Comey thinks Americans are stupid

James Comey, photo from Washington Post, credit Reuters.

M Comey, the head of the US FBI told Congress today, in a very well-rehearsed response to Senator Feinstein, that his agents informed him that metadata from M Weiner’s laptop might be from the first three months of Mme Clinton’s tenure as US Secretary of State.

As anyone who uses an e-mail client can tell you the metadata absolutely could, and did, instantly, tell the FBI the dates those emails were sent. That is what e-mail clients do, sort your e-mails by time using ‘metadata‘. Within seconds they could rule, in or out, if there were e-mails from the critical time period. And, if they were not, the FBI could have told within minutes if there was any likelihood someone had been altering metadata on M Weiner‘s laptop.

If M Weiner were somehow more technically skilled than he has ever given anyone reason to suspect, he might have adjusted some dates. But there would be evidence of exactly that kind of systems level tampering. If there had been evidence of systems level tampering there would be NO WAY TO PROVE CONCLUSIVELY, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, THAT E-MAILS CAME FROM THE CRITICAL TIME PERIOD. Simply put, all the evidence could have been falsified either to show, or to not show, criminal activity. How subtle is your opponent? you do not know.

Which means almost instantly FBI agents would know if there was any case against Mme Clinton.

So M Comey lied. And he thinks no one will notice the very very very big elephant. And he deliberately acted to influence the election, just as we all really know he did.


But the question no one seems willing to ask publicly, the other very big elephant, is: was he acting on orders from Moscow, or from his Republican ideology? (roll over explication) Either way I find M Comey more than mildly nauseous.

One Reply to “Comey thinks Americans are stupid”

  1. I have to say this still really really bugs me.

    Let’s say the FBI agents were being unusually cautious and carefully, forensically, taking apart M Weiner’s laptop. And, again for the sake of argument, M Weiner’s laptop had an unusually large hard drive, say a terrabyte of storage. Once the case has been cracked, the drive removed to a custom controller, we’re looking at maybe an hour to – again, extremely cautiously – suck down the contents and create a replicable virtual machine.

    In two hours, four tops, we will have a clone of M Weiner’s machine which we can boot without any worries. And we can look inside his e-mail client and see exactly what he has been looking at, including his wife’s apparently voluminous e-mail cache of months/years worth of undeleted messages. And within, oh, 2 minutes of scrolling I bet, we can conclusively determine that – barring slightly technical meddling – there are or are not e-mails from the time questioned time frame.

    Whether or not the e-mails we are looking for are found, we can find out within about 15 minutes whether or not it is likely that M Weiner (or anyone else who may have hacked his box) was mucking about at the system level – for example modifying logs to introduce/hide evidence of when e-mails were received. Or even if such tools exist, or ever existed, on the system. Once we have some clue that any such tool was possibly used we have to assume it was used and that nothing on the system can be trusted.

    That might take just a moment of explanation. If there is reason to believe something on the system was deliberately altered, nothing can be trusted that is drawn from that system. Nothing. The reason is that if something could be changed to alter the ‘reality’ as perceived by the machine, then everything, really everything, could have been changed. Including inventing the evidence that something has been changed.

    So, what we have here is a scenario where it is unlikely that M Comey would not have had his answer within 2:15 to 4:15 of whenever it was the FBI got permission to dig into M Weiner’s laptop.

    If he wanted it.

    In fact, it would require pretty much gross negligence to not be able to tell M Comey the high-probability answer would be within 6 hours.

    Yet M Comey says he was told he could not get a high-probability answer within weeks, and therefore had to go public. AND HE BELIEVED THAT TO BE TRUE.

    So, he lied. Or, possibly, maybe, he is incompetent.

    In either case, why is he in charge of the FBI?

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