate knowledge of Russian political thinking, from tsarist times to the collapse of the Soviet Union.” She commented, “Many people are studying the past, but very few are studying the present. Keep your eyes open and your ears open.”

This is good advice. One of the great Soviet/Russian deceptions, Wraga wrote, was the idea that humans were changing the climate and that humans could save the earth through socialism. She said, “…protection of the environment has become the principal tool for attack against the West.”
...

Of course the Chinese are also in on this hoax: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." - Trump

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5 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@CB

Is there anything in the world that Russia and Putin are NOT responsible for?

Maybe when the Captains of Industry have rendered this planet uninhabitable, they'll offer to ship us to Mars to work as their servants there?

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4 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@CB And I suppose Vlad has been up in the Arctic with some kind of super machine to melt all that ice to keep this "hoax" going? My God. These stupid freaks had best hope for nuclear war, if historians ever read this hot mess they will not be kind, nor should they be. Idiot America takes down the entire globe, there's hegemony for ya! USA, USA, USA!!!!!

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3 users have voted.

The technique is to throw out a constant flurry of unprovable assertions, trusting that the fact of sooooo many points alone confirms its truth in the minds of the uncritical thinker. And even the critical thinker has three more claims to deal with before the first one is disproven.

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Gish%20Gallop

The agit/prop campaign has gone far beyond even what we saw with Saddam's WMDs. I think we should talk more about "Putin's Aluminum Tubes."

While World War Last is being promoted we can also note that, "first they came for the right-wing dissenters" as the Illite's stranglehold on the Organs of Communication grows tighter practically every day.

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@jim p
Instead of "where there's smoke there's fire", it's "where there's lies there's a liar".

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@jim p Besides Russiagate, the Gish Gallop now underlies the entire
industry of political argumentation in favor of subordinating policies against inequality in favor of prioritizing rhetoric (and promised policies) supporting groups which are (and even more egregiously have been historically) discriminated against.

A Gish Gallop is necessary to avoid acknowledging facts like the following:

1. Low income and work opportunities massively reduce huge numbers of poor women's access to reproductive health services, especially abortion, and their ability to flee or confront a sexual harasser.

2. Every elite predation against poor people disproportionately affects Black and Brown (and some other minority) people, partly because they are disproportionately poor, and partly because racism facilitates such predation.

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10 users have voted.

Russia may not have meddled in French elections, but the CIA sure as hell did. On a related note, no wonder they want to silence Wikileaks and hang Assange.

https://wikileaks.org/cia-france-elections-2012/

16 February, 2017
CIA espionage orders for the last French presidential election

All major French political parties were targeted for infiltration by the CIA's human ("HUMINT") and electronic ("SIGINT") spies in the seven months leading up to France's 2012 presidential election. The revelations are contained within three CIA tasking orders published today by WikiLeaks as context for its forth coming CIA Vault 7 series. Named specifically as targets are the French Socialist Party (PS), the National Front (FN) and Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) together with current President Francois Hollande, then President Nicolas Sarkozy, current round one presidential front runner Marine Le Pen, and former presidential candidates Martine Aubry and Dominique Strauss-Khan.

The CIA assessed that President Sarkozy's party was not assured re-election. Specific tasking concerning his party included obtaining the "Strategic Election Plans" of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP); schisms or alliances developing in the UMP elite; private UMP reactions to Sarkozy's campaign stratagies; discussions within the UMP on any "perceived vulnerabilities to maintaining power" after the election; efforts to change the party's ideological mission; and discussions about Sarkozy's support for the UMP and "the value he places on the continuation of the party's dominance". Specific instructions tasked CIA officers to discover Sarkozy's private deliberations "on the other candidates" as well as how he interacted with his advisors. Sarkozy's earlier self-identification as "Sarkozy the American" did not protect him from US espionage in the 2012 election or during his presidency.

The espionage order for "Non Ruling Political Parties and Candidates Strategic Election Plans" which targeted Francois Holland, Marine Le Pen and other opposition figures requires obtaining opposition parties' strategies for the election; information on internal party dynamics and rising leaders; efforts to influence and implement political decisions; support from local government officials, government elites or business elites; views of the United States; efforts to reach out to other countries, including Germany, U.K., Libya, Israel, Palestine, Syria & Cote d'Ivoire; as well as information about party and candidate funding.

Significantly, two CIA opposition espionage tasks, "What policies do they promote to help boost France's economic growth prospects?" and "What are their opinions on the German model of export-led growth?" resonate with a U.S. economic espionage order from the same year. That order requires obtaining details of every prospective French export contract or deal valued at $200m or more.

The opposition espionage order also places weight on obtaining the candidates' attitudes to the E.U's economic crisis, centering around their position on the Greek debt crisis; the role of France and Germany in the management of the Greek debt crisis; the vulnerability of French government and French banks to a Greek default; and "specific proposals and recommendations" to deal with "the euro-zone crisis".

The CIA espionage orders published today are classified and restricted to U.S. eyes only ("NOFORN") due to "Friends-on-Friends sensitivities". The orders state that the collected information is to "support" the activities of the CIA, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA)'s E.U section, and the U.S. State Department's Intelligence and Research Branch.

The CIA operation ran for ten months from 21 Nov 2011 to 29 Sep 2012, crossing the April-May 2012 French presidential election and several months into the formation of the new government.

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Strife Delivery's picture

I just read this comment made by a partisan Democrat:

The Republicans will use every tactic they can think of to distort the voting and close polls in Dem areas. They will hack the touch screen systems with Russian programmed thumb drives.

My God how easy it is to manipulate these pathetic people. Yes, because Russia Fedexed over a bunch of thumb drives to Republicans and now those dastardly Republicans are rubbing their hands with glee.

Jesus the people of this country are so fucking easy to control and manipulate. People love to boast how this is the land of the free. Ha, more like the land of the eternal slave.

Edit: Grammar.

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3 users have voted.

but not sure what comes after gazillions?

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3 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.