Monday, October 17, 2016


"Blaming Russia, how will the U.S. respond to pre-election hacks?" PBS NewsHour 10/11/2016

IMHO:  Wikileaks has morphed into a partisan Trump supporter and is no longer a friend nor protector of the people.  They definitely do NOT understand you cannot conduct international diplomacy nor anti-terrorist functions from within a glass-house.  A degree of secrecy is necessary.


SUMMARY:  WikiLeaks has been releasing emails it claims come from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, detailing behind-the-scenes strategy.  Meanwhile, the White House is blaming Russia for hacking Democratic party websites and attempting to influence the presidential election.  What's going on?  Hari Sreenivasan learns more from Lisa Desjardins and chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Since Friday, the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks has been releasing e-mails that were hacked from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.  The stolen messages detail how the campaign responded to important issues through the race for the White House.

It is unclear who was behind this latest digital theft, but, on Friday, the Obama administration did blame Russia for the hacking of Democratic Party Web sites earlier this year and attempts to breach state election systems, in order to influence the vote for president.

Today, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there will be a U.S. response to the alleged Russian hacking.  He told reporters aboard Air Force One:  “The President has talked before about the significant capabilities that the U.S. government has to both defend our systems in the United States, but also carry out offensive operations in other countries.  So, there are a range of responses that are available to the President, and he will consider a response that's proportional.”

With me now to sift through what all this means in both political and diplomatic terms are the NewsHour's Margaret Warner and Lisa Desjardins.

Lisa, tell me — let's start with what is in the e-mails.

LISA DESJARDINS (NewsHour):  Right.

So, this latest dump, so people can keep track, began on Friday.  These are about 2,000 e-mails, a little bit more, coming from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, obviously a very big player in the Clinton world now and for years.

Now, in these, we see one of the standout notes that we have gotten — there haven't been all that many — is from a Clinton 2013 speech to an Italian bank.  You may have seen that quote.  In the speech that was referenced in these e-mails, it was purported to say — quote — “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.”

Obviously, that's raised a lot of questions in this year of very heated talk about trade and especially after Clinton herself came out against one of the largest-in-history trade deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

And that's probably the biggest kind of headline that's come out of these e-mails, but also they include a great deal of campaign tactics, including a 71-page briefing, sort of oppo research to some extent on Bernie Sanders.  All of this was happening during that very heated primary campaign.

Now, the Clinton campaign themselves is not confirming the authenticity of any of these e-mails.  It's very important to say that WikiLeaks has posted these.  We know they were hacked, so the authenticity is fair to question.

And the Clinton campaign is pushing back strongly, saying this is from a state actor, and this is obviously an illegal act in politics.

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