Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook knows I loathe conspiracy theorists. As John Oliver once hilariously pointed out, any unhinged buffoon can put one together as long as their process for doing so lacks all semblance of common sense, facts, rational thought, or sanity.
While conservatives have come up with all sorts of asinine conspiracies over the years, the latest one to become “normalized” among the right-wing media is one of the most insane theories I’ve ever seen. A movement is growing among the right concerning the ridiculous assertion that the CIA was behind the hack on the DNC, but is trying to “frame” the Russian government for it.
So, let’s look at the “logic” behind that, shall we?
According to this conspiracy, the CIA was behind the hacking of the DNC to “frame” Russia and apparently undermine Donald Trump’s win and his administration.
Here are a few quick, common sense questions:
- If the CIA didn’t want Trump as president, why not just hack his campaign (or tax returns) to make sure he wouldn’t win?
- How would the CIA have known Trump would be the most pro-Russian politician in U.S. history?
- How would the CIA have been able to predict how many people Trump would have around him with ties to Russia?
- What would the CIA “framing the Russians” have to do with the people around Trump who’ve been lying about communication, or caught having secret meetings with, Russian officials?
- How could the CIA have been able to predict Trump’s outburst at U.S. intelligence?
- Why would the CIA “frame” Russia by giving information to Wikileaks — who they say is working with Russia?
- How would the CIA have known Jeff Sessions would lie under oath about his meeting with the Russian ambassador?
There are plenty more I could ask, but those are more than enough to prove how stupid this is.
Furthermore, the information being leaked by Wikileaks has been heavily blown out of proportion.
For starters — it’s old. A lot of what’s being discussed relates to security vulnerabilities dating as far back as 2013 that companies like Google, Apple, and Samsung addressed years ago. Not only that, but while they’ve pushed out scary terms like “Vault 7” and “Weeping Angel,” most of what’s being discussed aren’t “secret cyber weapons being used to spy on Americans” — they’re fairly basic security flaws any decent hacker would know how to find and exploit.
As reported by Business Insider:
Further, The Intercept on Wednesday reported that the CIA program — called UMBRAGE — seems primarily used as a shortcut tool for writing code, and does not mention any ways to create a “false flag” operation. Instead, the Intercept reported, the tools for the CIA to hide their tracks appear to be routine security procedures that would be well-known by professional hackers.
Dan Tentler, founder and CEO of Phobos Group security firm essentially told the same thing to CNN Money. He said almost everything he’s seen was simply confirmation that the CIA is using tools that are already readily available and known publicly.
“The stuff in the CIA leak mostly comes from public research,” Tentler said. “These people go to conferences, they read papers, and they follow the work of the information security community.”
In other words, while Wikileaks has tried to spin this information as some “shocking, top-secret look into the workings of the CIA,” and the conservative media is trying to use it to defend Trump’s insanity, the truth is, these documents are nothing more than outdated information “exposing” the fact that the CIA uses exploits readily available to any professional hacker.
This brings up a point I’ve said to many Trump supporters: If you have to keep concocting ridiculous conspiracies to defend Trump, isn’t that fairly solid evidence that you might be wrong about him?
Not only is the information contained in these leaks not-at-all what Wikileaks and these conspiracy theorists are trying to claim it is, but this conspiracy being pushed by the right doesn’t remotely make sense. If the CIA really wanted to “undermine” Trump, or hack something to use to go after him, then I’m certain there are much better, and damaging, ways for them to have accomplished that — rather than hacking Hillary Clinton and the DNC just to “frame” Russia and claim they were trying to help elect him. If that’s the best “plan” the Central Intelligence Agency could come up with, then they’re far too incompetent to do what these conspiracy loons are claiming took place.
This is stupidity on a scale bordering outright insanity.