Sometimes it helps just to see all this stuff in one place:
RICHARD ENGEL: Three cybersecurity experts told us that the DNC emails were hacked by Russian intelligence. What do you say?Ignore the "three cybersecurity experts are lying and only I, Julian Assange, fugitive from justice*, am telling the truth." (and no, there isn't any "proof," but this isn't a court of law; there is, however, evidence). Focus instead on: why is Julian Assange so interested in the election of Hillary Clinton? And are the Russians cozy with the Trumps?
JULIAN ASSANGE: 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. That's a meta-story. The real story is what these emails contain and they show collusion. The very top of the Democratic party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is now being forced to resign. And other people from the party, which is meant to be neutral, subverting the process in order to make sure Hillary Clinton won the campaign.
On Monday, fallout from the hack also reverberated at the Kremlin, where a spokesman declined to comment on the hack except to refer reporters to comments by Trump’s son, Don Jr., calling the allegations part of a pattern of “lie after lie.”An interesting non-denial denial, that.
“Mr. Trump Jr. has already strongly responded” to the Clinton campaign’s claims, the Russian spokesman said, according to the news agency Tass.
And what's wrong with a "meta-story"? Isn't the real story the theft of private communications? Or is that okay when we're outraged by 1% of what is stolen and published?
And here is the interesting question, because it is unprovable, but it is also disturbingly possible;
Presumably the DNC email hack and leak involve genuine emails. But what if the hackers interspersed fake but even more damning or inflammatory emails that were hard to disprove? What if hackers break in to computers to steal or destroy voter registration information? What if they disrupted computer-based voting or election returns in important states during the presidential election? The legitimacy of a presidential election might be called into question, with catastrophic consequences. The DNC hack is just the first wave of possible threats to electoral integrity in the United States—by foreign intelligence services, and others.After all, of all the nearly 28,000 e-mails, it's about 30 or so that are getting all the attention. There is nothing so easy to forge as an e-mail, so it's a valid question. And we know Wikileaks published personal financial information in this release of data. What else did the hackers (whoever they were) get from the DNC? Or from anyone else, for that matter?
The FBI warned the Clinton campaign and dozens of lawmakers in recent months that they were being targeted by hackers, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Back to that matter of ethos.....
Adding: Maybe it's just payback. And: what Franklin Foer said. Either way: watch the donut, not the hole.
*Ethos; one of the four elements of Aristotle's rhetoric important to an argument.