The NSA’s Report on Russian “Hacking”

The NSA has just released its report on “Russian hacking” of American elections. The truth is that the report has nothing to do with computer hacking and everything to do with RT’s negative views on Hillary Clinton. About 80% of the report dealt with how unfair it was that RT showed Clinton in a negative light.

The biggest claim they make is:

Russia’s state-run propaganda machine—comprised of its domestic media apparatus, outlets targeting global audiences such as RT and Sputnik, and a network of quasi-government trolls—contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.

This is what they apparently meant by “hacking” American elections. The most vehement complaint in this “report” was

The Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet RT (formerly Russia Today) has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks. RT’s editor-in-chief visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in August 2013, where they discussed renewing his broadcast contract with RT, according to Russian and Western media. Russian media subsequently announced that RT had become “the only Russian media company” to partner with WikiLeaks and had received access to “new leaks of secret information.” RT routinely gives Assange sympathetic coverage and provides him a platform to denounce the United States.

None of it has to do with the normal conception of “hacking.” The definition of the term is when a computer operator uses some dishonest method to gain access to a protected database of some type. In this definitive treatment of the subject, it is only asserted, never proven in any way. To do so, the writer of the report would have to show quite a bit of arcane data showing the footprint of a foreign hacker taking control of a database of the DNC. They would have to show how this data proves a foreign government took over voting machines or other sensitive equipment. It is barely alluded to. This is not how the NSA defines “hacking.”

On the other hand, there is substantial evidence of all kinds that “hacking” in its true sense is what stole the nomination from Bernie in Arizona. Arizona papers showed a substantial lead Bernie enjoyed over HRC consistently. Dozens of polling places in that state were shut down, forcing long lines in the remaining stations. Arizona is just one state out of many. Wikileaks dump of 20,000 emails from DNC staff proved without question that the party did all they could to disenfranchise Sanders supporters.

The hard evidence that the nomination was stolen comes from the fact that exit polls strongly favor Bernie, not HRC. Among other things in the data dump by Wikileaks on the DNC, the fact of Hillary’s radical lack of support in her own party can be found. One document reads: “Yes, super PAC paying young voters to push back online to Sanders supporters.” HRC’s party wanted Bernie Sanders, not Hillary. The perception that the nomination was stolen from him was everywhere and is reflected in her empty rallies.

Hillary Clinton was not a popular candidate even in her own party. Yet, every major media source predicted her victory. There were no dissenters. Moody’s election model predicted her victory. This model successfully predicted every presidential election since 1980. Unfortunately, that’s not a real triumph because so many of these elections were not competitive. Not only did all major media in the US predict her victory, but by a “landslide.” Princeton Election Consortium founder Sam Wang stated that “Hillary Clinton had a 99% chance of winning the election.”

This shows that the belief in a mythic “Russian hack” is partially a way to justify their absurd predictions. They were embarrassed with their talk of a “landslide.” With their credibility on the line again, the Russian hack was a way to get out of it. Very soon after the election, the Washington Post, who endorsed and predicted Hillary’s victory “in a landslide” ran one of the first articles claiming that “secret sources” in the CIA think the election was stolen by Russian hackers. Therefore, claiming Russians “stole” the election was a means to regain credibility. Unfortunately for them, there is no evidence of this. At the very least, the Post covered themselves on this one too by going through all the elections that the US disrupted. In those cases, there is actual evidence.

Yet, even if these accusations were factual, Russia would be certainly proper in their tilt to Trump. HRC stated in her October 11th speech to the American Legion that she would go to war with Russia militarily over “hacking.” Threatening war with Russia gives them every right to respond. Hillary was far more forward with Iran, stating: “I want the Iranians to know, if I’m president, we” attack Iran.” Iran is a key Russian and Chinese ally in Central Asia.

The claim about Russian hacking is one of the most absurd in American political history. There is no evidence. The NSA report offers none, but spends most of its time attacking the editorial policies of RT. Her threats against Russia and Iran certainly gave them ample reason to take action, yet the electoral process in the US was deeply biased against Trump. It is safe to say that about 800,000 illegals voted for Hillary. Regardless, claims about Russian “hacking” are a pathetic cry for help.

Matthew Raphael Johnson

Matthew Raphael Johnson is a scholar of Russian Orthodox history and philosophy. He completed his doctorate at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1999. He is a former professor of both history and political science at the University of Nebraska (as a graduate student), Penn State University and Mount St. Mary’s University. Since 1999, he was the editor (and is presently Senior Researcher) at The Barnes Review, a well-known renegade journal of European history. Dr. Johnson is the author of eight books. Six are from Hromada Books, "Sobornosti: Essays on the Old Faith;" "Heavenly Serbia and the Medieval Idea;" "Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality: Lectures on Medieval Russia;" "The Ancient Orthodox Tradition in Russian Literature: "The Foreign Policy of Mass Society: The Failure of Western Engagement in the Middle East;" and "Officially Approved Dissent: Alasdair MacIntyre’s Strategic Ambiguity in His Critique of Modernity." And two published by The Barnes Review, "The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism and Orthodoxy;" and "Russian Populist: The Political Thought of Vladimir Putin."

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