Uncommon Sense

December 13, 2016

Can We Ever Trust Our Institutions/Agencies Again … Even a Little Bit

This gets curiouser and curiouser. I recent blogged about the “Russian conspiracy” regarding manipulations of our elections (by leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks) and in part I said “I do not accept these assertions at face value as the sources are untrustworthy, but if more details were provided there might be something here.” and “The whole purpose of Wikileaks is to provide a place to “leak” information that cannot be traced back to you, even by Wikileaks itself, so it will be interesting to find out how we learned that the Russian government was responsible for things being leaked to Wikileaks.”

I then learned from my partner’s tech-savvy son, that all of the “protections” Wikileaks was supposed to offer leakers just never got implemented, so it is relatively easy to find out who sent what to whom, so my criticism of the report on that account is unsupported.

But, then … The Guardian (U.K.) reports that: “… WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange directly denies that he received the Democratic leaked emails from the Russian government and one of his associates, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, told the U.K. Guardian that he knows who “leaked” the Democratic emails and that there never was a “hack,” i.e. an outside electronic penetration of an email account.”

So, a presumably reliable ex-British ambassador claims to know that the docs were not hacked but leaked from the inside. Plus a group of former U.S. intelligence experts is backing up this claim “All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.” The CIA only points to “circumstantial evidence,” not any hard identifications. So, the CIA is claiming “the Russians did it” for what purpose?

I do not know whether we have ever had reliable news organizations. If we did, they certainly were not immune to lies and misconceptions. It just seems now that there are just lies and misconceptions being reported. It also seems that government agencies, like the CIA, have so many narratives they wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them in the ass.


  1. Unless Putin admits it, we’ll never know for sure.
    But if Russia hacked the DNC, they could have easily used an intermediary to send the hacked data to Wikileaks. However, hacking through an intermediary is a bit more complicated.


    Comment by List of X — December 13, 2016 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  2. Oh, and I should add that Podesta’s email was definitely hacked, since to access his e-mails sent to and received from various people one would have to have the access to the account itself.


    Comment by List of X — December 13, 2016 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

    • I can’t understand why anyone would even consider sending anything sensitive via email (or cellphone or …). Even diplomatic pouches got intercepted.

      One never hears any of our domestic “news” sources put this in perspective with regard to us spying on England, France, and Germany or Israel spying on us (they have a very extensive and sophisticated U.S. network). Nor have they mentioned how much spying we do on and in Russia.

      I am not any kind of Russophile, I just object to them being used as a bogyman.

      On Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 1:07 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 13, 2016 @ 1:20 pm | Reply

      • You’ve worked as a teacher, correct? Maybe in a teaching job you wouldn’t need to use email because almost all the people you ever need to talk to professionally are either in front of you or generally in the same building – I’ve done some teaching and I don’t think I ever had to. But in other jobs where you have to correspond with people all the time, often sending something to multiple people, and these people can be all over the country, not using email and using diplomatic pouches for all kinds of sensitive information, which could be 100% of all the stuff being sent, is going to make correspondence simply impossible. Imagine doing 50-100 pouches a day, some with dozens of additional copies to other addressees. And since, as you say, even diplomatic pouches can be intercepted, there is really not much of extra security added in exchange for the just disastrous loss in convenience and productivity.


        Comment by List of X — December 13, 2016 @ 2:57 pm | Reply

        • Oh, yeah, I understand the inconvenience. But the security of email is not high enough top justify sensitive stuff. I guess it is too much to ask for people to restrain themselves from saying what doesn’t need to be said.

          On Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 2:57 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



          Comment by Steve Ruis — December 13, 2016 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

          • I agree that restraint is great, but in some places even the bare minimum of what needs to be relayed to others would be prohibitively difficult to send at least somewhat securely without the email.


            Comment by List of X — December 13, 2016 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

  3. Why do I find myself siding with the CIA? Because I want anything negative about Trump to be right.

    But the CIA? Meh!


    Comment by lbwoodgate — December 13, 2016 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

  4. Seems odd, but not entirely unbelievable. Still, the Clintons keep a tight ship, so it’s hard to imagine something malicious like this being done by someone pretty high up on the rung.


    Comment by john zande — December 14, 2016 @ 6:30 am | Reply

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