A group of transparency advocates on Friday posted a mammoth collection of hacked and leaked documents from inside Russia, a release widely viewed as a sort of symbolic counterstrike against Russia’s dissemination of hacked emails to influence the American presidential election in 2016.
Most of the material, which sheds light on Russia’s war in Ukraine as well as ties between the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church, the business dealings of oligarchs and much more, had been released in Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere, sometimes on obscure websites. There were no immediate reports of new bombshells from the collection.
But the sheer volume of the material — 175 gigabytes — and the technical challenges of searching it meant that its full impact may not be felt for some time. The volume is many times greater than the total known material stolen by Russian military intelligence from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign nearly three years ago.
The press used to uncover government wrongdoing. Today’s press is defending it.
The Watergate scandal of 1972–74 was uncovered largely because of outraged Democratic politicians and a bulldog media. They both claimed that they had saved American democracy from the Nixon administration’s attempt to warp the CIA and FBI to cover up an otherwise minor, though illegal, political break-in.
In the Iran-Contra affair of 1985–87, the media and liberal activists uncovered wrongdoing by some rogue members of the Reagan government. They warned of government overreach and of using the “Deep State” to subvert the law for political purposes.
.. The new FBI director, Christopher Wray, has also reassigned the FBI’s top lawyer, James Baker, who purportedly leaked the Steele dossier to a sympathetic journalist.
.. Once again, an administration is being accused of politicizing government agencies to further agendas, this time apparently to gain an advantage for Hillary Clinton in the run-up to an election.
.. There is a similar pattern of slandering congressional investigators and whistleblowers as disloyal and even treasonous.
.. This time around, the press is not after a hated Nixon administration. Civil libertarians are not demanding accountability from a conservative Reagan team. Instead, the roles are reversed.
.. Barack Obama was a progressive constitutional lawyer who expressed distrust of the secretive “Deep State.” Yet his administration weaponized the IRS and surveilled Associated Press communications and a Fox News journalist for reporting unfavorable news based on supposed leaks.
.. Progressives are not supposed to destroy requested emails, “acid wash” hard drives, spread unverified and paid-for opposition research among government agencies, or use the DOJ and FBI to obtain warrants to snoop on the communications of American citizens.
.. Liberal and progressive voices are excusing, not airing, the excesses of the DOJ and FBI.
Apparently, weaponizing government agencies to stop a detested Donald Trump by any means necessary is not really considered a crime.
Note the disconnect between the confidence about hacking and the stark declarative sentence about the information ending up at WikiLeaks. Obama does not bridge the gap because to do so would represent a bald-faced lie, which some honest intelligence officer might call him on. So, he simply presents the two sides of the chasm – implies a connection – but leaves it to the listener to make the leap.
.. Assange, has made clear that the two separate batches of Democratic emails – one from the DNC and the other from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta – also were leaks from insiders, not hacks from outsiders.
.. “In his final press conference, beginning around 8 minutes 30 seconds in, Obama admits that they have no evidence of how WikiLeaks got the DNC material. This undermines the stream of completely evidence-free nonsense that has been emerging from the US intelligence services this last two months
.. “Most crucially of all Obama refers to ‘The DNC emails that were leaked.’ Note ‘leaked’ and not ‘hacked.’
U.K. government-bond futures often move sharply in the 24 hours before sensitive economic reports are released, an analysis of trading data shows, a phenomenon that suggests some investors may be trading with knowledge of official statistics before they are made public.
.. Over a hundred people, from Prime Minister Theresa May to dozens of policy advisers and press officers, can get to see some of the figures a day before they come out.
.. Some officials believe, for instance, that there was a persistent leak of British gross domestic product data in 2009 and 2010
.. This episode ended immediately after the May 2010 general election, when many of the individuals with prerelease access changed.
.. Officials say the wide and early briefing is so lawmakers can prepare how to present the data to the media and public.
.. In the 60 minutes before data was published, bond-futures prices moved, on average, by 0.029%—in the direction they would end up going after publication. That is more than a third of total movement in the two hours surrounding the release.
.. So a gain of 0.029% would add about £68 million in value.
.. In five of the seven cases where strong evidence of “price drift” was found in the U.S. by Prof. Kurov and his co-authors, the data were released by private organizations where security arrangements aren’t required to be as strict
.. Strong evidence of prices moving in the direction they would end up going after publication, or drift, was found in only two of 14 data releases published by U.S. government agencies, according to Prof. Kurov’s analysis.