What is it with Hillary Clinton and emails? The week where she is formally nominated as the first female presidential candidate of a major US political party should be an opportunity for everyone (including the supporters of Bernie Sanders) to put the past behind them, and work together to defeat Donald “Skeletor” Trump, and his new BFF, Mike Pence.
But WikiLeaks put a stop to that wishful thinking by suddenly dumping 20,000 Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails online for all to see.
It didn’t paint many people in a very good light, and it vindicated Sanders’ complaints of a rigged process. The hack has already claimed the scalp of one prominent Democrat — Debbie Wasserman-Schultz — who was the chairperson of the Democratic party. The party has now formally apologized to Senator Sanders. To top it all off, any member of the public who contributed money to the Democrats this election cycle probably now has their details on WikiLeaks too.
And all of this before the convention has even started. Trump is probably at Castle Trumpskull right now, cackling and waving his fists in the air in delight.
Wait, Back Up a Bit… WikiLeaks Leaked More Emails?
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 22, 2016
Yes, Assange has been at it again. In his quest to get as much attention as possible, WikiLeaks uploaded 20,000 emails that were sent between January 2015 and May 2016, between Democrat officials during the contentious primary season between Clinton and Sanders. They prove bias and corruption, which are not exactly startling new revelations, but they have finally been proved.
Sanders is no longer the angry old man telling the kids to get off his lawn.
But here’s where it gets very interesting, because many media outlets are reporting that the email hack was done by two Russian hacking groups, entitled APT-28 and APT-29, with probable direct links to both the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (FSB), and Russian military intelligence (the GRU), respectively. That means Vlad “Mad” Putin’s fingerprints are most likely all over this devious plan to besmirch Clinton, and help get fellow macho man US Supreme Ruler Trump into power. If true, this would be the first time a US presidential candidate is being influenced by a foreign power (that we know of). Is it just me or does this remind you of The Manchurian Candidate?
Complicating matters is that someone claiming to be a lone hacker in Romania, online screen name Guccifer 2.0, insisting that they alone are responsible for the hack. But despite his/her protestations, all roads nevertheless lead back to Russia.
To quote an extensive and excellent write-up on Motherboard:
“When asked to explain his hack in Romanian, he was unable to respond colloquially and without errors. Guccifer 2.0’s English initially was also weak, but in subsequent posts the quality improved sharply, albeit only on political subjects, not in technical matters—an indication of a team of operators at work behind the scenes”.
The whole Motherboard article is well worth reading.
What Effect Will This Have on the Democratic Convention?
Political parties like their conventions to go smoothly. Controversy, divisiveness, and bickering are strictly verboten at these gatherings. The anger is supposed to be directed at the other side, not at their own side. That’s like soldiers on the battlefield turning their guns on their own comrades, instead of the enemy. There will be blood on the floor as a result.
So in short, it is not going to help the overall atmosphere. Things will be tense to say the least. And Clinton will come out of this looking more tarnished than ever. Despite making history as the first female nominee of a major US party, she will forever be accused of stealing or buying the nomination. And it will eventually be fodder for Trump to gloat at and make hay of. All thanks to the Russian government and WikiLeaks.
Suddenly voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson seems like a really good idea…
I Contributed: Are My Details Online Now?
Even though a lot of the emails paint a rather damning picture of the DNC displaying blatant discrimination towards Sanders, a lot of others drop Democrat donors right in it. For these emails are merely confirmation emails referring to donations from party members.
And as such, the trove on WikiLeaks contains emails with unredacted names, addresses, phone numbers, passport and social security numbers, and credit card payment details, including card numbers. In short, an identity thief’s ultimate wet dream.
To see if you are in there, visit the WikiLeaks DNC emails site, and enter your name, as well as maybe the word “contribution”. If you do find yourself in there, I wouldn’t be too hopeful of having your details removed. Instead, focus on changing your credit card number and perhaps your phone number. It is possible to change your social security number but whether or not you can change your passport number due to an email hack is rather vague at best. Changing your name and address is perhaps rather extreme though.
In future, if you want to continue making political contributions and at the same time avoid another hack like this one, consider temporary email addresses, Skype numbers (or a throwaway cellphone number), a postbox address instead of your actual residential address, making the contribution in the name of your company (if you are your own boss), and as far as payment goes, think about disposable credit card numbers.
Queen Hillary’s Coronation Ruined by Pesky Emails?
History was made when Hillary Clinton won the nomination, resulting in Bill mulling over being First Lady.
But will her long-planned ascent to glory and ultimate power be ruined by yet more emails, President-for-eternity Putin, and US Supreme Ruler Trump? Were you on the list of donors? If so, are you busy changing your name and going into hiding?