9/29/17, "Russia-gate’s Shaky Foundation," Daniel Herman, Consortium News
"The Russia-gate hysteria now routinely includes rhetoric about the U.S. being at “war” with nuclear-armed Russia, but the shaky factual foundation continues to show more cracks, as historian Daniel Herman describes."...
"The intelligence community’s whispered “trust us, we’re the experts” simply isn’t good enough. If we don’t demand hard evidence, then we’re following the same path we took in 1898, 1915, 1950, 1964, and 2003. Let’s not go there." (end of article)
Skip Folden is among commenters
Added: Following are excerpts from 3 Adam Carter articles:
"Skip Folden, one of the co-authors of the VIPS report, has sent a far more detailed report to the Office of Special Counsel (Robert Mueller), Office of the Attorney-General (As Jeff Sessions has recused himself, this has been sent to Rod J. Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General) and, I believe more recently, to additional parties."
9/11/17, "Focus On The Decision-Makers - They Have Been Informed," by Adam Carter
As you've probably noticed, VIPS signatories (and associates supporting the new announcements and memos) are not backing down in a hurry. Ray McGovern was recently on Redacted Tonight and EIR magazine just hosted an event featuring both Ray McGovern and Bill Binney, available to watch on YouTube, titled "The Russian Hack Inside Job: Who's Trying To Destroy The Presidency And Start A World War With Russia?" [posted 9/9/17] (worth watching even just for Binney's explanation of the NSA's capabilties and why he's sure the NSA lacked actual evidence of a hack!)
There are good reasons these VIPS members are not backing down.
Not only do they have all the information that's been brought to light over the last 9 months by independent researchers, they also have direct experience of working in intelligence agencies and Binney, alone, knows all about the NSA's capabilities because he played a fundamental role in developing the NSA's data-gathering operations.
Critics Have NOT Debunked The Research and Analysis.
The framing from most critics recently has done little more than construct a straw-man to attack (typically by making it appear as though confidence of those calling for investigation is solely based on transfer speeds that were mentioned in the 7th conclusion in Forensicator's analysis).
Most critics have chosen to ignore the mountain of circumstantial evidence gathered as well as some key pieces of verifiable evidence.
*inconsistencies and anomalies with Guccifer 2.0's (G2's) behavior versus his stated intentions
*the consistent poor quality of G2's leaks (link)
*predictable outcome in terms of headlines he would generate in the media (link)
*his multi-part Russian-origin deception and that GRU/FSB and allies would not purposefully draw attention to Russia (link)
*associating self to Wikileaks on day #1 and on various dates after that (including the day the DNC emails were published) (link)
*creating a blog and luring in press with the Trump research (the timing of it in relation to CrowdStrike/DNC announcements and the nature of the first documents leaked) (link)
*the linguistic analysis showing no syntactical traits of a Russian communicating in English (link)
*the discredited breach claims (link)
*the fact none of his hacks were verifiable
*the premise of a talented hacker adopting another hacker's name and sticking "2.0" on the end of it
*that every association between G2 and the APT28/29 malware and infrastructure ended up collapsing under scrutiny (link)
*the attempt to fool (with multimedia props) a reporter into thinking G2 was tied to a hacker with root access to DCLeaks
Critics have focused on the dissent that's come from other VIPS members, or focused on secondary sources such as the authors of articles about the VIPS memo, and their editors and publishers, rather than actually looking at the true scope of evidence involved.Some have even tried to throw experts at this, but, as I've made clear, estimates and assumptions, even coming from experts, are no substitute for actually testing theories and assumptions out.
Recent Activities and What Will Happen Next
Since the original report was sent out, Skip Folden, one of the co-authors of the VIPS report, has sent a far more detailed report to the Office of Special Counsel (Robert Mueller), Office of the Attorney-General (As Jeff Sessions has recused himself, this has been sent to Rod J. Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General) and, I believe more recently, to additional parties that will be disclosed in the week ahead (along with further details about the contents of that report).
The new report covers more than any of the previous reports (going beyond what Forensicator and myself even have the means to assess). While I do not have full details yet and won't until it is published, I do know it should easily provide enough information to leave no doubt that further investigation is needed.
Both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees as well as the Senate Judicial Committee have now received the report, all with a copy of the cover letter that was sent to Mueller and Rosenstein.
That cover letter specifically asked for 1) Verification of the report’s findings, 2) Investigations resulting from the verifications, and 3) Prosecutions, as a threat to national security, any findings of collusion to mislead or misrepresent, the results of which could not only weaken our nation through political upheaval, but risk eventual war with Russia due to the resultant downward spiral of relations.
The Odds Are Still Against Us - The Problems We Face
There's no point pretending otherwise, the odds are against us. The truth getting out about the Guccifer 2.0 operation has a significant impact on various things, among them:
- The reputations of various intelligence agencies and the programs
they operate, in turn affecting budgets those agencies (and/or
departments within them) are allocated.
- The reputation of various businesses in the information security
industry and subsequently their stock prices and their ability to secure
public sector contracts.
- The reputation of several high-profile politicians due to their probable involvement.
- The reputation of many in the mainstream media due to the propaganda they've been erroneously peddling for the last 15 months.
- The reputations of various technology and cyber-security writers that missed many things in 2016 that have since been discovered in 2017.
We have the USIC (United States Intelligence Community), mainstream media and much of the political establishment across both parties that are likely to oppose this aggressively.
We also face the prospect that Mueller will likely be resistant to putting any real pressure on Shawn Henry and Dmitri Alperovitch especially as the former had close ties with Mueller in the past.
This is fundamentally important as there are a LOT of questions that should be asked of these particular CrowdStrike executives - and there's a good chance they will never be grilled over this.
Without pressure, America might never get to know the truth about what is one of the biggest public deceptions. I've personally witnessed in my life, and one that I am absolutely certain of – and appalled by!
So, What's The Plan?
I'm just asking everyone to familiarize themselves with the facts as much as possible, to keep an eye out for the report in the week or so ahead, look at how those who have received copies of the report (including any additional parties that are disclosed) react (or fail to).
There's a good chance they will start off by not even acknowledging receipt of the report in the hope all of this can be ignored. If we want to see a different outcome to that, it's important that as many people as possible know which decision-makers have received the report, the scope of the report and that it's important these things are investigated (which they should be – at least, if the RussiaGate investigations are actually being conducted in good faith).
If you feel strongly enough about the outcome (or lack of an outcome) and want all the evidence investigated so America has a chance of finding out the truth about Guccifer 2.0, all I ask is that you speak up about how you feel and share the upcoming news far and wide.
Multiple parties now have details of the exculpatory evidence (produced throughout 2017, since the USIC wrote their assessments). This evidence far surpasses the evidence implicating Russia as far as Guccifer 2.0 is concerned, and some of it even debunks the assertions used to claim an association between Guccifer 2.0 and Russia.
VIPS, myself and a number of researchers that have contributed to the new findings over the past year could all do with your help in making sure this information goes public, and to make sure there is pressure placed on decision-makers to investigate what has been found, to act in good faith and to NOT betray the public's trust on this – even if that doesn't fit nicely with what they have told us so far!
To all who are willing to get the word out and put pressure on those that need encouragement to investigate things thoroughly - please know, in advance, that I'm extremely grateful for your help and support.
If you have any questions or concerns, I'm only an email away (see: home page)."
An initial version of this article had stated:
Office of the Attorney-General (Jeff Sessions)
This was changed to:
Office of the Attorney-General (As Jeff Sessions has recused himself, this has been sent to Rod J. Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General)"
9/19/17, "Phase #5 Complete," by Adam Carter, http://g-2.space/phase5/
"Ambassadors and diplomatic staff of many embassies located in London (covering 150 nations) were sent the following communication:
Dear Honourable Ambassador,
I am writing to you as part of my effort to reach out to all governments around the world regarding what I fear is a genuine threat to world peace. It is a threat stemming from what, I regret to say, appears to be a partisan political deception campaign by a political party within the United States of America. This is a very serious issue and an issue that every country deserves to be properly informed about."
Comment: VIPS is Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity: Links to their memos 2/5/2003 through 7/24/2017...CrowdStrike's client list includes the Democrat National Committee, the Republican Party and the FBI. The FBI and DOJ awarded CrowdStrike $150,000 for IT work in July 2015. House Speaker Paul Ryan signed up with CrowdStrike on behalf of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Added: Adam Carter on NY Magazine hit piece on The Nation article:
Aug. 12, 2017, "The First Attack Dog Steps Forward - New York Magazine (10 Aug 2017)," by Adam Carter, g-2.space/nymag/
"New York Magazine Has A Glitch
On Monday, 10 August, 2017, Brian Feldman, writing for New York Magazine, wrote a hostile review of an article featured in The Nation regarding new research, underreported evidence and analysis that, until recently, had apparently been given no attention by the mainstream press, intelligence agencies, or intelligence committees (even though one of the major discoveries referenced was made at the beginning of the year, almost 6 months ago).
There are actually some legitimate reasons to criticize the article in The Nation, however, unfortunately for Feldman, he only mentions these minor flaws in passing and instead appears to opt for building strawman arguments, misrepresenting what was written through tactical omission and attacking the character of Patrick Lawrence.
This was foolish, because, if he had attacked the inaccuracies surrounding the "locked file" statements and sought to make a substantive argument against it, he'd have been on solid ground.
Fortunately, he's chosen to do something different which gives me the chance to clear up any misconceptions caused (that, again, are relatively trivial and make no difference to the ultimate conclusions about the validity of Guccifer 2.0's claims to be a hacker):
THE FACTS: Forensicator did NOT have a "key" to unlock anything that was "locked" in any literal sense and nothing was "cracked". The NGP-VAN archive he analyzed was publicly available and it's password publicly known in September of 2016.
This is the only thing in Lawrence's article that I spotted that was significantly different to the circumstances I'm aware of (and it's inconsequential to the evidence, analysis and conclusions made in any of the research carried out that Lawrence references in his article).
Which Controversial People Are Tweeting About It?
Feldman's article starts by introducing the article in the context of who is tweeting about it, picking Kim Dotcom, Jack Posobiec and Nick Short as his examples for some reason.
This in itself look like an effort to create perceptions based on association to the subject through conflation before the subject is even explained to an audience.
(A composition/division logical fallacy in use, attempting to create "guilt by association" to those Feldman's audience is likely to have a dim view of)
Misrepresenting Goals and Purpose
Feldman proceeds to do what appears to be introducing the topic, however, he's actually setting up a false argument and priming the reader with an assumption that certain goals are being aimed at when they're not.
"Conclusive proof, or even strong evidence, that the DNC emails were leaked by an insider and not by Russian-sponsored hackers would indeed be a huge story — among other things, it would contradict the near-unanimous opinion of U.S. intelligence agencies, and raise some very serious questions about their objectivity and neutrality."
Here, Feldman writes about proving whether the DNC emails were leaked by an insider or the Russians. That's actually irrelevant to the research and analysis that Lawrence references in his article (that primarily focuses on the validity of the attribution placed on the Guccifer 2.0 persona supposedly being a GRU/FSB/Kremlin-linked operative). Feldman misrepresents the goals of the article, VIPS' interest and the goal of the researchers/analysts that all of this relates to.
He then tries to dismiss Lawrence's article based on how it fails to fulfil an objective Feldman has introduced (as opposed to the fact Guccifer 2.0 was a phony, which is what is really being explained):
"But this article is neither conclusive proof nor strong evidence. It’s the extremely long-winded product of a crank,"
...and as a result of it not achieving a goal that Feldman has inserted via the previous paragraph, he uses this to justify calling Lawrence a "crank". To me this looks a lot like weak justification to use the most basic of propaganda devices, name-calling.
Degrading Perceived Validity and Misrepresenting Arguments
Now we proceed to Feldman misrepresenting arguments and the basis of them...
Lawrence’s central argument (which, again, rests on the belief that Forensicator’s claims about “metadata” are meaningful and correct) is that the initial data transfer from the DNC occurred at speeds impossible via the internet.
We see "beliefs" and "claims" but this is misleading, it's not about believing someone, the primary source data is available in a couple of torrent files (in the public domain since September 2016 in files that are accessed through a protocol that validates the integrity of the data). The datasets that Forensicator produced from the archive contents can be regenerated by others and every step of the process up to the conclusions being reached has been checked over by several independent third parties.
What's worse is the omission here. Feldman has omitted the fact that in Lawrence's article it is explained that the transfer speeds, at that time, would have been impossible to get when transferring the files over long distances, even specifically mentioning "transoceanic" to clarify the context.
These are important qualifiers and Feldman completely omits these in the version he gives to his readers to give himself an argument he can actually dismiss rather than those actually being presented in Lawrence's article.
The crux of the whole thing — the opening argument — rests on the fact that, according to “metadata,” the data was transferred at about 22 megabytes per second, which Lawrence and Forensicator claim is much too fast to have been undertaken over an internet connection.
No, they don't claim that it's impossible to get those speeds over the Internet, that's a misrepresentation through omission of the qualifiers that were provided in Lawrence's article and willfully omitted by Feldman. It seems that Feldman doubles down immediately in an effort to hammer his distortions into the minds of his readers (who are starting to look like victims of manipulation at this stage).
Misrepresenting Evidence, Further Omissions and Criticizing A Misrepresented Claim
If that’s your strongest evidence, your argument is already in trouble. But the real problem isn’t that there’s a bizarre claim about internet speed that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
1. The premise that Feldman is demanding evidence for and that he injected earlier in the article has nothing to do with the primary assertions covered in Lawrence's article.
2. It's NOT the strongest evidence showing that Guccifer 2.0 was a fake and Feldman has seen fit to omit that from his article too.
3. The only reason the claim is "bizarre" is because Feldman saw fit to omit critical qualifiers that were actually in Lawrence's article, so, while Feldman's misrepresentation of the argument was bizarre, the original argument was not.
It’s that Lawrence is writing in techno-gibberish that falls apart under even the slightest scrutiny.
I suspect Lawrence was trying to explain things in terms that don't require a high degree of technical knowledge to understand and get the gist of. Handily, Feldman gives me an example to demonstrate this to be the case with:
As an example: Lawrence writes that “researchers penetrated what Folden calls Guccifer’s top layer of metadata and analyzed what was in the layers beneath.” What on earth is that supposed to mean? We don’t know what “metadata” we’re talking about, or why it comes in “layers,” and all I’m left with is the distinct impression that Lawrence doesn’t either.
Instead of just looking at timestamps ("metadata" / "top layer of metadata") of the files, Forensicator recorded timestamps of all files collectively, ordered everything by timestamp sequence, calculated relative differences and subsequently identified the transfer speeds involved from the derivative data set ("layer beneath").
Another part of the "layer beneath" comes from looking at timestamp resolutions, something not easily spotted unless you're looking for a sequence of timestamps that are rounded up to the nearest two seconds (or where you can see the microseconds of the timestamps to establish their resolution) - this pattern is an indication of FAT filesystem usage, something that is rarely seen except for where USB storage devices are used. (FAT disk partitions are a possibility but they're a technology that was starting to become redundant 20 years ago!)
Forensicator also went further to analyse gaps in transfer operations to determine the size of the original batch of files (of which the NGP-VAN archive's contents appear to only be a sub-set a fraction of the size).
Furthermore, he analyzed timestamp timezone formats and determined that file transfer operations were all carried out in the Eastern time zone. (Meta data integrity is given a lot of consideration in the research that Forensicator has done, some of which I've explained on a recent article I wrote recapping what has been discovered over the last 6 months.)
These are effectively all the hidden "layers" (derivative data and data that is typically concealed or unnoticed by people browsing through the files) that I believe Lawrence was trying to give a less jargon-filled explanation of.
Feldman uses a combination of strategic deceptions, misrepresents what he's arguing against, constructs strawman arguments and makes use of propaganda-devices in what, really, is a relatively short article. - in short, what he's done, is just produce a disgracefully sleazy hit-piece."
Added: Disobedient Media article discusses NY Mag attack piece and Adam Carter analysis:
8/13/17, "New York Magazine Attacks The Nation for Questioning Russian Hacking Narrative," Elizabeth Vos, DisobedientMedia.com
"A few days ago, New York Magazine published an article attacking Patrick Lawrence‘s coverage of new information from an anonymous analyst known as the Forensicator. Patrick Lawrence is a foreign correspondent at The Nation, the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in America. His [8/9/17] article mentioned Disobedient Media‘s report on analysis published by the Forensicator which suggests that files published by Guccifer 2.0 had been copied locally, not hacked ["it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak"] which has serious implications for the Russian Hacking narrative and for the DNC.
The New York Magazine‘s coverage of the issue was disconcertingly inaccurate. They characterize the Forensicator as having claimed that DNC information must have been leaked by an insider. The New York Mag wrote: “Yesterday, The Nation published an article by journalist Patrick Lawrence purporting to demonstrate that last summer’s pivotal DNC hack was, in fact, an inside job.”
However, the Forensicator’s work only purports that the Guccifer 2.0 files were copied locally, and that the information was not hacked.
The Forensicator‘s work never attempts to positively identify the perpetrators of the DNC leak or the identity of Guccifer 2.0. The Forensicator‘s analysis simply shows in a methodical and precise manner who it could not have been; namely Russian hackers supposedly behind the Guccifer 2.0 persona.
The author of the sardonic article, Brian Feldman, also took to Twitter to express his views on the subject:
In their coverage of this topic, The New York Mag ignores the voices of a well respected group of former intelligence officers known as VIPS, or Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, who published a memorandum sent to President Trump that cited the Forensicator’s work. That the Foreniscator‘s findings were the starting point for a memorandum sent by experienced intelligence veterans such as Bill Binney, Ray McGovern and Skip Folden as well as many others, speaks to the significance of the Forensicator‘s work.
The New York Magazine dismissed these highly credentialed individuals, instead focusing on some of the individuals who had tweeted The Nation’s article, in order to somehow discredit the contents of the article by association. Such a dishonest framing device does not address the contents of the analysis in any way, and represents a small fraction of those who have reported on this important analysis. This intellectual dishonesty continues when Lawrence’s work is called “the extremely long-winded product of a crank.”
The sarcasm which drips from the entire piece by the New York Magazine seems to be intended as an attack on the reputation of the author, Patrick Lawrence, and the publication, The Nation. Mr. Feldman spends little to no time making coherent criticisms of the article’s content and its cited sources.
Fascinatingly, the New York Magazine article not only fails to substantively counter the Forensicator or VIPS’s conclusions, it also does not provide any substantive evidence that the DNC was hacked. The piece also neglects to mention that authorities have never analyzed the DNC servers, instead relying on the word of the private company Crowdstrike.
Disobedient Media previously reported the analysis of Adam Carter, which suggested that the Guccifer 2.0 persona may have been perpetrated by Crowdstrike in concert with the DNC to pre-emptively smear any DNC information published by Wikileaks. Crowdstrike has notable connections to the Atlantic Council, a think tank sponsored in part by controversial financier George Soros.
Adam Carter also published a response to the New York Mag article earlier today, which delves into the line-by-line misrepresentations in the piece. Carter writes: “Feldman misrepresents the goals of the article, VIPS’ interest and the goal of the researchers/analysts that all of this relates to.”
Ray McGovern, a cofounder of VIPS, has appeared on RT to speak about the implications of the Forensicator’s analysis, in addition to appearances with LarouchePAC and others.
Consortium News reported the memorandum published by VIPS, which corroborated some important aspects of the Forensicator’s analysis, and cited their work. Signatories on the document included William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical and Military Analysis, Skip Folden, independent analyst, retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, Ray McGovern, former U.S. Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst, and others, which are shown in full below, via the report by Consortium News."
Added: NY Mag article linked above:
8/10/17, "The Nation Article About the DNC Hack Is Too Incoherent to Even Debunk," NY Magazine, Brian Feldman