Russian Hacking is Fake News

Russian hacking – yes, that Russian hacking, which we heard about from President Obama  and the Clinton campaignseems to be fake news. Essentially every mainstream news outlet has published this particular fake news item, with little or no warning that it is fake or at best questionable. Just search Google News for “Russian hack” and look at the variety of media stories to see how many carried a warning about how questionable the story is.

Here’s the basis of calling it fake news, from an article in the Washington Times:

Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, said in the report by the Daily Mail that he flew to Washington for a clandestine handoff with one of the email sources in September.

He said he received a package in a wooded area near American University.

“Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,” Mr. Murray told the British newspaper. “The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.”

If you really want to get worked up about the Russian hacking story, you can believe that it exists as part of the cover-up for the murder of Seth Rich. He is a Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered in Washington D. C. in the summer of 2016. Here’s a report on the theory that he must have been the inside leaker.

This theory gets a little too deep. Neither you nor I have the super-power of solving crimes over the internet. This story is, however, at least as plausible as the theory of Russian hacking being pushed by Obama, Hillary and supporters.

None of us should simply accept a theory about Russian hacking, especially when it comes from people who might want to believe it themselves and who certainly want us to believe it might justify getting electors to overturn the results of the election.

No matter how worked up we might be over how repulsive a person Donald Trump might be, overturning the election results could well lead to a civil war. Since Trump supporters are much better armed than Hillary supporters, starting a civil war on these grounds would be a particularly bad idea. It’s better to preserve the remnants of democracy that survive in America than to undermine them.

Trump in office will soon turn many of his current supporters into opponents, and his plan to make America great for billionaires will not last for one full term. He is obviously going to fail his current supporters’ expectations of prosperity for ordinary working people. They will figure it out soon enough.

This does not mean that there is no such thing as Russian hacking. There is, right along with Israeli hacking, Chinese hacking, Romanian hacking and so on. A warning is needed – there may be more stories about these than actual hackers. There are known hackers from all over, including some famous American hackers.

Hackers exist because the internet and computers generally are proven to be insecure. That’s not reason to believe every made-up story about hackers. If we do, then “hackers” will become an acceptable substitute for “witches,” “heretics” and “demons” in the modern world; a thought-stopping word that prevents us from thinking about actual people and institutions that do bad things in the real world. For instance, Hillary and the Democratic National Conspiracy Committee working together to block Bernie from getting the nomination is one thing that Hillary and Obama apparently want us not to think about.

Fake news is all over. We’d better not depend on Facebook, Google, mainstream media or our government to protect us from it. Each one of these has too much to gain from spreading the versions of fake news that benefits them. We had all better learn to defend ourselves from it, as best we can.

My standard for a story that qualifies as fake news is there is little or nothing about the story which can be verified. It’s a commonplace of journalism that any real (factual) news story should contain answers for who, what, where, why and how – preferably in the first paragraph. Also, a decent journalist will verify those elements before writing the story, and a good editor will prevent the story from being published unless the facts are verified.

The “Russian hacking” story which Obama, Hillary and supporters want us to believe is missing all of those verifiable elements. Who, exactly, did the hacking? We don’t know any names or even specific organizations. What, exactly, did they do? Well, that’s not clear. Where were they when they did the hacking, and where was the information before it was hacked? Also not clear. Why did they do it and how did they do it? Those answers seem to be speculation from whoever is telling the story.

There is an alternative explanation that makes more sense. There was a disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer who could see from the inside just how the nomination process had been rigged for Hillary/against Bernie. This person had access to the emails. Just as Snowded copied a bunch of information from insdide the NSA, the staffer copied a bunch of information from inside the DMC. In both cases, the information got passed on to Wikileaks, which then published the information.

I find this version of events much more plausible, though of course without the name of the staffer and other elements of the story which might be verified, we also have to classify the alternate story as fake news.

The point is, unless and until we can get a story for which specifics can be verified, we do not know how the DNC emails got to Wikileaks. The interesting part here is that the content of the emails has not been disputed. John Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Schultz et al are not saying, “I never wrote any such thing! I’ll swear to that in court!” or similar sentiments.

If we are to be outraged, we should be outraged about the people who promised a fair and impartial nomination process, and then conspired to create an unfair and partial one. That, at least, has been confirmed.

My speculation is, the “Russian hacking’ story is being flogged to distract the general public from the actual content of the leaked emails. You will have to decide for yourself if this sounds plausible to you, because there is not going to be any way to verify it.

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One thought on “Russian Hacking is Fake News

  1. I’m glad to see you writing about this in the blog. I have believed all along that the Russians had little to do with this leak. I thought it was really over the top for both the moderator and Hillary Clinton to talk about Russian hacks as though it were a fact in the last debate with an audience of 10’s of millions of Americans during prime time. It’s all part of the propaganda that gets thrown around to demonize Russia, so as to build up popular support for future acts of war.

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