Democratic Leaders Claim Future WikiLeaks Against Hillary Clinton Could Be Fake, Progressives Not Buying It

With the threat of a repeat scandal from a future WikiLeaks release, top Democrats aren’t taking any chances. Just before the party’s convention in July, nearly 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC)’s server were made public by WikiLeaks. That release brought shame on several DNC officials and even led the organization’s chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to step down from her position.

Before long, top Democrats blamed the leak on the Russians, even though WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange says that there was no actual proof that the hack came from the Russians. Assange called blaming the Russians a “diversion that’s being pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign,” according to the Washington Times.

Blaming the Russians made it so that the DNC was able to divert attention away from the scandalous content of the leaks, which showed — among other bombshells — that the DNC rigged the nominating process against Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to the Observer.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said that the earlier emails were actually leaked by the Kremlin, and Clinton later repeated the speculative claim, The Observer reported. Now, with threats of another leak that could bring Clinton’s campaign to a halt, top Democrats are warning voters that the next leak could contain fake documents that will be planted by the Russians.

“Democratic leaders are putting out a warning that could help inoculate Hillary Clinton against an October cyber surprise: Any future mass leaks of embarrassing party emails might contain fake information inserted by Russian hackers,” Politico reported, after Democratic Party leaders took part in a conference call to discuss strategy.

Some are calling the strategy dangerous.

“Hyping an exaggerated Russian threat may succeed in inoculating Clinton from damage caused by any more WikiLeaks releases, but doing so poses a real, tangible threat to U.S.-Russia relations—to the point where they might revert back to the Cold War era,” the Observer reported. “The Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign are jeopardizing the safety of the United States by employing Russian fear tactics to shield Clinton from criticism. In doing so, they are also building a foundation for Clinton to gain consent from the public to start a conflict with Russia—not unlike the way the Iraq War began, based on falsified information and thoughtless cheerleading in the mainstream media.”

Politico says that the Democrats claim that some fake documents could be planted by Russians in a future leak, but progressives aren’t buying it.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is one of the Democrats warning of fake leaks to come, claiming that Russians will plant fictitious documents that could damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Democratic strategists are supporting the move by the party’s leaders, but Russia strongly denies that it is involved with the earlier hack, and WikiLeaks won’t reveal its source. Julian Assange once explained that WikiLeaks is legally bound under Sweden’s press secrecy laws never to identify its sources, Slate reported. Assange said that the site takes great measures to scrub all submitted documents of identifying information and ID trails. Essentially, there is no actual way that anyone could know if the hack was the work of the Kremlin, Assange says.

Anita Dunn, who was once a White House communications director and is now a partner at SKDKnickerbocker, a consultant firm that specializes in assisting the DNC, said, “I think it’s only prudent for people to raise that possibility.”

“What Pelosi is doing is making the response now,” Democratic consultant Brad Bannon said. “Democrats do have their antenna up over this thing. They are anticipating.”

Still, after the last leak, tarnished DNC officials resigned and the emails were accepted as valid.

WikiLeaks claims it has an untarnished record for accuracy and sniffing out false documents.

“WikiLeaks staff examine all documents and label any suspicions of inauthenticity based on a forensic analysis of the document, means, motive and opportunity, cost of forgery, what the authoring organization claims and so on. We have become world leaders in this and have an enviable record: as far as can be determined, we have yet to make a mistake.”

What do you think? Do you think the Democrats are actually worried that fake documents will be present in future leaks, or do you think that they are just trying to protect themselves in case the next leak contains information that even Hillary Clinton can’t bounce back from?

[Photo by Marc Nozell | Flickr | CC BY 2.0 | cropped]