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Intelligence veterans challenge the ‘Russian Hack’ story

 A number of retired intelligence officers have publicly debunked claims that Russian hacked the US election, but this hasn’t stopped the FT from continuing to parrot the government line.  


A little context:

1. What I said to the FT last week

In my last piece on the 21st July I challenged US managing editor, Gillian Tett, in the comments section of her FT article ‘Want to change the media? Don’t get mad — get even’.

“Tell the ‘big beasts’ at the FT that the Council on Foreign Relations, the State Department and various other governmental and establishment ‘think tanks’ are not the only sources of intelligence on what is happening in the Middle East, or indeed elsewhere in the world. Remind them that the CIA has a long history of false flag operations; that lying didn’t stop with little Bush; that many of their readers seem to be far more widely read than they appear to be. Tell them that the primary duty of the fourth estate is to hold power to account, and that they patently do not meet that duty when the power in question is wearing their preferred political stripe.

Or don’t. But if you don’t, please get used to some of us being a tad angry” – MarkGB

There was no response from Ms Tett or the FT.

2. On Monday July 24th the FT published an editorial entitled: ‘Congress acts on Russia in the absence of Trump leadership’.

“Whoever occupied the White House this year would have confronted the same question: whether to extend sanctions on Russia for alleged meddling in the US elections,” read the editorial with no byline.

“This was not just an assault on the integrity of the American voting system. It was, as Dan Coats, the director of US intelligence, puts it, an effort to undermine “western democracy”. Inaction would invite further subversion from Moscow…”

In the absence of Mr Trump taking the lead, Congress has every right to protect democratic institutions…” – FT View

Notice that the FT covered itself with the term ‘alleged meddling’, since there has been no evidence presented. However, and despite the fact that the spurious ‘unanimous‘ claim was acknowledged as incorrect by James Clapper in evidence to the Senate in May, the FT persists with its fiction elsewhere in the article:

“It is the unanimous view of US intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in support of Mr Trump’s candidacy — perhaps in the expectation that he would ease the sanctions regime” – FT View

Whatever…the vote took place on Tuesday 25th, and as predicted it: ‘underscored the anger on Capitol Hill’. Here is the FT’s Washington Bureau Chief, Demetri Sevastopulo, on Wednesday 26th in an article entitled ‘US House votes overwhelmingly for Russia sanctions’:

“The US House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly to impose new sanctions on Russia as Congress attempts to punish Moscow for alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The House approved the sanctions — and separate punitive measures against Iran and North Korea — in a 419:3 vote that underscored the anger on Capitol Hill over the alleged Russian interference.

(The statement from Congress, signed by the speaker Paul Ryan)

“The multitude of threats posed to our national security by Iran, Russia, and North Korea cannot be understated. These bad actors have long sought to undermine the United States and disrupt global stability,” said Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House. “The bill we just passed with overwhelming bipartisan support is one of the most expansive sanctions packages in history. It tightens the screws on our most dangerous adversaries in order to keep Americans safe.”

3. Why am I telling you this?

Strangely, it’s not out of a need to emphasise my high regard for the hacks & halfwits that litter what used to be called ‘Fleet Street’…it’s because I thought you might be interested in this:

Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence

It is a memo sent to President Trump on 24th July by a number of retired intelligence officers on the subject of the Russian hack. These include a guy called William Binney who I have referenced before. He is essentially the guy who designed the NSA’s signal intelligence centre prior to turning ‘whistle-blower’. The VIPs, as they are called, debunked a number of previous scams including Colin Powell’s bogus Iraq WMD evidence.

By some strange oversight, there is no mention of this in the FT.

Here is an extract from the Executive Summary:

Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia.

After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device, and that “telltale signs” implicating Russia were then inserted.

Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack. Of equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S. Thus far, mainstream media have ignored the findings of these independent studies

Independent analyst Skip Folden, a retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, who examined the recent forensic findings, is a co-author of this Memorandum. He has drafted a more detailed technical report titled “Cyber-Forensic Investigation of ‘Russian Hack’ and Missing Intelligence Community Disclaimers,” and sent it to the offices of the Special Counsel and the Attorney General. VIPS member William Binney, a former Technical Director at the National Security Agency, and other senior NSA “alumni” in VIPS attest to the professionalism of the independent forensic findings.

The recent forensic studies fill in a critical gap. Why the FBI neglected to perform any independent forensics on the original “Guccifer 2.0” material remains a mystery – as does the lack of any sign that the “hand-picked analysts” from the FBI, CIA, and NSA, who wrote the “Intelligence Community Assessment” dated January 6, 2017, gave any attention to forensics.

And here is the disclosure statement:

Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental. The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times. This is our 50th VIPS Memorandum since the afternoon of Powell’s speech at the UN. Live links to the 49 past memos can be found at

Again, the full memo can be seen here:

Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence

You may want to read it and make up your own mind.

This piece was originally published on and was reproduced with permission of the author. 

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