Friday, December 18, 2020

Secret Invisible Evidence Isn't Evidence...,

caitlinjohnstone |  Today we're all expected to be freaking out about Russia again because Russia hacked the United States again right before a new president took office again, so now it's very important that we support new cold war escalations from both the outgoing president and the incoming president again. We're not allowed to see the evidence that this actually happened again, but it's of utmost importance that we trust and support new aggressions against Russia anyway. Again.

The New York Times has a viral op-ed going around titled "I Was the Homeland Security Adviser to Trump. We’re Being Hacked." The article's author Thomas P Bossert warns ominously that "the networks of the federal government and much of corporate America are compromised by a foreign nation" perpetrated by "the Russian intelligence agency known as the S.V.R., whose tradecraft is among the most advanced in the world."

Rather than using its supreme tradecraft to interfere in the November election ensuring the victory of the president we've been told for years is a Russian asset by outlets like The New York Times, Bossert informs us that the SVR instead opted to hack a private American IT company called SolarWinds whose software is widely used by the US government.

"Unsuspecting customers then downloaded a corrupted version of the software, which included a hidden back door that gave hackers access to the victim’s network," Bossert explains, saying that "The magnitude of this ongoing attack is hard to overstate." Its magnitude is so great that Bossert says Trump must "severely punish the Russians" for perpetrating it, and cooperate with the incoming Biden team in helping to ensure that that punishment continues seamlessly between administrations.

The problem is that, as usual, we've been given exactly zero evidence for any of this. As Moon of Alabama explains, the only technical analysis we've seen of the alleged hack (courtesy of cybersecurity firm FireEye) makes no claim that Russia was responsible for it, yet the mass media are flagrantly asserting as objective, verified fact that Russia is behind this far-reaching intrusion into US government networks, citing only anonymous sources if they cite anything at all.

And of course where the media class goes so too does the barely-separate political class. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin told CNN in a recent interview that this invisible, completely unproven cyberattack constitutes "virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States." Which is always soothing language to hear as the Russian government announces the development of new hypersonic missiles as part of a new nuclear arms race it attributes to US cold war escalations.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald is one of the few high-profile voices who've had the temerity to stick his head above the parapet and point out the fact that we have seen exactly zero evidence for these incendiary claims, for which he is of course currently being raked over the coals on Twitter. 

"I know it doesn't matter. I know it's wrong to ask the question. I know asking the question raises grave doubts about one's loyalties and patriotism," Greenwald sarcastically tweeted. "But has there been any evidence publicly presented, let alone dispositive proof, that Russia is responsible for this hack?"