I haven’t seen anything in the news accounts of the Democratic National Committee e-mails that is either new or shocking.
We the public knew before the DNC hacks that the committee members and staff were supporters of Hillary Clinton. That’s what smart and successful politicians do—put their supporters in positions of influence.
The e-mails reveal how much the DNC people disliked Sanders and favored Clinton, but I haven’t seen anything that shows the e-mails showed they actually did—as distinguished from talking about—anything unethical.
What wrongdoing I do know about comes from publicly available information, not e-mail hacks. The Hillary Victory Fund, for example, raised money ostensibly for state Democratic Party organizations, but then funneled the money back to Clinton. That’s dishonest and probably illegal, but those facts had already been revealed.
As to the source of the information, intelligence agencies of various governments have a long history of revealing information that is embarrassing to their adversaries.
What’s new about the publishing of confidential Democratic National Committee e-mails is that it was done through Wikileaks, which provides a platform by which whistle-blowers and hackers of any affiliation can reveal secret documents without being traced. is not affiliated with any government and for that very reason provides a perfect cover. This is ideal cover for secret intelligence agencies.
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, says his only responsibility is to verify the authenticity of the information, not to judge the motives of those providing it. The problem is that the CIA, FSB and their counterparts in other countries are probably much more expert in faking the source of information than Assange and his friends are in detecting forgeries.
There’s a moral here. The moral is that secret information is not necessarily more significant than public information that has been overlooked.
On the Need for Official Attribution of Russia’s DNC Hack by Matt Tait for the Brookinsgs Institution’s Lawfare blog.
Yet More Thoughts on the DNC Hack: Attribution and Precedent by Jack Goldsmith for Lawfare.