The hackers & the hacks

The Washington Post and New York Times have created a post-election furor with stories citing unnamed intelligence sources promoting a certain line on Russian hacking of the DNC and John Podesta email accounts. Podesta now takes to the pages of the Washington Post to call out the FBI.

Podesta’s gmail account appears to have been hacked via a simple phishing scam with no evident connection to Russia. The phishing scam has been perpetrated by thieving scammers to fool unsophisticated victims of many stripes. You don’t have to be bluish.

The Podesta angle on the hacking story reminds me of George Romney’s claim that he had been brainwashed by the military and diplomatic corps during his 1965 trip to Vietnam (“When I came back from Viet Nam, I’d just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get”). With his gift for cruelty and condescension, Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy commented that “a light rinse would have sufficed.” The spirit of McCarthy’s joke applies in spades to the hacking of Podesta’s account.

Who in the United States intelligence community has created the hysteria about Russian hacking, and what is the evidence of means and motive? House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes sought a briefing by National Intelligence Director James Clapper with participation from FBI Director James Comey and CIA Director John Brennan in a closed session yesterday. They, however, would prefer not to. USA Today reports that they refused to appear for the requested briefing.

What’s happening here? Megyn Kelly sought an answer from committee member Peter King (video below). Concerned citizens looking for answers won’t get much satisfaction here. “It’s almost as if people in the intelligence community are carrying out a disinformation campaign against the President-elect of the United States,” King said. “It’s absolutely disgraceful.”

“Somebody had the time to leak it to the Washington Post, but they don’t have the time to come to Congress. It is the House Committee on Intelligence that absolutely has the jurisdiction over the CIA and the intelligence community,” he said. “It is their job to come. They don’t have any choice.”

Via Tim Hains/RealClearPolitics.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.