Q: What about the Podesta email hacks?
The Russian hacker thing seems to be a great system for separating the rational and skeptical, from the rest. Despite CNN and other FakeNews sites repeating that the Russian hacked the election, that they collaborated with Trump, that they manipulated the election, they've yet to show any evidence. Besides this not making sense, there's more evidence against this than for it. The Dems just created this narrative as an excuse to distract away from their actions in rigging the primary, and fumbling the election. Maybe the Russians were behind Podesta's email hacks, if you trust the politicized intelligence departments, but that's something that deserves a grain of salt -- and there's no evidence it changed any votes, let alone the outcome -- so it's a nothing-burger.
Q: What about the Podesta email hacks?
The Russian hacker thing seems to be a great system for separating the rational (skeptical) from the Democrats and uninformed.
- The Fiction: Trump colluded with the Russians to hack the election, which enabled the Trump win. This is a high crime, and unprecedented corruption of our Democracy, if not an outright act of war. And it completely delegitimizes his win, and is grounds for impeachment.
- The Facts: There's no evidence the Russians hacked our election, there is evidence Hillary and the DNC/Media did. There's some evidence that Russians were behind DNC (Podesta) email hacks, less that they were behind the leak to Wikileaks, or that they'd want Trump to win over Hillary. But the whistle-blowing was a great service (getting the truth about DNC/Media corruption out to the American people). There's no evidence that Trump was collaborating (collusion) with the Russians, plenty that Hillary/DNC had, but collaborating is not a crime (despite hand-waiving), or much of the DNC would be in prison.
Before 2018.07.18 (and the Mueller Indictment), we had virtually no evidence that the Russians were behind the email hack. Now we have some fishy evidence that they might of been (and are incredibly incompetent and amateurish). But that doesn't prove motive or intent -- and there's even less evidence still that Russians were behind the wikileaks (and more that they were not).
That means that everyone jumping to conclusions before we had the evidence from the Mueller indictment was either ignorant or polemics: hypocritically complaining how untrustworthy the CIA is on everything else (they lie and mislead for a living, remember), but since this fit their narrative, the FBI/CIA is unassailable and they didn't even question the lack of evidence presented. (And was ignoring the agendas of who was running these agencies at the time).
The indictment also proves that Mueller is on a political witch-hunt. (Proving Dems wrong, Repubs right). Analysts frame things in probabilities, politicians frame them in absolutes. This was not an analysts release. You don't hold this information back for 2 years, and then release these indictments (that can never be served) the day before a Trump-Putin summit, and word it as absolutes, omit all the counterfactuals required in true analysis, and then pretend you're not being political. You'd have to vote Democrat to believe that. It was a timed and targeted political attack, meant to do the most damage to the President possible.
We don’t know what is left out of the indictment. Obviously, Mueller has an agenda (based on history, timing of release, wording, etc). So a lot of the details aren’t in what is being said, but what isn’t being said (and is omitted). Mueller indictments wasn’t intelligence written by analysts, it was a legal document, written by politicians, for the purpose of telling one-side of the story. That doesn’t make it wrong — but it sure hints that it’s not the unvarnished whole story.
Probabilities : Most people don’t understand basic probabilities. Take something simple, you make 5 assumptions, each with an 80% chance of being correct. What is the likelihood that your conclusion based on 5 x 80% is correct? Most people think it’s around 80% or at least better than even odds. It’s actually 0.8 ^ 5 (or 80% x 80% x 80% x 80% x 80%)... which is a 33% likelihood of being true.
If you look through what the intelligence agencies are building, it’s a string of things that likely show common sources, but could just show collaboration or coincidence. What are the odds that the fact someone used the same hosting or VPN service as someone else, is the same person/organization? What are the odds that if I once used the same IP address as someone else, that I was them versus I was just visiting or had compromised their machine? What are the odds someone is intentionally trying to make it look like it was someone else? And so on. Even if each is 95% probability, if you stack 10 of those assumptions on top of each other (and they stacked more than that), the odds collapse down to 59% likelihood. (Just ask Siri or Google what’s .95 to the power of 10).
So while I imagine Guccifer 2.0 is the same person/organization/root as DCleaks, a 60% probability is NOT a “Slam Dunk” (to use George Tenet’s choice of words), it’s just slightly better than a coin toss.
They’re still some gaping holes in the data. The Mueller Indictment did a better job of showing that Russians may have been involved in a hack of Podesta and the DNC. But that does nothing to prove that the Wikileaks data came from them. The Wikileaks logs seems to hint that it was done on a thumb drive and not across a network. Does that mean that insider wasn’t a Russian? Of course not. But that’s not an Occam’s Razor kind of answer. There’s still a break in the chain between what the Russians got and what wikileaks got, and the simplest information is an angry insider as wikileaks claims — not that the Russians were the source. So I find the Russians were the source of Wikileaks, as less probable than Russians hacked the DNC, but an insider leaked to Wikileaks. Which blows the whole “Russia did it” narrative out of the water. The fact that Mueller and others don’t address this most likely probability says that either they’re ignorant of the basics of infosec and analysis, or that they’re intentionally burying the lede.
Leaping to conclusions : too many are leaping to conclusions that because Russia likely hacked the DNC, that there’s evidence of collusion, that collusion is actually a crime, that the Russians were the source for Wikileaks, or that somehow even if it was a crime, that we're not better off knowing what a scumbag Hillary and the media was. If the same people claim that either Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden was a good guy for breaking the law to blow whistles, then you know they're irredeemable hypocrites. (Just one standard).
Lastly, does anyone think any of this information would have gotten out if Hillary had won? If all this is true and valuable, the only reason we know it is because the Queen of the Damned lost, and he American people are far better off (as proven by the economic numbers, and constitutional judges). So the evidence is the Russians were likely behind the Podesta hacks, still iffy on if they were behind the wikileaks release, but neither shows they wanted Trump over Hillary (or why they would want to), and this isn't hacking the election or election tampering unless you can show intent, and Wikileaks releasing the truth about the DNC/Medias real election rigging did the public a great service (proving the DNC/Media was incompetent and liars), and there's still been no credible evidence of Russian Collusion: which is what the investigation was about. So the desperation of the distraction may work on the gullible, but the informed skeptics (critical thinkers) can recognize it for what it is, a weak political attack, that does very little to prove any crime, collusion, or intent to rig an election (on the Presidents part).
The sum total of the "evidence" released is:
- (a) some of the malware touched a Russian email service that a company once used, that once contracted for the Russians (Fancy Bear)
- (b) one of the hackers used the handle "Iron Felix", a famous Russian secret police force founder
- (c) some Russians said they "felt good" about the results of the election
- (d) WaPo ran editorials about the sophisticated Russian hack
Counter to that was Security experts (including self) laughed off the evidence as weak sauce: 
- The server (which was never released to the FBI to investigate), showed that the download was too fast for an internet connection (and looked like a thumb drive copy)
- NOTE: You may not need the physical server, if you cloned the drive. But we don't have any evidence that happened
- Wikileaks said it was a Democrat insider (they've never been caught in a lie: their credibility is critical to their existence)
- When Seth Rich was killed, Wikileaks implied that he had been the leaker, and offered a reward for catching his murderer
- The FBI director had internally closed the investigation months BEFORE interviewing Hillary
- the FBI got caught offering a Russian Hacker a deal (money, free apartment, citizenship), if he'd falsely confessed to being the source of the hack
- Many of the agencies that were credited with agreeing with national intelligence report said they never saw the evidence or signed off on anything (so that part of the narrative was a direct lie)
- The media actively tried to black-out other information that showed various questionable activities of George Soros during this time (subverting European Elections). A partisan media working for one party is a bigger threat to our democracy than hackers leaking the truth (in my book)
So far, no one has come up with evidence of an American election hack.
Here's the summary of so called "good evidence" we have that it was the Russians that did the hack, and by doing it, they were trying to stack the election in Trump's favor:
- When the story broke it was unverifiable "anonymous sources" in the CIA... which if they did leak, was a couple crimes by-the-way. The CIA isn't supposed to be investigating Americans on American soil, and they're not allowed by law to leak information to the public. But the media ignored those angles completely.
- The media since, has also stopped stressing that the FBI, ODNI and NSA sources disagreed... as did a lot of other intelligence agency veterans. But that didn't stop the left wing media from sensationalizing the story (as they were directed by the Clinton camp).
- Then because the CIA isn’t supposed to be investigating domestic issues (and that was a high crime), suddenly the DHS/FBI gave them cover and agreed with the CIA now, and they release a document that contained absolutely no evidence, and a lot of distractions.
- When you read it, and the backstory, it comes out that the FBI was never given access to the Democrat servers, and thus the FBI was taking the word of a private security concern. Really. None of the FBI "evidence" was gathered, collected, observed, followed the proper chain of evidence, etc., by the FBI itself, they took the summary of a private agency that was paid for by the DNC, and put their name/brand on that, based on never seeing any of the evidence.
Evidence it was the Russians?
Having seen that mountain of evidence, multiple private security specialists have all laughed, "that's what they based their assumptions on?" And openly mocked the conclusion. 
Even far left sources (and others) are questioning the lack of evidence to support the administrations claims.
What are the odds that:
- The WaPo was saying it was a "sophisticated hack", only doable by state actors... while security analysis say "it was childish stuff that could have been done by 14 year olds" (called a spearphishing campaign).
- So the ONI was forced to release another document, that said they were confident it was a Russian influence campaign to undermine Hillary and the Democratic process, and they were the source of the Wikileaks material.
- But again the sum of the evidence offered are abstracts like, RT (Russian Television) was more favorable to Trump than Hillary, they stopped being as Anti-American immediately after the election (just like they did when Obama and Bush won)... and Guccifer 2.0 might have been more than one person (so they think it was a coordinated effort). Security experts agree: this is pretty thin evidence if they want to convince anyone with an ounce of skepticism (critical thinking skills). 
- In the meantime, Julian Assange of Wikileaks (and his British Intelligence asset assistant) have been claiming it was a DNC Insider (disgruntled Bernie supporter, infuriated at the corruption inside the DNC) that leaked the information to them in a drop in D.C. And he even implied it was Seth Rich, another one of the people to mysteriously die or get murdered for going against the Clinton campaign machine. Wikileaks even offered a reward for evidence leading to a conviction in that murder. And an investigator found evidence of 44,000 emails on his laptop that he had shared, showing he was the likely source of the emails that were in the mythical Russian hack. 
- Just to add to the mess, there's more evidence that the FBI was colluding with the Hillary campaign to frame the Russians, than the other way around. At least that's what it appears when Yevgeny Nikulin (Russian hacker who hacked LinkedIn, and in Czech custody), was offered money, citizenship and a free Apartment by the FBI for falsely confessing to be the source of the Clinton email hack. The FBI declined to comment. 
- And then you have revelations, that shock few, that Comey had decided in May to "not recommend charges against Hillary" and was plotting how he would reveal her innocence, 3 months before she was even interviewed (in July). Which explains why the Interview was such a sham and she was not: (a) questioned by him (b) not sworn under oath (c) not recorded (d) the transcripts were not released. Hillary's innocence was predetermined long before the investigation was concluded. Which shows a bias that may have also been present in the "Russia Hacking" pre-decisions and willingness to accept the word of a sloppy security firm instead of checking the evidence themselves, and their leaping to conclusions not supported by the evidence, in their reports on the topic. 
The point isn't that I believe every one of the conspiracies. The conspiracies all seem equally absurd.
- The FBI would sloppily try to buy off a Russian hacker?
- The Russians would sloppily hack Hillary's campaign with the intent of putting in Russia because of some mysterious blackmail material on Trump?
- Disgruntled Bernie Supporters getting murdered for leaking the truth about the Clinton Campaign?
- The FBI director deciding her innocents despite mountains of evidence and usurping Justice Department powers by exonerating her for a long list of crimes he articulated first?
This whole thing is a fucking embarrassment to our system of government. But the facts we know are:
- Hillary committed crimes and should be in jail -- and the FBI conspired to let her off
- Leaking the truth about the DNC paying goons to beat up people at opposition rallies or conspiring with the media to sabotage an opposing candidate should be celebrated not witch hunted.
- And the Russians are getting their ambassadors thrown out as part of a sham against sanity, and are scratching their heads wondering how they became the more credible and least corrupt super power. It's a fucking mess that all tracks back to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and how low the media and DNC will go, to avoid taking responsibility for anything.
- ↑ Long list of errors around this Russia, Hackers, James Comey that FakeNews sources like CNN have gotten wrong:
- ↑ Silenceing the Soros Hack: http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/the-bizarre-media-blackout-of-hacked-george-soros-documents/
- ↑ FBI: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/us/politics/fbi-russia-election-donald-trump.html
- ↑ ODNI: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/12/13/reuters-odni-isnt-completely-buying-cia-take-on-russia-hacking-motives-either/
- ↑ NSA: http://observer.com/2016/12/former-nsa-analyst-debunks-three-myths-about-russian-hacking/
- ↑ Other sources: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/
- ↑ DHS/FBI Document: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3248232-JAR-16-20296.html
- ↑ No Access:
- ↑ Iron Felix: https://theintercept.com/2016/12/14/heres-the-public-evidence-russia-hacked-the-dnc-its-not-enough/
- ↑ Feel good:
- ↑ Little proof of Russian Hackers:
(PHP/Wordpress Security Specialists): https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/
- ↑ Even left mocking the "evidence":
- ↑ ONI Document: https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf
- ↑ ONI release is disappointing: http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/06/experts-call-declassified-russia-report-disappointing-underwhelming/
- ↑ Wikileaks opinion:
- Seth had contact with Wikileaks before he died: http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/254852337-story
- Smoking Gun: http://hotair.com/archives/2017/05/16/investigator-murdered-dnc-staffer-sent-44000-e-mails-wikileaks-figure/
- ↑ Russian Spy Frame Job:
- ↑ Hillary's innocent predetermined:
- Facebook Ads: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/facebook-says-it-sold-political-ads-to-russian-company-during-2016-election/2017/09/06/32f01fd2-931e-11e7-89fa-bb822a46da5b_story.html?utm_term=.bde4004db35d
- NSA Analyst Debunks: http://observer.com/2016/12/former-nsa-analyst-debunks-three-myths-about-russian-hacking/