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From Consortium News
Four years ago today, on June 15, 2016, a shadowy Internet persona calling itself "Guccifer 2.0" appeared out of nowhere to claim credit for hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee on behalf of WikiLeaks and implicate Russia by dropping "telltale" but synthetically produced Russian "breadcrumbs" in his metadata.
Thanks largely to the corporate media, the highly damaging story actually found in those DNC emails namely, that the DNC had stacked the cards against Bernie Sanders in the party's 2016 primary was successfully obscured.
The media was the message; and the message was that Russia had used G-2.0 to hack into the DNC, interfering in the November 2016 election to help Donald Trump win.
Almost everybody still "knows" that from the man or woman in the street to the forlorn super sleuth, Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III, who actually based indictments of Russian intelligence officers on Guccifer 2.0.
Blaming Russia was a magnificent distraction from the start and quickly became the vogue.
The soil had already been cultivated for "Russia-gate" by Democratic PR gems like Donald Trump "kissing up" to former KGB officer Vladimir Putin and their "bromance" (bromides that former President Barack Obama is still using). Four years ago today, "Russian meddling" was off and running on steroids acquiring far more faux-reality than the evanescent Guccifer 2.0 persona is likely to get.
Here's how it went down:
1 -- June 12: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced he had "emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication."
2 -- June 14: DNC contractor CrowdStrike tells the media that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.
3 -- June 15: Guccifer 2.0 arises from nowhere; affirms the DNC/CrowdStrike allegations of the day before; claims responsibility for hacking the DNC; claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that forensic examination shows was deliberately tainted with "Russian fingerprints." This to "corroborate" claims made by CrowdStrike executives the day before.
Adding to other signs of fakery, there is hard evidence that G-2.0 was operating mostly in U.S. time zones and with local settings peculiar to a device configured for use within the U.S., as Tim Leonard reports here and here.)
Leonard is a software developer who started to catalog and archive evidence related to Guccifer 2.0 in 2017 and has issued detailed reports on digital forensic discoveries made by various independent researchers as well as his own over the past three years. Leonard points out that WikiLeaks said it did not use any of the emails G2.0 sent it, though it later published similar emails, opening the possibility that whoever created G2.0 knew what WikiLeaks had and sent it duplicates with the Russian fingerprints.
As Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) told President Trump in a memorandum of July 24, 2017, titled "Was the 'Russian Hack' an Inside Job?":
"We do not think that the June 12, 14, & 15 timing was pure coincidence. Rather, it suggests the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been ready to publish and to 'show' that it came from a Russian hack."
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