Emails and Russians
For the last few months, ever since Wikileaks started publishing DNC related emails, a lot of outrage has been generated about how this was all the result of attacks by groups related to/sponsored by the Russian government. I have no problem believing that the Russians did in fact get Podesta’s emails, and the DNC ones, and probably whatever was on Hillary Clinton’s server. The security of all of them seems to have been sufficiently lax that I expect multiple groups got in.
That laxness should itself be a major news story because it’s been apparent to anyone who actually pays attention to these things that state (sponsored) actors have been looking for vulnerable systems for the whole of the Obama administration, if not before. It has been glaringly obvious to anyone who reads the relevant technical press that this has been the case for at least the last four years and one would hope that organizations such as the DNC would have technically savvy staffers who do read these articles. Yet, despite that, Podesta apparently had a password of ‘password’ and the DNC, after learning they had been penetrated by at least two different groups, used their internal email system to send out new passwords. People this incompetent are not victims who deserve our sympathy, rather they deserve our contempt for their willful negligence. [To make a parallel with rape victims, this lot were walking through a bad neighborhood in Detroit butt-naked in the middle of the road talking loudly. At some point, no matter how bad the crime and evil the criminal, victim shaming is appropriate.]
It is quite likely that the Russians decided to give Wikileaks some (all?) of what they harvested. So what? No one has produced any evidence that what was released was in any way fake, in fact there’s plenty of email header info that indicates precisely the opposite. Those emails showed considerable corruption within the DNC/Clinton campaign and collusion with it by allegedly neutral MSM journalists. That’s also a big problem, and it is one that it seems a lot of people are busily trying to bury by various sorts of misdirection. In a court of law there’s the concept of tainted evidence, but that doesn’t apply outside it. The scandal is the corruption / collusion and Americans should be grateful that it has been exposed. The reasons behind the exposure are less important.
Now we have US intelligence agencies preparing (and leaking) reports saying they have evidence that the Russians were indeed behind the attacks and subsequent leaks. Apparently the motive was not to get Trump elected per se.
The report, on which Obama was also orally briefed, explains what intelligence agencies believe are Moscow’s motives, including, in part, a desire to disrupt the American democratic process.
But the intelligence analysts who prepared the report also concluded that the hacks were payback for the Obama administration’s questioning of Vladimir Putin’s legitimacy as president.
This makes a good deal of sense. And the outraged protests stirred up by the MSM and various “liberal” pundits/politicians shows that the Russians have been quite successful. Trust in the democratic process in the US is indeed pretty low. That was undoubtedly one reason why Trump won, because he promised to “drain the swamp”. Just because an enemy provided the information does not necessarily mean we should discard it. As Tolkien said so memorably
Oft evil will shall evil mar
The Russians aren’t harming America so much as harming the out of touch elites who have been gradually controlling more and more of it. If you believe in liberty then you can thank the Russians for their efforts in showing how bad the elites are. Doing so does not make one an ally of Russia or anything else.
The other thing that we should do of course is pay attention to cybersecurity so as to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. It is unclear whether that lesson has been learned by those inside the beltway. Indeed given the widespread mockery about Trump’s comment that no computer is safe, it looks like it hasn’t been learned at all by the liberal sneering classes. We can expect many more leaks from organizations of all stripes until that message is generally received.
Update: This post puts the recent intelligence briefings about the Russian activities in context. Well worth reading.
The Shadow of the Olive Tree