Computer Weekly Stonewalls When Evidence Emerges

As their January 2021 hit-piece crumbles and evidence emerges discrediting the publication, editors are left with no choice but to return to stonewalling.

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Note: If you're just here to review my emails to William Binney and Eden Quainton regarding the DNC emails, you can skip straight to the relevant section by clicking here. If you already know about my history with Campbell, you can skip straight to the updates regarding the 2021 hit-piece here.

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Background: Pursuing Guccifer 2.0 And Being Pursued By Duncan Campbell

I'll try to make this brief while covering the most critical events:

In 2016, A persona calling itself "Guccifer 2.0" claimed credit for hacking the Democratic party. It fabricated evidence to 'prove' this using files that don't even appear to have come from the DNC, lied about WikiLeaks, appears to have been primarily operating from within US time zones (based on digital forensics evidence from files, emails and statistical analysis of blogging and social media activity) and produced documents tainted with 'Russian breadcrumbs' using devices that did not appear to be genuinely configured for use in Russia or by Russians.

In June 2017, I was concerned to see that some people were claiming that a manipulated copy of an archive apparently released by Guccifer 2.0 in September 2016 were "Seth Rich files" (in reference to someone who worked for the Democratic party and was murdered in July 2016) and I objected to this as I could see no reason for them to claim that these files were related to that individual. (I did think, at that time, that Rich may have been a source for WikiLeaks but I objected to evidence being unduly conflated with such theories as I felt this was unhelpful to investigation efforts.)

In July 2017, an anonymous analyst using the pseudonym "Forensicator" published a report on the original archive, and, while there was no indication of anything connecting to Seth Rich, there was an Eastern time zone indicator relating to activity in September 2016 (almost two months after Rich had passed away) and evidence suggested that the files in the archive had been transferred via a thumb drive in early July 2016.

In August 2017, it was brought to my attention that Jerome Corsi had conflated Forensicator's work with Seth Rich and I made a statement arguing against this, stating that we saw nothing linking to Seth Rich and that these things shouldn't conflated.

In November 2017, it came to my attention that two authors (James Risen and Duncan Campbell) had co-authored an article in the Intercept that conflated the topics of research into Guccifer 2.0 with Seth Rich conspiracy theories on the basis of third party interpretations and with references made to a meeting held between ex-NSA whistleblower William Binney and CIA-director-at-the-time Mike Pompeo (as they were discussing several topics alongside each other, including Rich and including evidence relating to Guccifer 2.0). There was no mention of the fact that I objected to these topics being conflated and the authors avoided linking to the original report from Forensicator (so readers weren't presented opportunity to make their own judgements about it). I was openly critical of the piece and visibly unimpressed with the effort to conflate these topics.

Later that month, William Binney met with Duncan Campbell, and, when he returned from that meeting, it seems Binney had been loaded up with conspiracy theories about myself. It was suggested that I could be "The Russians", or an "American pretending to be a Brit" or even the "CIA trying to trick VIPS".

Fortunately, as I was willing to demonstrate to VIPS members that these theories were nonsense (by accepting a phone call to a UK landline number and speaking with a VIPS associate), communications were soon re-established.

In December 2017, it became clear that Campbell believed that I was a Canadian called Ken (he had led himself to this conclusion due to his own efforts to dig up dirt on me). Campbell then contacted the company hosting my sites and claimed that my sites were "linked to follow on operations supporting Russia".

Campbell went on to suggest that Russians were using a script on one of my sites that nobody besides myself and Campbell had accessed and went even further, suggesting that I was being paid by "the Russians" and, in a recorded phone call, stated "we deserve to know how much the Russians are paying him" in reference to whom he believed to be behind my "Adam Carter" pseudonym.

This backfired spectacularly when Campbell was challenged by a VIPS associate, in front of VIPS members and editors at The Register, to substantiate his McCarthyite rumors and wild allegations.

Instead of supporting his claims with evidence, Campbell made a thinly veiled threat to include the person challenging him in his hit-piece.

Campbell's article wasn't published and he had made a fool out of himself.

I don't think Campbell was impressed with his scheming being exposed because, in Spring 2018, I was warned by another researcher that Campbell had figured out my real identity and I was warned that he may be planning to dox and smear me.

On July 31, 2018, Computer Weekly became the platform of choice for Campbell's malice and mendacity and the publication published a hit-piece primarily targeting Forensicator and myself.

Just one day after publication, it was shown, by an independent analyst, that Campbell was pushing misinformation and disinformation including allegations he would have known to be false at the time of publication. (This was demonstrated with evidence of Campbell's own communications.)

Conspiracy theories and technical theories pushed in Campbell's piece were soon discredited, and, following this, more evidence emerged corroborating the reporting and analysis those targeted by Campbell's piece, providing more evidence pointing at Guccifer 2.0 having US origins.

Campbell continued feeding demonstrable falsehoods to the public into 2019 (even after being notified of additional evidence existing just two weeks prior to this).

In December 2019, I wrote my final summary report, "Guccifer 2.0: Evidence Versus GRU Attribution". It featured my closing arguments and made clear that we do not need conspiracy theories as we have ample evidence to support skepticism when it comes to claims about Guccifer 2.0 being a GRU officer.

In May 2020, Computer Weekly editors were notified of the existence of evidence showing their author had engaged in disinformation (just in case they had missed the evidence of Campbell's communications being posted to Twitter in 2018) as well as multiple pieces of evidence showing that their author's claims regarding evidence were false and that there had been additional evidence corroborating the work of the reporters and researchers who were unfairly attacked by Computer Weekly's author.

Editors William Goodwin and Bryan Glick did not respond.

They declined to make corrections in spite of evidence, didn't care to let their readers know the truth about all of the additional evidence discovered corroborating those they had attacked and routinely stonewalled legitimate challenges to their misreporting and misinformation.

Computer Weekly has been a source of disinformation for over three years and it appears editors have willfully retained disinformation in spite of evidence for at least a year.

 

Computer Weekly's 2021 Seth Rich Libel Hit-Piece

In January of 2021, just a month after Goodwin had been ducking and dodging requests to confirm receipt of the May 2020 email, and, in spite of what had been demonstrated to Computer Weekly's editors regarding Campbell's disinformation, editors commissioned another hit-piece from Campbell to attack the same targets he had already demonstrably made false allegations against previously.

This time the narrative was shifted away from the topic of Guccifer 2.0 (where developments clearly didn't go the way Campbell and his cohorts had hoped) and, instead, the new piece tried to portray me as a key encouraging figure in allegations being made against Seth Rich in the shadow of a libel case between the Rich family and others.

The article focused heavily on myself and featured a headline stating "Revealed: Brits who fuelled ‘vicious’ conspiracy theory by Trump supporters".

It seems that trying to have the public blame me for a 'vicious' conspiracy theory (and allegations against Rich) in the context of the libel case was the primary purpose of the hit-piece, however, in doing so, they misrepresented the very little influence I actually had in the case.

In one part of the article they claim:

Leonard does not dispute he sent Couch and Butowsky’s attorneys “Forensicator” data to try to back up claims about Rich in the planned trial. He said: “I may have shared evidence with them, but only to answer queries or provide corrections.”

However, I did not say that I'd sent Forensicator data to attorneys and, upon checking my past communications I could not see any communications in which I had sent attorneys any data from Forensicator.

In fact, when it comes to the attorney who actually asked me to get involved in the case, I provided him a reason to avoid making a certain allegation that I suspected the defense was wanting to make (an allegation upon which allegations against Rich could hypothetically be made).

If anything, I discouraged allegations being made.

 

Evidence From 2019 Communications

In September 2019, before anyone had asked me to get involved in any libel case, I expressed an objection to William Binney and other VIPS members about definitive arguments being made regarding a FAT-file-system (ie. what you'd typically find in use on thumbdrives) in relation to the DNC's emails.

I cautioned against this and explained that there was another plausible way for the same fact pattern to be generated without any FAT file system (or thumbdrive) needing to be involved:

The fact of the matter is that I had already notified an expert witness of the above before I was asked to get directly involved.

Any arguments of proof of a thumbdrive from any recipients identified in the screenshot above after this date would have been making arguments that disregarded my advice.

On December 5, 2019, Matt Couch contacted me and introduced me to his attorney, Eden Quainton.

I was asked if I would be an expert witness in an upcoming libel case and was also asked what I made of statements being made by Kim Dotcom (who had just been tweeting about Seth Rich at the time).

My response was as follows (redactions are solely of Quainton's communications):

I advised Quainton that I would not definitively argue for a thumbdrive being used to transfer the DNC emails as there was another way to produce the same fact pattern and I mentioned that I could not vouch for Dotcom's comments.

I sent Quainton no data, told him I wouldn't make a certain argument and noted that I knew of another way to produce the same fact pattern and so would not definitively argue that a thumb drive had been used to transfer the DNC's emails.

Ultimately, I warned others away from making allegations and preemptively declined to make allegations upon which subsequent allegations against Rich could theoretically be made.

I did not send data to attorneys to back up allegations against Rich such as Computer Weekly's author has implied.

 

Goodwin Denies Dispute, Returns To Stonewalling When Evidence Emerges

I contacted William Goodwin on February 19, 2021, to notify him of this issue (Computer Weekly editor in chief, Bryan Glick, as well as Tech Target's VP of content, Kelly Damore, were included as additional receipients):

With no response, on March 3, 2021, I decided to challenge Goodwin on this along with a few other issues, and, this time, in front of a couple of witnesses. I included Glick and Campbell as recipients too:

It seems Goodwin didn't quite comprehend what I had stated and was unwilling to answer some of the critical issues as his response was as follows:

Goodwin was clearly unwilling to accept my dispute on the basis of his and his associates "understanding" of an attorney's "conduct".

Undeterred by Goodwin's excuse to avoid correcting Campbell's propaganda, I sent evidence to Goodwin to show that his assumptions were wrong and that I'd actually discouraged allegations being made.

On March 27th, 2021, I sent unredacted details of my communications with Quainton to Goodwin. It showed that, rather than sending any "Forensicator data" (or any data, for that matter) to the attorney, I had, in fact, provided a reason to avoid arguing for a thumbdrive in relation to DNC emails.

Goodwin did not respond to this.

On June 26th, 2021, I sent Goodwin the screenshot of the email I had sent to Bill Binney and other VIPS members a couple of months before being asked to get involved in the libel case showing that I had advised Binney and others away from making any definitive arguments about FAT-file systems (thumbdrives, etc) in relation to the DNC emails.

Goodwin didn't respond to this either.

On July 24th, 2021, I sent Goodwin an email from a different domain and asked him to confirm whether he had or hadn't received the previous emails:

Of course, Goodwin did not respond.

It seems, faced with evidence discrediting the narrative he helped promote and questions about him being implicated in deception through omission (which he declined to respond to), Goodwin has had little choice but to return to stonewalling.

 

Deception Through Omission?

On January 25, 2021, William Goodwin sent me an email pressing me with questions relating to Seth Rich:

I responded to Goodwin the following day:

I stated that the premise of him being a source for WikiLeaks was backed by more evidence (albeit circumstantial/hearsay) than the premise of his murder being a botched robbery but also said that I was ambivalent about the topic and made clear that I'd become wary of the topic as I knew people sought to conflate my work with Seth Rich conspiracy theories in order to undermine it.

Computer Weekly, however, reported the following:

 

Conclusion

Campbell, Goodwin and Glick have concealed facts, evidence and statements from Computer Weekly's readers that would hurt their narrative. They have been unable to back up their most sensational claims (eg. "disinformation campaign") when challenged. It's become clear that their actions and inaction have served to deceive the public and it seems they are determined to continue keeping their readers misinformed and clueless about what has actually been discovered.

The narrative in their latest hit-piece is likely to leave readers with a false impression of my involvement and influence in the Seth Rich libel case where, in reality, I have long been opposed to digital forensics evidence being unduly conflated with Seth Rich conspiracy theories and, even in relation to the libel case, my position on this has remained consistent.

Instead of "cultivating" people to push "insider" conspiracy theories (a conspiracy theory in itself coming from Campbell), my interactions show that I actually warned people away from making arguments that would have supported such theories.

I believe Campbell and Goodwin cynically exploited the libel case to try to justify their publication of irrelevant smears and to draw an audience to those smears. The fact they wildly and wrongly speculated about the libel case where they clearly lack facts and evidence was a red flag from the outset.

Computer Weekly's latest hit-piece seems to have been corrupt from the moment it was conceived and editors had no legitimate excuse for commissioning another hit-piece from Campbell after his first hit-piece was shown to contain false allegations and disinformation. That they did this in their capacity as editors for Computer Weekly considering information they were provided makes the commisioning appear fraudulent.

Campbell, Goodwin and Glick were already responsible for the production and stubborn retention of demonstrable disinformation. This latest chapter shows that they are still not able to handle disputes legitimately, avoid correcting falsehoods in spite of evidence proving them wrong and it now appears Goodwin and Campbell are implicated in an egregious deception through omission.

It's a shame these individuals cannot act in good faith here and that Computer Weekly's editors continue to give Campbell's discredited smear campaign a platform after what was demonstrated about his allegations so early on and further discoveries of evidence corroborating the positions of those he attacked had emerged.

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August 17, 2021
TL / AC