According to highly placed sources in Donetsk, Moscow and Washington, with responsibilities enabling legal access to classified information, the February 2014 “colour revolution”, i.e. coup in Ukraine, which resulted in the ouster of the elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, was the reason for the release of the 2015-2016 Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails hacked by unnamed individuals. The message trails showed how key functionaries in the DNC, then headed by Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, a long-term admirer of Bill Clinton, were working ceaselessly and clandestinely for months under cover of “neutrality” to ensure that Senator Bernie Sanders failed in his bid to wrest the 2016 Democratic Party Presidential nomination from Hillary Clinton. Had the Vermont Senator succeeded, it would have been the second time that the former First Lady, US Senator and Secretary of State got defeated by a lesser-known challenger in a presidential nomination contest, the first being in 2008 when she lost to Illinois Senator Barack H. Obama.
Policymaking sources, who are resident in and around Washington, claim that the Obama administration is “fully aware that retaliation for the US role in the 2014 Ukraine coup triggered the release” of the email trove. The hack was not motivated by any Russian effort to assist Republican nominee Donald Trump, an allegation that has been made by numerous named and unnamed individuals in the US administration, including the FBI, which according to a Democratic Party insider, functions under its present chief “as a political instrument of the dominant (i.e. Clinton) wing of the Democratic Party”, much the way the CBI was regarded as doing in India during the ten years when Manmohan Singh held the Prime Ministership with the blessings of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. According to this source, the argument of FBI director James Comey during the Congressional committee investigation into the Benghazi debacle, that Hillary Clinton had to be treated the same as any other US citizen, was “laughable”. It was pointed out that as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had both legal as well as ethical obligations far higher than that of the “average Joe or Jane”, and hence, needed to be judged by that standard, rather than as a “common citizen” with none of the legal obligations of high state office. In view of the politicisation of the FBI under the present administration, “it is no surprise that the responsibility for the hack has been laid at the door of Vladimir Putin, rather than where it belongs, at that of Hillary Clinton and her policy errors in the Ukraine during 2009-2013”, when the then Secretary of State became an enthusiastic proponent of regime change in Ukraine.
According to a source within north-east Ukraine, “it is a fact that some of those involved in the (DNC email) hacking have relocated to Russia since the aftermath of the February 2014 coup, for reasons to do with personal safety”. After the coup, in many parts of the country including the capital (Kiev), xenophobia against the Russian-speaking minority has been stirred up by Ukrainian nationalists, including groups that owe their lineage to the pro-Nazi militias which proliferated in the territory after the June 1941 German invasion of the USSR, to which Ukraine belonged at the time. The source claimed that the leak (of the DNC email trails) was “from start to finish a Ukrainian-centric operation, carried out by (ethnic Russian) Ukrainian patriots seeking to showcase the unethical methods used by the Clintons in order to succeed on 8 November in their mission of placing Hillary in the White House.”
According to them, an objective behind the leak of the mined data was to assist Bernie Sanders to prevail at the convention, but this failed “because we (the hackers) at first could not locate a global media outlet that took our claims seriously” and next, because “WikiLeaks took longer than we expected to release the emails”. They say that “if the trove had been outed even nine days earlier” than happened, Bernie Sanders may have overcome the DNC dirty tricks department’s campaign against him and secured a majority at a Democratic Party Presidential Nomination Convention angered by the injustice done to him. A source based in Moscow described a fight between Trump and Sanders as being “between rich and poor, socialist versus capitalist”, while the electoral contest on 8 November between Hillary Clinton and her Republican opponent would merely represent a “mock fight between a Soft Capitalist (Clinton) and a Hard Capitalist (Trump), as both are from the millionaire class and share its values and world view”. This may, however, be somewhat of a cynical view, in that there are several hyper-rich individuals who have made significant contributions towards social justice.
Both the Clinton campaign as well as the Obama administration have sought to place responsibility for the timing of the leaks on what they claim is Vladimir Putin’s desire to ensure that Donald Trump enters the White House as the 45th President of the United States. However, sources within the District of Columbia say that US agencies have “multiple strands of evidence” that the timing of the hacked DNC email trove’s leak was related to “anger among ethnic Russians in Ukraine at Hillary Clinton’s role in the change of regime” that got played out on the streets during the beginning of 2014. Although Mrs Clinton had ceased to be Secretary of State some months before the coup, “the advance planning for street manifestations designed to get President Yanukovych out was initiated during her time”. Also, these sources claim that Hillary Clinton “kept the pressure on her successor (John Kerry) to increase the level of interference in Kiev so as to ensure a change of guard at the presidency” and “remained in close touch with staffers loyal to her” who pushed the agenda of regime change in Ukraine. A source added that the Ukraine angle has been suppressed by the White House for “fear that it would turn the spotlight on another of the faulty policies bequeathed to the US administration by its former Secretary of State”. Instead, “the story got made up by the Clinton campaign (and embraced by the White House) that both the electronic hacking and well as the subsequent leaks had its origins in an effort by President Putin to defeat Hillary Clinton”.
“The Obama administration is working 24/7 to ensure Hillary wins in November, just as they toiled along with Debbie Wasserman-Shultz to ensure that Bernie Sanders got forced out of the contest”. According to US-based sources, “it was because of President Obama’s last minute entreaties that Senator Sanders decided to ignore advice from some of his closest and longstanding associates to continue in the contest”. Instead, he resiled from the pledge to take the battle (against Hillary Clinton) to the July 2016 Philadelphia convention of the Democratic Party and nominated Hillary as the party candidate at the floor of the convention. However, some who are acquainted with the (by now) internationally known socialist and intellectual idealist, say that the Vermont Senator was from the start “too nice and straightforward a politician to prevail against the ruthless Clinton machine”, and that “from the starting debate, when he impulsively and unwisely gave Hillary a free pass over her own email controversy, the Senator refused to abandon his Marquess of Queensberry and gentlemanly approach against an opponent known to embrace any tactic to win”. They say that “despite his anger at growing evidence of the dirty tricks used against him, Senator Sanders refused to make personal attacks on his rival despite being given dirt on her, and confined himself to repeating over and over again just Hillary Clinton’s links to Wall Street”, to the point of parody.
A source in Washington claimed that of the top ten aides (of Sanders), “two were secretly backing the Clintons by getting the challenger to lower the decibel level of attacks (on Hillary) and by giving input (to the Clinton camp) about confidential discussions” within the Sanders camp of the strategy being planned by the Senator’s team to defeat Clinton at the July nominating convention. It needs to be mentioned that such claims are statements of individuals, albeit those with direct knowledge of the situation described by them. However, no written or electronic proof has been furnished to back such claims. A source, however, said that “there exists within the US government substantial electronic proof that it was the Ukraine coup which motivated those affected by the coup to carry out the DNC hack. Incidentally, the interception of email traffic got initiated much before Donald Trump (or Bernie Sanders) became a significant factor in the 2016 race for the Oval Office, but after the 2014 coup in Kiev. These sources claim that evidence of a Ukrainian connection is being suppressed by the present US administration, which wants to spread the story that it was the Putin establishment in Moscow (rather than those from Kiev and Donetsk) that was responsible for the hacking. The Obama administration is being accused by Washington sources of covering up the fact of Hillary Clinton’s Ukraine policy being responsible for the hacking, instead pointing the finger at Donald Trump as the intended beneficiary. Sources close to those involved say that they wanted the email trove to become public nine days earlier than actually took place in July. If the website did actually have the information that earlier, it is likely that WikiLeaks waited till the Democratic Party Philadelphia convention took place before releasing the stack, so as to maximise the impact of the disclosures, and not out of any other motive.
Why the toxicity towards Hillary Clinton of some groups in Ukraine, including those presently exiled in Russia? Key sources allege that the Clinton Foundation has “close financial links to oligarchs in Kiev who had an interest in getting rid of Viktor” Yanukovych (the President of Ukraine from 2010 to 2014). They say that Ukraine was for years the country making the biggest donations to the Clinton Foundation, “even more than Saudi Arabia”, and that “there were a flood of donations from within the country to the Foundation routed through various middlemen and paper entities during the period when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State”. However, the Department of Justice has found no irregularity in the functioning of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in the context of the Clinton Foundation. Those close to the Foundation say that Bill Clinton has devoted the rest of his life to helping children with AIDS and to other equally noble causes, and that it is absurd to allege that he in any way profits from a foundation to which, they claim, he has devoted his sweat and blood in order to help the needy across the globe, assisted in this task by daughter Chelsea, who by all accounts has an impeccable and likeable character, as does her former friend, Ivanka Trump, who has emerged a key figure in her father’s campaign after the dismissal of Corey Lewandowski.
In contrast to the view that Ukraine was tangential to Hillary, a source in Washington claimed that she had (while in office) repeated to State Department staff that “Yanukovych had to go, the reason being his refusal to ensure that Ukraine joined NATO”. According to this source, “Hillary was obsessed about getting Kiev to join NATO, and was angered by the way in which (then President) Yanukovych walked away from the commitment made by his predecessor in favour of re-establishing security ties with Moscow”. According to a source, “there was anxiety within the Clinton State Department that a new version of the Warsaw Pact may get launched thanks to Putin”, and which may include even countries in Asia, besides some within Europe.
A policymaking source claimed that in Hillary’s view, “getting Ukraine into NATO was the surest way of ensuring that such a new Warsaw Pact did not happen” and that Russia was “permanently weakened as a threat to NATO”. The source added that the 2009-2013 Secretary of State saw the US effort to bring the Ukraine into the NATO orbit as “defensive rather than offensive”. However, that view does not seem to have been shared in the Kremlin. As with other interventions implemented by the Secretary, such as that in Egypt and Libya, events in Ukraine following the ouster and exile of the elected President of the country led to a strong blowback, this time from Moscow. This took the form of a muscular Russian reaction that included the retaking of the Crimea, the region whose military facilities NATO “most wanted to take over from Russia”, according to a key source. In retaliation, the US and the EU have imposed punitive sanctions on the Russian Federation “in order to weaken the economy and make Vladimir Putin unpopular enough to ensure the same level of mass protests in Moscow which led to regime change in Kiev”, said a source at a location that it was requested remain unnamed.
Multiple sources say that it is “poetic justice” that US Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “has been burned by an email hack” as, according to them, “she showed maximum attention towards ensuring that US-based entities secured a monopoly over the internet in different countries”. They say that it has been admitted “several times” by present and former Obama administration officials that global internet behemoths such as Facebook and Twitter were repeatedly contacted in order to “bend events and reactions in the manner regarded as desirable by the Obama administration”. Huge foundations such as that begun by Pierre Omidyar are reported to have been active in using networks close to them to ensure that the street protests against President Yanukovych reached an intensity sufficient to force him to leave both his office and the country. Interestingly, several of the US-based foundations that were openly active in regime change operations in Cairo, Tunis, Kiev and elsewhere are linked to several highly placed individuals in India, who have made no secret of their affiliation or their lobbying to ensure that any action by the Ministry of Home Affairs against such entities gets rolled back. “What you do comes back to bite you, and this is what has happened to Hillary in DNC-Gate”, a source known to the individual battling hard to become the next President of the US pointed out.
For Hillary Clinton, who made US intervention in the politics of certain countries an art form, the blowback from her policies on Ukraine must bring back memories of the many electronic interventions the energetic former Secretary of State herself masterminded.