Was the “Hillary/Podesta Email Hack” Really a Leak by a DNC Staffer?
by S. Douglas Woodward, Faith-Happens:
The PBS Documentary Series and eMagazine, Front Line, is the best documentary series on television.
Normally, there is little bias against the conservative point of view (that is, they do not necessarily favor the progressive position). However, in their latest two-part documentary, “Putin’s Revenge,” the television program sells out to the view that the scandal involving emails that likely made the difference in the Trump/Clinton Presidential election, was due to a Russian hack directed by Vladimir Putin who sought revenge against Hillary Clinton for her actions during her stint as Secretary of State, and the CIA for its influence/interference in the so-called “Color Revolutions” that Russian officials continue to contend has been the U.S. agenda against Russia for over a decade. Frontlineasserts that Russian cyber-espionage, directed by Putin himself, was “personal.” They paint a psychological portrait of Putin that, from their vantage point, verifies he had the motive (and opportunity and means) to seek Donald Trump’s election as the next President of the United States.
From an accompanying article on Frontline’s website, “Facing a Russian Cyber Attack, Obama Officials Struggled to Respond”, Leila Miller wrote (on October 31, 2017):
Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, whose responsibilities included cyber risks to state election systems, expressed similar worry (as expressed by former CIA Director, John Brennan that the scandal was due to Putin’s directive)
“We were very concerned that we would be perceived as taking sides,” said Johnson. “We were very concerned that we would be playing into Mr. Trump’s narrative that the election was going to be rigged.”
Brennan said it was not unusual for Russia to gather intelligence on the United States, but by releasing hacked data to embarrass its targets, it had “weaponized” that information. Something so disruptive, he said, required a “head nod” from Putin.
“The exploitation of the cyber environment gave us real concern that the Russians could be up to things that we hadn’t seen before, and we didn’t know what they were going to try to do,” he said.
FRONTLINE interviewed only those persons related to the “case” who held the view that the exposure of the emails was the work of Russian hackers rather than a leak by murdered DNC staffer, Seth Rich on July 8, 2017. Interviewed are journalists who work for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Atlantic Magazine – all of whom have consistently attacked Donald Trump, before, during and after the election. Additional interviews in the documentary were with former CIA and DNI directors John Brennan and James Clapper, and former Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnston, who all allege that the Russians were the principal “heavies” behind a cyber-attack on the United States’ Presidential Election to bias the outcome in favor of Donald Trump.
In the Frontline article Miller recounts:
On Oct. 7, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper joined Johnson in issuing a statement that, without naming Putin, announced Russian interference in state voting systems. But within half an hour of the statement’s release, an “Access Hollywood” video featuring crude remarks from Trump about women became public, dominating news coverage and burying the announcement from Clapper and Johnson. Later that evening, WikiLeaks published its first batch of hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
Though Clapper said he was disappointed that the press release did not receive more attention, he said it had been crucial to get the word out.
“If the election, for whatever reason and whatever manner, were to go south, and then afterwards it was learned that we knew about what the Russians were doing, or had some pretty good insight into what they were doing, and we didn’t say anything about it before the election, there would really be hell to pay,” said Clapper.
The administration had also considered a cyber response, according to Brennan, but officials didn’t want to risk a cyberwar so close to the vote.
There is no mention that Seth Rich was the most likely source of a “leak and not a hack” as (virtually) asserted by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in an interview in Europe. Many believe that Rich acted when he discovered that the DNC was controlled by Hillary Clinton (which Donna Brazile states in her new book out next week) and the election was “rigged” by Clinton to cheat Senator Bernie Sanders out of the Democratic Party nomination. According to reports and Assange’s statements (who published the leaked emails two days before the election), no nation-state was responsible for his acquisition of the massive number of email documents. The supposition from various reporters is that Rich copied files to a thumb drive and passed these on to Wikileaks’ sources by hand.