The New York Times, famous for pushing the Iraq war in 2003 by falsely reporting the existence of weapons of mass destruction, is now reporting that the Russian government is indeed behind the 2016 election hacks.
The Times, the same paper that helped to bring you the war in Iraq with its crack reporting of imaginary WMDs, is stating matter-of-factly that Russia orchestrated the hacks in an attempt to sway the 2016 election and subvert democracy. How does The Times know? Anonymous sources, circumstantial evidence and possible links.
Did the Russian government meddle in the 2016 presidential elections? Probably. But should anybody want to go to war against an erratic country that has nuclear weapons over a “probably”? Moreover, should anybody want to go to war over a country airing a presidential candidate’s dirty but true laundry? Fuck no. In a real democracy, we would already have access to it anyways to fulfill our civic obligation of being informed voters.
The Times is acting as a mouthpiece for the government, which is fine. The Washington Post does the same thing. Just like in 2003, both papers are pushing agendas and validating the government’s claims — as if doing so absolves the government from the responsibility of producing evidence to its citizens.
You’re not pro-Russia just because you want to see concrete evidence Putin and company interfered with our elections. The U.S. government could certainly release evidence of Russia’s alleged hacking without compromising its sources and methods. But instead of doing that, they push a compliant mainstream media — which is still red in its face from those same hacks exposing its collusion with the Clinton campaign — to speak for them. That way, there’s no accountability.
So far, what we supposedly know is there was an overblown number of obviously fake websites spreading obvious fake news, a Clinton campaign head and some DNC staffers got duped into giving up their email passwords by the same kinds of email scams that can be found in everyone’s spam folders, and two groups who might speak Russian led the charge.
But let’s say definitive proof of Russia’s meddling does exist. So what? Putin didn’t right the emails: DKIM verification has already proved this, and the ONLY person — Donna Brazile — who has claimed the emails were manufactured was subsequently proven wrong.
You can’t really say Russia sabotaged the election simply by exposing to the public the dishonest and unethical behavior of a candidate and her party. Don’t we have the right to be informed voters? As painful as it is to admit, a tweet from Trump actually rings true: If you’re going to be dishonest, at least don’t be stupid enough to do it in writing.
Without further ado, here are some of my favorite excerpts from the NYT article. If you want a more detailed breakdown of the (lack of) evidence cited by The Times, check out this piece from Sam Biddle of The Intercept.
While NYT admits in its second paragraph the hackers are only linked to Russia, the article’s tone makes it sound like it is a proven fact that the Russian government was behind the hacks.
Case in point: NYT makes a declarative statement that the Kremlin — the Russian government — was behind the hacks. So far, the only evidence offered up has been that “the Dukes” have been linked to Russia.
Yet another example of the NYT‘s matter-of-fact tone. If there’s no conclusive evidence, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to use the journalistic qualifiers (e.g. “seemingly,” “appears,” “may have”) here? After all, we wouldn’t want to mislead readers into assuming something is a fact.
All those other factors just glazed right over — “… it was definitely the Russian hacking though.”
Devastating effectiveness by Russia or devastating incompetence by the DNC, which had primitive cybersecurity measures in place, ignored repeated cyberattack warnings from the FBI and even OK’d an aide to click on a phishing link?
Here is the NYT’s persuasive infographic, which still doesn’t conclusively link the Kremlin to the hack.
The CIA didn’t just try to subvert foreign elections, they did a pretty damn good job at doing it. SEE: Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, etc.
So was this a result of Russia’s brilliance, America’s lack of imagination, or just shitty IT at the DNC?
“May or may not be associated” is not the kind of evidence with which you want to go to war.
Inconclusive: A belief isn’t a fact.
If there’s no way to determine with absolute certainty who perpetrated a cyberattack, why is NYT acting like the Russian government definitely was responsible for the hacks?
More evidence of shitty IT, not Russian ingenuity: It took the DNC nine months to meet with the FBI about the breach.
Unless Putin wrote the leaked emails, the above description seems like a dramatic way of describing the act of airing out somebody’s dirty laundry.
Above is the circumstantial evidence that was enough for NYT to definitively say Russia interfered with our elections. Should we really risk nuclear annihilation over that evidence?
Being tipped off about something does not mean you conspired. (Did I really just put a Roger Stone tweet in this article?)
This is true.
Lolllllllll. The Times has the audacity to call itself “independent media.”
Sit down Donna Brazile, you crazy old war hawk.
Let’s ratchet up the fear!