The conventional wisdom is that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) emails that were made public through Wikileaks. But one far-left publication is suggesting that maybe the DNC wasn't hacked and instead the information was leaked from the inside.

Patrick Lawrence of The Nation writes that he interviewed numerous "forensic experts and intelligence analysts" who have concluded that the DNC couldn't have been hacked. Lawrence first cites the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) writing a letter to President Obama back in July 2016 asking for evidence from the National Security Agency (NSA) that Russia was behind the DNC hacking; Obama gave a press conference the following day where he stated that it was "not conclusive" that Russia was behind it. VIPS' main argument had been a lack of evidence to corroborate the Russia hacking claims.

Lawrence then cites researchers from who examined the metadata of Guccifer 2.0's documents — the hacker who claims to have been behind the DNC email hack — and found that Guccifer couldn't have obtained the documents through a hack:

The metadata established several facts in this regard with granular precision: On the evening of July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC’s server. The operation took 87 seconds. This yields a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.

These statistics are matters of record and essential to disproving the hack theory. No Internet service provider, such as a hacker would have had to use in mid-2016, was capable of downloading data at this speed. Compounding this contradiction, Guccifer claimed to have run his hack from Romania, which, for numerous reasons technically called delivery overheads, would slow down the speed of a hack even further from maximum achievable speeds.

What is the maximum achievable speed? Forensicator recently ran a test download of a comparable data volume (and using a server speed not available in 2016) 40 miles from his computer via a server 20 miles away and came up with a speed of 11.8 megabytes per second —half what the DNC operation would need were it a hack. Other investigators have built on this finding. Folden and Edward Loomis say a survey published August 3, 2016, by is highly reliable and use it as their thumbnail index. It indicated that the highest average ISP speeds of first-half 2016 were achieved by Xfinity and Cox Communications. These speeds averaged 15.6 megabytes per second and 14.7 megabytes per second, respectively. Peak speeds at higher rates were recorded intermittently but still did not reach the required 22.7 megabytes per second.

Additionally, the Russian imprints on Guccifer's documents seem to be "artificially inserted prior to posting"; Lawrence argues that the CIA "is capable of obfuscating the origin of documents in false-flag operations and leaving markings that point to whatever the CIA wants to point to."

Lawrence proceeds to argue that the evidence put together by the intelligence community suggesting that Russia was behind the hack is flimsy at best:

The Intelligence Community Assessment, the supposedly definitive report featuring the “high confidence” dodge, was greeted as farcically flimsy when issued January 6. Ray McGovern calls it a disgrace to the intelligence profession. It is spotlessly free of evidence, front to back, pertaining to any events in which Russia is implicated. James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, admitted in May that “hand-picked” analysts from three agencies (not the 17 previously reported) drafted the ICA. There is a way to understand “hand-picked” that is less obvious than meets the eye: The report was sequestered from rigorous agency-wide reviews. This is the way these people have spoken to us for the past year.

Behind the ICA lie other indefensible realities. The FBI has never examined the DNC’s computer servers — an omission that is beyond preposterous. It has instead relied on the reports produced by Crowdstrike, a firm that drips with conflicting interests well beyond the fact that it is in the DNC’s employ. Dmitri Alperovitch, its co-founder and chief technology officer, is on the record as vigorously anti-Russian. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which suffers the same prejudice. Problems such as this are many.

Lawrence concludes his piece by quoting various researchers and forensics experts who reviewed the available evidence and concluded that Russia couldn't have been behind the hack. Then he states there should soon be a reply from intelligence agencies on the matter.

Read the full piece here.

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