Most media are jumping on a release Judicial Watch published today showing then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s email system hosted on private unsecured servers “was hacked 10 times in two days from November 27-29 .”
What media aren’t doing is putting those hacks into the context of the times. At that time, China was a particular topic of interest when it came to hacking.
It’s important to note that the JW release said Bill Clinton’s aide Justin Cooper was warned by State Dept. IT official Brian Pagliano:
“[B]ecause of an outside service vendor relied upon by the Clinton system, ‘we’d be susceptible to such an attack.’”
The attack appeared to have originated from IP #188.8.131.52. Regardless of the search engine you use and the variations in results for that IP, a general consensus is that it is in North America.
Were the hacks just the normal attacks every Web user experiences? Maybe.
But no media are pointing out what was going on in the world, or the fact that as sec of state, Mrs. Clinton’s material would be of interest to many global actors besides her campaign’s favorite bogeyman Russia.
For one thing, the Arab Spring was right around the corner, starting in December, 2010 when a fruit vendor in Tunisia set himself ablaze after a female law enforcement officer “slapped him.” Being slapped by a woman in that country would be very demeaning to a man.
But more interesting is the fact WikiLeaks was, in 2010, in the process of releasing diplomatic cables US media eagerly picked up for publication. Chelsea Manning, then Bradley Manning, leaked a treasure trove of US government data to the publisher. ‘Cablegate’ documents are available at WikiLeaks’ website.
The leaked data included this, according to The New York Times, left of center newspaper that has endorsed Mrs. Clinton:
“¶ A global computer hacking effort: China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They have broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.”
The leaked documents, said the NYT, also showed:
“¶ Mixed records against terrorism: Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, and the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to the American military for years, was the ‘worst in the region’ in counterterrorism efforts, according to a State Department cable last December.”
As a different story in the NYT indicated, Mrs. Clinton’s family foundation has received large donations from both Saudi Arabia and Qatar, among other countries.
Considering the information about China hackers, something else is important. In November, 2010, President Barack Obama once again abandoned policy held by previous presidents from both parties in backing the addition of India to the UN Security Council. The Guardian (UK) noted the impact on countries like Pakistan and China:
“Obama did not go as far as saying that the US would actively push for a UN security council seat for India. It is also broadly acknowledged that any enlargement of the UN security council would be immensely complex, subject to the vetoes of major rivals to India such as China and could take many decades.”
Those are some highlights of world events at the time the hacks occurred.
Judicial Watch first requested the files in a FOIA request dated August 5, 2015. It took a lawsuit and a federal court ruling in April, 2016 for JW to get the documents JW had a legal right to see.
The US Dept. of State did not respond in a timely manner to the request. Otherwise, Mrs. Clinton would have been able to put this behind her before the November, 2016 election drew near. This also, however, might have given Mrs. Clinton’s only viable rival for the nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), some powerful campaign ammunition.
It is also unthinkable that, knowing what they knew about the hacks, Mrs. Clinton and her staff continued to use private servers and multiple devices accessing those servers despite known security risks.
Judicial Watch announced the release of the documents in a statement dated November 1, 2016. That statement included criticism of Mrs. Clinton’s judgment as sec of state, and of the government agencies who also knew about what she was doing:
“These new emails show that the Clinton email server was subject to an aggressive and targeted hacking attempt. And we now know that yet another government agency, the United States Secret Service, not only knew about the Clinton email system but that it was the target of hacking,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Clinton email scandal has now widened to yet another Obama administration agency.”
Pagliano was granted “limited immunity” by the US Dept. of Justice, said The Washington Post.
(Analysis by Kay B. Day/Nov. 1, 2016)
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