It was hard to see the perniciousness of this attack at first, especially given how news media initially covered the story. The Russians, after all, didn’t knock out a power grid. And when the stolen information arrived, it was dressed in the ideology of WikiLeaks, which presents its exploits as possessing a kind of journalistic bravery the traditional media lacks.
This is trespassing, it’s thievery, it’s a breathtaking transgression of privacy.
But this document dump wasn’t a high-minded act of transparency. To state the obvious, only one political party has been exposed. (Selectively exposed: Many emails were culled from the abridged dump.) And it’s not really even the inner workings of the Democrats that have been revealed; the documents don’t suggest new layers of corruption or detail any new conspiracies. They’re something closer to the embarrassing emails that fly across every office in America—griping, the testing of stupid ideas, the banal musings that take place in private correspondence. The emails don’t get us much beyond a fact every sentient political observer could already see: Officials at the DNC, hired to work hand in glove with a seemingly inevitable nominee, were actively making life easier for Hillary Clinton. It didn’t take these leaks to understand that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a hack and that the DNC should be far more neutral in presidential primaries.
What’s galling about the WikiLeaks dump is the way in which the organization has blurred the distinction between leaks and hacks. Leaks are an important tool of journalism and accountability. When an insider uncovers malfeasance, he brings information to the public in order to stop the wrongdoing. That’s not what happened here. The better analogy for these hacks is Watergate. To help win an election, the Russians broke into the virtual headquarters of the Democratic Party. The hackers installed the cyber-version of the bugging equipment that Nixon’s goons used—sitting on the DNC computers for a year, eavesdropping on everything, collecting as many scraps as possible. This is trespassing, it’s thievery, it’s a breathtaking transgression of privacy. It falls into that classic genre, the dirty trick. Yet that term feels too innocent to describe the offense. Nixon’s dirty tricksters didn’t mindlessly expose the private data of low-level staff.
WASHINGTON — The plot seems ripped from the pages of a post-Cold War espionage thriller: Russian spy services hack into the Democratic Party’s computers, pilfer reams of data and then leak damaging emails in the hopes of helping elect a preferred presidential candidate. Yet that is exactly the allegation the FBI confirmed Monday it is investigating.… Continue Reading →
The head of the RNC, Reince Priebus was discussing the hacked DNC emails that have had a big impact on the beginning of the Democratic Convention in Philly today and was ask by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell if he was worried that the Russians might very well have been the hackers and are trying to influence the… Continue Reading →
As I pointed out the day after it happened, I didn’t see any women in those crowds of protesters. They’re going to move Turkey back to an oppressive, theocratic state:
In the days after a failed military coup shook Turkey, women say they are being silenced. From the start of the coup attempt by military officials on Friday through to the government’s crackdown in response, women’s voices have been almost entirely absent. Images of protesters on the streets are mostly men. The military leadership is entirely… Continue Reading →
After Gov. Chris Christie held a mock trial against Hillary Clinton and used the RNC Convention’s audience as judge and jury to convict her over and over again of criminal and ethics violations, Christie was questioned about his own checkered past. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asked him point blank if he should attacking Hillary since he’s had… Continue Reading →
New Hampshire State Representative said in an interview that Hillary Clinton “should be put on the firing line and shot for treason,” according to Buzzfeed News. According to trackers, Baldasaro is the third delegate at the convention to threaten Secretary Clinton. After Governor Christie’s horrendous faux monkey trial last night, I’m certain there are… Continue Reading →
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 20, 2016
NEWARK, New Jersey – A former top appointee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pleaded guilty Friday in connection with a plan to cause traffic problems on the George Washington Bridge as political payback. Two other former Christie allies, meanwhile, face federal criminal charges in the scandal known as Bridgegate.
At the federal court here in the Garden State’s largest city, David Wildstein acknowledged conspiring with Bill Baroni, Christie’s then-top Port Authority appointee, and Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich by closing lanes on the entrance to the George Washington Bridge in 2013, because Sokolich had declined to endorse Christie in his re-election bid. At the time, Wildstein was a top official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge.
Jane Mayer has once again written the must-read article of the 2016 election season, this time about Tony Schwartz, the writer who ghost-wrote Trump’s Art of the Deal. It is a chilling, devastating and revealing interview. Here’s a taste, but just read the whole thing. “I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a… Continue Reading →
Are Roger Ailes’ Days Numbered? The continuing saga of Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes just took a leap off a cliff. Longtime Ailes watcher and biographer, Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine is reporting that: “Roger Ailes’s tenure as the head of Fox News may be coming to an end. Rupert Murdoch and sons… Continue Reading →
That’s what a lot of smart people, included a former CIA station chief for Turkey, are saying. They believe Erdogan planned the coup himself as cover for seizing more power. And then there’s this from Politico:
A Playbooker well-wired with contacts in Turkey emails us: “This military action is a direct correlation to President Erdogan’s slow but steady focus on de-constructing the legacy of Ataturk and undoing Ataturk’s dream of a secular Muslim society and to replace it with a Islamic society based on fear. The President’s recent removal of the Prime Minister (with little international focus or concern) which was done against the constitution, his overhaul of the judiciary to put it under his control (that was unconstitutional), his recent speeches on women being ‘half-human’ if they don’t have babies and stay home to focus on having children, his push to create non-secular religious schools, his arrest of thousands of journalists, and his take-over of what was once a thriving free media with only one private, independent media still existing … and last but not least, his attempt now to change the constitution so he could be President forever. … All of these … forced the hand of the Military to want to overthrow the Erdogan regime and try to hold onto the last elements of Ataturk’s Turkey.”