I considered this simply government intelligence propaganda, that is, Schindler in his role as counterintelligence officer. Can you really ever leave the NSA?
Then something quite amazing occurred. While still generally promoting the "Russia did the hack" narrative, this morning, he stuck this in the middle of a column that appeared at The Observer:
The Clinton campaign and the DNC have stated forthrightly that they see a Russian hand behind this dirty operation, with the Kremlin using Wikileaks as their fence for stolen emails. As I detailed in a recent column, that’s a very plausible answer that’s supported by the facts we know so far.Then he goes back into his the Russians are the most likely suspects mode.
It’s also the conclusion of most American intelligence agencies...
However, there’s been pushback against this theory...
[P]ossible NSA culpability has been floated by a far more reputable source recently, and it’s making waves.
In a recent radio interview, William Binney, a former NSA senior mathematician, stated that disgruntled American spies could be behind the hack of the DNC, adding that NSA is in possession of all of Hillary Clinton’s emails, including the more than 30,000 deleted by the Democratic presidential nominee and her staff in the EmailGate scandal...
Let’s be clear: Bill Binney is no flake. A well-respected analyst who enjoyed a successful three-decade career at NSA, he resigned in disgust in 2001, believing the agency was wasting billions of dollars and endangering the privacy of American citizens in a failed modernization program called TRAILBLAZER. By the time it was shut down in 2006, TRAILBLAZER cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars while failing to modernize NSA. It was instead a Top Secret boondoggle for defense contractors.
I was serving at NSA at the time and most of Binney’s allegations have been proven more or less correct. He became a genuine whistleblower, attempting to raise Congressional awareness of what he viewed as disastrous decisions by NSA leadership. Binney paid a steep price for this, including having his security clearances revoked, causing substantial lost income, while his home was raided by the FBI—which ultimately found no wrongdoing....
It’s not difficult to determine why NSA might want to put a halt to Clinton’s presidential ambitions. The agency has viewed her with distaste for years, beginning with her antics as the newly appointed Secretary of State in early 2009, when her demands to disregard basic security regulations about her Blackberry raised the ire of the agency’s information assurance experts. Some at NSA saw the disaster of EmailGate developing, and were powerless to stop it.
Worse was what transpired in EmailGate, which witnessed Hillary’s “unclassified” email including reams of very highly classified information—some of it from NSA. The agency is especially unhappy about what I revealed previously in this column, how Top Secret-plus NSA reports wound up being copied verbatim in “personal” emails sent to Clinton by her friend and factotum, Sid Blumenthal, back in 2011.
Although NSA determined beyond doubt that Blumenthal—who had no position in the Obama administration and did not have active security clearances—somehow got his hands on Top Secret / Special Intelligence NSA assessments only hours after they appeared in classified channels, then retyped them in his personal, unsecured email, which was sent to then-Secretary Clinton.
Some of the information Blumenthal emailed to Hillary’s “private” server included GAMMA reporting, which as I explained previously, “is an NSA handling caveat that is applied to extraordinarily sensitive information (for instance, decrypted conversations between top foreign leadership, as this was). GAMMA is properly viewed as a SIGINT Special Access Program, or SAP, several of which from the CIA Clinton compromised in another series of her ‘unclassified’ emails.”
The agency was hopping mad about that compromise of its “crown jewel” information, and they were even more displeased that the FBI decided to punt on prosecuting anybody for that notorious incident. “In wartime, we shoot people for compromising GAMMA,” explained an unhappy NSA senior official: “But the FBI was clearly told to look the other way by the White House—so they did.”
Thus we have motive for why somebody at NSA might want to sabotage the Clinton campaign by stealing DNC emails—but what about means and opportunity? In a technical sense, it would not be too difficult for NSA to get its hands on Hillary’s emails if it wanted to, even the deleted ones in all likelihood.
But why is a guy from NSA propaganda central putting this out there unless he thinks there is a real chance the NSA is going to be publicly exposed as the source of the leaks and he needs to appear that he wasn't completely out of the loop on what was really going down?
I mean he is promoting the Binney news as an exclusive:
But I linked to a Becky Akers report about Binney suspicions about NSA involvement a week ago.EXCLUSIVE: Allegations are circulating that #NSA may be behind the massive hack of Hillary Clinton and her partyhttps://t.co/B5sL7uhRGB— John Schindler (@20committee) August 8, 2016
And I have personally had the NSA on my suspect list since July.
Do I really have a better understanding of what the NSA is up to, that it can keep me a week ahead of what a "former" NSA spook knows? I doubt it.
Schindler isn't breaking ground here. He is covering his ass. Something appears ready to break.