Who Leaked the Damning DNC Emails? What Difference Does It Make?

The Democratic National Committee under Debbie Wasserman Schultz in fact served as the Hillary Clinton Coronation Organizing Committee, operating, step by step, to ensure that the front-runner would become the party’s nominee.

Some of us assumed all along that it was all preprogrammed. But then, on the eve of the coronation itself, leaked emails revealed to everyone that, indeed, top DNC officials conspired to defeat the Sanders campaign. Just as the party leaders were lavishing praise on Sanders for bringing in so many new, enthusiastic activists—and stressing how close Clinton and Sanders have become programmatically—somebody released these emails that cannot but arouse further indignation among Sanders’ supporters (among others, who care about fairness).

How do the party leaders caught with their pants down respond? Not even bothering to pull them up, they point a finger. Russia hacked us. Putin is trying to influence the U.S. election in favor of Trump.

It’s a wise (and maybe the only) political move available to these scumbags. The alternative would be to say, “Well, sure, DNC officials had their private preferences and mentioned them in emails. But she got more votes, she got Sanders’ endorsement in the end, and the content of those emails is irrelevant now. Why make trouble? It’s done. Let’s move on.”

No, they couldn’t say that. They had to change the subject. And since it’s a cardinal fact of the U.S. mainstream media that when you accuse Vladimir Putin of something—anything at all, really—you will receive serious attention, the Democrats know that they can transform this horrible “DNC Conspired Against Sanders” headline into an “Russia Suspected in DNC Hacking” headline.

For some reason, I think of Hillary’s ferocious ejaculation when being questioned by Congress about the Benghazi episode.

“What difference does it make?” spat Hillary, whether the attack on U.S. diplomats came from a crowd angry about a Youtube film or from an organized terror group exploiting the power vacuum created by the destruction of the Libyan state that Clinton had laughed about.

You remember how she laughed about it, right? An endearing, spontaneous moment in which Hillary relaxed and shared her usually reserved self.

Had she been asked if it mattered that Gadhafi had been brutally murdered and sodomized by a knife on tape while men chanted Allah huwa akbhar she might have replied What difference does it make? We got rid of a dictatorship!

And now, what difference does it make whether or not the whole Democratic Party is rigged? When Russia is expanding, threatening its neighbors, engaging in cyber warfare etc.? Don’t you understand? It’s all about Russia.

That, at least, is what Hillary (supported by the U.S. political class and its media props in general) want you to think. Because Hillary in power will try to expand NATO to include Georgia and Ukraine, provoking Russia.

The U.S. mass media swallowing State Department talking points is accustomed to depicting the main historical trend of these times (the relentless expansion of the anti-Russian, U.S. led military alliance, which has grown from 16 to 28 countries since 1990) as its opposite: the expansion of Russia.

It’s ridiculous. The Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union disbanded in 1991. The NATO alliance, which George H. W. Bush had promised Mikhail Gorbachev would not advance one inch eastwards, now includes two Baltic states bordering Russia. The concept of Russian expansionism is an absolute inversion of reality. It’s neocon, “liberal-interventionist” Hillary-think.

And anyway (Hillary thinks), what difference do the feelings of the Sanders supporters make? They lost!

Clinton the Earth Mother reaches out, in words, willing to embrace the loser kids due to their precious energy and idealism, while insulting millions (that she facilely assumes belong to her now) with a convention-coronation finale so rich in positive references to—of all things—the Iraq War!

(What better way to win over millenials and Gen Z than by featuring Obama’s former CIA head and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta,  retired Marine Gen. John Allen, former commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan; Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., an Army helicopter pilot who lost both her legs to a rocket-propelled grenade—propelled no doubt by some Iraqi opposed to the criminal, disastrous invasion based on lies; and Khizr Khan, who spoke about his son’s death in Iraq in 2004, as though there was something heroic there?)

Donald Trump has famously boasted that he could stand in the middle of 5th Ave. and shoot people and wouldn’t lose voters. Clinton has shown how she can wreck countries such as Libya and not even, throughout her campaign, have to defend her record as secretary of state.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who finally—after months of protests against her due to her (obvious) partiality while she insisted (looking guilty) that she was “neutral”—resigned as DNC chair in the wake of the email scandal, rewarded immediately (as though to deliberately further enrage the Sanderistas) with a post in her campaign, could perhaps now be tasked with building the case that Donald Trump is a Russian agent.

And the content of the emails? The suggestion that Sanders’ lack of religious belief could be used by the DNC to help Hillary? What difference does it make? Isn’t it obvious that the bigger question is Putin, and Russian expansionism, and the need to elect a woman strong enough to risk World War III?

The howls of indignation at Russian hacking of U.S. citizens” communications! Have whistle-blowers not made it known to us that the NSA maintains records on the phone calls and internet activity of virtually everybody, everywhere? That they have capacities unknown to the bad old KGB and Stasi? That they routinely monitor the communications of Angela Merkel, the pope, the UN Secretary General etc. without any sense of shame?

The rational person’s response has to be: What difference does it make who hacked those emails and made them public? What’s true is true. The whole U.S. political process is rigged. We need to grasp that.

The youth who drove the Sanders campaign have every reason to reject the rigged system itself. Millennials were just reaching adulthood when, in 2000, George W. Bush became president with a minority of the popular vote, when the Supreme Court intervened to prevent a vote recount in Florida. The unelected president went on to invade two countries and left office deeply unpopular, exposed as a liar and mass-murderer. Youth helped bring Obama into power as the progressive, peace candidate. But he turned out to be the Drone President, the president who incomprehensibly made the incomparably hawkish Hillary Clinton his Secretary of State.

After the disappointments of the Obama years, when things only got worse for youth, including African-American youth; after the massive in-your-face proofs of a totally skewed electoral process year after year—why should any intelligent person (including the ex-Bernie supporter) get upset by anybody, anywhere who helps reveal the fact that the U.S. two-party electoral system is rigged?

What difference does it make, Hillary, who exposes you for what you are, and your campaign and party for what they are?

* * *

The Telegraph reports July 29:

“Hillary Clinton will order a ‘full review’ of the United States’ strategy on Syria as a “first key task” of her presidency, resetting the policy to emphasise the ‘murderous nature’ of the Assad regime, foreign policy adviser with her campaign has said.

“Jeremy Bash, who served as chief of staff for the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, said Mrs Clinton would both escalate the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and work to get Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, ‘out of there.’”

I’ve been predicting for months that if Clinton becomes president she will announce next January that the U.S. and its allies are declaring a “no fly zone” over Syria, preventing the Syrian Air Force from striking at the al-Nusra dominated “opposition.” This will come at a time when the Syrian state forces and Hizbollah and Iranian allies backed by Russia have steadily gained against ISIL and al-Nusra. It’s just possible that, in part due to U.S.-Russian cooperation in hitting al-Nusra and ISIL targets, the Assad regime will be in better shape and the Syrian Air Force feel less need to bomb five months from now.

But whatever the degree of success Damascus and its allies have in defeating the al-Nusra dominated armed opposition, as well as ISIL, and preserving the secularist Syrian state, Hillary decided in 2011 that Bashar al-Assad had to go.

She and those 51 “dissidents” in the State Department think there’s been too much focus on ISIL in Syria, and not enough on bringing down Assad. Instead of seeing the professional national army as the bulwark between Iraq’s multicultural society and murderous extremism, Hillary sees Assad’s refusal to heed her imperious command to leave as the very stimulus for al-Nusra and ISIL.

But taking out Assad means taking on the Russians, who are proud of their successes in Syria, in shoring up the state that Hillary wants to smash, à la Iraq or Libya. There will be no UNSC resolution this time. (The Russians and Chinese regret abstaining from the 2011 vote authorizing the U.S./NATO “humanitarian mission” over Libya that turned out to be a naked regime-change effort.)

That means threatening Russian naval and air bases in Syria, and creating more chaos in a region near Russia—a country much more threatened by “Islamist terrorists” than the U.S.

For Hillary it’s all about Russia. As a Goldwater Girl she supported an extremist anticommunist for president in 1964. And even though the Soviet Union that Barry Goldwater envisioned as the enemy has been gone for 25 years, Hillary retains an instinctive Russophobe belligerence.

So it makes good sense for her when confronted withy evidence of fraud behind her coronation, she changes the subject to Russia, trying to—of all things!—influence a U.S. election.

(As though the U.S. has not tried time and again to influence elections in other countries, with help from the “non-partisan” National Endowment for Democracy and George Soros.)

And it makes sense to continue vilifying Putin, even as Trump continues to say (in his simple, clumsy, unclear way) that he wants the countries to be friends. Because Hillary wants to provoke Putin, and when she does, she wants Leon Panetta, Robert Kagan, Barack Obama, John Allen and the whole gang, along with the GBLTQ community, African-American clergy, aging old-school feminists and all who can be united, to encircle Russia and ensure U.S. global domination for the rest of the century.

Or rather, the domination by the top Ten Percent of the One Percent in the U.S. over the world.

What difference does it make?—that Bernie got shafted—when such things are at stake?

Gary Leupp is Emeritus Professor of History at Tufts University, and is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900 and coeditor of The Tokugawa World (Routledge, 2021). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu