Well, here’s something you won’t see on CNN or any other mainstream news network.

There’s this group of former – read that retired – U.S. intelligence agency employees who go by VIPS. That’s “Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.”

They’ve made somewhat of a name for themselves by debunking certain dubious intelligence assessments. The group, for example, challenged the accuracy of the Central Intelligence Agency’s claim that Saddam Hussein had a bunch of “weapons of mass destruction.”

On Feb. 7, 2003, on the eve of the Iraq War, VIPS released a "Memorandum for The President" criticizing U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech before the United Nations, and warning against "a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."

They were right, of course, and the whole debacle was a huge black eye for the George W. Bush administration.

The VIPS also have condemned the use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques on suspected terrorists, suggesting that they are ineffective. This, of course, was another poke in the eye for the W administration.

I am telling you this so you understand that VIPS is not a bunch of right-wing partisan hacks.

They are equal-opportunity disparagers of bad intelligence.

Here are some of the folks working for VIPS: Skip Folden, former manager of IBM's information technology; Edward Loomis, former NSA technical director for the Office of Signals Processing; and William Binney, a former NSA technical director and co-founder of the NSA's Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center.

These were some of the best intelligence guys in the business. They’ve also employed computer program architects, computer programmers, computer systems designers and data analysts to help them.

These days, they are investigating the Clinton/Democratic National Committee hack story.

You know the story.

In summer 2016, WikiLeaks said it would release computer files that had dirt on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The released files showed that the DNC didn’t like Bernie Sanders all that much and were doing all they could to tilt the election in Hillary’s favor. That’s a no-no.

A couple of days later, an outfit called CrowdStrike said it detected Russian malware on the DNC’s email server. What a coincidence! CrowdStrike was the computer security company hired by the DNC, by the way.

Next, this Romanian guy calling himself Giuccifer 2.0 claimed he was the source of the hacked information WikiLeaks released. Then he posted computers files online from the DNC that contained evidence of Russian involvement in the hack.

Of course, this whole mess made the DNC – and Hillary – look bad, so Hillary’s campaign went full bore to convince the all-too-compliant mainstream media that Russian not only hacked the DNC server, but they did it to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary.

That’s the narrative.

But along comes VIPS, who completed what has been described as an exacting forensic examination of the available evidence.

On July 24, VIPS released its initial investigative findings.

Executive Summary

Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer. After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016, intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device.

How do they know this, you ask?

Well, the memo runs to 2,200 words, so I’ll summarize. You can read the whole thing here http://tinyurl.com/yct5fvw3 if you would like. I recommend it. It’s fascinating.

From the memo:

In the early evening, Eastern Daylight Time, someone working in the EDT time zone with a computer directly connected to the DNC server or DNC Local Area Network, copied 1,976 MegaBytes of data in 87 seconds onto an external storage device. That speed is much faster than what is physically possible with a hack.

If you do the math, you see that the data was downloaded at a rate of around 22.7 megabytes per second.

It thus appears that the purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 (the self-proclaimed WikiLeaks source) was not a hack by Russia or anyone else, but was rather a copy of DNC data onto an external storage device.


Of equal importance, the forensics show that the copying was performed on the East coast of the U.S.

That’s a long way from Russia.

VIPS also notes that, if there had been a hack, the NSA would have a record of it, but they don’t.

So the Russian “hack,” according to VIPS, was really an inside job. Somebody with access to the DNC server downloaded the files onto a thumb drive.

Now, do I know if these VIPS findings are accurate? Nope.

But if true, these revelations – that the very linchpin of the Trump-Russia collusion theory is bogus – explain a few things.

Like why did the FBI under James Comey simply accept the findings of a questionable outfit like CrowdStrike instead of analyzing the data itself?

And why, after the DNC denied law enforcement access to its server, didn’t the FBI use all the legal means at its disposal to obtain and search the server for Russian malware or evidence of hacking?

I mean, the DNC is the victim, right? You’d think they would have demanded the FBI analyze their server.

It also raises an interesting question. If the DNC server wasn’t hacked, as VIPS says, why did Hillary and the Democrats say it was?

I hope Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the moxy to get to the bottom of this.