Who hacked whom?

By Dick Atlee

The Russians did it!

Well, maybe not.

Ask Bill Binney.

Binney is the NSA whistleblower who designed the surveillance software the National Security Agency (NSA) uses to analyze the information it collects about us. He became disillusioned after the NSA removed all the privacy protections he’d built into the program.

Binney said the NSA is the only organization able to obtain the evidence of who did the alleged Democratic National Committee (DNC) hacking. The latecomer FBI and CIA do not have this capability. Yet they, and the press that parrots them, have provided zero evidence for the Russians-did-it claim.

Deja-vu? This begins to sound like a weapons-of-mass-destruction story, and where will that get us?

The John Podesta emails weren’t hacked. He simply gave away his password! The Clinton emails were the result of a Freedom of Information lawsuit. The DNC affair probably was a leak – former Uzbekistan Ambassador Craig Murray said he’s met the leaker, and it wasn’t a Russian.

Clinton’s debate claim of 17 intelligence agencies agreeing about Russian hacking also was evidence-free. Analysts in those agencies actually said the Russians were unlikely. Only two individuals – highly-placed political appointees, one with a record of congressional perjury – fingered the Russians, but even they said merely that it was “consistent with Russian behavior.”

Amid all the Russian fuss, the real significance of the content of the emails – the moral, political and financial corruption they revealed – basically has been ignored or downplayed by the press, claiming the emails came via the Russians and are thus untrustworthy. The fact that none of the emails have been disavowed seems not to be newsworthy.

No, the Russians very likely didn’t hack the election. But someone else definitely did.

The discrepancy between voting tallies and exit polls in the general election was far outside the margin of error, but only in the battleground states. In the noncompetitive states, the gap was insignificant.

If it had been an exit polling problem, it would have been the same everywhere.

The same thing happened in the Democratic primaries, but only in electronically counted areas, not in hand-count areas.

Those who dismiss exit polls ignore the fact that the U.S. government uses them as a fraud indicator in the elections of every other country in the world. Had these discrepancies occurred anywhere else, we would have been all over it.

In the Dem primaries, the discrepancies favored Clinton. In the general election, they favored Trump. The two go together – any entity hacking for Trump would have wanted the weakest Dem opponent possible. All the public polling at the time indicated that Clinton was far weaker against Trump than Sanders.

Over the past 15 years, these election discrepancies have been widespread and consistent in all presidential – and many down-ballot – elections, except where outside factors created a landslide (e.g., the 2008 economic meltdown). And they have always favored the Republicans.

If this were random, discrepancies would break both ways.

It’s ironic that it took a cry of “Russians” to finally get the hackability of U.S. elections into public discussion after so many years. But if that cry derails the growing push to secure our elections, as shown by the wide support for recounts, we will no longer have what we’ve believed in for more than two centuries: an electoral democracy.

Dick Atlee is a resident of Southwest Harbor.

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