Russia to Release Intercepted HRC Emails

Russia Is Reportedly Set To Release Clinton’s Intercepted Emails

Yves here. The idea of Russia releasing Clinton e-mails obtained by hacking into her server, whether directly or through proxies, would be a very aggressive move if it could be attributed to them (as opposed to a non-state actor). It amounts to a foreign power interfering in US elections (not that we don’t do that, witness Obama telling British citizens why they should vote for Remain). The Wikipedia listing on the think tank that published this story is thin, but the organization does appear to have been around for a long time.

Russia would not have gone public with this threat (notice the article describes it as “messaging”) unless it preferred the US to handle l’affaire Clinton through conventional channels. But with Obama having endorsed Clinton, he has now committed himself to not indicting Clinton, and probably not indicting any of her aides (certainly not key ones like Abedin). So we will see in due course if Russia follows through on its saber-rattling.

Given its history, Wikileaks would seem to be the logical outlet, and Assange has recently said more Clinton e-mails are coming. If the leaks are made and are as damaging as you would expect, the Republicans would go nuts. If Clinton is somehow elected despite that, she would be an incredibly weak President. The Republicans almost certainly will retain control of the House and having the real dirt on what was on her server and what foreign governments almost certainly saw means they would be looking for any thin grounds for impeaching her.

By Defense and Foreign Affairs, a geopolitical news publication offered by the International Strategic Studies Association. Cross posted from OilPrice

Reliable intelligence sources in the West have indicated that warnings had been received that the Russian Government could in the near future release the text of email messages intercepted from U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server from the time she was U.S. Secretary of State. The release would, the messaging indicated, prove that Secretary Clinton had, in fact, laid open U.S. secrets to foreign interception by putting highly-classified Government reports onto a private server in violation of U.S. law, and that, as suspected, the server had been targeted and hacked by foreign intelligence services.

The reports indicated that the decision as to whether to reveal the intercepts would be made by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, and it was possible that the release would, if made, be through a third party, such as Wikileaks. The apparent message from Moscow, through the intelligence community, seemed to indicate frustration with the pace of the official U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the so-called server scandal, which seemed to offer prima facie evidence that U.S. law had been violated by Mrs Clinton’s decision to use a private server through which to conduct official and often highly-secret communications during her time as Secretary of State. U.S. sources indicated that the extensive Deptartment of Justice probe was more focused on the possibility that the private server was used to protect messaging in which Secretary Clinton allegedly discussed quid pro quo transactions with private donors to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for influence on U.S. policy.

The Russian possession of the intercepts, however, was designed also to show that, apart from violating U.S. law in the fundamental handling of classified documents (which Sec. Clinton had alleged was no worse than the mishandling of a few documents by CIA Director David Petraeus or Clinton’s National Security Advisor Sandy Berger), the traffic included highly-classified materials which had their classification headers stripped. Russian (and other) sources had indicated frustration with the pace of the Justice Dept. probe, and its avoidance of the national security aspects of intelligence handling. This meant that the topic would be suppressed by the U.S. Barack Obama Administration so that it would not be a factor in the current U.S. Presidential election campaign, in which President Obama had endorsed Mrs Clinton.

Moscow’s discreet messaging about a possible leak of the traffic, in time to impact the U.S. elections, was designed to pressure faster U.S. legal action on the matter, but was largely due to Russian concerns about possible U.S. strategic policy in the event of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Apart from the breach of U.S. Federal law in the handling of classified material, the Clinton private server was, according to GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs analysts, always likely to have been a primary target for foreign cyber warfare interception operations, particularly those of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Russia, and North Korea (DPRK), but probably also by others, including Iran.

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51 COMMENTS

  1. katiebirdJune 14, 2016 at 6:04 pm
    Wondering if anything released could convince Democrats (Super Delegates) to dump her. …. Before the convention.

    Or would it be THAT they had the documents at all?

    Reply
  2. ohoJune 14, 2016 at 6:10 pm
    I gleefully wait. there must be at least a row of Russian analysts whose sole job was building a dossier on Clinton.

    Reply
    1. PavelJune 14, 2016 at 6:56 pm
      Always gridlock in DC except when it comes to the following:

      * Funding the latest military adventure or “humanitarian intervention” (god forbid it’s called a “war”)
      * Increasing the debt limit (sometimes there is a bit of fuss by the Repubs but then they cave in)

      Otherwise does anything get done, apart from naming a few Post Office buildings? Currently they can’t even schedule a debate on a Supreme Court nominee!

      Reply
  3. Patrick W. Watson (@PatrickW)June 14, 2016 at 6:14 pm
    This doesn’t sound like Putin. I think he would more likely let Hillary get elected, discreetly let her know what he has, and then dictate the terms of keeping them hidden.

    But who knows. This is high-stakes poker.

    Reply
    1. Yves SmithJune 14, 2016 at 7:04 pm
      The threat is more powerful before the election than afterwards. Look at how much sway Clinton has over the media pre-election. Look how Bernie was totally ignored until he could not be ignored by virtue of winning primaries. Lots of important news winds up relegated to the Internet gulag. That is what Hillary would do to news re the e-mails post election. Plus remember she will control the DoJ by then too.

      Reply
  4. Jim HaygoodJune 14, 2016 at 6:15 pm
    These supposed strategic reasons for Russia to release intercepted emails make little sense.

    Intelligence agencies like to work in the shadows. Releasing emails would call attention to their intelligence-gathering (i.e., hacking) methods and targets. They don’t want that.

    Only if Donald Trump is a Russian agent would this make strategic sense. Which is exactly what Hillary will claim if it happens: vote for the national security Democrat against the commie Republican.

    Reply
    1. TK421June 14, 2016 at 6:22 pm
      Look at this way: Hillary seems to want to confront Russia, and has a history of pushing for reckless wars. If Russia does not want to be attacked (and they don’t! it’s one of their prime considerations) then undermining her candidacy is a strategic good.

      And remember, they would be releasing it through a cut-out, a third party who would take the blame.
      Russia might not reveal anything of their capabilities if they do it correctly.

      Reply
      1. sgt_doomJune 14, 2016 at 6:29 pm
        Wonder if some of those 30,000 emails she deleted are among them?

        Recommended reading:

        My Turn, by Doug Henwood

        Outstanding!

        Reply
        1. Jim HaygoodJune 14, 2016 at 6:33 pm
          That’s what I was wondering.

          Those deleted “yoga routines” emails could come from two sources: (1) hackers; (2) FBI leakers.

          The latter source would mean internecine war in the “Justice” department.

          Reply
        1. Watt4BobJune 14, 2016 at 6:42 pm
          The damage done to our relationship with Russia by HRC, and her buddy Victoria Nuland is outlandish enough, and on a par with the unprecedented act of admitting the hack, and spilling the beans.

          In my estimation, she deserves this exact sort of retaliation.

          Now let’s see how the DOJ, and FBI rationalize withholding what they know?

          Reply
          1. Jim HaygoodJune 14, 2016 at 7:03 pm
            Among other implications, Loretta Lynch would be obliged to resign and appoint a Servergate special prosecutor … who might indict her as well.

            Reply
        2. dingusansichJune 14, 2016 at 7:02 pm
          Since anything’s possible in fantasy, and we all enjoy a game of hangman …

          Let’s see, clandestine “Russian” agency. An N? (Roman alphabet, if you please.) Yes? Mmm, an S, perhaps? One more? All right, wild guess here. No, you pick it.

          Heck, even Mr. Eleventy Dimension himself could rattle off half-a-hundred reasons for scuttling Hillary and her little global initiatives too. Where will those broken-hearted idealists from Saudi Arabia share their love, as W. might put it, without a Clinton Foundation to blow petro-kisses to? If only Obama had plans for a non (heh-hem) profit.

          From whomever or wherever, this is about the only news that stands a chance of putting Sanders atop the Democrat ticket.

          We’ll all feel terrible for Vicky, of course, but she can reach out via Kickstarter with her famous chocolate chip cookies.

          Reply
      2. Pookah HarveyJune 14, 2016 at 6:36 pm
        According to the Romanian hacker, that supposedly broke into her account, it didn’t take any capabilities at all to break into her server. He specialized in breaking into accounts by reading biographies and guessing passwords. Not exactly high tech .

        Reply
      3. OIFVetJune 14, 2016 at 6:49 pm
        Agreed. Even if such release tips off about methods/capabilities, that would be a small price to pay given the fact that the Hildebeast is a warmongering neocon who appointed Nuland to her perch in the State Department. We all know how that worked ouf for Ukraine and for Europe in general. Eff her, I am rather hopeful that this is for real and she has just desert coming her way. She has richly earned it.

        Reply
      4. fresno danJune 14, 2016 at 7:23 pm
        TK421
        June 14, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        First, I have a great deal of skepticism about this. I would think Russia, keeping the information secret, could use it as a bargaining chip – as well as a slew of technical reasons. The changing of codes and various operating parameters and reassignment of personnel is a long expensive process. Hillary wouldn’t want it done because it implicates her, and the Russians would certainly not want us to change the locks…

        HOWEVER, further reflection reveals that Russia, if indeed they do have such emails, may have included some information only works to their advantage when if is “fresh” and indeed, may pose a danger to them if it is kept hidden

        1. Russia may conclude that Hillary is so antithetical to Russian interests that a “peremptory” strike is necessary
        2. If Hillary knows she has been compromised, it is very much in Hillary’s interest to discredit the Russian as soon as possible, so Russian has to act quickly
        2a. If war like, or conflict actually occurs, a “rally round the flag” mindset would be Hillary’s best defense…..need I remind everyone of “wag the dog”
        3. Russia may conclude that the information, even if proven true AFTER the election, will not dislodge Clinton from the presidency, and only really, REALLY P*SS HER OFF.

        Now, I remain skeptical of the truth of this – but if it is true, it says that the US security apparatus is totally incompetent, and that the US political system is totally corrupt. Very shortly, we will find out INDISPUTABLY whether we are officially in a oligarchy, and whether the majority of Americans are OK with that…

        Reply
    2. Yves SmithJune 14, 2016 at 7:09 pm
      I don’t agree in this particular case. Major government figures are almost certainly watched closely by foreign powers. The President and SoS would be numbers one and two on the list. So there is no intelligence value to the notion that a foreign power would be probing for weaknesses around a Secretary of State.

      Similarly, Clinton’s server was so poorly secured that it did not take any special chops to get at it. Most informed sources say they assume every foreign power was hoovering information off Clinton’s server. A Russian leak would merely confirm that belief and more important, make it pretty difficult for the media and all of the Congressional defense/security committees to pretend they weren’t aware of this presumed fact.

      Reply
      1. Jim HaygoodJune 14, 2016 at 7:31 pm
        I would love to be wrong. I’m trying to think of any precedent in which an intelligence agency has released hacked data, traceable to themselves.

        Probably it’s happened before, but through well-disguised false-flag cutouts. It goes against their instincts to admit to illegal acts, which could get a Russian “diplomat” expelled in retaliation.

        Reply
    3. ohoJune 14, 2016 at 7:11 pm
      “Releasing emails would call attention to their intelligence-gathering (i.e., hacking) methods and targets. They don’t want that.”

      allegedly the IT security was so lax an advanced amateur could’ve hacked the system. (which only didn’t happen because hackers, unlike intelligence services, presumably weren’t turning over every rock remotely connected to HR Clinton.

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