A joint statement issued by Homeland Security and the Office of National Intelligence used pure speculation as evidence to back up their claim.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of National Intelligence issued a joint statement yesterday afternoon saying that they are “confident” that Russia is to blame for the recent hacks and subsequent releases of US officials’ and organizations’ emails. Russia has since called the accusations “rubbish.” The statement was released literally only an hour before Wikileaks announced the first 2,050 of an estimated 50,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta.
According to the statement, all of the leaks from DCLeaks, Wikileaks, and Guccifer 2.0 are “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.” They also go on to say that these “thefts and disclosures” were done with the purpose of interfering in the US Presidential election. This statement represents the first time that the US federal government has officially accused Russia of cyberattacks related to the US Presidential campaign. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) had previously blamed Russia for a hack this past June, even though a sole hacker, Guccifer 2.0, claimed responsibility and denied ties to Russia.
The accusation, though largely baseless and lacking any convincing evidence, comes after several weeks of rising tensions between the two nations. In fact, the joint statement was issued shortly after US Secretary of State, John Kerry, demanded that Russian actions in Syria be “appropriately investigated” for war crimes. Russia, in turn, accused Kerry’s statements of distracting from the US’ failure to abide by a recently failed ceasefire. The ceasefire had been jointly brokered by the US and Russia but was ultimately violated over 300 times by US-backed groups as well as the US-led coalition and Israel.
Things have only gone from bad to worse since then, and this latest accusation – especially due to its lack of factual evidence and suspicious timing – will only serve to further fan the flames in an increasingly dangerous situation. Just two days ago, General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the US Army, sent a clear message to the US’ “enemies” saying “we will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before. Make no mistake about that.” Considering that Milley called Russia the #1 threat to the US last year, it seems quite clear to whom that comment was addressed.
After Russian election hack, a senior administration official says US will respond ‘at a time and place of our choosing.’
— Andrew Beatty (@AndrewBeatty) 7 de octubre de 2016
Things already appear to be escalating once again in the hours after the statement’s release. A senior administration official told White House Correspondent Andrew Beatty of the AFP news agency, that the US will respond to the latest “Russian” hack “at a time and place of our choosing.” In a speech last month, US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggested that the US should respond to cyber attacks from Russia and China with a “military response.” Clinton thought that starting a major war with two powerful countries over alleged and baseless cyberattack claims would somehow allow the US to “lead the world in setting the rules in cyberspace.” Seeing as Clinton herself has been a major target of many of the recent leaks and her past inclinations to “drone” Julian Assange, the presidential candidate is likely itching for retribution. Will she drag the US to war in order to get it?
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