The Clinton Campaign Should Stop Denying That The Wikileaks Emails Are Valid; They Are And They're Real

from the and-they-are dept

Look, it’s getting ridiculous that Hillary Clinton defenders keep insisting that the John Podesta emails released by Wikileaks are full of fakes and doctored content. With most other leaks, including the one of Colin Powell’s emails, the victims (and, yes, they are victims) eventually admit that the leaked content is legit. Not so with the Podesta emails. But that’s dumb. As Robert Graham points out, it’s totally possible to validate many of the emails. And they do validate.

Whether you like or dislike Wikileaks, whether you think Julian Assange is a wonderful or horrible person, whether you think Wikileaks is just a propaganda tool of Russia or a powerful force for transparency — one thing you cannot say is that the organization has been caught releasing fake or doctored information. It (and Assange) do have a history of overhyping releases, or misrepresenting their significance. And Assange does seem to be pretty quick to jump on conspiracy theories that don’t hold up under much basic scrutiny. But, to date, pretty much everything that Wikileaks has actually leaked has checked out as legit.

So it’s been a bit bizarre watching people try to insist that the troves of John Podesta emails that Wikileaks has been releasing are somehow fake, doctored or manipulated. We recently wrote about Newsweek reporter Kurt Eichenwald going crazy insisting that he had proved that Wikileaks and the Russians teamed up to “manipulate” an email. Of course, the reality turned out to be that a young American part-time reporter for a Russian-owned news site, had simply misread a tweet and turned it into an article. No big conspiracy. No manipulation. And, certainly, none of that has anything to do with Wikileaks (amusingly, Eichenwald then deleted all his tweets claiming proof that Wikileaks was a part of this conspiracy, and apparently tried to silence the young reporter by telling him he’d try to get him a job elsewhere).

Perhaps even more ridiculous is DNC chair Donna Brazile trying to deny any information from any email released by Wikileaks, including one specific one that she sent, apparently revealing a CNN primary debate question to the Clinton campaign prior to the debate (Brazile worked as a commentator on CNN at the time). This video is absolutely cringeworthy, starting at about five and a half minutes into this video. Brazile tries to avoid answering the question about sending debate questions to the Clinton campaign, first barely feigning ignorance of the issue, and then insisting multiple times that the emails are fake/doctored/not verified, and insisting that she did not send the email in question.

Being interviewed by Megyn Kelly, here’s how Brazile tries to claim that the emails are not real, but basically comes out with a word salad of nothing, rather than simply admitting that the email is legit.

MEGYN KELLY: You’re accused of receiving a debate question whether a CNN town hall where they partnered with TV One that you had this question on March 12th, that verbatim, verbatim was provided by Roland Martin to CNN the next day. How did you get that question, Donna?

DONNA BRAZILE: Well, Kelly, as I play straight up and with you, I did not receive any questions from CNN.

KELLY: Where did you get it?

BRAZILE: First of all, what information are you providing to me that will allow me to see what you’re talking about? Everybody’s….

KELLY: You’ve got the Wikileaks showing you messaging the Clinton campaign with the exact wording of a question asked at the March 13th CNN TV One Townhall debate.

BRAZILE: Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. You know, as a Christian woman, I understand persecution, but I will not sit here and be persecuted. Because your information is totally false.

KELLY: I’m getting it from Podesta’s email.

BRAZILE: What you’re — well, Podesta’s e-mails were stolen. You’re so interested and talking about stolen material, you’re like a thief that wants to bring into the night the things that you found that was in the gutter. I’m not…

KELLY: Donna. CNN’s Jake Tapper came out and said this was unethical. “Someone was unethically helping the Clinton campaign.” He said “I love Donna Brazile, but this is very, very upsetting. My understanding is that the email…”


KELLY: This is Jake Tapper: ‘My understanding is that the e-mails came from Roland Martin or someone around Roland Martin.” He said “this is very upsetting and troubling.” That’s your own colleague at CNN. It’s not Megyn Kelly. Who gave you that question?

BRAZILE: Megyn, once again, I said it and I said it on the record and I’ll say it on the record and I’ll keep saying it on the record. I am not going to try to validate falsified information. I have my documents. I have my files. Thank God I have not had my personal e-mails ripped off from me and stolen and given to some criminals to come back altered. I have my records and files. And as i said repeatedly, CNN, in the 14 years I was associated with CNN, I’ve never received anything. If I had a blank piece of paper, that would basically be the end of this conversation. I never get documents from CNN. Period.

KELLY (eye roll): Your email to the Clinton campaign said ‘sometimes I get the questions in advance.’

BRAZILE: Uh, ma’am. Y’know. You know what…

KELLY: And CNN is saying Roland Martin gave them to you. Or someone at TV One. And they were provided to Hillary before that town hall.

BRAZILE: Well anybody who knows me… and… and… and there are a number of your colleagues as well. They know me very well. I know how I play it. I know what I do before every debate. I know what I do before every show — even this show. I do my homework. I communicate. I talk.

KELLY: I understand.

BRAZILE: But I just, once again, let you know that… as far as I know that… that… that CNN has never provided me with questions. Absolutely. Ever. Nada. Sorry.

KELLY: Well, when you said “from time to time I get the questions in advance,” what were you referring to? Because in that email you offered the exact question that one of the moderators, Roland Martin, then proposed the next day.

BRAZILE: So. So. My, my, my reference back to you, ma’am, with all respect — and I respect you greatly —

KELLY: And I respect you too.

BRAZILE: The… the… the validity of those emails — if I can only tell you one things, because you know, this whole episode is under criminal investigation — but I can just tell you one thing: a lot of those emails, I would not give them the time of the day. I’ve seen so many doctored emails. I’ve seen things that come from me at two in the morning, that I don’t even send. There are several email addresses that I once used, and I’m so sorry that we… these have not been verified. This is… nobody will. This is…

KELLY: I got it.

BRAZILE: This is under investigation. And let me just tell you something. If there’s anything that I have, I will share. I don’t have an agenda to smear anybody…

KELLY: Alright. I’ve got to run because we have another guest waiting…

Okay, so, here’s the problem. She did send the email. And it’s verified. Graham proves it in his post. The trick is DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) signatures. DKIM was a system set up a while back to try to fight spam by cryptographically proving that the account that says it sent the mail actually sent the email in question. Not all email systems use DKIM, but does use it, which is great for transparency, but bad for Donna Brazile.

Graham looked up that email in particular and found that it validates, using a Thunderbird add-on to check these things:

Downloading the raw email from WikiLeaks and opening in Thunderbird, with the addon, I get the following verification that the email is valid. Specifically, it validates that the sent precisely this content, with this subject, on that date.

Let’s see what happens when somebody tries to doctor the email. In the following, I added “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” to the top of the email.

As you can see, we’ve proven that DKIM will indeed detect if anybody has “doctored” or “falsified” this email.

Graham also offered one whole bitcoin to anyone who can forge an email that still validates correctly under this method to show his confidence that the emails are verified as actually sent as is, despite Brazile’s wacky performance.

Of course, the Clinton campaign keeps insisting that the emails are doctored, but fails to show any proof. Here’s the campaign’s Chief Strategist, Joel Benenson, saying many are not authentic:

Here’s what he says:

BENENSON: Well, first of all, I’ll tell you something, I haven’t spent a lot of time reading through WikiLeaks e-mails.

But I will tell you this, what we know is that many are not authentic. We know that this is a hack, 17 of Russians — no, because these e-mails, we have no idea whether they are authentic or not or whether they’ve been tampered with once the Russians, which 17 American intelligence agencies say are responsible for these hackings, have been manipulated. I have seen things — I’m not going to go into details —


STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’re not suggesting that those are —

BENENSON: They may well be. I don’t know. I know I’ve seen things that aren’t authentic, that we know aren’t authentic. And it’s not surprising. What’s ridiculous about this whole conversation is that 17 intelligence agencies have said the Russians are responsible for this. Donald Trump refuses to accept it, refuses to condemn them.

Benenson is full of shit. Again, whether or not you like or dislike Wikileaks, or question Assange’s motives, there’s a simple fact here: the documents it’s released have not been shown to be false, faked, doctored or inauthentic at all. And it’s possible to verify many of them, and some have even written scripts to verify them in bulk.

The Clinton campaign, as it so often does, is making things worse for itself by being stupid. It’s trying to cover up legitimate information, and the coverup always comes across worse than the original actions. Just admit that these emails are legit and move on. Lying about it is not a good look, even if that’s just the way things go these days in politics.

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Comments on “The Clinton Campaign Should Stop Denying That The Wikileaks Emails Are Valid; They Are And They're Real”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“Look, it’s getting ridiculous that Hillary Clinton defenders keep insisting that the John Podesta emails released by Wikileaks are full of fakes and doctored content.”

And yet those very same defenders will except any and all things that show up on Wikileaks about Trump as being the gospel truth, not faked and doctored. Strange that.

TripMN says:

Re: Re:

I saw an interesting back and forth on FB between a friend and someone he knows about how there is too much ‘hacked Hillary info’ on Wikileaks and that he (the guy I didn’t know) thought there should be more dirt on Trump hacked by Wikileaks so it is more ‘fair’.

Everything about it brought to light how little this guy knew about 1) cyber security, 2) Wikileaks, 3) sound logical reasoning. The hashtag for this whole political season has got to be #dumpsterfire

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“any and all things that show up on Wikileaks about Trump”

Is there much about him on WikiLeaks? I was under the impression that most anti-Trump press was based on the words he’s personally said in public in front of crowds of people. He’s capable of acting like a corrupt asshole without anyone needing to leak anything.

I mean, sure, the videos of him doing and saying despicable things in private places haven’t helped, but there’s been no proof they were doctored either.

Anonymous Coward says:

No more head in the sand for the left?

In recent weeks the lefties here have putting their head in the sand demanding others “give them proof”. I point out that they can YouTube it or go right to the source, Wikileaks. Yet they won’t do either and demand a link to it. Of course they will attack the messenger rather than the message and try to discredit the YouTuber or blogger.

So now I am grabbing the popcorn to see how they react to your post, someone they apparently trust. Will the heads pop out of the sand now? Or will they just resort to the old fashioned, yea, your guys do it too! Nevermind there aren’t even allegations that the right is doing any of these things at the moment. Especially the election rigging.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

I don’t know which “lefties here” you’re referring to, but I’m a proud liberal and I never said anything of the sort. The Clinton campaign’s non-denial denials were suggestive enough that I figured there had to be some fire there.

On the flipside, I’ve seen people on the right contorting themselves into pretzels swearing that all the women accusing Trump of doing the exact things he is on tape saying he likes to do are liars who are only attacking him so that they can get all the perks that come with accusing a powerful person of sexual assault.

I’m sure you’ll find tortured reasoning on both sides of the artificial liberal/conservative divide. That’s the problem with partisanship: it encourages people to root for their own team and against the other one, rather than evaluate evidence objectively.

trollificus (profile) says:

Re: Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

All of the illogic, sand/head submersion, pretzel-twist reasoning and denial are the result of both sides trying to pretend there are “good guys” and “bad guys” in DC.

The world makes more sense, and you can actually make logical constructs with predictive and explanatory power if you will only accept a single fact: THEY. ARE. ALL. BAD. GUYS.(even the wimmens).

They ALL trade off support and votes for questionable legislation, they ALL accept the “assistance” (and, not coincidentally, the campaign contributions) of lobbyists in writing legislation. They ALL read off positions given them by groups whose agendas are not consistent with the legislators’ stated purpose of REPRESENTING THE BEST INTERESTS OF THEIR CONSTITUENTS. (not just the wealthy and powerful ones)

Once you stop trying to excuse the actions of “My team”, things tend to fall into place. And yes, many of the individuals involved are, personally, decent human beings. But “Senatores boni viri, senatus autem mala bestia”

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

I’m not quite prepared to say “they’re all bad guys” (I’m a big fan of Franken, Warren, and Sanders, for example; none of them is perfect but I think they’ve been positive forces in our government), but I agree with your structural criticisms of our political-industrial complex, and your overall point that all politicians should be approached skeptically and none should be given an automatic pass.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

We’ve established this.

Clinton is a Progressive first choice, not a liberal one. If we had a choice (we didn’t!) Clinton wouldn’t even be in the running.

We know that Clinton is an old-school, lying, cheating politician. We know that the Sanders campaign was sabotaged. We really would rather not be voting for Clinton, except voting for someone else is not voting against Trump.

We know that Trump is a narcissistic psychopath. If we were to look only at the Trump crimes that are similar to Clinton’s, what is for Clinton a major blunder, for Trump is Tuesday.

Yes, Clinton is criminal. Trump is only much, much worse.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No more head in the sand for the left?

I would call her a regressive

And I would call anyone who calls people "regressives" an idiot.

taking us back to an era of big, all powerful government.

What era would that be?

By giving themselves the name "progressive" they try to make it sound like their policies are moving forward when instead they are a huge move backward.

I only know of one party that pines for the Good Old Days of the 1950’s, passes legislation to try and prevent minorities from voting, pitches a fit every time LGBT people get treated like human beings instead of dangerous deviants, and nominated a guy who started his campaign denigrating Mexicans and is ending it denigrating women.

It’s not the Democrats.

Whatever Hillary Clinton’s problems are — and I wouldn’t call her a progressive either — it’s absurd to suggest that the reactionary right and its contingent of aging white males is the party that’s looking to the future.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No more head in the sand for the left?

No, I am not talking about the 50’s, I am talking about the over throw of a king. The lefts answer to everything is more and bigger government. HC is a product of that and her corruption and crimes and getting away with it is the result of concentrated power.

As far as the right passing laws to oppress, you seem to have your history completely backwards. It was the Republicans that did away with slavery. It was the Democrats who spent the next 100 years fighting their right to vote, equal rights, etc.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 big, all powerful government

I suspect you have a secret love relationship with big, all-powerful government.

First off, big government comes from the want for big infrastructure. Like clean beef? Then you like having meat inspectors. Like being able to drive from state to state? Then you like the national highway system.

And if you like a government that is tough on crime then you like a powerful government that shoehorns convictions onto suspects with a dearth of actual evidence. Because tough on crime doesn’t mean they figured out whodunit, it means they throw people in jail faster.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

Um, no.

Progressive in the US used to be a left-leaning conservative (or in the range of a slightly-right-leaning moderate).

And to be fair, we tree-hugging chicken-free-ranging alternative-fueling liberals are way, way to the left of what the DNC qualifies as progressive.

Really, both parties are corporatist first, regardless of their platform. Ours is mostly a feudal state run by a corporate aristocracy.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No more head in the sand for the left?

I appreciate the historical context, but I do not appreciate the condescending "Um, no" one bit.

When I say "used to", I’m not referring to the turn of the twentieth century, I’m referring to the turn of the twenty-first. I’ve seen polls that defined the political spectrum from "reactionary (very conservative)" to "progressive (very liberal)". Whether or not you agree with that choice of nomenclature does not negate that the word has been used in that sense, no matter how many dismissive monosyllabic words you start your post with.

Chris Moody had a pretty good piece back in 2010 about the lack of agreement on what "progressive" actually means:

Which is exactly the point I was making: different people use the word to mean different things, which makes it difficult to get a bead on what any individual person means when using it.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Using a word to mean different things.

A lot of words that we expect to mean a thing often don’t, I’ve noticed. Feminist, conservative / liberal, Christian / Atheist, LGBTQ, and so on. Part of the problem is that when an identity group becomes large enough, there are enough different notions as to what it means that it ceases functioning as a category subject to generalizations. You can be a feminist but vehemently disagree with other feminists as to what the identity means or what positions are valid.

Reactionary is (as I understand it) more of a synonym for extremist. It’s possible to be reactionary about, for instance, GMO foods or handgun ownership, even though those are (strangely) left-side issues. Granted I heard it first in the academic sector (where reactionaries are, for some reason hidebound) referring to old guard professors who are doubtful about the new mad science.

WLGR says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Using a word to mean different things.

"Reactionary" is generally understood as denoting a return to a previously existing state of society that has since been abolished, even (or maybe especially) one that never actually existed except in the mind of the reactionary. In today’s world, the most commonly referred to "reactionary" sentiment is a hostile response to the modernizing tendencies of capitalism, especially the reduction of national/racial/gender/etc. differences into interchangeable units of human labor power. One might celebrate the resulting progress for human equality even as one bemoans the economic havoc capitalism wreaks on workers, but the reactionary response is to bemoan both processes as one and the same, and to pine for an imagined past of stable and conflict-free social hierarchy. In this way the existence of reactionaries is very useful for the capitalist ruling class: by identifying opposition to capitalism with reactionary racism/sexism/etc., capitalists can imagine themselves as a force for social justice, and can channel some of what might otherwise be leftist solidarity among all workers into reactionary movements opposed to the egalitarian thrust of classical leftist anticapitalism.

As far as reactionary tendencies among people who are otherwise antiracist/antisexist/etc. "progressives" (all that hippy-dippy anti-GMO antivaxxer stuff or whatever), you might be interested in what Marxist philosopher Slavoj Žižek has to say about ecological conservatism as "a new opium of the masses".

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Using a word to mean different things.

Sure, and that’s without getting into downright Orwellian changes to the definitions of political terms. (See any Techdirt comments section debating the question of whether copying is theft.) The word “liberal” and “conservative” themselves, in the US, have little resemblance to what they mean in other countries, or what they’ve meant historically. (Let alone the linguistic irony that conservatives are opposed to conservation.)

trollificus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No more head in the sand for the left?

Yeah, the Dems have no hand in the corporatist kleptocracy we now live under, nothing to do with the FDA ensuring Big Pharma profits, didn’t insist on policies that created the housing bubble that led to the 2008 crash, never helped turn IP-hoarding into a creativity-free gold mine, and know nothing about the taxpayer-raping pension crisis coming rapidly down the pike.

gah I posted about the reality-warping stress created when people try to pretend there’s a good guy/bad guy dichotomy somehow represented by these two political parties before I saw your posts, Thad, but thanks for providing the fine example.

HegemonicDistortion says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No more head in the sand for the left?

Um, no. You’re thinking “progressive” as in turn of the 20th century Progressives, which were what we would consider liberal Republicans today. But that’s not the way it’s been since the 60s. When Democrats moderated and cast off their working class constituency in the 70s and 80s, they decried progressives as being too far to the left.

Check out Thomas Franks’s (an historian) writing, esp. “Listen Liberal” for the history of the rise of “Third Way” Democratic politics, i.e. movement to the center, which gained the upper hand under (Bill) Clinton. It’s a great history, and corrected my understanding of the terms “progressive” and “liberal” as well.

WLGR says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No more head in the sand for the left?

If you’re really interested in being precise about your political terminology, I strongly suggest you abandon the term “liberal” as denoting any genuinely left-of-center politics. Historically and globally speaking, liberalism is properly understood as a term for the ideology of free-market bourgeois capitalism, as opposed to both conservatism (the ideology of precapitalist aristocratic feudalism) and socialism (the ideology of postcapitalist working-class self-organization). In other words, assuming nobody is seriously suggesting a precapitalist state of affairs with a landed/titled aristocracy, liberalism is a term for what unites people like Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, and Gary Johnson — the capitalist governing class writ large — against their critics from the left. (What we might call the “social” aspects of liberalism, antiracism and antisexism and so on, are more or less what still does remain of the old opposition between liberalism and classical conservatism, but in a classical sense even the most rabidly racist/sexist right-wing legislator isn’t really a “conservative” unless their views are anchored in a broader rejection of the modernizing tendencies of capitalist economics; the closest facsimile of this in today’s mainstream politics is the vague and reflexive anti-trade sentiment being pandered to by folks like Donald Trump, a sentiment equally abhorred by liberals like Clinton and liberals like Romney just as they equally abhor the leftist anticapitalist sentiment being pandered to by Bernie Sanders.)

In short, use terms like “leftist” or “socialist” as seems appropriate, but unless you consider yourself more a person of the center/right than of the left, stay away from “liberal”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Only opinion of Trump.

I am going to pull the left’s favorite trick, citation please. 😉

I am not a Trump supporter and he was not my first choice. But so far, I have only heard allegations against him. I have heard of no law breaking or election rigging. HC on the other hand, has a mound of evidence against her with the FBI listing all the laws she broke with her email server and yet no charges. Why you ask? Because the left control the DOJ too. Oh, and the IRS. Sorry, the left are corrupt from top to bottom. Time for them to go.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Only opinion of Trump.

He is only pulling the trick the left here like to do and refuse to google for himself.

As for the Trump tape, sure, it is out there. But there is no proof from any of the women who have come forward. The lady from Apprentice has her own cousin saying she is lying.

There is also plenty of evidence of Bill’s assualts and Hillary’s persecution of his victims, but sure latch on to Trumps bragging.

I.T. Guy says:

Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

I’d seen the video you posted and there was nothing new there for me.

See folks… this is why we need medicine cost reform… someone can’t afford their meds on a weekly basis.

So AC… you think we should build a wall and make Mexico pay for it?

When you come off like an asshole even people that agree with you will shy away. See what I’m sayin Brah?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

No, I don’t think we should build a wall and I don’t mind people coming here to do the jobs nobody else wants to do. I do mind someone here illegally getting on programs or jumping the citizenship line in front of others going through the legal route.

Sad though that the videos didn’t show you anything new and yet you still support her.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

Some people get stuck on walls, some people fall off…

The magician wants you to look at his waiving hand…

Isn’t it obvious there is no choice, it’s decided for you…

squabble, squabble… changes nothing, neither will your cast…

Hillary is not her propaganda and neither is Donald…

Both are deplorable, despicable liars and cheats

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

“jumping the citizenship line in front of others going through the legal route”

That’s a new one. They’re not simply taking jobs, they’re actually using illegal routes to citizenship? Please explain that one…

“Sad though that the videos didn’t show you anything new and yet you still support her.”

Here’s the funny thing some people don’t seem to get – almost everyone agrees that Clinton has a lot of problems and they’d prefer a better candidate. However, they also agree that Trump is a lot, lot worse.

If you present me with a choice between Pol Pot and Cthulhu, I’m voting Pol Pot. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I support the killing fields policy, it’s just that I think it’s preferable to the “wipe out the entirety of mankind” policy presented by his opponent.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No more head in the sand for the left?

"jumping the citizenship line in front of others going through the legal route"

That’s a new one. They’re not simply taking jobs, they’re actually using illegal routes to citizenship? Please explain that one…

I think this is talking about the "come in illegally, then get citizenship under amnesty programs" path, in some of its many conceptual variants.

Not sure how common becoming a citizen that way is in reality, but it does fit with "jumping the line", in that a person who just waited in the legal-immigration queues instead of coming in illegally would presumably have been further back in the order of "who gets citizenship first?".

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No more head in the sand for the left?

If that’s the argument, my next question would have to be “who – apart from Reagan – has actually said they will do such a thing?”. Statistically, anyone immigrating illegally under Obama is far more likely to be deported than have a chance at citizenship. But, that interferes with the narrative, I suppose.

It’s also worth noting that anyone suggesting streamlining and improving the arduous citizenship process for those going the legal route are also met with cries of derision, as if making the wife and mother of American citizens struggle for a decade to work legally will achieve anything positive.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

“In recent weeks the lefties here have putting their head in the sand demanding others “give them proof”. I point out that they can YouTube it or go right to the source, Wikileaks. Yet they won’t do either and demand a link to it”

Yes, that’s how an honest discussion works. You make the claim, you provide the proof. Saying “search for it yourself” implies that either you don’t have the proof or that it doesn’t say what you claim it does. If you’re not prepared to back up your own claims, why should anyone else do the work for you?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: No more head in the sand for the left?

Their repeated ‘Do my homework for me’ does provide a perfect excuse to invoke Hitchen’s Razor though, so they are doing at least one thing right in demanding everyone just believe everything they say at face value without providing any supporting evidence for their claims by making it easy to dismiss them.

Teddy says:

Checked solsticlipse bulk verfication

I completely understand that failures can be a formatting issue and not necessarily content manipulation. Admittedly there are Unicode conversion problems.
Also the Donna B. pre-debate email DKIM checks out and looks authentic.
That said, I followed the link listed and pulled the automated testing results spreadsheet.
As of now there are 2,443 verified emails and 8,657 that failed verification.
These results are far from air tight.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Who sent those emails?

Answer: You don’t. E-Mail security is binary. Either they can’t access your e-mail at all, or they can use your account to send e-mails in which you confess to kidnapping the Lindbergh baby while setting up safe houses for Bonnie & Clyde and assembling the time bomb to be planted on the Hindenberg.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Who sent those emails?

I’ve run e-mail servers before but I’m not familiar with the validation method used here. Does it authenticate the content of the headers, or just that the e-mail was really sent through the SMTP server?

Where I’m going with this: as far as we know, only Podesta’s e-mail account was compromised, not Brazile’s.

But, could someone with access to Podesta’s SMTP login send an e-mail with forged headers (From, datestamp, etc.), or are those checked too?

I’m not saying that’s what happened here; indeed, I think it’s quite clear from Brazile’s evasive non-denial denials that the e-mail is real. But I’m curious about whether such a thing would be possible.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Who sent those emails?

Right, but as I read it, that just means that if they’re modified after the message is sent, then it fails authentication, right?

What I’m talking about is modifying the headers before they’re sent. Say, for example, that I’ve got Podesta’s SMTP login credentials, but I set up my e-mail client to put Brazile’s name and E-Mail in the "From:" field, and change my system clock to some other date and time. If I’m reading the spec correctly, DKIM hashes the headers ("From" and any others that are specified in its configuration) but doesn’t do anything to check that, say, the e-mail in the "From" header matches the user’s SMTP login credentials or that the "Date" field matches the server’s system clock.

Lord_Unseen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Who sent those emails?

Looks like both headers and body is actually signed with this. But this does bring up another good question. We have no idea how they got a hold of these emails. For all we know, they could’ve had root access to the server. If they did, and managed to get the server’s private key for DKIM, would they be able to modify the emails after the fact and then just re-sign them? If yes, then validating with DKIM doesn’t do much for verification. Not saying this is what’s happening, just an interesting question.

Thad (user link) says:

The Clinton campaign, as it so often does, is making things worse for itself by being stupid. It’s trying to cover up legitimate information, and the coverup always comes across worse than the original actions.

Straight up.

Passing the question along to Clinton in advance is unseemly, but it’s hard to see it as a major scandal. (And I say that as someone who’s furious that the DNC put its finger on the scale for Clinton over Sanders.) Lying about it, on the other hand, just adds to Clinton’s reputation for dishonesty.

After the second debate, when Clinton explained her “public position and private position” comment, a coworker of mine opined that she shouldn’t have acknowledged that she’d really said it, that it would have been better to maintain plausible deniability. I told him that no, in this instance she made the right call, because if she really *did* say it, and then denied it, that doesn’t help her, it makes things worse.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Looks like that doesn’t actually get styled the same way, though. I want a blockquote to be styled indented, but otherwise unchanged, and prior to the introduction of markdown here (was that actually announced?), that’s what I got.

With markdown, the ‘>’ prefix on a line which that linked page indicates as being the way to mark a blockquote seems to get styled with italics – which not only doesn’t do the “unchanged” part, but (presumably) stomps over any italics which may already be present.

HegemonicDistortion says:

Re: Re:

Standard operating procedure for a Clinton. they love to go right up to the outer edge of the line, even a half-step beyond sometimes, but when they do rather than own it they’ll spin like the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil to obfuscate, cover up, and lie, and they’ll gladly solicit the same from others. It’s why so many lefty-leftists (what Howard Dean called the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party) trust her even less than Republicans.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hold on a second.

So you’re saying that because Robert Graham thinks this particular bit of cryptographic trickery can’t be done… And because he offered a WHOLE BITCOIN (that’s $650, man!) to someone who could solve this complex problem, that a nation-state actor couldn’t do it? Come on. Maybe it truly can’t be done, but nothing here or in the original article makes me believe that.

Not that I think Brasile was telling the truth. Look at her denial… That’s the denial of someone who did something wrong and is seeing her career slip away from her.

At the same time, like with so much anti Hillary stuff… Who cares? Someone outside her campaign did something wrong – they sent her info. She used it. How in god’s name is that not LITERALLY the exact same situation we’re in now taking about this very email?

There is so much to dislike about Clinton. “Learned a test question ahead of time” isn’t in that category. But so many people have been frothing at the mouth about her for so long that they want to believe that Benghazi was a hit job, for reasons yet unexplained, or that using a private server is somehow a disqualification. And meanwhile they ignore the stuff that she is ACTUALLY DOING that they should be upset about, to chase after these conspiracy theories… Look, I’m not a fan of the woman. But if she really is the Lex Luthor-esque evil genius she’s made out to be – and has managed to hide her evil deeds from nearly twenty years of nonstop examination from powerful, dedicated enemies… Then sign me up for Team Luthor. Anyone that amazing SHOULD be President.

David says:

You are doing Benenson an injustice.

BENENSON: They may well be. I don’t know. I know I’ve seen things that aren’t authentic, that we know aren’t authentic.

And you know what? I have no doubt whatsoever he is right. I’ve seen interviews of either candidate where I am dead sure they are not being authentic. I have no doubt that they have sent around Emails where they are not being authentic as well.

This election is not about angel vs devil. For whatever reason, it is about moderate turd vs humongous turd.

Whoever approaches election day with the "turd is turd" stance deserves to end up buried in shit way over his head.

HegemonicDistortion says:

Re: You are doing Benenson an injustice.

This election is not about angel vs devil. For whatever reason, it is about moderate turd vs humongous turd. Whoever approaches election day with the "turd is turd" stance deserves to end up buried in shit way over his head.

This is not only the most succinct, but also the most accurate description of this election. Brilliant. Kudos to you, sir.

YouGotItWrong says:

Propaganda is propaganda

Propaganda: Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause: wartime propaganda.

Whether or not anything can be verified isn’t the point.
The content of these disseminated materials isn’t the point.

The point is that players outside the U.S. are funneling information to the U.S. public during an election. That media and blog sites (like TechDirt) are further disseminating that questionable information as fact… The only fact I’ve seen is that players outside the U.S. are trying to undermine U.S. elections.

I don’t care for Hillary or Donald and feel both are incompetent and incapable of making the serious decisions required of a sitting president, but to use this type of propaganda to support any election decision is playing into foreign adversaries playbook.

Some of us remember the cold war. This is a continuation of that war using dupes in the media to spread fear and undermine democracy. Democracy is already struggling under its own weight of corruption and doesn’t need shills for foreign nationals aiding them in their goals.

Even if the ‘intent’ is well meaning, TechDirt should be ashamed for playing into the hands of foreign adversaries.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Propaganda is propaganda

The point is that players outside the U.S. are funneling information to the U.S. public during an election. That media and blog sites (like TechDirt) are further disseminating that questionable information as fact… The only fact I’ve seen is that players outside the U.S. are trying to undermine U.S. elections.

I don’t agree with your premise that the evidence that this is a state-sponsored attack is stronger than the evidence that these e-mails are real. There is evidence to back both of those claims, and I believe that both of those claims are true. But I don’t agree with your characterization that one of them is a fact while the other is mere innuendo.

Even if the ‘intent’ is well meaning, TechDirt should be ashamed for playing into the hands of foreign adversaries.

I don’t agree with your argument here, either. While I agree that the information coming from Wikileaks is likely intended to sway the election, and that that’s deeply disturbing, I don’t agree that we should just ignore the information in question, either. The content of those e-mails is in the public interest. Brazile lying about the authenticity of those e-mails is also in the public interest.

You seem to be suggesting that information that is in the public interest should be ignored or even suppressed because of its provenance. I don’t agree. I believe that the information should be shared, and its provenance should be part of the discussion and analysis. That’s how you get an informed populace.

I believe that giving the public more information is almost always the best course of action. There are exceptions, of course; troop movements and classified operations are among them, obviously. But this isn’t one of those things. This is, indeed, something that’s ultimately pretty banal and trivial. And that’s been the public’s reaction to this story, too.

The public has heard about the content of the leaked e-mails. By and large, it appears that the public does not think there is a major scandal there. Perhaps the public is smarter than you think, and less susceptible to propaganda efforts by foreign governments.

Or perhaps a tape where a candidate brags about groping women is just more memorable and upsetting to most people than a story about a party operative disclosing a question about the death penalty ahead of a town hall.

Regardless of the reason, I don’t think your fear of the Wikileaks e-mails swaying the election is supported by the polls.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Propaganda is propaganda

Um, no.

The intent behind why truth is uncovered doesn’t change the nature of the truth being uncovered.

It also just might indicate who our hackers want to influence into the white house. If Putin is behind this hack (which is likely if the hackers are state-supported, which we do not know) yes, he’s trying to influence the campaign.

But that isn’t to say the new data should be disregarded.

Incidentally, if our candidates didn’t have to lie so much to cover their asses, they would definitely be less susceptible to this sort of attack. That they can’t be honest with us, and instead have to dance and dodge around the revealed issues only shows how intrinsically corrupt the system has become.

And in that case, foreign powers influencing the election are no more a problem then the corporate powers that already are influencing the election, and whose propaganda we tolerate and don’t even call propaganda.

So yeah, we should file this stuff with all the other scandal and negative advertising and spite being flung about.

It’s not like we even have an illusion left that the people choose our elected officials, or that our elected officials give two fucks about their constituency.

Anonymous Coward says:

The elections are rigged. It always have been (gerrymandering, voter suppression(police check points near voting places), reading and writing tests, hanging chads…
and now giving people questions for debates in advance. Politics can be dirty, but Sanders did not get enough votes to beat Clinton in the primaries. Hopefully with some of the changes that are going on such as less Super Delegates votes will improve things.

This coming from a Sanders supporter.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re:

If you removed all the superdelegates, on both sides, you’d still end up with a Clinton majority.

If you went by popular vote instead of assigning delegates by district, you’d have an even bigger Clinton majority.

It would have certainly helped Sanders if more states had open primaries. (Speaking for myself, I’m an independent who would have voted Sanders if I’d been able to.) But according to the polls, that still wouldn’t have been enough to get him a majority.

I do wish that stories like this one, about the DNC putting its thumb on the scale for Clinton, had broken seven or eight months ago, when they might have made a difference. I suspect the recent revelations about Wells Fargo would have helped Sanders if they’d broken earlier, too.

Maybe all that stuff combined would have been enough for him to win the primary. Maybe.

But I think the numbers suggest that Clinton would have won even if the DNC hadn’t helped her out.

These revelations aren’t exactly Watergate, but they are similar to Watergate in one sense: they’re evidence of cheating from a campaign that would have won just fine if they’d actually played by the rules.

It just seems so pointless. It’s like the political machinery doesn’t know how to be honest even when it’s in their best interests.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

What about the Exit Poll shenanigans that led to them cancelling all exit polls in the later primaries because the polls were off by as much as double digits?

What about all of the statistical anomalies in the election results in the Democratic primary that had never been seen before in history and were called out by academics across the US?

Stating a bunch of stats about “it wouldn’t have mattered anyway” about a controversial subject that wasn’t delved into but was just brushed under the rug and forced to be accepted is not the same as “she would have won anyway”.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As far as I’m aware, the exit poll inconsistencies are attributable to weaknesses in exit polling itself: for example, that young voters (ie Sanders supporters) are far likelier to participate in exit polls than older voters. (See .)

If you have evidence to the contrary, feel free to share links and I’ll check them out. I’m certainly not denying the possibility of DNC shenanigans I’m not aware of, I just haven’t seen any good supporting evidence yet.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’d say that gerrymandering, reading and writing tests, and hanging chads are well-known enough phenomena that no citation is necessary. As for Sanders not getting as many votes as Clinton, I would say the certified results are a reasonable source?

As far as his source for Clinton receiving a town hall question in advance, I suggest scrolling to the top of the page you are currently reading.

Precisely which of his statements are you taking issue with?

John Mayor says:


Well… if the comments at,, are any indication of what’s happened here, then there is cause for concern re Russia’s involvement in these leaks! And I would have you note– in particular!– the comments allegedly made by the Director of National Intelligence, and by members of Homeland Security! You should also check out the reporting at,

But let me get this straight!… Trump is willing to receive the WikiLeaks “goods” on elements of Clinton’s Campaign (and etc.!)… but!… he won’t be going after (nor, speaking to!) the WikiLeaks revelations by Assange, that led to Julian Assange seeking asylum for a series of “alleged” BREACHES OF NATIONAL SECURITY (for which, Julian Assange– it’s declared!– must be brought to the U.S. to account for!)!… and, of course– and conveniently!– Donald Trump doesn’t use email! And so!… the question to be asked of Donald Trump, is:… Will you, Donald Trump, be seeking to bring Julian Assange to the U.S. to face charges concerning Assange’s “WikiLeaking” of sensitive undertakings by the U.S. Government?… or!… Will you, Donald Trump, now– due to the WikiLeaks believed critical of Hillary Clinton (and thus– you hope!– will be “beneficial” to your campaign!)!– be letting Julian Assange “off the hook”?
Or!… could it be, that Trump doesn’t view Julian Assange’s WikiLeaking of U.S. Government Strategic Information on foreign military tactical operations, a breach of National Security! And so!… with that admission by Trump (spoken, or unspoken!)!… one can only assume that Donald Trump will be allowing Julian Assange “FREE REIN (AND REIGN!)” re any “future WikiLeaking” of said sensitive U.S. Government Strategic Military tactical information! But!… if Trump DOESN’T AGREE with the WikiLeaking by Assange of sensitive U.S. Government Strategic Military tactical information, then what’s this acceptance of the WikiLeaking of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign information all about (whether from Russia, or Julian Assange!)? Is it Trump’s view… now (and despite the FBI’s expressed concerns about Hillary’s said mishandling of emails!)!… that it’s OK to not only “play” with emails THAT SHOULDN’T BE MISHANDLED (and I’m referring to Trump!)!… but!… also (directly and/ or indirectly!), to “thumb one’s nose” at the FBI’s expression of concern about Hillary’s said mishandling of her emails! Trump can’t have it both ways!
Lastly, if the release by Julian Assange of sensitive U.S. Government Strategic Military tactical information is of BENEFIT to the U.S. Government… YEA, TO THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY!… then, Trump should come out and say so!! Otherwise!… he is being a H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E in offering up A-N-Y CRITICISM of Julian Assange’s WikiLeaking of sensitive U.S. Government information, while… all the while!… “playing” with WikiLeaks (or RussiLeaks!) email information, that the FBI (for one!) suggests, SHOULDN’T BE MISHANDLED!… and thereby, “THUMBING HIS NOSE” at the FBI’s expressed concerns! And this!… apart from allegations of collusion by Trump (and company) with the Russian Government, re hacks into Democratic Campaign servers!
Please!… no emails!

That One Guy (profile) says:

How to Highlight Dodgy Actions 101

If they’d just own up to the emails, come out plainly and say that yes, the emails are legitimate, then barring some truly stunning and/or juicy info from them the matter would likely quickly be replaced in the public eye by something else someone else did and/or said.

By instead lying and trying to obfuscate the issue however they keep the attention on both the emails and their (bad) attempts to discredit them, and what was a minor issue that would have fallen to the wayside is instead kept front and center.

Peron X gets is told a question that would be asked in a debate ahead of time? Eh, questionable, but not that big of a deal.

Person X then lies (badly) and claims that no such thing happened despite evidence to the contrary? That’s worthy of attention.

I know politicians and those involved with them lie as a matter of course, to the point that it becomes the default reaction even, but as surprising as it might seem to them sometimes honesty is actually the better method for damage control.

HegemonicDistortion says:

Re: How to Highlight Dodgy Actions 101

By instead lying and trying to obfuscate the issue however they keep the attention on both the emails and their (bad) attempts to discredit them, and what was a minor issue that would have fallen to the wayside is instead kept front and center.

Welcome to the Clintons. They do this all the time. Hell, this is the second time they’ve played the Obfuscate, Lie, and Spin game about emails. It’s a different tactic in this case, but the same old game.

I’ve publicly declared that this particular lefty-lefty will not defend, deflect, or otherwise compromise my intellectual integrity for them ever again.

Reasonable Coward says:

Not quite so fast

Yeah, it’s ridiculous for Dems to deny the obvious. Especially because the day when Wikileaks is discovered having tampered with an email is probably the last day anyone will believe anything they publish.

On the other hand…the Democrats shouldn’t do a blanket confirmation of all the emails, either. It would be especially foolhardy as not all of them have been released yet, and, in spite of what I wrote above, all it would take is one fake/altered email to sway the election.

The Democrats could say something like:
“We do not have the time to investigate all of these emails to validate their authenticity. To date, we have not found anything within the released emails that we have read that we believe to be inauthentic.”

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

A little sanity is required here

I don’t particularly like Clinton, and given a viable alternative would not vote for her – but it is getting really irritating how everyone wants to join the lynch party Rupert Murdoch started with his “liberal media”.

Clinton knows some people who may be lying or mistaken, and some of them work for her (not OWNED by her, work for her, like Pence saying things that T-rump doesn’t like).

But everything they say is “Clinton”? Don’t think so.

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