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The Buzz: Phishing for a way to hurt Trump

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Saturday, January 07, 2017 05:01 am
In 2015, China hacked into the Office of Personnel Management, stealing the personal data of 21-plus million current and former federal government employees and contractors. Short of war, it’s about as aggressively hostile an action one government can take against another. And there wasn’t a peep from the White House. No sanctions. No diplomats expelled. No compounds shut down. There wasn’t even a strongly worded public expression of disapproval.

But now that there is an alleged “hack” by the Russians that didn’t even involve a government agency, suddenly the Obama administration thinks cyber security is a big deal and says that evil foreign government must be held accountable.

The quotation marks are around “hack” because it was no such thing. It was a phishing expedition. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, found a link in an email of the kind a third-grader would know not to open, and he clicked on it. And so all of the Democratic National Committee’s and the Clinton campaign’s emails became public, revealing that the candidate’s team was involved in a bunch of sordid campaign tactics of the sort all presidential campaigns have dabbled in.

But “hacked the election” has such a nice ring to it, especially of you’re trying to delegitimize Donald Trump’s election. Why, that man doesn’t deserve his office — the Russians gave it to him. So that’s the phrase used over and over by Democrats and, alas, a great many in the press corps.

No one has ever said, by the way, that the emails released were phony or doctored or faked. If the target had been Trump’s campaign instead of Hillary’s and the phishing had been done by a news organization, there would undoubtedly be a Pulitzer Prize in someone’s future. 

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