The Corner

Politics & Policy

How Camp Clinton Plans to Shift the Blame for Any ‘October Surprise’

Here is a typical pro-Clinton inoculation spin against any “October surprise”, written in late July by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius while he was attending the Aspen Institute summer seminars:

“What worries U.S. officials most,” Ignatius wrote without citing any source, “is that given Russia’s willingness to use covert action against its adversaries, it might intervene before the November election. That might mean releasing embarrassing Clinton email . . . When she was secretary of state, she endorsed Russian dissenters.”

The reader is led to believe that Secretary Clinton, while publicly proclaiming a new era of cordiality — a “reset” — with Russia, was covertly opposing the regime. Russian officials uncovered her secret agenda. So they may retaliate by publicly releasing some of her missing e-mails. But why should that concern anyone? Didn’t she give us her word that the unreleased e-mails pertained to trivial matters like Yoga schedules?

Notice the clever head fake. Attention is shifted away from what may be contained in the e-mails. The issue now becomes the treachery of the Russians for violating the inamorata code of Clinton protectionism. Russia is the guilty party; it is employing “covert action.” This spin inoculates the public about the actual content in any e-mails that may be anonymously released in October. The intent is to obscure and excuse what Clinton concealed as secretary of state by blaming the Russians for disclosing anything from the treasure trove of the “missing” 60,000 e-mails.

The mainstream media has sided with the Clinton spinmeisters in order to discount any “October surprise.” The issue will not be the substance of the e-mails. Instead, there will be outrage that anyone had the temerity to disclose them. The last refuge of the scoundrel is patriotism.

On Monday, the FBI piled on, warning that state voting records may be compromised through Russian hacking. Oddly, the FBI did not circulate a similar warning before or after millions of federal security records were digitally stolen by the Chinese.

And notice how Monday’s Washington Post editorial handled the matter: “Election systems in at least two states have been compromised, seemingly by foreign hackers, possibly operating out of Russia. These revelations are only more worrying in light of the Russian government’s other apparent attempts to sway this year’s presidential election toward Mr. Trump . . . For the moment, the news does not suggest that foreign governments are rigging the election, or anything close.”

So the Post tells us: The Russians are rigging the election, though, at least so far, there is no evidence to prove that. (But watch out!)

Will there be an October leak of Clinton e-mails the FBI was unable to find? Who knows? But if there is, the real scandal should be the enormity of the information gained by a hostile government and the gross negligence of the secretary of state.

Bing West — Bing West, a bestselling author and former assistant secretary of defense, served as a Marine grunt in Vietnam and later as a dean at the Naval War College. A graduate ...

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