With author Arne Ruth
Just south of the Capitol building in Washington (DC) is the Democratic Party's headquarters at 430 South Capitol Street. It was from here that the Democrats' secrets disappeared in 2016.
One of the "truths" that has appeared in the world press since, is that Russians were behind a massive hacking of internal documents. WikiLeaks has conspired with Russian hackers about this, claimed the leaders of the Democrats. They did it to hurt Hillary and steal the White House from her, it was said. That's why she lost to Trump.
As is well known, lies and rumors become truths only if they are repeated often enough. This also applies to conspiracy theories. But now forensic investigations carried out by the VIPS group show that the stolen data must have been tapped by a person with physical access to the Democrats' computers and then given to someone outside. By examining metadata, the experts correctly found that on July 5, 2016, a burglary took place in the Democrats' computer. But the metadata showed that the data was tapped at a speed that is not possible other than by direct access to the machines. An insider must have downloaded data and transferred it directly to a storage device.
No evidence against the Russians
The experts who came to this conclusion are a group of fearless veterans from US intelligence agencies, VIPS, which was created by Daniel Ellsberg. They conducted surveys and drew their conclusions as early as the autumn of 2016.
But where does the "evidence" about the Russians come from? On December 5, 2017, the head of the Crowdstrike cybersecurity firm, Shawn Henry, issued a statement to the House Intelligence Committee. The company Crowdstrike, which the Democrats themselves had hired to investigate the servers after the data breach, found no solid evidence that email accounts were hacked and the content downloaded via the server. Crowdstrike, on the other hand, believed to find signs of hacking into the network: "two separate Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries breached the DNC network". Crowdstrike's report was not declassified until 2020, the company writes on its own website, where they have published the report.
When investigator Robert Muller later took up this case, it was opened up to look at the computers and not just the server. When VIPS investigates this, they believe it is likely that the e-mails were transferred to a memory stick locally, ie directly from the computer and thus by someone who has physical access to the computer in the Democrats' office.
- August 2020, VIPS again sent the information to the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.
VIPS stands for Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which can be translated as "professional intelligence veterans for sound judgment". They are dedicated top experts with a long career from the CIA, FBI, NSA and other agencies. They have sworn not to allow threats, camaraderie or money to divert scientific sobriety. They publish their findings on the Consortium News website (consortiumnews.com). There you can find the report and the conclusions.
Where do we stand now? Internal leakage is difficult to use as a case against WikiLeaks, Assange or so-called anti-American forces. Although the conspiracy theory against the Russians will collapse, and the accusations against WikiLeaks will weaken, it is likely that the false rumors will be maintained – if the press allows it to happen.