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May 20

Written by: Diana West
Saturday, May 20, 2017 12:23 PM 

 

CONTINUOUSLY UPDATED:

June 14, 2016: The Washington Post reports "Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee." On what did the paper base this claim? The Post cites "committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach." 

These "security experts" are with CrowdStrike, a private cyber security firm hired and paid by the DNC.

While reading the following chronology, it is important to bear in mind that the FBI has never examined the DNC computer network because the DNC prohibited the FBI from doing so. Also, that the FBI, under former Director Comey, not to mention former President Obama and the "Intelligence Community," thought this was perfectly ok.

Another point: According to a NYT story that would be published on December 13, 2016, by mid-June of 2016, about when the DNC went public with claims of "Russian hacking," the DNC had already secretly replaced its entire computer system!

The Times reported:

In the six weeks after CrowdStrike’s arrival [in late April, it seems], in total secrecy, the computer system at the D.N.C. was replaced. ... All laptops were turned in and the hard drives wiped clean ... 

This same Times story further noted that it was also in mid-June of 2016 that the DNC, its lawyer, Michael Sussman, and senior FBI officials met for the first time.

Among the early requests at that meeting, according to participants: that the federal government make a quick “attribution” formally blaming actors with ties to Russian government for the attack to make clear that it was not routine hacking but foreign espionage.

“You have a presidential election underway here and you know that the Russians have hacked into the D.N.C.,” Mr. Sussmann said, recalling the message to the F.B.I. “We need to tell the American public that. And soon.”

Was the evidence of this incendiary charge already "replaced"? If so, does that mean the evidence of "Russian hacking" was already destroyed before the FBI walked in the door?

I don't know the answers to these questions -- but I think they are perfectly good questions.

---

In the Washington Post story of June 14, 2016, DNC chief executive Amy Dacey explained to the Post what happened after she received a call from "her operations chief" about "unusual network activity" noticed by the IT team in "late April."

That evening, she spoke with Michael Sussman, a DNC lawyer who is a partner with Perkins Coie in Washington. Soon after, Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who handled computer crime cases, called [CrowdStrike president Shawn Henry], whom he has known for many years.

I highlight "that evening" "DNC lawyer" "Perkins Coie" "Crowdstrike" and "many years" to highlight the political nature of this chain of damage control. Dacey spoke with Sussman, the DNC lawyer, that evening -- instead of, say, the FBI cyber crime unit that day. As a Perkins Coie partner, Sussmann is with the leading Democrat law firm: Perkins Coie has produced an Obama White House Counsel; a lawyer to ferry that copy of Obama's "birth certificate" from Hawaii to the White House; and it has represented the DNC, Democrats in Congress, Obama's presidential campaign, and, at that moment in June 2016, the Clinton presidential campaign.

With all of those Democrat interests in mind, the DNC and Perkins Coie chose to turn to CrowdStrike. Who, what is Crowdstrike? Here is one hair-raising theory. It is a fact that CrowdStrike's Moscow-born co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council, a globalist, interventionist and swampist think tank, which gave Hillary Clinton its Distinguished International Leadership Award in 2013.

 

The political nature of the DNC's choice of a politically connected cyber-security firm itself is not surprising; what is five-alarm-shocking, though, is that the FBI has never verified the firm's "Russian hacking" findings. 

June 22, 2016: John Ashe dies of his throat being crushed by a barbell at his home shortly before appearing in court with co-defendant Ng Lap Seng in a fraud case alleging payola to the late UN official. As New York Post notes: "Seng was identified in a 1998 Senate report as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner, Charlie Trie, to the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration."

June 27, 2016: Bill Clinton and AG Loretta Lynch meet privately in her jet on the tarmac in Phoenix, AZ.

July 5, 2016: FBI Director Comey holds a press conference enumerating Secretary Clinton's "extremely careless" handling of classified and secret information, announcing:

Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. 

July 10, 2016: DNC staffer Seth Rich, whose title is reported as "voter expansion data director," is murdered in the street near his home in Washington, DC. The police will attribute his murder to robbery, although nothing was stolen from Rich. His murder remains unsolved. 

Here, thanks to William Craddick of Disobedient Media, is the crime report, which tells us that three of the officers at the scene were wearing body cams.

July 12, 2016: Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton

July 22, 2016: It is three days before the start of DNC convention, and Wikileaks starts releasing 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments from the Democratic National Committee. The emails document the DNC's efforts to sink Bernie Sanders' primary run against Hillary Clinton. DNC chairman Wasserman Schultz will resign over this election-meddling scandal within the week. 

July 23, 2016: A spate of Trump-Putin stories begins to appear about now, including FP's Julia Ioffe's piece titled, "Is Trump a Russian Stooge?" A deflection to "Russian hacking" from DNC primary-rigging is immediately apparent, at least on the Left: "So what was once dismissed out of hand -- that the DNC was actively working against the Sanders campaign -- is now obviously true, but not a big deal." 

July 25, 2016: Sanders supporters boo DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the stage at national convention event over Wikileaks revelations of DNC collusion in Hillary Clinton's favor. W-S resigns from the DNC on July 28, 2016.

August 1, 2016: Peter Schweizer publishes "From Russia with Money," a stunning report on Clinton cronyism and corruption detailing multiple and profitable connections between Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, John Podesta, and Russia. (More info on Podesta and his Russian business dealings will follow from Wikileaks.) Hillary-tanked MSM ignore evidence of "Russian influence" on Clinton and Podesta both.

On or about August 9, 2016: During an interview (video above), Julian Assange brings up the recent murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich while discussing the great risks Wikileaks sources take. Wikileaks will contribute $20,000 to what grows to more $125,000 in reward money for information leading to arrest of the murderer(s) of Seth Rich. According to private investigator Rod Wheeler, no one has come forward to try to claim the money.

August 11, 2016: House Minority Leader Pelosi tells reporters: "I know for sure that it is the Russians; I said that at the convention two weeks ago. ... This is an electronic Watergate. This is an electronic Watergate. ... This is a break-in. This is a break-in, and I think we have to recognize what is happening here."  

August 25, 2016: CIA Director John Brennan was "so concerned about increasing evidence of Russia’s election meddling," that he privately briefs congressional leaders by secure phone, the NYT later reported.

It is unclear what new intelligence might have prompted the classified briefings. But with concerns growing both internally and publicly at the time about a significant Russian breach of the Democratic National Committee, the C.I.A. began seeing signs of possible connections to the Trump campaign, the officials said. By the campaign’s final weeks, Congress and the intelligence agencies were racing to understand the scope of the Russia threat.

September 5, 2016: Washington Post reports DNI James Clapper is leading an investigation into Russian efforts to "sow distrust" in the presidential election and U.S. institutions.

The Kremlin’s intent may not be to sway the election in one direction or another, officials said, but to cause chaos and provide propaganda fodder to attack U.S. democracy-building policies around the world, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

U.S. intelligence officials described the covert influence campaign here as “ambitious” and said it is also designed to counter U.S. leadership and influence in international affairs.  

September 24, 2016: American University panels separately feature both Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former UK Amb. Craig Murray, among others.

Murray will later tell the Daily Mail (see entry for December 14, 2016) that he flew to America in September and "personally received Clinton campaign emails" for Wikileaks near American University from an intermediary for American whistleblowers motivated by their "disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders." 

The Daily Mail reported, "Murray said he retrieved the package from a source during a clandestine meeting in a wooded area near American University, in northwest D.C."

News of this American University event comes from Lola@DropThe_Mic via Twitter

October 7, 2016: Washington Post: "US government officially accuses Russia of hacking campaign to interfere with elections." The story reports on a joint statement released by the DNI and DHS. The paper only quotes this much:  

“The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations,” said a joint statement from the two agencies. “. . . These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

Also of October 7, 2016: The Washington Post releases Access Hollywood/Trump tape, although the published story is dated October 8, 2016. 

Also on October 7, 2016: Wikileaks releases the first cache of Podesta emails.

October 14, 2016: Jonathan Rich, Seth Rich's cousin, tweets the following:

October 17, 2016: Julian Assange accuses a "state party" of severing his internet connection.  

October 19, 2016: Hillary Clinton turns the DHS-DNI statement into "17 intelligence agencies" during a debate with Donald Trump: 

CLINTON: We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election.

I find that deeply disturbing. And I think it is time —

TRUMP: She has no idea whether it is Russia, China or anybody else.

CLINTON: I am not quoting myself. I am quoting 17, 17 — do you doubt?

TRUMP: Our country has no idea.

October 20, 2016: At National Review, Fred Fleitz writes

First of all, only two intelligence entities – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – have weighed in on this issue, not 17 intelligence agencies.

Fleitz goes on to quote from the same joint DNI-DHS statement the Post cited so sparingly. The disclosures ... 

are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europa and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.

Fleitz, formerly with the CIA, writes: "Saying we think the hacks `are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts' is far short of saying we have evidence that Russia has been responsible for the hacks." 

October 22, 2016: Gavin McFadyen died of lung cancer in London on October 22, 2016 at the age of 76. According to a May 2017 Fox News report, Gavin McFadyen was Seth Rich's Wikileaks' contact.

October 28, 2016: FBI Director Comey writes to congressional leaders informing them that "in connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation" of Secretary Clinton's personal email server, and that the FBI will review these emails for classified information.

November 2, 2016: Jonathan Rich, Seth Rich's cousin, tweeted the following reply to a question about the Clinton body count:

November 6, 2016: FBI Director Comey informs congressional leaders: "Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton."

Around November 9 or 10, 2016: According to the April 2017 book Shattered, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and chairman John Podesta gather campaign staff in Brooklyn to set the post-election defeat narrative: Hillary's unsecured email sever was major over-reported story of the campaign, and Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign. 

December 9, 2016: Washington Post writes:

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

December 14, 2016: Former UK Amb. to Uzbekistan and Wikileaks associate Craig Murray tells the Daily Mail that he flew to Washington in September 2016 to receive emails from one of Wikileaks' sources. Both the DNC emails and the Podesta emails, Murray said, came from inside leaks, not hacks. "He said the leakers were motivated by 'disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.' "

December 22, 2016: The Washington Post reports CrowdStrike links Russian hacking of the DNC to Russian hacking of the Ukrainian military. Said CrowdStrike's Alperovitch: 'The fact that [these hackers] would be tracking and helping the Russian military kill Ukrainian army personnel in eastern Ukraine and also intervening in the U.S. election is quite chilling." 

This new Russian hacking claim will be widely and loudly debunked by British, Ukrainian and other sources. 

December 29, 2016: DHS and FBI release a joint report entitled "Russian Malicious Cyber Activity." The FBI, to repeat, has not examined the DNC servers to verify Crowdstrike's findings of "Russian hacking," but President Obama goes ahead orders sanctions on Russia and expels 35 diplomats anyway! 

Russia does not respond in kind, which intensifies the air of unreality about the whole exercise. It all feels stagey.   

January 4, 2017: Buzzfeed reports "The FBI did not examine the servers of the Democratic National Committee before issuing a report attributing the sweeping cyberintrusion to Russia-backed hackers" because, according to Eric Walker, the DNC’s deputy communications director, the FBI never requested to examine them. Instead the bureau relied on the work of a "third-party tech security company," CrowdStrike.

Walker states in an email to Buzzfeed: "The DNC had several meetings with representatives of the FBI's Cyber Division and its Washington (DC) Field Office, the Department of Justice's National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney's Offices, and it responded to a variety of requests for cooperation, but the FBI never requested access to the DNC's computer servers.” 

FBI Director Comey will soon contradict this statement. 

January 10, 2017: For the first time, FBI Director James Comey publicly addresses the DNC-Russian hacking story, affirming that the FBI has not had direct access to the DNC servers or John Podesta's personal devices, despite "multiple requests at different levels." 

Comey told the Senate committee, "Our forensics folks would always prefer to get access to the orginal device or server that's involved ..." but no worries! "A highly respected private company eventually got access and shared with us what they saw there."

Right then and there, President-elect Trump should have planned to ask Comey to resign over this single act of rank incompetence (or corruption). 

March 15, 2017: According to Daily Mail, "CrowdStrike's Alperovitch cancels interview with VOA, the news outlet that first reported CrowdStrike had misstated data ..."  

March 19, 2017: Aaron Rich, Seth's brother, starts a GoFundMe account to pay for an investigation into "the unsolved murder of Seth Rich."

Also in March of 2017 and also according to Daily Mail, CrowdStrike is stonewalling :

CrowdStrike's co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch and its president Shawn Henry turned down an invitation to testify before the House Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the U.S. election.

'They declined the invitation, so we're communicating with them about speaking to us privately,' said Jack Langer, a spokesperson for House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes.

"Speaking to us privately..." 

(A request: Could Republicans please roll over, pull the trigger and put us out of their misery?) 

Also in March 2017: In a May 16, 2017 interview with Sean Hannity, private investigator Rod Wheeler says that in March, when he began his investigation into the murder of Seth Rich on behalf of the Rich family, he called the DCPD but didn't hear back from anyone for two to three days. Wheeler says he learned from the family on May 15 that during that March interim, a high-ranking official at the DNC got the information about his query and called the Rich family "wanting to know why I was snooping around." (Who in the DCPD called the DNC official and why?)

In this same interview, Wheeler adds that Seth Rich was having problems at work, and that the person he was having problems with was the same DNC official who called the father.

Rod Wheeler later identified the official as Donna Brazile, vice chairman of the DNC before assuming chairmanship after Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced out over DNC-Wikileaks.  

March 20, 2017: Then-FBI Director Comey and NSA Director Rogers appear before the House Intelligence Committee. 

HURD: Have you been able to -- when did the DNC provide access for -- to the FBI for your technical folks to review what happened?

COMEY: Well we never got direct access to the machines themselves. The DNC in the spring of 2016 hired a firm that ultimately shared with us their forensics from their review of the system.

HURD: Director Rogers, did the NSA ever get access to the DNC hardware?

ROGERS: The NSA didn't ask for access. That's not in our job...

HURD: ... So director FBI notified the DNC early, before any information was put on Wikileaks and when -- you have still been -- never been given access to any of the technical or the physical machines that were -- that were hacked by the Russians.

COMEY: That's correct although 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.

Again, this shocking dereliction alone is enough to justify Comey's removal -- plus a thorough investigation into exactly how it was that DNC/CrowdStrike was able to thwart an FBI investigation -- and why Director Comey, not to mention why Barack Obama and on down, went along with all of it

Smells, the whole thing, the whole gang, to high heaven. 

March 27, 2016: Jonathan Rich, Seth Rich's cousin whose Twitter account bases him in Omaha, tweets that former DNC Chairman Donna Brazile, fired by CNN for leaking debate questions to Hillary, was "here" (on March 26).

April 5, 2017: Alana Goodman of the Daily Mail reports CrowdStrike has "quietly retracted" key portions from its debunked Ukrainian report "after the firm was found to have relied on inaccurate data posted online by a pro-Putin 'propaganda' blogger."

Too bizarre --

The errors prompted both the Ukrainian military and a prominent British think tank to issue public statements disputing CrowdStrike's data.

The Daily Mail quotes cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Carr, who, as the paper puts it, explained that "this is part of  'a pattern' for [Crowdstrike], and raises concerns about its credibility."

Carr:

'They just found what they wanted to find…they didn't stop for a moment to question it, they didn't contact the primary source,' added Carr. 'This is like an elementary school-level analysis.'

Note: It is this same "elementary school-level analysis" that remains the basis of the DNC-"Russian hacking" story!

This is outrageous and alarming on multiple levels. To begin with, if a private firm claims that a foreign power has cyber-attacked a leading political organization critical to the functioning of the US national election process, how does the US government not become involved to investigate to ensure that any actions the US government may take in response -- sanctions, expulsions, to take the real- world example -- to that foreign attack are based on verified findings?

It does not seem possible that the DNC has the authority to rebuff the FBI in a case of a purported foreign strike -- unless the fix is already in. I mean, imagine a private eye putting off the FBI, saying, don't worry, we've got that Rosenberg spy ring covered, and we'll keep you fully apprised.

It's not really all that different. 

There's more.

The Daily Mail:

There remain unanswered questions about the sequence of events which led to the secrets of the DNC being laid bare. 

The DNC said it originally hired CrowdStrike in late April last year after discovering suspicious activity on its computer system indicating a 'serious' hack. 

That's right. See entry for June 16, 2016 above. 

But according to internal emails, CrowdStrike was already working for the DNC to investigate whether Bernie Sanders campaign staffers had gained unauthorized access to its voter database. 

That five-week investigation appeared to have wrapped up on April 29, 2016. ...

"Already working for the DNC" in this timeframe of still-undisclosed anti-Bernie collusion means, in effect, already working in support of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign against Sanders. Great source for non-partisan and official intelligence. 

And check this out: voter data base, Bernie Sanders staffers. Seth Rich's job at the DNC has been reported as "voter expansion data director." Related? Should the Seth Rich chronology go back to alleged dirty tricks in December 2015 involving yet another data breach?

Yes, my head hurts, too. But out of this giant headache may emerge some clear truths. In the meantime, it is extremely notable that Twitter talk of supression of the investigation into or even discussion of whether Seth Rich was a DNC source for Wikileaks and murdered as a result is coming not only from the MSM, but hard Left and Democrat "data" professionals.

Take, for example, Andrew Therriault, former "Director of Data Science" for the DNC. Zero Hedge reports that Therriault tweeted and deleted the following tweet calling Seth Rich "an embarassment" -- ten months after his murder.

More recently, Therriault retweeted Rob Flaherty's tweet (below), which includes a link to a petition against the advertisers of WTTG,  which re-introduced the Seth Rich story this past week.

Flaherty, too, is a Democratic operative, data pro, Hillary Clinton supporter, and works for the lavishly Soros-funded PAC, Priorities USA.   

 

The petition, by the way, written by another hard left activist, Karl Frisch of Allied Progress, announces a boycott of WTTG advertisers unless they pull their WTTG advertising until the news station retracts their developing Seth Rich story.

Think there are some high stakes hiding in the tall Swamp grass? Just keep saying "Russian hacking," "Russian hacking." Everything will be just fine.

To be cont'd.

 

 

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