News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Outgoing spy chief James Clapper says Russians "did not change any vote tallies or anything of that sort"-Jan. 5, 2017

Clapper submitted his resignation on Nov. 17, 2016, effective Jan. 20, 2017. Added: US teen "hacked" Clapper email and rerouted his home phone to the Free Palestine Movement, Jan. 2016 report....The current psy-op is not primarily aimed at Russia as much as it is targeting the American people to get them to believe that the US must go to war against Russia. The Endless Foreign War industry has a death grip on the US and US taxpayer dollars without which it couldn't exist. 

1/5/17, "DNI Clapper: Russians Did Not Change Any Vote Tallies in U.S. Elections," CNS News, Melanie Hunter

"Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that the Russians did not alter vote counts in the U.S. election.

"They did not change any vote tallies or anything of that sort," Clapper said under questioning from Chairman John McCain (R.-Ariz.)

Clapper further implicitly conceded that whatever the Russians might have done in making Democratic National Committee emails available to the public, the outcome of the U.S. presidential election nonetheless reflected "the choices" of American voters.

"We had no way of gauging the impact that—certainly the intelligence community cannot gauge the impact--it [Russian cyber activities] had on the choices the electorate made," Clapper told McCain.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark) asked Clapper, “the intelligence community says, ‘It would be extremely difficult for someone – including a nation-state actor to alter actual ballot counts or election results by cyberattack or intrusion,’ and you say to that earlier today as well that we have no evidence that vote tallies were altered or manipulated in anyway?”

“That’s correct,” Clapper said.

When asked to give a preview to the committee of what will be submitted in a classified report to Congress later on the motive of Russia’s cyberattack, Clapper said there was “more than one motive,” but he refused to specify what the motive would be. Clapper acknowledged, however, that ascertaining motives of foreign leaders is a hard task.

“In your 50 years of intelligence, is ascertaining the motives, plans and intentions of foreign leaders among the hardest tasks that we ask our intelligence services to perform?” Cotton asked.

“It always has been,” Clapper responded.

“There’s a widespread assumption – this has been expressed by Secretary Clinton herself since the election - that Vladimir Putin favored Donald Trump in this election,” Cotton said.

He noted that during the election, President-elect Donald Trump proposed increasing the defense budget “to accelerate nuclear modernization, to accelerate ballistic missile defenses, and to expand and to accelerate boosting missile defenses, and to expand and accelerate oil and gas production, which would obviously harm Russia’s economy.

“Hillary Clinton opposed or at least was not as enthusiastic about all those measures. Would each of those put the United States in a stronger strategic position against Russia?” Cotton asked.

“Certainly anything we do to enhance our military capabilities—absolutely,” Clapper said.

“There’s some contrary evidence despite what the media speculates that perhaps Donald Trump is not the best candidate for Russia, Cotton said."


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Added: US teen hacked emails of top US spy James Clapper and CIA boss John Brennan. Teen rerouted Clapper family phone number to Free Palestine Movement-BBC, Computer World, Jan. 2016:

1/13/2016, "Hacker hits US spy chief James Clapper's personal accounts," BBC

"The US director of national intelligence has had several of his personal online accounts hacked, his office has confirmed. 

A spokesman said the matter had been "reported to the appropriate authorities", but declined to say more. 

As director of national intelligence, James Clapper serves as a key adviser to the US president on security matters including cyberthreats. 

It follows a similar cyber-attack on the CIA's director (Brennan) in October. 

The Motherboard news site reported on Tuesday that it had been contacted by a young hacker who had claimed responsibility. Motherboard reported the teenager had said he was part of the same group - Crackas With Attitude (CWA) - behind the earlier breach.

The youth said he had broken into Mr Clapper's personal email, his Verizon phone and internet account settings and a Yahoo email account belonging to Mr Clapper's wife. 

The BBC understands that Mr Clapper's office has only seen evidence that the hacker actually accessed Sue Clapper's email and the couple's family phone number. 

It appears that the teenager altered the phone number's settings so that calls were rerouted to a spokesman for the Free Palestine Movement, a cause the CWA says it supports. 

Motherboard said the hacker had also passed on what he claimed was a log of home calls Mr Clapper had recently made and received."...
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Oct. 19, 2015, "CIA boss John Brennan's personal email 'hacked'," BBC

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"(James) Clapper became DNI in 2010 and acts both as head of the 17-agency intelligence community and a lead adviser to President Barack Obama on intelligence issues." 1/27/2015     
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As of Jan. 2016, James "Clapper (Director of National Intelligence) had taken no steps to keep his phone number or home address hidden as both can reportedly be found via a simple Google search. That’s “insane” according to information security expert Michael Adams; he told Motherboard, “If I’m the Director of National Intelligence of the United States of America nobody is going to know where the [bleep] I live, nobody is going to have my [bleep] phone number or address.”" In 2015, "one of the CWA hackers originally dubbed a teenage stoner – took control of CIA Director John Brennan’s personal email account." 

Jan. 13, 2016, "Hackers took over Director of National Intelligence's phone and personal email," ComputerWorld.com, Darlene Storm

James Clapper
"Hackers flying under the banner of Crackas With Attitude took over Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's Verizon My FiOS account and forwarded all his calls to the Free Palestine Movement."

"If you were Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and confused colleagues inquire as to why they keep reaching the wrong number when they try to call you, then it would have to be embarrassing to explain that hackers had taken over your Verizon My FiOS account and all your calls are being forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement.

Social engineering is apparently no less effective for a group of hackers flying under the banner of Crackas With Attitude (CWA) than it has been in the past when Cracka – one of the CWA hackers originally dubbed a teenage stoner – took control of CIA Director John Brennan’s personal email account. 

This time, “Cracka” told Motherboard’s Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai that CWA had taken control of "a series of accounts connected to Clapper, including his home telephone and internet, his personal email, and his wife’s Yahoo email. While in control of Clapper’s Verizon FiOS account, Cracka claimed to have changed the settings so that every call to his house number would get forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement.” CWA is aligned with the #FreePalestine movement. 

Cracka claimed the group was “pretty sure” Clapper didn’t know he’d been hacked, but a spokesman for Clapper, Brian Hale, said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was “aware of the matter and reported it to the appropriate authorities.”"...

[Ed. note: Where are you finding "appropriate authorities" when the top US official on computer safety isn't an "authority"?]

(continuing): "After Cracka handed over Clapper’s home number to Motherboard and Franceschi-Bicchierai called it, Paul Larudee, the co-founder of the Free Palestine Movement, answered. Larudee confirmed that he had been getting calls by people trying to call Clapper. 

Clapper had taken no steps to keep his phone number or home address hidden as both can reportedly be found via a simple Google search. That’s “insane” according to information security expert Michael Adams; he told Motherboard, “If I’m the Director of National Intelligence of the United States of America nobody is going to know where the [bleep] I live, nobody is going to have my [bleep] phone number or address.”

CWA also provided Motherboard with a phone number allegedly belonging to Clapper’s wife, screenshots of their Verizon FiOS account, her Yahoo account, and a list of call logs to Clapper’s home number, including Vonna Heaton, a former senior executive at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. She seemed shocked to receive a call from a journalist and politely ended the call. 

Cracka, using a different Twitter account this time, taunted various agencies in the U.S. intelligence community, but that’s not surprising since most of the agencies are already on the long list of CWA’s enemies.

Besides previously targeting CIA Director John Brennan, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Avril Haines, and FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliana, CWA claimed to have gained access to the national Joint Automated Booking System (JABS), a database of arrest records, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, and the FBI's Virtual Command Center. After CWA dumped personal details of 2,400 government employees, the Internet Crime Complaint Center warned police and public officials of an increased risk of being the target of cyber-attacks and doxing." Image from Medill DC 

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Added: Ginning up the American masses for war with nuclear armed Russia:

"The reality is that the U.S. government, working hand-in-glove with the Times and other mainstream American publications, has been waging such an information war against Russia for at least the past several years.... This current psy-op is not primarily aimed at a foreign adversary as much as it is targeting the American people."... 

The Washington Post published an op-ed on Oct. 6, 2016 by a US neocon urging Americans to "summon the will" to have war with Russia:

Oct. 16, 2016, "New York Times’s Absurd New Anti-Russian Propaganda," Robert Parry, Consortium News

"‘Regime Change' in Moscow?

Further feeding Russia’s fears, prominent Americans, including at least one financed by the U.S. government, have called for a "regime change" project in Moscow."


[10/7/16, "A prominent neocon paymaster, whose outfit dispenses $100 million in U.S. taxpayers’ money each year, has called on America to “summon the will” to remove Russian President Putin from office

....The neoconservative president of the U.S.-taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy [NED] has called for the U.S. government to “summon the will” to engineer the overthrow of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that the 10-year-old murder case of a Russian journalist should be the inspiration. Carl Gershman, who has headed NED since its founding in 1983, doesn’t cite any evidence that Putin was responsible for the death of Anna Politkovskaya
but uses a full column in The Washington Post on Friday to create that impression, calling her death “a window to Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin autocrat whom Americans are looking at for the first time.”"...]  

(continuing): "Yet all Americans hear about is the unproven allegation that Russia was responsible for hacking into Democratic Party emails and exposing information that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has tried to keep secret, such as the content of her speeches to Wall Street investment banks and other special interests....

The reality is that the U.S. government, working hand-in-glove with the Times and other mainstream American publications, has been waging such an information war against Russia for at least the past several years, including promotion of dubious charges such as the so-called Magnitsky case which was largely debunked by a courageous documentary that has been virtually blacklisted in the supposedly “free” West.

The Times also has embraced the U.S. government’s version of pretty much every dubious claim lodged against Moscow, systematically excluding evidence that points in a different direction. For instance, regarding the shootdown of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, the Times ignored a published Dutch (i.e. NATO) intelligence report stating that the only powerful anti-aircraft missiles in the area capable of hitting MH-17 were under the control of the Ukrainian military.

While it may be understandable that the Times opts to embrace claims by a Ukrainian-dominated investigation that the Russians were responsible – despite that inquiry’s evidentiary and logical shortcomings – it is not journalistically proper to ignore official evidence, such as the Dutch intelligence report, because it doesn’t go in the preferred direction. If the Times were not acting as a propaganda vehicle, it would at least have cited the Dutch intelligence report as one piece of the puzzle. 

The Times’ relentless service as the chief conveyor belt for anti-Russian propaganda has drawn at least some objections from readers, although they are rarely acknowledged by the Times....

The pattern has clearly shown that – as with Iraq in 2002-2003the Times’ editors see their role as preparing the American people for war."


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Added:  

10/28/16, "Selling ‘Regime Change’ Wars to the Masses," Consortium News, John Pilger 

"Trump is considered a serious threat to the status quo maintained by the vast national security machine that runs the United States, regardless of who is in the White House.

The CIA wants him beaten. The Pentagon wants him beaten. The media wants him beaten. Even his own party wants him beaten. He is a threat to the rulers of the world – unlike Hillary Clinton who has left no doubt she is prepared to go to war with nuclear-armed Russia and China.... 

Without a shred of public evidence, Clinton has accused Russia of supporting Trump and hacking her emails. Released by WikiLeaks, these emails tell us that what Clinton says in private, in speeches to the rich and powerful, is the opposite of what she says in public. 

That is why silencing and threatening Julian Assange is so important. As the editor of WikiLeaks, Assange knows the truth. And let me assure those who are concerned, he is well, and WikiLeaks is operating on all cylinders. 

Today, the greatest build-up of American-led forces since World War Two is under way – in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe, on the border with Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, where China is the target. 

Keep that in mind when the presidential election circus reaches its finale on Nov. 8. If the winner is Clinton, a Greek chorus of witless commentators will celebrate her coronation as a great step forward for women. None will mention Clinton’s victims: the women of Syria, the women of Iraq, the women of Libya. None will mention the civil defense drills being conducted in Russia. None will recall Edward Bernays’s “torches of freedom.”... 

In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media: “Before every major aggression, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack. In the propaganda system,

it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.”"

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Added: NY Times Tom Friedman says Putin is a threat to "basic civilized norms" and "we" must "step it up" to put a stop to him. Of course, war with nuclear Russia could end life on earth for all of us:

10/5/16, "New ‘Group Think’ for War with Syria/Russia," Consortium News, Robert Parry 

"The (NY)Times’ Friedman, who was infamously wrong about the Iraq War and pretty much everything else, is still considered a premier American columnist who is courted to make high-profile public appearances. 

Now, Friedman wants to escalate tensions with nuclear-armed Russia, apparently with the sloppily thought-through mission of imposing another "regime change" this time in Moscow.... 

Friedman cites a scholar named Robert Litwak in claiming that “Putin’s departure from standard great-power competition encouraging a flood of refugees and attacking the legitimacy of our political system — ‘is leading to shifts in global politics that could have revolutionary consequences, even if Putin is not motivated by revolutionary ideology.’”

Friedman’s solution to this highly questionable if not imaginary problem is to increase the pain on Putin and Russia, saying it’s now clear that we have underestimated the pressure needed to produce effective engagement, and we’re going to have to step it up. This is not just about the politics of Syria and Ukraine anymore. 

It’s now also about America, Europe, basic civilized norms and the integrity of our democratic institutions.”"... 

[Ed. note: So Islamism is off the hook as the greatest threat to "basic civilized norms?"]. 

(continuing): "While it’s always tempting to dismiss Friedman as a nitwit, the sad reality is that he is an influential nitwit who helps shape “elite” American public opinion. He is now contributing to a new “group think” that is even more dangerous than the one he helped construct in 2002-2003 regarding the Iraq War. 

Today, this new “group think,” which — like the Iraq one — is based on a false or selective reading of the facts, could lead to a nuclear war that could end life on the planet." 

"[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’sDo We Really Want Nuclear War with Russia?and Obama Warned to Defuse Tensions with Russia.]"

 
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