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From Consortium News
Allen Dulles: Wielded .conspiracy theorist. as a weapon.
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As if it weren't enough of a downer for Russia-gate true believers that no Trump-Russia collusion was found, federal judges are now demanding proof that Russia hacked into the DNC in the first place.
It is shaping up to be a significant challenge to the main premise of the shaky syllogism that ends with "Russia did it."
If you're new to this website, grab onto something, as the following may come as something of a shock. Not only has there never been any credible evidence to support the claim of Russian cyber interference, there has always been a simple alternative explanation that involves no "hacking" at all by Russia or anyone else.
As most Consortium News habitue's are aware, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (which includes two former NSA technical directors), working with independent forensic investigators, concluded two years ago that what "everyone knows to be Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee" actually involved an insider with physical access to DNC computers copying the emails onto an external storage device such as a thumb drive. In other words, it was a leak, not a hack.
VIPS based its conclusion on the principles of physics applied to metadata and other empirical information susceptible of forensic analysis.
But if a leak, not a hack, who was the DNC insider-leaker? In the absence of hard evidence, VIPS refuses "best-guess"-type "assessments" the kind favored by the "handpicked analysts" who drafted the evidence-impoverished, so-called Intelligence Community Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017.
Simply letting the name "Seth Rich" pass your lips can condemn you to the leper colony built by the Washington Establishment for "conspiracy theorists," (the term regularly applied to someone determined to seek tangible evidence, and who is open to alternatives to "Russia-did-it.")
Rich was a young DNC employee who was murdered on a street in Washington, DC, on July 10, 2016. Many, including me, suspect that Rich played some role in the leaking of DNC emails to -- WikiLeaks. There is considerable circumstantial evidence that this may have been the case. Those who voice such suspicions, however, are, ipso facto, branded "conspiracy theorists."
That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the "brand-them-conspiracy-theorists" ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected understandably to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The "conspiracy theorist" tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now.
Rich Hovers Above the Courts
U.S. Courts apply far tougher standards to evidence than do the intelligence community and the pundits who loll around lazily, feeding from the intelligence PR trough. This (hardly surprising) reality was underscored when a Dallas financial adviser named Ed Butowsky sued National Public Radio and others for defaming him about the role he played in controversial stories relating to Rich. On August 7, NPR suffered a setback, when U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant affirmed a lower court decision to allow Butowsky's defamation lawsuit to proceed.
Judge Mazzant ruled that NPR had stated as "verifiable statements of fact" information that could not be verified, and that the plaintiff had been, in effect, accused of being engaged in wrongdoing without persuasive sourcing language.
Imagine! "persuasive sourcing" required to separate fact from opinion and axes to grind! An interesting precedent to apply to the ins and outs of Russia-gate. In the courts, at least, this is now beginning to happen. And NPR and others in similarly vulnerable positions are scurrying around for allies. The day after Judge Mazzant's decision, NPR enlisted help from discredited Yahoo! News pundit Michael Isikoff (author, with David Corn, of the fiction-posing-as-fact novel Russian Roulette). NPR gave Isikoff 37 minutes on its popular Fresh Air program to spin his yarn about how the Seth Rich story got started. You guessed it; the Russians started it. No, we are not making this up.
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