Sunday, December 11, 2016

Remember When the Russians Hacked the White House’s Computers? Posted: 11 Dec 2016 02:

This would be funny if it weren't so serious and frightening. Let me get this straight, the CIA, which has been virtually wrong on every single issue since the Korean War (and that's NOT an exaggeration) now knows, with a "high degree of certainty" no less, that the Russians tried to influence the election so that Trump won over Hillary? Forgetting that it's Hillary who proved to be shockingly weak, incompetent and anti-American in her dealings with Russia, the CIA half-wits making that "influence" ascertain are "anonymous" and absolutely no data or documentation is being released to back that bullcrap up. And based on these freaks we're going to get investigations and hearings and more efforts to delegitimize Donald Trump before he's sworn in as presiden

Remember When the Russians Hacked the White House’s Computers?
Posted: 11 Dec 2016 02:58 PM PST
(John Hinderaker)
You probably don’t. We broke the story on Power Line in October 2014, writing about it hereherehereherehere and here. The White House’s computers were down for weeks because of the intrusion by a “foreign power,” which the administration finally identified as Russia. It wasn’t just the White House, either; it was the entire Executive Office of the President, which comprises a good chunk of the executive branch. Nor was that all: the State Department’s computer system was hacked, too.
While we pounded away at the story, the White House refused to respond to our inquiries. The Washington press corps, which must have known that the White House’s computers were out of action, maintained a discreet silence, declining to write about the Russian hack, even though many D.C. reporters no doubt followed the story on Power Line. Why the coy silence? Because it was October 2014, weeks before the midterm elections, and the story reflected poorly on the Obama administration, which didn’t even discover the intrusion itself. It turned out that American officials were alerted to the Russian hack of the White House and State Department by an unidentified ally (I’m guessing Israel).
Only when the election was safely over did news outlets like CNN report the story (“How the U.S. thinks Russians hacked the White House”). Throughout, the Obama administration minimized the story, claiming that no harm was done and only unclassified material was accessed–an excuse that, as CNN wrote post-election, “belies the seriousness of the intrusion.”
Now, the same news outlets that refused to cover the Russian government’s hacking into White House and State Department computers and email systems try to tell us that an intrusion into Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s and John Podesta’s email accounts by someone–allegedly the same Russian government–is a story of world-historical importance. What a load of bulls–t.

Posted: 11 Dec 2016 10:44 AM PST
(John Hinderaker)
It is certainly the most overblown story in a long time. The casual reader of newspaper headlines might well believe that the Russian government hacked into voting machines, or something of the sort, to influence the presidential election. But that is not the case. If you read the Washington Post story, they are merely talking about the well-known hacks of Democratic National Committee and John Podesta emails. The only news here is that someone at the CIA thinks the Russian government carried out the operation and did so in order to help Donald Trump win the election.
But the supporting information is very thin. The third-hand account in the Post admits that it wasn’t actually the Russian government that did the hacking:
[I]ntelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin “directing” the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, a second senior U.S. official said. Those actors, according to the official, were “one step” removed from the Russian government, rather than government employees.
So is there any reason to think that the Russian government had anything to do with it? We don’t know. There are a great many software experts and sophisticated hackers in Russia. While it is possible that the Russian government directed these intrusions, the Post story contains no indication of what evidence supports this claim.
The Post’s sources are some combination of Democratic senators and Obama administration officials, conveying their impressions of what what unnamed representatives of the CIA told a bipartisan group of senators in a recent briefing. Someday, persuasive evidence supporting the Post’s headline may emerge, but it certainly hasn’t so far.
I suppose it is possible that Russia’s government hoped that Trump would win the election, but it is hard to see why. Such a desire would mean a change in Russian policy. The Russians enthusiastically welcomed Barack Obama’s election in 2008, and the then-head of that country’s Communist Party explained why the Russians don’t like Republicans:
All Republican presidents have always defended national interests, ignoring the interests of other countries of the world. The new US president [Obama] cannot but understand that it is impossible to seek and find answers to many global issues without the participation of such a great country as Russia.
The one thing we know for sure about Donald Trump is that he is pro-America–in the Russians’ eyes, a typical Republican.
Moreover, why would the Russians think that exposing emails from the likes of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and John Podesta would cause Trump to win the election? American newspapers like the Washington Post were saying that Hillary had the election virtually wrapped up. It would be embarrassing if Vladimir Putin has more insight into the U.S. electorate than such organs as the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Be that as it may, Donald Trump’s assessment of this kerfuffle is correct: it is just another silly attempt by the Democrats to excuse the fact that they lost the election. The Wikileaks revelations, while entertaining and often interesting, were inside baseball. The voters who swung Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin into the GOP column didn’t do so because they were outraged by John Podesta’s emails, or by the fact that the DNC conspired against Bernie Sanders. For the Democrats to claim otherwise is delusional.

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
Esynagogue/Rodfei kodesh

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