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Unpacking the DNC Emails

Over the last few days, WikiLeaks has released tens of thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee’s server. The messages reveal dirty tricks directed against Bernie Sanders and only add to the whirlpool of corruption and sleaze surrounding Hillary Clinton and the wheezing corpse of the democratic process.

There’s a lot to unpack here:

• The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data—was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians.

• Many in Camp Clinton and the media labeled Bernie Sanders’ supporters paranoid when they claimed that the DNC was working against them. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was in fact working against them. One official proposed getting “someone,” presumably a reporter, to ask Sanders if he’s an atheist to discredit him [1] in religious areas.

• Claims of pro-Clinton media bias [2] were dismissed during the primaries. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was working closely with the media to seek negative coverage of Sanders and positive coverage of Clinton.

• Politico now admits it was a “mistake” sending the DNC an article draft in advance [3]. The writer showed the draft to the DNC even before his own editors saw it.

• Facebook admits to blocking WikiLeaks links [4] to the DNC email hack from its newsfeeds (but blames spam filters).

• The DNC appears to have expended significantly more effort against Bernie Sanders than it did against any of the Republican candidates.

• Instead of focusing on the contents of the hacked emails and the dirty tricks they exposed, many mainstream-media outlets headlined instead the Clinton-campaign talking point that the Russians hacked the emails and released them in an effort to derail her candidacy in favor of Donald Trump’s. Many of the same stories suggest Trump is some sort of pro-Putin stooge.

• On 60 Minutes, Clinton refused to say that intervention by the DNC to favor one candidate was “improper.” Her non-answer was edited out [5] of the broadcast when it ran on Sunday; the network later released it online.

• After DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation [6] following this week’s Democratic convention, the Clinton campaign announced Wasserman Schultz would be hired by them [7] as “honorary chair of Hillary’s campaign’s 50-state program to elect Democrats in every part of the country, and as a surrogate for her campaign nationally.”

• Wasserman Schultz will be replaced as DNC chair by (only now former) CNN commentator Donna Brazile [8]. Brazile argued the pro-Clinton side of debates on CNN throughout the primary season.

• In the hacked emails, Brazile said “I will cuss out the Sanders camp [9]!” over complaints by Sanders of inadequate representation by the DNC. In March, while still employed by CNN, Brazile called Sanders’ decision to run as a Democrat (rather than an independent) for the additional media exposure “extremely disgraceful.”

Sadly, Bernie Sanders, his campaign sabotaged by the DNC—and what were once “paranoid” accusations now proved—still endorses Hillary Clinton and will still speak at the Democratic National Convention. It pains me to say, as his once-supporter, that the man has no courage. Even Ted Cruz stood up for himself in front of the Republicans in Cleveland. It is a sad day when we learn Ted Cruz has more guts than Bernie Sanders.

Those who are calling all this a coup of sorts—they’re wrong. It’s a surrender. But in the words of Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make?

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during the “reconstruction” of Iraq in his book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People [10]. He writes about current events at We Meant Well [11]. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent [12]. His next work will be a novel, Hooper’s War [13].

26 Comments (Open | Close)

26 Comments To "Unpacking the DNC Emails"

#1 Comment By Chris On July 26, 2016 @ 12:21 am

Bernie was only renting the Democratic party and he’s miffed that management preferred Hillary?

Every organization has email traffic that outsiders should never see because it is cringe inducingly embarrassing.

I, for one, would love to read what RNC/Fox News think of Trump.

#2 Comment By Fran Macadam On July 26, 2016 @ 1:16 am

Feel the burn.

#3 Comment By icarusr On July 26, 2016 @ 3:31 am

What Chris said.

Those of us with a long history of serving in governments that have generous access to information requirements have long gotten used to this sort of thing. The wonder is not what has been found; it is that it wasn’t worse.

And for those moronic holier-than-thous – go through your own email and see if you have never said anything untoward. Go ahead. And if you have, hang your head in shame and jump in a lake or something.

I tell my employees that in phrasing every email they write, they should ask not what it means to the reader but what it would look like on the front page of the Washington Times or the New York Sun. That is good discipline. The rest is just email-porn.

#4 Comment By Lllurker On July 26, 2016 @ 5:36 am

“Instead of focusing on the contents of the hacked emails and the dirty tricks they exposed, many mainstream-media outlets headlined instead the Clinton-campaign talking point that the Russians hacked the emails and released them in an effort to derail her candidacy in favor of Donald Trump’s.”

Ya think? Before criticizing this “talking point” did you look into it?

Bernie just spent the last couple of decades deliberately avoiding supporting the DNC. The DNC didn’t have an obligation to do anything for him.

“Dirty tricks” by the DNC? If there were any, you sure haven’t shown any evidence in this post.

#5 Comment By the moviegoer On July 26, 2016 @ 6:53 am

“many mainstream-media outlets headlined instead the Clinton-campaign talking point that the Russians hacked the emails and released them in an effort to derail her candidacy in favor of Donald Trump’s”

Standard Clinton. The source is tainted, the accuser is compromised, it didn’t really happen, it happened but what difference does it make it’s over let’s move on, sure we did it but there’s a vast conspiracy out to get us, it depends on what the meaning of ‘the’ is, etc, etc. Eight more years of the same old whiney BS. And we already saw this awful movie about a million times.

#6 Comment By Ben On July 26, 2016 @ 7:01 am

Last night, Bernie…sold…out!!! Wow! He’s just another run-of-the-mill establishment career politician after all.

#7 Comment By Rurik On July 26, 2016 @ 8:46 am

Has the Donald not expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin? Did he not tell the NYT that he wouldn’t automatically come to the Baltic States’ defense if Russia attacked? Call me old-fashioned, but I do not want a president who gets weak in the knees whenever the Russian dictator goes shirtless.

#8 Comment By Kurt Gayle On July 26, 2016 @ 8:56 am

“The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data—was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians.”

Donald Trump picked on this deeply-flawed Clinton-team talking point right away – and buried the sword to the hilt. Speaking to an overflow auditorium yesterday afternoon in Roanoke, Virginia, Trump said:

“[Debbie Wasserman Schultz] worked very hard to rig the system so that Hillary got [in]…Little did she know that China, Russia – one of our many, many ‘friends’ – came in and hacked the hell out of us. Can you imagine? Can you imagine what they’re hacking? I guarantee we’ll find the 33,000 emails. (cheers, laughter, loud applause)”

#9 Comment By C. L. H. Daniels On July 26, 2016 @ 10:01 am

A few thoughts:

The WikiLeaks release certainly does appear to have been timed to attempt to do maximum damage to Clinton by stoking the animosity of Bernie supporters on the eve of the convention.
The emails released do not represent all of the content that the hackers had access to.
Let’s indulge in conspiracy theories here for a moment. Let’s say it was Russia behind the DNC hack and Wikileaks release. Let’s further say that Russia actually did hack Clinton’s private server. Assuming these things to be true, it seems quite probable that we’ll see some of Clinton’s private correspondence and/or more DNC emails leaked before November.

Can you say “October Surprise”?

#10 Comment By VikingLS On July 26, 2016 @ 10:37 am

Oh and for the record I’m not saying that Christians must support Putin. I am pointing out that while there isn’t much evidence that Putin wants to invade the Baltics, CLinton and Obama have already actually aided and abetted terrorists they knew were pledging to ethnically cleanse the religious minorities of Syria, something which Putin and Patriarch Kirill predicted.

I am tired of the moral posing when it comes to Russia from Americans whether it’s from Neocons or Democrats who, after railing against them, have adopted their arguments when it was to their advantage.

I apologize for the digression.

#11 Comment By Rossbach On July 26, 2016 @ 12:20 pm

If anyone deserved to be outed (again) as a liar, it is HRC. For Bernie (who supports her notwithstanding everything that has been revealed), it’s all over but the groveling.

Good riddance to both.

#12 Comment By Kurt Gayle On July 26, 2016 @ 2:18 pm

I know people – people I admire – who are Bernie Sanders supporters, and I think what Sanders-supporter Peter Van Buren says is how a lot of them feel:

“Sadly, Bernie Sanders, his campaign sabotaged by the DNC—and what were once ‘paranoid’ accusations now proved—still endorses Hillary Clinton and will still speak at the Democratic National Convention. It pains me to say, as his once-supporter, that the man has no courage.”

Yesterday in Roanoke, Virginia, Donald Trump said something very similar about Bernie Sanders:

“With Bernie, when you look at what happened, the thing that surprises me most is how he folded. He folded! I really thought he was hanging out tough-tough-tough — then they find these horrible emails talking about his religion, and is he Jewish, and is he an atheist, and what, and that’s not going to play well and – Man! That’s rough! And that’s not as bad as some of the other ones! And I said there’s no way that Bernie Sanders shows up to make a speech. There’s no way that he can ever endorse crooked Hillary Clinton anymore. Right? There’s no way! And today I see him trying to make the case, and his own people are out there – they’re booing – they’re out there booing. So, it’s pretty bad…What did surprise me was that Bernie was so soft on this. Really, I was amazed, because I watched the speech – ‘We-must-vote-for-Hillary-Clinton’— …Why would he do that?”

#13 Comment By Hankest On July 26, 2016 @ 3:01 pm

“Instead of focusing on the contents of the hacked emails and the dirty tricks they exposed, many mainstream-media outlets headlined instead the Clinton-campaign talking point that the Russians hacked the emails and released them in an effort to derail her candidacy in favor of Donald Trump’s.”

I only wish that were more the case. The story shouldn’t be about some internal shenanigans at the DNC, it should be that apparently Russian hackers are trying to influence the US Presidential Elections.

Seems to be more people are discussing – with thigh rubbing glee – the silly tricks suggested (but not initiated) by impotent DNC personal rather than the fact the emails were hacked by a foreign entity and released just before the conventions is a bit disturbing.

Ohh, they were going to call Sanders an atheist (but didn’t), heeheehee. Lord help us.

#14 Comment By Anna On July 26, 2016 @ 3:18 pm

To be fair, Sanders did say he would endorse Clinton if he lost. On this, he’s a man of his word. Is that so terrible ?

#15 Comment By Clint On July 26, 2016 @ 3:52 pm

Claims of pro-Clinton media bias were dismissed during the primaries. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was working closely with the media to seek negative coverage of Sanders and positive coverage of Clinton.

The Mainstream Media bias doesn’t stop there. The mainstream Media is attempting to orchestrate a Hillary Clinton presidency, as it orchestrated Obama’s.

#16 Comment By LouisM On July 26, 2016 @ 3:58 pm

I never liked Bernie and was never fooled by him. I just lumped him in with Bolshevik, socialist, communist, leftist, anarchist, social justice warrior, etc. all of which is just so much manure.

This means far more to Bernie supporters who feel betrayed and to the Republican GOP who is now justified not just in what they were saying about the dirty pool Hillary was playing with Bernie but also the dirty pool of the emails and her server, Benghazi, her bribery/extortion charitable foundation, etc.

#17 Comment By Fran Macadam On July 26, 2016 @ 4:47 pm

“I am tired of the moral posing when it comes to Russia from Americans whether it’s from Neocons or Democrats who, after railing against them, have adopted their arguments when it was to their advantage.”

Well, the neocons ARE Democrats, aren’t they?

As for the unproven accusations against Russia meddling, why our US of A never interfered or influences any other country’s elections – complete with coups and bribes!

#18 Comment By Reinhold On July 26, 2016 @ 4:56 pm

“It pains me to say, as his once-supporter, that the man has no courage.”
Psh!
Sanders’ strategy from the beginning was obviously to influence the Democratic Party as a kind of invigorating populist progressive, so I don’t think he surrendered; he held out on his endorsement long enough to influence the platform, which while mostly insignificant, does at least ‘energize the base’ for further activism. It’s a kind of boilerplate progressive electoral strategy, and I don’t understand why Sandernistas are disappointed it worked exactly as it was expected to.

#19 Comment By JohnG On July 26, 2016 @ 5:19 pm

I don’t agree, it’s not a surrender, it’s treason. Especially, given the choice of the VP running mate, (well, almost) promotion of DWS, etc. And we still don’t know what was in that speech to Goldman Sachs. Which makes all of yesterday’s posturing about being tough and breaking big banks more nauseating than ridiculous. And it was completely ridiculous.

#20 Comment By Alex (the one that likes Ike) On July 26, 2016 @ 8:35 pm

Anna,

The thing is that if somebody were playing against him with such a dishonesty, even a medieval knight (a romantic depiction of the one, obviously) would feel perfectly free of keeping his word. He would actually feel way more dishonored in keeping a word given to such an unscrupulous duchess ready to commit any baseness for the sake of becoming a queen than in breaking it.

#21 Comment By balconesfault On July 27, 2016 @ 4:10 am

Bernie knows that if Trump wins, he instantly becomes the “hand that can handle a pen” that Grover Norquist publicly sought in 2012 … and that not only does Sander’s agenda of expanding public healthcare, higher education funding, environmental protections, etc potentially go on the backburner, as many Sanders fans fear – but with a GOP Senate and House (and McConnell clearly willing to suspend the filibuster on even passage of bills if it suits his purposes) a Trump Presidency would likely result in serious cuts to healthcare and education funding, broad brush elimination of many of our long-standing Federal environmental programs, and further economic re-alignment favoring large corporations and the hyper wealthy.

What do you know – Bernie is a politician! And moreover, one who when push comes to shove favors his ideology over his personal ambition.

As for Ted Cruz … well, besides talking about pushing Sanders to reveal that he is an atheist are kind of weak tea compared to personal attacks on one’s wife and father … and besides Cruz personal ambition being more important to him than his ideology … Cruz clearly sees a Trump Presidency as something that would take power away from him. Sanders sees a Clinton Presidency as something that would enhance his power in the Senate. Feel free to call it “guts” that Cruz possesses. I’d have other terms for it.

#22 Comment By Gene Casney On July 27, 2016 @ 9:12 am

First if all the official state department email (state.gov) that Hillary did not use at the state deptartment was hacked by the Russians in 2008 and was not purged until 2014. Second we know the DNC email was hacked and most likely, but not certainly, by the Russians. Third there is no evidence that the Clinton private server was hacked. Of course it could have been hacked just as the Russians may have cracked our codes and are able to read the most secret and secure transmissions even from the oak room in the state department. You may be OK with a foreign Government working to influence the outcome of a presidential election but I am not.

#23 Comment By pitchfork On July 27, 2016 @ 9:42 am

You think the DNC and/or Clinton camp hasn’t hired a firm to do damage control/spin in online forums? Just a quick scan of the comments would suggest the possibility.

#24 Comment By StanG On July 27, 2016 @ 10:11 am

Hmmm, a political party putting its thumb on the scale against a candidate who only recently joined the party. Where have I heard that before? Oh right. Trump. The only difference is that the DNC was effective in doing their job, whereas the RNC is apparently composed of buffoons.

And if Trump isn’t some sort of “pro-Putin stooge,” I’d like to know what he is. Leave aside the slathering-up that Trump regularly dispenses on Putin. The one plank the Trump forces wanted removed from the Republican platform had to do with providing weapons to Ukraine to defend themselves against Russian aggression. Since when did sucking up to Russia become a conservative position?

#25 Comment By DeepSouthPopulist On July 27, 2016 @ 10:07 pm

balconesfault says:
July 27, 2016 at 4:10 am

Hillary is a neo-liberal. On the other hand, I don’t see a lot of evidence that Trump has any interest in returning to the W/Norquist era for domestic or foreign policy. Economic populism is his whole campaign.

#26 Comment By David A On July 29, 2016 @ 1:49 am

Interfering in sovereign nations elections and politics. The O’s record…
Israel, check
Canada, check
Egypt, check
Britexit, Check
Libya, Check,
and so on and so forth.

If Russia releases the former SOSs private email which she obstructed justice to prevent, they will be doing a huge favor to the US.

Seeing how the O and Hillary totally screwed up in foreign policy, I am not certain Putin wants to burn Hillary.