A New Critique of the Nation article by Patrick Lawrence Re Russiagate — My Response
Recently, The Nation was daring enough to publish an excellent article by Patrick Lawrence which focused on a recent memo by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) calling into question the establishment line that Russian hackers were the source of the Wikileaks DNC emails.
In particular, this memo focused on forensic analyses of documents released by Guccifer 2.0, whom our intelligence agencies have indicated is a Russian hacker who provided the Wikileaks material. These analyses strongly suggest that Guccifer 2.0 was actually on the East Coast of the US and had direct access to the DNC servers — and that he obtained his released material by a leak, not a hack.
As you can imagine, the Nation’s editor Katrina vanden Heuvel came under considerable pressure for having allowed publication of the Lawrence article. When she learned that several members of VIPS had elected not to sign the memo in question, she invited those people to contribute their contrary views, and also published the responses of the signatories of the original VIPS memo.
I have read through the counterarguments by the VIPS members who wouldn’t sign the original memo. There are 2 points in dispute — that the transfer speed of the July 5th data transfer could indeed have been achieved over the internet, and that it is not clear that the July 5th data transfer involved the DNC servers. The latter point was made several weeks ago by Scott Ritter, and I addressed that immediately in a footnote added to my main Russiagate essay:
As far as I can tell, Ritter makes a reasonable point. It is conceivable that the July 5th transfer occurred between two storage devices, and the data involved had been obtained from the DNC servers at an earlier date. This scenario seems Rube Goldberg to me, but it is not impossible. My response to it is that in any case the transfer occurred on the US East Coast. Are we to assume that the Russians had hacked this data from Russia, and then somehow it ended up on the US East Coast where it was transferred between two devices on July 5th?
As to the transfer rate issue, I think that the authors of the VIPS memo make a reasonable case defending their initial conclusion — pointing to the fact that such transfer rates would not have been feasible transoceanically in July 2016. It’s also notable that more recent analysis cited by Adam Carter indicates that the calculated copy rate is precisely what one would expect if a thumbdrive had been used for data transfer.
But the more fundamental point is this — the data which Guccifer 2.0 released on June 15th had been intentionally modified with Russian fingerprints, and this modification had been made on a computer whose Microsoft Office was registered to Warren Flood — who had been Joe Biden’s technical director from 2009–2012. In other words, this computer very likely had previously been in the possession of Joe Biden’s staff. This clearly means that Guccifer 2.0 was a consciously concocted fraud — intended to incriminate Russia as the source of the DNC emails subsequently to be released by Wikileaks — on the part of someone with connections to the Washington Democratic establishment. And the most reasonable interpretation of the Forensicator analysis is that “Guccifer 2.0” had direct access to the DNC server, and hence was probably conspiring with the DNC.
What also is curious about Guccifer 2.0’s first appearance on June 15th is that, a day earlier, the DNC announced that a file of Trump Opposition Research had been hacked — and then Guccifer 2.0 obligingly releases this very document, while proclaiming himself to be the Wikileaks source. Adam Carter questions how the DNC could know that that specific document had been taken — and, in any case, why would a Russian working to elect Trump release a document revealing what a total schmuck the Donald is?! Clearly, a DNC setup.
It also should be noted that the new critiques fail to address other lines of evidence adduced by Adam Carter indicating that Guccifer 2.0 is a fraud — for example, linguistic analysis which shows that he is only pretending to be a Russian (while claiming to be Romanian). In short he is “a donkey in a bear costume”. Anyone who reads Carter’s complete analysis of Guccifer 2.0 and retains the belief that Guccifer 2.0 is a Russian hacker is either quite stupid, or a shill.
In short, there was nothing in the rebuttal published in the Nation that would lead me to change a single word in my essay.
I reiterate that none of this argumentation has any bearing on the question of how Wikileaks obtained the DNC emails that it published — and VIPS quite explicitly concurs. Guccifer 2.0 almost certainly was NOT the source of the material published by Wikileaks — rather, Guccifer 2.0 was a con job intended to cast aspersions on the DNC emails which Wikileaks already had in its possession. (Readers of my previous essay will know that I — along with countless others — strongly suspect that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails published by Wikileaks.) Also, these analyses do not rule out the possibility that the DNC might have been hacked by the Russians or anyone else (although Bill Binney points out that the NSA should have explicit data on such a hack, and could present this evidence if they had it.)
What the forensic analyses of Guccifer 2.0 DO show is that the Guccifer 2.0 was a conscious hoax by someone who most likely was affiliated with the DNC — and that our intelligence community, by concluding that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian who supplied the DNC emails to Wikileaks, is, once again (WMDs, anyone?), totally full of shit.* And if they are so wrong about this fundamental point, why should we believe any other of their conclusions on this matter — especially since they have presented no credible public evidence whatever for these conclusions.
But you can take this to the bank: because the VIPS/Lawrence analysis has attracted critiques, the MSM will use this as an excuse to stigmatize it as controversial or dubious — to the extent they deign to acknowledge it at all. Whether the critiques are valid will be irrelevant. Meanwhile, the Deep State evades any criticism of its “evidence” by presenting none.
*This criticism applies only to the intelligence whores hand-picked by Clapper and Brennan — there are many smart people in our intelligence community, but the ones who are also honest can’t rise to the top in the current politicized environment.