Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, are very upset about the WikiLeaks release of DNC emails. But Vladimir Putin is happy…. (More)
“Insensitive, emotional emails”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced yesterday that she’ll resign as Chair of the Democratic National Committee, after WikiLeaks released emails that showed at least some DNC staffers offered plans to undermine Bernie Sanders primary campaign:
Regarding the content of the emails, which came from the accounts of seven DNC officials, several indicated that Wasserman Schultz and others, despite the organization’s responsibility to remain neutral in the Democratic primary race, at least privately favored the candidacy of Clinton over Sanders, or believed Sanders would not win the nomination. Some show the officials brainstorming ways to damage or undercut the Sanders campaign, though it’s not clear if any of these conversations led the DNC or its personnel to put such thoughts into action. The most controversial email so far is one in which a few officials wonder if they should work to call attention to the atheism of an unnamed person, presumed to be Sanders, as a way of making “several points difference” with Southern Baptist voters in Kentucky and West Virginia. The author of that message, DNC CFO Brad Marshall, has since apologized for his “insensitive, emotional emails.”
Worth noting: so far there’s no evidence that Wasserman Schultz, Marshall, or any DNC staffer did anything to advance Clinton or block Sanders. There’s evidence that some of them favored Clinton and offered ideas to undermine Sanders … but so far no evidence that anyone at the DNC acted on that favoritism or those ideas. But who needs evidence when you can cook up conspiracy theories that play on Sanders’ primary season meme of The System Is Rigged?
“A tinge of Russian-style information war”
Needless to say, Sanders, Clinton, and Wasserman Schultz are upset. But guess who isn’t?
It may take months, or years, to figure out the motives of those who stole the emails, and more important, whether they were being commanded by Russian authorities, and specifically by Mr. Putin. But the theft from the national committee would be among the most important state-sponsored hacks yet of an American organization, rivaled only by the attacks on the Office of Personnel Management by state-sponsored Chinese hackers, and the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which Mr. Obama blamed on North Korea. There, too, embarrassing emails were released, but they had no political significance. The WikiLeaks release, however, has more of a tinge of Russian-style information war, in which the intent of the revelations is to alter political events. Exactly how, though, is a bit of a mystery, apart from embarrassing Democrats and further alienating Mr. Sanders’s supporters from Mrs. Clinton.
Evidence so far suggests that the attack was the work of at least two separate agencies, each apparently working without the knowledge that the other was inside the Democrats’ computers. It is unclear how WikiLeaks obtained the email trove. But the presumption is that the intelligence agencies turned it over, either directly or through an intermediary. Moreover, the timing of the release, between the end of the Republican convention and the beginning of the Democratic one, seems too well planned to be coincidental.
And guess who else isn’t upset:
Leaked e-mails of DNC show plans to destroy Bernie Sanders. Mock his heritage and much more. On-line from Wikileakes, really vicious. RIGGED
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2016
“What is really new here is the attempt to influence the politics of the United States”
It’s not just the Clinton campaign linking Putin to the email leak. The Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger and Ellen Nakashima report that the White House convened a meeting of cyber-security experts Friday to discuss evidence that the hacker has ties to Russia:
Late last week, hours before the records were released by the website WikiLeaks, the White House convened a high-level security meeting to discuss reports that Russia had hacked into systems at the Democratic National Committee.
Last month, the forensic firm CrowdStrike said two competing Russian intelligence hacker groups penetrated the DNC’s computers. In the past 24 hours, cybersecurity experts have said that the email cache released by WikiLeaks on Friday appears to have been given to the anti-secrecy group by Russian intelligence.
Thomas Rid, a professor at King’s College London, said in an interview that in a private chat on Twitter on Saturday, he communicated with the entity that claimed to have released the email cache to WikiLeaks.
The party, which calls itself Guccifer2, last month claimed responsibility for the DNC hack. Several independent analysts have concluded that Guccifer2, who claimed to be Romanian, is likely linked to Russia.
Michael G. Vickers, who served as undersecretary of defense for intelligence from 2011 to 2015, said an effort by the Russians to release intelligence in advance of a U.S. election is likely unprecedented.
“What is really new here is the attempt to influence the politics of the United States. That is the problem,” he said.
So let’s review. Donald Trump tells the New York Times that maybe the U.S. wouldn’t defend Latvia or Lithuania or other small countries if Russia attacked, because hey, they haven’t paid their protection money. Needless to say, that disturbs our allies, yet Trump digs in and defends that ridiculous position because: (1) Trump believes he’s never wrong about anything; and/or (2) he admires Putin and both Trump’s businesses and his campaign staff have close ties to Putin.
So when WikiLeaks releases an email dump showing that several DNC staffers favored Hillary Clinton and a few wrote even stupid emails with stupid ideas about how to undercut Sanders …
… and that hack was likely directed by Russian intelligence, which just happens to be where Putin’s career began …
… of course The Really Important Part Of The Story is Democrats In Disarray!
Because liberal media bias and all that.
Photo Credits: Bernie Sanders by Bill Clark (CQ Roll Call); Vladimir Putin (Getty Images); Hillary Clinton (AP File); Debbie Wasserman Schultz by Paul Morigi (Getty Images); Composite by Crissie Brown (BPICampus)
Good day and good nuts