From Strategic Culture
The Obama administration is now accusing Russia of cyber-crime and trying to disrupt the US presidential election. The claim is so far-fetched, it is hardly credible. More credible is that the US is reeling from Putin's stunning humiliation earlier this week.
Since June, US media and supporters of Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton have been blaming Russian state-sponsored hackers for breaking into the Democratic party's database.
It is further alleged that Moscow is stealthily trying to influence the outcome of the election, by releasing damaging information on Clinton, which might favor Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Russia has vehemently denied any connection to the cyber-crime charges, or trying to disrupt the November poll.
Now the Obama administration has stepped into the fray by openly accusing Russia. "US government officially accuses Russia of hacking campaign to interfere with elections," reported the Washington Post.
This takes the row to a whole new level. No longer are the insinuations a matter of private, partisan opinion. The US government is officially labeling the Russian state for cyber-crime and political subversion.
Predictably, following the latest allegations, there are calls among American lawmakers for ramping up more economic sanctions against Russia. While US intelligence figures are urging for retaliatory cyber-attacks on Russian government facilities.
Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov derided the US claims as rubbish. He noted that the Kremlin's computer system incurs hundreds of hacking attempts every day, many of which can be traced to American origin, but Moscow doesn't turn around and blame the US government for such cyber-attacks.
There are several signs that the latest brouhaha out of Washington is a bogus diversion.
As with previous Russian-hacker claims by the Democrats and US media, there is no evidence presented by the Obama administration to support its grave allegations against the Russian government. Assertion without facts does not meet a minimal standard of proof.
When reports emerged in June -- again through the Washington Post -- that the Democrat National Committee (DNC) was hacked by Russian agents, the allegation relied on investigations by a private cyber security firm by the name of CrowdStrike. The firm is linked by personnel to the NATO-affiliated, anti-Russian think tank Atlantic Council. Again no verifiable evidence was presented then, just the word of a dubious partisan source.
Back then the Russian scare story, for that's what it was, served as a useful diversion from far more important issues. Such as the 19,000 emails released from the DNC database showing that the party chiefs had preordained Clinton's presidential nomination over her Democrat rival Bernie Sanders. Much-vaunted US democracy was exposed as a fraud, and so the Washington establishment quickly went into damage-limitation mode by smearing Russia.
It was the whistleblower site Wikileaks, run by Australian journalist Julian Assange, that released the embarrassing emails. It had nothing to do with Russia. Assange has since hinted that his source was within the Democrat party itself.
This is where it gets really explosive. Assange has vowed to release more emails that will prove that Clinton as Secretary of State back in 2011-2012 masterminded the supply of weapons and money to Islamist terror networks in Libya and Syria for the objective of regime change. Furthermore, Assange says that the emails prove that Clinton lied under oath to Congress when she denied in 2013 that she was had any involvement in facilitating arms to the jihadists.