Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Has Clinton Left Herself Open to Extortion?

"I know everything."

The news this week that hackers released a trove of DNC emails has the media world atwitter, but they're missing the big picture. Their focus has been on the specific content of this particular batch of emails, and that it reveals a primary-rigging party infrastructure, headed by the loathsome Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Okay, true enough. That's a legit story, particularly on the eve of the Democrat convention. 

Wasserman? Gone, although now comfortably ensconced in the big-money machinery of the Clinton campaign, her payday assured. But Wasserman's a sideshow.

The bigger picture here is who hacked these emails, and why? Democrats, having dismissed any concerns about state-sponsored hacking during Hillary's server scandal, are now pointing their fingers at the Russians. They think that Trump is coordinating the attack with Putin, which is flat-out comedy gold.

But, they may be half right. There's a decent chance the Russians are behind the hack. There is a huge hacker culture in Russia, and their government is known to employ it for their own ends. If that's the case, and they easily hacked the DNC, is there even the slightest chance they didn't hack a lone server in Hillary's basement? Let's face it, there's a decent probability the Russians have all those tens of thousands of emails that Hillary went to such great lengths to conceal.

We all know what's in those emails, too, even if we don't yet have access to the smoking gun. It ain't yoga. The Clintons put the State Department up for sale, exchanging favors for either large money transfers into the Clinton Foundation or bogus speaking fees. Bill and Hillary are two grifters whose ambitions took the con to heights never before seen.

So, if you're Vladmir Putin, what do you do with such a bounty? One option is do undermine Hillary's chances for election, preferring instead to deal with Trump, who would presumably be of more help in staving off the mutual threat of radical Islam. The first email dump might have been a shot across the bow.

But a second, perhaps more compelling, option exists: extortion. In this scenario, Putin holds back from here, hoping Hillary actually gets elected. After that, he makes it known to Hillary through surrogates exactly what he has, and how he can easily feed it all to that dependable lackey, Julian Assange. 

Given Hillary's highly developed instincts for self-preservation, there's no question that such a development could alter the world's geo-political map. Or maybe Russia plays it more subtly, instead opting for small wins, like snapping up the odd strategic mine here and there.

Either way, it's chilling.

I'm not big on conspiracy theories. Emphatically not. But let's review what we know:

  1. The DNC was successfully hacked by someone who is using the information for political advantage
  2. Many believe, including the DNC itself, that the Russians were behind the attack
  3. James Comey stated that it was "likely" that foreign governments tried to hack Hillary's personal server, although the FBI couldn't prove it
  4. The Russians (or Chinese) would certainly have hacked Hillary's server if possible
  5. Hillary's server had far fewer security safeguards, undoubtedly, than the DNC's
Right now my model says Hillary is likely to win. We may have the first president since JFK to leave themselves open to extortion. 

That's the real story.


  1. Replies
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  2. It's no different from what's possible if you lived in a country where everyone was subject to mass surveillance.

  3. I think the whole Russian story is a distraction cooked up by the DNC. If it were the Russians, why not do exactly as you suggest and let Hillary get elected? Then blackmail away. Why the dribs & drabs?

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  4. Nothing is settled for sure, but this is certainly not a crazy conspiracy theory. If you are correct, Putin has a choice: blast Hillary before the election and help elect the more agreeable Trump, or let Hillary get elected and then blackmail her. Which seems more appealing to a former KGB officer?