Wednesday, July 27, 2016

We don' need no steenken' badges!

I think that donkey's about to kick like a mule.

And then Donald Trump made it even more interesting:

If it is Russia, which it’s probably not, nobody knows who it is. But if it is Russia, it’s really bad for a different reason. Because it shows how little respect they have for our country where they would hack into a major party and get everything. But it would be interesting to see – I will tell you this. Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.

Because all that really matters is what most directly concerns Joe Sixpack, amirite?

I don't think this is working out quite Julian Assange planned:

First, citing his “personal perspective,” Mr. Assange accused Mrs. Clinton of having been among those pushing to indict him after WikiLeaks disseminated a quarter of a million diplomatic cables during her tenure as secretary of state.

“We do see her as a bit of a problem for freedom of the press more generally,” Mr. Assange said.
So there is a motive involved, aside from whatever interest Putin would have in getting Trump, who is dismantling NATO as we speak, elected.  Then there's the fact Assange doesn't really know what Wikileaks is actually doing:

Mr. Assange’s remarks last month received only scattered attention, in part because in the interview Mr. Peston appeared to mistakenly assume that WikiLeaks had obtained still-undisclosed emails from the private server Mrs. Clinton had used while secretary of state and kept cutting Mr. Assange off to ask about it.

But it now seems clearer that Mr. Assange was trying to talk about the Democratic National Committee emails.

(The confusion stemmed in part because Mr. Assange said in the interview that WikiLeaks had “published” her State Department emails. But it made a copy of the ones the department posted on its website and made them easier to search.) 
And then there's the fact, verified by more than one source, that part of Russian tradecraft is to forge e-mails (indeed, what could be easier?):

The most damaging aspect to the DNC leak is the certainty that Moscow has placed disinformation—that is, false information hidden among facts—to harm the Democrats and the Clinton campaign. Disinformation is a venerable Russian spy trick that can be politically devastating to its target.

Disinformation is most effective when it plays upon essential truths. Since Hillary really is corrupt and less than honest, and the DNC actually has done her bidding in shady ways, lies that amplify those themes will be readily believed by many Americans. It’s obvious that Moscow prefers Trump over Clinton in this election, which ought not surprise given the important role of Putin-friendly advisors in the Trump campaign, and what better way to help is there than to discredit Team Clinton?

It’s apparent already that some of the most salacious emails in the DNC mega-dump are fake—as is to be expected. It’s normal Russian spycraft to place juicy fake messages among a lot of genuine ones. Here we need rigorous independent analysis of this latest Wikileaks operation to assess what’s real and what’s made up by somebody in Moscow. 
This is the link in the original article, to a document taken as "original" and part of the Wikileaks trove, which is on its face a fake (it's too good to be true), followed by another undoubted fake in the body of the blogpost (again, too true to be good).  The quality of "chatter" out there about the content of this e-mails is taking on the value of an urban legend.  Of course the chatter itself is resolving to a few angry Bernie supporters in Philadelphia who have placed themselves in a sort of self-exile, so the whole thing may well go away.

I'm not, however, quite sure it should; if only because we should start to question the veracity of documents leaked by Wikileaks; especially if that "note" from James Carville is any example.  But we'll have to wait and see if the Russians can come up with the missing State Department e-mails.  Because, really, what's the harm in Trump asking?

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