|Nice try Vlad.|
In the last hours before midnight on Friday, just before a campaigning blackout imposed by French electoral law in anticipation of the crucial vote on Sunday, somebody dumped nine gigabytes of emails and documents supposedly purloined from the campaign of leading presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.
It looked like, and almost certainly was, a last-minute bid to tip the scales in favor of the centrist Macron’s opponent, the nativist, populist Marine Le Pen, who has received more-than-tacit endorsements from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who received her at the Kremlin, and U.S. President Donald Trump, who has declared his appreciation of her as the “strongest” candidate.
Macron, by contrast, is favored by those who want a strong European Union, a strong NATO, and a France looking to the future rather than clinging to the fearful and fictional nostalgia promulgated by Le Pen. As the news broke, suspicion focused on the same “Fancy Bear” Russian hackers who fiddled with the American presidential campaign last year.
As The Daily Beast reported 10 days earlier, they have been working hard for the election of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-European Union, anti-euro, anti-NATO, anti-American, Pro-Trump Le Pen.
Literally at the 11th hour, before the blackout would silence it, the Macron campaign issued a statement saying it had been hacked and many of the documents that were dumped on the American 4Chan site and re-posted by Wikileaks were fakes.
The mainstream French media carried the Macron campaign statement, but virtually nothing else. In addition to the normal proscription of campaign “propaganda” on election eve, the government issued a statement saying specifically that anyone disseminating the materials in this dump in France could be liable to prosecution, and calling on the media to shoulder their “responsibility” by steering clear of them.
As it turned out part of the Macron campaign's strategy was to create false identities and allow themselves to be "phished" and then to leak false information which would find itself among the data that the hackers compiled and then weaponized to use against Macron.
In the end nobody could really tell what was real, and what was false.
Which means that the impact of the hack was negligible.
And it worked, because just a little while ago Macron won the election and is now the President of France.
Courtesy of The Atlantic:
French voters handed Emmanuel Macron, the independent candidate, a decisive victory in the presidential runoff Sunday over Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate, buoying Europe’s political establishment that had watched with despair as populist movements threatened to derail the European experiment.
This is very good news for France, for the European Union, and for Democracy.
And it is very bad news for the Russians and those who are trying to destabilize the western democracies.
Update: It appears that Trump has decided to take the high road for a change.
You just know this is eating him up inside.Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2017