Russian hacking investigation distracting from real collusion

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Russian hacking investigation distracting from real collusion

Russian hacking was a major issue in the last presidential election.

Russian hacking was a major issue in the last presidential election.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Russian hacking was a major issue in the last presidential election.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Russian hacking was a major issue in the last presidential election.

Kate Tyler, Staff Writer

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I’m just going to come out and say it: Russia didn’t hack our election in 2016.

While it is true that in the Director of National Intelligence 2017 intelligence report, the FBI, NSA and DHS determined that they had “high confidence” in their “judgements” related to a cyber attack spearheaded by Vladimir Putin, it’s clear that their terminology is void of any substance.

In the appendix of the report, these agencies break down what they mean by clarifying that “judgements are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.” The appendix goes on to explain “high confidence in a judgement does not imply that the assessment is a fact or certainty; such judgements might be wrong.”

On top of that, the validity of the intelligence community’s “high confidence” in just about anything is completely undermined by the fact that the claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) was classified that way in a 2002 intelligence report.

As the American public is now painfully aware, Iraq did not possess any WMDs, nor were they stockpiling any. The fact that intelligence agencies can have “high confidence” in completely false information should be a red flag, especially with the kind of disclaimers they provide in their appendix.

Incredibly, the FBI never got to forensically investigate the DNC server directly. Instead, DNC officials hired a third party company named CrowdStrike, to complete the investigation and pass along their findings to the FBI. Criminal investigations can’t be conducted properly when evidence hasn’t been under the close supervision of law enforcement, and the DNC’s actions in this instance aren’t normal under any circumstance.

Additionally, the claim that Russian hackers swayed the election toward President Trump’s victory has also been completely debunked over the last few years. For example, in May the Senate Intelligence Committee found that there was no evidence that Russians altered any vote tallies.

Another notable story was that of the 21 states the DHS identified as having their election systems “targeted” by Russians, which the media took as proof of the election being influenced by the Russian government, multiple states such as California and Wisconsin denied the information the DHS reported. Californian officials stated that Russians hadn’t accessed their Department of State website, but instead scanned their Department of Technology website.

A DHS official testified in Nov. 2017 that the vast majority of the Russian activity was purely scanning (gathering information about a network), which happens regularly and isn’t something to classify as an “attack.”

It’s clear that a lot of this hysteria is meant to distract from what these alleged Russian hackers revealed in leaked DNC files: clear favoritism toward the Clinton campaign during the democratic primary and schemes to undermine the Bernie Sanders’ campaign. That’s the real election we need to be discussing.

The amount of unreliable information being discussed in relation to the “Russia hacking” is exactly why we need to shut up about it. There are so many important issues that could get more airtime, like the thousands of civilians being killed in Yemen or the fact that Flint, Michigan, still doesn’t have clean water. We can do so much more good if we just push aside this disinformation campaign.