Putin Says The U.S. May Have Faked Hacking Evidence… He’s Wrong

When you claim to be the victim of a false flag attack, make sure those you’re blaming have something to gain by framing you.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

Let’s say you come home to see muddy paw prints all over your kitchen floor. You probably won’t assume that a small team of highly trained international foreign agents snuck into your house with specially designed devices to replicate your dog’s paws caked in mud and carefully left prints matching his gait and mapping out his steps as he sniffed along the floor to his bowls and back. You’ll find your dog, scold him, wash his paws and get the mop because that’s the most likely thing to have happened unless you just happen to find evidence that unequivocally says otherwise.

So when you’re asked to consider a false flag theory, you’re being asked to forgo the simplest version of how the events you saw unfolded and accept something a lot more convoluted. It’s exciting when this theory is backed with a smoking gun, but that’s very seldom the case.

False flags do exist and have been successfully pulled off before, but only when there’s a direct benefit to those orchestrating it. Pointing to one’s capability to prove something nefarious, in other words, is irrelevant. It makes far more sense to point to a motive, then work your way back to how exactly the deed in question was executed and find all those involved.

This should seem obvious, but in the last few days, Putin decided to forget this simple fact, much less keep his story straight, first saying that patriotic Russian hackers may have conducted hacks for their country, then coming out with the implication that the U.S. hacked itself to frame Russia while telling Megyn Kelly that even kids could invent digital fingerprints that he claims don’t exist. Which one is it? If Russia was framed, why?

This follows the same excuse for logic a throng of pro-Kremlin trolls and conspiracy theorists used to convince their audience that the CIA framed Russia for the notorious DNC hacks back in March, citing the capability to do so in a WikiLeaks dump of their malware tools as all the evidence they need to make this claim.

And right there we end up with an obvious problem. Disguising your tracks online is quite easy, and if you have little regard for the law, a version of Tor with plugins to pick and choose what scripts will execute, normally used to block ads and nasty tracking cookies for safety conscious users, and several steps I would much rather not detail because a vacation to Club Fed doesn’t sound like a good use of my time, you can execute a cyber false flag or frame your competition in the span of an hour or so.

If this is what the CIA really wanted to do, it wouldn’t even need the tools the conspiracy theorists claim it had for such a task. Anybody who at least played a bit with computer security at some point knows how to hide their digital fingerprints.

With disguising one’s point of origin being a triviality and malware reuse in the wild being quite common, we need to toss aside the technology to think whether using it actually makes sense. Why would the CIA hack the DNC to then hand over the data to WikiLeaks? Wouldn’t this imply they wanted to boost Trump’s chances to win?

But spooks like predictability, continuity, and deference to their analyses, and it was clear from day one this wasn’t going to happen with Trump as president. Even with 17 intelligence agencies at his beck and call, he prefers Breitbart for his intel briefings than the actual data being gathered by the formidable American intelligence apparatus.

It’s kind of like burning down the house, framing your competition at work for arson, then not even getting an insurance payout and having to rebuild your home from scratch. Who would possibly approve this plan? Did they cut off their nose to spite their face? Or was there some sort of long con in which a President Trump was either a successful outcome or a pawn? Why would they, to put it bluntly, play stupid games to win stupid prizes?

No matter how hard we try to get away from Russia’s influence here, we just can’t.

Every piece of circumstantial evidence points to the Russians having every incentive, means, and motive to pull off hacks, disinformation campaigns, and conduct shady backroom deals. And every time someone on the Trump team is asked about Russia, they break out in cold sweat, denying the thought they have ever met with someone who even has a Russian accent. They later suddenly recall that they may have met with Russian figures when they are confronted with proof of a meeting, and rush to reiterate that it’s totally normal to meet with other government officials.

And yes, it is. But then why go out of your way to deny that meeting? If the CIA is behind the hacks and no one in the administration is doing anything untoward with Russia, it would also have to imply that Langley (CIA’s HQ in Virginia) put them up to this. For what purpose?

How convoluted and deep should their long con go if a part of it has to frame the executive branch of the United States as a Russian fifth column? Did they really want an administration that from day one would try to enact a secret plan to lift sanctions on an adversarial state which has been actively spying on them for more than half a century?

Remember, Russia isn’t funding ISIS or al Qaeda, its leaders are sanctioned, and the last time it tried to run a spy ring in America, it was quickly busted up, with its most photogenic member becoming a Russian celebrity after her swift deportation, and curiously, having Assange fawn all over her on Russia Today after Trump’s win.

What plan would involve the CIA giving Russia an upper hand on suddenly challenging the integrity of NATO and becoming a threat to American interests, willingly giving itself a black eye? Especially at a time when Russians are drastically upping their spy game?

If anything, having Clinton win the election would’ve allowed them to stay on course in wearing down Russia’s ambitions to restore its Soviet sphere of influence. If they were somehow trying to frame Trump into looking like a Russian spy in a fabricated scandal, the CIA could’ve easily done so without hacking any of the DNC’s computers.

This wouldn’t be the first election they tried to skew, and with many shady dealings in his past, all their blackmail material on Trump is more than enough to weave a compelling enough tale for the voters, even if it’s most likely to be money laundering rather than a pee tape who nobody would want to see anyway.

At this point, we’re grasping at straws to justify any reason for the CIA to use its knowhow to hack the DNC and hand over the data to WikiLeaks without doing the equivalent of giving itself a black eye, whereas it’s obvious why it would make perfect sense for Russia to make life miserable for Clinton. And unless the powers in charge at Langley suddenly decided to advance Putin’s interests instead of American ones, it seems bizarre to point the finger back at them for the hacks.

Unless of course you’re trying to steer the now really, really uncomfortable conversation about Russian hacking and propaganda wars as far away from those most likely to benefit from it as possible, or are such an impassioned Trump fan that anything besmirching his victory upsets you so much, you’re ready to grasp onto any conspiracy exonerating him from any shady ties to Russian interests, and excuses his ever more paranoid outbursts on Twitter. Unfortunately, you’re gonna need a better conspiracy theory…

This piece was adopted from my 03.08.2017 post on Weird Things.

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