Now at The Daily Caller.
"Russian hacking" is the Left/Never-Trumpers' explanation for Donald Trump's election.
In their furrowed-brow-telling, they have recently discovered something called "Russian interference" and "Russian influence." Don't ask where so many of them have been all of our lives, because they've spent about the past century telling us there was no such thing.
That was then. Today, they insist that this newfound "Russian interference" and "Russian influence" secretly drove nearly 63 million American deplorables to reach for that GOP lever again and again to vote for Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton.
Let me squeeze in a little historical context. The late, great Sen. Joseph McCarthy himself was not wont to make such sweeping, conspiratorial charges without offering well-documented evidence, as we might see in his remarkable peroration on the still strange and perplexing career of George C. Marshall (pdf here; get over the Birch imprint; this is a reissue of the original 1952 Devin-Adair book publication).
Back to postmodern times.
Russia exerted this influence and interference, anonymous "officials" say -- also political appointees James Clapper (he who prevented a mandatory damage assessment regarding national security breaches related to the Hillary Clinton server!), and alleged Muslim convert John Brennan (he who voted Communist before entering the CIA!) -- by its alleged hacking of the email accounts of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the DNC, and subsequent alleged passing of these tens of thousands of emails to Wikileaks. That would be Julian Assange's "radical transparency group," as the Washington Post calls the phenomenal, Internet-based publisher of government documents, which, hosannas to the gods, now performs a watchdog-role by default that most media, including the Post, have rejected, making themselves noxious and obsolete.
It is hard to imagine Jeff Bezos' sheet today publishing that massive, pre-hacking-era document "theft," the Pentagon Papers. Fie! That would be "stealing," according to our brave, new, uniparty-state-submissive stenographers. Better for all good media to ensure that government "secret" documents never, ever get to those of us who just elect and employ the government.
Thus, due to Russia -- and not due to the globe-spanning criminality and corruption (and the open borders, forked-tongue Alinskyism and co-dependent-sex-crimes) of Hillary Clinton; and not due to one bit of Donald Trump's revolutionary America First political program -- Trump won the presidency. Ergo, Trump = Putin puppet. That makes the Clinton crime syndicate, its degenerate Podestas, the Left, Never-Trumpers such as Amnesty McCain (and that bizarre pop-up candidate, Evan McMullin) the Second Coming of ... Joe McCarthy? (Now, just a minute, stop, we don't mean to suggest anything like that, witch-hunt, witch-hunt, Red Scare, glug, glug....)
One difference (of many) is Joe McCarthy, as noted, sought and found evidence in his investigations, which, contrary to "conventional wisdom," were guided by the belief that secret Communists working for the Kremlin and/or World Communism should not be able to covertly embed themselves as federal workers inside the US government. (He nabbed 50, at least.) Today's Russian conspiracy theorists have presented no such evidence. And, no, the say-so of unnamed sources in hyper-politicized agencies doesn't cut it. I am put in mind of David Horowitz at the Heritage Foundation a while back, calling half of the justices on the Supreme Court "communists" without offering one shred of evidence to back up his incendiary charges. As the late, great Stanton Evans noted to me at the time: Joe McCarthy would never, ever have done that.
All of this toggling back and forth indicates just how unsettled these issues remain. Back to today.
Something, many things, are wrong with the current-day picture, some of which I have discussed here, here and here. The problem now is the point at which political battle has been joined and locked over the source of the emails, creating a firefight in tunnel vision. The whole debate now is over whether it was a Russian "hack" or a non-Russian hack/leak that led to Wikileaks receiving tens of thousands of communiques from the email accounts of the highest national Democrats seeking to extend their socialistic reign of fixing and corruption through the elevation of their vessel, Hillary Clinton. I call HRC a "vessel," by the way, never quite having gotten over a conversation I overheard at a neighborhood eatery in Northwest DC over a year ago at which some diners, despondent even over the earliest inklings of Hillary's foundational "issues," said, one to the other two: "It's, like, just, elect the bitch."
So long as the source of the evidence is the flashpoint, the evidence itself, the emails, the "real news" are obscured: the terrible patterns of government corruption, media collusion, lies, "rigging," etc., that the emails help reveal.
And maybe that's a goal of this "Russian" offensive.
In the meantime, no one is contesting the veracity of these same emails. Indeed, the most important fact at the bottom of the pile is that Wikileaks has a perfect record when it comes to the veracity of the millions of documents it has published.
Speaking of the bottom of the pile, take a look at where the Washington Post lets its readers in on the most recent official confirmation of Wikileaks' veracity. "The report noted that none of the files passed to Wikileaks contained evident forgeries," the Post notes inside the teeny red box (below), near the end of the final column on the jump page.
In fact, the contents of the DNC/Podesta emails are kind of a sequel, an amplification and extension of the Washington world already partly revealed in the tens of thousands of emails released from the Hillary Homebrew Server (and bleached from the Hillary Homebrew Server). There are presumably hundreds of thousands more related emails on the Anthony Weiner laptop, reportedly being investigated by a US attorney in New York, and more.
It is what this body of evidence tells us, leads us to wonder about and (bing, bing, bing) further investigate that is crucial to keep in mind: the endemic corruption of the Clintons, their Foundation, their Democrat Party, their media, the Obama administration, including, not by the way, links to Russia.
In the meantime, surely it is safe to assume that what we deplorables could piece together in time for November 8 from these "evidently" genuine emails was naturally a factor in the election of Donald Trump. The MSM were of little or no help on these counts, and no wonder: Wikileaked emails prove that top journalists in Washington regularly seek approval, editing suggestions from their Democrat sources. Political parties and institutions were AWOL too, providing zero checks and balances. Elites, Democrat and Republican alike, were thus desperate to keep the party and these parties to corruption going. They certainly don't want the bottom of their swamp exposed now or ever.
What are "they" really after with this Russian gambit? Yes, the Left/Never-Trumpers want to delegitimize the most stunning electoral triumph probably in US history, in which Donald Trump achieved a populist, America First victory over all of the powers-that-were; but they also seek to delegitimize the genuine evidence against the ancien regime as being Kremlin-tainted. To dismiss this entire avalanche of evidence of corruption because, let's say, Putin himself pushed the button to release it, would be like dismissing the evidence against a Mafia don or mass murderer that is genuine, but passed to law enforcement by a criminal informant. It would nearly spell the end of the crimimal justice system. Certainly, it would allow many criminals to get a pass. It could be we are watching the groundwork being laid to equate the defense of Hillary Clinton with our patriotic duty.
One final point. Personally, I remain agnostic on the source of these damning emails. I myself would bet we're looking at leaking from with the US government or Democratic machine; however, I don't rule out "Russian hacking." I don't rule out Julian Assange's denial that Russia was Wikileaks' source, either. Indeed, the latter two could both be true if Wikileaks received the email troves from a third (or fourth) party. In any case, it seems worth noting that Soviet/Russian disinformation campaigns of consequence going back to the Trust in the 1920s (Edward Jay Epstein explains it here) are typically based in deception: lies, forgeries, blackmail, coercion and other crimes. This we began to learn right after the Soviet Union came into being nearly one hundred years ago; later, during the great congressional investigations of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s; much later in state-controlled releases of Soviet intelligence documents in London (Mitrokhin) Moscow (Vassiliev) and Washington (Venona); in defector/witness testimonies as related by numerous authors, more recently including Pete Earley, whose Comrade J includes the fascinating tale from "Comrade J," Russian intelligence's top spy in the US from 1995-2000, about how it was that the Soviet intelligence "created the myth of nuclear winter" -- remember that? The Kremlin didn't bring Western media and the political Left to the heights of hysteria we are seeing today by releasing genuine documents, either; this sustained Soviet influence operation campaign depended on secretly disseminating bad science.
All of which is to say, it is not a hallmark of Kremlin strategy to let the sun shine in as a means of changing the world.
As for America's "best and brightest," however -- they just might try it sometime.