Fortuitously, yesterday The Gateway Pundit had a guest article on the subject by no less an expert than William Binney (with an assist from Larry Johnson). For anyone not familiar with Binney, here is the Wikipedia version of his career:
Binney ... [after joining the Army with a BS in Math] was found to have strong aptitudes for mathematics, analysis, and code breaking, and served from 1965 to 1969 in the Army Security Agency before going to the NSA in 1970.
Binney was a Russia specialist and worked in the operations side of intelligence, starting as an analyst and ending as a Technical Director prior to becoming a geopolitical world Technical Director. In the 1990s, he co-founded a unit on automating signals intelligence with NSA research chief Dr. John Taggart. Binney's NSA career culminated as Technical Leader for intelligence in 2001. He has expertise in intelligence analysis, traffic analysis, systems analysis, knowledge management, and mathematics (including set theory, number theory, and probability).
After retiring from the NSA, he founded, together with fellow NSA whistleblower J. Kirk Wiebe, Entity Mapping, LLC, a private intelligence agency to market their analysis program to government agencies.
The Government took a dim view of Binney's post-retirement whistleblowing. Although Binney has never been arrested, much less tried, for any of his activities, Government efforts to discourage his activities led to incidents such as this:
After he left the NSA in 2001, Binney was one of several people investigated as part of an inquiry into a 2005 The New York Times exposé on the agency's warrantless eavesdropping program. Binney was cleared of wrongdoing after three interviews with FBI agents beginning in March 2007, but in early July 2007, in an unannounced, armed, early morning raid, a dozen agents armed with rifles appeared at his house, one of whom entered the bathroom and pointed his gun at Binney, who was taking a shower. The FBI confiscated a desktop computer, disks, and personal and business records.
If you guessed that Robert Mueller was FBI Director at the time, you win the Hearty Handshake and Pat on the Back.
So that's William Binney. His article, WHY THE DNC WAS NOT HACKED BY THE RUSSIANS,
follows on from and summarizes previous articles that he has written on this aspect of the Russia Hoax. It's difficult to imagine anyone better qualified to comment on the supposed Russian hacking. Obviously, the whole article is worth reading, but what follows is my summary.
Binney begins by noting that, three years on, the claim by the FBI, CIA and NSA (NSA's claim being a qualified one) that the DNC emails published by WIKILEAKS on July 26, 2016 were obtained via a Russian hack has yet to be supported by any forensic evidence. Indeed, the available evidence contradicts the official narrative that places the blame on a Russian internet “intrusion”. According to Binney, the available evidence point toward the leak of emails having been an inside job. In other words, there was no hack. Instead, there are strong reasons to believe that the files taken from the DNC in late May, 2016, were simply copied onto a file storage device--most likely a thumb drive. Binney then goes on to explain what that evidence is.
Binney first notes that there really should be no mystery as to what happened, as well as the fact that the NSA should have been able to clear up any doubts in that regard:
If the Russians actually had conducted an internet based hack of the DNC computer network then the evidence of such an attack would have been collected and stored by the National Security Agency. The technical systems to accomplish this task have been in place since 2002. The NSA had an opportunity to make it clear that there was irrefutable proof of Russian meddling, particularly with regard to the DNC hack, when it signed on to the January 2017 “Intelligence Community Assessment,” regarding Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election:
The fact that the NSA--the agency with the relevant technical expertise--signed on to the Assessment only with a tepid "moderate confidence" is, for Binney, a strong indication that NSA was not able to confirm any Russian involvement.
Binney next turns his attention to the claims of a Russian "spearphishing" attack, claimed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He finds that claim to be untenable because the DNC files (as opposed to the Podesta files) that were released by Wikileaks show that they were copied onto a storage device before Wikileaks released them:
Notwithstanding the DOJ press release, an examination of the Wikileaks DNC files do not support the claim that the emails were obtained via spearphising. Instead, the evidence clearly shows that the emails posted on the Wikileaks site were copied onto an electronic media, such as a CD-ROM or thumbdrive before they were posted at Wikileaks. The emails posted on Wikileaks were saved using the File Allocation Table (aka FAT) computer file system architecture.
An examination of the Wikileaks DNC files shows they were created on 23, 25 and 26 May respectively. The fact that they appear in a FAT system format indicates the data was transfered to a storage device, such as a thumb drive.
The random probability that FAT was not used is 1 chance in 2 to the 500th power or approximately 1 chance in 10 to the 150th power – in other words, an infinitely high order.
Binney acknowledges the obvious objection--that the copying could have taken place after the emails were obtained--but points out that this does raise serious doubts regarding how those emails were obtained. And he brings forward additional evidence to show that the files were almost certainly copied at the DNC, i.e., by an insider.
Binney was able to conduct an examination of the DNC files and determined the transfer rate for the time at which they were taken from the DNC computers. The results showed that the files had been transferred at a far faster rate than would have been possible using an internet connection (a "hack"), but that the transfer rate coincided exactly with the download rate to a thumbdrive:
The findings from the examination of the Guccifer 2.0 data and the Wikileaks data does not prove who copied the information to a thumbdrive, but it does provide an empirical alternative explanation that undermines the Special Counsel’s claim that the DNC was hacked. According to the forensic evidence for the Guccifer 2.0 data, the DNC emails were not taken by an internet spearphising attack. The data breach was local. It was copied from the network.
There is other circumstantial evidence that buttresses the conclusion that the data breach was a local effort that copied data. Binney presents this circumstantial evidence in three categories.
First of all,
if the DNC emails had been hacked via spearphising (as alleged by Mueller) then the data would have been captured by the NSA by means of the Upstream program (Fairview, Stormbrew, Blarney, Oakstar) and the forensic evidence would not modify times – the data would be presented as sent.
Second, the fact that Crowdstrike--the cyber security company with strong intel and political connections, that was hired by the DNC--recommended that no action be taken regarding the leaks until June 10, 2016, is highly suspicious. There was no valid security reason for this inaction--if it was a question of an intruder hacking into the DNC from outside. The suspicion is that the delay had to do with Crowdstrike determining that the leak was in fact an inside job:
Why does a cyber security company wait 45 days after allegedly uncovering a massive Russian attack on the DNC server to take concrete steps to safeguard the integrity of the information held on the server? This makes no sense.
A more plausible explanation is that it was discovered that emails had been downloaded from the server and copied onto a device like a thumbdrive. But the culprit had not yet been identified. We know one thing for certain—CrowdStrike did not take steps to shutdown and repair the DNC network until 18 days after the last email was copied from the server.
Finally, Binney notes--as have many others--that the DNC refused to provide the FBI with access to the original servers so that a thorough forensic examination could be conducted. This would have been a very easy job for the FBI and NSA to conduct, identifying the route the data traveled after being removed from the server. There really was no innocent explanation for the DNC's refusal to cooperate with the FBI, especially in light of the accusations that were soon being leveled against the Trump campaign. This refusal was done at the instigation of Clinton campaign attorneys, who also represented the DNC.
And so Binney concludes:
Taken together, these disparate data points combine to paint a picture that exonerates alleged Russian hackers and implicates persons within our law enforcement and intelligence community taking part in a campaign of misinformation, deceit and incompetence. It is not a pretty picture.