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Russia Hysteria Infects WashPost Again: False Story About Hacking U.S. Electric Grid

By       Message Glenn Greenwald       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 12/31/16

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(updated below)

THE WASHINGTON POST on Friday reported a genuinely alarming event: Russian hackers have penetrated the U.S. power system through an electrical grid in Vermont. The Post headline conveyed the seriousness of the threat:

Washington Post Headline
Washington Post Headline
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The first sentence of the article directly linked this cyberattack to alleged Russian hacking of the email accounts of the DNC and John Podesta -- what is now routinely referred to as "Russian hacking of our election" -- by referencing the code name revealed on Wednesday by the Obama administration when it announced sanctions on Russian officials: "A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials."

The Post article contained grave statements from Vermont officials of the type politicians love to issue after a terrorist attack to show they are tough and in control. The state's Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin, said:

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"Vermonters and all Americans should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world's leading thugs, Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid, which we rely upon to support our quality of life, economy, health, and safety. This episode should highlight the urgent need for our federal government to vigorously pursue and put an end to this sort of Russian meddling."

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy issued a statement warning: "This is beyond hackers having electronic joy rides -- this is now about trying to access utilities to potentially manipulate the grid and shut it down in the middle of winter. That is a direct threat to Vermont and we do not take it lightly."

The article went on and on in that vein, with all the standard tactics used by the U.S. media for such stories: quoting anonymous national security officials, reviewing past acts of Russian treachery, and drawing the scariest possible conclusions ("'The question remains: Are they in other systems and what was the intent?' a U.S. official said").

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Glenn Greenwald is one of three co-founding editors of The Intercept. He is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times best-selling books on politics and law. His most recent book, No Place (more...)
 

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