Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:46 am

Windy wrote:
Doodle Dee. Snickers wrote:
Windy wrote:Russia shouldn't influence our elections. Only big multibillion dollar corporations should be allowed to do that.


I'd actually prefer neither, and given the political leanings of most people on this board, I suspect everyone would agree, so I'm not even sure who's that aimed at.


Everyone agrees with something until Trump agrees with it, then they start defending corporate media and stocking up on guns.


Corporate Media doesn't donate to political campaigns, and neither do guns, so that also makes no sense.

Or is your point that it's hypocritical to ask media outlets to report campaign news to me (mostly because I can't yet employ telepathy to see what's happening everywhere) as opposed to a hostile foreign power deliberately tipping the scales in favor of a candidate?
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby Kivutar » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:10 pm

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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby Windy » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:04 pm

Doodle Dee. Snickers wrote:Corporate Media doesn't donate to political campaigns, and neither do guns, so that also makes no sense.


Of course, everyone knows hte media is only interested in reporting the unbiased truth :)

Or is your point that it's hypocritical to ask media outlets to report campaign news to me (mostly because I can't yet employ telepathy to see what's happening everywhere) as opposed to a hostile foreign power deliberately tipping the scales in favor of a candidate?


And wacky conspiracy theories
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby blehblah » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:26 pm

Windy wrote:
Doodle Dee. Snickers wrote:Corporate Media doesn't donate to political campaigns, and neither do guns, so that also makes no sense.


Of course, everyone knows hte media is only interested in reporting the unbiased truth :)

Or is your point that it's hypocritical to ask media outlets to report campaign news to me (mostly because I can't yet employ telepathy to see what's happening everywhere) as opposed to a hostile foreign power deliberately tipping the scales in favor of a candidate?


And wacky conspiracy theories


And things people say, or bunnies.. things bunnies say... things bunnies say to people.

Damned bunnies and their communist consequences.
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby cmsellers » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:30 am

So it turns out the FBI got a FISA warrant to observe Carter Page on account of his Russia connection. And, of course, he indignantly insists he's the victim of a witch hunt. Wonder how long until he joins Flynn with the wolves.
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby JamishT » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:04 am

cmsellers wrote:So it turns out the FBI got a FISA warrant to observe Carter Page on account of his Russia connection. And, of course, he indignantly insists he's the victim of a witch hunt. Wonder how long until he joins Flynn with the wolves.


I don't remember who Carter Page is, but that name sounds like one a pornstar would pick.
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby IamNotCreepy » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:09 pm

So, a group of independent former intelligence agents (VIPS) posted a memo indicating that the DNC hack was, in fact, a leak.

They make a good case, as far as I can see it.

This report also claims there is no apparent evidence that the hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 — supposedly based in Romania — hacked the DNC on behalf of the Russian government. There is also no evidence, the report’s authors say, that Guccifer handed documents over to WikiLeaks. Instead, the report says that the evidence and timeline of events suggests that Guccifer may have been conjured up in an attempt to deflect from the embarrassing information about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign that was released just before the Democratic National Convention. The investigators found that some of the “Guccifer” files had been deliberately altered by copying and pasting the text into a “Russianified” word-processing document with Russian-language settings.


VIPS states two things with what they describe as a high degree of certainty: There was no Russian hack on July 5, and the metadata from Guccifer’s June 15 document release was “synthetically tainted” with “Russian fingerprints.”

How did the group come to the conclusion that it was a leak, not a hack?

Investigators found that 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded locally on July 5, 2016. The information was downloaded with a memory key or some other portable storage device. The download operation took 87 seconds — meaning the speed of transfer was 22.7 megabytes per second — “a speed that far exceeds an internet capability for a remote hack,” as Lawrence puts it. What’s more, they say, a transoceanic transfer would have been even slower (Guccifer claimed to be working from Romania).

“Based on the data we now have, what we’ve been calling a hack is impossible,” Folden told The Nation.

Further casting doubt on the official narrative is the fact the the DNC’s computer servers were never examined by the FBI. Instead, the agency relied on a report compiled by Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm compromised by serious conflicts of interest — the major one being that the firm was paid by the DNC itself to conduct its work. Another is that the firm’s owner is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank known for its hostility toward Russia.


Up until now, I have dismissed any criticisms of the Russian hacking story as conspiracy theories, but VIPS is a very highly-regarded group. Oddly enough, besides the usual suspects (Breitbart et al), the only two outlets running with the story are the Nation and Salon, both of which are left-wing.

Thoughts?
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:57 pm

Some facebook pro-trump group that organized rallies in 2016 was found to have ties to suspected Russian propagandists.
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby D-LOGAN » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:37 pm

IamNotCreepy wrote:So, a group of independent former intelligence agents (VIPS) posted a memo indicating that the DNC hack was, in fact, a leak.


Well, well, well.
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby blehblah » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:41 pm

I'd have to see more, and nobody is really sharing, so I've got to stick with what the not-former intelligence folks and Crowdstrike have figured.

The first thing I find curious is about Guccifer 2.0.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guccifer_2.0

Not many folks believe Guccifer is in Romania. That ties to the second thing, the 22 MB/s transfer. A 1 Gb/s down connection is a helluva lot cheaper in Romania than in the US. The bottleneck would more than likely be the upload rate on the DNC side. If, as most folks believe, Guccifer 2.0 is actually a group within, or arms-length from, Russian intelligence, I'm going to go ahead and guess they don't exactly rely on the Russian version of a 30 Mb/s AT&T plan capped at 2 GB/month. That assumes the initial transfer was straight to the destination. Spinning-up an AWS instance on a fat Amazon pipe in the Eastern US, no less, to scoop the initial upload is trivial.*

Looking at the Wikipedia page, I'm not the only one questioning the VIPS memo. The same Wiki page has their track record, which is a bit spotty. On the VIPS memo about the Syrian gas attack (which they figured was carefully orchestrated by the rebel groups to make it totally look like it was Assad's gang):

its "most sensational claims" appeared to be largely "plagiarized" from an article written by Yossef Bodansky and republished by "conspiracy site" Global Research


Erm... awkward.

It looks like Fox did cover the VIP memo on the DNC hack since a member of VIPS brought it up on Tucker Carlson. http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/08/14/r ... tory-false

I like this quote:

He said that during a prior Chinese hack of government systems, NSA agents were able to use "trace route programs" to track the "packets" of information back to a specific building in Shanghai.


NY Post also covered it: http://nypost.com/2017/08/15/new-report ... ot-russia/

Roger Stone cited the VIPS memo (notice how it has changed from a memo to a 'report' along the way), because of course he did.

http://www.businessinsider.com/roger-st ... ump-2017-9

In his opening statement to the committee, which was leaked Monday night, Stone cast doubt on the intelligence community's assessment that Guccifer 2.0 was a front for Russian intelligence.

He pointed to a report written by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), publicized by The Nation in August, claiming that the theft of DNC emails was not a hack, but a leak.

"Now that more information is in the public domain, the very question of whether Guccifer 2.0 hacked the DNC must be revisited in light of the VIPS report cited by The Nation," he said.

After his testimony, Stone told reporters that he believed the DNC hack was an "inside job," pointing again to the report in The Nation.

But the Nation's editor, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, issued a mea culpa following the article's publication, noting that "several of the article's conclusions" were mistakenly presented as "certainties" rather than "possibilities."

"And given the technical complexity of the material, we would have benefited from bringing on an independent expert to conduct a rigorous review of the VIPS technical claims," she wrote.


That is a nice way of the Nation's editor saying, "We pushed it out the door without having a clue about what it was."

WaPo has more on the whole thing: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/er ... c029026c1d

Via the magazine’s review of the Lawrence piece, it has published pieces from two VIPS groups — one from the folks on whom Lawrence relied for his hack-debunking piece, and another from a band of dissenters. “A number of VIPS members did not sign this problematic memo because of troubling questions about its conclusions, and others who did sign it have raised key concerns since its publication,” reads the piece from the dissenters. They continue: “The implications of this leap-to-conclusions analysis of the VIPS memo—which centers on claiming as an unassailable and immutable fact that the DNC ‘hack’ was committed by an insider with direct access to the DNC server, who then deliberately doctored data and documents to look like a Russian or Russia-affiliated actor was involved, and therefore no hack occurred (consequently, ipso facto, the Russians did not do it)—are contingent on a fallacy,” they write.

As for the VIPS personnel who Lawrence sourced for his column — they write, in part, “In recent years we have seen ‘false-flag’ attacks carried out to undergird a political narrative and objective—to blame the Syrian government for chemical attacks, for example. Forensic evidence suggests that this tried-and-tested technique (in this instance, simply pasting in a Russian template with ‘telltale signs’) may have been used to ‘show’ that Russia hacked into the DNC computers last June.”


Soooo... the conspiracy fans within VIPS published this memo, while the others figure it's bunk.

Within the Nation, people are a bit miffed.

Pollitt, likewise, blasted the handling of the story: “Patrick Lawrence published claims that accorded with his own views and presented them as conclusive,” writes Pollitt in an email to the Erik Wemple Blog. “He didn’t even bother to learn that members of VIPS dissented from the report. Nor, apparently, did he consult anyone who knows more about computers than he does, which turns out to be a lot of people. He’s a crackpot and a terrible writer, and I’ve never understood why he was hired in the first place. Katrina should have fired him. Anything less is allowing him much more credence than he deserves, which is no credence at all.”


The WaPo article was published September 1st - I guess Roger Stone selectively everything about the story after the initial publication. A shame, that.

EDIT:

* to clarify, a transfer rate of 22 MB/s is 176 Mb/s. For obvious reasons, ISPs advertise in Mb/s, because the numbers is bigly.

From the memo: "In the early evening, Eastern Daylight Time, someone working in the EDT time zone with a computer directly connected to the DNC server or DNC Local Area Network, copied 1,976 MegaBytes of data in 87 seconds onto an external storage device. That speed is much faster than what is physically possible with a hack."

The bold is theirs. That statement is utterly devoid of meaning. If by "a hack" they mean "remotely", it's still an absurd statement. However, the author of the Nation article managed to take it further.

The article at the Nation: "No Internet service provider, such as a hacker would have had to use in mid-2016, was capable of downloading data at this speed."

Ludicrous speed! Impossible in mid-2016! BlehBlah, in the wilds of weirdest Canada, did not have a 500 Mb/s connection at the time, because it was impossible, though we can believe he was too cheap to go for the 1 Gb/s offering!

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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby IamNotCreepy » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:15 pm

I tend to fall on the side of there being more incompetence and obstruction of financial crimes rather than direct collusion with Russia, but this New York Magazine article makes a pretty compelling case by laying out in a very detailed manner all of the entanglements Trump and those in his circle have with Russia and ways in which they might be compromised.

It's a pretty long read, but the article is quite good. It doesn't discount plausible alternatives and lays out facts and theories in a very straightforward manner.

When I get a little more time, I'll dig through it for some choice quotes (there are a lot of them).
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby NathanLoiselle » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:08 am

What do beer tapps have to do with Trump or Russia? Everyone knows that Trump likes vodka.
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby JamishT » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:51 am

NathanLoiselle wrote:What do beer tapps have to do with Trump or Russia? Everyone knows that Trump likes vodka.


I know you're making a joke, but just a reminder, Trump doesn't drink. He doesn't choose to do or say anything drunkenly. Hmm.
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby Aquila89 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:07 pm

As a teetotaler, I'm unhappy about Trump being the most famous non-drinker in the world.
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Re: Of Trump, Russia, and tapps

Postby blehblah » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:17 pm

IamNotCreepy wrote:I tend to fall on the side of there being more incompetence and obstruction of financial crimes rather than direct collusion with Russia, but this New York Magazine article makes a pretty compelling case by laying out in a very detailed manner all of the entanglements Trump and those in his circle have with Russia and ways in which they might be compromised.

It's a pretty long read, but the article is quite good. It doesn't discount plausible alternatives and lays out facts and theories in a very straightforward manner.

When I get a little more time, I'll dig through it for some choice quotes (there are a lot of them).


I read it in chunks over a day. It is an interesting read. The premise, that what-if it's worse than anyone let's themselves believe, is concerning.

I have tended to believe that there were people in Trump's orbit who were - knowingly or unknowingly - going far outside of standard protocol. Maybe it's the way they were used to doing things, and they unwittingly translated their experience into what can be generally considered 'bad moves'.

I have also figured Trump Inc, and by extension much of the family, have been involved in less-than above-board transactions involving murky characters from Russia and other kleptocracies. As the article points-out, when American banks started refusing to finance Trump's debts, he turned to alternative sources, many of which have ties to Russia. Both of his sons have publicly stated as much. Going down this line of thought, it wasn't about having personal kompromat on Trump, but rather, financial skulduggery on a guy who may be millionaire, but isn't a billionaire. Small hands, and all that...

It is difficult to explain Trump's affinity for Russia. Maybe he's just a big fan of what he considers strong leaders, which are generally considered autocratic, totalitarian, kleptocratic, or otherwise 'not good'. Maybe he wants to pull-off a gigantic pivot where he gets NATO/EU and Russia working against China, but doesn't understand that NATO/EU geopolitical goals are antithetical to Russian geopolitical goals. Maybe he really believes America can go it alone, with very limited trade, yet still tell the world how to go-about behaving.

Trump may simply be a dumb guy who has tried his darndest to make a few dirty bucks in a dirty world. Maybe he's intellectually incapable of both absorbing the role of the USA at the point where he took-over the helm, and understanding the history of how the USA, post WW-II, arrived at the wealthy, happy, and generally good-times place which it has been, more-or-less, for nearly seven decades. Maybe he just wants to burn-down everything that Obama did, regardless of whether it was a continuation of previous policy, or not, because Obama made fun of him with big words.

Or maybe he is, as is fashionable to say, playing three-dimensional chess. Maybe he wants to work-up traditional trade and defense partners into a froth to goad them into contributing more to the USA military-industrial complex, regardless of there being a real military enemy, or not. You know, make everyone do like Greece does by contributing more than 2% of GDP to their military (except much of it goes to pensions, but... that's Greece for ya! <rim shot>).

And then there's Manafort. If there is someone who was part of the Trump campaign and was dirty, and in cahoots with Russian interests, it's Manafort. His boy, Gates, already rolled-over. Hell, Sean Spicer can't toe the Trump line on Manafort's involvement:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... n-new-book

“The Manafort message was clear: Trump will be our nominee and our next president, and anyone who didn’t want to work to that end could spend the next four years in political Siberia. (No Russia pun intended.)”


HAHA, Sean! You are such a card!

It's difficult to overlook Manafort's impact on the campaign. I don't think the article mentioned that as the GOP was firming-up their platform at the RNC, the one and only change the Trump campaign pushed was:

https://www.npr.org/2017/12/04/56831079 ... ne-support

President Trump may have been involved with a change to the Republican Party campaign platform last year that watered down support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine, according to new information from someone who was involved.


Why that change? Why at that time? Either Manafort was taking advantage of a chaotic situation (which Trump would appreciate) to push something through, or Trump knew Manafort pushed it through. There are only two angles; Trump had no idea, and the guy in-charge of his campaign pulled a fast one on Trump, or Trump knew, and at the very least, did not object.

All that to get back to, why Russia? Why is Trump shitting on the G7, NATO, and NAFTA while refusing to say anything negative about Russia, unless it's to bash Germany with faulty numbers?

I could believe, if I squint, that Trump is balancing his hate of Obama against his hate of China. Russia and the EU/USA do have a somewhat common cause; while the EU was formed primarily to be a trade block against the likes of the US (really, NAFTA) and China, TPP was meant to form trade relationships around China, yet Trump killed US participation. Maybe his hate is more against Obama than anyone else, and Trump is willing to make deals with anyone else, so long as he can wrap his head around the deal... which, so far, means no deals.

Maybe.

Maybe.

It may be.

That is the problem. Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, and Trump could provide such by releasing his tax returns. That won't happen, willingly.

At best, Americans, you have a dirty POTUS who has, and will continue to, earn dirty money from dirty sources through dirty dealers. At worst, the POTUS is a Manchurian Candidate who didn't need to be brainwashed.

Or, it's somewhere in between - the POTUS is a selfish idiot who is over-leveraged by Russian money, and gravitates toward strongmen who run their countries with an iron fist because there weren't enough hugs from mommy and daddy Trump.

Or, Trump is earnest and honest *cough* and believes Russian interests are the same as American interests, which will really help #MAGA (because America is currently, contrary to all economic information, a shithole, because Obama).

Or, he is #MAGA and sunshine and lollipops, and America will be much richer, and more powerful, after Trump shakes-up everything, and so what if he made a few dimes off Russian money, there was no collusion.

Time will tell. What happens in the meantime will be... interesting.
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