Obama’s Watch: Aleppo Collapses, Russian Cyberterrorism

“We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.” So the Russians escalated again — breaking into systems not just for espionage, but to publish or broadcast what they found, known as “doxing” in the cyberworld. [New York Times]

IT’S CHRISTMASTIME and if you read one article over the holiday it’s this one.

One snippet from Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Shott Shane of the New York Times

Given how many emails Mr. Podesta received through this personal email account, several aides also had access to it, and one of them noticed the warning email, sending it to a computer technician to make sure it was legitimate before anyone clicked on the “change password” button.

“This is a legitimate email,” Charles Delavan, a Clinton campaign aide, replied to another of Mr. Podesta’s aides, who had noticed the alert. “John needs to change his password immediately.”

With another click, a decade of emails that Mr. Podesta maintained in his Gmail account — a total of about 60,000 — were unlocked for the Russian hackers. Mr. Delavan, in an interview, said that his bad advice was a result of a typo: He knew this was a phishing attack, as the campaign was getting dozens of them. He said he had meant to type that it was an “illegitimate” email, an error that he said has plagued him ever since.

The consequences of President Obama drawing a “red line” and then crossing it has now come into full view.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power provides the quote of the year.

“To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran, your forces and proxies are carrying out these crimes. Your barrel bombs and mortars and airstrikes have allowed the militia in Aleppo to encircle tens of thousands of civilians in your ever-tightening noose. It is your noose. Three Member States of the UN contributing to a noose around civilians.

“Are you truly incapable of shame? Is there literally nothing that can shame you? Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin?”

There’s only one problem with it, which provided the Russians with the last word, for now.

“The weirdest speech to me was the one by the US representative which built her statement as if she is Mother Theresa herself. Please, remember which country you represent. Please, remember the track record of your country.” – Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the U.N.

We’ll see where everyone stands once the full story of war crimes perpetrated by Assad, with the help of Russia and Iran, are fully revealed.

2017 has to be a better year.