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By John Helmer, Moscow

Robert Mueller (lead image), the special US prosecutor of crimes of espionage between Moscow and Washington, picked July 13 to issue his indictment of twelve alleged Russian military intelligence officers for doing their jobs on evidence collected by US intelligence officers doing their jobs.

The Russian crime alleged by Mueller in Paragraph 1 of the indictment  was  “large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” The US crime, revealed by Mueller but unindicted so far by the Russian General Prosecutor, was large-scale cyber operations to interfere with Russian state security.

Mueller could not have picked a more auspicious date if he weren’t an ignoramus on the history of autocracy and democracy, European and American. For it is one day later, on July 14, when every year France celebrates the start of the French Revolution. The reason for the celebration is the end of abuse of power by kings and pretenders to state authority, and their replacement by the democratic rule of law. That revolution, like the annual celebration, isn’t quite over.

What Mueller did this year was to issue what was called, before July 14, 1789, a lettre de cachet – a letter with the royal signet or seal.  In the French practice, this was a combination of indictment, conviction, and order for arrest, confiscation of property,  and punishment of an individual, who had no right in law to know the charge against him; prove the evidence;  appeal the sentence.

The Mueller indictment of twelve officers of the Russian military intelligence agency, GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff) is a fresh US-Government style lettre de cachet. It names the men accused, their crimes,  and the punishment.  The penalties include “upon conviction [the twelve] shall forfeit to the United States any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of such violation, and any personal property that was used or intended to be used to commit or to facilitate the commission of such offense.”

Mueller has neither the power nor the intention of trying the accused, or the particulars of his lettre,  in an American court of law. This is why on July 13 he intended to violate the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, first introduced in Philadelphia on June 8, 1789, just a month before the lettre de cachet lost its power in Paris.  The Fifth Amendment says noone shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

Read the 29-page indictment ending with Mueller’s sign here.

Instead of due process in the courtoom, retired US intelligence analysts, cyber warfare specialists, lawyers, and investigative journalists are examining the Mueller indictment point by point in the alternative media.  Start here. “This is not a serious criminal indictment,” commented a US attorney with more than twenty years of legal practice in Russia. “If it were, it would have been filed under seal and an attempt made to arrest at least someone involved in this.  It is a political PR stunt.”

Suppose, however, the particulars of the indictment are true as alleged; that a US Government prosecutor has obtained from a grand jury  a “true bill” revealing that a Russian intelligence agency was spying on the United States, according to evidence collected by the US intelligence services doing their reciprocal duty of spying on the Russians.

Consider the timeline recorded for the Russian espionage and the US counter-espionage following the start, on March 16, 2016, of  the Wikileaks series of publications of emails from Hillary Clinton’s Secretary of State term;   followed by emails from Democratic Party organizations released in June and July 2016;   continuing through October (the John Podesta archive); and concluding on November 6, 2016, two days before Election Day.

At Paragraph 3, Mueller reveals that “starting in at least March 2016, the Conspirators [the GRU Twelve] used a variety of means to hack the email accounts of volunteers and employees of the U.S. presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton”. Then, according to Paragraph 4, “by in or around April 2016, the Conspirators also hacked into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).”   The dates of the data thefts are given as March 19, 21, 25, 28, April 6, 7, 12, 14, 22.

It wasn’t long – no more than a month, perhaps days — before US counter-intelligence now says it discovered the Russian operation and broke into it, without revealing to the Russians that they were exposed. Paragraph 32: “Despite the Conspirators efforts to hide their activity, beginning in or around May 2016, both the DCCC and DNC became aware that they had been hacked and hired a security company (Company 1) [this was CrowdStrike] to identify the extent of the intrusions. By in or around June 2016, Company 1 took steps to exclude intruders from the networks.” A month later, according to Paragraph 40, “on or about June 14, 2016, the DNC through Company 1 publicly announced that it had been hacked by Russian government actors”.

If the Russians didn’t get the message, Paragraph 33c reveals they kept trying: “On or about June 20, 2016, after Company 1 had disabled X-Agent on the DCCC network, the Conspirators spent over seven hours unsuccessfully trying to connect to X-Agent.”

It is now certain, Mueller declares in his true bill, not only that the US and Russian agents knew they were on to each other, but that the US agents had been able to trace the Russian intrusion signals back to their sources, identifying the agents’ names, including patronymics; their ranks and unit assignments; their operating aliases;  their GRU unit numbers; and the physical addresses of their offices at  20 Komsomolskiy Prospekt, inside the Moscow city limits, and  at 22 Kirova Street, Khimki, a northern suburb.

20 Komsomolsky Prospekt, Moscow 

The US counter-intelligence operation was able to record that a contact with the Trump presidential election campaign was approached by the Russians. This happened many weeks after Wikileaks had started publishing openly. The US operation reportedly failed to detect contact (collusion) with the Trump campaign. Also, the contact, according to the US espionage record, was slow to notice, and unimpressed by the value of the information. At Paragraph 44:  “On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person [Roger Stone] who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, ‘thank u for writing back . . . do u find anyt[h]ing interesting in the docs i posted?’ On or about August 17, 2016, the Conspirators added, ‘please tell me if i can help u anyhow . . . it would be a great pleasure to me.’ On or about September 9, 2016, the Conspirators, again posing as Guccifer 2.0, referred to a stolen DCCC document posted online and asked the person, ‘what do u think of the info on the turnout model for the democrats entire presidential campaign.’ The person responded, ‘[p]retty standard.’”

Paragraph  47 reveals that both the Russian and American agents were closely monitoring the Wikileaks computer traffic, hacking and reading their emails, as well as providing click bait.  On June 22, US agents discovered, “Organization 1 [Wikileaks] sent a private message to Guccifer 2.0 to ‘[s]end any new material [stolen from the DNC] here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.’ ”

This was ten days after June 12, when Julian Assange had publicly revealed Wikileaks was ready to release “upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton”.     So the Mueller evidence implies the Russians were playing catch-up, with materials which, until that moment, Assange, other Wikileaks analysts and Roger Stone  didn’t think much of. For analysis of what Mueller is admitting to here, read this.

“On or about June 27, 2016,” according to Paragraph 45b, “the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, contacted a U.S. reporter with an offer to provide stolen emails from Hillary Clintons staff.”  Mueller reveals the US was monitoring Russian communications with a US journalist; by inference he also reveals that the journalist refused to publish anything from the materials offered.  Which reporter and which American press outlet, its editors and management decided not to publish are not yet known. Nor the reason for the media coverup.

The Russian spies appear to have been undeterred by this rejection, and soldiered on at Wikileaks. “On or about July 6, 2016, Organization 1 [Wikileaks] added, if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [sic] days prefable [sic] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after. The Conspirators responded, ok . . . i see. Organization 1 explained, we think trump has only a 25% chance of winning against hillary . . . so conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting.”

For details of what Assange subsequently offered to disclose about the sources of these contacts to  Justice Department, FBI and CIA officials, read this.  The only comment Wikileaks has made so far to the Mueller indictment refers to its timing, not its veracity.

Source: https://twitter.com/wikileaks

Mueller reports at Paragraph 31 that “during the hacking of the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and DNC [Democratic National Committee] networks, the Conspirators covered their tracks by intentionally deleting logs and computer files.” Altogether, the indictment identifies four separate efforts at deletion of computer logs by the Russian agents  — May 13, June 1, June 20, and a date in August. This appears to be a highly sensitive disclosure that US intelligence has the technical capability to defeat Russian methods of computer deletion, not only by detecting Russian deletion attempts when they happen, but by retrieving or reconstructing what the Russians think they have erased securely. This is an exceptional achievement in US cyber warfare to have slipped out of its TOP SECRET NOFORN classification; it may be a signal that US cyber agents can fabricate Russian tracks to deceive other US cyber agents; Mueller too.

The sophistication, time and labour intensity of this type of warfare is expensive, at least on the US side.  Mueller’s investigators report they are spending more than $750,000 per month – and this doesn’t count the cost of the National Security Agency and other cyber intelligence operations which have been provided to Mueller without charge to his budget.

His indictment reveals how much more cost-effective the Russian side is.  With just twelve agents, and not counting what the US knows about their rouble paychecks,  the indictment reveals at Paragraph 57: “To facilitate the purchase of infrastructure used in their hacking activity—including hacking into the computers of U.S. persons and entities involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and releasing the stolen documents—the Defendants conspired to launder the equivalent of more than $95,000 through a web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.”

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