back to article Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help

American prosecutors have accused 12 suspected Russian spies of hacking Democrat and Hillary Clinton campaign officials to publicly leak their sensitive emails and potentially influence the 2016 US Presidential Election. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein today announced criminal conspiracy charges against a dozen people …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shooting the messengers much?

    So everyone else is to blame except those who wrote those e-mails, used the public channels for it and were basically caught off guard.

    See... if I share false threats or accusations through e-mail and those leak and the audience gets seriously upset by that: who is to blame? Me for outing that shit in the first place or the hacker who exposed me?

    Note: these were semi-public e-mail channels. Why do you think the US has such problems with politicians using public services (or semi-public phones) to sent political data (something many democrats easily ignored I might add, it wouldn't be the first time we read about official warnings). You reap what you sow in my opinion.

    Also: how does one "affect" an election?

    How gullible do you have to be if you let random posts on the Internet affect your decision on who to vote for? That is the one thing I simply cannot comprehend. Sure: I can understand that some people allow for this, each to their own, but how gullible do you have to be... But if you are that gullible then this also leads me to another question: if people really are this gullible that they'd change their mind based on a random post on the Internet then what are the chances that they didn't simply change their mind from going to the bathroom? You know... the "let's shit on the politicians" kind of idea and suddenly do a 180 degrees turn.

    If people are such huge flipflops... then why does it have to be the Russians? For all I know it could be a good looking girl or a guy campaigning which then changed their minds.

    Proof please.

    Say; what about that phone Hillary used to share political data with? Did that got hacked too? Gee, I wonder how that could have happened. If she set the example that "do whatever you like" then.. yah.. sorry, they had their warnings.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      Not even that.

      Timed to coincide with the Helsinki meeting.

      The RepubliTrumps vs Republicans vs Democrats war in the states is not dissimilar from the UK Tory civil wars. The sole difference is that due to the sheer size of the monsters bullies in the playground it is the whole world which suffers from them going at each others' throats.

      As far as Russia doing what USA has been doing (including significantly more invasive methods) around the world and trying to do in Russia since WW2 - if you cannot stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Sore losers, grow the f*ck up.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: anonymous coward

        "Sore losers, grow the f*ck up."

        Astonishing levels of whataboutism.

        Of course, the USA (and the UK and other nations) have engaged in counter-political operations over the decades.

        Right now, Russia's been caught with its hand in the cookie jar, allegedly. People, bafflingly, defending Moscow are the sore losers who need to grow up, I argue.

        C.

        1. G Mac
          Mushroom

          Re: anonymous coward

          Absolutely there has to be whataboutism.

          That is because there are a bunch of elected folks, along with neocon pundits, that say this is "an act of war". Try searching for "russian hacking act of war".

          For example, try this from this Intercept article https://theintercept.com/2018/02/19/a-consensus-emerges-russia-committed-an-act-of-war-on-par-with-pearl-harbor-and-911-should-the-u-s-response-be-similar/:

          'The claim that Russian meddling in the election is “an act of war” comparable to these events isn’t brand new. Senators from both parties, such as Republican John McCain and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, have long described Russian meddling in 2016 as an “act of war.” Hillary Clinton, while promoting her book last October, described Russia’s alleged hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s email inbox as a “cyber 9/11.” And last February, the always war-hungry Tom Friedman of the New York Times said on “Morning Joe” that Russian hacking “was a 9/11-scale event. They attacked the core of our democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor-scale event.”'

          Yikes. Keeping in mind that the US has been meddling in other countries elections quite a bit since WW2 gives some perspective that hopefully (but of course won't) will give these folks pause when calling out the Marines, literally.

          Of course the US is the big dog so it can expect to give all a good beat down. Except in asymmetric warfare, AKA Afghanistan and Iraq.

          So yes, this is whataboutism, but only to allow us to say STFU to the war-happy nutjobs who want to pick fight with the 2nd biggest nuclear power on the possibly short-time-to-live planet.

          And ESPECIALLY given that nobody seems to deny that the leaked documents are genuine.

          Icon for obvious reasons.

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: anonymous coward

            Trump's relationship with Russia and any 'help' he might have gotten to get elected is just the tip of the iceberg with respect to how he is subverting democracy. I found this article quote sums it up nicely:

            "All that matters in the GOP is fealty to the cult-leader. He has done things in foreign policy — allying with the Kremlin against Western Europe, launching an impulsive trade war against allies and rivals, assaulting NATO, boosting foul dictators for nothing in return — that the Republican Party would crucify any Democratic president for. And still they worship.

            Free trade, NATO, steadfast resistance to totalitarian regimes like North Korea, suspicion of the Kremlin, and support for law enforcement, including the FBI and CIA, were all nonnegotiable elements of GOP policy only two years ago. They’re all gone now. How’s that for authoritarian power? "

            That "fealty to the cult-leader" is s prime indicator of nascent fascism

            1. tom dial Silver badge

              Re: anonymous coward

              Contrary to much opinion, votes count in US elections. The rules may be a bit convoluted (e. g., the electoral college). They may deviate from some ideal (e. g., two senators from each state irrespective of population, or declining to let convicted felons vote, sometimes even by those who served their sentence in full). Most importantly, votes count only if they actually are cast.

              Donald Trump was elected president because he channeled and fed back to enough voters (not just eligible-to-voters) what they already believed. Russians may have helped, by their tweets, their Facebook and other ads, and their release of stolen DNC and DCCC emails, some of which doubtless caused extreme embarrassment. In the end, because of the facts that underlie political opinion research, it will be essentially impossible to determine how much, or even in what direction, Russian dirty tricks affected the election outcome. It should be noted that nothing the Russians are alleged to have done is qualitatively different from campaign practices well enough known from years past. Doubters may wish to consider the US elections of 1972 (Nixon, Watergate), or 1800 and 1804 (Thomas Jefferson). There are other examples.

              Donald Trump was elected as a Republican, to a large degree by voters who identified as Republicans. GOP "fealty to the cult-leader" is a direct result of that fact and the fact that almost all elected officials become job seekers in inverse relation to the time remaining to the next election. Those elected from districts where 2016 support for Trump was great will be very hesitant to call out Trump unless he does something that clearly and decisively offends constituents. Note that this is true almost as much for Democrats as Republicans. Unless Trump really goes far afield, we are hardly more likely to see strong, unambiguous, anti-Trump statements from the Democrats Heidi Heitkamp (D-SD) or Joe Manchin (D-WV) than from John Hoeven (R-SD) or Shelley Caputo (R-WV).

              Free trade and national security and foreign policy considerations notwithstanding, Republican politicians and operatives know that in many areas it will not go well for them to oppose Trump too strenuously despite the fact that the associated policies are generally terrible and lead to nothing good in the long run. They will stand with Trump until election results free them, in many cases by installing Democrats in their place. And not a minute longer.

              H. L. Mencken's Baltimore Evening Sun political reports, many available in collections, should be required reading for anyone who hopes to understand US politics. They ring as true now, six decades after his death as when written between 1920 and 1950.

        2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: anonymous coward

          I would wager that just every major power and many of the minor ones engage is these types of disinformation campaigns. I would also wager these campaigns are generally a waste of money as they have very little effect on the target country. However, this one has succeeded because the Donkeys need an convenient excuse for why they lost other than they were idiots. The Russians did not tell Hildafelon not to campaign in Wisconsin or Pennsylvania; her inept staff did. Bubba (the ex P) tried to tell her and her incompetents she needed to make several swings in these states otherwise they might go for Blowhard. It would have also helped if the Donkeys had run a candidate that was not widely detested thus giving Blowhard votes he never would otherwise have gotten. These are self inflicted wounds.

          1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            Re: Re: anonymous coward

            "they have very little effect on the target country"

            Doesn't matter - a hand was, allegedly, caught in the cookie jar. if you're gonna spy and do counter intelligence, then at least do it right.

            Also, Clinton's campaign was flawed. Like, really flawed. It's easy to see that. Again, this isn't about candidates. It's about securing the West's systems, and snaring those who seek to cause mischief.

            C.

            1. G Mac
              Mushroom

              Re: anonymous coward

              And what if your hand was caught in the cookie jar over 80 times? If once was not "doing it right", what is 80?

              And by inference, it seems that if you DON'T get caught it's all good sport, right?

              https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-interfered-in-elections-of-at-least-85-countries-worldwide-since-1945/5601481

              "It's about securing the West's systems"

              Ah so for Johnny Foreigner well he will just have to look at the ceiling and think of...

              This is not to say doing this kind of thing IS ok by anybody. But it does mean that the immediate pearl clutching and heading to the fainting couch needs to take rest.

              More jaw-jaw less war-war.

              1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
                Mushroom

                Re: "It's about securing the West's systems"

                Oh, you must mean the ones that are now 100% Managed from or are physically in India... ????

                This won't end well.

                Bring those systems home people. You know it makes sense from a security POV.

                Or

                See Icon

              2. Richard Wharram

                Re: anonymous coward

                "https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-interfered-in-elections-of-at-least-85-countries-worldwide-since-1945/5601481"

                A grey propaganda site? Thanks for showing where you get your talking points from.

            2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

              The Bigger Picture Show .....

              It's about securing the West's systems, and snaring those who seek to cause mischief. ...... a Reg hack

              Hmmm? .... Defending the indefensible and inequitable is the Fine Folly of Prime Fools and that be undoubtedly a Typically Sub-Prime Product. And if the West's systems are so defaulted to pay homage, grace and favour to the continued acceptance of the paper dollar as a primary means to success with the avoidance of a Militaristic Pax Americana Intervention in a Manic Adventurism, then is there a major Houston problem for the mischief will always be escalating and strengthening, and quite naturally become overwhelming.

              Hmmm? ..... If Hillary was a military hawk, and hell bent on future crazy mischief, it seems as if the West's systems are working just fine.

            3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

              Re: Re: Re: anonymous coward

              It's about securing the West's systems, and snaring those who seek to cause mischief. ...... a Reg hack

              Hmmm? .... Defending the indefensible and inequitable is the Fine Folly of Prime Fools and that be undoubtedly a Typically Sub-Prime Product. And if the West's systems are so defaulted to pay homage, grace and favour to the continued acceptance of the paper dollar as a primary means to success with the avoidance of a Militaristic Pax Americana Intervention in a Manic Adventurism, then is there a major Houston problem for the mischief will always be escalating and strengthening, and quite naturally become overwhelming.

              Hmmm? .... If Hillary was a military hawk, and hell bent on future crazy mischief, it seems as if the West's systems are working just fine.

            4. LucreLout Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: anonymous coward

              Doesn't matter - a hand was, allegedly, caught in the cookie jar. if you're gonna spy and do counter intelligence, then at least do it right.

              Presumably you mean farcebook data slupring links all over your site while publicly decrying their behaviour?

              Yes, to an extent, I'm slightly trolling you, but only because I've not seen a reasoned argument for why El Reg plays both sides of the farcebook game. Any chance of an article on that please? Who knows, I might even agree with your reasoning and STFU.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: anonymous coward

          Russia had a lot to gain from destabilised US and EU, and hence the involvement with brexit and trump.

          I feel sorry for the idiots that got sucked in by the all russian funded fake news propaganda. The weird thing is they aren't even feeling stupid, they are too stupid to feel stupid.

        4. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: anonymous coward

          So what? If you really think a few Russian hackers can compete with CNN, Facebook, or the Koch Brothers than we're all in much more serious trouble than anyone is willing to acknowledge.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge

            Re: anonymous coward

            "If you really think a few Russian hackers can compete with CNN, Facebook, or the Koch Brothers"

            or George Soros [via "non-profits" like media matters, moveon.org, and chaos groups like ANTIFA with their 'rent-a-mob' protests and paid-for camera-visible riot-thugs]

            or the "deep state" itself - right Mr. Strzok?

            I have a few predictions on all of this:

            a) if ANY of those "indicted" by Mueller EVER get into a courtroom, it'll end up like it's been for THIS case in which there really IS no evidence, but a symbolic "we do not expect it will ever go to trial" indictment. And lots of delay tactics. [Apparently, Mueller never thought his bluff would be 'called'].

            b) this is all a symbolic waste of time as chaos is being spread by those "deep state" activists who simply want to disrupt the Trump presidency because they're angry he won the election

            c) the REAL "collusion" is inside the D.O.J. and people watching "the other news" have known this for over a YEAR.

            d) Mueller's "Get Trump at Any Cost" witch hunt is about to collapse into a black hole into which money and time will flow, ultimately along with the careers of those involved. Not much of an "Insurance Policy".

            Trump and Putin do have one thing in common: they know how to play poker, and they're good at calling bluffs. It's about time to grab the popcorn, because in the next month or two, things are going to get wild, crazy, and "not good" for the anti-Trump "deep state" types that seem overly obsessed on this "Russian collusion" nonsense.

            1. Richard Wharram

              Re: anonymous coward

              "Deep-state"

              "Soros"

              "Antifa rent-a-mob"

              "Strzok"

              Shit, I need one more for bingo here. Could you mention "World War III" in your next post?

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      Indeed, far more is needed than the shouting and hand-waving on display so far. The Facebook postings published a while back were pretty unpersuasive, targeted as they were to people almost sure to support their messages. That is much like the shock and horror over the Cambridge Analytica stuff that the Republican party organization, by one report, found seriously deficient to what they already had from state public records and other commercial sources.

    3. Comments are attributed to your handle
      Holmes

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      "messengers" - is that what you call them?

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      How gullible do you have to be if you let random posts on the Internet affect your decision on who to vote for?

      Then the same can be said for flyers, mailed political ads, tv, radio, etc. And not just politics, everything is advertised. Both good products and absolute trash ones. So perhaps gullible isn't the right word here as advertising seems to affect most people or there wouldn't be so much advertising.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Shooting the messengers much?

        Whether the advertising, whether flyers, mailed, tv/radio, or internet actually has much effect is something about which I suspect many in the advertising business might well be loath to discuss in depth. Advertising volume probably is not a good indicator of effectiveness.

        Advertising probably is an effective way to provide notice of new or redesigned products or services, and some of the same effect may exist in politics, especially for first time candidates and lower offices, but long-standing political leanings are quite tightly bound in various ways to who we are and how we perceive ourselves, others, and the world. They are a lot harder to change than preferences for utility items and consumables. That, among other things, is a basis for the reaction to Cambridge Analytica and social media, both to campaigners who used them and the targeted recipient class. I suspect both the optimism of the former and the horror of (some of) the latter greatly exceed the actual effect, especially when one considers that all major candidates use much the same techniques and the net effect likely will be small. In the US 2016 election, the shocked, but very extensive and free media coverage probably benefited Trump more, by several orders of magnitude, than any social media interventions, whether by the campaign or by the Russians, whose effort, while similar, was at least two orders of magnitude smaller.

        The alleged Russian hacking of Democratic party and campaign organizations is much more serious, although not new or particularly unusual in US politics except for being done by a foreign government. Hacking directed at government and private sector election management organizations is more serious still, and as far as I know has not been done previously in the same way, or by foreign governments. The indictments issued today, although largely symbolic, are entirely warranted, and probably should be followed up by other actions.

    5. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      "Also: how does one "affect" an election?"

      Ask the Russians apparently. And affect is the correct word.

      "How gullible do you have to be if you let random posts on the Internet affect your decision on who to vote"

      Being a US citizen it seems. After all enough of them seem to be influenced by random posts denying the reality of anthropomorphic global warming.

    6. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      How gullible do you have to be

      Having witnessed the jaw-dropping spectacle of Trump's flailing incoherence in Britain this week and heard the fact-shredding positive spin emanating from his supporters, I conclude that, far from plumbing the depths of gullibility, we are merely in the shallows: expect the insanity to get worse (or better, if that's what you voted for).

    7. oldcoder

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      The criminal act was the person requesting the criminal action.

      So far the INSTIGATOR of the criminal actions has not been charged...

    8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      "if people really are this gullible that they'd change their mind based on a random post on the Internet"

      Because not just some random post that a voter may come across on the internet. It's thousands, tens of thousands of posts all over the internet, then being reported on by the media. It's how viral marketing and "nudge policies" work. A little drip drip drip can sway people over time, especially the "don't knows". It's not new.

      1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: Shooting the messengers much?

        "A little drip drip drip can sway people over time, especially the "don't knows". It's not new."

        Indeed, those posts kept suggesting that Clinton had run an illegal email server and deleted it's contents when challenged. Obviously untrue, but left people with the impression that Hilary was dodgy. Same for those posts alleging that Hilary was no less old and doddery cf Trump. All those fake videos with coughs added. That footage of some actor fainting: fake! And after the mainstream media made much of how Trump holds onto the railing as he descends from his aeroplane: another paid actor resembling Clinton "tripping" as she boarded a plane. So fake, so obvious. Just like the lies doing the rounds that Obama deported 2.5million illegals. And all that video footage where prominent Democrats called for secure borders, the recognition of Jerusalem as Isreal's capital, all fake. But it was probably enough to convince some folk that Trump was worth a go.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Mushroom

        Re: Shooting the messengers much?

        ...versus the pervasive narrative posing as "journalism" that the vast majority of the media pushes constantly? The vast chunk of the "professional" news media are shameless party rags shilling for one particular political party. Compared to that, a few more posts on social media is nothing to get your knickers in a twist over. It doesn't even shift the needle when compared to what nonsense people are already sharing amongst themselves.

        Democrats demonstrated that they have a much larger wing nut contingent during the last election to a level that's much more embarasing if you previously identified as liberal or left or center left. You can't blame the Russians for that.

        Even if the nonsense was authored by a Russian plant, our own wing nuts willingly propagated it. At a certain point, you have to take responsibility for your own stupid. Doesn't matter if you are the DNC or some random nit wit.

    9. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      "How gullible do you have to be if you let random posts on the Internet affect your decision on who to vote for? That is the one thing I simply cannot comprehend."

      The number of people who seem to revel in the offence their political positions cause to certain other groups, and the magnifying effect of agreeing/arguing with randos on the net seems to belie that.

      Used to be you needed politics, religion or sport to start a fight. Now you can stabbed over the wrong kind of veganism* :D

      *roadkill is vegan, right?

    10. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      Also: how does one "affect" an election?

      How gullible do you have to be if you let random posts on the Internet affect your decision on who to vote for? That is the one thing I simply cannot comprehend.

      It's really not that difficult to understand. Every piece of information you encounter regarding a person or idea will have an impact on your opinion. If you encounter enough pieces of information that challenge your own views sooner or later you're going to start questioning those views. That's not gullibility. It's just the way the human mind works. And we're not talking about "a" random post on the internet. We're talking about hundreds or thousands of them. Anyone who is undecided or not strongly committed to their decision will be swayed somewhat by that. Only someone who has closed their mind to the possibility that their views might be wrong would be totally immune to that sort of influence.

      Personally I'm of the opinion that it takes a serious lack of introspection to understand this concept. I see people who say they think for themselves but immediately reject any information that challenges the ideas they've already formed, regardless of the obvious merit of the information in question, exactly as you are doing here.

      At this point it's bleedingly obvious that Russia attempted to sway the US election in favor of Trump. Even if they had zero impact - which, in my opinion, only a fool would believe - that is worrisome. They may or may not have been what made an impact in the election, but the fact that the man they wanted as US President is now President is troubling to say the least.

    11. ecofeco Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      Blah blah blah.

      Russians interfered in an election of the other superpower on earth. Do you think YOUR country is safe?

      Do you LIKE having Trump at the head of a superpower? Do you NOT realize the danger we are ALL in?

      Thank you Watson, that will be all.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Mushroom

        Re: Shooting the messengers much?

        If you are worried about the elected monarch then the pooch has already been thoroughly screwed. It's screwed because you've already subverted the system. The system is supposed to prevent th elected monarch from becoming a problem. THIS is the proper lesson to learn from the failure of the Wiemar Republic. If you think that you need to "fear men that say mean things", then you completely misunderstand history and governance.

    12. jasonbrown1965
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      "How gullible do you have to be if you let random posts on the Internet affect your decision on who to vote for?"

      Gullible enough, apparently, given the fairly close election results. Gullible, or angry enough, including an 8% black voting block that went to Trump, after being targeted with FB ads reminding them of old Clinton comments about blacks being criminal "super-predators".

      After eight years of Obama failing to do much for change we can believe in (after being left with a dinosaur-sized economic dump by Bush), there were enough people angry at failed promises to want to chuck politics into the history bin. Which is what they did.

      In doing so, they exposed a system that has been dysfunctional long before Trump, whose election just adds an orange coloured hazard light atop the whole steaming mess.

      Trump is a loathsome, racist, sexist retard, yes. But given abject failure by supposedly far more principled politicians to make an impact on what Eisenhower so famously warned about decades ago? Maybe we need to pay less attention to the messengers and much more to the message.

    13. davenewman

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      > How gullible do you have to be if you let random posts on the Internet affect your decision on who to vote for?

      There were proud boasts in detailed blog posts after the US Presidential elections claiming that their voter suppression campaigns tipped the balance against Hilary Clinton.

      The Trump campaigners did not try to get more people to vote for him. They made sure that women who might vote for Hilary Clinton saw lots of words and images attacking her. They didn't vote for Trump, but once doubt was seeded in their minds, they didn't vote at all.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        Re: Shooting the messengers much?

        > There were proud boasts in detailed blog posts after the US Presidential elections claiming that their voter suppression campaigns

        In Yankee states? Seriously? That's an epic bit of geographical and historical fail there.

    14. strum Silver badge

      Re: Shooting the messengers much?

      >So everyone else is to blame except those who wrote those e-mails, used the public channels for it and were basically caught off guard.

      It's really very simple. If an American politician conspired with a foreign power to subvert an election, that is treason (or some variety thereof). Blaming the victim is never a defence.

  2. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ
    Mushroom

    helllo shit..... the fan is that way ------>

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: "Did the Russian intervention actually swing the final outcome ?"

      Did it have to for any action to be taken?

      By that logic, there's no such thing as attempted murder, attempted assault, or conspiracy. Anything attempted is fine as long as it doesn't work out. Rob someone at gunpoint? No problem if you leave empty handed.

      Er...

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Did the Russian intervention actually swing the final outcome ?"

        Did it have to for any action to be taken?

        It is not the action itself, it is the proportionality of the action. So far, whatever has been shown as Russia's doing is a laughable fraction of what USA does to them and the rest of the world.

        It looks like the playground bully throwing a tantrum after the smaller kids have turned the table on him.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: anonymous coward

          > the smaller kids

          > Russia

          Lol.

          C.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

              Re: Voyna i Mor

              Really, it doesn't matter the size of the economy - Russia has the means to cause mischief globally, and it is.

              As it says in the article, whether or not the emails really made people change their minds in the voting booths is up to you. It doesn't matter if the attempt to swing it failed, and that Donald Trump won every vote fair and square.

              If you think Americans should sit back and not even prosecute those responsible for infiltrating and attempting to meddle with a presidential campaign, you have my sympathies. I feel sorry for you.

              I have a feeling people protesting this indictment are scared it may undermine their choice for the White House. It's cowardice. It shouldn't be about Trump v Hillary. it should be about Kremlin v West.

              C.

              1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

                Re: may undermine their choice for the White House

                Last year when half the commentards were calling Trump a corrupt spoiled brat who couldn't pay his bills supporters would leap to his defence. Do the same today and you barely scrape two down votes. Last year when commentards mentioned Russia doing something naughty there would be prompt replies saying "what about ..." Do the same today and the what-abouters are still here.

              2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

                Kremlin v West.

                https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trump-putin-summit-latest-helsinki-a8447671.html

                “The Kremlin views Trump for what he is – a moron to take advantage of, a novice to be played,” he added.

                “They want him to bulldoze his way through Western security institutions. They want him to create power vacuums that Russia then can fill.”

              3. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

                Re: Voyna i Mor

                "If you think Americans should sit back and not even prosecute those responsible for infiltrating and attempting to meddle with a presidential campaign, you have my sympathies. I feel sorry for you."

                a point that many people are forgetting is that Clinton was legally using a private email server and when she was found out by the authorities, who warned her they were coming to take away the server to examine the emails, deleted thousands of emails off the server, many of which could not be recovered.

                One of the reasons the people in government are to only use government servers for email is so that the contents of the emails are secure form people like, lets say Russian hackers, but also to go some way preventing corruption, which makes you wonder what the content of the deleted emails were?

                Clinton should have been prosecuted for her illegal server, but the only reasons I can think of why she wasn't, was the bloke who decides if she was to be prosecuted or not was running his own private email server. Did Clinton know this? Maybe Clinton's missing emails would show that she knew and he knew that she knew and was therefore the reason for the heads up.

                the 2016 elections was always going to be a clusterfuck... you had two candidates that nobody wanted, another that cooks bacon on an AR15, and another who asked what "an Allepo is", with the last two, trump appeared very electable....

                with future candidates like Jay Zee and Dwayne Johnston, America may have trump for 4 additional years.....

            2. eldakka Silver badge

              Re: anonymous coward

              > They really are not much of a threat. That's why the Germans are so unenthusiastic about spending money on defence. Against what?

              Doesn't matter. It's still a case of the Germans wanting cake, just like many in the EU claim of the British with a soft brexit. NATO is a treaty, and part of that treaty says you will spend at least 2% on defence. End of story.

              Germany are perfectly within their rights to say that they don't perceive any threat to them that justifies spending 2%, but not while staying in NATO as it exists today. Not spending 2% or more on defence is a case of wanting the mutual defence benefits of being in NATO, without paying your share.

              They either need to meet their treaty obligations of 2%, or get the NATO treaty adjusted to a lower minimum spending, or leave NATO.

              1. strum Silver badge

                Re: anonymous coward

                >NATO is a treaty, and part of that treaty says you will spend at least 2% on defence.

                No it doesn't. End of story.

      2. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: "Did the Russian intervention actually swing the final outcome ?"

        The possibility that the Russian dirty tricks affected the election outcome is relevant because some fraction of the unhappy Democrats never will think otherwise, despite the fact that its probability is vanishingly small and impossible to determine anyhow. The claim will continue to be made at least through the lifetime of people born before 1995 or so.

        It certainly is worth doing something about it, but indicting Russia-based GRU officers and employees seems a pretty anemic something indeed. Unfortunately, beyond strengthening computer network defenses and educating voters (who constitute a vast sea of deep political ignorance and apathy) and campaign and election phishing targets, nothing else is likely to have much effect. Educating voters is, for the most part, a lost cause, since it would require a significant uncompensated effort on their part and most of them are uninterested or they would have learned much of it in secondary school history and civics classes. Hardening the computers, networks, and users is well known to anyone in IT security to be a hard problem in which a single misstep can bring disaster.

        1. DanceMan
          Thumb Up

          Re: "a vast sea of deep political ignorance and apathy"

          Upvoted for this.

      3. Stork Bronze badge

        Re: "Did the Russian intervention actually swing the final outcome ?"

        I think the _really_ interesting thing is if there was collusion, which the article seems to indicate.

        Trying to influence other countries, ho-hum. Working with foreigners trying to do that, there's something

    2. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: Society Seems To Be Fragmeting or Declining in Standards

      Or both. It goes well beyond the politicians.

      When the "authorities" such as the Police, legal aid funded Lawyers, Social Services, Council Leaders, the Judiciary themselves start ( continue to) lie then it is indeed a slippery and corrupt slope.

      On other conduct, it appears fine for Khan the Mayor of London to lead calls for a derogatory blimp of Trump to be used, and yet when Fabricant (et al) respond in kind , with only a cartoon blimp of Khan, then all hell breaks loose.

      1. Roo
        Windows

        Re: Society Seems To Be Fragmeting or Declining in Standards

        "it appears fine for Khan the Mayor of London to lead calls for a derogatory blimp of Trump to be used"

        That is a blatant lie, protesters led the calls for the blimp to be used. The Lord Mayor of London simply granted permission for the protest to go ahead having being asked permission.

        Blimps flying lawfully in London is small beer... Trump is cool with terrorists driving cars into crowds as protest, inciting lynching at his political rallies and taking a pop at folks because they are Muslim (including servicemen who gave their lives so that he could continue to be a fat self serving draft dodging racist).

        The attacks on the Lord Mayor from Trump and his pals consist of bullshit garnished with innuendo, none of it stacks up to daylight scrutiny. As a punter I have to look at the track record of these folks to work out what their problem with the Mayor is, and I don't have to look too far to see that they have a *public* track record of discriminating against Muslims, denigrating Muslims and pushing Muslims around.

        There are legit complaints against the Lord Mayor of London, I am just not seeing any in this faux outrage over a satirical blimp. :(

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Society Seems To Be Fragmeting or Declining in Standards

        On other conduct, it appears fine for Khan the Mayor of London to lead calls for a derogatory blimp of Trump to be used

        Khan did nothing of the sort, the protesters applied for permission to fly the blimp over Parliament Square, as have hundreds of other people this year. Their application was in order, the safety certificates were correct, and Khan quite rightly said that his role is not to decide whether it is a tasteful protest, just whether it is a legal one.

        Of course that means Khan is fair game to be shown being fucked in the ass by an inflatable pig, that's not at all religious hate speech....

    3. NerryTutkins

      Re: Society Seems To Be Fragmeting or Declining in Standards

      I see this a lot. People seem to think that there might have been some underhand stuff going on, see clear evidence it was funded heavily by countries that are clearly not friendly, and yet are convinced that it probably had no effect. Because it didn't change their minds.

      But in important political decisions such as the US presidential race, or the Brexit vote, both of which were very close, it's clear that a marginal effect could easily be the difference between it going one way or the other.

      It's like the "350m for the NHS" claim. It was preposterous of course, but it was painted on the side of the bus because the campaign had done their research and knew that there were people who would believe it, and it would pull in more votes than dry claims about signing new trade deals. Yet now, you never find anyone who will admit to believing it, or that it had any effect on their vote. Part of that is because the campaign disowned it the very next day, and basically said that it was obviously a meaningless promise and that only an idiot could have believed they really would save all that money and spend it on the NHS. And so the idiots who did believe it kept quiet so as not to admit to being idiots. Genius campaigning when you think about it.

      But the fact remains - if politicians were conspiring with enemy countries to subvert democratic votes, then that most certainly needs to be punished regardless of whether you can prove it had any effect (which it almost certainly did). Otherwise it's like a sprinter getting caught taking steroids but insisting it had no effect on the end result, because he would have won anyway, and the steroids effect would have been less than the margin of victory. It's simply impossible to know that.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Society Seems To Be Fragmeting or Declining in Standards

        But in important political decisions such as the US presidential race, or the Brexit vote, both of which were very close, it's clear that a marginal effect could easily be the difference between it going one way or the other.

        Then pointing fingers at "influencers" is just another way of saying "it didn't go MY way" by bringing up one cause but conveniently forgetting others - the complete disdain a candidate evokes, people staying home for the vote, a general desire for taking a chance, any chance for change, etc.

        1. Schultz

          For democracy to work...

          there should be a level playing file for all participants / parties. If one team cheats, they should be persecuted to protect the democratic process. This is not because you believe the right or wrong party won, but because you believe in democracy!

          Some Russian operatives tried to cheat - go get them and try to make sure this won't happen again. This should be a no-brainer for anyone believing in the democratic process, right up there with the need to accept the outcome of a democratic election even if you don't personally like it.

          1. tom dial Silver badge

            Re: For democracy to work...

            Russian cheating can be put in one of two categories: illegal as such, and illegal only because they are not American. What Russian intelligence officers are alleged to have done in Friday's indictment falls under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and would be equally illegal if done by Americans. Those activities are illegal as such. Posting targeted ads on Facebook or Google, or tweets from false identities, may conflict with Facebook, Google, or Twitter terms of service, but generally is protected by the First Amendment for US citizens and legal residents and cannot be made illegal for them. The first amendment has exceptions and limitations, however, that may render some of that illegal in general (in violation of campaign finance law, for instance) and some illegal when done by foreigners, including Russians.

            That said, all the alleged activities, both those listed in the Mueller's several indictments directed at Russian nationals and those (so far) only the subject of Congressional and media opprobrium, fall well within the American political tradition, in which political campaigning is not covered by a universally established set of rules and is not always gentlemanly.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
            Megaphone

            Re: Society Seems To Be Fragmeting or Declining in Standards

            "the £350million per week not going to the EU, everyone knew it was metaphorical."

            Bullshit was it. It was a direct statement of alleged fact that had no basis in reality. In any other sphere that would be false advertising at best and fraud at worst. I'll call it what it was; bullshit propaganda and lies.

            "People in the UK were either severely affected by the EU policies"

            Care to name one that's actually factual, or are you going to go on about the shape of bananas, the colour of your passport or how lenient we have to be on prison inmates? All of which are bullshit lies too.

            "People wanted change - and they voted accordingly."

            Yeah, that's right, democracy at work! The people voted for Boaty McBoatface too and they didn't get that because....drum roll...it was a referendum, advisory and not politically binding.

            "For Brexit, the brexit bus could have said everyone gets a free corn fed chicken at Christmas, and people will still have voted to leave"

            This much is true, because stupid is as stupid does. Also, I hope you look forward to your corn-fed chicken coming freshly bleached from the U.S.

          2. Mike Timbers

            Re: Society Seems To Be Fragmeting or Declining in Standards

            "I agree - for Brexit here in the UK, the £350million per week not going to the EU, everyone knew it was metaphorical."

            Really? Everyone knew?

            I think there were huge numbers of people who believed WHAT WAS WRITTEN ON THE FECKING BUS!

            I meet large numbers of people who believe only the politicians on "the other side" lie, that everything in their preferred paper is gospel, that life is unfair to them but not to those other bastards who get everything on a plate.

            Anyone who thinks the masses are anything other than misinformed bigots is either a misinformed bigot or smoking better drugs than me.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Brexit bus disowned next day

        Which next day was the £350M/week for the NHS promise was disowned? I cannot find any disclaimer from when the bus started driving around. Farage waited until after the result was announced. Boris was still defending it in January of this year. Perhaps our local Brexit commenters would like to provide a link to when a major Leave campaigner first admitted that the campaign promise ridiculous. I talked with people right up to the day of the vote who could not believe something a politician would have painted on the side of a big red was obvious lie. The lie got votes.

        So far Leave commenters have yet to point out a single benefit to me that they expect to get negotiated. I will happily continue to poor scorn on any long term Brexiteer commenter here who cannot point to one of their own comments vigorously excoriating the £350M/week pledge before the referendum. Leavers without such comment were either complicit it in the lie or too ignorant to express an informative opinion.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Brexit bus disowned next day

          The lie got votes.

          Unfortunately that works in reverse too.

          Remain lied every bit (at least I HOPE they were lies, rather than incompetence which is really the only alternative) as much as Leave. What happend to immediate A50? The punishment budget? The soraring interest rates, crashing housing market, deep recession, run on the pound, and decimated stock markets that were predicted and capaigned upon by Remain? Literally not one single Remainer economic prediction came true, which is a problem, because that was the core of their campaign.

          Remain could have ran a positive campaign on the actual benefits of EU membership, rooted in fact, rather than a negative campaign based on lies. But they didn't. In my view, that was a massive own goal, and deeply regrettable. In the vanishingly unlikely event of any re-run referendum now, or on rejoining in the future, they're going to have to construct an entirely new campaign - because literally none of it was in anyway true last time out of the gate. Most remainers STILL seem to think that no trade deal with rEU means no trade, which is so deeply wrong as to be terminally stupid.

          Next time, lets hopefully have a positive vision? Project Fear might work on the Scots (both referendums), but it's never worked on the English. And any campaign is going to need to in order to win the day.

          There's 4 "indivisible freedoms" according to the EU. Why not campaign on those? Remain tried very hard to ignore immigration (freedom of movement) instead of illustrating the benefits it brings. Work/retire abroad, young skilled workers to help us compete globally etc. The City have done rather well at capitalising on freedom of capital movement - at least since Cameron sued and won at the ECJ to be able to clear Euro trades outside the Euro area; and it is the City that pays for the budget of the NHS AND education in this country. Has free movement of goods done nothing to help supply chains? (Balance of payments IS important but it's not everything).

          I could continue, but hopefully the direction and message is clear - Remain should have campaigned positively and truthfully, but didn't, however they still need to start expressing some positives about close ties to the rEU once we leave, because the positive ties to America (economically at least) speak for themselves (incumbent Presidents are all transient).

          Did Leave lie every bit as much as Remain? Absolutely. But lets not pretend it isn't a two way street, because that is simply ignorance and wishful thinking. JFK was elected because he had a solid and reasonably true positive campaign, where his rivals didn't.

          1. Roo
            Windows

            Re: Brexit bus disowned next day

            "Remain could have ran a positive campaign on the actual benefits of EU membership, rooted in fact, rather than a negative campaign based on lies. But they didn't. In my view, that was a massive own goal, and deeply regrettable."

            The Remain campaign did in fact campaign on the benefits, such as freedom of movement, freedom of trade within one of the worlds largest markets, the ability to shape the legislation and policy from within the EU, etc.. These benefits were discounted as part of "Project Fear" by those lovely gentlemen who spent so much time in the company of Putin's henchmen, and that cry was shouted loudly every single time the benefits were mentioned.

            The Brexiteers tell us that they want to have their cake and eat it. The cake is a lie.

      3. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Society Seems To Be Fragmeting or Declining in Standards

        In the context of about $1,200 million (about 2/3 of it by the Democrats) the $few million the Russians spent hardly constitutes heavy funding. It was a piss in the ocean, and probably had a comparable effect.

        By the time the great leakages hit, nearly everyone who ever had cared had become jaded and probably the only ones who paid it any mind were the newspersons who earn their living by stirring up controversy. The Democrats, except for the small number of Bernicrats who finally went for Jill Stein, gritted their teeth and slogged on. The Republicans, for the most part, simply received another confirmation that Hillary was the devil incarnate, which they already knew well enough anyhow; Those still capable of thought were deciding whether to pinch their noses and vote for Trump or flip and vote for Gary Johnson (or Evan McMullin here in Utah). Voting for Clinton, for nearly all of them, did not exist as an alternative.

        I'm all for naming the names and laying criminal charges on the perpetrators, just as if they were home-grown and did the same thing. But the thought that they actually will be tried, or that they will be deterred from doing the same, more or less, in the future, is pretty much rubbish and everybody should recognize that.

      4. strum Silver badge

        Re: Society Seems To Be Fragmeting or Declining in Standards

        > it's like a sprinter getting caught taking steroids but insisting it had no effect on the end result,

        Excellent analogy.

  4. tom dial Silver badge

    There is quite a lot of detail in the indictment, suggesting that the FBI, CIA, and NSA all were quite busy on this during the period. That also is consistent with months-old reports that the FBI had informed the DNC of hacking from November or December 2015 and had been pretty much ignored.

    I thought two things especially interesting. First, the government claims to know a lot about GRU leased servers in Arizona and Illinois, almost enough to suggest that it was watching the activity; it is to be hoped that they had a warrant if that was the case. Second, the indictment emphasizes again, and in detail, the utter cluelessness of people in the various Democratic Party organizations about IT security given the fact that they were warned well ahead of time.

    One other interesting item that may be a hint of things to come is basing money-laundering charges on use of Bitcoin for payment. We might well hope that such will not become the norm. The other charges - CFAA and conspiracy - are about what we might expect for such activities.

    In view of the people indicted I do not expect any of this to come to trial, although Russian GRU staff, if caught outside of Russia and convicted could be a useful commodity.

    1. tentimes

      "One other interesting item that may be a hint of things to come is basing money-laundering charges on use of Bitcoin for payment. We might well hope that such will not become the norm."

      Apart from buying drugs and money laundering, what other uses are there for bitcoin? Are any of them on the same level as drugs and money laundering? I doubt it.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Devil

        "Apart from buying drugs and money laundering, what other uses are there for bitcoin? "

        The CIA uses bitcoin now?

    2. JEDIDIAH
      Holmes

      Too true.

      I found the level of detail in all of this to be rather peculiar. We can nail down what was supposedly a foreign intelligence operation to the point where we can try and indict what are basically a bunch of CIA/KGB agents. This sounds like a more robust investigation/evidence than what might occur for some domestic organized crime bust.

  5. Halcin

    Gullible?

    Are peeps gullible enough to believe one fake news? Prolly not. But then this misses the points. The hard part to understand is plurality. It's not just one story that convinces people.

    Make a lie simple, and repeat it enough times and peeps will begin to believe - there's no smoke without fire.

    Then there's confirmation bias. Peeps are more inclined to believe stories about $the_opposition.

    Echo Chamber. Peeps only pay attention to anything that supports their view. And will ignore those that challenge their world view.

    It's the constant drip, drip, drip: Oh look he/she/their are at "it" again. And there's fatigue, peeps simply get tired banging their heads against a seemingly unbreakable able wall.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Gullible?

      "Are peeps gullible enough to believe one fake news? Prolly not"

      Only 73% of Americans believe in climate change. That's largely due to fake news.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Mushroom

        Re: Gullible?

        Believing that we're fucked is one thing. Believing that we are powerful enough to done it to ourselves is another. This doesn't even get into the question of whether or not we can do anything to stop it.

        Beyond all of that, there is the very obvious question of "Why do you littering gits need an armageddon narrative to start doing the right thing and 'leave no trace'? ". Not that the armageddon narrative helps, you still trash any place you have a large gathering.

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Gullible?

      Confirmation bias: the tendency to believe things that are consistent with what one believes already. Most of the Facebook and Twitter rubbish in what the House Democrats released fit the definition pretty well.

      Otherwise pretty much on the mark. Repetition gives the appearance of truth, and origin from a source believed to have been truthful in the past gives the appearance of certain truth.

  6. tekHedd

    Scary trump pic, or is it?

    The truly scary thing about this article is that the attached stock photo is actually a fairly flattering picture of Trump, relatively speaking.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Scary trump pic, or is it?

      May be Putin will slip Trump an envelope with copies of photographs taken in Moscow...

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Scary trump pic, or is it?

        That envelope will obviously be tainted with some [redacted]

        Now if Putin played Golf.

        IMHO, it is clear that Trump only came here for two things.

        1 - To be seen with the Queen (didn't Mrs T look awful in that suit???)

        2 - To play Golf to while away the time between meeting Merkel and Putin.

        Next week, there will be another crisis and where will the POTUS be? Oh yes, playing Golf. Between Twitter and Golf sort of sums him up perfectly.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    [...] and up with this we will not put."

    Very Churchillian.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This gets funnier and funnier. I'm sure there is one hell of a party at the FSB HQ tonight. Hillarys email server was the GRU operation (it was nt even hacking as the server was network naked for the first few months after she became SecState) and the DNC server was a FSB operation (a trivial hack). According to the filtered noise about the subject of who did what to whom. And when.

    The only open question about who had access to Hillarys email server, and States network and a big chunk of the WH one too, was who were the other four countries who also compromised her email server. Apart from the GRU that is. PRC, Israel and Cuba seem like the first three but my money would be Iran for the fourth spot. PRK maybe. The WH shoveling billions at Iran in airplanes in the middle of night might now be explained.

    What was interesting about the FSB operation with the DNC server was just who they leaked information about in the election run up. Lots of juicy stuff but nothing directly about Hillary. They were keeping that for after she won the election. It was not just the BBC et al who were surprised she lost. The Russians were too it seems. The FSB operation was shaped so as to keep all the really compromising stuff secret until Hillary was safely in the WH when it could be used for maximum leverage.

    Thats how these games are played. No point leaking the good stuff if it can be used to better effect later on when the target is in power.

    In the end we will only find out most of the details when the memoirs come out in a few decades and can disentangle all the XX ops by all sides that are deliberately muddying the water. Just as it always is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The WH shoveling billions at Iran in airplanes in the middle of night might now be explained.

      Seriously, LOLWUT? If this were real, it would be "on the table" by now, in a big way.

    2. Schultz

      "Thats how these games are played."

      @OP, are any of your claims actual facts, or do you just play the game of 'spot what I just made up' for your entertainment'? Hillary Clinton was I the limelight for decades, you can bet that countless hours of research went into finding any possible dirt on her in the run-up to the elections, so why do you claim there is (some handwaving now) some mysterious unknown juicy evil stuff on Hillary waiting to be discovered?

      In dubio pro reo, so I'll assume the OP is not a paid shill for the GRU. Or (some handwaving again) is he?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: "Thats how these games are played."

        Well let's assume he's right and the Russians found some heretofore undiscovered stuff on Hillary they planned to unleash or use as leverage after she won the election. Wouldn't it be smart to have a backup plan and also find some stuff on Trump to unleash or use as leverage should he win the election?

        Trump says negative things about every single world leader, save one. Even his staunchest defenders can't come up with a reasonable explanation for why he can trash the leaders of allies like Canada, the UK and Germany but never say anything but good things about the leader of a country that is not necessarily an 'enemy', sure isn't an ally of the US and western governments in general.

        It would also be 1000x easier to find undiscovered dirt on Trump than on Hillary, since she's been scrutinized for 25 years, while Trump had really only been scrutinized for less than one prior to election day. There's a ton of dirt from his business dealings out there, much of which undoubtedly Mueller has dug up but if the Russians ever hacked into Trump HQ's email they'd have a lot of dirt about him. He didn't use email, but his statements, decisions, financial details etc. would be in emails between his subordinates, and outside partners/agencies.

      2. strum Silver badge

        Re: "Thats how these games are played."

        >Hillary Clinton was I the limelight for decades, you can bet that countless hours of research went into finding any possible dirt on her in the run-up to the elections

        Not just in the run-up to the elections. Kenneth Starr spent $40M and lots of time and energy, investigating HC's involvement in Whitewater - and found absolutely nothing (the blue dress was an accidental bonus. The GOP had it in for Hillary, far more than for Bill.)

    3. ecofeco Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Red card. Improper use of icon.

      This is the correct one for your post. ------------------------------------->

    4. IndependentScotland

      My bet would be China and UK as opposed to Cuba and Iran(are you serious)

  9. Teiwaz Silver badge

    What difference did Russia allegedly make?

    Politicians are intent on putting spin, lying, putting out fake news, borderline slander and generally egging on the worst instincts of society in order to win.

    When there is no interest in the truth or sensible cooperative discussion to sort out issues and they rely on bribes and promises they don't intend to keep to get into office.

    Russia are no saints, but they've done this because the western political systems are so corrupt and broken now. Their own population is led around by fake news and slanted reports.

    Or is only okay to carry on when it's the native government deceiving the people and not when a foreign power sticks it's oar in.

    Basically, I think it wouldn't have happened, couldn't have happened had the politicians of the country in question had not sunk to the lowest in their desperate morally bankrupt race to get in at all costs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What difference did Russia allegedly make?

      Exactly.

      Many would like the public to believe that Hillary Clinton lost the election because of Russian interference though that is just denial of reality. The fact of the matter is the U.S. populace was tired of the criminal career DC politicians destroying America. The silent majority demanded change and Trump was the only candidate with the vision to shake up the establishment. Don't hold your breath waiting for the Russian hackers to be prosecuted.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: What difference did Russia allegedly make?

        The silent majority demanded change and Trump was the only [other] candidate. With the vision to shake up the establishment? Don't hold your breath.

        FTFY

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: What difference did Russia allegedly make?

          There has been a 3 way split since the Revolution.

          If you are one of the established political parties, you can depend on your own partisans. You can write off the other partisans. What's left is the middle. You have to convince people that don't drink your brand of Kool-Aid to vote for you. You also have to excite your own partisans more than the other camp does.

          The Dems annointed someone with the juice associated with being married to a past president. This someone was hated by the other partisan tribe. The whole mess with Bernie split the ticket, annoyed their base, and alienated the center.

          Meanwhile, fundies were rightly focusing on future supreme court nominations rather than the libertine character of Trump.

      2. DryBones
        Mushroom

        Re: What difference did Russia allegedly make?

        Oh, there's likely a lot of reasons Hillary lost. Russian interference. Faux News, AM radio... The things you read and hear. I have heard some of them in person, and most all of their sources are Hannity, Facebook, and far right "news" sites that would make The Onion sit back and go "dayum".

        Trump, vision? He was a huckster running a con, throwing out lie after exaggeration after untruth. There were plenty of previews and warnings about him being a boor, about narcissism, about being of poor moral character and untrustworthy in business (ask his contractors). Nope, he's our guy! Better than Hillary!

        After all of the norms and manners and established processes that have been tried and ironed out have been broken and thrown out... All the things that have made me hope parents shield their children from knowing Trump exists (because how are they going to teach their children to be decent human beings if they see this person behaving with such rudeness and immaturity that holds our highest office?)... All of the Republicans in Congress that seem so desperate to paint a handful of text messages as more important than mountains of evidence that Russia has had its fingers on the scales of our elections... You'd think they're afraid it's going to be proved that Trump IS illegitimate.

        ... But Hillary...! Sorry, Republicans need to sit down and shut the f up. We humored them for Benghazi for longer and they found nothing. Muller is finding lots of things, so they need to let him work instead of acting like a conspiracy to obstruct justice.

      3. DougS Silver badge

        Re: What difference did Russia allegedly make?

        The fact Hillary was the ultimate insider, ran a poor campaign, made tactical mistakes etc. etc. doesn't mean that Russian interference didn't help - or provide just enough push for her to lose. She lost three states by a combined 100K or 150K votes or so - Michigan by barely 10K, that had she won would have made her president. One can claim she "deserved to lose" but one could easily make the same claim about Trump. Unfortunately one of them had to win, had there been a viable third alternative it would have been an easy choice for many people over these two deeply flawed and not particularly likeable candidates.

        The Russian hacking and drip drip drip release of her emails - timed (whether in collusion with Trump officials or by their own plans) exactly to take the focus off Trump controversies like the pussy grabbing tape, or (hoped for) positive publicity like the convention, wouldn't have to keep that many would be Clinton voters deciding to stay home to have made a difference. Obviously we'll never know, but to claim it is impossible that Russia's interference didn't provide that boost Trump needed to win is as ridiculous as to claim that it was definitely responsible. We can't know, but it didn't need to swing that many votes to change the outcome.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Mushroom

          Re: What difference did Russia allegedly make?

          Sure. The fact that she did everything wrong doesn't mean she isn't responsible. Do you even hear yourself. Any you gits wonder why you alienate people that have voted for Democrats for decades.

  10. bobajob12

    Close, but too early to say how close

    (Long post, I apologize. TL;DR version is: hoping that Russians too careful, and Trump campaign too stupid, to collude, but former used the latter as useful idiots. Fear that it'll be worse.)

    We should separate the acts of a hostile regime from those of a party election committee. Russia has a national agenda set by Putin. It is, loosely, to regain Russian prestige as a global superpower and not fade away into a giant country with a third-rate economy. To that end, their MO is to destabilize and delegitimize Western institutions like NATO and the EU. I really hope they fail, but I am not remotely surprised that they are trying - and while many attacks will be extremely subtle (the FSB are world-class experts at espionage, psyops etc) frankly it's on us if our systems, the quality of our public discourse and the critical thinking skills of our citizenry are so weak as to be fooled by some of their attempts.

    The critical missing piece is whether elements in our polity knowingly assisted the Russians in their efforts. Hillary Clinton is such a divisive figure in US politics that she could have lost the election without needing any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. You could go so far as to say that discovering Russian collusion with Trump would be a terrible outcome for the Democratic party because it would absolve them of the need to do serious introspection as to why they lost (as opposed to the easy, "we lost 'cos Trump was cheating with the Russians' help").

    Now the Russians have long had experience of "useful idiots" and "fellow travelers" that they can use as force multipliers in operations. Normally I would say that the Trump campaign would fall into this camp. The Russians saw his momentum, realized Trump's appeal and his lack of talent, and realized what an opportunity they had. None of their success *required* them to explicitly collude with the Trump campaign.

    But. A Big But. The Trump campaign was so full of grifters, eager-to-please in-laws, ambitious climbers and so on with absolutely zero experience in recognizing manipulation, psych games and so on that they could, and quite likely, *did* meet with various people linked to Russia. Probably not some FSB colonel with three gold stars (the Russians would never risk compromise) but people with some linkage back to the Motherland.

    1. Screwed

      Re: Close, but too early to say how close

      "Now the Russians have long had experience of "useful idiots" ..." brings to mind:

      Life with an Idiot (Russian: Жизнь с идиотом, Zhizn s idiotom ) is an opera by the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke to a Russian libretto by Viktor Erofeyev. An allegory of Soviet oppression,[1] the opera was first performed at Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam, on 13 April 1992.

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Close, but too early to say how close

      Useful idiots indeed, starting with Donald Trump Jr., who leaped eagerly at offer by Russians of compromising material about Clinton; George Papadopolous, trying to arrange meetings with Putin and release of DNC emails and bragging about it to the ambassador of an allied country; Carter Page, apparently on the make largely for his own benefit, with no attention to appearances; Michael Flynn, similarly inattentive to appearances and unable to wait until after the inauguration to talk to Russian officials about policy and lying about it to the FBI; and Jared Kushner, arguably the best of the lot, yet too naive to squash the little Donald's meeting and trying to arrange communication with the Russians secure from the US government. They are, and were second, third, and fourth rate political amateurs all, less competent and sophisticated than Chicago aldermen, ward leaders, and precinct captains in the Daley machine of the 1950s and 1960s. A competent political manager would have kept all of them on a short leash or not had them on staff at all.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps Russia should indict a bunch of US and UK spooks for promoting and pushing opposition parties in Russia.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Russia has viable opposition parties?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did they include the Ham Sandwich in the indictments?

  13. Tchou

    Strange how some people that expose politicians can be good or bad guys depending how one cloth them

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Jean+T-shirt, suit and tie, evening dress and wellies all the same to me. I judge by results.

      While secretary of state Hilary used private e-mail server, which was against the rules at the time and should have led to a severe reprimand from ... the secretary of state. A bunch of Russians allegedly nick an publish thousands of e-mails, but none of them are grounds for a conviction. Nothing new exposed.

      Trump publicly asks the Russians to break the law to help him win an election. A bunch of Russians get indicted for nicking thousands of emails but we already knew the Trump campaign had strong Russian connections so nothing new exposed.

      Dress them how you like, they are complete failures who got caught.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't make any difference

    Trump could be caught with big bag of Rubles marked "Loot from your bestie; Vlad" under his bed.

    His history and subsequent behaviour is so irrational and erratic that no one could unravel the shit storm that is him.

    He will continue.

    The best hope reasonable people now have is that he will be a one termer.

    - Wonko the Great

  15. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    I bet the democrats

    are now wishing they didnt field a political crook as a presidential candidate, poor Berny, he would have made a good well balanced POTUS

    Whether Russia are involved is kinda irrelevant when your basis of reality is pivoted to your own ego and hubris

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: I bet the democrats

      I think after any election loss the losing party second guesses their choices. If McCain hadn't chosen Palin as his running mate in 2008 I would have voted for him, but that told me he'd completely sold his soul to the right wing nut job fringe. Would there be enough people of like mind to have swung the election his way, who knows, but the people who were excited about Palin were still going to vote for McCain over Obama, so it was a politically stupid move.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: I bet the democrats

        Not sure about that really. I am not convinced that the GOP honestly examined their screw up with Palin any more than Democrats at large are willing to admit that Hillary screwed the pooch.

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: I bet the democrats

      No, we don't want a bunch of foreigners with motives we should not trust mucking about in our elections whether or not the parties put up decent candidates.

      Agreed about Sanders, though; I probably would have voted for him as a Democrat, instead of Gary Johnson or Evan McMullin.

  16. mildy bemused

    If voting systems are hacked and the count altered, what does a democracy do?

    I believe that the other shoe is yest to fall and we will find out that computers used in the voting system - the voting machines and the computers used to collate the votes - were compromised.

    Kieren McCarthy's October 2017 article "US voting server in election security probe is mysteriously wiped" https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/26/voting_server_georgia_wiped/ talks about an incident with one voting system.

    Bruce Schneier's blog post "Hacking and the 2016 Presidential Election" https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/11/hacking_and_the.html adds the perspective that evidence might indicate that by targeting systems in key states the electoral college vote was tipped in favour of Trump (potentially explaining why Clinton won the popular vote by a huge margin),

    And there is Matt Blaze's testimony to Congress https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Blaze-UPenn-Statement-Voting-Machines-11-29.pdf. In his wrap-up he says:

    "In summary, the architecture of current electronic voting systems, especially those based on DRE voting machines, makes disruption attacks especially attractive to adversaries and difficult to effectively prevent. These systems can give hostile state actor s inter est ed in disruption an even easier task than that facing corrupt candi date s seeking to steal even a small local office. And the consequences of election disruption strike at the very heart of our national democracy."

    I'd further argue that it is particularly difficult to detect especially if the practice of wiping systems as described in Kieren's article is common.

    But the real issue is this: if the voting systems are hacked and the results altered, what does a democracy do? This is a question not just for the US, but perhaps for other countries. Brexit?

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: If voting systems are hacked and the count altered, what does a democracy do?

      Those considerations are exactly why we ought to revert to systems that are transparent or can be made so after the fact, for which the most efficient solution almost surely is hand marked paper ballots, counted by machine, maybe, for quick results, audited by hand on a sample basis and, if discrepancies are found, recounted in full by multiparty teams.

      There still will be issues - hanging chads are a bad memory from the 2000 election, and various techniques are known and were used somewhat commonly for a century or more before voting machines came into use. Ultimately, the questions that come up are decidable, however, and the real constraint is legal requirements for certification of results, for instance before the required date for electoral college action on a president and vice president, or date of inauguration or legislative organization. The latter are not always fixed: Al Franken, for example, was not determined to be the Senator-elect from Minnesota until June 30, 2009, nearly six months after organization of the 111th Congress to which he was elected.

      As far as I can tell, the primary beneficiaries of voting machine use are the manufacturers and the TV news media, who can report many or most results on the 10 or 11 PM news election night.

  17. DemeterLast

    Politics 101

    The concept is so common it's almost a cliche in America: when you want to illegally collude with a foreign government, you do so explicitly at public rallies where cameras are rolling and the press is in attendance. This gives you the ultimate alibi, because nobody would believe that you organized a coordinated attack live and in real time over broadcast news. Why bother with cut-outs and bagmen when you can just directly communicate with your co-conspirators on the TV?

    For my brethren and sisteren across the pond, y'all have the wrong end of the stick here. After some 70 years of hot and cold war, America and Russia have found they have more in common than otherwise. We're coming up on 30 years since the Big Red Menace became just another mostly stable semi-corrupt nation. The U.S. is rapidly running out of money to spend and fucks to give in overseas adventurism. Trump is a lot of things - some good, some bad - but primarily he is indicative of a new wave of American politics that is weary of the old order.

    According to all news sources available to the average American citizen, the entire world hates the U.S. with a suicidal passion. This conflicts with the average American citizen's awareness that every shitkicker from the rest of the third world wants to come here and stay. Not many people can relate to being the most hated prom queen in history, but that's more or less how Americans see themselves on the world stage. (The former candidate for this role was the British Empire. Did you you want to talk about the Falklands?)

    Where my friends in Blighty gripped the wrong stick-end is how we feel about Russia these days. We don't have the same fright of Russians circa 1983. Russians are looking out for their own interests. This is understandable, and when their interests intersect our own, we're in favor of them. We are completely confounded by England and the British Isles succumbing to an outside authority.

    (This confusion is entirely explained by our 2nd Amendment. When your rights are abused, shooting the jackhole what abused them is the only scalable means that works.)

    1. Homeboy

      Re: Politics 101

      Looking from the British side of the pond I (mostly) agree with you.

      I find it amazing that anyone is surprised by the fact that Russian spies....spy. It's what they do, it's what they always do and they've been doing it to everyone for years. You only have to look back through British history and you'll find names like Philby, Burgess and McClean who were senior British intelligence agents...spying for the Russians (USSR in those days). From time to time we still see Russia "diplomats" expelled for various activities "incompatible with their status" i.e. they've been caught spying.

      Its still going on in the US, look up the "Illegals Program" which caught a group of Russian sleepers/spies in the US and resulted in a prisoner exchange with Russia in July 2010

      To spend umpteen millions on a total time wasting witch hunt run by a Democrat with a team of bitter Democrat lawyers to find out, gasp!, that spies spy is ridiculous. They spy on everyone all the time....especially if the targets run a server with zero security.

      We don't want a war.You don't want a war. Russia doesn't want a war. The only person that does appears to be the defeated, bitter Clinton. Time to move on.

  18. james7byrne

    poor security

    If the russians hacked this in one day, what does that say about Hillary. She sure picked a poor IT firm to setup her server. If the Russians hacked this on one day, so did everyone else.

    1. Homeboy

      Re: poor security

      I think the total lack of security on her "home brew" server is well known. For example Podesta's password was "pas$word" - not exactly bombproof is it?

    2. strum Silver badge

      Re: poor security

      >If the russians hacked this in one day, what does that say about Hillary.

      Fuck all. Stop blaming the victim.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Mushroom

        Re: poor security

        > Fuck all. Stop blaming the victim.

        This isn't your piddly personal email server. This is part of the government. They are no "victim".

        1. Wolf_Angel

          Re: poor security

          Not really the government. Servers used personally by Hillary and the Democratic National Committee.

    3. Wolf_Angel

      Re: poor security

      What’s worse is they did it by social engineering. “Hi, I’m from IT and we are testing our firewall. Could you give us your account and password so we can test and make sure it’s secure” ...

  19. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    Smoke and mirrors

    The democrats are basically shouting over everyone and taking any little thing they can and running with it.

    They're doing this to cover up the fact Hillary broke the law and set up a private server, used her position of power against her rivals, made terrible choices both in and out of office (including choices which killed people).

    Hillary's strategy is... if you shout really loud and don't allow anyone else to talk, then the public will not be able to hear the real truth and see just how bad you really are. The only fallacy in this, is not shutting up long enough to understand the public isn't stupid.

    The DNC will continue it's push against Trump, but there are a lot of people in Hillary's own party who are very happy she didn't win the election; could you imagine?

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