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The Russia defense.

October 21, 2016

In the wake of the Wikileaks email dumps, the Clinton camp has evoked the Russia defense.

In short, her campaign maintains that none of the bad stuff being aired out is true. We can believe that, because it’s driven by a discredited source, namely the Russian government, which obtained the emails through hacking and other nefarious means.

OK, let’s accept that at face value. The real issue is more germane to the election.

Is it true, and if so does the source really matter?

First, did Wikileaks even need the Russians?

The last 24-hour cycle hasn’t just been about clandestine hacking of Democrats’ emails relative to the election, although the story of millions of stolen documents  is sort of a below-the-fold story relative to the election.

Apparently, the National Security Agency (now there is an epic oxymoron)  managed to harbor another Edward Snowden for at least twenty years, AND allowed him to steal terabytes worth of information, some of it marked secret and top secret if you believe the news.

That would normally be 60-point headline-worthy.

Whether he sold or gave that information to anyone isn’t clear. Allegedly, he had stolen material scattered about in plain sight in his car and residence, which makes you wonder if just being able to have it was his motive  Sort of like a trophy.

If that was his deal, then how can we be sure he didn’t just hand it out like party favors?

The impact of that little gem is, does Russia even need to spy on us?  We seem to do a bang-up job of giving the information away without any complicated espionage tactics needed.

Second, does the source matter?

It’s somewhat instructive that the Clinton campaign’s main defense is that the probable source is unsavory. At no point have they produced proof that the content has been creatively edited or made up out of whole cloth. In fact they have made virtually no denials at all.

Absent a tell-all book, where else besides a Clinton protagonist are we to get the information?

People who are for you generally try to protect you.  If there’s also money to be made by protecting you, it’s highly likely you may be very well protected.

Hillary’s campaign is not going to volunteer that they hire people to start physical conflicts that sometimes have hurt people outside her opponent’s campaign events.

They aren’t going to broadcast that even they don’t know where she stands on anything.

They certainly aren’t going to peel back and expose the layers of corruption extant in our political system.

It would have been perhaps optically nicer if Mr. Trump’s team had been the ones to ferret out all that bad stuff, but quite frankly, it wouldn’t have mattered.  No one would believe she is this bad just because the information came from within a rival’s campaign.

In short, if you want to see bad product reviews, you don’t go to the company’s website to find them.

Hopefully, you still have enough functioning brain cells to draw your own conclusions about the revelations concerning Mrs. Clinton.

If you think they are worth considering, then the origin of the information is only a part of your evaluation.

The backstory is…

There is a larger story here, and that’s the almost genetic predisposition of politicians to lie to us, and do we, the so-called normal people, really care?

You don’t have to work for a major news outlet for your ears to prick up when Marco Rubio warns Republicans that “it could be us next.”

Sometimes it can be fairly argued that the government lies to protect us, although in this age of cyber-insecurity, that justification rings somewhat hollow.

No one is such a Pollyanna that they believe no one lies, and politicians are actually expected to do so.

What we don’t expect is to have evidence of the depth and breadth of the effect of those lies thrust into our consciousness at every minute of every day.

Does the quid gotten for the quo matter and if so, how?

This election is not about electing a saint.

It’s about which of the exposed sins you can live with the most easily.

From → op-ed

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