Archive for the ‘#wikileaks’ Tag

Sanctions? For What?   2 comments

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but the main reason I would have voted for Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton (for example, had I had a gun to my head and was required to vote for one or the other) was because of his relaxed stance toward Russia.

I have an 18-year-old son and a 24-year-old daughter, both now eligible for the draft — though the daughter has not yet been required to register. Thank you, President Obama, for balancing the ying-yang of male-female relations and requiring both genders to be killed in wars you start. That retroactively confirmed why I was right not to vote for you. I thought it was because you admire Marxist African dictators and have zero understanding of economics, but in reality, I voted against you because you’re a warmonger who never saw an 18-year-old you didn’t want to die in a war … unless, of course, they are your daughters.

But back to the moment ….

President Trump came into office talking strong defense without going to war. Okay, if I hadn’t had a third option who actually would have been a good president, that was a bit of weight in his direction since Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State had encouraged the Obama administration to advance two wars and get involved in four others and then bragged about it in her book Hard Choices. That was a recipe for my children being killed in one of her dirty little wars and so, if I hadn’t of loathed her before, I would not have voted for her in 2016. Disliking Trump’s misogyny simply didn’t outweigh Clinton’s warmonging and utter lack of diplomatic skills, which would likely endanger my children’s lives.

So, now, having won in part because of his stated desire to get along with the Russians (if not China), President Trump is now eager to sign sanctions against the country and says he will do so as soon as Congress forwards them to him.

I was encouraged when, after the election, Donald Trump decided to get along with China. I figure getting along with other countries is a better choice than not getting along with them and it’s really not our business what they do within their own borders … just as it is not their business what we do within ours.

So, whatever happened to getting along with Russia? Well, the Democrats (and there is increasing evidence that the Obama White House and Hillary Clinton were involved) cooked up an excuse for their anointed queen to have lost the 2016 election. It couldn’t be her hawkish war stance, her lack of any economic understanding, her attacking the women her husband assaulted, or her calling 40% of the electorate irredeemable deplorables. No, it had to be something far more insidious … like Russian operatives “interfering” in the election.

Let’s be clear about this. The backed emails came from Julian Assange of Wikileaks, who has never claimed anyone gave him that information. His organization has proven itself quite capable of doing its own hacking.

Moreover, there is no evidence that our actual election system was hacked. It would be virtually impossible to do so anyway. There are only three states with electronic voting machines. Those have had issues in the past, but an investigation showed they worked fine in 2016. One of the glories of our now-crippled federalist system is that elections are statewide affairs … even for the President of the United States. Ballot box stuffing is possible at the precinct level, but modern election practices would catch most of those.

So Wikileaks released information ahead of the US Presidential election that showed Hillary Clinton in a bad light. It’s recently come to light that Russia was the source for an anti-Trump report that came out around the same time. Both blocks of information served to improve the knowledge of the American public of the inner workings of the two major candidates for president. That’s a good thing! That’s what journalists are supposed to do and don’t. Assange and those mysterious Russian hackers did us a favor by informing us of information we the people had a right to know.

That’s not interference. That’s education.

So, now Trump wants to impose sanctions about Russian for “interfering in the election.” What does that tell us? That he didn’t have a deal with Russia to swing the US election in his favor? Perhaps. But more, it shows that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Instead of being friendly with Russia, President Trump has decided to risk a war with them instead.

Good going, Mr. President. You’ve fallen for the same stupidity that every other president since 1945 has fallen for. Let’s start another war that we don’t have the economic capacity to win. Let’s consume more young lives and end maybe set off World War 3. And, why?

Because, according to the elites in Congress, the American people apparently have no right to know the truth about their candidates, so it’s worth going to war to prevent such “interference” in our elections.

And, of course, journalists stroke the “Russia did it” line because they don’t want the American people to notice that Julian Assange did their jobs for them. But in case you’re wondering – Assange addressed this issue of Russian hacking the day of the election, before we even knew who the winner would be … when most of the opinion polls were showing that Hillary Clinton would be the winner.

Wikileaks Deserves a Medal   21 comments

Wikileaks has done it again – exposed the abiding corruption of the American deep state.

All major French political parties were targeted for infiltration by the CIA’s human and electronic spies in the seven months leading up to France’s 2012 presidential election. This is according the three CIA documents published by Wikileaks on Thursday. Specifically targeted was the French Socialist Party, the National Front and Union for a Popular Movement, together with current President Francois Hollande, then-President Nicholas Sarkozy, current presidential front-runner Marine Le Pen, and former presidential candidates Martine Aubry and Dominique Strass-Khan.

Image result for image of wikileaks

Mostly these spying orders were focused on finding out the candidates’ attitudes toward the European economy, election strategies, information on internal party dynamics and rising leaders, efforts to influence political decisions, and their views on the United States.

The CIA espionage orders published Thursday are classified and restricted to U.S. eyes only due to “friends-on-friends sensitivities”. The orders state that the collected information is to “support” the activities of the CIA, the Defence Intelligence Agency’s EU section, and the U.S. State Department’s Intelligence and Research Branch.

Image result for image of wikileaksThe CIA operation ran for ten months from 21 Nov 2011 to 29 Sep 2012, crossing the April-May 2012 French presidential election and several months into the formation of the new government.

So I think that should lay to rest any argument that other countries have no right to attempt to influence our elections.  Exactly why is it good for our government to do it to other countries, but it’s evil if they do it to us?

Posted February 17, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Administrative State

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Remember What Was Leaked #2   Leave a comment

In October and November, WikiLeaks released an avalanche of tens of thousands of other messages, hacked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s gmail account that provided an unprecedented window on the inner workings of a presidential campaign.

With brutal candor, voters got to see the office politics, the egos, the cliques, the evolving attempts to package a candidate who admits she is not a natural political performer like her husband or Barack Obama. The hoard offered insights that would not normally see the light of day until memoirs published years or decades hence.

The Clinton campaign has blamed the Russian government for breaking into Podesta’s account and passing on the material to WikiLeaks in an attempt to help Donald Trump win the general election.

Clinton’s handling of classified information as secretary of state had cast a shadow over her entire campaign and been a source of much angst at her headquarters. When the issue first reached public attention in March 2015, Podesta wrote of three fellow Clinton aides: “Speaking of transparency, our friends [David] Kendall, Cheryl [Mills] and Philippe [Reines] sure weren’t forthcoming on the facts here.”

Related imageThe message was sent to Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress thinktank in Washington, who showed up frequently in the emails. She wrote back: “This is a Cheryl special. Know you love her, but this stuff is like her Achilles heal [sic]. Or kryptonite … Why didn’t they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy.”

Podesta replied: “Unbelievable.”

Tanden added: “I guess I know the answer. They wanted to get away with it.”

Both Tanden and Podesta were unswervingly loyal to Clinton, but could be described as critical friends. In another exchange in September 2015, Podesta warned that the campaign has “taken on a lot of water that won’t be easy to pump out of the boat. Most of that has to do with terrible decisions made pre-campaign, but a lot has to do with her instincts. She’s nervous so prepping more and performing better. Got to do something to pump up excitement but not certain how to do that.”

Tanden assented: “Almost no one knows better [than] me that her instincts can be terrible.”

When the seemingly innocuous leftwing senator Bernie Sanders came out of nowhere to challenge Clinton in the Democratic primary, there were fears of a repeat of her shock defeat by Obama in 2008. Tanden warned Podesta against attacking Sanders too aggressively.

“Just game out what that does to Hillary,” she wrote in August last year. “When we went after Obama, she got killed for it. Reaffirmed all her negatives, strengthened him. We had no idea it was kryptonite for us to do that, but it was. I don’t know if it was Obama or Hillary (I suspected Hillary), but it’s really something to focus group beforehand.”

In December, when Tanden wrote in praise of the Paris climate deal, Podesta responded: “Can you believe that doofus Bernie attacked it?”

Then, in March this year, Clinton strategist Minyon Moore opined: “I think Sanders is a rule breaker and has no institutional loyalty to the Democratic Party; we should expect him to ignore the rules and persist in his quest to flip superdelegates despite overwhelming evidence that reflects his considerable weaknesses with the Democratic base and no doubt in the general.”

Tanden, meanwhile, pulled no punches when Clinton’s campaign hesitated over whether to condemn Democratic activist David Brock for demanding Sanders’ medical records. She wrote: “Hillary. God. Her instincts are suboptimal.”

A stout defender of Clinton in public, in private Tanden injected some bracing honesty that suggests the candidate is not surrounded by sycophants. After the former first lady described herself as a moderate, Tanden asked of Podesta:

“Why did she call herself a moderate?”

He wrote back: “I pushed her on this on Sunday night. She claims she didn’t remember saying it. Not sure I believe her.”

Tanden replied: “I mean it makes my life more difficult after telling every reporter I know she’s actually progressive but that is really the smallest of issues. It worries me more that she doesn’t seem to know what planet we are all living in at the moment.”

The daily dump of stolen emails uncovered Clinton’s lucrative Wall Street speeches, lists of 39 potential vice-presidents and 84 potential campaign slogans, fresh questions over a conflict of interest with the Clinton Foundation and alleged advance warnings of debate questions. The Guardian opined that there had been few revelations likely to alter the course of the race for the White House.

In fact, just as WikiLeaks’ release of US embassy cables often showed diplomats’ judgment in a flattering light, so the Podesta emails have illuminated a micromanaged campaign operation with a laser-like focus and little by way of ill-discipline or even foul language. The nerve centre is, however, all too aware of its candidate’s weaknesses and sensitive to media criticism, and as prone as any other office to personality clashes, terse exchanges and mutual exasperation.

I suspect the Guardian lacks true insight into how Americans think. The email treasure trove also lifted the lid on the complications of celebrity endorsements. In August 2015, Betsy Jones, assistant to the hip-hop star Q-Tip, wrote to Podesta to propose a meeting with Clinton “to discuss ways he can be used as bridge to the hip-hop generation during the 2016 presidential campaign”. Q-Tip “even served as DJ for Chelsea Clinton’s 25th birthday party in 2005”, she noted.

Podesta forwarded the email to colleagues, one of whom was Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin. “Q-Tip? Seriously?” she wrote. “I am so old.”

Another, Kristina Schake, weighed in: “I’ve actually seen Q-tip in concert and if this meeting happens I would like to staff her.” She elaborated: “With both the Beastie Boys and the Chemical Brothers!”

But then the conversation took a darker turn when another member of Clinton staff, presumably responsible for background checks, raised concerns over Q-Tip: “There are a couple of altercations he pleaded guilty to, but they were from a while back. However, more recently shouted ‘pigs’ at NYPD officers while protesting the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson.”

It took a while, but the meeting did go ahead.

The emails revealed campaign surrogates sometimes go rogue. Lanny Davis, a lawyer and former special counsel to Bill Clinton during his presidency, put his foot in it when talking about Clinton’s email server on TV. Later that day Robby Mook, who became campaign manager, emailed Podesta: “We gotta zap Lanny out of our universe. Can’t believe he committed her to a private review of her hard drive on TV.”

In May last year, Podesta wrote of longtime Clinton family friend Sidney Blumenthal: “It always amazes me that people like Sid either completely lack self awareness or self respect. Maybe both. Will you promise to shoot me if I ever end up like that?”

Podesta ran a tight ship and had an unenviable job. Countless people wanted to give him advice or meet him for dinner. In September 2015, columnist Brent Budowsky wrote a long, panicked email about visiting a university campus where Sanders had a booth but Clinton did not. “This is happening at every major campus in America,” he warned darkly.

Referring to a Politico story about attacks on Sanders by Clinton surrogates, Budowsky went on: “The way NOT to handle Bernie is to telegraph how afraid the Clinton campaign is of him, and then dispense covert talking points that cannot be put in writing that embody the oldest politics that will only infuriate many liberal Democrats and give an already-biased media a legitimate story line to push.”

Podesta gave a characterically brisk response that ended: “Why do you think that story is not just a bunch of hyped up BS intended to have exactly the kind of reaction you are exhibiting?”

Voters aren’t stupid … despite what Clinton and her elitist crowd believe. Reading this drove some voters who might have voted for her to decide not to vote for her. Some stayed home. Some voted for Trump because they saw him as the only alternative.

The people have a right to know what our public officials … or would-be public officials … are doing. They are not private individuals. I think if we knew what was going on behind the scenes, voters would reject a lot more candidates. WikiLeaks did us a favor.

I’m not a Trump supporter. I worry about him being our president. But I worried more about Hillary being our president. And it turned out, according to their own emails, Hillary’s people were worried too. And that was something the voters had a right to know.

Posted January 5, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in politics, Uncategorized

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Remembering What Was Leaked #1   4 comments

Whether or not the Russians actually hacked the DNC or Juliane Assange’s network of hackers did it, we the people need to remember WHAT was leaked and WHY it had the power to defeat She-Who-Would-Be-Queen. It’s not so much that Trump won the election, but that Clinton was rejected at the polls and he was the only alternative in most people’s minds.

Image result for image of WikileaksWhen the first slug of emails were released in the summer, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign as WikiLeak’s released nearly 20,000 emails and some of them were horribly damaging to the Democrats.


Many of the most damaging emails suggested the Democratic National Committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. I wasn’t a supporter of Bernie Sanders, but had the DNC not intervened, he likely would have been the Democratic nominee and … who knows … maybe there are enough economically challenged voters who would have made him President of the United States.

What if Democratic voters had known earlier what their party administration was doing to rig their primary system? The WikiLeaks revelations came late in the primaries, after Hillary Clinton was clearly headed for victory, but they belied the national party committee’s stated neutrality in the race even at that late stage.

So here’s just some examples of what WikiLeaks let the voters know.

On May 5, DNC officials appeared to conspire to raise Sanders’s faith as an issue and press on whether he was an atheist . This was an apparent attempt to steer evangelical voters in Kentucky and West Virginia to Clinton. Sanders is Jewish but has previously indicated that he’s not religious.

One email from DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall read:

It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.

Marshall added in a later email: “It’s these Jesus thing.”

In response, DNC CEO Amy Dacey said: “Amen.”

Manipulative and dismissive of evangelicals. Way to go, guys! We feel so respected! How would Kentucky and West Virginia evangelicals have voted if they’d known they were being manipulated?

On May 17, after controversy erupted over the Nevada state Democratic convention and how fair the process was there, Wasserman Schultz herself took exception to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver’s defense of his candidate’s supporters.

“Damn liar,” she wrote. “Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and threatening behavior that occurred.”

I personally think the Sanders supporters were pretty violent, but the violence at the Nevada convention seemed to have been caused by the disenfranchisement of Sanders voters.

That wasn’t the only time Wasserman Schultz offered an unvarnished opinion about the Sanders operation. In one late-April email, she even questioned Sanders’s connection to the party.

Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do,” she said in response to a Politico story about Sanders saying the party hadn’t been fair to him.

Sanders, for what it’s worth, wasn’t a Democrat before entering the Democratic primary. He caucused with the party but has long been an independent.

In that way, Wasserman Schultz’s comments could be read simply as her defending her party; that she felt Sanders was attacking. Still her comment suggests a particularly dim view of Sanders that she didn’t feel the need to obscure in conversations with other DNC staff.

When the Sanders campaign alleged that the Clinton campaign was improperly using its joint fundraising committee with the DNC to benefit itself, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias offered the DNC guidance on how to respond.

“My suggestion is that the DNC put out a statement saying that the accusations the Sanders campaign are not true,” Elias said May 3 in response to an email about the issue sent by communications director Luis Miranda to other DNC stuff that copied Elias and another lawyer at his firm, Perkins Coie.

Elias continued: “The fact that CNN notes that you aren’t getting between the two campaigns is the problem. Here, Sanders is attacking the DNC and its current practice, its past practice with the POTUS and with Sec Kerry. Just as the RNC pushes back directly on Trump over ‘rigged system’, the DNC should push back DIRECTLY at Sanders and say that what he is saying is false and harmful the the Democratic party.”

Elias’s guidance isn’t perhaps all that shocking; he’s Clinton’s lawyer, after all. But the fact that he was talking to the DNC about how to respond would appear to suggest coordination between the DNC and Clinton campaign against Sanders in this particular case.

On May 21, DNC national press secretary Mark Pautenbach suggested pushing a narrative that Sanders “never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess.”

After detailing several arguments that could be made to push that narrative, Paustenbach concludes: “It’s not a DNC conspiracy, it’s because they never had their act together.”

Paustenbach’s suggestion, in that way, could be read as a defense of the committee rather than pushing negative information about Sanders. But this is still the committee pushing negative information about one of its candidates.

One of the chief complaints from Sanders and his supporters was a lack of debates. They said the fact that there were so few was intended to help Clinton by reducing her opponents’ exposure and their chances to knock her down.

After the Sanders campaign presumptuously declared that an agreement for an additional debate in California had been reached, Miranda responded to the Sanders campaign’s release on May 18 simply:


As noted, the release from the Sanders campaign was presumptuous in declaring that an agreement had been reached. Miranda could simply have been responding to the somewhat silly tactic. But the debate never actually happened, as the Clinton campaign later opted not to participate.

Many of these emails came as it was clear Clinton was going to win. In retrospect, that makes the apparent favoritism appear less offensive, but Sanders supporters disagreed because they recognized that he might have had a better chance of winning the nomination had the DNC had not been working against him.

There was plenty of DNC cheerleading for the race to simply be over — for Sanders to throw in the towel so that Clinton could be named the presumptive nominee. The party was supposed to be neutral even though the odds and delegate deficit for Sanders looked insurmountable and they wanted to be free of that lie.

On May 1, in response to Sanders again saying he would push for a contested convention, Wasserman Schultz said, “So much for a traditional presumptive nominee.”

The term “Bernie bro” — or “Berniebro,” depending on your style — over the course of the campaign became a kind of shorthand for the worst kind of Sanders supporter. These were the supporters who couldn’t be reasoned with, who verbally assaulted opponents, sometimes in very nasty ways.

Some in the DNC apparently used the pejorative to refer to one particular radio host seen as overly sympathetic to Sanders, Sirius XM’s Mark Thompson.

“Wait, this is a s––– topic,” Miranda wrote on May 4 after Thompson’s program director, David Guggenheim, requested an interview on a Clinton fundraising controversy. “Where is Guggenheim? Is he a Bernie Bro?

“Must be a Bernie Bro,” DNC broadcast booker Pablo Manriquez responds. “Per Mark’s sage, I turned him down flat (and politely) and inquired into opportunities next week to talk about something else.

While the Sanders emails have gained the most attention, some of the more interesting emails involve a peek behind to curtain of how party officials talk about fundraising and major donors, even President Obama.

In one email on May 9, DNC mid-Atlantic and PAC finance director Alexandra Shapiro noted that Obama wouldn’t travel 20 minutes to help the party secure $350,000 in donations.

“He really won’t go up 20 minutes for $350k?” Shapiro wrote. “THAT’S f—ing stupid.”

DNC national finance director Jordan Kaplan responded: “or he is the president of the united states with a pretty big day job.”

In a May 16 exchange about where to seat a top Florida donor, Kaplan declared that “he doesn’t sit next to POTUS!” — referring to Obama.

Here are some other things Kaplan and Shapiro said about donors, via Karen Tumulty and Tom Hamburger:

Kaplan directed Shapiro to put New York philanthropist Philip Munger in the prime spot, switching out Maryland ophthalmologist Sreedhar Potarazu. He noted that Munger was one of the largest donors to Organizing for America, a nonprofit that advocates for Obama’s policies. “It would be nice to take care of him from the DNC side,” Kaplan wrote.

Shapiro pushed back, noting that Munger had given only $100,600 to the party, while the Potarazu family had contributed $332,250.

In one email attachment from Erik Stowe, the finance director for Northern California, to Tammy Paster, a fundraising consultant, he lists the benefits given to different tiers of donors to the Democratic National Convention, which starts next week in Philadelphia. The tiers range from a direct donation of $66,800 to one of $467,600 to the DNC. The documents also show party officials discussing how to reward people who bundle between $250,000 to $1.25 million.

This particular email dump told Democratic voters that their primary system was rigged for a particular candidate. While that wouldn’t matter to die-hard Democrats who would have voted for the nominee no matter what, but independent voters who might have been convinced to vote Democrat were turned off by this in-party manipulation. I know here in Alaska, where 56% of voters are not registered with a party, independent voters tend to pay attention to issues like this. Some of the people I know who voted for Trump did so because they felt the Democrats had illegitimately pre-selected Clinton as the nominee. In the Lower 48, I know Democratically-leaning independents who stayed home on Election Day because they felt Hillary would win regardless and they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for them.

Whether or not Russia was involved in the WikiLeaks hacking of DNC emails, the CONTENT is what is important. This was information the voters had a right to know. Public officials should not have the right to manipulate our elections. So, now they’re whining that Russia “manipulated” the election, but in reality, the email dump REVEALED manipulation.


Posted January 3, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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WikiLeaks: The two faces of Hillary Clinton on Syria   Leave a comment

“People don’t trust Hillary Clinton, and no one can agree on why,” begins a sympathetic piece on the Democratic Party presidential candidate in Fast Company last July.

Source: WikiLeaks: The two faces of Hillary Clinton on Syria

Long, but well worth the read … very revealing of why some of us feel that Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State DISQUALIFIES her as President. I personally want to avoid World War III for a very selfish reason – my son turns 18 in December. THIS woman will put his life at risk.

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