[Vision2020] NBC 6-5-17: "Feds Arrest NSA Contractor in Leak of Top Secret Russia Document"

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Wed Jun 7 17:36:02 PDT 2017

[image: Image result for reality winner picture]

Reality Winner.  What a name!  At first I thought this must be a stage
name... I guess not.

Reminds me of Snowden, but she may end up in jail for a long time, unlike
Snowden who ironically is hiding from US authorities in

Detailed article from Vogue lower down.
Feds Arrest NSA Contractor in Leak of Top Secret Russia Document

by Pete Williams, Ken Dilanian and Tom Winter
What You Need to Know About Reality Winner
June 6, 2017 10:02 AM by Michelle Ruiz

Americans today awoke to the news that the FBI had arrested a 25-year-old
intelligence contractor named Reality Leigh Winner at her home in Augusta,
Georgia, and have charged her with leaking classified information to a news
media outlet—reportedly The Intercept. The Web is now splashed with photos
of the (yes, uniquely named) Winner, and is diving headlong into her story,
which sheds new light on just how much Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S.
presidential election, the Trump administration’s crackdown on intelligence
leaks, and the endless crying of “fake news.” Here’s what is known so far
about Winner, and her arrest.

*Why was Winner arrested?*
Winner was arrested for allegedly leaking a classified intelligence report
to the news media. The specific news outlet is not named in the Department
of Justice’s criminal complaint against Winner, but last night The
Intercept published
a National Security Agency memo dated May 5, 2017, saying it came from an
anonymous source. According to the DOJ, Winner admitted to an agent that
she sent the document.

The FBI affidavit
<https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/971331/download> says that
the news outlet had contacted the NSA and provided a copy of the document,
which the NSA then traced back to Winner’s computer, revealing her email
exchange with the outlet. Leaking classified information is a criminal
charge under the Espionage Act punishable by up to 10 years of prison time.

*What’s in the leaked memo?*
The document, printed with some redactions at The Intercept, reveals that
the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election went
further than the public previously knew (read: beyond email hacks at the
DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign), and, that despite denials from Russian
President Vladimir Putin, who just the other day floated to Megyn Kelly
that perhaps “freelance” hackers were behind the tampering, Russian
military intelligence agents were, in fact, responsible.

Citing intelligence gathered since April (but leaving “raw intelligence”
out of the document), the memo says agents with the GRU, Russia’s largest
foreign intelligence agency, launched two attacks before the election: one
attack in August on a voter-identification software company that is not
named but is believed by The Intercept and others to be Florida-based VR
Systems, and a second attack just before Election Day in late October or
early November on more than 100 local election officials. Both hacks came
via “spear phishing” (the same tactic used on Clinton’s campaign chair,
John Podesta) in which hackers send bogus emails from Gmail or Outlook
tricking people to open documents that would install software on their
computers and compromise their information.

The attack, which the memo says was likely successful, was planned as a
one-two punch: First, hack VR Systems, whose software is used by local
officials in several states to maintain the list of registered voters;
then, pose as VR Systems to send an email blast to an estimated 122 local
election officials, tricking them into clicking on a fake company manual
and stealing their information, too.

It is still unclear what impact the Russian tampering had on the election
result. As The Intercept notes: “The NSA analysis does not draw conclusions
about whether the interference had any effect on the election’s outcome and
concedes that much remains unknown about the extent of the hackers’
accomplishments. However, the report raises the possibility that Russian
hacking may have breached at least some elements of the voting system.”

*Who is Reality Winner?*
Winner is a U.S. Air Force veteran and government intelligence contractor
who was working in Georgia at Pluribus International Corporation, a
contractor for agencies including the NSA. Winner had top security
clearance. Winner’s mother told
Guardian* that she grew up near Corpus Christi, Texas, and was a linguist
in the Air Force who is fluent in Farsi, Dari, and Pashto.

According to Winner’s Facebook page, which is now being analyzed by
seemingly every news outlet on the planet, Winner was a former Bernie
Sanders supporter who was outspokenly anti-Trump, referring to the
president as a “piece of shit,” using #nevermypresident, and blasting
Trump’s promise to build a Mexican border wall and his stances on the
justice system and the EPA. It’s being widely noted that Winner (a reported
weightlifting aficionado) was among the few who appeared to predict Trump’s
victory this past November, tweeting, “On a positive note, this Tuesday
when we become the United States of the Russian Federation, Olympic lifting
will be the national sport.”

Still, Winner’s mother says she “never thought this would be something she
would do . . . I mean, she has expressed to me that she is not a fan of
Trump—but she’s not someone who would go and riot or picket.”

*What’s the political significance here?*
Winner’s arrest is the first of an alleged leaker since President Donald
Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s Department of Justice vowed to
crack down on intelligence leaks. (Recall that Trump has had a fraught
relationship with the intelligence community and some have called his Trump
administration the “leakiest" ever.)

But the memo is far from all upside for Trump, who has long scoffed at
reports about Russian interference to swing the election in his favor as
“fake news.” A government document rife with new details about how Russian
officials tampered with the election is all too real.

Additionally, the memo could be new evidence for former FBI chief Robert
Mueller’s Russia investigation, which is currently underway.

*How are the left and right reacting to Winner’s arrest?*
The right-wing media is condemning her as an “anti-Trump hack
whose alleged leak “coincidentally ended up in a news report from the
left-leaning Intercept” and, also “coincidentally,” fuels “Democrats’
long-running messaging about . . . supposed collusion with Russia to hack
and steal the election.” (Note to *The Washington Times*: That many
coincidences might not be “coincidences.”)

One of the first Democrats to speak out was Clinton’s former running mate
Sen. Tim Kaine, who told CNN that “somebody who leaks documents against
laws has got to suffer the consequences . . . but the American public is
also entitled to know the degree to which Russia invaded the election to
take the election away from American voters.”

And WikiLeaks founder and global leaker in chief Julian Assange tweeted
<https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/871889259199909894> support for
Winner, saying she is “accused of courage in trying to help us know.”
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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