In order to save face over an investigation that has failed to produce a smoking gun regarding charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the US elite have opted to indict Russian intelligence officials for election meddling. Yet the evidence, once again, is missing in action.
Amid harsh criticism at home for its failure to provide proof of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election, at the very same time that Trump is preparing to meet with Vladimir Putin for a summit in Helsinki, the US Deep State has resorted to playing spoiler with the most overplayed hand in modern political history: the ‘Blame Russia’ card.
On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 members of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, also known as GRU, for “conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.”
According to the 29-page indictment, the defendants devised fictional online personas to compromise computers affiliated with the Democratic National Committee, as well as Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The purported ‘hack’ led to the release of tens of thousands of stolen emails by WikiLeaks. These communications revealed what amounts to criminal behavior on the part of the DNC, including overt bias against Democratic presidential nominee Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton, as well as evidence that Clinton was fed the questions to public debates against Donald Trump. Those very serious findings have been sidelined amid the storm known as Russiagate.
The Russian Foreign Ministry vehemently rejected the accusations, saying it was a coordinated effort by “influential political forces in the US that are opposed to the normalization of relations between our countries and have spread open slander for the past two years.”
“The goal of this ‘information attack’ is obviously to spoil the atmosphere prior to the Russian-American summit,” the ministry said, referring to the forthcoming meeting between Putin and Trump.
Indeed, the accusations leveled against the Russians ring hollow for several credible reasons.
First, the claims do not flush with WikiLeaks’ account as to how it came to possess the information. WikiLeaks founder and editor, Julian Assange, who has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over four years for fear of being extradited to the US, has denied that any state player was responsible for the “leak.”
"We’re unhappy that we felt that we needed to even say that it wasn’t a state party,” Assange told Sean Hannity of Fox News. “Normally, we say nothing at all.”
"We have ... a strong interest in protecting our sources, and so we never say anything about them, never ruling anyone in or anyone out,” Assange added.
Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is now an affiliate of WikiLeaks, revealed that he knows the identity of the source.
"I know who leaked them,” Murray said. “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it's an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.”
For those who prefer to see evidence before they jump the gun and wrongly accuse someone - in this case a nuclear-armed power - they share the approach of Devin Nunes, chair of the House intelligence committee, who said: “I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence – even now. There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.”
Second, according to an independent analysis carried out by a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), the DNS servers were compromised not through a ‘hack’ from some outside party, but rather through a ‘leak,’ that is, an ‘inside job.’
“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,” the group, who counts among its members William Binney, a former NSA analyst turned whistleblower, wrote in a letter it sent to President Trump. “Key among the findings … 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 was performed on the East coast of the US”
The group says the mainstream media refuses to report on its findings.
Third, the FBI never had possession of the original DNC server to conduct its own forensics work, but relied instead upon a copy of texts provided by CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity company hired by the DNC - the target of the investigation – to conduct its internal investigation for the DNC. In other words, the possibility that the evidence was tampered with is certainly not beyond the realm of reality.
"We got the forensics from the pros that they hired which - again, best practice is always to get access to the machines themselves, but this my folks tell me was an appropriate substitute," then-FBI director James Comey told a House Intel session in January 2017.
Consider this: The FBI was happy to proceed with its investigation of Russia-Trump collusion without ever gaining access to the primary evidence, which were the DNC servers, allowing a clearly biased third party to distribute the goodies as it saw fit. Now compare that breathtaking disregard for professional standards with regards to the Clinton email investigation to the way the FBI manhandled Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal attorney. On the suspicion that Cohen had made a payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels to hush up an alleged decades-old dalliance with Trump, FBI agents raided Cohen’s law office in midtown Manhattan in an effort to seize evidence. Now why in the world was similar force of action not taken against Hillary Clinton and the DNC, especially considering the significance of the case? Clearly there appears to be no small degree of political bias here.
Finally, the FBI itself is now under investigation for possible bias in the course of Russiagate investigation from at least two of its members Peter Strzok, deputy assistant director of the FBI and Lisa Page, a lawyer at the FBI who was also Strzok’s mistress. The lovers somehow managed to exchange some 50,000 text messages throughout the 2016 presidential election and first year of Trump in power, many of them containing fiercely anti-Trump sentiments.
Strzok was involved in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server (no charges were brought against her, despite clearly breaking the law with regards to her handling of government communications), as well as the investigation into possible connections between Trump’s campaign and Russia (ongoing).
This is the sort of political climate that the Trump administration has been forced to deal with for almost two years – a non-stop full court rush from the Democrats.
And now, when there is a chance for the smallest breakthrough in US-Russia relations, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, rolls out charges against 12 Russian military officials, thereby severely polluting the atmosphere for the Putin-Trump summit.
Clearly, something has got to give one way or the other. The fate of relations between the world’s two premier nuclear powers can no longer be held hostage to poor-sport Democrats who simply do not know how to lose an election with grace.