Whether you are more concerned about the content of the Pentagon Papers or the fact that they were leaked illegally is determined by your stance on the Vietnam War. Likewise with the 2016 leaks of e-mails of the Democratic National Committee. Are you more concerned that the DNC was in the tank for Hillary Clinton and that her populist stances were just cynical hypocrisy, or more concerned that this was leaked illegally? Again, this depends entirely on your politics. Among the e-mails, we found evidence of a close relationship between the DNC and journalists, with the former asking the latter to run favorable stories when needed. We should not be surprised, then, that the media, having its last veneer of impartiality thoroughly shredded, should seek strident retribution against those who committed the leaks, and the Trump campaign which benefited from them. This has elided into a brazen attempt to delegitimize the outcome of the election, and reverse it if possible through impeachment.

This farce began with a joke made in response to another e-mail scandal, that of Hillary Clinton’s private server while she was Secretary of State. In response to a subpoena, she provided the e-mails on this server only after deleting tens of thousands of messages that were supposedly personal and unrelated to work. Candidate Trump called out this blatantly illegal non-compliance, humorously imploring anyone who had the e-mails, even Russia, to release them as a public service. Naturally, the media went ballistic, accusing Trump of encouraging espionage by a foreign power. They evidently could not keep their lies consistent, for there could be no damaging espionage if the e-mails merely pertained to wedding and yoga appointments, as the credulous press would have us believe.

In July 2016, the first set of DNC e-mails was released by Wikileaks. These revealed that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz was firmly behind the Clinton candidacy, long before the primaries had been decided. This surprised virtually no one, as bias against the Sanders campaign had long been evident, and the clearing of the field by other Democrats for Hillary to run virtually without opposition in her party was transparent to all but the willfully naive. Only specifics, such as the leaking of debate questions to the candidate, and the enlisting of DNC resources and press allies, added information about the depth of the establishment collusion to force Clinton upon the public, as later confirmed by Donna Brazile.

The second set of e-mails was leaked on the same weekend when Trump’s Access Hollywood tape was leaked as an October surprise to derail his candidacy. The press generally ignored the fact that the behind-the-scenes tape, being proprietary and confidential, must certainly have been stolen or leaked illegally at some point, no less than the DNC e-mails. Again, whether you care more about the content or the mode of release depends on your politics.

Democrats naturally railed against the “Russian hackers” committing espionage against our national institutions, ignoring that the DNC is a private, non-state institution, and that the e-mails were obtained by phishing, not hacking. That is, someone was dumb enough to give away their password to an e-mail scam. John Podesta did this twice (having been misled by his IT person who omitted the word “not”), and we were treated to a host of e-mails showing the cynicism of Democratic party strategy and Hillary’s two-facedness regarding Wall Street. This should have surprised absolutely no one, and indeed this second wave of e-mails made no measurable impact on the polls, having been drowned in the Access Hollywood scandal.

All of this would have come to little had not Donald Trump, ever so improbably, won the presidential election. Hillary Clinton soon had the consolation prize of “winning” the popular vote, though in fact she had less than 50%, so she would have lost in a House vote even had there been no electoral college. Ironically, before the election, the electoral college was thought to give Trump an impossibly narrow path to victory, allowing for no mistakes in major battleground states, and on top requiring him to flip some Democratic strongholds. He did precisely that, in part by keeping a grueling travel schedule to the Midwest in the final weeks. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, feared that Trump would win the popular vote while losing the electoral vote, and devoted resources to padding turnout in non-competitive states such as Illinois. Rather than come to terms with their candidate’s blunders, many Democrats soon took up the “blame Russia” angle.

This, of course, is historical revisionism of the first order. Neither of the Wikileaks releases decided the election in any measurable way. The second batch had no impact on polls, while the first only confirmed an already prevalent sense that the DNC favored Clinton over Sanders. The big needle mover in the final weeks was James Comey re-opening the e-mail server investigation, having found that Anthony Weiner (aka Carlos Danger) had been printing Hillary’s e-mails for her on behalf of his wife Huma Abedin, so his computer might have some of the undisclosed e-mails. This, like Hillary’s e-mail server itself, was simply a workaround for a technologically inept executive. Polls moved appreciably after this re-opening of the investigation, closing the gap between candidates to the margin of error.

Although Obama had known for over a year about the phishing of the DNC, he maintained public silence about possible Russian government involvement, to avoid appearing unduly partisan during the election. It was only after the election that he decided it was significant enough to disclose publicly. While disclosing only weak, equivocal evidence of Russian government involvement, he acted as if the fact were certain, and tried to make this opinion a reality by imposing punitive sanctions against Russian diplomats.

The Americans are shocked – shocked! – that a government should interfere in the political process of another country. Yes, this is the same U.S.A. that regularly bombs countries, foments coups, plots assassinations, and even bribes legislatures to change political outcomes. The U.S. is by far the biggest political meddler in the world, and the biggest practitioner of global espionage, even on allies and the UN. Most notably, it interfered in elections in Ukraine, favoring an anti-Russian party. As always, the U.S., without irony, fails to recognize blowback of its own imperialist actions.

Whether feigning outrage or genuinely shameless, Obama imposed sanctions as a lame duck president trying to force a major foreign policy stance on his successor. The center-left imperialist media did not remark on the inappropriateness of such action, but on the contrary acted as though the president-elect had no right to let other nations know what his intended policy toward them would be. If Trump failed to be duly hostile toward Russia, or even hinted that he intended to reverse Obama’s petty vindictiveness, he would be not so subtly accused of treason. This is an ironic charge from a gang of globalists who have consistently sold out their working class countrymen.

At any rate, the evidence of Russian conspiracy is astonishingly weak in proportion to the political mileage that’s been extracted from it. As Jeffrey Carr points out, it’s doubtful if the “hackers” even spoke Russian. Yes, the hackers were likely based in Russian time zones, but the vast majority of illegal Internet activity comes from Russia, as anyone who runs a website knows. This is hardly proof of Russian government involvement. More significantly, the data extraction tool is one used by a former group believed to have been with the Russian government, but this identifcation is not definitive. Even if the tool were a Russian government creation, that is not proof of involvement, since government hacking tools do get leaked. Such was the case with this year’s Wannacry ransomware attack, which used a leaked NSA exploit. There is nothing technologically sophisticated enough in the DNC spearphishing that could not be done by any reasonably computer savvy individual. Even a leaked NSA document acknowledged there was no direct evidence of Russian government connection, but this was only an inference made by analysts.

Once the “Russian hacking” is made a fact by Obama’s lame duck meddling, the accusation of collusion between the Trump administration and Russia can be made self-fulfilling. Any post-election attempts at detente are portrayed as evidence of such collusion. Most accusations are made only by innuendo. Ironically, Trump’s greatest error, from an optics standpoint, was his firing of James Comey, the same man who did more than any hacker, Russian or otherwise, to cost Hillary the election. We should not expect logical consistency, of course, in politically motivated accusations. Though their errors are comical, the leftist elites are not to be smiled at. They are making unfounded accusations for criminal offenses that can put people in prison. They have no compunction about ruining people’s lives, even non-politicians like the president’s son, in order to score points for the next election. This is, after all, an elite that can kill ten thousand Libyans for a marginal political advantage.