May 16

Russian hacking scare for General Election

Admiral Mike Rogers is talking up Russian hacking despite there being no evidence of it.

Admiral Mike Rogers is talking up Russian hacking despite there being no evidence of it.

A Russian hacking scare is doing the rounds in our newspapers.

Just for a change, this time the imaginary target is the UK’s General Election.

However, it is not clear what they are supposed to be doing.  Are they firing off tweets?  Did they leak the Labour Manifesto?  Are they planning to flood the count with agents?  Then what?

‘Russian hacking’ of Macron was actually from the US

The Sun Newspaper reports US National Security Agency head Admiral Mike Rogers confirming his staff were in contact with Britain.

Mr Rogers told a Senate hearing in Washington: ‘We had become aware of Russian activity.  We had talked to our French counterparts and gave them a heads-up.  We are doing the same with our German counterparts and our British counterparts.’

He also claimed Russia was behind an attack on new French leader Emmanuel Macron’s team on the eve of the election.

The hacking attack on Macron’s campaign — a day ahead of the run-off vote that saw him elected — led to thousands of files being leaked online.  Experts said it was a clumsy and amateurish effort.  It had none of the hallmarks of a sophisticated attack, let alone involvement of a state agency.

Indeed, Andrew Rettman in EUObserver said: ‘The spread of stolen emails designed to harm Emmanuel Macron was linked to US-based neo-Nazis, according to a French investigation.’  Admiral Rogers was plain wrong.  And he must have known he was giving the Senate misleading information.

Russians are capable

Boris Johnson chimed in, claiming there was ‘no question at all’ that President Putin hacked the Democratic National Convention.  (Actually it was a Democrat insider who leaked the material to Wikileaks.)

In apparent response to a question about hacking our election, Mr Johnson said there was ‘plenty of evidence that the Russians are capable of doing that.’  Going further, he said there was ‘no doubt they had been up to all sorts of dirty tricks.’

No doubt any number of states have people capable of hacking into computers.  But clever boys and girls out there can do the same.  Moreover, the channel to Wikileaks is always open to whistle-blowing insiders.

Talking of Wikileaks, in March they released material from the US Central Intelligence Agency.  It was leaked by an insider.  Among the documents, WikiLeaks exposed the CIA’s ‘UMBRAGE’ group.  These software engineers use malware to steal and replicate the digital ‘fingerprints’ of a foreign hacker.  That allows the U.S. to blame the hack on a foreign enemy.  And today, sadly, the US elite see Russia as an enemy.  Stick in some ‘Russian script’ and it’s ‘job done’.

The false story will run because everyone in the mainstream media and every Establishment politician wants to believe ‘the Russians did it’.

US interference in elections

The Washington Post has led on the Russian hacking nonsense.  It has even had its fingers burnt with posting fake news about the Vermont Utility in its eagerness to see the Russians everywhere.

But just before the presidential election, Ishaan Tharoor wrote in the WP about US interference in elections.  They headed his article: ‘The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere’.

Tharoor wrote the US: has occupied and intervened militarily in a whole swath of countries in the Caribbean and Latin America and fomented coups against democratically elected populists.

He speaks of the USA’s ‘most infamous episodes’.  These ‘include firstly the ousting of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953‘.  Tharoor says his government ‘was replaced by an authoritarian monarchy favorable to Washington’.  That will be the Shah.  Secondly, there was the ‘removal and assassination of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in 1961’.  Thirdly, Tharoor says the US did not care for socialist Chilean President Salvador Allende.  He writes that his government ‘was swept aside in 1973 by a military coup led by the ruthless Gen. Augusto Pinochet’.  And who backed Pinochet?  The US gave him assistance.

But the US did not just oust left-wing governments in a cold-war fever.  Tharoor says: ‘Sometimes that agenda also explicitly converged with the interests of U.S. business’.  In 1954, he writes, ‘Washington unseated Guatemala’s left-wing president, Jacobo Arbenz’.  Arbenz ‘had the temerity to challenge the vast control of the United Fruit Co., a U.S. corporation’.  The President brought in agrarian laws that would be fairer to Guatemalan farmers.  Writes Tharoor: ‘The CIA went on to install and back a series of right-wing dictatorships that brutalized the impoverished nation for almost half a century.’  The whole article is well worth a read.

Modern history of US / UK interference

And all of that is to neglect modern history.  The US and UK together brought about the ruin of Iraq, the desolation of Libya and the destabilisation of Syria.  The EU interfered in Ukraine, toppling a democratically-elected president because he was pro-Russian.  And of course that man George Soros was ready with his ‘Open Society Foundation’ to enable a bit of violent street action in support.  Recently, President Obama tried to interfere, albeit clumsily, in the UK’s Brexit referendum.

So let’s all try to be a little bit grown up, shall we?  Of course states want to deal with those who are friendly to them.  And of course they might try to influence things so that friendly people come to power.  Or those to their advantage.  And if they are not doing it, the bankers or other elites are doing it.  Or even organised crime.  The Mafia no doubt influence elections on Sicily and in cities like Rome and Turin.  And we can be sure the very last thing armaments manufacturers want is nation states getting on well with each other and defeating terrorism.  It follows they will do their best to interfere at election time everywhere.

During this general election, can we get around and ask for some evidence of the Russians hacking it?  All the talk of Russian hacking might leave President Putin feeling flattered and amused.  All the same, it degrades those who spout it and wastes everyone’s time.  Is there no real news out there?

2Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God

Click on these links to share this article:


1 comment

  1. Rox

    When I voted recently in a local election, the man in charge made his usual remarks about seeing me again, and thus far I don’t think the Russians had any influence. The voting slip seemed normal as well, although the name supposedly of a Conservative candidate was not a name I recognised.

    What was really spooky was the pencil. It seemed almost to jump out of my hand, and would not allow me to vote for the Labour candidate try as I might. In the end, this obviously hacked pencil had its way with me, and although I was inclined to crumple up the voting slip and throw it away, some uncanny power delivered it safely into the box.

    Definitely Russian intervention. I thought so at the time.

Leave a Reply