The Russia Distraction

A fly rests on a stack of old papers in a cluttered and dusty office in the bowels of the Kremlin.

Person 1: “We have been asked to double check ourselves on this hacking story.”

Person 2: “Again?”

Person 1: “I know, I know. I said this is a dead horse, but… you know politics. So, what do we know for sure on this hacking nuisance?”

Person 3: (Frustrated) “First, we know that every day there are tens of thousand, if not hundreds of thousand, instances of hacking occurring around the world. Ninety-five percent of which are just teenagers having fun.”

1: “Then how do we know the Americans are right?”

2: “For the same reasons they were so certain that Saddam had chemical weapons… they sold them to him.”

1: “Are you saying the Americans did this this to themselves, or are they making the story up.”

3: Our evidence suggest that some of their computers were indeed hacked from our territory, but there is no way to know who did it. It could have been American agents. It could have been Israel. Hell, it could have even been Iceland.”

1: “Or, it could have been moles in our own government.”

3: “That is true. It comes down to the fact that it is simply impossible to know anything for sure.”

2: “What he means is that, if it were possible to know exactly which computer did the hacking, we still wouldn’t know who was sitting at that computer and what their intentions truly were.”

1: “For example?”

3: “For example… If it did come from a government computer, which I doubt, a CIA agent could hack into my computer and then use it to hack the Americans simply to make us look bad. Or, an Israeli agent could have hacked my computer to hack the Americans because they wanted to steal certain information and make it look like we did it to cover their tracks.”

2: “Or,… an ex KGB could have sat down at your computer to use it to hack the Americans just to be harassing.”

3: “… Or because they were paid to by an outside source.”

1: “Is it that easy to hack into someone’s computer to use it to hack someone else?”

3: “For a professional? Yes. For an institution like a large government? Even easier. Remember how the CIA got Xerox to put cameras into all their copiers that they shipped to us back in the 70’s? Well, it is even easier to hard-wire computers to have a secret back door for someone to use. Not just a stealth program hidden on the hard drive, but a hard-wired entry point. It didn’t take us too long to find the cameras in the copiers. These computers however… there are a million different weaknesses.”

1: “You said you doubted that it came from a government office, why?”

3: “Because the Americans are soft and easily manipulated. To them, from how their media reports, the hacking coming from a small house on the outskirts of Yekaterinburg is exactly the same as it coming from President Putin’s office in the center of Moscow. They make no distinction.”

2: “Their media also claims that Russia is a master of internet warfare, although we apparently were not smart enough to hack American computers from another country, or make any effort to cover our tracks. Truthfully, the best evidence of what actually happened is how the American media is covering it.”

1: “So, how do we protect ourselves from this in the future?… from both being hacked and being falsely accused of hacking.”

3: “Simple. Put up a barrier like China did.”

1: “That wouldn’t play well… politically.”

2: “That is just it… to be secure we cannot care about image. The Americans are narcissists, all they care about is image and they use that to their advantage. They do not care about the lies they tell, so long as they look just and noble. The Chinese are secure, because they prefer honesty and integrity over image. Russia is trying to walk a line between the two, and we are suffering for it…. (long pause) No one is accusing China of hacking the Americans, because there is no way to make it look like they did it without having actual evidence.”

1: “Alright, I am satisfied that we beat this horse enough one more time… by the way what do you guys think actually happened… you know, off the record.”

3: “Exxon/Mobil.”

2: “Yup, Exxon/Mobil. They are the ones who have gained the most so far from all of this. Especially with Rex Tillerson now in the Sate Department. International business knows no boundaries. Most likely there are as many Russian officials on Exxon’s payroll as there are Americans.”

3; “There is no way to know exactly how they did it, they could have bribed some Russian officials,.. but most likely they just hired some foreigners to come in and rent an apartment to work from. And from there they had two goals; the first was to get their man into office, and the second was to make Russia look bad by using sloppy hacking skills that would leave enough of a trail… but not too much to get caught.”

2: “America is a perpetual wartime economy that needs a mortal enemy, after all.”

3: “That, and using this fake scandal to hide the real election fraud that actually happened within the United States¹.”

1: “Yes, yes. We have been over that. But, if America is a perpetual wartime economy, as you say, how does Exxon benefit?”

2: “War needs more oil than peace does. Look at how rapidly renewable energy is spreading through the peaceful countries. Only a good war can stop that.”

*1 –