The DNC’s Evolving Story about When They Knew They Were Targeted by Russia

This week’s front page story about the Democrats getting hacked by Russia starts with a Keystone Kops anecdote explaining why the DNC didn’t respond more aggressively when FBI first warned them about being targeted in September. The explanation, per the contractor presumably covering his rear-end months later, was that the FBI Special Agent didn’t adequately identify himself.

When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

The F.B.I. knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government’s best-protected networks.

Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks. His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion. By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.

This has led to (partially justified) complaints from John Podesta about why the FBI didn’t make the effort of driving over to the DNC to warn the higher-ups (who, the article admitted, had decided not to spend much money on cybersecurity).

This NYT version of the FBI Agent story comes from a memo that DNC’s contractor, Yared Tamene, wrote at some point after the fact. The NYT describes the memo repeatedly, though it never describes the recipients of the memo nor reveals precisely when it was written (it is clear it had to have been written after April 2016).

“I had no way of differentiating the call I just received from a prank call,” Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo, obtained by The New York Times, that detailed his contact with the F.B.I.

[snip]

“The F.B.I. thinks the D.N.C. has at least one compromised computer on its network and the F.B.I. wanted to know if the D.N.C. is aware, and if so, what the D.N.C. is doing about it,” Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo about his contacts with the F.B.I. He added that “the Special Agent told me to look for a specific type of malware dubbed ‘Dukes’ by the U.S. intelligence community and in cybersecurity circles.”

[snip]

In November, Special Agent Hawkins called with more ominous news. A D.N.C. computer was “calling home, where home meant Russia,” Mr. Tamene’s memo says, referring to software sending information to Moscow. “SA Hawkins added that the F.B.I. thinks that this calling home behavior could be the result of a state-sponsored attack.”

[DNC technology director Andrew] Brown knew that Mr. Tamene, who declined to comment, was fielding calls from the F.B.I. But he was tied up on a different problem: evidence suggesting that the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mrs. Clinton’s main Democratic opponent, had improperly gained access to her campaign data.

[snip]

One bit of progress had finally been made by the middle of April: The D.N.C., seven months after it had first been warned, finally installed a “robust set of monitoring tools,” Mr. Tamene’s internal memo says. [my emphasis]

The NYT includes a screen cap of part of that memo (which reveals that the DNC had already been exposed to ransomware attacks by September 2015), but not the other metadata or a link to the full memo.

One reason I raise all this is because the evidence laid out in the story contradicts, in several ways, this August report, relying on three anonymous sources (at least some of whom are probably members of Congress, but then so was the DNC Chair at the time).

The FBI did not tell the Democratic National Committee that U.S officials suspected it was the target of a Russian government-backed cyber attack when agents first contacted the party last fall, three people with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters.

And in months of follow-up conversations about the DNC’s network security, the FBI did not warn party officials that the attack was being investigated as Russian espionage, the sources said.

The lack of full disclosure by the FBI prevented DNC staffers from taking steps that could have reduced the number of confidential emails and documents stolen, one of the sources said. Instead, Russian hackers whom security experts believe are affiliated with the Russian government continued to have access to Democratic Party computers for months during a crucial phase in the U.S. presidential campaign, the source said.

[snip]

In its initial contact with the DNC last fall, the FBI instructed DNC personnel to look for signs of unusual activity on the group’s computer network, one person familiar with the matter said. DNC staff examined their logs and files without finding anything suspicious, that person said.

When DNC staffers requested further information from the FBI to help them track the incursion, they said the agency declined to provide it. In the months that followed, FBI officials spoke with DNC staffers on several other occasions but did not mention the suspicion of Russian involvement in an attack, sources said.

The DNC’s information technology team did not realize the seriousness of the incursion until late March, the sources said. It was unclear what prompted the IT team’s realization.

In August, anonymous sources told Reuters that FBI never told DNC they were being attacked by Russians until … well, Reuters doesn’t actually tell us when the FBI told DNC the Russians were behind the attack, just that Democrats started taking it seriously in March.

But in the pre-Trump Russian hack bonanza, the NYT has now revealed that an internal memo says that the DNC had been informed in November, not March.

And even that part of the explanation doesn’t make sense. As a number of people have noted, Brown is basically saying he didn’t respond to a warning — given in November — that a DNC server was calling home to Russia because he was dealing with a NGP-VAN breach that happened on December 18. He would have had over two weeks to respond to Russia hacking the DNC before the NGP-VAN issue, and that would have been significantly handled by NGP.

Moreover, even the September narrative invites some skepticism. Tamene admits the FBI Special Agent, “told me to look for a specific type of malware dubbed ‘Dukes’ by the U.S. intelligence community and in cybersecurity circles.” And he describes “His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion.” Had Tamene Googled for “dukes malware” any time after September 17, 2015, this is what he would have found.

Today we release a new whitepaper on an APT group commonly referred to as “the Dukes”. We believe that the Dukes are a well-resourced, highly dedicated, and organized cyber-espionage group that has been working for the Russian government since at least 2008 to collect intelligence in support of foreign and security policy decision-making. [my emphasis]

So had this initial report taken place after September 17, Tamene would have learned, thanks to the second sentence of a top Google return, that he was facing a “highly dedicated, and organized cyber-espionage group that has been working for the Russian government. ” Had he done the Google search he said he did, that is, he would almost certainly have learned he was facing down Russian hackers.

Had he clicked through to the report — which is where he would have gone to find the malware signatures to look for — he would have seen a big pink graphic tying the Dukes to Russia.

It’s certainly possible the alert came before the white paper was released (though if it came after, it explains why the FBI would have thought simply mentioning the Dukes would be sufficient). But that would suggest Tamene remembered the call and his Google search for the Dukes in detail sometime in April but not in September when this report got a fair amount of attention.

None of this is to excuse the FBI (I’ve already started a post on that part of this). But it’s clear that Democrats have been — at a minimum — inconsistent in their story to the press about why they didn’t respond to warnings sooner. And given the multiple problems with their explanation about what happened last fall, it’s likely they did get some warning, but just didn’t heed it.

Update: When I wrote this this morning, I had read this tweet stream and this story but not the underlying Shadow Brokers related post, by someone writing under the pseudonym Boceffus Cleetus it relates to, which is basically a Medium post introducing the latest sale of Shadow Broker tools. It wasn’t until I read this post — and then the second Boceffus Cleetus post that I realized Boceffus Cleetus posted (his) original post — along with a reference to the name magnified back when this hack started — the day after the NYT wrote a story of the hack from DNC’s perspective.

As the tweet stream lays out, Boceffus Cleetus is a play on ventriloquism, (duh, speaking for others) and the Dukes of Hazard. Both analyses of this argue that the reference to “Dukes of Hazard” is, in turn, a reference to the name given to the FSB hacking efforts (the other I’ve used is “Cozy Bear”) in the report I linked above — that is, to the name F-Secure had given the FSB hackers, most notably in the report I linked above. I didn’t make too much of it until I read this second Boceffus Cleetus post, which in seemingly one sentence lays out Bill Binney’s theory of the DNC hack (that is, that NSA handed it on) with a country drawl and a lot of conspiracy theory added.

After my shadow brokers tweet I was contacted by an anonymous source claiming to be FBI. Yep I know prove it? I wasn’t able to get’em to verify their identity. But y’all don’t be runnin away yet, suspend yer disbelief and check out their claims. What if the Russian’s ain’t hacking nothin? What if the shadow brokers ain’t Russian? Whatcha got as the next best theory? What if its a deep state civil war tween CIA and ole NSA? A deep state civil war to see who really runs things. NSA is Department of Defense, military. The majority of the military are high school grads, coming from rural “Red States”, conservatives. The NSA has the global surveillance capabilities to intercept all the DNC and Podesta emails. CIA is college grads only and has the traditions of the urban yankee northeastern and east coast ivy leaguers, “Blue State”, liberals.

It’s all mostly gratuitous — an attempt to feed (as explicitly named “fake news”) some of the alternate explanations out there right now.

But I find the portrayal of an NSA-CIA feud notable, in part, because the mostly likely reason FBI (which is where Boceffus Cleetus’ fictional source came from) didn’t tell the DNC who was hacking them back in September 2015 is because the actual tip — that Russia was hacking the DNC — came from the NSA. But FBI had to hide that. So instead, they used the name for FSB that was current at the time.

I’ll add, too, that this plays on Craig Murray’s claim that a national security person leaked him the Podesta documents.

So what’s the point? Dunno. I defer to theGrugq’s third post, in which he argues this post is signaling to show NSA the Russian hackers must have access to NSA’s classified networks, because they’ve accessed a map of everything.

This dump has a bit of everything. In fact, it has too much of everything. The first drop was a firewall ops kit. It had everything that was supposed to be used against firewalls. This dump, on the other hand, has too much diversity and each tool is comprehensive.

The depth and breadth of the tooling they reveal can only possibly be explained by:

  1. an improbable sequence of hack backs which got, in sequence, massive depth of codenamed implants, exploits, manuals,
  2. access to high side data

[snip]

It is obvious that this data would never leave NSA classified networks except by some serious operator error (as I believe was the case with the first ShadowBrokers leak.) For this dump though, it is simply not plausible. There is no way that such diverse and comprehensive ops tooling was accidentally exposed. It beggars belief to think that any operator could be so careless that they’d expose this much tooling, on multiple diverse operations.

There are, based on my count, twenty one (21) scripts/manuals for operations contained in this dump. They cover too many operations for a mistake, and they are too comprehensive for a mistake.

Remember, Obama has been stating assuredly that the US has far more defensive and offensive capability than Russia. The latter might well be true. But the latter is nuts, if for no other reason than we have so much more to secure. The former might be true. But not if hackers can log into NSA’s fridge and steal their beer.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this. But against the background of increasing dick-wagging, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

29 replies
  1. lefty665 says:

    Verifying the call was actually from an FBI agent would be pretty simple. Call the main number (202) 324-3000 or D.C. field office (202) 278-2000  (1,090,000 google hits in 1.13 seconds, those numbers are at the top of the list) and ask for the agent. Both of those places likely have a Bureau phone book.

    What more did you want the agent to do beyond calling and notifying the DNC techies when they saw ongoing DNC traffic to known bad actors?  The conversation goes something like “Agent XYZ here again, you guys are still bleeding traffic to the Dukes. That is something you might want to look at”.  Repeat over months with no action and eventually the FBI figures the DNC does not care.

    You’re absolutely right, Sanders campaign access was an NGP-VAN issue. That would not have been hosted at the DNC. DNC techies would be interested in prompt resolution (which apparently happened), but not doing the legwork. That excuse doesn’t fly either.

    The entirety of the Dem debacle this year was buffoonery piled on top of arrogance. It ran from the DNC through the Clinton campaign at Fort Brooklyn’s refusal to pay attention to states like Michigan where they were surprised in the primary.

    All the world was not Hillary’s friend, but her campaign lost the election by themselves, it was not stolen. From Clinton to Podesta to Mook to Wasserman-Shultz on down it was, as you described, Keystone Kops. The issue in the end is the corruption the emails revealed. Hillary earned the loss, and the rest of us get to pay for it for at least the next four years.

     

    • Rufus T. Firefly says:

      The entirety of the Dem debacle this year was buffoonery piled on top of arrogance. It ran from the DNC through the Clinton campaign at Fort Brooklyn’s refusal to pay attention to states like Michigan where they were surprised in the primary.

      Yard!

    • Peterr says:

      What more did you want the agent to do beyond calling and notifying the DNC techies when they saw ongoing DNC traffic to known bad actors?

      If the FBI truly believed that Russians associated in some form with the Russian government were trying to hack one (or both) of the US political party computer systems, that should have rung alarm bells all the way up to Comey’s office, and then Comey calls Debbie Wasserman-Schultz with the news. “We have reason to believe . . . So give your IT guy a heads up to expect a call from our agent to talk about dealing with this.”

      The fact that the FBI did not play it out this way suggests to me failures at the FBI, quite apart from whatever the DNC did with this warning. A pants-on-fire warning from an agent is not received in the same way that a call from the director would be.

      Either the agent wasn’t as concerned at the time about how serious this was, or the agent was derelict in handling the situation by not bumping it upstairs. “Boss, I’ve tried talking to them, but they aren’t listening. This is serious – can you get DWS to treat it that way?”

      • lefty665 says:

        I hear you, but I’m not sure where in the FBI’s charter the requirement is that they have to move heaven and earth to keep people from being stupid.

        The agent made multiple attempts to wake the DNC techies up. The morons on the DNC end couldn’t even be bothered to verify that the calls were real and brushed them off as pranks.

        We might prefer that the agent had escalated the contacts.  OTOH, it is not hard to understand him eventually deciding f*** it, I’ve got real work to do protecting people who have at least the appearance of sentience and who care about what happens to them.

        Nor am I sure there is reason to believe that Comey would have gotten a different response from Wasserman-Schultz.

        I’m no fan of the FBI, but there does not seem to be a strong case that the blame for the DNC debacle should be shifted to them.

        There is the often overlooked issue of content. The emails revealed a corrupt DNC working hand in glove with Hillary. Perhaps a little more attention to that would be constructive.

        • Bardi says:

          lefty665 :  ” I’m not sure where in the FBI’s charter the requirement is that they have to move heaven and earth to keep people from being stupid.”

          The FBI talked with a vendor (who, likely, has a reason to not spread bad news) and not the DNC, at least directly.  This seems a problem with the FBI in not talking with the principles.  It is like a CEO’s secretary calling up a union leader, a low priority communication.

          I think you are conflating the outsourced “IT” guy with the DNC.  The IT guy should have passed it onto the DNC proper.  The FBI failed (on purpose?) also in not passing the information to the leadership of the DNC.

          You do not seem familiar with corporate communications, especially when the corporation has outsourced security items.

          When hacking was respectable, I not only informed a vendor of problems but the companies who hired them, if involved.  It is disgusting the half-donkeyed (may I say, political?) job done by the FBI.

  2. Pete says:

    1. The fact that there is not a definitive explanation of what happened when is so CYA and typical (of the DNC).

    2. The DNC had amateurs at cyber security.

  3. bloopie2 says:

     
    Gotta love this:  The NYT piece says: “The lack of full disclosure by the FBI prevented DNC staffers from taking steps that could have reduced the number of confidential emails and documents stolen, one of the sources said.”  Now, “prevented” is a very strong word, and it doesn’t make sense here—DNC knew they were being hacked, but because they didn’t know the identity of the hackers they could not increase security?  Bull.
     
              Then the article says that the FBI told DNC to look for “such and such”, that their look-see didn’t turn up anything, and thereafter, “when DNC staffers requested further information from the FBI to help them track the incursion, they said the agency declined to provide it.”  So the article now does blame the FBI.
     
              I can’t wait for the next installment in “How I Learned to Stop Securing my PC and Start Shifting The Blame”.
     

  4. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Clear pattern in exploit names.

    Which do not point to russia.

    But are standard patternnames as we have seen eleswhere.  I.e.  concat two words.

     

    MiniDukeCosmicDuke,OnionDukeCozyDukeSeaDukeCloudDuke (akaMiniDionis), and HammerDuke (akaHAMMERTOSS [PDF]).
    Despite the extensive technical research by us and others into many of the toolsets of the Dukes, we felt that we were still missing crucial parts of the story. Meanwhile, others had envisioned how the story might look, but had concluded that “it is difficult to lead the defense against that which one is not aware of or does not comprehend.” (Maldre, 2015)
    With this in mind, we recently set out on a journey back through all of our previous research on the Dukes looking for clues and threads that we might have missed or whose importance we might not have understood at the time. Through this process, we were able to uncover clues pointing to the existence of two previously unidentified Duke malware toolsets, PinchDuke and GeminiDuke.

  5. Bay State Librul says:

    Lefty,

    “Hillary earned the loss, and the rest of us get to pay for it for at least the next four years.”

    I get your point, but you never voted for Hillary, so how can you say “the rest of us”?

    You are not part of the “us”

     

    • bevin says:

      “I get your point, but you never voted for Hillary, so how can you say “the rest of us”?”

      He could be thinking of climate change or pipelines. What the US President does affects billions of people not just the people who voted for an, arguably, lesser evil.

    • lefty665 says:

      “Us” refers to our nation and the world, not limited to neolib, elitist Dem la la land.

      It is simple, Hillary conspired with the DNC and Dem elites to fix the primaries to beat Bernie, that is called corruption. If she had been even minimally honest we probably never would have been in the position for her to lose the general election. Sanders got 46% of the primary vote even with Hillary, the DNC and Dem elites with their thumbs and butts on the scale. Sanders would very likely have won an honest primary season, and then the general simply because he was not despised by a majority of the country like both Hillary and Trump are.

      With Trump we’ve got a different set of awful to contend with, but I’d have been every bit as unhappy with Hillary as president. At least with Trump we (all of us again, not just you elitist, neolib Dem dead enders) won’t likely be in a neocon/libhawk war with Russia, and that’s huuuge as they say.

      To get back to EW’s original post, it seems Tamene ought to be strung up by the thumbs, or at least never work again in a position requiring any judgment.  Since he was a contractor does the DNC have a case for redress from his employer due to nonfeasance? Same question about Brown if he was also a contractor.

       

  6. PeasantParty says:

    Thank you soooo very much for working on this. We all want to know who was on First, and where did third go, how did second do it. Much love to you and your hard work!

    • Jerry says:

      Someday Marcy will win the Medal of Freedom.  Thanks for untangling all the tangled stories you tackle, Marcy.

  7. Bay State Librul says:

    Lefty,
    You sound like a idealistic bozo.
    Please deal with the real world, not what “you” would like happen.
    You threw away your fucking vote, and to say “At least with Trump we (all of us again, not just you elitist, neolib Dem dead enders) won’t likely be in a neocon/libhawk war with Russia, and that’s huuuge as they say.” is nonsense.
    I suggest you start reading Charlie Pierce. He can explain things to you better than I can.

    • lefty665 says:

      Idealistic? Well, I still have things I care about and believe in, so I suppose so. Bozo? Firesign Theater had it right many years ago with “I think we’re all Bozos on this bus”.

      I’m an engineer, and have spent my life getting results in the real world, so I won’t take lectures on that from the likes of you. From the outcome I did not throw my vote away any more than you did. I at least can say I voted for things I believe in. Hope you’re happy voting for corruption, greed, war mongering and blind ambition. Oh, and Hillary’s campaign was profoundly incompetent too. We both have to live with our votes, I am ok with mine. I am also happy I did not fall for the “lesser evil” sucker game this time.

      One of the few bright spots with Trump is the potential to break the neocon/liberal hawk duopoly that has driven us into multiple wars this millennium. It currently has us headed into armed conflict with nuclear armed Russia. Trying to keep Trump from diverting the world from that fate is what is behind the current “the Russians did it” hysteria. That you think avoiding conflicts between nuclear powers is “nonsense” says more about why I’m thankful Hillary is not president elect than most anything.

      Pierce is just another MSM zombie. He’s got nothing to add to the conversation but more propaganda, blather and hysteria. Reading him, and his ilk, regularly will rot your brain, as you so sadly demonstrate.

      Same goes for believing the CIA’s lies. Lies and propaganda are their stock in trade. Please tell me mister unidealistic real worlder, when did you start believing that anything that comes out of Langley has anything to do with the truth? Was it long ago with the single bullet theory? Was it Saddam’s WMDs that stampeded us into war in Iraq?  Was it that the CIA is training and arming “moderate terrorists” in Syria who to a man roll over and give it all up to ISIL and their ilk?  Currently it is “The Russians did it! The Russians stole the election from Hillary!!!!!”  Just which “truth” from the CIA do you love the best?

       

       

    • lefty665 says:

      The update is curious.  So much stuff came out of NSA that, as you note, it is not a simple hack. Seems more like it was insider leaks, and they’ve arrested at least two people for removing classified information, or an insider compromise of their networks. Whatever it is, it does not seem as pedestrian as “operator error”.

      NSA-CIA enmity goes all the way back to the beginning, NSA’s founding in 1952. The description of culture clash between CIA and NSA as blue bloods vs blue collar rings false, but leaves other causes of institutional conflict.

      For decades the Director of the CIA was nominally head of US intelligence. NSA never really accepted that, and their chain of command up through DoD gave them (and DIA) independence. That was a source of conflict. Another conflict was NSA’s reliance on ‘national technical means’ vs CIA’s love for cloak and dagger. On more than one occasion, going back to OSS days, the bully boys were caught, or their exploits were exposed, and that caused adversaries to change systems that NSA had been comfortably and quietly reading.

      CIAs expansion into larger scale, more varied and publicly acknowledged operations is a fundamental difference too. NSA gathers intelligence, CIA does some live collection too, but for example, NSA does not organize armies or run drone strikes.  NSA never wanted a public profile while CIA has seemed to relish it. Brennan’s current propaganda campaign to escalate tensions with the Russians is an example.

      The categorization of NSA as military blue collar is misleading.  Operators and lower level analysts may indeed be mostly military, high school educated, and there are a lot of them. But, while NSA does not have the ivy league pedigree of CIA, it certainly has a large body of very highly educated people running things. In addition, some with very agile brains, like Snowden, may achieve despite sketchy formal education.

  8. martin says:

    This debacle is starting to stink… big time…as in DECOMPOSING RAT. Regardless, at least we have emptywheel sleuthing through the bizarre cesspool of lies and decomposing bodies of stupidity, bringing the real questions to light. Thanks emptywheel. You make a fool out of every story line out there. The only thing I know is..something huuuuuge is on the verge of exploding across this planet. And heads are gonna roll. The question is.. who’s? As for me, I have a gut feeling, that IT guy for the DNC is THE leaker. I don’t why. But nothing makes any sense other than that. But who knows. If anything, at least emptywheel is exposing the dots in this story that don’t make any sense.

  9. Jim White says:

    I had been struggling all through this with the “CIA vs FBI” battle framing because it just didn’t feel right. Your update with the re-framing as “CIA vs NSA” with the NSA being the military finally feels right. This now fits well with Dick Cheney’s Team B DIA folks spewing shit about Iraq to counteract CIA’s more reality-based take on WMD’s. If we assume that the FBI has chosen to side with NSA over CIA, it now fits with the battle that has been going on in the IC since Cheney set loose his minions.

    • lefty665 says:

      Makes sense, turf is turf. NSA’s DoD chain of command gives them independence. They don’t have to take off CIA, and never have. The blue collar military vs ivy league stuff is nonsense, they’ve got better reasons not to like each other. The FBI has to be a bit player compared to either of them.

      More as a matter of history remember that Cheney and Scooter made multiple visits to CIA to browbeat the analysts into toeing the administration’s line. There was significant resistance.  CIA was where Colin Powell was loaded up with the WMD garbage he spewed at the UN. While within CIA there may have been pockets of reality on WMDs, the Agency played a real part in drumming up the hysteria that led us into Iraq.

      On the chance you haven’t seen it. James Bamford’s “A Pretext for War – 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies” lays it out clearly. He had remarkably informed sources. Amazingly it was published in 2004.

  10. Bay State Librul says:

    Lefty

    Trump is a con man

    Not sure how an Engineer could miss this.

    I really think you have lost your perspective

    Look I respect your idealism but can’t you temperate it with a dose of reality

    Sheesh, The Con Man is a vey bad man.

    Charlie is a very astute journalist not sure why you berated him

  11. lefty665 says:

    I don’t miss that or a lot of other ugly things about Trump, I am no Trump fan. Nor do I miss that Hillary is a corrupt, greedy, blindly ambitious, neolib, neocon warmonger. My position during the campaign was reality based, between the two there was no lesser evil. They were both evil. That remains valid. Plus we are learning after the election that Hillary, despite all her claims of experience, ran a profoundly incompetent campaign. If she has a redeeming quality it may be that she is as bad at evil as she was as a candidate. The detachment from reality is yours.

    If you care about the country, and your party, it is past time to get over your delusions of Hillary and minority based majorities. It is time to get about reforming the party to get back to its New Deal roots that address the needs of all Americans. If you don’t act quickly there may be no elected Dems anywhere in the country. Their numbers are shrinking fast, that is cold, hard reality.  Being rehab ready means acknowledging the disability, adopting a realistic set of goals, and methods for achieving them. I encourage you to go for it. I’d really like to see a viable Dem alternative to Trump in my lifetime.

    The MSM sucks, and that includes your “Charlie”. Since 9/11 it has been a willing partner in the USG (including the CIA) propaganda machine. Until you get over your infatuation with spin and lies there is not much hope for you. Since you hang out here you do get exposure to some other views so there is at least a chance you will come to your senses.  C’mon, engage your brain, think, explore cognitive dissonance, and break out of the Dunning-Kruger syndrome. It is hard work, but make progress and I’ll be pleased to give you ‘atta boys and lend you a hand.

  12. Hieronymus Howard says:

    Is NGP-VAN an acronym? Or is it a “compound acronym”? (I just made that up.)

    NGP——your search returned 34 meanings.

    NGPVAN——your search returned zero meanings.

    One can go to their web site but they don’t speak of it.

    https://www.ngpvan.com/about

    Must be those pesky Russians, obfuscating again. Yet another contemptuous conspiracy of impenetrables.

    [tongue-face]

    • lefty665 says:

      NGP and VAN are two IT operations that merged several years ago. NGP provided campaign financial services like contribution tracking, accounting and FEC reporting. VAN was the data base the Democrats use to track voters and political data. It provided data services at the national, state and local Democratic levels.

      Clinton and Sanders both used it. You may recall the stink last spring when NGPVAN dropped the firewall separating the campaigns during an update.

       

  13. Hieronymus Howard says:

    Thanks for that explication, Leftynnn. But you didn’t say what the acronyms mean(t). That’s all I was askin’. TMI.

    Pesky & obfuscatory these dang Rooskies are. They lurk around in my house in the dead of night while I’m sleeping & bring mice in.

    Someone alert the President.

    • lefty665 says:

      Oops, sorry. “National Geographical and Political Software” and “Voter Activation Network”.

      Nathaniel Pearlman founded NGP Software. Dunno what his middle initial is, but suspected it might be G.
       

Comments are closed.