*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
As has been the case throughout this overly-long, humiliating, and disgusting election season the media has again failed to report another sign that America is under siege from anti-democratic forces ensconced firmly in the conservative movement. Specifically, there was yet another report that as yet unknown sources used electronic listening devices to bug the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. What is also typical is that the DNC immediately informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the Watergate-like breach and yet there was no announcement that Democrats were again targeted to rig the election.
Mother Jones issued an “exclusive” report late on Friday past announcing that “In an episode reminiscent of Watergate, the Democratic Party recently informed the FBI that it had collected evidence suggesting its Washington headquarters had been bugged.” This was according to two Democratic National Committee officials who asked not to be named for what seems to be the obvious reason to this author – retaliation from the nation’s top federal law enforcement officials. Remember, it is apparently contrary to a new “agency” policy to ever report any untoward or illegal action targeting Democrats so close to an election.
The “suspected electronic surveillance” was discovered after the DNC interim party chairwoman Donna Brazile ordered a second “electronic sweep” in as many months. The first, in September, came after Russian hackers working to help install Vladimir Putin surrogate Donald Trump in the White House penetrated the DNC email system and those of other Democratic targets.
The DNC hired a private firm to conduct the first electronic sweep and one is curious why the FBI didn’t do its due diligence as the nation’s leading “domestic” investigative and law enforcement agency; but it was, after all, Democrats who were electronically hacked and not Donald Trump, the Donald Trump for president campaign, or any other Republican candidate, headquarters, or campaign. Had that been the case the proverbial Hell would have broken loose and FBI director James Comey would have alerted Republicans in Congress and held a prime time press conference aired across all manner of media.
Democratic officials rightly felt it was prudent to do the job federal law enforcement couldn’t take time for, and that first electronic sweep discovered “nothing unusual.” However, about a month or so later after convicted criminal and Republican operative James O’Keefe released “hidden-camera videos targeting Democrats,” interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile ordered another electronic security sweep of its headquarters and offices.
Ms. Brazile was concerned that Republican operatives likely infiltrated the DNC headquarter offices where volunteers were reporting to work on phone banks or whatever other election activities those volunteers work on. Democratic officials were aware that conservative criminal O’Keefe and his thugs employed people posing as “volunteers” to gain easy access to Democratic offices where they could do what criminal conservative operatives do.
According to the DNC officials, the second electronic sweep “found a radio signal near the chairman’s office indicating there might be a listening device outside the office. We were told that this was something that could pick up calls from cell phones.” The officials also related that “The guys who did the sweep said it was a strong indication” even though they did not “recover a device” and “no culprits” were identified.
Officials said the DNC sent a report, replete with all the relevant technical details discovered by the private electronic security firm, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but there was no report to Republicans in Congress, no public announcement or no FBI director’s press conference. The officials who repeated that “We’re not supposed to talk about it” said they “believe it’s been given by the bureau (FBI) to another agency with three letters to examine.”
If the “other” agency’s “three letters” are not GOP, something not out of the realm of possibility, it is either the DOJ (Department of Justice) responsible for enforcing the law; the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) or NSA (National Security Agency) that are the main intelligence-gathering agencies tasked with gathering and analyzing information on foreign governments and individuals. Homeland Security and the FBI are tasked with handling domestic issues. One might conclude that if the FBI handed the “evidence” off to the CIA, it is because the bugging can be connected to a “foreign government and individuals” who are supporting a presidential candidate that is not Hillary Clinton.
It was a worrisome enough of a breach that one Democratic consultant who has, in the past, done work for the DNC said the organization just recently informed him about the bugging of DNC headquarters. The consultant, like the other DNC officials, asked not to be identified for what seems like obvious reasons that do not include because it is too close to an election, or because the investigation is ongoing, or because it is the purview of the Department of Justice.
Of course officials at the DNC took adequate “countermeasures” and they obviously refused to elaborate on exactly what anti-bugging security protocols they subsequently put in place. Another DNC official did say that, “As a general policy, we don’t talk about such efforts. You have to take all of this incredibly seriously. We are the oldest political party in this country, and we are under constant attack from Russia and/or maybe others.”
A spokesman for the DNC who could comment on the bugging, Adam Hodge, said “The DNC is not going to comment on stories about its security. In all security matters, we cooperate fully with the appropriate law enforcement agencies and take all necessary steps to protect the committee and the safety and security of our staff.” It is shameful, but as one expected when there is an attack on Democrats “so close to an election,” Mother Jones reported that “The FBI did not respond to a request for comment.” Of course, they did not want to comment; it was not a story that would reflect negatively on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton or help Republican Donald Trump, the apparent role of the FBI.
Image: DNC: Olivier Douliery/Abaca/Sipa via AP; FBI agent: Steven K. Doi/Zumapress