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Free Minds & Free Markets

'Election Hacking' or Voter Education?

Leaking embarrassing emails about Hillary Clinton did not undermine democracy.

Last week President Obama announced sanctions against Russia in retaliation for "data theft and disclosure activities" that were intended to "interfere with the U.S. election process." Hillary Clinton calls those activities, which revealed purloined emails that made her look bad during her unsuccessful presidential campaign, "an attack against our country" and "our electoral system" that undermined "the integrity of our democracy."

These overheated descriptions misleadingly equate information that guides voters' choices with nullification of those choices. A calmer, less partisan perspective suggests that what Clinton and Obama view as interference with the election process might more accurately be described as voter education, which strengthens democracy by helping its participants make better-informed choices.

News reports routinely describe the leaking of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman, as "election hacking." John McCain, the GOP's 2008 presidential nominee, seems to agree with that characterization.

In a CNN interview last month, the Arizona senator, a harsh critic of Donald Trump who denounced him, endorsed him, and then withdrew his endorsement, complained that by leaking information helpful to the Republican nominee "the Russians...have been able to interfere with our electoral process." He warned that "if they are able to harm the electoral process, then they destroy democracy, which is based on free and fair elections."

That take seems pretty hysterical in light of what actually happened. True election hacking, aimed at perpetrating voting fraud, obviously would be a threat to the democratic process. But there is no evidence of such interference, and it's not even clear that the DNC and Podesta emails had an impact on the election results—or why it would be so terrible if they did.

The New York Times reports that hackers gained access to the emails through standard phishing techniques, tricking Podesta and at least one DNC employee into revealing their passwords by pretending to be from Google. The Times notes that "every major publication, including The Times, published multiple stories citing the D.N.C. and Podesta emails posted by WikiLeaks, becoming a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence."

Those news organizations did that because much of the information in the emails— including DNC officials' disdain for Clinton rival Bernie Sanders, excerpts from her secret Wall Street speeches, and observations about her weaknesses as a candidate—concerned matters of legitimate public interest. It was information that voters might rationally want to consider before deciding which candidate to support.

Valuable journalism is often based on information that was obtained or divulged illegally by people with axes to grind. It is hard to see how this case is different in principle.

Is it the nationality of the informants that matters? If the emails that embarrassed Clinton had been swiped by Americans, would she still be talking about a democracy-threatening attack on our electoral process?

Last fall the Times "obtained" parts of Donald Trump's 1995 tax return and shared them with the public. If that information had come from a foreign source, would publishing it have undermined democracy?

Suppose German hackers had managed to obtain complete copies of Trump's recent tax returns—a subject of intense journalistic interest—and shared them with news outlets, either directly or through an intermediary like Wikileaks. Would Clinton have perceived the resulting exposés as undermining the electoral process or assisting it?

Cybersecurity is a serious concern, especially when it comes to systems that control important functions such as vote counting, banking, and the distribution of electricity. Helping politicians conceal facts that might alienate voters probably does not belong in the same category.

Judging from the account in the Times, both the FBI and the DNC were remarkably lax in their initial responses to the intrusions that produced a bounty of newsworthy emails. Politicians with things to hide might want to be more careful about the security of the systems they use to discuss sensitive matters. But we should not confuse their challenge with a threat to democracy.

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  • John Galt II||

    Got it. It's okay to commit a violation of personal privacy ... if it's in the public interest. For the good of the Fatherland So I'm gonna go through all of Gary Johnson's personal effects and papers, to see IF anything is of legitimate public interest. But ... but .... don't I necessarily violate Gary's privacy BEFORE I know if any of it is a legitimate public interest?
    Seig Hiel!

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    Go fuck yourself. You run for public office, you get zero privacy.

    That's the deal. It's the best way to prevent people from seeking government office.

  • John Galt Jr||

    (laughing)

    It's the best way to prevent people from seeking government office.

    If ... if .... if NOBODY runs for public office then ... government would disappear. HALLELUJAH!!
    And FUCk those crazy libertarians who think personal privacy is an unalienable right.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    I'll further add that no personal privacy was violated. Once you email something, anyone who can get their hands on it can do with it as they please. The DNC is the very definition of "misplaced trust." Your inability to understand the basic premise of email servers is your problem, not a network admin's problem.

    The same party that lies about proper vetting of Syrian refugees proves they can't even do proper vetting of network administrators.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I personally am grateful for the information; how it was "hacked" is one matter and may very well be illegal, but having it released was nothing more than the public right to know and being informed about the shenanigans of those who would be president. And you are certainly correct about sending an email and losing control over that information the had way, as it is no longer yours. I learned the hard way on that one and incurred the wrath of an angry physician, but a good lesson learned.

    To wish this otherwise is nothing less than wishing you could have concealed the truth in the hope for a different outcome. And that does not pass the billboard test.*

    *If you are faced with a difficult decision, consider the options. The one you could paste onto an interstate billboard with your name under it may not necessarily be the most advantageous or desirous, but it is most likely the one you can live with, and not get your ass in a sling over.

  • John Galt Jr||

    ../may very well be illegal, but having it released was nothing more than the public right to know and being informed about the shenanigans of those who would be president.

    Even crime is okay, if it damages the opposing tribe.

    And you are certainly correct about sending an email and losing control over that information the had way, as it is no longer yours.

    Strike Two,

    To wish this otherwise is nothing less than wishing you could have concealed the truth in the hope for a different outcome.

    STRIKE THREE!
    The ONLY people who defend personal privacy MUST have something to hide .... said every fascist ever.

    *If you are faced with a difficult decision, consider the options. The one you could paste onto an interstate billboard with your name under it may not necessarily be the most advantageous or desirous, but it is most likely the one you can live with,

    That's how YOU live with egregious violations of individual liberty? It makes you comfortable!

    Already demolished:

    But ... but .... don't I necessarily violate Gary's privacy BEFORE I know if any of it is a legitimate public interest?

    Ummm, yep! A six-year-old CHILD can see the simple logic. But the authoritarian mind can justify ANYTHING. For the Fatherland.

    Goddamn statists even infest Reason.

  • Chili Dogg||

    >And you are certainly correct about sending an email and losing control over that information the had as it is no longer yours.

    >>Strike Two...

    It seems obvious that you lose control over info you email to other people because they could pass it along to others who you don't want to have it or it could be hacked. Could you explain what you mean, in case I am missing your point?

  • Titanium Dragon||

    Email is considered a private form of communication. The fact that someone on the other end might distribute your emails doesn't change that fact. It is not something which is made public - and arguing otherwise is not something that any honest person would say.

    That is not to say that email is 100% secure - but let's be honest here:

    There wasn't anything in these emails.

    Everyone who claims otherwise is simply lying. I've read them. Every time I challenge someone - EVERY TIME - to specifically point out what in the emails was nefarious, people get SUSPICIOUSLY SILENT.

    I wonder why.

    It is because people want to believe there's something nefarious in there.

    If you can call them "people".

  • Chili Dogg||

    Based on reports I read, one of the DNC emails suggested using Sanders' religion (or lack thereof) against him. The writer wanted to point out that Sanders is an atheist, taking advantage of prejudice against atheists, and portray him as not fully Jewish. Go read the DNC emails more objectively.

  • John Galt Jr||

    I'll further add that no personal privacy was violated.

    (He came back to make an even bigger ass of himself!)

    Once you email something, anyone who can get their hands on it can do with it as they please.

    Is he a fascist or a bigot?

    The DNC is the very definition of "misplaced trust."

    A bigot.

    Your inability to understand the basic premise of email servers is your problem, not a network admin's problem.

    Now he mindlessly drags in Hillary's server!

    The same party that lies about proper vetting of Syrian refugees proves they can't even do proper vetting of network administrators.

    Behold the mindless tribal bigot

    (My tone is PARTLY in defense of raging aggression by a foulmouth thug ... and PARTLY ridicule of abject ignorance )

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Got it. It's okay to commit a violation of personal privacy ... if it's in the public interest"

    Dis is vast der Fuhrer Obama and Fraulein Clinton haff told us for past ahct years, ja?

  • John Galt Jr||

    Dis is vast der Fuhrer Obama and Fraulein Clinton haff told us for past ahct years, ja?

    HE DID IT FIRST, MOMMY!
    And Obama's difficulties were all caused by Bush. (lol)

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    There is a differnce between 'violating the privacy' of a political candidate and 'undermining democracy'. Both may be crimes, but they are not the same crimes. The real issue here is that the people having hysterics about the 'hacking' think that 'our candidate lost' and 'democracy is failing' are the same thing.

  • John Galt Jr||

    True. IF we agree the raging Hillary haters are just as morally corrupt.
    Tribalism

  • GILMORE™||

    It's okay to commit a violation of personal privacy ... if it's in the public interest.

    BUT PUSSY-GRABBING!! WHY DO YOU HATE WOMEN

  • John Galt Jr||

    Gilmore

    It's okay to commit a violation of personal privacy ... if it's in the public interest.

    BUT PUSSY-GRABBING!! WHY DO YOU HATE WOMEN

    YES!
    My ridicule applies there aiso. One hates the right of privacy. The other hates (or disrespects) women.

  • John Galt II||

    Got it. It's okay to commit a violation of personal privacy ... if it's in the public interest. For the good of the Fatherland So I'm gonna go through all of Gary Johnson's personal effects and papers, to see IF anything is of legitimate public interest. But ... but .... don't I necessarily violate Gary's privacy BEFORE I know if any of it is a legitimate public interest?
    Seig Hiel!

  • Brian||

    Sure, you can go through Gary Johnson's emails, and make them public.

    But, then you hacked the election, and we just give the presidency to Gary Johnson at that point, lest we further besmirch democracy and act like traitors.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Sure, you can go through Gary Johnson's emails, and make them public.
    But, then you hacked the election, and we just give the presidency to Gary Johnson at that point, lest we further besmirch democracy and act like traitors.

    In the dark world of tribal depravtiy, defending the right of privacy means ..... defending Hillary.
    Sick?

  • Brochetta's magic (((pants)))||

    It's not ok. It's illegal and rightfully so.

    However, when it happens and you are a public figure - in particular a politician - it's asinine to claim that said information shouldn't be used against you.

    Fuck off, Hihn.

  • Citizen X||

    Hahaha. That's Hihn? Say some more stuff about how my parents didn't raise me right, Hihn.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    (snickers)

    You are commenting on the Reason.com...

    (giggles)

  • Citizen X||

    BULLY!

  • Lee Genes||

    Kudos to you to

  • John Galt Jr||

    Citizen X|1.4.17 @ 10:13AM|#
    BULLY!

    16 so far.
    And counting.
    Like ventriloquist dummies.
    Or standing in line to kick somebody in the balls.
    The tribal mind at play.

    And not a single word on the topic of the page.

  • Nikkodemus||

    You sure that's Hihn and not AM? He's been getting roundly ignored here lately, and I must admit, it's fun to watch him squirm when no one gives him any attention.

  • SugarFree||

    No, it's Hihn.

  • John Galt Jr||

    behold the absolute dumbass

    no one gives him any attention.

    Count the replies, Sparky.
    Four of them deny the right of privacy .. for purely fascist reasons.
    But the vast majority ... like you ... are repeated aggressions

  • John Galt Jr||

    However, when it happens and you are a public figure - in particular a politician - it's asinine to claim that said information shouldn't be used against you.

    (lol)

    Fuck off, Hihn.

    There is no unalienable and/or God-given right to privacy?
    You sure?

  • Rhywun||

    For the love of Deutschland, it's "Sieg Heil" you imbecile.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You know who else used to hail victory in German?

  • Citizen X||

    Arminius?

  • WTF||

    Wagner?

  • PBR Streetgang||

    Bastian Schweinsteiger?

  • Rhywun||

    Boris Becker?

  • $park¥ is totally a Swifty||

    Max von Sydow?

  • ||

    It was a draw. Neither side got the victory. And Hatch could not be a good goalkeeper.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Walt Disney?

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    Merkel?

  • Swiss Servator||

    Günter Grass?

  • John Galt Jr||

    You know who else used to hail victory in German?

    You know who else doesn't recognize ridicule?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Pope Benedict XVI?

  • John Galt Jr||

    For the love of Deutschland, it's "Sieg Heil" you imbecile.

    I'm not the Nazi here.
    Biut I do count 20 of them.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Who was hacked? I heard Podesta claimed on a phishing email claiming to enlarge his penis with this one weird trick, and that basically gave the information away. Also, accessing DNC emails does not equate to altering vote tallies.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Also, accessing DNC emails does not equate to altering vote tallies.

    Two totally different and unrelated issues. It's damn scare how many commenters pose that wacky strawman fallacy.

  • Chili Dogg||

    It doesn't hurt to point this out, given that the Democrats are trying to portray the Republican win (and Republicans in general) as illegitimate. Plenty of uninformed people believe what the Dems say, incredibly. Sadly, most of them won't be reading this article and the comments.

  • Diane Merriam||

    No, it's not ok to break in or spy or hack or any of a number of other ways people get information that nobody wants the to have. On the other hand, it's unconstitutional to block the press from reporting on what they get, no matter how they got it.

    That was completely upheld in the Pentagon Papers Supreme Court ruling. The person who turned over the classified material could be punished for doing so, but the news organizations couldn't be punished for using it once they got it.

  • John Galt Jr||

    . On the other hand, it's unconstitutional to block the press from reporting on what they get, no matter how they got it.

    Do you have anything relevant? Oh, next!

    person who turned over the classified material could be punished for doing so

    Despite all the crackers and goobers here who mimic totalitarians ----- that there is no right to privacy if violating your rights is for the public good?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Whoever illegitimately broke into the system and gained information should certainly face criminal charges, with due process, in the appropriate venue (if it was an insider with access, then maybe only civil remedies should apply), but that doesn't mean that it's wrong for the public to consider the information so revealed or that it somehow tainted the legitimacy of the election.

    I suspect the leaking of the pussygrabber video did more damage to Trump than the leaking of the DNC emails did to Hillary, but so what?

  • R C Dean||

    It's okay to commit a violation of personal privacy

    Pretty sure the DNC emails were business emails on a business server. There's no personal privacy in that arena.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Pretty sure the DNC emails were business emails on a business server. There's no personal privacy in that arena

    So when I go to work, when do I lose my unalienable rights:
    The parking lot?
    The building?
    My own desk or work station?

  • Will4Freedom||

    As old as I am, I have never seen such childish behavior as I am seeing in Obama and Clinton. Obama is doing everything he can to make sure Trump does not have a smooth transition. And Clinton is still stomping her feet and blaming everyone but herself.

    I am really starting to wonder what the heck is going on with Democrats lately? Have gone flippin' bonkers?

  • MarconiDarwin||

    LOL, the candidate you voted for, won. Not you. You're still the same loser you always were. All Obama has done on the hacking is to take action as any President would when warned of and given evidence of malfeasance.

    This is no "bin Laden determined to strike" but you do come across as a sore loser even as your candidate of choice won.

  • Zeb||

    Where did he say who he voted for?

  • You ARE a Prog (MJG)||

    One of the trolls is having a bad day.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Zeb|1.4.17 @ 10:08AM|#
    Where did he say who he voted for?

    True. Many libertarians show the identical partisan bigotry. He could have voted for Gary..

  • WTF||

    Welcome to Retardation: A Celebration. Now, hopefully, I'm gonna dispel a few myths, a few rumors. First off, the retarded don't rule the night. They don't rule it. Nobody does. And they don't run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don't lock eyes with 'em, don't do it. Puts 'em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming "No, no, no" and all they hear is "Who wants cake?" Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

  • John Galt Jr||

    Oh.

  • dantheserene||

    I asked yesterday if MarconiDarwin was a new sock for any of the old favorites? Any info on that?

  • WTF||

    Could be AddictionMyth, since he's been getting ignored lately.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Doesn't sound like him, he's just a partisan ass in the Tony mold. AM/dajjal has a personality disorder of some sort, maybe not as bad as the last crazy forum stalker, but still evident.

  • Chili Dogg||

    Only problem is Obama doesn't know for sure that the Russians were the hackers who provided the information to Wikileaks. Julian Assaunge (sp?) says they weren't and I tend to trust him more than I trust Obama.

  • Titanium Dragon||

    Hey, the Democrats nominated Clinton.

    The Republicans nominated Trump, who is an actual criminal with a long history of corruption and bribery.

    It isn't really surprising that the Democrats are doing what any responsible person would be doing to try and limit the damage.

  • Chili Dogg||

    So you think Hillary isn't corrupt? LOL!

  • Swiss Servator||

    "My best uncal ex-wife makes Bucks"

    Wait...she works for Unical? No, wait...she is a former Californian?

  • Will4Freedom||

    And she like 'photography', if you know what I mean. Nudge, nudge... wink, wink..

  • Mustang||

    Who do I look like, John Podesta? I'm not falling for that one. Nice try Russia.

  • Trigger Hippie||

    OT: So, it's safe to assume every article by 'The Reason Staff' is just more hyperbolic pants-shitting by the usual suspects, yes?

    Didn't bother reading, but it seems to be the prevailing tenor whenever I'm fool enough to do so.

  • Trigger Hippie||

    *Actually reads article

    WellHell! That's a horse of a different color!

  • Microaggressor||

    Not in this case. Read it.

  • Jordan||

    Didn't bother reading

    You don't say.

  • Trigger Hippie||

    *glances up*

    Birds of a feather?

  • Zeb||

    No, it's just what they use now when the post is just a link to a real article or column. So it could be anyone. I did like it better when they had the author's name there, though. And it's annoying that they include Chapman.

  • Trigger Hippie||

    It's usually seems to be one of the Unholy Trinity and I've started to skim right past the stories titled as such. It's irritating when you feel like you've been duped into begining to read something because of they omit the author's name.

  • Zeb||

    Usually the author's name is somewhere in the H&R post. I'd much prefer they just keep it in the byline, though.

  • MarconiDarwin||

    Hacking is OK if your candidate wins.

    That's when you put Election Hacking in quotes and call it Voter Education.

  • Citizen X||

    General skullduggery, up to and including attempts to rig the election, are perfectly alright as long as no one finds out about it, eh comrade?

  • WTF||

    He seems really chapped that the malfeasance of the DNC and the Hillary campaign have been exposed.

  • Chili Dogg||

    But not chapped by the malfeasance of the DNC and the Hillary campaign...

  • Diane Merriam||

    Hacking is not ok. The media publishing the information obtained by the hacking *is* ok.

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    Please explain how you arrive at "The election was hacked!" from "A political operative got phished, gave his email creds to a stranger, and had same dumped into the public domain."

  • ant1sthenes||

    "Election hacking" sounds like tampering with election results, which probably explains why a lot of people now believe, despite the fact that not even the media or government are claiming such, that Russia tampered with election results. It's a deliberate disinformation tactic. You're whining because people are pushing back against your propaganda, and the only purpose of your propaganda is to delegitimize election results that were, aside from the shittiness of the candidates, more or less normal, leaks and all. Progressives have done everything short of mounting an armed coup (and attempting to coerce electors to change their votes through threats of violence is already practically there). It just reinforces the idea that you needed to be cut off cold turkey from power, even if Trump was the only means of doing so.

  • pan fried wylie||

    needed to be cut off cold turkey from power

    We still haven't seen locked-in-a-bedroom, shitting-in-a-bucket, seeing-shit-crawling-on-the-ceiling rock bottom yet.

  • Nunya||

    +1 Trainspotting

  • Paper Wasp||

    If there was "election hacking," it's not likely to have been of Russian origin anyway. Voting machine irregularities actually showed votes being thrown to Clinton, not Trump.

  • DesigNate||

    You must have missed the part where Reason has been and is consistently against Trump.

    It's okay, I totally understand that you just can't help your love for the pantsuit.

  • Microaggressor||

    Would Clinton have perceived the resulting exposés as undermining the electoral process or assisting it?
    Judging from the account in the Times, both the FBI and the DNC were remarkably lax in their initial responses to the intrusions that produced a bounty of newsworthy emails.

    That's because it wasn't a story until Clinton lost. The whole thing is a Fake News campaign using repetition for effect, i.e. if you repeat a lie enough times it becomes common knowledge. There is still no evidence of Russian government involvement, but that doesn't stop Fake News outlets like NYT from sticking Russia in their headlines as if the Science Is Settled.

  • MarconiDarwin||

    There is still no evidence of Russian government involvement

    Yes, because the CIA misled Bush about WMDs.

  • Jordan||

    No, because they haven't provided anything beyond simple assertions.

  • Lee Genes||

    This. The "evidence" is pretty pathetic.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Not to mention "they" is some unnamed source talking to the press.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Here is good example of media's actual insight into US intelligence agency workings on this matter:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us.....ng-n702906

    From the article:

    Also, a senior U.S. intelligence official with direct knowledge of the situation told NBC News Tuesday night that the heads of the NSA, CIA, FBI and the director of national intelligence were always scheduled to meet with Trump on Friday. Another official had previously told NBC News that the briefing was scheduled for Wednesday, but that was apparently wrong.

    So Trump was thinking Tuesday for intelligence briefing, and Mr. Senior Leaker thought Tuesday as well. But both were wrong (including Trump himself?). Senior Leaker is also entire credible underpinning of Russian hacking/conspiracy/Putin/Death Star etc. etc. There is no other public 'evidence' beyond Senior Leaker.

    The ineptitude of the leaker-narrative-effort sure smells like a Barry Obama operation.

  • Ron||

    also other private network security firms have pointed out the the bits of software the CIA etal claim came from Russia has been available on the open market for several years meaning anyone could have done it even our own CIA

  • Nunya||

    So you came to Reason to argue that Bush wasn't to be blamed? Good luck selling that one. Maybe find a few women wearing white gloves and sell them ketchup. You'll have better luck.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    That's because it wasn't a story until Clinton lost.

    It's just a fascinating collection of statements:

    "It's not true."

    "Nobody can prove the E-mails are real."

    "Those issues were already dealt with months ago."

    "She wasn't found legally guilty."

    "The FBI stopped investigating."

    "The FBI shouldn't have started investigating again."

    "The FBI shouldn't have stopped investigating again."

    "Russia hacked the election by releasing these emails."

    "We lost because of those E-mails."

  • Ron||

    the emails that the FBI investigated were separate emails than the those leaked by the DNC when they realized they needed a backup plan incase they didn't win

  • kinnath||

    The first time I had a PC on my desk was the late 80s. They taught us not to write anything in an email you didn't want to read on the front page of the newspaper.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Many of us have learned [the hard way] that once you click "send" it is no longer under your control, and can be copied sent and distributed by anyone down the line.

    Sort of like the you'd had sex with your partner and everyone they've had sex with and who they'd had sex with ad infinitum, but in reverse.

  • Drake||

    It's what used to be called "Journalism".

    They used to find out interesting and controversial stuff about political leaders, confirm / verify the facts, then publish them.

    Without running the story past a political campaign you support, filtering out stuff that might damage political allies, or might offend people who you like.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Anarchy!

  • Dan S.||

    The U.S. government used to fund Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, which were intended to give people in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union information that their governments didn't want them to have. I believe they continued after the fall of the Soviet Union, into the era where the Russian people actually voted in contested elections. Did they supply any information about the candidates? Were they "undermining Russian democracy" if they did?

  • Ron||

    its okay when the right people do it

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Is Russia Times the new Radio Liberty?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Wikileaks, apparently.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Or when Obama went to Britain and said they would lose all their trade agreements with us if they voted for Brexit?

    Or when his administration financed Netanyahu's opponent?

  • Jordan||

    Looks like this article attracted retards from both sides of the aisle. Well done, Jacob!

  • Citizen X||

    Bitardisanship!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Nice.

  • R C Dean||

    So using that.

  • DesigNate||

    Thread winner!

  • Swiss Servator||

    Stolen.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    If the emails that embarrassed Clinton had been swiped by Americans, would she still be talking about a democracy-threatening attack on our electoral process?


    Only in regards to the survivors.

  • R C Dean||

    If the emails that embarrassed Clinton had been swiped by Americans,

    Aside from the Podesta phish, the only info that we have (from a British diplomat? for some reason) is that the DNC emails were leaked by an insider. If true, those were actually swiped by an American, no?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    And as I've mentioned, we've all been quite content to demean government, drop civics and in general conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry.


    /Bill Ivey

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So we're sure at this point it was the Russians? We're not being too credulous with the Obama Administration? Someone has independently verified their claim?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Somebody with a Russian IP address tried to phish a lot of American politicians. Podesta and others in the DNC were stupid enough to fall for it, and their free E-mail accounts didn't protect them. That seems to be all that's known.

    Assange claims the leak actually didn't come from Russia.

    To quote Hillary: WDATPDIM?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    I should say...

    Assange claims the leak actually didn't come from Russia, but from a disenchanted Democratic insider. That seems at least as plausible.

  • Diane Merriam||

    When I check the security logs on my sites, I regularly find hacking attempts from IPs in Russia ... along with Germany, China, Kenya, Brazil and even the good old US of A.

  • Ron||

    How many states have now claimed DHS hacked into their election systems

  • R C Dean||

    Whatever happened to that story, anyway?

    Perhaps an intrepid libertarian reporter might follow up on it?

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    Same here. Bots, I'm assuming. Besides, I'd easily believe that the phishing emails were being sent through a VPN.

  • R C Dean||

    Somebody with a Russian IP address tried to phish a lot of American politicians.

    Actually, no. Somebody with a Russian IP address tried to phish a lot of Americans, a few of whom were politicians.

  • ||

    Did the "hacks" actually swing the election? At least in the mainstream media I didn't see much reporting about the Podesta emails.

    Comey and the email server issue probably had a much larger effect - though which way may be hard to determine.

  • Lee Genes||

    Who knows? The only thing that concerns them is whether or not it is politically useful.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Neither had an effect. People had already made their decision on the HRC server scandal before the Comey announcement, and the "hacked" emails only confirmed what everybody knew about the Dem Primaries being rigged.

    The over under on the number of votes impacted in a swing state is about 10.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Agreed. The only ones paying attention to Comey were the horrified Democrat faithful, and those hoping for a perp walk.

  • mortiscrum||

    The Comey letter almost certainly had an effect. The proximity of the letter to the election, Hillary's numbers dropping immediately after and not fully rebounding, and the closeness of several races in very important states suggests pretty strongly that the letter did have an effect. It would be even be plausible to say that all else being equal, if the letter doesn't happen, Hillary is the president.

    The thing is, the race was really close, so a bunch of different factors could be filled in (change only X and the outcome is different). Just because there are multiple things to fill in for X though doesn't diminish the importance of any one of them. The letter was extremely important and consequential.

  • R C Dean||

    Hillary's numbers dropping immediately after and not fully rebounding

    The timing doesn't quite work. Her numbers were dropping before the actual Comey announcement, but because of the way the poll publications lag the actual polling, those drops were published right as Comey made his announcement.

  • mortiscrum||

    I'm not disagreeing with you outright and a part of me hates making such a blatant appeal to authority ....but Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight said it had a significant effect. I'm pretty inclined to trust his analysis.

    So maybe I am disagree with you.

  • DesigNate||

    I'm just spitballing here, but I would bet cash money that her not campaiging in Wisconsin, eschewing Michigan for wherever else she decided to focus (can't be bothered to remember what the staffer said), and demonizing West Virginia and Pennsylvania had a hell of a lot more to do with her numbers than Comey's letter.

  • mortiscrum||

    Totally agree, and that's kind of my point. On top of being a fundamentally weak candidate, Hillary's campaign made some rather glaring strategic errors that cost her badly.

    The point is though, because of a variety of factors, the race was almost certainly going to be close. In a close race, every little bit matters. I think there's pretty compelling evidence to say that Comey's letter was on of those things that mattered enough to say "all else being equal, if Comey didn't write that letter, we could very well be talking about President-Elect Clinton."

    It's obviously perfectly fair to counter with If Hillary wasn't just a crummy candidate, or if she only did X instead of Y, the letter wouldn't have mattered - but that being true doesn't make the letter being important UNtrue.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Not just a crummy candidate, but apparently, if your assertion is correct, an extremely fragile one. Comey's letter was weak sauce, vague, delivered even after some had already voted, and he gave a mealy-mouthed retraction of his intent a day or so after farting it out, IIRC.

    If that was enough to take down Queen Hillary, Protectress of Entitlement to the Throne, then maybe instead of sniveling and endless blah-blah about Comey, third-party voters and candidates, Russia, sexism, and election fraud, lockstep Dems could, in the future, consider promoting candidates who can't be toppled by what amounts to no more than a sneeze.

  • mortiscrum||

    If a candidate is crummy, they are by definition also fragile, no? A candidate that is weak will win by a small margin, if at all. Ergo, things that wouldn't prove fatal to a strong candidate can do in a weak one (generally speaking. "Weak" and "strong" are correlated to a candidate's opponent, and are not strictly objective things).

    I think you are gravely misreading the context of the letter. The vagueness of the letter, the weak retraction, the amount of days it took for the FBI to formally announce there was nothing to make of the situation; all of that made the situation WORSE for Clinton.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Have the Democrats considered not being scumbags?

  • Citizen X||

    Not yet. They're still busy whining about how their previous scumbaggery got exposed.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    How quaint. In modern society we know that good guys and bag guys are teams. If the bad guys do the right thing, it's proof of their Machiavellian intentions. When the good guys do bad things, it's because they had no other choice to bring about peace and order and economic growth for all.

    There's no reason not to be a scumbag. Being a scumbag no longer says anything about who you are as a person, so long as you have right and good on your side.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Except the Dems are claiming they lost beceause the Russians unfairly revealed the dirt on their activities. If being a scumbag does not matter, then being revealed as one does not matter and what the Russians may or may not have done is irrelevant.

  • pan fried wylie||

    +1 The Coon & Cthulu

  • Paper Wasp||

    "How dare you make such a sexist suggestion!" -- HRC Loss Butthurt Committee

  • Titanium Dragon||

    Scumbags? Why don't you point out all the "scumbag" things from those emails?

    Oh wait, you can't.

    Everyone who didn't vote for Clinton is a scumbag.

    Some of the people who did are, too.

    It's just the way things are.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "A calmer, less partisan perspective suggests that what Clinton and Obama view as interference with the election process might more accurately be described as voter education"

    The left is much more obsessed with appearances, and that obsession permeates everything they do.

    The left is much more comfortable with people being appointed just because of their race. They're more prone to believing that having people of various races in leadership positions is important just because the appearance of inclusiveness is important.

    The progressive, social justice left is particularly obsessed with what other people call "signalling", which really underscores the importance they place on appearances. Their obsessions about how racist speech or various aspects of the culture that seem to favor one orientation or gender over another underscore how important appearances are to the left.

    Political correctness is all about appearances.

    The left can be brutal to celebrities that don't tow the left's line--because the're so concerned about appearances. Can't have common people thinking that the right is okay, so we all have to work together to make sure the right seems crazy, mkay?

    We miss something important about the left when we dismiss the progressives' signaling as a side show.

    It's the main event.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    The progressive, social justice left is particularly obsessed with what other people call "signalling", which really underscores the importance they place on appearances.

    The proverbial Screaming Sandwich Board Man also sees unspoken signals in everything, and therefore the dark hidden agendas in everything, from Micky D's to Disney to the squirrel looking at Sandwich Board Man from perch in a tree.

    Coincidence?

  • ||

    I keep hearing about the Russians and Assange and Comey and and and - excuse after excuse. What I don't hear in the incessant babble from the bobble heads on teevee is what the Dems are actually saying. The Dem's argument is simple:

    Hillary lost because people found out the truth and that wasn't supposed to happen.

  • kinnath||

    I said previously that the Dems were pissed because the stupid and gullible voted Republican this time instead of Democrat.

  • Ron||

    thats okay with me since denial is the first step to not recovering. but it will leave a lot of idiots thinking Trump is not legitimate but then they never accepted Bush as legitimate despite all the proof otherwise so i won't worry about them. Except of course idiot RINOs like McCain can really fuck it up

  • John||

    Imagine if the Mexican government had the infamous "grab her pussy" tape and had been behind its release. That would have by the media's current logic been "hacking the election". Somehow I doubt they would see it that way however.

    Beyond that, the Democrats spend the entire fall claiming the DNC emails were a big nothing. Have they changed their minds? Just exactly whose vote was effected by the release of the emails and why was that? It would be nice if someone asked that question.

  • Ken Shultz||

    And if Vladimir Putin were personally complicit in the hacking, what precisely do they want us to do about that?

    The answer is that they don't really want us to do anything.

    They just don't want us to think that average Americans rejected progressives for being progressives.

  • Ron||

    lets not forget all the foreign world leaders and foreign actors telling us stupid Americans to not fall for Trump isn't that also hacking

  • R C Dean||

    A Mexican national is actually the largest single shareholder, I believe, in the NYT. Should we conclude that the NYT is a Mexican false-flag op?

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Barry and the gang were spying on Angela Merkel's personal cellphone among other things. Not hacking gadgets and accounts at all. Only unseemly Russians do that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't think the left trying to get people to believe that the election was about Russian hackers rather than white, blue collar voters rejecting progressives and political correctness is a distraction from the left's perspective.

    I think it speaks directly to appearances, which is a giant part of what being on the left is all about.

    Can't have people thinking that average Americans reject progressives for being progressives. It must be Comey's fault, Citizens United, the Koch Brothers, Fake News, or Russian hackers.

  • $park¥ is totally a Swifty||

    Valuable journalism is often based on information that was obtained or divulged illegally by people with axes to grind.

    Valuable journalism police work is often based on information that was obtained or divulged illegally by people with axes to grind.

    It's kind of a shitty double standard.

  • $park¥ is totally a Swifty||

    Sooo, does the tag do something different now?

  • WTF||

    Kind of a shitty link, too.

  • $park¥ is totally a Swifty||

    Let's just pretend the original actually says this:

    Valuable journalism police work is often based on information that was obtained or divulged illegally by people with axes to grind.

  • Hamster of Doom||

  • $park¥ is totally a Swifty||

    Because I'm such a nice guy, I'll let you have it all.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    You're a pal, $parky.

  • WTF||

    Link is still SF'd.

  • $park¥ is totally a Swifty||

    Because it wasn't a link, it was a strike through tag. I must have hit a instead of s to open or close it.

  • WTF||

    Ah, okay then.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Journalism leads to soft sanctions, policework leads to legitimized violence. So, there's that.

  • $park¥ is totally a Swifty||

    Yes, indeed, it's different when they do it. That's what makes it a double standard. Whether I believe one side or the other is more legitimate doesn't change that.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Yes, and that man was found dead, but the "robbers" didn't bother to take his wallet or phone. Funny that.

  • R C Dean||

    And there haven't been any similar attacks in that neighborhood before or since. Its almost like he was targetted.

  • Glide||

    It's stupid to talk about this topic like the data breach and the actual votes are inextricably linked. The left is being ridiculously dishonest by doing so. The right, at least parts of them, are playing the left's game by defending the hacking as a public service.

    It's entirely possible to be in favor of voting with the most information possible and still oppose invasion of privacy by anyone both foreign and domestic.

    In summary: That sucks, DNC. Let's not let it happen again. But it doesn't change the election or undermine the president's legitimacy.

  • John||

    So all of the people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and PA who voted for Obama twice suddenly voted for Trump in this election and gave him the Presidency because of what they read in the DNC's emails. That is what the Democrats are claiming here. They just don't put it that way because if they did it would be obvious how stupid their claim is.

  • mortiscrum||

    You said the exact thing Glide claimed is nonsense.

    Obama and the DNC would be wrong to say that the entire election was fraudulent because of the email hacks (if they're even saying that....I don't think they really are).

    Trump supporters defending the hacks as being for the public good are being incredibly cavalier with national security. If the hacks did originate from a foreign power, and the goal was to swing the election, that absolutely is something the US should investigate and respond to.

  • John||

    Sorry but Jon Podesta's private email is not a national security issue. Moreover, neither is the DNC's email. The DNC is a private organization. I am not going to war or starting another cold war because they are too stupid to maintain network security.

    Beyond that, how is the Russians leaking this any different than NBC leaking the pussy tape? Both were actions taken in what the parties at the time were private and were later leaked to the public over their objection in order to affect the election. Yeah, the Russians are a hostile power, but so what. Either leaking something that is private to tip the election is bad or it is not. If it is okay for NBC to do it, and I think it was, then why is it such a big deal for the Russians to do it?

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    As has been pointed out previously, our government (and many NGOs) do the same or similar things in other countries in the name of spreading democracy and shedding light on the nefarious doings of dictatorships. For that matter, Angela Merkel would love to have a word about email security and US intelligence agencies.

  • mortiscrum||

    Yes, America is being hypocritical about the emails. We're a nation of hypocrites. In other news, the sky is blue.

    Ok that's really flippant, but I don't mean it as a personal attack: What I getting a though is just because we'd be colossal hypocrites to cry foul over Russian hacking doesn't mean we shouldn't have some kind of response.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Honest question, though: what response do you suggest?

  • mortiscrum||

    I don't know :)

    Maybe it's a cop-out, but I'm a political enthusiast, amateur, and keyboard warrior. The correct diplo-political response is beyond my knowledge. The phrase "diplomatic pressure" pops up over and over around issues like this; we should do that. I assume that means our diplomats speak very angrily to their diplomats, and we tell them how hurt our feelings are.

    Slightly more seriously though, I'm confident there are ways we can cause reasonable-sized headaches for the Russian Government. Deny visas, delay regulatory approval for Russian businesses, that sort of thing. Stuff that pisses off the Russian elite, who in turn get on the cases of Russian politicians. Basically, there has to be a consequence. Ultimately, we can't just let a country have nothing bad happen after they intentionally undermined our sovereignty.

  • mortiscrum||

    I disagree - NBC is a domestic news and journalist organization, and it's their job to get scopes and compromise security, within the bounds of journalistic ethics. Russia is an increasingly hostile foreign power. There is a fundamental difference between the former and latter, even if the ends in this case might amount to the same thing.

    You have a point in that the DNC's response should be the same no matter who hacked them - review their security measures and try to make sure it doesn't happen again - but the DNC is not the Federal Government. It's not really tenable, politically, for the Federal Government to let this slide. Not having some kind of response sends a clear message that not only can the US elections be fucked with, the country attempting the fuckery won't even be risking anything. That's not a good message to send.

  • kinnath||

    The worst case scenario is that the Russian government was directing Russian criminals to hack into the DNC to discover embarrassing communications. If true, the Russians hacked the DNC. They did not hack the election. I am so fucking tired of seeing this misrepresentation repeated in the press, particularly here at Reason.

    And in the end, the only thing the Russian's accomplished was to confirm what Clinton's enemies already believed. 1) Clinton and her direct reports were collecting paychecks from both the government and the Clinton Foundation at the same time and were using the Foundation to extract fees from foreign nationals that wanted access to the government. 2) The DNC was actively working to help the Clinton campaign and suppress the Sanders campaign.

    The response of Clinton supporters was to say "See the media is out to get Clinton". It is highly unlikely that any undecided voters really knew about or cared about the hacking of the DNC emails.

  • John||

    Everyone in government and corporate America knows that you don't put anything in an email you are not comfortable with being public. Hacking is a fact of life. The fact that the DNC was too stupid to secure its server and that Podesta fell for a fishing scam that your great aunt Mildred could have seen through and also showed no personal discipline whatsoever about what they put into emails, says everything about why they have no business in power and nothing about the evil Russkies.

  • kinnath||

    See my first post above. Don't write anything in email you don't want to read in the paper.

    The hacking incident really proved how stupid Podesta and the DNC are.

  • John||

    This is basic shit that you learn as an intern. It is so basic even people who work in government understand it. The fact that these people work in politics and all have likely worked in government makes it even more amazing. Government is subject to FOIA and Congressional oversight. Everything you write in a government email that is not classified is subject to be on the front page of the paper. Everyone in government knows that. Yet, these idiots were so arrogant and so stupid, they didn't think that was true of their private email account.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Everything you write in a government email that is not classified is subject to be on the front page of the paper.

    I guess your intern training didn't include the meaning of FOUO?

  • John||

    I am well aware of that and the privacy act. That however doesn't detract from the larger point. Just because they redact the names and privacy act info doesn't mean you should be any less careful about what you put in emails. Moreover, you shouldn't be putting privacy act or FOUO data in unencrypted emails in the first place.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    On an internal server?

    Sending emails across the full-blown Internet is another thing, but on an internal server you need to encrypt?

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Yet, these idiots were so arrogant and so stupid, they didn't think that was true of their private email account.

    Umm yeah, because private email servers aren't subject to FOIA?

    The only way the contents of private emails get in the newspaper is via illegal hacking or an insider's violation of NDA.

  • John||

    They are not subject to FOIA but they can as we found out be hacked. And the habits that you learn in government should have translated but dind't.

  • Ron||

    you are forgetting that we are referring to the DNC and Hillary and they believed they could do anything because they are above the law which Comey proved when he decided not to prosecute Hillary for clearly criminal acts concerning classified emails. this goes all the way back to Bill Clinton's presidency. they have no fear of the government.

  • ant1sthenes||

    That's why you avoid FOIA by using a fake email address with a random name, or put all your emails on a private server in your bathroom and then delete whatever you don't want people to see before handing it over.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    What could go wrong?

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Don't write anything in email you don't want to read in the paper.

    That might sound good when you say it, but it makes email fairly useless for a lot of purposes. If I order a gallon of "personal lubricant" from Amazon, I get an email confirming my purchase and giving tracking information with my name and address. Probably don't want that to be in the newspaper.

    Am I supposed to just not order anything I don't want the public to know about? Or go to a physical store to buy it?

    Not to mention that internal company email is fairly useless if you can't discuss proprietary business information. Note that the DNC had a private email server, they weren't using Gmail for these emails.

    And you guys are complaining about the govt being able to read *metadata*, not even the actual content, of emails on friggin Gmail. How does that square with your maxim above?

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    Nobody is saying email ought to be insecure, they're saying that it is insecure. It's a limitation of the technology. It's no more secure than physical mail or passing a note through a classroom. In that context, your privacy exists largely at the mercy and discretion of the agents you're relying on to convey your message.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    It's no more secure than physical mail or passing a note through a classroom.

    Internal email on a private server? No way.

    Yeah, if you send an unencrypted email to your friend on another network, every node between you and them has access to it. But that wasn't the case here. Even then, there's a certain amount of protection from being a needle in a haystack.

  • kinnath||

    "Discovery" You should become familiar with this word.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    I am familiar with it, and it's a lot harder to do than intercepting a note being passed or raiding a physical mailbox.

    And as I noted below, proprietary info is privileged from discovery.

  • John||

    Yes Chip, you should be very careful about putting proprietary information in emails. I handle a fair amount of such at my regular job and I never put the details of it in emails. If your employer doesn't understand that, they have a problem.

    As far as embarrassing shit, you shouldn't be doing things at your job that would embarrass you. It is the old rule, don't do anything professionally you wouldn't be willing to tell your mother. Follow that rule and it won't matter if they hack your emails and you also can get your work done.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    That would be completely unworkable, especially with a distributed team. At some point you have to trust that your company's email server is secure.

    I'm curious to know how you do discuss proprietary info with people who aren't sitting next to you. Phone? Even less secure than email. Morse code? Smoke signals?

    As far as embarrassing shit, you shouldn't be doing things at your job that would embarrass you.

    I didn't say I was doing it with my work email. My personal email on Gmail or Yahoo or whatever is far less secure than my work email, so kinnath's rule should apply even more so.

  • Ron||

    buying lube is a lot different than selling government favors

  • Chip Your Pets||

    They overlap more than you might think.

  • kinnath||

    email is useless for lots of purposes if you don't do end-to-end encryption.

    Even secure email systems are subject to discovery. So don't write anything in an email you don't want to see on the front page of the local paper or talk about in the witness stand. Period.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Even secure email systems are subject to discovery.

    In which proprietary information such as trade secrets are considered privileged. Period.

  • Swiss Servator||

    That privilege is not absolute - you may assert it, but it can be swept aside by a judge.

  • R C Dean||

    you don't put anything in an email you are not comfortable with being public. Hacking is a fact of life.

    So are misdirected emails, which is the real reason you don't do that. Once you send it, you can't control what happens with it.

  • kinnath||

    forwarded email gets forwarded to all sorts of places.

  • Zeb||

    And, from what I've been told, those warnings some companies put at the bottom of emails about it being privileged information or something, count for jack shit.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    You already know that education must be avoided at all costs:

    "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage, and basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass," Jonathan Gruber
  • Ron||

    meanwhile Democrats and their followers were offering money to anyone who could come up with info on Trump by any means possible would that not also have been hacking if you use the democrats terms

  • John||

    I am sure they would turn down useful and embarrassing information about Trump if it were offered by the Chinese. The Democrats are just patriotic like that. Who do they think they are kidding with this shit other than themselves?

  • Lee Genes||

    So Assange just came out and said that Podesta's password was "password".

    TOP....

    MEN

  • Chip Your Pets||

    What? Wasn't Assange's claim that the emails were obtained via an insider, not a hack? Then how would he know the password?

  • Lee Genes||

    The DNC emails.

    Podesta's emails were obtained through a phishing scheme, which apparently wasn't even necessary.

    I use "1234" for my luggage!

  • You ARE a Prog (MJG)||

    Someone here may have used this recently, but since you took the Spaceballs reference...

  • Ron||

    it could still be internal if one of his own lackys decided to down load the info and once that got out anyone could get in

  • Zeb||

    Wasn't Assange's claim that the emails were obtained via an insider, not a hack?

    When guessing passwords counts as hacking, everything is hacking.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    Encryption is bad, mmkay?

  • ||

    Remember kids, it's hacking if it hasn't been completely scrubbed by media, government, special interest groups, before it gets in your hands. It's one step above FAKE NEWS and fake sports jerseys!!

  • ||

    Since Romney's 47% speech got election hacked in 2012, I guess Obama's actions for the last 4years are null and void and he owes a lot of rent, back pay, and 747 usage.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Wasn't hacked, just illegally recorded by somebody they were stupid to invite.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    There is no evidence of a hack. Until there is, this is just an un-named DNC operative releasing the emails. Naturally, the DNC wants you to believe falsehoods.

  • Drake||

    Or a named and murdered DNC operative.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I personally am grateful for the information; how it was "hacked" is one matter and may very well be illegal, but having it released was nothing more than the public right to know and being informed about the shenanigans of those who would be president.

    To wish this otherwise is nothing less than wishing you could have concealed the truth in the hope for a different outcome. And that does not pass the billboard test.*

    *If you are faced with a difficult decision, consider the options. The one you could paste onto an interstate billboard with your name under it may not necessarily be the most advantageous or desirous, but it is most likely the one you can live with, and not get your ass in a sling over.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    ...it's not even clear that the DNC and Podesta emails had an impact on the election results—or why it would be so terrible if they did.

    Hillary lost. It couldn't possibly be because she was a lousy candidate or that many voters didn't want "Nixon in a pantsuit" as president, so it's obviously the fault of those dastardly Russian hackers. IT IS KNOWN. /derp

    They'll reach for any excuse that doesn't require them to face the cold hard truth that Hillary was quite probably the most corrupt person to ever the seek the presidency or that hard left Progressive policies just aren't that popular outside of their little ideological bubbles. If they didn't have the "Russian hackers" to blame, they'd find something else to blame the loss on.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    History's Greatest Scapegoats

    1. The Actual Scapegoat [from Israel BCE]
    2. Patient Zero
    3. Jonah
    4. Dreyfus
    5. Trotskey
    6. The devil made me do it

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Oh, and now

    7. The Russians
    8. The FBI

  • Paper Wasp||

    Her campaign literally couldn't get over its massive, elitist sense of entitlement and self-satisfaction long enough to save its own ass. After cheating her way into the nomination like a fucking gypsy, she or her handlers had to know they'd need to win over the angry cheated-and-defeated Bernieprogs. But they couldn't even do that. Assuming they were entitled to the Bernieprog vote, they treated his supporters the same way they treat their El Salvadoran nannies and housekeepers: "We need you, but you're garbage." They badly needed the millenials of the left, but couldn't stop insulting and browbeating them long enough even to find out what might motivate them. "You kids get off my lawn, you never show up to the polls anyway, go back to taking selfies and let the adults talk" was how they addressed the millenial bloc they would need to win. So millenials peaced out.

    Maybe I just don't remember long enough back, but I can't ever recall a campaign that tried harder than Hillary's to alienate the very voters it would need to win.

  • Egypt Steve||

    So I assume you're against foreigners taking jobs in the USA because they're ... foreigners. Not citizens. They don't have a right to work here. And foreigners don't have the same rights to try to affect the outcome of American elections that Americans do because (this is really very simple) they're NOT AMERICANS. It's bad enough when American plutocrats, union bosses, and other special interests manipulate elections and get their hooks into our politicians. But I have to put up with it, because this is a democracy, and they have a voice in the process just like everyone else. But Putin isn't supposed to have a voice in the process, and if it's true that he put his thumb on the scale and made Trump president, then Trump is going to be Putin's bitch, and that is very bad. Read George Washington's freakin farewell address, and you'll get the idea.

  • ||

    "Politicians with things to hide might want to be more careful about the security of the systems they use to discuss sensitive matters."

    Once again, it shows that the more you lie, the more you have to remember! We all know how honest most politicians are! Unfortunately, they are to dumb to remember that they are etching their lies in "stone".

  • Titanium Dragon||

    Why don't you list off all the lies then?

  • Titanium Dragon||

    The problem with this argument is that people believe blantantly untrue things about the emails. People assumed that because they were private, they had to contain something nefarious - and the fact that they did not did not change anything. People simply assumed they were nefarious.

    As such, claiming "voter education" is not something any reasonable person can claim. It was a smear job, pure and simple.

    So yeah, its origin should be suspect, because the goal was to influence the election and there wasn't actually anything in there.

  • Paper Wasp||

    OMG, the lulz.

    they had to contain something nefarious - and the fact that they did not...

    Clearly spoken by someone who hasn't read any of them. I'll just give you an appetizer: Clinton, being the venal whore that she is, voted for a 2001 bankruptcy-restriction bill that had the prog vagina-vote shrieking about her disloyalty. Because she's a coward who couldn't simply say she voted for it because people have a responsibility to pay back debt that they incur, Clinton got on ABC News and lied out her ass about why she voted for the bill, claiming that "many women's groups" had pressured her to vote for it because they wanted to ensure "deadbeat dads" didn't use bankruptcy as a way of escaping child support obligations.

    In Podesta's mails, you see the thread where Team Clinton has to do damage control for that lie, because contrary to what Clinton told America, women's groups were pressuring her to do the exact opposite: preserve easy bankruptcy. You get to read her aides scrambling to find any women's group--or some female senator--to back her up or cover for Clinton's wholly-fabricated claims. They can't.

    That's just one example. There is a lot of "nefarious" stuff in these mails. Here, find out for yourself.

  • The_Kat||

    Sullum makes a good point. Would the left be so hysterical if it were American hackers doing the damage or if, god help them, American journalists uncovered some of this same information? Remember how liberals had no problem with Mitt Romney being illegally taped talking about the 47% but the DNC and Podesta emails being hacked is a major crime that should be punished with death? The hypocritical hysterics over the alleged Russian hacking is simply meant to delegitimize Trump's presidency. I am certainly no fan of Trump's but even I can see this is just liberals being liberals in an attempt to discredit the GOP.

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