This week we saw the arrest of a young woman accused of leaking classified information about Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Now congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are calling for her prosecution under the Espionage Act, and the lamestream media is playing right along, engaging in the type of character assassination we have come to expect from it.
Reality Winner, age 25, was a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor for Pluribus International Corporation.
On May 5, she apparently printed an NSA document – the most detailed account of Russia’s interference to date – detailing how Russia hacked a Florida voting equipment vendor and sent spear-phishing emails to over 100 local election officials, then sent the document to The Intercept.
That document states Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) conducted the cyber attacks:
“Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate actors … executed cyber espionage operations against a named U.S. company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions. … The actors likely used data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.”
Conduct a simple Google search on Reality Winner, you will find the top three headlines read as follows:
CNN published a story Wednesday titled “What we know about Reality Winner,” in which the first paragraph states:
“Before she was accused of mailing classified information to a media outlet, Reality Winner was a Texas-raised linguist, yoga instructor and animal lover who regularly took to social media to blast President Donald Trump.”
I’m not going to defend breaking the law, although I do believe people’s sentences should fit their crimes’ severity. If Winner divulged classified information, she could have placed the lives of American spies, soldiers, and foreign allies at risk. There is a reason information is dubbed “classified.”
However, let’s not ignore the fact that whether or not what Reality Winner did was “brave,” or she is a “hero,” we are missing the point of her revelation when we paint her as some sort of flighty hippy with a hard-on for Trump.
Our focus on her personality is helping to promote our laughing-stock status among the rest of the world, because instead of concentrating on the intel Winner provided while quietly serving her the justice our laws dictate, we are choosing to publicly shame her decision to expose the biggest scoop in the Russia-gate saga.
And in so doing, we are playing right into Trump’s hands as he attacks the media charged with the role of being this country’s fourth estate.
Featured image from YouTube video.