Why some former American intelligence officers do not believe “stories about Russian interference”

In 2003, when a number of former intelligence professionals formed an organization in protest against how the intelligence services were forced to accuse Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, columnist, The New York Times Nicholas Kristof (Nicholas Kristof) wrote a sympathetic article about them, which led to the statements of the members of the organization. In 2017 in a major American publications any publications about the latest campaign by the same organization, you will not find.


The organization of the “Professional scouts veterans for sanity” (VIPS) study the General belief that last year’s leak of the files from the mail server of the National Committee of the Democratic party (DNC) occurred as a result of actions of the Russian hackers. But former intelligence found evidence to the contrary.


In contrast to the “current and former intelligence officials”, quoted on condition of anonymity in reporting on the scandal caused by trump’s ties with Russia, members of the organization VIPS real and they have names. But the extracted knowledge, insights and doubts reported only in an unofficial and little-known publications, which is easy to blame the fact that they are the distribution channels of Russian disinformation. Publication the Nation, Consortium News, ZeroHedge and other media point to the findings of former intelligence officers, according to which the files of the Democrats — at least some of them — were stolen not Russian or some other hackers, but rather it was done by someone of their own.

In January was published an analytical report of the us intelligence community, which serves as the basis for accusations that Russia broke into the computer network of politicians trying to interfere in elections. In the report, among other things, States: “we estimate we can with a high degree of confidence to say the following. Russian military intelligence (Main Directorate of the General staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation or the GRU) have used hacker operating under the name Guccifer 2.0, and sites DCLeaks. com and WikiLeaks, in order to provide open access data American the injured party obtained in the course of cyber operations, and to distribute them in the form of exclusive content in the media.”


VIPS and the organization suspects that the founder and owner of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, of its intention to publish e-mails pertaining to Hillary Clinton, the DNC began hastily to fabricate evidence that his mail servers were compromised by Russian hackers. So the Democrats tried to nullify the significance of the revelations published on WikiLeaks. To this end, according to the version of scouts-veterans, the DNC used the services of “online worker” Guccifer 2.0 for the publication of mostly harmless data Committee. Subsequently, the hacker Guccifer 2.0 conditional “tied” with Russia, because his files were discovered by the Russian metadata, and he used Russian VPN.


Theory of intelligence veterans based on forensic data obtained by independent experts, which are known under nicknames Forensicator and Adam Carter. The first of these found that the files of the 1976 MB uploaded Guccifer, was copied from the DNC server the fifth of July in just 87 seconds, that is, the transfer rate of 22.6 megabytes per second or (more familiar to most users, units) of approximately 180 megabits per second. Internet service providers in the U.S. typically, this speed is not available. Quickly download the files via Internet, especially via a VPN (used by most hackers), it would be almost impossible, because the network infrastructure through which would pass the traffic, more would have slowed the transfer. However, as noted by Forensicator, files could be copied around with such speed to the external storage device that could do only people with access to the server — that is, someone of his own.


Another analyst, working under the alias Adam Carter, showed that in some point was made of “synthetic” paste — materials contained in the files of the hacker Guccifer, was cut and pasted in the Russian-speaking Microsoft Word templates. Earlier this month, Adam Carter wrote a long post in which presented the many critics of all the available evidence and answered their questions.


Among members of the organization of veterans of the scouts are former NSA employees with rich technical experience, for example, William Binnie (William Binney), a former technical Director of the Agency, who headed the service of the global geopolitical and military analysis, and Edward Loomis, Jr., (Edward Loomis Jr.), former technical Director, who headed the Department. The organization employs other former intelligence officers with high professional qualification. Of course, this does not mean that members of the organization are right, considering the convincing expert analysis conducted by independent experts Forensicator and Adam Carter. Another former intelligence professional who has studied the results of the analysis, Scott Ritter (Scott Ritter), said that they do not necessarily indicate that the materials were in the possession Guccifer, was not obtained by hacking.

It is possible that due to the violent and “uncontrollable” of the organization VIPS, journalists of the Central media do not believe her theories and conclusions are quite serious and valuable. Ray McGovern (Ray McGovern), one of the founders of the scouts-veterans who previously prepared and briefed the CIA for the White house, was dismissed from the investigation of the events connected with Hillary Clinton for the fact that he was previously opposed to her policies. And although the group was right about Iraq in 2003, it does not mean that she is right on its findings against Russia in 2017, given that some of its members are “stuck” in the past, and think long-forgotten categories.


And yet it is not a reason to avoid discussing what actually happened in the National Committee of the Democratic party last year. Moreover, none of the intelligence agencies actually didn’t check the servers the Democrats. As for the firm, CrowdStrike, whose conclusions were mainly guided by the intelligence community in the preparation of their assessment report, there were clearly conflicts of interest. You should consider the fact that the firm was a contractor to the DNC and get money from it, and that its co-founder Dmitri Alperovich is associated with the Atlantic Council — a Washington non-governmental think-tank, which considers Russia an enemy state.


Let’s hope that the numerous investigations of the relationships trump with Russia based on convincing evidence, not simply on assumptions. But since at the moment these investigations are not transparent, the only way to ensure that they remain focused on the technical aspects of hacking attacks and “discharge information” allegedly committed by the Russians is to present the available evidence and arguments to refute them.


Many Americans believe meddling in Russian elections, which contributes to the hostility towards Russia. This is partly to blame, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin has earned the reputation of a person who is giving you the runaround. It is pointless to deny Russia’s involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and tries to falsify evidence in the case of the death of a passenger airliner shot down over Eastern Ukraine in 2014. But the mood of Americans is the result of the struggle openly biased media.


After the intelligence was discredited statements about Iraq in 2003, one would expect that in this matter the major us media will increasingly be guided by journalistic skepticism and be more demanding. Even if for most Americans, Russia is a distant country, where it is easy to attribute almost any illegal actions and any evil. Instead, these media seem more likely to report a bare-chested Putin, to discuss its physical form and to accuse him of further intervention in the social network. For conducting their campaigns in social networks right alternative to aid to Russia in the use of bots on Twitter is probably not need but their use of these bots attracted less attention than similar actions of Russia.


The American public in the past year have not especially believed the words of Clinton, who claimed that “Russians did” (“the Russians did it”) and she lost the election. Now, however, many Americans believe in them and jumped at the idea. Perhaps it is the same serious error, as the statements about Iraq, which is fraught with dangerous consequences. Through this mistake, we will not be able to recognize that winning Donald trump is a uniquely American phenomenon and not the result of Russian. Authoritarian regimes, like Putin, repeatedly used external enemies to hide the existing differences and to divert public attention from domestic problems. In a country where democracy works, this tactic should not work.