Saturday, July 23, 2016

Things We Knew We Now Know Better

So, Russian hackers hit the Democratic National Committee servers a month ago, Wikileaks just dumps the emails (exposing people's social security numbers), as Clinton is about to nominate her VP candidate, a day after Trump's big speech.  Hmm, what can we learn from this?

  1. Putin wants Trump to win.  Well, we knew that because Trump has been promising to gut the current international order that benefits the US and constrains Russia.  Sure, people have pointed out all the ties between Putin and the Trump campaign, calling him the Manchurian candidate.  Now, we have the most concrete evidence (although attributing hacking to the right source can be tricky) that folks in Russia want to help Trump.  Had this happened two months ago, it could have been that this an effort to help Bernie, but now there is only one possible beneficiary.
  2. Wikileaks doesn't mind carrying Putin's water.  Well, we knew that, too, but it is now more abundantly clear.  Where is the release of Trump's emails?  The RNC's?  Nope, just the Democrats.  The friends of Assange are trying to make it seem like the Democratic National Committee was biased in the primaries.  Well, duh.  Of course, it was, as Bernie had been a card carrying democrat for a few weeks/months.  Why now?  To mess with Hillary's VP choice and to mess with the Democrats' convention.  So, I have always had a low opinion of wikileaks, and this just deepens it.  Being Putin's dupes?  Not a good look.
  3. If the best dirt is that one guy wanted to raise Sanders' faith and the campaign said no, this is weak sauce.  There is probably more in the leaks, but I am not impressed.  

The only potentially striking thing about this data dump is that Putin is not being subtle.  And really, since when has Putin been subtle about anything? The old KGB guy's game is off, as the lines to draw here are abundantly clear--from Putin to Wikileaks to Trump.  That might encourage a few Bernie Bros on one side of the spectrum, but many already queasy Republicans may see this as a final straw, along with Trump's NATO statements.

Update: for more on this historical pattern/relationship, see this.

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