The Democratic National Convention, which took place in Philadelphia from July 25th through July 28th, had to overcome an early disruption when DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign. DNC emails leaked by WikiLeaks on July 22nd provided further proof that Wasserman Schultz rigged the primary election in favor of Hillary Clinton and against her rival Bernie Sanders.
By Conor Smyth
Aug 22, 2016
Since its instigation on the Friday before the Democratic National Convention, the DNC email scandal has fanned the flames of anger and mistrust among Bernie Sanders’ supporters and other anti establishment figures across the country. Emails spanning from suggestions to atheist-shame Bernie Sanders to firmly assuming Hillary Clinton’s position as the nominee of the party months before the last primary in Washington, D.C. to eagerly pointing out how to put negative spins on Sanders stories have provided enough evidence to turn what pundits and Democratic officials alike branded a conspiracy theory throughout the primary into solid fact. The DNC, with Debbie Wasserman Schultz at its helm, was working actively against the Sanders campaign. The election was rigged, and we all know it.
Of course, the most important part of these revelations provided by the courageous work of the whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks is the content of the emails and their implications of tampering and malicious intent by the Democratic establishment and its friends in the media. Work still remains to be done in that area, as there is no doubt that more misconduct has yet to be discovered and revealed. However, I want to focus here on something more often overlooked - the implications of the reaction of those involved in the scandal.
Just two days after the break of the story with the release of the DNC emails by WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook joined Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union. Undoubtedly sent to do damage control, Mook confidently asserted, “Experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, and other experts are now telling us that they are, the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.” No evidence for this claim was provided. Who the experts were was not specified. In every major news source, stories ran based on the claim and referred to evidence from Mook’s “experts.”
It turns out that the “experts” behind Mook’s statements, at least the statement that the DNC was hacked by Russia, are three companies - CrowdStrike, Mandiant, and Fidelis Cybersecurity. CrowdStrike was the official team tasked with the job of finding the source of the hack. They came to the conclusion the hack was done by two groups named Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear. These groups are known to be linked to Russian intelligence services. CrowdStrike’s conclusion was confirmed by both Mandiant and Fidelis.
Here I think it is necessary to point out that there is a difference between just hacking a server and hacking and releasing information from that server. As everyone admits, and as these cybersecurity companies confirm, there are multiple other actors who have also breached DNC networks in the past couple months. One of the many other hackers who have infiltrated the DNC’s systems over the past few months could easily be the real culprit behind the leak.
What has seemed to go unnoticed is that, while the security companies have supplied evidence that Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear were both involved in hackings of the DNC, and while many media and political figures are blaming the Russian government for hacking the servers, all of the major news sources continue to admit that Russian implication in the actual leaking of the documents to WikiLeaks remains unproven. In a New York Times article, Charlie Savage describes Russian involvement as “unproven speculation.” Later articles continue to refer to the claim in terms like “so far unproven” and prefer to deflect any possible guilt in pushing a false narrative with phrases like “according to federal officials.” One article in the New York Times reads, “[US] Government and party officials said they were unaware of any evidence that WikiLeaks had received the hacked materials directly from Russians or that WikiLeaks’ release of the materials was in any way directed by Russians.” Another states, “Campaign officials have also suggested that Mr. Putin could be trying to tilt the election to Donald J. Trump. But they acknowledge that they have no evidence.”
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks and the man in control of its operations, squarely confronted claims regarding the source of the leak on Tuesday, July 25, on NBC Nightly News. He replied to the allegations of Russian hacking and claims of meddling by a foreign state in American political affairs by saying, “Well there is no proof of that whatsoever. We have not disclosed our source, and of course, this is a diversion that's being pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign.”
Assange’s characterization of the talking point employed by Robert Mook, and in turn the rest of the liberal establishment, is quite an accurate one. Mook’s statement that Sunday was precisely “a diversion.” It had nothing to do with the substance of the leak, which is, of course, exactly why Mook put all the emphasis on it. His interview with Tapper clearly revealed his unwillingness to even address the blatant favoritism of the DNC towards Hillary Clinton. Mook spent about a sentence on the issue of the emails’ substance, simply admitting that they need to be addressed, and then proceeded to spend the rest of the two minute interview discussing Russian involvement and the Trump connection with regards to the scandal. His, and what has in the meantime become the rest of the liberal establishment’s “diversion” is just as blatant and damning as their compliance in the rigging of a supposedly democratic election.
Mook’s interview was a precursor to, and an outline for, the type of coverage the story has received in the time since the leak on July 21st. Since then, the actual content of the leak has received coverage mainly on alternative news forums. On mainstream news, coverage of content, sticking with tradition, has been virtually nonexistent.
In the New York Times, for example, there have been around forty stories on the leak since the 21st. At least twenty eight of these stories had as their main focus Russian involvement or the Trump connection in the leak. Headlines included “Clinton Says Russian Services Hacked DNC,” “Behind Democrats’ Email Leak, U.S. Experts See a Russian Subplot,” “Democrats Allege D.N.C. Hack is Part of Russian Effort to Elect Donald Trump.” There were only three stories regarding the actual content of the leaks. One was titled “In Hacked D.N.C. Emails, A Glimpse of How Big Money Works.” The other two were “Hacked Emails Show Democratic Party Hostility to Sanders” and “Released Emails Suggest the D.N.C. Derided the Sanders Campaign.”
The latter three articles discussed the contents of the leak in some detail but did not go into nearly as much depth as other, less mainstream news sources, leaving much to be desired.
Using a ratio may put the numbers in perspective: The New York Times, from the break of the story on July 21st, has given the speculation that Russians hacked the DNC and then leaked that information to WikiLeaks, all in an attempt to elect Donald J. Trump as President of the United States, a speculation for which there is, in the words of the New York Times itself, “no evidence,” nine times more coverage than the actual content of the leaks.
Another interesting element which came into play on Saturday, July 30th, was reported by Reuters and published in the New York Times. Reuters reported, “Russia's intelligence service said on Saturday that the computer networks of 20 [Russian] organizations, including state agencies and defense companies, have been infected with spyware in what it described as a targeted and coordinated attack.” Russia has not named the culprit of the attack or how much was obtained through the attack, but based on its description it appears to be pretty serious. The only article which has appeared in the Times pertaining to the incident was the one cited, which spanned five concise paragraphs, nineteen lines.
Hillary’s tactic, peddled by the reporters of the New York Times and other mainstream sources, has been to blame someone else for the subversion of democracy without providing any evidence in order to cover up the overwhelming evidence of the actual subversion of democracy by the Democratic establishment in her favor. If the media, the DNC, and Hillary’s campaign are still searching for the reason why so many Bernie supporters are refusing to stand with her, they need to look no further than their own corrupt and hypocritical collusion.
All of this still neglects to address another stunning and incriminating aspect of the reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosures. All Cold War-esque conspiracy theories aside, one point remains for examination.
The same day on which Robby Mook was making fanatical and conspiratorial claims to divert attention from the DNC email leaks, Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down as DNC chairwoman. She, in her words, “took one for the team” by resigning, implicitly revealing the large extent to which corruption has spread throughout the Democratic Party.
Shortly after Schultz’s formal resignation, Hillary Clinton put out a statement thanking her “longtime friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her leadership.” She continued, “There’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie–which is why I am glad that she has agreed to serve as honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country, and will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally, in Florida, and in other key states.”
The response from the press, again, has been lame and apologetic. While eager to lambast the vileness of the Russian political climate, the establishment news are unwilling to call the American political elite out for what they really are: oligarchs.