Climategate/Russiagate: More Parallels

August 16, 2017

I’ve been shouting to anyone that will listen about the parallels between 2009’s “Climategate” and the hacking of emails in the 2016 election.  I brought it up in a call to national NPR show 2 days after the election. Still stand by it – and it’s worth another listen.

It seems clear to me, and a lot of well informed observers, that the hacking of climate scientist’s emails from the University of Anglia Climate Research Unit in 2009 was a dry run for the larger effort to disrupt elections around the world.
In the Anglia affair, emails were stolen, culled, selectively quoted or otherwise weaponized, and distributed on a Russian server to credulous media. Worked perfectly.

And, then as now, once the deception began to be recognized, the next level of chaff thrown out was that the hacking was “an inside job”. You’re supposed to believe that disgruntled climate scientists, or Dem party activists, distributed and selectively distorted emails. Either way, it serves to prolong confusion and keep the easily befuddled media busy on non-productive tasks, including even some well-meaning but soft-headed lefties.


There’s an absurd conspiracy theory that last year’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee servers was an inside job, not the work of Russian hackers, and it’s making its way around liberal and conservative media.

Last week, The Nation — typically a well-sourced and well-informed publication, which is highly critical of Donald Trump and tends to lean left — published an article promoting this conspiracy theory, titled “A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack.”

The article focuses on a report from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group that was most recently in the news for denying Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was behind the 2013 Damascus chemical attack. That report, which disputed the assessment of British, French, and German intelligence agencies as well as Human Rights Watch, relied largely on the claims of Alex Jones’s InfoWars.

For this new report, VIPS cites an anonymous individual operating under the name “Forensicator” who claims to have reviewed metadata from the DNC leaks to determine they were transferred at 22 megabytes per second, which would be impossible for someone overseas to achieve over the web — therefore it must have been stolen by someone physically at the DNC.


The Nation claims that the insistence that the DNC was hacked by Russians is part of America’s “hysteria” despite “the absence of any credible evidence of what happened last year and who was responsible for it.” It goes on:

There has been a long effort to counter the official narrative we now call “Russiagate.” This effort has so far focused on the key events noted above, leaving numerous others still to be addressed. Until recently, researchers undertaking this work faced critical shortcomings, and these are to be explained. But they have achieved significant new momentum in the past several weeks, and what they have done now yields very consequential fruit. Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists of long experience and strongly credentialed are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year.

Despite this impressive-sounding language, the core thesis of this article is a pure conspiracy theory, based on flimsy evidence from disreputable sources.




29 Responses to “Climategate/Russiagate: More Parallels”

  1. Y’all could always rename this place “Conspiracy Crock of the Week.” Next thing you’ll be telling us is that the stupidity of flyover country is traceable to ChemTrail spraying, and how it’s interesting that we have increasing US outreach to Russian chemical industries.

    This is one of the reasons why I compare AGW believers to creation science believers, y’all have a preconceived position and you just make up stuff as you go go keep the position alive, and anything which doesn’t align with your beliefs is heresy.

    • Yo know, you could use those exact same words to describe yourself!

      • No I actually can’t. No need to trust me on this, all eyes on you to go through my collective work at my GelbspanFiles blog or the numerous online articles I have about the smear of skeptic climate scientists — find at least 5 instances where I clearly come in with a preconceived notion and then concoct stuff out-of-the-blue to support it. Bonus points if you can come up with 10. C’mon, you can do it.

        • So, yours is a special kind of bull$hit that deserves our in depth analysis?

          Do you have one on the earth being flat too?

          • Luv you guys, you are so utterly predictable. First, the Flat Earth Society, as I’ve said many times is assorted comments when it is brought up, has long been a place where you can by gag T-shirts. It’s like the Procrastinators Club of America. Dry humor is not you guys’ strong suit, you’d never get the joke of both places.

            Second, the material (*”Rock on. Just keep it clean, bro.”*) you refer to in my blog and in my writings is the verbatim text of your own leaders. Gore, Gelbspan, Oreskes, “Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action” et al. I quote straight from it and provide links to the full context of it. I also compare one narrative to the other, and any objective reader can readily see what the growing stack of problems are: the narratives of your leaders don’t stack up right. They contradict each other, and their timelines don’t line up right in their collective efforts to say skeptic scientists are industry shills.

            The ongoing amusement I have is that literally none of you characters can dispute what I point out in your dear leaders’ narratives. Not. One. Of. You. Y’all don’t even try, and your pal “dumboldguy” knocks himself out to discourage you from even reading my material ….. which is your own leaders’ material, dissected. What does that tell you about your own confidence in your leaders’ accusation that skeptics are paid to lie?

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Here’s Russell, once again BEGGING people to visit GobsOfS**TFiles and up his nearly non-existent hit count. Russell is hurting because the election of Trump and all that Trump is doing to destroy science and promote fossil fuels has made Russell’s little corner of the denier world irrelevant. Who cares whether a fossil-fuel paid climate change “skeptic” scientist got “smeared”?

          Heartland is now spending big bucks to send propaganda BS “resource materials” to every science teacher in the country—-maybe they’ve now cut back on payments to hacks like Russell?

          (And I have to laugh at Russell asking us to PROVE that he has begun any of his BS with “preconceived notions”. Russell’s whole LIFE is built on the “preconceived notion” that it’s honorable to take money and whore for fossil fuels in the face of all the scientific evidence that AGW is occurring.)

          • Dude, YOU care that skeptic climate scientists get smeared with the false accusation that they’re paid to lie. Otherwise, the public and journalists won’t have a valid reason to discount them out-of-hand.

            Meanwhile, you continually forget that is is me, not you, who has access to all my correspondence and banking records. It’s why I laugh at your ongoing conspiracy theory about who and what influences me. You couldn’t prove I am what you say I am if a multi-million dollar wager depended on it. What’s worse, you KNOW that. Is yours what you want the public to perceive as the face of modern environmentalism? All show and no go?

        • For God’s sake, do shut the hell up.

          You are nothing more or less than a bought and paid for climate/science denier, and I for one am sick of reading your lying bullshit screeds.

          Do the world a favor and go off yourself, Russell. You are sick.

          • One point of agreement you and I very likely share is that we are both outraged by injustices. On that note, I have no intention of remaining quiet on the injustice I see in this issue.

            Meanwhile, on the balance of your comment’s accusations, two words: prove it.

            Use every resource at your disposal to prove that I am mentally incapacitated, prove that there are – as I challenged Bryan above – as FEW as 10 lies in any of my blog posts or online articles, and prove that I deny climate science in any general sense of the term or the more narrow topic of global warming. All eyes on you now. You can either hurl worthless accusations, or you can do what your fellow Crocks commenters can’t seem to lift a finger to do.

            Meanwhile, have I ever suggested harm to any one of you? No, I have on more than one occasion welcomed you to your own introspection on the topic and to our side of reason, moderation, positive, critical thinking, with the hint that this will free you from a political ideology which only saddles you with fear, grief, rage and despair. But think of this another way: wouldn’t I be far more valuable to your side if you could present fact-based evidence which proves skeptics are crooks, convincing enough that I would recant all I have said and join your side to become one of the fiercest AGW crusaders you’ve ever seen? So why are you throwing away that opportunity? Is it because you are afraid you can’t deliver on it? Is it because you are more afraid that your side is the one that’s been filling your mind with lies and misinformation this whole time?

        • Torsten Says:

          Bryan stated it perfectly. I’ve often felt that Russell is similar to a creationist: he doesn’t understand the science but feels qualified to comment on it. He thinks that because “skeptic scientists” exist, that their arguments must have equal, or even more merit than the mainstream of climate science. But he has no way of knowing this because he is an utter incompetent. As I have demonstrated in other posts, every time Russell attempts to make a point using actual data (often in a scornful manner), he fucks it up.

          Russell’s fantasy scenes, where a calm “skeptic” speaks up from the crowd to “destroy” a climate science argument, remind me of that horrific Chick Tract “Big Daddy”. It’s so YEC. Or how about where he suggests a debate between one of us and his oh-so-competent scientists, as if that would somehow be useful. How shallow.

          Russell, you have no credibility. You do not have the ability to discern what is valid from what is bullshit. You can’t argue the science, so you stick with your pathetic shtick about your “skeptic scientists” being smeared by those nasty mainstream scientists. I don’t care about your thoughts on that. They are boring. You’re a joke. Learn some science, or STFU.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Well said, especially the last paragraph! Two thumbs up!

          • Sez “Torsten”, “… pathetic shtick about your “skeptic scientists” being smeared by those nasty mainstream scientists.”

            Clearly, you do not even read my blog or my articles at any depth, thus your creation of a strawman argument. An case you never noticed among all the other writing you HAVE read on the notion of industry-corrupted scientists, none of the most prominent people making the accusation are scientists at all. So, why do you embarrass yourself by digging a hole you can’t get out of there?

            As I said before, I’m not a climate science expert. But the challenge remains for you: bring all you have to the next Heartland climate conference and stand toe-to-toe with skeptic scientists and see how well your material holds out. What do you have to lose, and what can you gain with a clearly superior presentation?

    • toby52 Says:

      Read the piece again. It is debunking a conspiracy theory, not spreading one. And you may not have noticed – all the “creation scientists” are climate change deniers like you.

      • Name all of the “creation scientists.” Since I’ve never given that cult trash the time of day, I have no familiarity with the names in it. Meanwhile, go through my entire collection of writings and show us the verbatim text where I have ever said I deny climate change. I’ll save you some trouble: I never have. Problem for you is that the scientists who are skeptical about CAGW that you despise have never even mentioned ‘creation science.’

        Meanwhile, take Peter’s first sentence of this piece out to any uninterested bystander on the street and ask them for their opinion on it. I’d wager that a 97% consensus would say that it pushes a conspiracy theory, and if you say it doesn’t, they’ll start looking at you funny.

  2. Julian Bond Says:

    Assange on the climategate emails back in the day

    Now note that Assange’s wikileaks posted the Russiagate emails and both he and people round him claimed Russia had nothing to do with the hacking.

    Which means … what exactly?

  3. ubrew12 Says:

    We are just naked apes. If you want to hear what we ‘really’ think while sitting on the porcelain throne (clearly you’re assuming we’re not Donald Trump) then hack it. And then you can broadcast it and ‘tut tut’ how these bespectacled scientists and policy wonks are, in their private moments, not that different from the “Desperate Housewives of Orange County” (something that is, apparently, newsworthy).

    Official correspondence, like peer-reviewed science, exists for a simple reason. It’s an attempt by a naked ape to, just for a second, ADD something intelligent to the conversation, before falling, once again, into his or her pit of animal debauchery.

    Trump promised to drain the swamp. Baby, you ARE the swamp… it’s in your genes.

  4. mboli Says:

    The Justice Dept. recently obtained a search warrant for all the web traffic logs of a web site for organizing protests of the inauguration. Anybody who navigated to that site: their IP addresses, pages visited, and anything they typed in will be available.

    Here is the problem as I see it possibly playing out. It doesn’t involve any conspiracy theories or improper hounding of people by the Justice Dept. But it is consistent with the kind of difficulty that arises when electronic records get into the wrong hands.

    My thinking is that a House committee gets the logs from the DOJ, pursuant to some bogus investigation where they hope to embarrass or cause legal trouble for Democrats. (That would be Trey Goudy from the House government oversight & reform committee, well-known to the climate science community.)

    The committee finds IP addresses from government computers, or names of government employees. They make a big stink about disloyal employees, or violations of the Hatch act. Lots of noise about how they are finding the “deep state.”

    Somebody from the committee leaks the data.

    The right-wing web goes wild, tracking down, harassing, and doxing government employees who visited the web site.

    I completely agree with Sinclair about the e-mail thing. I think a lot of other electronic records can become weapons, if they get into the wrong hands. The Russians and the Republicans are becoming quite adept at it.

  5. mboli Says:

    And if I can add a couple of should-be-obvious observations to the above story, which nevertheless seem to be overlooked.

    a) Sanders had far from *zero* support from the Democratic establishment. He got a bunch of endorsements and super-delegates. Yet the leaked e-mails were *all* about favoring Clinton, convincing a large swath of people that their own candidate had been Done Wrong by the Unified Anti-Sanders Establishment.

    We’ve been played. The e-mail dump was selectively chosen to create a false narrative.

    b) The “22 MB/sec” argument is hooey. From the article above, the alleged speed of the file transfer is trumpeted as evidence the hackers must have been close by. But even if true, it just means that the next computer down the line was local. Not that the hacker’s home town was local.

    Is it likely the NSA and CIA etc. experts who concluded the hacker’s home town was Russia missed an obvious thing as is claimed?

    • webej Says:

      [1] The NSA hasn’t said anything, nor have there been any regular CIA analysts with findings and with contra-expertise, there has only been an “assessment” by some people at the top of the chain.
      [2] Your argument about how the next computer down the line was local shows you have not read or understood the argument that is being made. Local means somebody stuck a device into a computer either hosting the files or connected by a LAN. The speed is inferred by time lapses in creation and modified times for the files and directories.
      [3] No evidence has ever been presented that substantiates any hacking whatsoever.

      • mboli Says:

        Yap, I read that article in The Nation (after seeing the pointer from here).

        I’m having trouble believing it. I don’t know about the claims about the document (it is out of my area), but I know how to read log files and use linux utilities. And I’ve debugged a few compromised servers. It seems like something that would be *way* to obvious for the experts to have missed.

      • mboli Says:

        I read the article in the Nation (linked to from this article) and I’m not buying it.

        I can’t speak to the comments on the documents and their metadata. Out of my field.

        But I maintain some servers, I have debugged some compromised ones, I know how to read log files. The specific claim in that article seems to me way too obvious for the experts to have missed. So I’m dubious about the claim.

      • mboli Says:

        Darn it! I can’t find a way to deleted the spurious extra post. (I thought it had gotten lost, so wrote a 2nd one.) Sorry about that.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      “We’ve been played. The e-mail dump was selectively chosen to create a false narrative.”

      Or you are playing us right now. Do you have evidence that the e-mail link was biased, that there were emails demonstrating the DNC ensured a fair playing field? That the multiple and multiply-attested allegations giving evidence of unfair treatment are false?

      If so, perhaps you should contact Harry Reid and educate him:

      • mboli Says:

        No, I don’t deny that the players in question preferred Clinton, and some of them acted on her behalf.
        My claim is that it is wildly unlikely that ALL the high level Democrats were like that. Sanders got a number of endorsements and votes from superdelegates. Somehow *their* e-mails were not released. And that skewed the story.

        • Gingerbaker Says:

          How do you know it “skewed the story”? Because the DNC was dirty dealing, you automatically presume that the Sanders side was as well?

          That is very bad thinking.

          The scandal is about the DNC and whether a proper, fair, equitable primary was run. There is a lot of evidence it was not. The DNC itself has argued that were not under any obligation to run a fair primary. Insiders say they did not.

          Unless you have some hard evidence that both sides were up to no good (as if that even makes sense),……

          you are just blowing smoke. Out of your butt.

  6. webej Says:

    The Damascus chemical attack took place while UN inspectors were present. The UN report concluded that there were strong indications that it was the jihadi’s who spread the gas with make shift delivery systems, and that there was no conclusive evidence for imputing it to the Syrian government. That was also the reason Obama backed away from the redline (The evidence was by no menas “a slam dunk”, to quote DNI director Clapper).

  7. Lionel Smith Says:

    Russell the Kook (part 1):

    This is one of the reasons why I compare AGW believers to…

    There is a fundamental flaw in your statement for it is nothing to do with belief and everything to do with understanding.

    We understand the countless studies that link climate change that is a part cause for such as this Deadly South Asia floods affect 16m people just one of the many instances from the increase in such events and also in their severity, to the rise in atmospheric GHG levels causing a rate of temperature rise not recorded for millennia.

    Thus you cannot even classify as a heretic, just a SOG (sad old git) who ventures into arguments about issues beyond his comprehension and ability.

  8. Torsten Says:

    Russell wrote: “Clearly, you do not even read my blog or my articles at any depth, thus your creation of a strawman argument. An case you never noticed among all the other writing you HAVE read on the notion of industry-corrupted scientists, none of the most prominent people making the accusation are scientists at all. So, why do you embarrass yourself by digging a hole you can’t get out of there?”

    Oh dear, my bad. Yes, it’s been so long since I explored your blog that I’d forgotten your emphasis on Oreskes, Gore, Gelbspan, etc, in which you seem to believe that attacking them is the equivalent of attacking the science, or, to paraphrase your slogan, “questioning AGW”. But I’m not embarrassed by it – your reaction underscores my point that you are unable to understand the science, yet believe your description of timelines of who said what, and when, somehow undermine the validity of climate research and the mainstream conclusions drawn from it. I don’t care about your sideshow. I regularly read a small portion of the primary literature and more often, perspectives by those who understand it. There are so many lines of research that complement each other and tell a story of human-driven climate change that your little sideshow is irrelevant.

    An example of your irrelevancy is the article “Monumental fault in manmade global warming notion hiding in plain sight” at Steve Milloy’s site, dated December 24, 2011. You wrote “This monumental problem only becomes evident when we point to skeptic scientists claiming human activity is not a significant part of global warming.” You made zero effort to explain to your readers what evidence your supposed scientists have and instead headed off into your usual whining about Gore, Gelbspan and others. All you had about the science was an empty assertion, no citations, no quotes – nothing. It’s pathetic, and the gist of it is the same as most of the crap you’ve written that I’ve bumped into on the web. It’s a total waste of time.

    Russell wrote: “As I said before, I’m not a climate science expert. But the challenge remains for you: bring all you have to the next Heartland climate conference and stand toe-to-toe with skeptic scientists and see how well your material holds out. What do you have to lose, and what can you gain with a clearly superior presentation?”

    Why would anyone here waste their time attending a conference with a bunch of old culls whose clear purpose is to sow doubt rather than seek truth? To illustrate, the open letter your leader Joe Bast wrote to Ivanka Trump in May. It’s not intended to be read by her, rather, to spread more mis-representations about climate science. Just one tiny example of mis-representation is how he describes the concentration of atmospheric CO2 as 0.04%, or “400 parts per million“. While this is correct, the italicized emphasis on “per million” is meant to suggest that this is a small amount (it is), without explanation that this small amount is why our planet does not presently have a “snowball climate”. This is physics, only disputed by the likes of Tim Ball and his circle of physics-denying twits. Bast continues with the statement that in the past century, the concentration has only gone up by 0.01 percentage point. Sure, but relative to where it was, that is, rising from ~280 ppm to over 400 ppm since industrialization, it’s a change of over 40%. Perhaps Joe Bast wouldn’t mind sitting in a room where the chlorine gas concentration is only 2 ppm, or 40% more, 2.8 ppm. It makes a difference. But Bast is counting on his readers to simply accept, uncritically, his dismissal of the rise, just as you likely do, and it amounts to a lie. I could continue with the numerous other faults in his letter, but this takes more time than I’m willing to take, and I think I’ve made my point for people with the ability to understand. Bast has engaged in a Gish Gallop.

    Now, you and Bast have had time to understand this issue properly. So his having carefully written this mis-representation, and your standing by it (in general – even if you were unaware of this particular one, Heartland pumps out this shit on a regular basis and you surely see it), means you are devious liars, or utterly stupid, and thus a waste of time. (I believe the first applies to Joe, and the second to you.) You’re a blight on all the good work done by many dedicated people, and you’re too inept to understand why.

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