Monday, December 19, 2016

RUSSIA - The Hack Attack on U.S. Elections

IMHO:  With the complicity of WikiLeaks (International Anti-U.S. Spy Agency).

"In debate on Russian interference and disinformation, there's a lot we still don't know" PBS NewsHour 12/12/2016


SUMMARY:  The CIA has concluded that pre-election Russian hacking was aimed to sway the vote in President-elect Donald Trump's favor.  What could we learn from serious investigations?  Hari Sreenivasan gets reactions from two men who have extensive experience in intelligence and diplomacy: Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, and former CIA director James Woolsey.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  And we're joined by two men with extensive experience with intelligence and diplomacy.

James Woolsey was CIA director during the Clinton administration.  He's now with Booz Allen, one of the largest defense and intelligence contractors.  He also serves as a senior adviser to President-elect Trump on issues of national security and intelligence.  And Michael McFaul was U.S. Ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration.  He's now a professor of political science at Stanford University.

Mike McFaul, let me start with you first.

Your reaction to the news that Russia may have played an active role in helping President-elect Trump?

MICHAEL MCFAUL, Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia:  Well, for some of us, it's not news.  Some of us have been talking and writing about this for many months now, especially after the hacking of the DNC computers and the data dump from WikiLeaks.

I think the two pieces of news that are new is that the intelligence community is now claiming that they have evidence to show that the Russians gave it to WikiLeaks.  That was uncertain.  Now we know that.

And the second piece is about the Republican — the hacking into the Republican side.  They now have evidence to show that.

And what it all means to me, to be clear, my bottom line is, we need an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate this.  It's not enough for the Obama administration to do their review.  And, frankly, it's not enough to have hearings on it at the U.S. Congress.

This is way too big to be handled in those places.  We need to know the facts.

And, here, I agree with President-elect Trump in the piece you played with him.  He said several times, we don't know.

Well, as an academic, I want to know the facts.  And I think the only way you're going to get it is if you set up that commission.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  James Woolsey, do you agree; is that the right course?

JAMES WOOLSEY, Former CIA Director:  I don't see anything wrong with a well-assembled commission going into an important issue.

I think what needs to be focused on here, though, from the beginning is that we have got a couple of different things going on.  And conflating them causes a lot of confusion.

One is what the Soviets and then now the Russians call disinformation, dezinformatsiya, otherwise known as lying.  And they propagate disinformation throughout the world on all sorts of subjects.

But they particularly focus on organizations and groups that embody values that they find abhorrent, such as the Catholic Church and Judaism.

They are apparently moving into disseminating disinformation about Western political parties.  It's not any different in principle from what they have been doing for decades.

I think that's one set of things that's going on.  Another set of things that conceivably could go on is hacking into the records of the voting in order to change those votes.  I don't know that there is any indication that we have that this latter is taking place, counting people who are dead as voters and the sort of things that you read about in the American system.

So, I think, insofar as someone says that the Russians were not participating in anything may not be correct, because they may have been participating in disseminating disinformation, but not participating in what most of us think of as voting fraud, namely, counting people who vote who are dead and so forth.

"Reconstructing the Russian hacks leading up to the election" PBS NewsHour 12/14/2016


SUMMARY:  Reports that the CIA believes Russia sought to help the president-elect win the election by hacking Democratic political organizations has rocked the nation.  Mr. Trump dismisses claims that Russia had any influence in the process or that it wanted him in office.  Hari Sreenivasan examines what investigations have revealed with Dmitri Alperovitch of Crowdstrike, and Eric Lipton of The New York Times.

"How Putin could have been involved in U.S. election disruption" PBS NewsHour 12/15/2016


SUMMARY:  A CIA investigation reportedly found that Russia tried to sway U.S. election results in President-elect Donald Trump's favor.  On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in efforts to disrupt the election.  Judy Woodruff talks to Angela Stent of Georgetown University about Putin and the U.S. options for response.

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