back to article Prez Obama expels 35 Russian spies over election meddling

President Barack Obama has ordered the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies in response to "malicious cyber activity and harassment" by Putin's government for attempts to undermine the 2016 election. In a statement issued on Thursday, Obama ordered a number of actions in response to "the Russian government’s aggressive …

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

>>That's not as much of an either-or decision as you seek to portray, the third option is neither.

Neither doesn't really work. CIA say it wasn't a leak. Wikileaks say it was. And you sounding very clever say that neither is right? What would "neither" mean? Or are you suggesting that both are so lacking in credibility that there is no evidence either way. If so, please give some examples of where Wikileaks has lied or passed out false information. I'll be waiting.

>> If they had been digging as deep in GOP leaks as Democrats they would have had more credibility

You presume that there are available equivalent leaks for the Republicans as well. Given leaks of this scale are rare, you'd need to provide some reason why you think this is so. Wikileaks are a place for people to leak information to. They don't magic up a bunch of emails at will. There were very notable circumstances for the DNC leak - internal corruption, a popular candidate (who might have beaten Trump) being sabotaged by staff who were supposed to be neutral... On the Republican side, you already knew most of the Republican big wigs wanted to oust Trump. I mean they even discussed disregarding the result of the primaries openly. Where is your evidence that Wikileaks was passed leaked Republican emails and deliberately sat on them? Because that's what you're claiming with the above.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

The us-cert link given makes no explicit mention, nor as far as I can see any implicit one, relating to Weiner's laptop, which entered the discussion independently of hacking by anyone. However, it also tells absolutely nothing of substance about any unauthorized acquisition of Democratic Party documents and communications. The Russians might have done it, as the document claims without presenting any meaningful evidence, or an insider might have done it.

In the end, the leaked information probably had little to or nothing to do with the election result. Nearly everyone with the initiative to vote probably had made up their minds before the conventions, and Clinton's well known prior history and manifest inadequacies as a candidate almost certainly were the deciding factors.

The claim that Clinton's mail server was not accessed by foreign intelligence is most unlikely to be true given the publicly known vulnerabilities and the fact that messages to or from the server were known to have been obtained by hackers.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"Under the American political system there can only be one ... president at any given moment in time. Obama is still president and has the power to issue orders like this ... and in time, Trump will gain the same power."

It is, to say the least, unusual for any outgoing president to make significant changes, like the expulsion of Russian diplomats and the sudden withdrawal of support for Israel in the UNSC.

It seems hard to justify a sudden change in what has been a forty year policy of support for Israel. Why wasn't this done earlier in Obama's presidency and why did neither Obama nor Clinton signal their intentions to the electorate? It looks as if Obama is trying to do damage to Trump's presidency (and, by implication, to the USA), simply for revenge.

I am not commenting on the rights and wrongs of either the expulsions or the withdrawal of support for Israel, simply the timing and intentions of these actions. Maybe these ideas looked good amongst a group of dedicated Democrat believers but I believe the US public with not see them in the same light.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

There is absolutely no evidence that any Russians had anything to do with the Wikileaks leaks. The emails concerned were obtained in a person to person exchange made in Washington, between a disenchanted democrat staffer (who had legal access to the emails) and a former British ambassador. There was no hacking and no Russians involved.

Wikileaks have a history of leaking information in small chunks, not least to retain the interest of the news outlets who publish their material. No doubt those affected by the leaks would rather everything was leaked in a single batch, to get all the bad news out on one day - but that is a selfish goal.

The story that "the Russians did it" has been presented without any evidence and seems mostly designed to deflect attention from the content of the leaks and from criticism that a number of Democrats have been discussing government business using free commercial email services e.g. Gmail.

Feel free to come up with any evidence that "the Russians" were involved.

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Re: Palestine

Humanity never endorses 'peace' when two tribes reside on the same territory. That's an anthropological fact, and failure to acknowledge it is prime cause of the miseries of the world. (Complication to note - even a stable society will tend to split into two tribes. Evolution is unkind).

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Genocide != Infantcide

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Yes, like how they were genocidally building houses prior to this latest UN act of anti-semitism. Palestinians build bombs, no one says anything. Israelis build houses, and they're accused of genocide.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

He didn't get less votes.

He got 306. Clinton got 232.

232 is less than 306.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

It's kind of funny how everyone seems to gloss over the point that even if it was the Russians did manage to phish a Democrat (who was too dumb to recognize a phishing email) and convince him to willingly give away his password (that's not hacking, btw; that's more like someone hitting reply all when he meant reply and having the message received by the wrong people), the resultant leak was the truth-- and incredibly, it's the Democrats out there saying that someone leaking the truth about how shady and unethical their behavior was cost them the election (as if being shady and unethical is okay, and someone else was the bad guy for letting us all know they were doing it).

Well, that being the case, maybe they deserved to lose. Since the American media isn't doing its job of ensuring an informed electorate, someone else stepped up and provided just a little bit of truth in a race that has mostly been awash in lies from the media (who then have the audacity to accuse others of spreading fake news).

Isn't it kind of a weird situation when the "news" media lying through their teeth and actively campaigning for one of the candidates is okay, but someone out there spreading just a little bit of truth about this is somehow an upending of democracy?

There still has not been any evidence anyone "hacked the election." There was a leak of emails that harmed the Democrats. Are they really trying to sell us on the idea of an overinformed electorate? That we knew too much about what the Dems had planned, and it was all the fault of the Russians?

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Stop

Re: thegroucho Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"....It is not however wrong for someone to become a president despite winning less votes than the losing candidate?...." The Electoral College was intended to stop one area of the US dominating the voting through demographics. In the recent elections, Shrillary's "popular vote win" can be explained simply by pointing out that she won big in California alone, whilst losing in the majority of States. Indeed, if you take California out of the picture, then Trumpet scored 1.4m more votes across the rest of the States than Shrillary. As it stands, Democrat-dominated California alone guaranteed Shrillary a whopping 55 Electoral College votes, meaning she only needed 215 from the other 49 states - she failed to get them. If you are happy with California alone getting to decide who gets to be POTUS then you (probably willfully) failed to understand why the Electoral College system was implemented in the first place.

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Happy

Re: bombastic bob Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"....Let's see how long it takes for Congress and Trump to undo it all..." Actually, the GOP has been trying to goad the Obama administration into some more effective action over cybersecurity for years, so they're unlikely to undo this executive order. I did chuckle at Trumpet's Twitter dig though - he manages to defuse the issue with Putin by making it look like Obama is just throwing a bad loser's tantrum on his way out the door.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Actually, in the USA you could become president with just fifteen votes. Not fifteen percent, but fifteen. Ok, it would require that in the fifteen largest states you get _one_ vote each and nobody else gets any votes at all in these states. Fifteen largest is enough for the majority in the electoral college.In the other states you could then have tens of millions (I guess about 80-100 millions) against you and still win.

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The Facts?

“Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated about the facts of this situation.”

Note the sequencing: first Trump declares an option, THEN he says he will try to be updated about the facts.

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Re: The Facts?

Standard government activity. See the UK and the appalling treatment of Professor Nutt on drug risk, etc, we he dared not to give the answer the gov/tabloids wanted to hear.

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Re: The Facts?

The only person I'd trust on drug risk and treatment options would be Bill Hicks.

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Trollface

Re: The Facts?

>>"Note the sequencing: first Trump declares an option, THEN he says he will try to be updated about the facts."

It's true. I went to court last week and the Judge made the comment that she was going to act as if I was innocent until she'd been presented with actual evidence. I couldn't believe that she leaned to a conclusion and said she'd stick to it unless persuaded otherwise. I almost demanded to be locked up then and there!

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Re: The Facts?

I couldn't believe that she leaned to a conclusion and said she'd stick to it unless persuaded otherwise. I almost demanded to be locked up then and there!

One would hope that would give a good case for an appeal if the verdict was unfavourable.

Sadly "innocent unless proven guilty (beyond reasonable doubt)" often is no longer the case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Facts?

"Sadly "innocent unless proven guilty (beyond reasonable doubt)" often is no longer the case."

Successive UK governments have tried to bypass the "beyond reasonable doubt" requirement - by making civil law provisions with criminal penalties eg ASBO; Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

Further evidence of this attitude permeating into general society is in the CofE York Minster. It has let its bells go silent because one of the bell-ringers is considered a "safe-guarding" risk. The man has never been convicted of any alleged offence. Two police investigations failed to bring any charge.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/19/how-york-minster-campanologists-sacking-blew-the-lid-off-bitter-dispute

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Pint

if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

THEY! DESERVE! A! BEER!

Thanks, guys! Cheers! Das Vadania! (or however you spell it)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

Try with:

'Nazdorovya' (to health)

as opposed to the 'Goodbye' you said.

Sounds like the Alt Right can never get their facts right for starters ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

THEY! DESERVE! A! BEER!

You really ought to move to a country where even the illusion of democracy has been erased, which, if I read the signs correctly, may include the US as of 2017.

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Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

No, they DO deserve a beer, even two.

Only self-blinding Progressives would be against a fat infodump of DNC shenanigans.

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Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

"You really ought to move to a country where even the illusion of democracy has been erased, which, if I read the signs correctly, may include the US as of 2017."

So you think they are going to succeed in overturning Donald Trump's outstanding electoral college win?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

So you think they are going to succeed in overturning Donald Trump's outstanding electoral college win?

No, I trust Trump to only do what suits him and cronies in a larger scale repeat of what happened to the UK when Tony Blair was voted in. The only saving grace so far is that he pissed off the intelligence people so it'll be harder for him to get them to help making up an excuse to start another war, but he's got Putin for that now.

The only question is if the departing US finance minister leave a note too. I suspect it'll be a Trump tweet instead...

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Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

Only self-blinding Progressives would be against a fat infodump of DNC shenanigans.

I would not limit this to DNC. They are no different from most incumbent parties. Not that any of the newcomers are any better.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: if Russia WAS behind the e-mail hacks...

"So you think they are going to succeed in overturning Donald Trump's outstanding electoral college win?"

The GOP will do that with either an impeachment or the threat of same. VP Mike Pence would then become their hard-line accommodating new President.

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No sweat. By the end of January the Russians can send 350 or so new spies to the US. Provided they book their accomodations at one of the Trump resorts or hotels.

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Putin the empire builder

They won't bother. They'll be too busy infiltrating former Eastern Bloc countries as they work to rebuild the Russian (USSR) Empire. And NATO will be too disorganized by all of Trump's antics to do anything about it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Putin the empire builder

And NATO will be too disorganized by all of Trump's antics to do anything about it.

They might be if they put Cameron in charge. I was not spectacularly impressed by his performance as PM.

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Re: Putin the empire builder

They might be if they put Cameron in charge. I was not spectacularly impressed by his performance as PM.

My view reads: They might will be if they put Cameron in charge. I was not spectacularly unimpressed by his performance as PM, given what he did to eviscerate the armed forces; ditching the Harrier was perhaps the most spectacular blunder of all.

I cannot easily think of anyone less well qualified to serve as NATO Sec. Gen.

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Re: Putin the empire builder

I cannot easily think of anyone less well qualified to serve as NATO Sec. Gen.

Antonio Bliar?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Putin the empire builder

Nigel Farage?

Boris Johnson?

That's a looooong list :)

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Big Brother

Obama expels thirty five Russian non-spies in an attempt to distract from the DNC emails hack

Do you have to repeat this neocon BS on this technology forum. That whole thing being distraction from the real story being the contents of the hacked DNC and Clinton emails

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Trollface

Re: Obama expels thirty five Russian non-spies in an attempt to distract from the DNC emails hack

Why all the downvotes for this guy? it's clear that the truth about pizzagate is in there somewhere!

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Anonymous Coward

Rigging elections in foreign countries is still ok .....

.... just don't use a computer !!!

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Cry me a river

They're really salty because their proxy war fell flat on its face, they got kicked out of the Whitehouse due to their utter contempt and HUBRIS. These are the things that happen when power mad nut-jobs lose all sense of reality and think they're doing good works.

The reality is simple, the world is far too complicated for morons to be in power, and it's about time we forged ourselves a technocracy. The long-term survival of our species demands it, and this is by no means hyperbole.

The really sad thing is 90% of the population can't differentiate blatant lies with facts.

"They point and click which wounds to lick" - should be a clue

The news is less about impartial facts and is more to do with "The Narrative™"

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WTF?

Welcome home, comrades

Here is your new office with a direct broadband connection to Washington DC. BTW here are the keys for your Дaчa on the Krim.

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Crying a River .......

The news is less about impartial facts and is more to do with "The Narrative™" ... FlamingDeath

When such is the case, is the present and future and Earthly existence a global virtual reality project for media programming and post production. Crack that with alternative tales, difficult to impossible to disbelieve and disprove, and "The Narrative™" systems are effectively hacked and will always collapse in chaotic disorder if they chose not to change their tunes. And mainstream news operations are then also identified as enemy state and non-state actor agents ...... false factoid propagandists?

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The Plan for over a year now....

The GOP thanks Russia and the rogue FBI groups for assisting them to Absolute Power.

But now, the GOP wants the Power only for itself, and must kick Russia out to complete the coup d'etat.

This is the nature of POWER.

The investigations found that Russia meddled, and cyber-war will result.

Look for a Trump impeachment early, followed by a Pence presidency and the end of democracy.

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Devil

Thank you Mr Rocket

For posting the link to the report.

For anyone who hasnt looked at it, please you need go no further than the top of the page, in the "DISCLAIMER"

Quote:

DISCLAIMER: This report is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland

Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.

/Quote

"does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information"

They really do throw this crap out expecting no one to read it, which is not surprising considering most of it is just gibberish.

Maybe if we throw it up on a teleprompter and get Obama to read it out to us we will all understand?!

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Supersize Me!

Do you want a report of the 9/11 commission with that?

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Re: Supersize Me!

Do you want a report of the 9/11 commission with that?

Yes, and can we have all the papers (including an unredacted Warren Report) on the Kennedy Assassination? Most of the evidence will remain "Top Secret" for a few more decades. I guess those in power behind the throne want each President to read them and understand what's in for them if El Presidente doesn't do their bidding.

Now where's my damn tin foil hat?

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Anonymous Coward

Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

So, we already have reports of an English-language school used by US, Canadian, and UK diplomatic staff in Moscow closed down as a retaliation. Something tells me that at least 35 US embassy staff will be celebrating the New Year back home, too.

None of this is going to stop or even slow down the hackers on either side - so yeah, this sure sounds like a measured, necessary, and appropriate response.

I had really high hopes for Obama's presidency; instead he is shaping up to be one of the biggest failures in recent US history.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Try making a change while being hamstrung by Congress and Senate ...

You can't make a change solely based on executive orders.

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Devil

Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Looks like Putin's response is in!!

and he is planning to do.. nothing!

Which is frankly not surprising, as all the other moves against Russia have been met with this tactic.

And honestly it is surprising how well it has worked, you really have to wonder the worth of our leaders when the evil boogieman consistently beats them by doing nothing??

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

"and he is planning to do.. nothing!"

and he is planning to do.. nothing! Until Trump chooses which path to take.

FTFY

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Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

and he is planning to do.. nothing!

Not quite. Just the opposite. He did it significantly more subtly than he is given credit for.

On that one - it is the usual case - the retarded press monkeys are commenting on matters they have no clue on. Not a single news outlet bothered to check the background on the accompanying invitation for the children to the New Year Eve celebrations in the Kremlin. In ex-USSR it was (and I suspect it has remained in Russia) the ultimate carrot for a primary schoolchild. One in thousands (if not tens of thousands) only got a ticket. At best. The most as a comment we got here is some idiot (forgot in BBC or graunidad) considering this as a threat. Which it is not.

By the way any diplomats who ever had a posting to Moscow knows this one and understands the meaning of the gesture. So as far as setting up the contrast of looking like magnanimous royalty versus the vindictive daft Grindge - he has achieved his aim. 100%.

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Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Even then, judging from Putin's past action, even if trump puts his hair on to tight one morning and acts against Russia, he will take a wait and see approach.

The only time I have see Russia move with immediate response is when large number of troops are placed near their borders.

We put 5000 troop near their border, they put 10,000 on the other side.

We fly spy planes over their military test facilities, they buzz battleship's with fighter jets..

Then again if Russia didn't want war I guess they should put their borders so near our military bases..

Russia has put in enough bomb shelters to house a very large part of their population, I have no idea what nation you may hail but ask yourselves what preparation has your government put in place to protect the population if a war ever broke out?

You may reasonably ask what sort of nation would need to build bomb shelters?

Would the answer not be, One that *expects* to be attacked?

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Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

"So, we already have reports of an English-language school used by US, Canadian, and UK diplomatic staff in Moscow closed down as a retaliation."

Yes - and the reports are fabrications. The story about Putin/the Kremlin closing an English language school in Moscow is fake. So much for "the liberal media" combating fake news - they seem to be sources of fake news.

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Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Actually, the Russians have not done nothing - whilst Obama has been on his "the Russian did it" campaign, the Russians (along with Turkey) have apparently brokered a peace deal in Syria. The funniest part is - the USA were neither invited to participate nor even told of the deal. It is almost as if some parties believed the US was only helping to fuel the war.

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