Not bad, given that the Dutch (or some other wooden shoe wearing Northern Europeans) invented sabotage and all.
Hang on, is that Kim Cattrall?
(A pause while Thrill uses a search engine to verify something in a post, for once)
Huh. Sure is. I totally forgot she was in that movie. Neat. That’s two trivial things I learned today.
Well, now we’re on the topic of not productively using information that’s freely available, I guess I’ll share this stunning article from John Schindler about how the Dutch penetrated Russian hacking operations into various government institutions and gave the NSA a tremendous opening to monitor their activities in real time in 2015…and the Obama Administration did absolutely nothing about it.
Close NSA-JSCU collaboration after the State Department hack enabled an ongoing look at how the SVR launched cyber-raid after cyber-raid on American institutions in 2014 and after. Washington was so grateful they sent cake and flowers to their Dutch partners. However, this top-secret look at Cozy Bear activities means that Western intelligence had a clear, real-time window into what Kremlin hackers were up to, for instance, when they stole the emails of the Democratic National Committee in the spring of 2016. Those were the very same emails that did so much damage to the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton when WikiLeaks posted them online a few months later.
You should read it all. I’m a guy who is skeptical that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC and Podesta and handed their emails off to Wikileaks* and yet I find this account very compelling. Mostly because it places the blame for the “election hacking” on Obama’s inaction/ineptitude.
This means that top-secret Washington possessed a detailed understanding of Kremlin hacks of our country as they happened. Why the Obama administration did so little to counter these nefarious activities—a troubling question that has lingered as the extent of Russian espionage against our 2016 election has come into clearer focus—now must be answered if we hope to avert future Kremlin hacks of our democracy.
I can’t remember for sure where I read it–it might have been Shattered–but there’s an account given that claimed that Hillary included Obama on her long, long-ass shit list of people who denied her destiny because he didn’t do more about the supposed Russian interference in the 2016 election. It was speculated that the reason for this is that he was afraid that if he took a forceful public stance on foreign hacking of emails, it would put that issue on the forefront of voters’ minds and that would harm Hillary (who was certainly a target of foreign hackers). There’s no other reason that comes to me for why the Obama Administration wouldn’t put a stop to a threat to the United States. I mean, they only did that sort of thing if it somehow benefited Iran but I can’t even see how that was the case with not thwarting Cozy Bear.
To Mr. Schindler’s credit, he argues that we should have a bipartisan 9/11-style commission investigate all of the details of Russia’s activities in the US 2016 election. Or I guess I should say “should have had” instead of the politically-charged criminal probe we ended up with in Mueller’s Special Counsel. There is no chance that America is going to trust any outcome, since both the targets of the investigation and the investigators themselves are so tainted by suspicion and bias.
However the Russia investigation ends, it’s our own counter-intelligence agencies who are going to be gutted and discredited in the eyes of the American public when Mueller hangs it up and goes back into retirement, fairly or not. Worse, foreign intelligence agencies are now less willing to share intelligence information with the US. We’re weaker and at greater risk. Our outrageous political divisiveness and mutual conspiracy-mongering is literally going to kill us.
Honestly, whatever the Russians hoped to accomplish with their cyberwarfare campaign, I have to say that this state of affairs probably exceeds their wildest expectations of what could have come of it all.
*I don’t doubt that the Russian government hacked the DNC and many other US public and private institutions, but I also believe that someone else could also have illicitly obtained the emails and given them to Wikileaks.