The Morning Jolt

New Documents Confirm Hillary’s Server Was Vulnerable to Hackers

A big portion of the debate tonight has to discuss this, right? It can’t just be five Democrats all agreeing that Republicans are the source of all evil, right?

The private email server running in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s home basement when she was secretary of state was connected to the Internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers, according to data and documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Clinton’s server, which handled her personal and State Department correspondence, appeared to allow users to connect openly over the Internet to control it remotely, according to detailed records compiled in 2012. Experts said the Microsoft remote desktop service wasn’t intended for such use without additional protective measures, and was the subject of U.S. government and industry warnings at the time over attacks from even low-skilled intruders.

Records show that Clinton additionally operated two more devices on her home network in Chappaqua, New York, that also were directly accessible from the Internet. One contained similar remote-control software that also has suffered from security vulnerabilities, known as Virtual Network Computing, and the other appeared to be configured to run websites.

Recall that a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency has already told us that her e-mails were probably hacked by foreign intelligence:

Despite Hillary Clinton’s insistence that her personal e-mail account was properly secured, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn told Fox News on Monday that the account had “likely” been hacked by adversarial foreign governments.

The former Defense Intelligence Agency director said that there was a “very high” chance that Clinton’s e-mail had been breached by China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea. He added that even allied countries may have gotten in on the action, just “because they can.” Flynn said that while in theory Clinton could have secured her account and server well-enough to deter hackers, he remained skeptical that she actually had.

“I just know how our adversaries work,” he said. Flynn also took issue with Clinton’s explanation that she used the personal e-mail address rather than an official State Department one because she found it convenient to carry just one device.

“As a military officer, if I said I was doing something for convenience’s sake to the soldiers I was leading, and it was solely for my convenience instead of their welfare, I should be relieved of duty — I would expect to be fired,” he said.

I mean, who in their right mind would look at a circumstance like this and say, “Oh, that’s safe, everything’s fine”?

Steve Kroft: Did you know about Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server–

President Barack Obama: No.

Steve Kroft: –while she was Secretary of State?

President Barack Obama: No.

Steve Kroft: Do you think it posed a national security problem?

President Barack Obama: I don’t think it posed a national security problem. I think that it was a mistake that she has acknowledged and — you know, as a general proposition, when we’re in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data. And, you know, she made a mistake.

Well, I said in his right mind.

Bombers’ Killing 100 in the Capital of a NATO Ally Warrants Some Attention, No?

So . . . who should be the top suspect in this week’s awful bombing in Ankara?

The Turkish government says ISIS:

The Islamic State (IS) group is the prime suspect in the Ankara bombings that killed nearly 100 on Saturday, Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu has said.

No group has said it carried out the attack, but the government believes that two male suicide bombers caused the explosions, hitting a peace rally.

The official death toll is 97 but rally organisers have put the figure at 128.

Funerals for more of the victims were held on Monday, with some mourners expressing anger at the government.

Saturday’s twin explosions ripped through a crowd of activists outside the main railway station in the Turkish capital.

They were due to take part in a rally calling for an end to the violence between Turkish government forces and the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

If it is indeed ISIS, this marks a dangerous new frontier for the group. Sure, Ankara is the NATO capital closest to their territory, but it’s about as thoroughly safe a city as you’re going to find in the region — it’s the government and military headquarters, a visible police and troop presence everywhere, etc. If the bombing aimed to send a message from ISIS, that message was, “We can hit you anywhere we want.”

But there are a couple of wrinkles — why target a peace rally? Why not a more Western target? Yes, ISIS is anti-Kurd, but it’s also anti-everybody else. And Turkey had been particularly unenthusiastic about fighting ISIS until this summer. Erdogan and his government saw Assad as the primary enemy in the civil war, and so if you’re ISIS, you’re attacking someone who was attacking one of your foes, Assad’s regime.

Keep in mind, Turkey has a lot of small extremist groups. When the U.S. embassy was bombed in 2013, the perpetrator was a suicide bomber affiliated with . . . the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party, a Marxist-Leninist Party. (“1919 called, they want their foreign policy back.”)

In the Corner, Daniel Pipes makes a bold accusation:

ISIS involvement must have taken place with the connivance of Turkish intelligence. The government has a motive: Eager to win a majority of seats in the next election both to avoid corruption probes and legitimately increase his power, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has initiated a quasi-war against the Kurds of Turkey hoping thereby to rouse Turkish nationalist feelings. The Ankara bombing exactly into this pattern. Further, it conforms to Turkish intelligence’s history of dirty tricks, including some against Kurds, as well as a pattern of fabricating evidence against domestic rivals (such as the military or the Fethullah Gülen movement).

No less important, eyewitnesses recounted how the police used tear gas “as soon as the bomb went off” and “would not let ambulances through,” leading angry victims to attack police cars.

Selahattin Demirtas, the head of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party, put the same thought more poetically: “The state which has information about the bird that flies and every flap of its wings was not able to prevent a massacre in the heart of Ankara?” Until further information becomes available, we should assume that the Turkish president’s hands are implicated in this horrid incident.

My admittedly-dated time in Turkey taught me that most Turks believe in conspiracy theories, in part because their political culture is more conspiratorial than ours.

Ben Carson, Proud Republican Since . . . er . . . Halloween 2014?

Big deal? Little deal?

The American Mirror has obtained several public records that show Dr. Ben Carson, one of Trump’s chief rivals, did not affiliate with the Republican Party until he changed his voter registration on October 31, 2014.

Carson filed this “record update/change” on that date to change his party affiliation to “Republican Party of Florida” — less than six months before declaring his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president.

The office of Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections confirms, “Dr. Carson was previously registered with a minor political party: Independence Party of Florida (IDP).”

Other records show Carson was also registered as an independent in Maryland. According to the Baltimore County Board of Elections, despite registering to vote in that county in 2001, Carson only voted in the general elections of 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 — and never in any primaries.

ADDENDA: Sure, Nixon’s missing eighteen and a half minutes were bad . . . but how do NFL officials just lose track of 18 seconds on the game clock?

The NFL declined to comment about that 18-second gap, according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s reaction, when informed of the clock error: “I wasn’t aware of that, no . . . it didn’t change the outcome of the game.”

Rookie kicker Josh Lambo gave the Chargers a 20-17 lead with 2:59 left when he nailed a 54-yard field goal, his second of the game. He then kicked off, deep enough that it was not returned. When the touchback was signaled, 2:56 was on the clock.

But when Michael Vick lined up to take the first snap of Pittsburgh’s final drive, the clock read: 2:38.

“Make sure those 18 seconds disappear . . .”

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