Disinformation and Its Guzzlers

There’s an old saying in journalism: if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

Bernie Sanders Campaign Chief Says Someone Must Be ‘Accountable’ for What DNC Emails Show
MaryAlice Parks / ABC News!

—  Bernie Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said his team was “disappointed” by the emails from the Democratic National Committee leaked through WikiLeaks, which seemed to reveal staff in the party working to support Hillary Clinton.

For left-wing anti-Hillary zealots, the news is “too good to be true” outstripping their wildest conspiracy theories. Now, given that, how credible would you say these documents are?

detective-face sheer luck sherlock

Let’s start with what we know: the documents were hacked. We KNOW that.  So, hacked by whom?

Let’s start here appropriately, on Flag Day:

Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump
By Ellen Nakashima
June 14, 2016

The Washington Post

Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach. The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.

The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some Republican political action committees, U.S. officials said…..

And here’s the callout (summary):

Russian goverment hackers penetrated the Democratic National Committee and had access to the DNC network for about a year, but all were expelled earlier in June.

OK.  Now we know WHO.


Thence, a “hacker” named  Guccifer 2.0 who claims to be a solo “Romanian” hacker, but can’t, evidently, speak Romanian very well. Wikileaks has confirmed that the documents were provided by the “Romanian” hacker who can’t speak Romanian. See more about him here:

Guccifer 2.0 releases new DNC docs
The documents include a Democratic research file on Sarah Palin.

Here’s a relevant paragraph from the report:

“Our experts are confident in their assessment that the Russian government hackers were the actors responsible for the breach detected in April, and we believe that the subsequent release and the claims around it may be a part of a disinformation campaign by the Russians,” a senior DNC official said in a written statement.

And that report actually comes to us from July 13. The agent of chaos has been steadily releasing DNC internal documents with the (self-)evident intent of sabotaging the Democratic presidential campaign. Now we KNOW that’s what he’s trying to do, no matter what quibbles we have about whether it’s a self-described “hacker” or, as our intelligence agencies have concluded, Vladimir Putin’s KGB (whatever they’re calling themselves these daze).

putin chicken

Sam Biddle at The Intercept received notification that Wikileaks had just dumped 20,000 hacked documents and wrote the utterly predictable story. Please note that I said “UTTERLY PREDICTABLE.” Why? Because if disinformation is your goal, this is exactly the article you WANT written:

New Leak: Top DNC Official Wanted to Use Bernie Sanders’s Religious Beliefs Against Him
by Sam Biddle
The Intercept
July 22 2016, 9:38 a.m. (no time zone given)

AMONG THE NEARLY 20,000 internal emails from the Democratic National Committee, released Friday by Wikileaks and presumably provided by the hacker “Guccifer 2.0,” is a May 2016 message from DNC CFO Brad Marshall. In it, he suggested that the party should “get someone to ask” Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders about his religious beliefs….

And he adds this CRUCIAL bit of information:

[UPDATE at 5:10 p.m. ETIn a private message, the hacker “Guccifer 2.0” confirmed he provided the email trove to Wikileaks, saying “Yeah man, as I promised.”]

Zowie! It’s TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! Listen:

[UPDATE at 1:03 p.m. ET: Marshall emails to say “I do not recall this. I can say it would not have been Sanders. It would probably be about a surrogate.” We have asked him who that surrogate could possibly be.]

And although Sanders is not mentioned by name, he was the only Jewish candidate from either party — an apparent weakness that Marshall believed the party could exploit in favor of Hillary Clinton.

It is also unclear why the Democratic National Committee, which isn’t supposed to favor one Democratic candidate over another until they receive a nomination, would have attempted to subvert the Sanders campaign on the grounds that “he is an atheist.”

Antisemitism at the DNC? A GOP/#NeverHillary dream come true.

And the timing? How much BETTER could it have possibly been for the seeming intent to make sure that Hillary Clinton can’t gain any traction, and to turn the left wing of her party blatantly against her … favoring, by logical elimination, Donald Trump for president. Can anyone doubt WHY Vladimir Putin would prefer a thin-skinned, easily-baited and utterly inexperienced politician as US president?

Too good to be true.

! just say no

And here’s where critical thinking fails our media. In the chain of custody of documents, where is the guarantee of authenticity? Where is the proof that documents haven’t been forged, altered and doctored to create what the HACKER (OK,  most probably the Russian Government and NOT our chatty can’t-speak-Romanian faux-hacker) wants to create?


(Uh … NO!)

Especially when “he” has indicated by “his” actions that this “too good to be true” Antisemitic letter would create JUST the effect that it has, thus far, created in an uncritical media. (I hope you understand that Wikileaks is now complicit, by the by.)

man hold brain

Let’s take you through the short version of the likely scenario:

  1. Putin hacks DNC.
  2. Then Wikileaks releases DNC internal documents on the best possible day to cause chaos at the Democratic Convention.
  3. And, with zero proof that these documents aren’t altered or forged, the media and angry Bernie supporters do Putin’s work for him.
  4. Right? Or are we smarter than that?

Evidently not. Very few — if any — grains of salt have appeared in breathless stories of Hillary scandal. The Wikileaks “Guccifer” Russian connection is not so much as examined and is given TOTAL credibility.


Occam’s Razor suggests a lack of credibility.

This is journalistic malpractice, pure and simple.

But, after a week in the Fact Free Zone, nobody seems to care that an intentional agent of chaos has used Wikileaks to create the impression of “credible” stolen documents from a thief. And nobody “gets” it.

Somewhere in Moscow, the laughter flows as freely as the vodka, and the vodka is flowing pretty freely. The entire US “free press” has done precisely what it was intended to do with this “document dump” and no one thinks to ask whether the transparent motives of the leaker/leakers might not be simon-pure.

Too true to be good.

cartoon-mask-stock-licensed to Hart Williams

From The Hill (ibid.) on July 13:

“The press [is] gradually forget[ing] about me, [W]ikileaks is playing for time and [I] have some more docs,” [Guccifer 2.0] said in electronic chat explaining his rationale.  The documents provide some insight into how the DNC handled high-profile donation scandals. But the choice of documents revealed to The Hill also provides insight into the enigmatic Guccifer 2.0.
… Guccifer 2.0 has claimed to be a Romanian hacker with no strong political leanings. Guccifer 2.0’s choice to release documents from Magliocchetti and Hsu, whose cases are now six and seven years old, shows a detailed knowledge of American politics seemingly at odds with the backstory provided by the hacker.
Experts have questioned whether Guccifer 2.0 is Romanian or even a single person. Tools used in the attack were matched to Russian intelligence agencies and, when tested, Guccifer 2.0 has struggled to speak in Romanian.

Somewhere in literary hell, Iago is applauding.

Congratulations on your non-existent critical skills.

By the way, I’m the Queen of the May, and I have the documents here, somewhere, to pr0ve it.

You believe me, of course.

putin manipulation

Because you’re gullible, evidently. Or, perhaps it’s just the “journalists” of our press corpse who can’t pass “evidence and reasoning 101.”

Funny, though. Dan Rather was removed from his CBS anchor position for questions about a document far more credible than these Wikileaks-fronted hacks.


UPDATE 07-25: Turns out I was right about the altered documents as well.


Josh Marshall on Twitter   1  The article I linked a moment ago suggests that a number of the documents from the DNC hack have already been altered. So far none ...



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10 responses to “Disinformation and Its Guzzlers

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  6. Frightening to imagine the leader of the free world a “Putin puppet”


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  8. Ed Rotski

    You were totally wrong about Bergdahl.

    What makes you think you have any insight into these emails? Of course they are credible. Has a single person from the DNC or Hillary’s campaign said these emails are fake? Maybe the Russians hacked DNC, maybe not, but nobody is saying that the emails are fake.

    And if the Russians hacked the DNC, it surely means that they hacked that secret email server of Clinton’s. God knows what the Russians got out of that.

    And Rather got fired for being a gullible fool. Don’t be like him.


    • WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence….

      The emails were released by WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency. It is unclear how the documents made their way to the group. But a large sampling was published before the WikiLeaks release by several news organizations and someone who called himself “Guccifer 2.0,” who investigators now believe was an agent of the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence service.