Just before the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia emails were leaked showing that some members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headed by Debbie Wasserman Schultz had actively tried to work against the Bernie Sanders' campaign.
The emails were leaked by a person said to be Romanian who calls himself "Guccifer 2.0" and were posted online by Wikileaks. Among the emails was one suggesting that Sanders should be targeted as an "atheist," even though he is Jewish. Sanders' supporters have often claimed that the DNC was not neutral; but the release of these leaks just before the convention demonstrate that this claim is true.There were calls by Sanders for Schultz to resign. She eventually agreed to do so after the convention. However, the immediate response of the Democratic Party was not to express any criticism of Schultz but to change the whole subject of conversation.
As antiwar.com put it:
The Clinton campaign has responded by pushing a bizarre conspiracy theory that recalls the darkest days of the cold war: the DNC leak, they claim, is part of a plot by the Kremlin to elect Donald J. Trump President of these United States.
Robby Mook of the Clinton campaign claims that experts are telling them that Russian state actors broke into the DNC and took the emails and are releasing them now to help Donald Trump. The experts referred to work for the DNC. Other experts think attribution is always difficult.
Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity at Illumio told Time magazine: “Attribution is incredibly difficult – I wouldn’t say impossible, but it’s very difficult. Investigations like this do not wrap up quickly and often do not wrap up at all because it’s very hard to tell where they came from." Another expert, Amit Yoran, president of cybersecurity firm RSA said:
“I think attribution is one of those topics that people like to rush to because it makes for sexier reporting — you want to make a meaningful story for non-technologists. Saying you know who was responsible makes for a very compelling story. But it’s also very hard to do well in the cyber domain, especially over a short period of time with a sophisticated actor."
"Whatever, the truth, the Democrats managed to turn a revelation about dirty tricks within the DNC into a cautionary tale about how the bad guy Putin was conspiring to elect the bad guy Trump and prevent the progressive feminist Hillary Clinton from reaching her goal of becoming president of the United States.
As an article by Jonathan Cook shows, some of the mainstream media, in this case the Guardian, latched on to the Democratic spin to make the main story that of the Kremlin plotting with Trump to defeat Hillary, while mostly ignoring the content of the emails and their implication for the behavior of the DNC. Cook claims:
This is exactly what the Clinton team wanted: for the media to focus on her phoney outrage rather than our justified outrage that the party system is rigged to make sure ordinary voters cast their ballots the way the Democrat leadership want them cast.
Eventually Schultz did decide to resign after the Convention. However, she was hardly chastised for her role in heading a group working actively against Sanders. Hillary said: "I want to thank my longtime friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her leadership of the Democratic National Committee over the past five years". Schultz had served as co-chair of Clinton's 2008 campaign. She is expected to serve as "honorary chair" of Clinton's 50 state program and also to serve as a surrogate for the Clinton campaign nationally and in Florida. While this may not be a huge reward for her services it is hardly a punishment for the misdeeds of the DNC.