The Emperor’s New CIA

We’ve all heard the story about the Emperor’s new clothes. Well, in the case of the DNC break-in (not leak), the missing clothes, the elephant in the room, is the fact that the government agencies aren’t displaying the slightest real competence when it comes to infosec (information security). (Similar reports from trusted advisors may well be behind Mr Trump’s recent derisive tweet.)

Why didn’t the FBI ask for access to the DNC servers, as many sources tell us? (Here, and here, and here, for instance.)

Probably because even if they had gotten access, they wouldn’t have been able to do anything CrowdStrike, who did have access, couldn’t do better.

To put it simply, the “privates” are far better at this than anybody in the “intelligence community” has shown themselves to be.

What does this mean regarding the supposed “Russian hacking of the election”? Well, CrowdStrike’s report from back in June 2016, shows good evidence that two different Russian security agencies penetrated the DNC system(s) and blundered around not even knowing about each other until CrowdStrike discovered them.

As I’ve already pointed out, this doesn’t show the signature of project run by a competent former KGB agent such as Mr. Putin.

(It’s also been pointed out, by someone with much more expertise than I claim, that there are good reasons to be skeptical of CrowdStrike’s attribution to the Russian FSB and GRU. But let’s go with their story for the moment…)

Rather, it looks much more like routine collection by two different agencies, with two different agendas, who were too competitive to even talk to each other to coordinate their activities.

Once the data had been collected, of course, and the two penetrations had been exposed in a public report, it’s highly likely (IMO) that Mr. Putin took control of coordinating the activities, more as ex post facto damage control than for any affirmative political agenda.

And once the data had been collected, it was available to be leaked, to Gucifier 2.0 and/or Wikileaks. But were the Russians really responsible for either leak?

Probably not. As I’ve pointed out, there’s good reason to think that many other actors, both state and private, had penetrated the DNC, and likely other sources.

The Guccifer 2.0 leak contained metadata transparently pointing to Russia; so transparent that it was almost certainly a frame-up. (If the Russians were responsible, it must have been a fake frame-up, something that can’t be completely ruled out in the “wilderness of mirrors” that is the intelligence world, but seems very unlikely.)

As for Wikileaks, the leaked evidence itself wasn’t very damaging, sources within Wikileaks have denied any Russian involvement, and despite lots of arm-waving, the “intelligence community” still seems not to claim any evidence of Russian actors involved in the “leak”.

A careful examination of the various reports in the mainstream media (MSM) will show that they have nothing but 2nd-hand allegations from “officials”, linked through multiple “fake news” reports to hide their provenance.

Perhaps there really is evidence from humint (“human intelligence”, that is real live agents or informants) that the CIA or some other agency doesn’t want to risk. And if so, I agree, and I think we all agree, that nobody should be risked, especially valuable intelligence assets.

But frankly, I don’t believe it. This has all the earmarks of the same sort of arm-waving and smoke blowing that took place during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. And the MSM participation is equally suspect, especially in view of their constant lies and other attacks on Mr Trump.

And, when an agency such as the CIA, with its track record, makes such claims, they should be taken with a grain of salt.

In fact, many grains of salt.

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