Thursday, June 16, 2016

The press may want us to forget about Bernie, but trust and integrity are still important

There is a lot going on right now. There was a mass shooting in Florida. Votes are still being counted in California and Bernie is still flipping counties. And the media would really, really like us to forget that Bernie Sanders is still running for president. They would like us to forget that trust and integrity are really an issue for Hillary Clinton while people support Bernie Sanders because they trust him for his integrity. Trust and integrity still matter for Hillary, and as I'll show below, these are issues that won't go away.

Ars Technica reports on June 14th, how the opposition files on Donald Trump were hacked by foreign hackers at the Democratic National Committee. The article is notable for it's detail and one of the points of interest is that foreign hackers have used changing and persistent attacks to maintain a presence on government and political campaign computer systems.

That opposition file has since been released by someone known as Guccifer 2.0, putting everything that the Democrats were planning to throw at Trump during their campaign against him, out in the open for all to see. It's hard to say that is a major blow to anyone since Trump seems to be doing a fine job of limiting the effectiveness of his campaign all by himself.

According to Ars Technica, multiple groups have hacked and maintained a persistent presence on computers systems in the Democratic National Committee. Russian hacking groups are known for their prowess and their ability to use social engineering to dupe employees and even executives into clicking on links or opening attachments in emails sent to them. From there, malicious code runs to monitor the use of the system and to gather credentials, files and other information that could prove useful later on. All without detection.

I think it's important to remember that this is the Democratic National Committee, an organization with the resources to hire experienced engineers for managing their data systems, and the security of the same. They didn't just hire one person, they hired a team of experienced engineers to manage their IT systems.

Hillary Clinton operated her own email server in her own home. This is distinct from just using her own private email account with a third party email provider like Yahoo, Gmail or even Microsoft. She hired Bryan Pagliano to set up a private email server in her home and a private domain to be used to accept that email. Considering the mounting threat of foreign espionage, that is a heavy load for just one man.

Think about it. One man cannot know everything there is to know about email security and certainly, cannot be enough to monitor all of the action on that server to ensure that it was secure. For at least three months, it was transmitting email communications without encrypted connections, and from what I've read so far, encryption was not used to protect even the content of the messages.

We also know that one man who called himself Guccifer, claimed to have hacked her email server and has managed to pull information from it. Given that groups and agencies skilled in espionage were likely to hear about her mail server, the odds are strong that someone found the server, hacked it and installed persistent backdoors to monitor it, all without detection by the one man who managed or hosted that server.

If there was any classified information on that server at all, it has very likely been compromised.

Hillary has said she made a mistake and would really, really like the rest of us to give her a pass on it. You know, so that she can go on and become the first woman president of the United States. It's not about public service, it's all about her making history, right?

By the way, it's also important to know that neither the Department of State, nor anyone else for that matter, has managed to find any communication between Bryan Pagliano and Hillary Clinton. They are unable to find the relevant PST file, the file that Microsoft Outlook uses to store emails. Not even SMS messages can be found. Seems like Pagliano could see a bad moon rising and decided to clean house before anyone showed up. Can we trust him? Probably not.

So lets assume for the moment, that there is no referral for indictment however likely it may be, and that Loretta Lynch, eyeing her own career prospects, declines to pursue indictment even if a referral were made, at least until after Hillary wins the election. There is still a long running civil suit under the Freedom of Information and the Federal Records Act being pursued by Judicial Watch. They have the attorneys, and the experience with filing requests under the FOIA to know what to ask for and what to do when their requests are denied, or at least, not answered in a timely manner. That's how we learned about Hillary's private email in the first place.

Hillary never told anyone about it. She just told people that she was using a private email address. Even the department of State didn't quite realize what was happening until they tried to respond to FOIA requests from Judicial Watch and others, for Hillary's emails. To respond, disclosure officers at the agency discovered that she never activated an email address provided to her, and that her emails weren't where they were expecting to find them, on an agency server.

Hillary did everything she could to avoid having her emails being subjected to scrutiny through Sunshine laws like FOIA. She waited more than a year to turn over "all of her work related emails", having deleted the rest (and we don't know for sure what she deleted). Her IT guy scoured and deleted all communications between them during his tenure while she was at the State Department.

Here's what is so intriguing about the civil FOIA suit. Hillary's aids are being called to testify. She herself might be called to testify. And there is no politically encumbered Attorney General to hold things up. Even if she is never indicted, she is going to have to answer as to why she even built the private server in the first place. The general impression I get from the media as to her motivations come down to two reasons: keep her emails out of the reach of FOIA and to keep a record of her work so she can write her memoirs.

At the very least, we have a trust issue and we have an insubordination issue. If she can't follow rules and regulations concerning her conduct with email, that's insubordination. If she's not willing to follow the rules, can she be trusted? We don't know for sure if investigators have recovered from backup everything she deleted. If we can't find anything from Pagliano, who knows what else is missing?

Clinton's attitude exudes that of one who thinks that a different set of rules applies to her. I along with millions of other people happen to agree. The latest poll I could find on trust issues with Hillary shows that, according to the Washington Post, "In a brand new Washington Post-ABC News national poll, just 37 percent of people believe Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy while 57 percent say they don't think she is." That was back in March. I guess mainstream media doesn't want to do those kinds of polls lately. Maybe they don't think such polls matter. They certainly don't think exit polls mater, or they wouldn't have cancelled them for elections on June 7th.

So whatever people tell me about Hillary Clinton and why they think I should vote for her, I've got this list in the back of my mind. She had her own private email server while Secretary of State. What was she hiding? What emails were deleted? She reneged on her promise to debate Bernie Sanders before the elections on June 7th. She's flip-flopped on many core issues and she takes big money from corporate interests. He who pays the piper calls the tune. To me, she lacks the integrity and honesty to be president.

A vote for someone I don't want is a wasted vote. And if all you want me to do is to join you in defeating Trump by voting for Hillary, I have to wonder why Trump is running in the first place. That's why I'm Bernie or Bust all the way. I simply want my vote to count for someone I want to see in the White House. I want someone I trust for president and that's Bernie Sanders.

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