The world of computer mischief is arcane beyond comprehension. I got a taste of it trying to get to the bottom of the much touted Russian invasion of the 2016 Presidential election.
Here is a sample of what I found:
On September 1, 2011, the Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics discovered a collection of computer malware which used the prefix “DQ” to identify its files. The Budapest scientists wrote a 60 page report describing the computer threat and nicknaming its users “The Duqu.”
The Duqu were so skilled that they actually compromised the internal workings of Kaspersky, the Russian cyber security giant.
U.S. cyber intelligence nerds Americanized “The Duqu” simply calling the malware mischief makers “The Dukes.” A December 13, 2016 New York Times story attributed the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computers to The Dukes, describing them as “ a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.”
No authority for that statement was given.
In January of 2017, the CIA presented a “top secret” report to President Obama claiming that the DNC hack was the work of the Russian government. That report has never been made public, but the Russian government’s alleged participation was leaked to Reuters News by a source or sources who spoke “on condition of anonymity”.
The best explanation for the CIA opinion that the Dukes are Russian depends on such dubious indicia as the fact that the Dukes’ working day corresponds roughly with the normal work day in many parts of Russia. A similar analysis suggests that the Dukes are Israelis since, in addition to the normal work days and hours, the Dukes seem to take off work from Friday afternoon through Sunday.
The later proposition has further evidence; one of the Dukes’ first attacks was directed to Iran’s nuclear efforts.
In short, my study persuades me that the hacking of the DNC last year was not the work of the Russian government. That conclusion is backed up by the assertion of Julian Assange, owner of Wikileaks, who insists that his source was not any government.
My modest excursion into World Wide Web wickedness reveals that the Web, sometimes called “the wild” by its inhabitants, is much like the open seas or outer space; it is a place that is owned by no one, but belongs to everyone. Out there, everyone is pretty much on their own and free to do whatever they are able to do.
When you entrust your personal secrets to the Web, your only protection from having them purloined and broadcast is your password. That’s pretty good protection. Your Social Security number for example, consists of nine digits, enough to provide a billion unique numbers.
Still, emails are out there in the wild. Like ships at sea or rockets in space, they can be seen and examined by anyone who can find them. They get hacked by people who know how to hack.
So the real question that needs to be addressed by the American People is not whether internal emails of the Democratic National Committee were hacked, or by whom, but whether the information that came out was true and whether it made a difference or should have made a difference in the outcome of the election.
Candidly, I cannot recall anyone denying the reported contents of the DNC emails or internal communications that were revealed by Wikileaks and thereafter widely broadcast by all the mainstream media.
Did the Democratic National Committee favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders? Of course they did. Nobody denied it. Did that favoritism hurt the Party? Of course it did. Primary elections are conducted to give the people an avenue to participate in the democratic process. A political party controlled by insiders or bosses will not be popular with the average voter.
The vast basket of deplorable Americans who work with their hands, who build and buy, and grow and sell, who clean and carry and fix and install and who serve other people in a million ways don’t like closed door, boss-ruled political parties.
Did the hackers hurt Hillary and help Trump?
Of course they did. Did it matter whether the hackers were Russian or Israeli or just naughty college kids having fun with their computers?
Certainly not. The only thing that mattered to the American people was the truth. And the truth was that the DNC was in the pocket of the Clinton campaign.
Nobody denied it. Not then. Not now.
The current Congressional and News media flap over foreign influence in American politics is a false narrative. Other countries have always taken sides in American politics. In the 2016 election, for example, eighteen of twenty-three foreign newspapers endorsed Hillary Clinton, one favored Trump, and four simply opposed Trump.
As a private businessman, Donald Trump took his Miss Universe Beauty Pageant to Russia in 2013. No one criticized him for doing so. Indeed, it was exactly the kind of private business interchange that was promoted by our national government from the time of Richard Nixon in pursuit of détente, which led to the decline of the Soviet Union.
While in Moscow, Trump met more than a dozen top Russian businessmen, including Herman Gref, CEO of Russia's largest bank.
All of which makes me wonder whether the shrill accusations coming from the Swamp are not motivated by the fear that our new President may just be inclined to find common ground with our cold war adversary and lead us to an era of actual peace in every part of the world.
It would certainly be a disappointment to the Military-Industrial Complex that is responsible for so much of the Swamp.