Legacy Press Smears VIPS Report After CIA Director Meets With Bill Binney

by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:

If you’ve gotten whiplash due to the widening dissonance between reality and legacy press coverage of the  Russian hacking narrative, you are not alone.

An October 24th meeting between CIA Director Mike Pompeo and former NSA Technical Director and Veteran Intelligence Professionals For Sanity (VIPS) founder Bill Binney at the behest of President Trump has resulted in a flurry of disconcertingly inaccurate media coverage.

VIPS founder Bill Binney has extensive experience with the NSA: as former technical director has a wealth of knowledge regarding the NSA’s implementation of mass surveillance.

The meeting was both significant and politically sensitive because it concerned a VIPS memo that called the Russian hacking narrative into question. The memorandum, which was addressed to President Trump, had cited the findings of The Forensicator, whose work was first reported by  Disobedient Media in July. There are multiple nuances at play regarding the Forensicator’s findings, the VIPS report and legacy media discussion of the Russian hacking narrative that are rarely reported accurately by establishment press.

Issues with coverage arise when their report describes the meeting between Binney and Pompeo as somehow scandalous, as pointed out by independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone and independent analyst Adam Carter.

The Intercept’s report briefly discusses the analysis of the Forensicator, reducing their findings to the single issue of copying speeds. The article also conflates the issue of the Guccifer 2.0 data and the DNC leak itself. The Forensicator’s analysis is based on more than the one issue of copying speeds, which The Intercept failed to mention in their coverage of the issue.

The findings of the Forensicator only concern Guccifer 2.0, and have no demonstrable bearing on the source of Wikileaks’ publication of the DNC leak. By showing that Guccifer 2.0 did not hack the data eventually published as NGP-VAN, the Forensicator’s analysis calls into question claims that Guccifer 2.0 was the perpetrator of Russian hacking. Some recent establishment press reports have recently attempted to revive the idea that Guccifer 2.0 might be a team of Russian state agency spies

It suggests that Guccifer 2.0 did not publish material hacked from Russia, but does not prove the source of Wikileaks’ material. This nuance is often lost on legacy press. Generally, no convincing links have yet been made between Guccifer 2.0 and the DNC email leaks or the Podesta emails, both published by Wikileaks. Essentially, the issue of the source of the Wikileaks DNC emails is not necessarily relevant to the Forensicator’s findings, but their work does potentially negate Russian hacking claims based on Guccifer 2.0.

Another problem is the portrayal of VIPS members and their memo as somehow right-wing. VIPS and its members have long histories of being staunchly anti-war, dating to their founding during the lead up to the disastrous conflict in Iraq. VIPS had warned at the time that pro-war rhetoric was based in large part on faulty intelligence.

VIPS’ long held stance against war should not be confused with partisan opinion. As they stood then against a Republican President advocating war, so now VIPS stands against what appears to be a largely Democratic establishment that has continually beat the drums of war against Russia.

Disobedient Media previously covered the serious inadequacies that taint Crowdstrike’s Russian hacking claims, which are the ultimate, central, source for what The Intercept describes as intelligence agency consensus that Russia meddled in the Presidential election. Despite this, The Intercept fails to mention Crowdstrike once in their report. This is a highly significant omission, as any honest discussion of Crowdstrike’s role in the matter would reveal the utterly murky basis of the Russian hacking narrative.

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