This Man – Not Putin – Wanted to Hurt Hillary With Email Leak
U.S. officials are confident that Russian state actors are behind the Democratic National Committee server breach, but they are saying little about the motivation behind the hack. While the Hillary Clinton campaign insists that Vladimir Putin is trying to sway the election for Donald Trump, officials say the timing of the hack makes that unlikely. When the hackers first gained entry to the server, Trump was a longshot to win the Republican nomination.
That said, it was no coincidence that the emails were published on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. It wasn’t Putin who wanted to keep Hillary from winning the election, though; it was WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
In an interview with Democracy Now, Assange said publicity was also a factor in the timing.
“Often it’s the case that we have to do a lot of exploration and marketing of the material we publish ourselves to get a big political impact for it,” Assange said. “But in this case, we knew, because of the pending DNC, because of the degree of interest in the U.S. election, we didn’t need to establish partnerships with The New York Times or The Washington Post.”
That’s probably for the best, because it’s not clear whether either of those papers would have published the story. If they did, they would have shuffled it to the Metro section or something. Perhaps follow it up with an editorial reminding their readers that none of this meant anything and that Trump was still the greatest danger to the planet Earth since…well, since the last Republican nominee, at least!
Assange made mention of the emails a month ago, but the interview received little attention. On June 12, he told a British TV host that WikiLeaks had “emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.” Perhaps because everyone assumed that Assange was talking about the other emails – the ones on Clinton’s server – no one noticed that something big was getting ready to land.
And according to Assange, we haven’t seen the worst of the emails yet. In an interview this week, he promised there was more to come.
Already, the emails have overshadowed what was supposed to be a celebratory week for Clinton. Her acceptance of the Democratic nomination has been marred by revelations of DNC favoritism, inspiring thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters to protest in Philadelphia. They claim the leaked emails are proof of a rigged system that makes a mockery of democracy.
With several months left in this interminable election, there’s no way to know if these emails will still have an effect by the time we head to the polls in November. But if this is really the “change” election that everyone says it is, it’s hard to see how the ultimate Washington insider can possibly take it home.