Russian ‘Hacking’—Truth versus Lies
The following is an edited version of the LaRouche PAC International Webcast from July 28. The host was Jason Ross of LaRouche PAC, and the webcast contained excerpts of an interview, by Ross, with Ray McGovern of the Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Also speaking was Diane Sare of the LaRouche Policy Committee.
Jason Ross: My name is Jason Ross, and I’m glad you’re joining us for the Friday LaRouche PAC webcast. We’re going to be covering an issue today that’s of the greatest importance for the nation. I have on the show with me this week Diane Sare, who’s joining us from our Manhattan Project in New York.
The issue that concerns us today is that of “Russia-gate.” We have heard so often, and there has been so much said, about the “irrefutable” supposed evidence that Donald Trump was placed in the White House by the machinations of Vladimir Putin, that it’s almost taken as a given. Everyone assumes it happened; in fact, it was written into the Russian sanctions bill that just passed the House and the Senate, as an assumption, that we know Vladimir Putin put Trump into office; that Putin ordered an influence campaign on the U.S. election. It’s not true.
The VIPS Memo
This week, on Monday, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity released a memo called, “” In it, they demolish the central claim of the entire Russia-gate story. That central claim is that Russian hackers were involved in getting material from the Democratic National Committee, material that was very embarrassing towards Hillary Clinton, and releasing it via Wikileaks. This hinges on the central character of the Internet persona known as Guccifer 2.0, and the intelligence committee assessment which came out January 6, 2017 at the very end of the Obama administration. This is the report that everybody has been citing, that supposedly all of the intelligence agencies agree with this assessment. It’s not true. Only a hand-picked group of intelligence agencies were involved in that assessment at all, and their assessment is not unanimous. That central evidence factor is what we’re going to be talking about today in terms of this VIPS memo.
We had the good fortune to be able to interview one of the founding members of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Ray McGovern, who is a former very top level analyst at the CIA, who during his career, had prepared Presidential daily briefs for the President. Last night we asked him if he could lay out what the implications are of the memo that they put forward, and here’s what he had to say:
Ray McGovern: The 12th of June, 15th of June? As soon as they learned that Julian Assange had emails related to Hillary Clinton, “What are you going to do?” Well, as I reconstruct it—“What we do is, we say, ‘It’s from the Russians.’ ” So, CrowdStrike, which was working for the DNC, announces, “There’s malware, and we think it was the Russians.” Then immediately, the same day, Guccifer says “Yeah, yeah! We did it, and we’re working for Julian Assange.”
Now, this is how we interpret it: the idea was “since Julian Assange was going to come out with emails, God knows when, maybe right before the Democratic National Convention—my God, that would be awful. So, we’ll say he got it from the Russians, and that way we can divert attention from what’s in the emails; because God knows how much he’s got there, he might be able to show that we stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders! It’s probably in there, you know? So, let’s do this little pre-emptive move—in June, before he ever gets this stuff out.” Julian doesn’t adulterate these things, what he does is array them in searchable form. “It’s going to take a while. So, we have a little time, about six weeks or so,”—they didn’t know how long—“but let’s do it right away.” So, when Julian Assange comes out with this, they’re all set to say, “Ah ha! It was the Russians hacking.”
A Magnificent Diversion
Now this was a magnificent—I remember the old movie or book, Magnificent Obsession,— this was magnificent diversion. Because as soon as Julian Assange outed the emails related to Hillary Clinton—that was on the 22nd of July, three days before the Democratic National Convention began—they were prepared. They were prepared to say “Ah ha! Russia did it! Russia did it!” You can see them sort of sitting around a table. Here’s Hillary saying “My God! What are we going to do? What will Bernie say? He’s already said he’d acquiesce, but what will he say now?” Somebody says, “I know what we do. We’ll blame the Russians.” “But it wasn’t the Russians, it was Julian Assange.” “That’s all right. We’ll say that Julian Assange was working for the Russians.” “Yeah, but what’s the rationale?” “Oh, come on! The Russians want Trump to win, because Trump has said nice things about Putin; this is going to be easy to prove. Anybody got any better ideas?” “OK, let’s go with that.” It worked beautifully. The mainstream media played the story.
Thank you for joining us. I’m looking forward to your action to make this a reality.
Ross: Just to offer this chronology for our viewers, because this has become so shrouded in the mists of time that it’s sort of hard to take the pieces of it apart, to repeat, in June 2016, Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, announced that he had received material from the DNC and that he was going to be releasing it. Within a matter of days, the DNC’s IT firm, CrowdStrike, announced that they had proof that Russia had hacked their computers. Also, an Internet hacker calling himself Guccifer 2.0 appeared out of nowhere, saying that he was the hacker, he got into the DNC’s system, and he says, “I’ll prove it. Here’s some of the material that I stole.” In June, documents were released by this Guccifer person that included the most obvious ham-fisted fake clues you’ve ever seen. These documents were deliberately altered in order to incorporate—in Cyrillic—“Felix Edmundovich” as the document’s last editor. Now, Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky was the founder of the Soviet secret police. You might think that if Russian hackers are doing something, they might not be so obvious as to label themselves on their computers with that name; it’s just an obvious fake clue to be found. Additional proof supposedly came up in Guccifer 2.0 trying to hide his persona, pretending to be Romanian while not really speaking Romanian, so that people could say “Ah ha! He’s hiding his identity. We found these total clues”—really red herrings—“of these Russian names inside the documents. The documents were set to the language of Russia. Ah ha! This is proof.”
Now what it really means is that those documents were artificially altered. That’s what the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity go through in this memorandum called, “Was the ‘Russian Hack’ an Inside Job?” So, as Mr. McGovern said, following this, a large release of documents came from Guccifer sometime in September. These documents, according to forensic analysis that’s been reviewed by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, reveals that the documents were not hacked, but they were leaked, they were copied. The rate of data transmission, the rate of the file creation, indicates a speed that exceeds what you would possibly be able to get over the Internet if you had hacked into a computer and then pulled the files out. They reason, then, that this indicates that these files were simply copied, and then put out tainted with this Guccifer 2.0 persona to give a sense of Russian involvement in the hacking. The fact of the matter is that no evidence whatsoever has ever been presented that can show where Wikileaks got its material. The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, said this was a leak, it was not a hack. It didn’t come from Russia, it didn’t come from a Russian state actor. It was a leak. As Mr. McGovern said, there were plenty of people in the DNC who weren’t very happy about the way that the primary elections were handled. There is plenty of motive for a leak to put out the truth about how the DNC had operated.
But on top of this fabricated evidence, we now have a situation where this anti-Russia hysteria is phenomenal. Just yesterday, we had the passage of an anti-Russia sanctions bill through the House and through the Senate. This bill, HR 3364, takes as a given that Russia hacked the U.S. elections, imposes very strong sanctions in a variety of cases, and forbids the President from changing them. In other words, it takes away the ability of the President, in this case President Trump, to initiate foreign policy, which is, frankly, part of the President’s job. That’s the way we work in this country.
One of the most shocking things about all of this is that this supposed Russian “hacking” has been called an Act of War by numerous members of Congress. People say that because of this, Donald Trump should be impeached; this has been said by members of Congress. For something of this magnitude, an act of war leading to sanctions and the potential break-out of conflict with the world’s most powerful nuclear power besides ourselves, surely a good investigation would have been done. Well, it wasn’t! As a matter of fact, after the DNC computers were supposedly hacked, who investigated them? Not the FBI—but a private firm, CrowdStrike, with political ties that make its findings very suspicious.
The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity ended their memo by questioning who Guccifer 2.0 is. They say, “Maybe you should ask the FBI.” So, I asked Ray McGovern, “Why might we want to ask the FBI?”
McGovern: After it was revealed that the DNC had been “hacked,” so to speak, normally what would happen in that case, unless I’m sadly mistaken, would be that the FBI would be invited in to take a look and see who did this. Or, the DNC would say “Would you please come in here and see who did this?” But you know what? Neither seemed to be very interested in looking at that. So, with all due respect, and not much is due, really, James Comey is guilty of malfeasance, not just misfeasance. People crying that this is an act of war, and he sits back and says “I don’t want to send my technicians in there.” Why? Well, I can tell you why. It seems to me that when you’re an intelligence analyst, you have this kind of bent to connect dots; that’s what we call an “all-source analyst.” You look not only at the technical details, the forensics, now that we have them, but what was going on outside, what you learn from the newspapers. And we know from that, that the CIA, with the help of the NSA, had developed—it took them fifteen years—an incredible capability.
Ross: That capability that McGovern is referring to, is what was revealed in March under the program of Vault 7, which was released from Wikileaks. One aspect of that was called the Marble Framework; something developed by the CIA that made it possible to obfuscate the origins of cyber attacks. In other words, the CIA had spent a tremendous amount of effort—Mr. McGovern estimates billions of dollars being spent—to develop the ability to perform hacks, and then to be able to attribute them to other nations, to other actors. He says that this Marble Framework allowed the CIA to deliberately plant fake evidence of Russian involvement. They had Cyrillic text that could be inserted; in other words, it would be possible to make it look as though attackers were coming from Russia. Now the question would be, has this been investigated? Has Trump taken up with his intelligence agencies, an investigation to find out if these types of capabilities were used? Mr. McGovern says that it was revealed that they were used in 2016. Was this their use? An investigation would be able to show that.
This also raises the question, why the animosity towards Russia? Is this a cynical campaign ploy by the Democrats to get over an election that they lost and try to impeach Trump, to try and take back control of the country? Or what else is at play here? Why would this sanctions bill pass so unanimously, with only three House members voting against it, and only two Senators? Well, we asked Ray McGovern what he thought about this:
McGovern: It’s coming mostly from the Democrats, curiously enough. And initially, as I tried to explain before, it was an attempt to blacken the Russians to help Hillary become elected. Then, when she wasn’t elected, “Whoops! We can still use this stuff. How can we use it? To show that Hillary didn’t lose the election; it couldn’t have been that she was not such a good candidate, or that nobody trusted her. It’s the Russians!” So, most Americans now believe—according to the polls—that this fellow Trump who we have as President now, is there because of Vladimir Putin helping him become elected. That’s bad! That’s really bad.
What’s the objective now? Well, the objective is not only to de-legitimize Trump, but to keep the tensions stoked with Russia so that there can be no real detente; so that we can blacken the Russians and say, “Oh, look!”
Ross: Now, the other objective, or the other incident that caused all of this Russia hysteria, was what occurred in Ukraine, where a coup carried out in 2014 overthrew the elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, and instituted a new government. United States involvement in this coup was as clear as day. Those of us who were watching, saw on YouTube the videos covering the audio recordings, with American officials planning out what the new Ukrainian government would be. We had [Assistant Secretary of State] Victoria Nuland involved in helping to set up a new government in Ukraine. In reaction to the coup, when the people of Crimea voted democratically to rejoin Russia, the same people said,“We will never have peace with Russia until Russia returns Crimea to Ukraine; the sanctions will continue. Russia is everybody’s enemy.”
Keeping that in mind, that it was U.S. interference in Ukraine that created the destabilization in the Ukraine, leading eventually to Crimea’s rejoining with Russia, we can ask ourselves, “Where is this going if this process isn’t stopped?” Here’s what Mr. McGovern had to say about that:
Where Is This Going?
McGovern: Put all this together, you’ve got a synthetic,— you’ve got a kind of an artificial construct of Vladimir Putin as the Devil Incarnate. The whole press does this meme, and everybody catches on, especially the Democrats, and it’s the oddest thing I’ve ever seen. So, here’s Donald Trump; he wants to go and talk to Putin. Everybody says “Oh, this is really bad.” He does talk to Putin, and what happens? They get a cease-fire agreement! It’s not the whole thing, but a little slice of Syria. Does that get reported in the press? No, maybe an inside page.
Ross: They say it’s giving in to Russia.
McGovern: So, if any of us have any interest in stopping the carnage in Syria, which we should, we should applaud Trump or any other effort to work with the other forces in play, not only the Russians, but the Syrians, the Turks, and the Iranians. If we don’t have a common aim against ISIS, what do we have a common aim against?
What’s going to be interesting right now—Trump this week decided no more support, no more arms or money for the so-called “moderate” rebels, the rebels that the U.S. has supported in Syria. That’s big! That’s the CIA’s bag; that’s billions of dollars invested in that. What’s going to happen? Well, Trump has taken on the CIA on that issue. And what I’m recalling now is—nobody’s been around in Washington as long as Senator Chuck Schumer, the ranking Democrat in the Senate, and in a recent interview [Jan. 3, 2017] with Rachel Maddow, this is what he said:
Rachel Maddow: He’s taking these shots and antagonisms—
Chuck Schumer: Yup.
Maddow: —taunting the intelligence agencies.
Schumer: Let me tell you; you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.
McGovern: Rachel Maddow says, “Oh, we’re going to go to break.” Give me a break! If it were you, wouldn’t you say, “Are you saying that the President of the United States should be afraid of the intelligence community?” Of course, that’s what he was saying. So, why do I refer to that? The jury is out. He’s taken them on a little bit. Whether he’ll take them on on the “Russian hack”—well I don’t know. Maybe [CIA Director] Pompeo is afraid to ask these guys; or maybe he’s afraid to ask. If he’s afraid, well he’s following the example of his predecessor [Obama], because Obama was deathly afraid of Brennan; that’s why he defended him when Brennan hacked into the Senate computers. That’s why he tried to prevent the publication of the memo from the Senate on CIA torture; because it showed that Brennan and the others had been lying through their teeth about the effectiveness of torture techniques. So Obama was very much defending himself or defending them, ultimately to defend themselves. So, whether Schumer is right, we’re likely to see sooner rather than later.
Ross: We’ll find out sooner rather than later based on how the President and how the American population respond to this pressure. Think for a minute in your mind: What would it mean if Trump were thrown out of office based on what we know to be a fabrication, a lie created by the intelligence agencies, a lie saying that Vladimir Putin put him in office? If the President of the United States can be removed from office based on nonsense created by the intelligence agencies, do we have elected government in the United States? I think that that’s the question that we need to take up in a very urgent way by getting out the explosive news about this memo coming from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Mobilizing to Break the Story
Diane Sare: We are going to ask everybody watching this program to mobilize to break this story. I first want to address some of the questions that people may raise: “Of course we know the Russians didn’t hack the election. I voted for Trump, and I wasn’t told to vote for Trump by Vladimir Putin. So, what’s new about this?” Or people say, “We’re used to being lied to all the time. Why does this make a difference?”
I want to say a little bit about who some of these people are. In case you missed it, Ray McGovern is a former U.S. Army and former CIA intelligence agent; I believe he is fluent in Russian and has a great deal of knowledge on this. Bill Binney, who is the co-author of this report, is the former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical and Military Analysis, the co-founder of the NSA Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center—that is the data-mining. He designed, in part, the technology to be able to spy on everyone; he knows it very well. The expert who did the forensics on these so-called hacks, which turned out to be a leak, is someone named Skip Holden, who’s a retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology. He’s the one who looked at this, who came to the conclusion that there was no hack, that what happened was that 1,976 megabytes of data were copied in only 87 seconds, which cannot be done over the Internet. That cannot be done through cyberspace, but only by using some kind of thumb drive, USB port, some kind of storage device that is actually inserted into the computer to copy this data. And that this was done by someone operating in the Eastern U.S. time zone. Then this was blamed on Russia.
We have in hand, in this report, by a group of certified experts, proof, the documentation that this thing is a fraud from the beginning. That is extremely important. Yesterday four LaRouche organizers went to Congress to distribute about 1,000 copies of the VIPS report, and discovered that nobody there had heard anything about this; which is outrageous. You might remember, before the elections, that President Obama and others had promised there was going to be a classified briefing for the Congress, presenting the alleged proofs that the Russians were hacking into the Democratic Party and sabotaging the elections, and then such briefing never occurred. There never was any evidence presented.
I just want to take a step back for a second, because when Lyndon LaRouche heard about Comey’s testimony and the story about Russia, he said, “The people pushing this want thermonuclear war. If they succeed, we’re going to have thermonuclear war with Russia.” I’d like to remind people that what happened in Ukraine was a direct result of a deliberate policy, as Jason said. They violently overthrew the government with $5 billion, largely from George Soros, laundered through the U.S. State Department. Victoria Nuland was under Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. In other words, we were provoking war with Russia, deliberately moving NATO eastward, putting Nazis—actual supporters of Hitler and Stepan Bandera—in power in Ukraine on Russia’s border. Why? Because the trans-Atlantic system is on the brink of total disintegration. The British Empire, this empire monarchy, is in its final agony; it will not survive. They’ve printed trillions of dollars, they’ve bailed out the banks time and again, they’ve created a gigantic bubble; it’s going down.
The same thing in Syria: People may remember, Hillary Clinton was proposing a no-fly zone over Syria so that we could shoot down Russian planes in defense of ISIS. As Ray McGovern mentioned in the interview, one of the positive developments of the Trump Presidency, a very significant one, is he met with Putin, got a cease-fire, and we are no longer arming the so-called “moderate” groups who are running around chopping people’s heads off and filming it. It’s a huge breakthrough.
So, I just want to underscore the fact that we have in our hands, by a group of highly competent professionals, the proof that the entire story about Russia hacking the elections was a fraud. Russia did not start the violence in Ukraine; that was launched under Victoria Nuland with funding from George Soros and the State Department. It’s a bunch of Nazis. Russia did not “illegally annex” Crimea. The people of Crimea, who are predominantly Russian and Russian speaking, held a referendum where they voted to leave Ukraine so they wouldn’t be burned to death in buildings for speaking Russian, which is what these Nazis did to people in Odessa, for example. There was a legitimate vote in Crimea.
When Assange’s evidence came out, Putin said, “Why are people so concerned? You should be concerned that what was leaked was actually true,” which was that the Hillary Clinton campaign had ripped off Bernie Sanders in every imaginable way, and there was nothing honest or up-front about the way she conducted her campaign. People suspected it, and that was then proven. People remember that Wasserman-Schultz had to resign.
What we are asking you to do is several things. One, the Congress should stop being a bunch of sold-out, gutless wonders, and they should hold hearings with the actual evidence. That is, Ray McGovern, Bill Binney, Skip Holden—they should all be invited to testify in hearings in the Congress. You can call into the Congressional switchboard, which is (202) 224-3121. People can also sign and circulate the petition available on the LaRouche PAC website. As I mentioned, what we discovered in Washington is that no one had even heard of this report. We have to change the so-called narrative; that’s one thing that we’ve run into in D.C. Everyone talks about narrative this, narrative that, as if there’s no such thing as truth. Well, the narrative right now is that somehow Vladimir Putin is responsible for every evil that’s occurred on the planet in the last ten years at least, and that therefore, we should impose sanctions on Russia and even risk a war with that nation. This is completely insane; it is not true. The truth of the matter is that there is a New Paradigm which is being led by China, in which the U.S. can join with China and Russia. It has the potential, as President Trump has expressed his intent, to make American great again. The way we make America great again is by collaborating with China, with Russia, to go back to a Hamiltonian system of political economy.
We have to get the truth out on this story. The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), have given us a weapon. What we want to do with this mobilization is break the back of this lie. The American people have been lied to for a very long time. We were lied to about the Kennedy assassination with devastating consequences to our republic. We were lied to about 9/11; we were lied to about the Saudi and British role in 9/11 explicitly. We are now being lied to about the election, and these lies could have the consequence of running a coup d’etat against a legitimately elected leader and putting us on a trajectory for World War III. We can break the back of this by circulating this report.
I would urge people to take the material from the LaRouche PAC website, get it out on your Facebook accounts, send it out through Twitter. Call the White House and urge President Trump to appoint special counsel to launch a Presidential investigation of what happened in the DNC computers. As Ray McGovern asked, “What does the CIA know about this? What does Brennan know about this? What does the FBI know about this? Who was it who went into the DNC computer and tried to make it look like Russia had done this?” President Trump, as President of the United States, has a legitimate right to demand such an investigation. You should call the White House and demand this. Call your Congressman and say, “Have you read the report from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity? Have you read that report? Don’t you think there should be hearings? We have to investigate this.” Get this out to all of your friends; it’s absolutely urgent. Because when we break the back of this, then we can transform the nation.
It is very important that people take action. The LaRouche PAC website will be the center of this mobilization, giving you the ammunition that you need and the resources that you need to get to your elected officials.
Do You Want to Have a Government?
Ross: I just want to bring up one more aspect of this in terms of the coup. Diane brought up John Brennan. Well, John Brennan, at the Aspen Security Forum just a couple of days ago, said that if Trump fires Robert Mueller, the special investigator, that the intelligence agencies should refuse to go along with it. In essence, he’s calling for a coup against the President, based on a political decision that he might make. So, ask yourself: Do you want to have a government? Or do you want to have John Brennan and other unelected people dictating and determining policy in a way that is to the absolute detriment of our nation? Get that memo out; make sure everybody you know reads it. It’s absolutely dynamite, and it definitively puts to rest the whole Russia-gate nonsense. It’ll be great to move on from that, won’t it?
Thank you for joining us. I’m looking forward to your action to make this a reality.