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Putin's Hack: What Difference Does It Make

December 20, 2016

Putin’s Hack: What Difference Does It Make?

All the hack amounted to was to shine a light on the cynicism and arrogance of John Podesta and the mandarins of the left.

Dec. 15, 2016 3:35 p.m. ET

Regarding your editorial “Russian Hackers and American Hacks” (Dec. 12): Not since 1939 and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact has any political party engaged in such an opportunistic and amoral alliance with Russia as the Democratic Party has now done. If the goal of Russia’s hacking was to sow seeds of doubt about American democracy, it would have failed miserably. All the hack amounted to was to shine a light on the cynicism and arrogance of John Podesta and the mandarins of the left. This was already widely known. The Democratic Party appears intent on elevating what would otherwise be just another unsuccessful Russian escapade into something of relevance and credibility by insisting that Donald Trump got elected because of their influence. The Democrats are doing this out of pure political expediency, desperation at losing all power and a resolute refusal to do anything other than deny the real reason for its loss: the unlinking of the vast middle of America from the far left that is at the heart of the rot of a once-great party.

John L. Rogitz

San Diego

The claims that Vladimir Putin interfered in our national election to help Mr. Trump are nonsense. As president of the U.S., Mr. Trump would be an unknown quantity to Mr. Putin. It is far more likely that Mr. Putin would have preferred to deal with Hillary Clinton as president, having outmaneuvered Secretary of State Clinton at every encounter.

Steve Plemenos

Whippany, N.J.

The Democrats’ concern over allegations of foreign actors hacking critical U.S. systems appear irresponsibly selective. Where was their outrage and concern when foreign actors allegedly executed a cyberattack against the Office of Personnel Management in March 2014? Where was their outrage and concern when foreign actors compromised the White House communications systems in October 2014? What penalty did President Obama impose on the hacking governments to deter future attacks?

Democrats who are deeply concerned with the possibility of Russian cyberattacks don’t appear to be equally invested in exploring how Hillary Clinton’s failure to use the secure email when she served as secretary of state may have contributed to these or other security breaches?

Concerns about the hacking of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee’s systems are legitimate, but don’t entitle Mr. Podesta to lead a ludicrous partisan attempt to invalidate the 2016 presidential election results by challenging the individual casting of electoral votes.

Michael P. Mulhall

Rockville Centre, N.Y.

If indeed the Russians hacked into John Podesta’s email, they have simply exposed the highly unethical behavior that exists at the highest levels of the Democratic Party. That should be the story that is reported and emphasized.

John Payne

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

The evidence of Mr. Putin’s hostility toward Hillary Clinton has long been public and was covered in the press before the election. Mr. Putin was infuriated at Mrs. Clinton for her public denunciation of the December 2011 Russian parliamentary elections as having been unfair and unfree. She also said the Russian people deserved leaders who were accountable to them, clearly suggesting that Mr. Putin was not, and that any position he held as the Russian head of state was achieved through a rigged election. That denunciation, though very likely true, was also designed, in part, to label Mr. Putin as an illegitimate head of state and was used as part of U.S. efforts to foil Mr. Putin’s international diplomacy. Not surprisingly, Mr. Putin looked for an opportunity to reciprocate. The Russian hacking of the DNC and Podesta emails enabled him to do so.

Edward T. McDermott

Darien, Conn.

It is all well and good for Democrats to blame Russian hackers. But if Russian hackers can penetrate the DNC website, how secure does Mrs. Clinton’s private email server look now?

Richard J. McGowan


Weren’t the actions taken by the Democratic Party against Bernie Sanders a manipulation of the primaries?

Is this not another attempt by the Democratic Party to avoid taking responsibility for its election losses? First it was the fault of the director of the FBI. Then it was the Constitution’s fault because of the Electoral College. Then it was the fault of the integrity of the voting systems of the U.S.

James Morse

Bakersfield, Calif.

Is there any evidence that the leaked documents are inaccurate or invalid? Weren’t the DNC and the Clinton campaign harmed by their own words? Sunshine, from any source, can still be a good disinfectant.