A former CIA agent who has digested the Obama administration’s recent report that allegedly ties Russia to hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton says there is “no evidence” to support the accusation.
Shortly before the New Year’s holiday the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security jointly released a report addressing a spate of accusations against Moscow, namely that the Kremlin hacked both the DNC and the Clinton campaign, then released the hacked data to WikiLeaks, to harm the Democrat’s chances at winning the White House while helping GOP nominee Donald J. Trump.
But, says Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counterterrorism expert, military officer and recognized intelligence authority, in a Facebook post, wrote that “apart from assertions of Russian activity connected to an unnamed political party, [the report] provides absolutely no evidence that the alleged intrusions into the DNC servers were anything beyond normal intelligence agency probing for vulnerabilities.”
Giraldi was addressing what the report dubbed “GRIZZLY STEPPE,” the codename for the alleged Russian hacking operation.
“There is no evidence of particular mal-intent that can be traced back to the Russian government, much less to Vladimir Putin. Nine of the thirteen pages of the report deal with advice on how to keep your system from being hacked,” Giraldi continued. “The report’s first page has a disclaimer: ‘This report is provided as is for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.'”
That, it seems, is the government agencies more or less admitting that they don’t have any real evidence to support their allegations, which are really more like insinuations and innuendo.
More to the point, Giraldi sees political motivations behind the Obama administration’s allegations.
“The report is completely useless for those seeking to learn the evidence behind the alleged Russian hack. The PNGing of 35 Russian alleged intelligence officers as a response to this report, as is being implied by some, is most likely political in nature, possibly seeking to tie Trump’s hands regarding the relationship with Russia. Putin has wisely chosen not to respond in kind.”
As further noted by AntiMedia, Robert M. Lee, a former U.S. Air Force Cyber Warfare Operations Officer and founder and CEO of cyber security firm Dragos, says the report is unclear because it says very early that its intention is to aid “defenders” of the U.S. However, the report makes a point of declaring Russian intelligence services guilty, veering away from the stated public service goals.
“The public is looking for evidence of the attribution, the White House and the DHS/FBI clearly laid out that this report is meant for network defense, and then the entire discussion in the document is on how the DHS/FBI confirms that APT28 and APT29 are RIS groups that compromised a political party,” he wrote.
What’s more, Lee says in the past the FBI has refrained from naming specific actors in public documents, but has done so this time–which smacks of politics, not intelligence. So “the GRIZZLY STEPPE report reads like a poorly done vendor intelligence report stringing together various aspects of attribution without evidence,” Lee writes.
Internet security pioneer John McAfee isn’t buying into the government’s allegations, either. He says: “If it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians.”
An earlier report said a former British diplomat now working with WikiLeaks met a DNC insider in Washington, D.C., and was handed the documents–meaning they weren’t even hacked. Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and associate of Julian Assange. He said he had a clandestine hand-off in a wooded area near American University with one of the email sources. The leakers’ motivation was “disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation” and the “tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders,” said Murray, as reported by the UK’s Daily Mail.