The CIA’s Absence of Conviction 329


I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton’s corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news. I suspect it is leading the American broadcasts also.

A little simple logic demolishes the CIA’s claims. The CIA claim they “know the individuals” involved. Yet under Obama the USA has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilise a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions against Russian individuals? Plainly it stinks. The anonymous source claims of “We know who it was, it was the Russians” are beneath contempt.

As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks – there is a major difference between the two. And it should be said again and again, that if Hillary Clinton had not connived with the DNC to fix the primary schedule to disadvantage Bernie, if she had not received advance notice of live debate questions to use against Bernie, if she had not accepted massive donations to the Clinton foundation and family members in return for foreign policy influence, if she had not failed to distance herself from some very weird and troubling people, then none of this would have happened.

The continued ability of the mainstream media to claim the leaks lost Clinton the election because of “Russia”, while still never acknowledging the truths the leaks reveal, is Kafkaesque.

I had a call from a Guardian journalist this afternoon. The astonishing result was that for three hours, an article was accessible through the Guardian front page which actually included the truth among the CIA hype:

The Kremlin has rejected the hacking accusations, while the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has previously said the DNC leaks were not linked to Russia. A second senior official cited by the Washington Post conceded that intelligence agencies did not have specific proof that the Kremlin was “directing” the hackers, who were said to be one step removed from the Russian government.
Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims “bullshit”, adding: “They are absolutely making it up.”
“I know who leaked them,” Murray said. “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.
“If what the CIA are saying is true, and the CIA’s statement refers to people who are known to be linked to the Russian state, they would have arrested someone if it was someone inside the United States.
“America has not been shy about arresting whistleblowers and it’s not been shy about extraditing hackers. They plainly have no knowledge whatsoever.”

But only three hours. While the article was not taken down, the home page links to it vanished and it was replaced by a ludicrous one repeating the mad CIA allegations against Russia and now claiming – incredibly – that the CIA believe the FBI is deliberately blocking the information on Russian collusion. Presumably this totally nutty theory, that Putin is somehow now controlling the FBI, is meant to answer my obvious objection that, if the CIA know who it is, why haven’t they arrested somebody. That bit of course would be the job of the FBI, who those desperate to annul the election now wish us to believe are the KGB.

It is terrible that the prime conduit for this paranoid nonsense is a once great newspaper, the Washington Post, which far from investigating executive power, now is a sounding board for totally evidence free anonymous source briefing of utter bullshit from the executive.

In the UK, one single article sums up the total abnegation of all journalistic standards. The truly execrable Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian writes “Few credible sources doubt that Russia was behind the hacking of internal Democratic party emails, whose release by Julian Assange was timed to cause maximum pain to Hillary Clinton and pleasure for Trump.” Does he produce any evidence at all for this assertion? No, none whatsoever. What does a journalist mean by a “credible source”? Well, any journalist worth their salt in considering the credibility of a source will first consider access. Do they credibly have access to the information they claim to have?

Now both Julian Assange and I have stated definitively the leak does not come from Russia. Do we credibly have access? Yes, very obviously. Very, very few people can be said to definitely have access to the source of the leak. The people saying it is not Russia are those who do have access. After access, you consider truthfulness. Do Julian Assange and I have a reputation for truthfulness? Well in 10 years not one of the tens of thousands of documents WikiLeaks has released has had its authenticity successfully challenged. As for me, I have a reputation for inconvenient truth telling.

Contrast this to the “credible sources” Freedland relies on. What access do they have to the whistleblower? Zero. They have not the faintest idea who the whistleblower is. Otherwise they would have arrested them. What reputation do they have for truthfulness? It’s the Clinton gang and the US government, for goodness sake.

In fact, the sources any serious journalist would view as “credible” give the opposite answer to the one Freedland wants. But in what passes for Freedland’s mind, “credible” is 100% synonymous with “establishment”. When he says “credible sources” he means “establishment sources”. That is the truth of the “fake news” meme. You are not to read anything unless it is officially approved by the elite and their disgusting, crawling whores of stenographers like Freedland.

The worst thing about all this is that it is aimed at promoting further conflict with Russia. This puts everyone in danger for the sake of more profits for the arms and security industries – including of course bigger budgets for the CIA. As thankfully the four year agony of Aleppo comes swiftly to a close today, the Saudi and US armed and trained ISIS forces counter by moving to retake Palmyra. This game kills people, on a massive scale, and goes on and on.

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329 thoughts on “The CIA’s Absence of Conviction

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  • Bilzo.

    Speaking of whistle blowers mysteriously being “murdered”…..remember Philip Marshal who wrote the book “The Big Bamboozle”?

  • Mr Lovely

    No, you don’t. Yo think saying so will encourage other people to think so.

    (Pssssst – the internet doesn’t actually work like that)

  • Annette

    They won’t stop until the person who leaked it is exposed. That’s the goal here, I believe.

  • Jane

    If the American people were credible humans that stood for something and did the right thing, they would dig a big hole, apprehend all personnel of the CIA from field agent up, and all personnel responsible for TV reporting from mid-management up with all mainstream media, etc, put them all in the hole. Then have freedom fighters stand shoulder to shoulder around the opening to this hole, with flame throwers. Let loose with a reckoning. Bury them. That’s just a start!

  • Thomas Wood

    Great points about access and credibility.

    IIt’s like the old days, when one could joke that there was no truth in Pravda, and no news in Izvestia. Only now the once-free US news media have, willingly, turned themselves into purveyors of slavish, fact-free propaganda.

  • lal

    You Mrs Stein are fraudulent since your concept is “vote fraud is where the margin of TRUMP’s victory is small”.Fraud is a fraud is a fraud. No doubt.Then why you are not interested in recount in all the 50 states of America to locate fraud if any.Also you do not want recount in Hilary won states to locate fraud.. Pl.dont declare yourself a dumb headed intelligent alien in public.You are clever. You made millions from desperate democrats & Hilary supporters in the name of recount fund.Congrats!.You are spitting supine for political stunt which only Hilary doesn’t realise. Dr lal

    • JJG

      Your comment is utterly ignorant. Do you realize how expensive it is to do a recount??? Each state has different rules that makes it hard to actually impossible to request a recount. In all cases, there must be some grounds to ask for it. The only way to prove fraud is to do a recount so you can’t claim fraud as the sole reason. You also have to make it cost effective as that money came from people voluntarily giving it out of their pockets. Thus Stein and the Green Party picked the 3 states where it was closest. It’s logical not disreputable. In the end, the court in one state stopped the recount. The court in another never allowed it to happen and the 3rd state went forward but with no requirement to hand count the ballots. Thus, only about half of them were, the rest were just fed through the same machines which can very easily programmed to “flip” votes without detection. It was a noble attempt but the system in the United States is designed to hide election fraud, which both Republican and Democratic parties seem to have practiced. However ,that’s only a guess based on people who have made statistical analyses of exit poll data and pre-election polls.

  • Ernst Gruengast

    I understand your position to be that the CIA is lying in its assertions and that the information published by Wikileaks was obtained via an internal leak, and that Julian Assange has demonstrated the veracity of this to you personally.

    A couple of questions arise:
    1. Were the DNC servers hacked or not?
    2. If yes, was the information leaked by Wikileaks extracted during the hacks?
    3. If yes, have there been a credible investigations into the hacks that points to any degree of certainty to the involvement of russian state agencies?

    On question 1.:
    If the answer is “No”, or “not demonstrably proven”, then your positing of an alternative source / narrative would be thoroughly credible, and your criticisms of media reports valid.
    However it seems certain the DNC’s servers WERE hacked ….. twice. Whilst the NYT report on this (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/us/politics/russia-hack-election-dnc.html?smid=tw-share) may come from a far from unbiased source, any assertions to the contrary regarding the question of WHETHER the hack took place need to dissect the information, rather than rail against media bias.

    On question 2.:
    Again the answer appears to be affirmative. The two hacks gained access both to the DNC server and John Podesta’s personal email address

    On question 3.:
    Here the evidence very strongly implies an affirmative answer. Whilst the DNC were lamentably incompetant in respect of cybersecurity, the “breadcrumbs” of subsequent cybersecurity investigations going back as far as June point to russian state involvement:
    https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/bears-midst-intrusion-democratic-national-committee/
    https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/bear-hunting-tracking-cozybear-backdoors/
    https://www.threatconnect.com/blog/guccifer-2-0-dnc-breach/
    https://www.threatconnect.com/blog/guccifer-2-all-roads-lead-russia/
    Whilst again we can’t vouch for the neutrality of these sources, any dissection of these reports needs to be substantive and not just of the “well they would say that, wouldn’t they” variety. CIA’s assertions appear on the surface not to be groundless.

    Media reporting on this question and on your own and Julian Assange’s assertions that Wikileaks information was gleaned from an internal leaker need to be seen in the light of the above. I am not trying here to cast aspertions on your or Mr. Assange’s belief in this (“belief” may be the wrong word, but I’m not seeing any evidence that it is anything other than that), only that:

    – the CIA’s statements are far from evidence-free; it is disingenuous to state otherwise
    – criticism of media reporting needs to be seen in this light
    – you might want to entertain the possibility that both you and/or Julian Assange are being played as useful idiots in a bigger story

    • CWP

      I don’t trust the NYT or Crowdstrike, both of whom have very close relationships to the DNC. But I do tend to trust John R. Schindler, who’s been writing for years about the Soviets, Wikileaks, and Snowden, and more recently about Hillary and Trump. I can’t recommend his columns highly enough.

      https://20committee.com/2016/12/

    • JJG

      “Whilst we can’t vouch for the neutrality of these sources…” Actually, we can infer non-neutrality since Crowdstrike was hired by the DNC and has a financial interest in being hired further. Right now, public information points to the possibility of a hack but not in any way a confirmation of a hack. The Intercept summed it up here: https://theintercept.com/2016/12/14/heres-the-public-evidence-russia-hacked-the-dnc-its-not-enough/

      Since the CIA has been involved in disinformation campaigns for 60 years, one could speculate they created evidence of a hack at the behest of the Obama administration. I have zero proof of that, but only the logic that using “Russia” as a cudgel is very useful tool to unite establishment (i.e. corporate) Democrats and Republicans to simultaneously attack Trump and ironically progressive parties and journalists. That sounds paranoid yet we have McCain and Lindsay Graham beating the drums on the Republican side and a huge host of establishment Democrats and their allies on the other.

      So not only is Trump a stooge of Russia but also Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, Glenn Greenwald, etc. etc. Since August there have been constant smears on the cable news stations, NYT and Washington Post and even NPR. So action has followed potential motive.

      So, one should be skeptical till actual proof is provided by the “Honorable Men” of the CIA.

  • Jim Stuttard

    Can we infer that the leaker was a US citizen? How do you know they were the original source and not just an intermediary?

  • John Street

    What people seem to be forgetting hacked or not is that the information that was released was true . It was not contested or said to be untrue . If any of the voting machines were rigged it was to benefit the Democrats . Aside from illegals voting and massive corruption Hillery can’t seem to get it through her head that she lost . If you think the babies that protested when she lost is bad , just see what happens if this election is stolen .

    • CWP

      I share your sense of irony. In the past, we laughed at Pravda and the Russians for their cheesy lies, and now we have American Pravda — our media — and the Russians leaking the truth.

  • LT Horton

    I listened to your interview where you strongly implied that the Podesta emails came to Wikileaks from US intelligence or law enforcement. These emails showed no illegal behavior on the part of anybody and were released in order to alter an election (or clearly had the potential to do so). If someone in law enforcement or intelligence did this why are you calling this person a whistle blower?

  • Isis

    Surely, the argument as to whether the info came from leaking or hacking is irrelevant. Isn’t it likely that the leaker was a foreign intelligence asset? Seth Rich or any other insider could have been an Israeli or Russian asset. The leaker could have met with Wikileaks and agreed to drop DNC info in the Wikileaks box. Thereafter, even Wikileaks may not know where the info actually came from – Rich/Mossad/FSB/FBI/DIA.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Posted my response to the NYT article about why Russian intelligence services started hacking Hillary’s emails on the one about BBC bias, the wrong thread

    Read them, and then decide who could have gotten Putin to vacuum it all up for Trump’s benefit?

    • John Goss

      Sometimes Trowbridge your comments are worth reading but you have clearly bought MSM unsourced lies on this one. Your credibility is on the downward slide.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Trump knew about the Russian hacking of his opponents unprotected emails, and acted to take advantage of it, claiming it showed that Hillary should be locked to infuriate possible voters while claiming that the system was stacked against him when he was stalking it for himself.

    He should be impeached and removed from office rather than just punishing Putin for permitting it to happen.

  • Ernst Gruengast

    Craig,
    If you have evidence of an alternative source for Wikileaks information and wish to convince people of this, then evidence at least as substantive as that behind the “official narrative” needs to be brought to light.

    Julian Assange has on many occasions claimed the Wikileaks dropping protokolls ensure that sources remain anonymous and Wikileaks does not know who they are. If this were true, then eliminating state intelligence sources or their proxies as sources appears difficult.

    If the whole affair was part of a a planned intelligence operation, then having a Snowden/Manning-like figure defending constitutional rights and reinforce scepticism of US intelligence statements (“as we well know, you can’t trust these guys”) would seem like a useful element of misdirection. And if you can convince someone like Julian Assange or a former UK ambassador to unwittingly act as your spokespeople, then so much the better. Just saying.

  • Alan Shadrake

    I have a long held theory that the great powers are in collusion and exploit their united domination of the rest of the world – Africa, the Middle East and Asia – now including China. They play one against the other, arm them in limited but limited ways and set them against each other. A good example was when the US and UK were arming both Iraq and Iran during ‘their’ eight year war in the eighties with the intention as hoped for by Henri Kissinger ‘they will destroy each other.’ This is not a delirium-inspired claim – it’s historical record.

  • Niall

    If Murray knows who the leaker is, then they know who it is. I suspect they’re going full mental to block Trump now because they’ve recently realized “we can’t possibly work with this guy…” Have you heard what Trump had to say about their ‘intel briefs’? He stopped going to them and told them ‘no thanks, I get intel from my own people now!’

  • WillG

    I thought the whole point of Wikileaks is that the identity of the leakers is not known by the organization? So no, you do not “very obviously” have access.

    Also perhaps someone could clarify Craig Murray’s relationship with Wikileaks — does he work for them? Is he just friends with Assange? Can’t seem to find that info online.

    It seems very strange to me that anyone involved with Wikileaks – anyone who actually believes in what they stand for – would reveal any information about their sources. Even surface level stuff like “it was an insider at the DNC” narrows down the possible leakers immensely and puts the true source in great danger. That jeopardizes the reputation of Wikileaks for all future leakers.

    So unless someone can convince me that Craig Murray is party to the inner working of Wikileaks, knows either the identity of the source or a great deal of identifying information about the source, and Wikileaks is totally cool with him telling the whole world this information, then I can’t believe this argument.

    For now I’m sticking with it was probably proxies of the Russian government, since the incentive is clearly there and Sergei Markov (Deputy Chairman of the Russian Public Forum on International Affairs and co-Chairman of the National Strategic Council of Russia) was quoted saying they “may have helped with Wikileaks”. The timing (after the primaries, before the election) also makes more sense for Russian interference and less so for a disgruntled Bernie supporter trying to give him an edge (he had already lost).

  • A.L.

    Craig, it appears there were multiple breaches, the DNC, DCCC, Podesta. What leaks from which org are you referring to and how do we know the CIA is speaking about the ones you are?

  • Echoe

    Not only arms and security, but the oil industry, touted all over Europe for fracking genius fighting to make inroads into Russia’s supplying of European oil.

    Europe is moving away from oil, but the oil industries don’t care. Nor does the U.S. gov’t. Money and investments make it all worth the while to start wars. And that is the sad reality of greed and corruption at the highest levels of government.

    • DP111

      Have a look at the map.

      It is immediately clear that the axes of Syria, Iraq, and Iran, forms a contiguous “Shia wall” that prevents a pipeline, going from the gulf to Turkey, and then Europe. If Syria could be destabilised and handed over to Muslim Brotherhood control, then a pipeline can be built, and Russia’ snookered.

  • David

    Lots of unsubstantiated ‘fact-less’ here.

    I’m going to believe the CIA before I beleive the rapist Arrange.

    Arrest somebody, he says. Well, that’s the FBIs job, he says. It’s Russia, numbnuts. You think Putin will allow an arrest in Russia by the FBI. And it’s foreign intelligence, cockwomble. Short of going thorough computers and filing cabinets in the Kremlin, you are not like my to be able to bring an indictment.

    That’s one of many differences between the FBI And the CIA. But you knew that, didn’t you?

    No one should believe the rapist Arrange. Even if an intermediary handed him the thumb drive, it doesn’t amount to any evidence of source.

    And if you know who it was that stole the data, this does rise to the level of an indictable offense. That includes your and Assange’s supporters of the thief.

  • Sure Thing

    But WikiLeaks was not the primary source for the DNC Leaks. Guccifer 2.0 was.
    WL made the emails searchable.

    That simple fact makes this smell like a rational, well-intentioned counter-attack on the dubious “CIA Sources”. Even if this is the most effective way to “beat them at their own game” more untruth amplifies the fundamental problem and dilutes the quality of public info.

  • Mike

    Is it a big surprise that former ambassador in a former USSR republic is trying to defend Putin and now his man in the US? Is it surprise that a KGB guy Putin has enough cash and knows methods how to control people? Sayin “Now both Julian Assange and I have stated definitively the leak does not come from Russia” does not proove that Putin and his forces are not behind the leaks. Nice try, Sir…

  • DP111

    The election of Obama has turned the American MSM into slaves of Obama. He is Black, and consequently, as far as they are concerned, he is the Messiah to rule over all, and thorough Hillary, His chosen one, forever.

    They cannot and will not see, that the Anointed One has no clothes. And they will lie to the end to prevent others from seeing the truth.

  • Casper Ghost

    I’ve been saying this forever now. Thank you Ambassador for providing a credible source I can show my friends, family and colleagues.

  • Joel

    If it were a leak from inside the US, wouldn’t the leaker have been caught by now? They caught Snowden pretty quick, and he wasn’t targeting the democrats. I can imagine that a democratic president would find out right quick if this was a US-sourced leak.

    • lysias

      The leaker might be too big to jail, for example, somebody high up or well connected in the intelligence community.

  • Sharp Ears

    Of course they do.

    ‘White House supports claim Putin directed US election hack
    1 minute ago

    A US media report alleges that Mr Putin personally directed how hacked material was used in the US election

    The White House has suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly involved in a hacking operation aimed at interfering with the US election.

    Ben Rhodes, adviser to President Barack Obama, said that Mr Putin maintains tight control on government operations, which suggests that he was aware.

    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest added that it was “pretty obvious” that Mr Putin was involved.

    Officials in Russia have repeatedly denied hacking accusations.

    “Everything we know about how Russia operates and how Putin controls that government would suggest that, again, when you’re talking about a significant cyber intrusion like this, we’re talking about the highest levels of government,” Mr Rhodes said.

    “And ultimately, Vladimir Putin is the official responsible for the actions of the Russian government.”

    The Kremlin on Thursday bristled at claims that Mr Putin orchestrated the data breach with the hopes of influencing the US election outcome.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38336272

    Kerry has been sounding off against Assad today. The Obama administration, like a wounded animal on its last legsl, is thrashing around.

    John Kerry Says Situation in Aleppo ‘Nothing Short of a Massacre’
    U.S. secretary of state calls for immediate cease-fire and for Syrian regime and opposition to meet for talks http://www.wsj.com/articles/john-kerry-says-situation-in-aleppo-nothing-short-of-a-massacre-1481833966

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