Blame Game 2.0

obama-and-putin

Cold War 2.0?

One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, by far, was Hackers (1995). I don’t know how to hack anything, but I know enough about computers to know that there shouldn’t be random numbers and formulas floating through the screen, nor do I think the amount of action in that movie should be comparable to me playing Call of Duty.

In reality, however, hacking has become the spotlight in some of the world’s most recent events. Earlier this year the Obama Administration, the Democratic National Convention (DNC), and virtually the entire left have pointed their fingers at the Russian government for hacking into the DNC, along with Chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign John Podesta’s email account. When both sources were hacked, thousands of documents were released to the public via WikiLeaks and exposed the corruption in the Democratic Party. One of the pieces of evidence of corruption was of the incumbent Bernie Sanders.Now, whether or not you believe that the DNC and the entire establishment rigged the primary against Sanders is up to debate. Nevertheless, there is/was obviously some bias towards Hillary.

The current administration, much of Congress, and the DNC believe that Russia has influenced this years election. While Donald Trump and many conservatives believe that Russia didn’t do anything, the U.S government claims they have the evidence.

Here it is as follows from The Intercept:

  • The attacker or attackers registered a deliberately misspelled domain name used for email phishing attacks against DNC employees, connected to an IP address associated with APT 28/Fancy Bear.
  • Malware found on the DNC computers was programmed to communicate with an IP address associated with APT 28/Fancy Bear.
  • Metadata in a file leaked by “Guccifer 2.0″ shows it was modified by a user called, in cyrillic, “Felix Edmundovich,” a reference to the founder of a Soviet-era secret police force. Another document contained cyrillic metadata indicating it had been edited on a document with Russian language settings.
  • Peculiarities in a conversation with “Guccifer 2.0″ that Motherboard published in June suggests he is not Romanian, as he originally claimed.
  • The DCLeaks.com domain was registered by a person using the same email service as the person who registered a misspelled domain used to send phishing emails to DNC employees.
  • Some of the phishing emails were sent using Yandex, a Moscow-based webmail provider.
  • A bit.ly link believed to have been used by APT 28/Fancy Bear in the past was also used against Podesta.

Since The Intercept presented the information we know in an organized fashion, I thought to use their source.

The information, when I first looked at it, seemed pretty hard. But after researching for a little bit, I realized that it’s not as hard as it initially looked.

Let’s start off with domain names: misspelling domain names is a common trait in computer attacks to get people to click on certain things. For example, if I clicked on Gooogle.com instead of Google.com, it may take me to a not-so-good website. CrowdStrike, a computer-security company that sells security services to other companies says that APT 28, a believed Russian intelligence hacker group, is known for misspelling domain names. But like I just said, that’s a common trait among a lot of hackers. For the second point, if the IP address was linked back to APT 28, would they really be that stupid to link it back to an already known IP address? CrowdStrike says  that their “tradecraft is superb…both groups [APT 28/29] were constantly going back into the environment to change out their implants, modify persistent methods, move to new Command & Control channels and perform other tasks to try to stay ahead of being detected.” If they were that good, why would they have gone back to that same IP address? Were they that stupid in something that they’re “superb” at and that’s why they were caught? For the third point, just because he had Cyrillic writing doesn’t mean that he was a Russian operative, no more than using the English alphabet makes me an American. Next, in self-claiming that Guccifer 2.0, the hacker that released this information, is Romanian doesn’t mean much. While authorities and analysts believe he is not Romanian but Russian, based on a dialogue between analysts and him on his blog, it still does not mean that he is a hacker of the Russian government. Next, they say that Yandex was used. Yandex is like the Google/Yahoo/Bing of Russia. I, an American, can use this. So can anybody else. And finally, the same bit.ly link was used still does not indicate that it was a hacker from the Kremlin. The link is consistent with APT 28 tactics, but no concrete evidence. If you want to use the American law system, you are innocent until proven guilty. And there is no hard evidence to prove that they are guilty as charged.

Now, time for the backlash. Some, if not many, people would claim that this evidence is still overwhelming and that if you put two-and-two together, you have a Russian government-involved attack.

Here’s the problem. SecureWorks, another computer-security company that looked at the infiltration, stated that they believe Russia was behind these attacks with “moderate confidence.” All that means is that their sources are credible but they don’t have enough to frame it and blame it on someone. Even Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security made a joint-statment that they were “confident” that the Russian Federation was to blame. Again, being confident doesn’t mean they did it. “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.” No, anyone could have done this, not just a government employee. This attack could be from a lone wolf who didn’t need any authorization. Saying words like “high confidence” doesn’t mean anything. The only question that matters is “Do you have concrete evidence, not speculation, that the Russian Federation hacked into the election?” The good news is that both the DHS and DNIES say that no evidence of vote meddling was found, meaning that if Russia did hack, it wasn’t changing vote counts but only influence. However, some people like John McCain believe that the Russians are threatening to “[unravel] the world order that was established after World War II, which has made one of the most peaceful periods in the history of the world…. If they’re able to harm the electoral process, they may destroy democracy, which is based on free and fair elections.” I’m going to go off the path here for a moment and say WHAT?! Do you have any idea how many deaths have been caused since World War II by us alone? And free and fair elections? Tell that to the DNC.

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Hillary Clinton and Sergei Lavrov with the infamous ‘Reset Button’

Which brings me to my next topic. Did you know that most voters’ minds didn’t change after the e-mails were released? According to a Politico/Morning Consult Poll, Clinton’s numbers didn’t change from when the FBI Director James Comey (who Clinton blames for her loss) released a letter stating that they would look into her e-mails. In fact for 22 days, she was at 42%. 48% of people were more disgusted by Donald Trump’s comments about women compared to the 45% of people who were more angered about Clinton’s e-mails. EVEN IF you want to say that the e-mails affected her, 2.5 million more people voted for her than him. She simply didn’t do enough in the swing states to garner enough votes. One more fact is that whoever infiltrated the DNC infiltrated the RNC as well. While we are not sure what was taken from the Republicans, we do know that whoever broke in has seen some information and is most likely holding on to it for leverage.

But one of the main questions I have to ask is ‘Why is everyone getting angry over Russia (if they did it), when they exposed corruption?’ You are essentially shooting the messenger. Rather than getting angry over the corruption in the DNC, people are getting more fired up about Russia because they exposed the wrongdoings. My fellow millennials are seemingly more angry at Russia than they are of the Democratic Party. Why is that? Is it possible that they seem to be following the lead of the liberal president and liberals across the nation? Where were most of my fellow millenials when the DNC rigged the primary against Sanders? I didn’t see people protesting in the streets nearly as much as they were when Trump won. What, a few people holding up signs protesting outside the DNC in July is protest? Give me a break. Haven’t we learned from what happened 13 years ago? Pointing fingers and speculating that a nation did something without concrete evidence is the exact same mentality that got us to invade Iraq.

Perhaps the Russian government did order those attacks, we don’t know. But with the evidence that we the public have been provided with, we don’t have any of Putin’s prints anywhere over this. We do not have any concrete evidence to prove that Russia did this. The last time we had “high confidence” with something we invaded a country and caused the deaths of 500,000 civilians. Before we engage in an attack on another country without having the evidence of their attack, let’s get the info first. And let’s also realize and get to terms with why Hillary Clinton really lost, and not blame it on a foreign power. Don’t play the blame game unless you have proof. Get the other side of the story, no matter how unpopular it may seem.

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The Lion’s Gas…Or is it?

For those of you who do not speak Arabic, al-Assad (pronounced il-Esed) translates to “The Lion” in English. While lions are known for being fierce, beautiful animals that people love, there is one lion that many countries (and people) absolutely despise – President of Syria Bashar al-Assad.

A follower of Alawite Shi’a Islam and Ba’ath political ideology, Bashar al-Assad has made a not-so popular name for himself in his own country, and around the world – especially to the west. The western nations, i.e the U.S, U.K, Germany, France, etc are not too fond of this guy. In fact, they hate him so much that in 2013 President Barack Obama had actually asked the U.S Congress to authorize military force against the Syrian government. This was in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack against Syrian Rebels in Ghouta by Assad.

The west was very quick to claim that the attacks were done by the Syrian government and directed by none other than the President of Syria himself. While the United States and their coalition forces (but mainly the United States) have agreed to airstrike only ISIS, they were very close to engaging in military force against the government of Syria, a government that is backed by Russia and Iran, both of whom would have probably responded pretty aggressively.

syria-photo

However, much like the west does, they like to make allegations without actually providing evidence. And when they do provide evidence, it’s sometimes pretty bad (remember the Iraq War?). According to longwarjournal.org, the chemical weapon attacks that occurred in 2013 in Syria were probably not from Assad or the government forces themselves, but rather the rebels (which we fund). The article’s evidence? The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which conducted a study for five attacks in that year. As of August 1st of 2016, the OPCW (who has a strong relationship with the U.N) confirmed that the sarin gas used in Ghouta bore different characteristics than the gas the Syrian government used to have. I say ‘used’ because after the Ghouts incident, the Syrian government agreed to destroy all chemical weapons they had, with the exception of chlorine which has legal uses. To add on to it, in April of 2014, Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh published an article that the U.S/U.K intelligence communities were aware that some rebel groups in Syria were developing chemical weapons. A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report stated that the Al-Nusra Front (who is allied with some rebel groups) were creating chemical weapons and had capabilities greater than Al-Qaeda did around 9/11 to use them. The evidence provided was drawn from classified information from numerous agencies that stated that Saudi and Turkish “chemical-facilitators were attempting to obtain sarin precursors in bulk, tens of kilograms, likely for the anticipated large-scale production effort in Syria.” If you want to brighten the picture even more, we can see Ahmed al-Gaddafi al-Qahsi, the cousin of former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, say that chemical weapons were stolen from Libya and smuggled through Turkey into Syria. Putting two-and-two together and it looks like some supporting evidence that chemical weapons were smuggled into Syria, and maybe, after all, not used by the government forces.

When former British prime minister David Cameron, a leader of one of the world’s most powerful countries, tells his own parliament that they don’t know who is 100% responsible for the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta but have “sufficient evidence” that Assad’s forces carried it out, it’s not wrong for people to think that it seems fishy. They never disclosed that “evidence”, so I therefore label this as a piece of fallacious reasoning. We don’t know they did it for sure but we think they did, so we’re gonna blame them. This is essentially what’s going on in this world of western propaganda: blame Assad after reports of a chemical weapons attack WHEN U.N. INSPECTORS WERE THERE (thought I might mention that piece of information that no one likes to talk about) and then try to bomb him. Even an MIT study believes the U.S intelligence is flawed when it comes to this event.

Simply saying “we have evidence” is not enough. In today’s world, you have to actually provide the evidence. The only reason why Obama didn’t airstrike government forces was because of a last-minute deal that was worked out with Russia that forced Syria to destroy all chemical weapons. While there have been other attacks that I personally haven’t looked deep enough into yet, the attack in Ghouta, while tragic, does not seem to have come from government forces. In fact, it looks like that lion was the one who people tried to get caged (LOL). In a decision that could have possibly made Syria even worse than it is today was, luckily, diverted.

So what are we supposed to think of this all? It’s up to you. Hey, I just provide the other side of the story. *wink wink nudge nudge*

Now, I am not trying to defend Assad or government forces by any means. It is clear that BOTH sides have committed atrocities. However, I am simply showing you, the readers, that we can’t take everything we see first as fact. Do some research. It took me 20 minutes to get all of these sources and read everything. Do not let the mass media deceive you into thinking that everything they put out is true. Think for yourselves, and get the other side of the story.

Hello, World!

Hello everyone,

I made this blog to talk about issues that are very important to our world today. I made it to inform you, entertain you, but most of all, to educate you. 

I provide the facts that the western mass media doesn’t put out much. No, that doesn’t mean I cite all of my information from the Russian State News Network or anything like that. I simply provide you with sources, articles, and other means of information so you can develop your own opinions about said topic. 

I may or may not add some political analysis and my own opinion to certain articles, because after all, it is my blog. But if I do add my opinion, please do not let that mean you have to listen to me. To each their own. 

Heres to the truth,

J