Putin and Hillary: The value of kompromat
There are many reasons why Hillary Clinton should never be president of the United States, one Russian word may be the most important of all: kompromat. It means compromising information, and it has been a time-tested tool of Russian intelligence. Writing in Forbes, Paul Roderick Gregory explains how Hillary’s open-access home-brew server has handed Vladimir Putin a treasure trove of kompromat – even if it doesn’t exist!
Putin’s KGB training was in running agents, most recruited by kompromat (compromising information) that he had gathered, meaning that he would immediately have understood the possibilities. Putin’s FSB and military security experts would be told to scour the load of e-mails for operational information, names, addresses and dates. As kompromat specialists, they would look for personal Clinton material ranging from embarrassing to compromising.
As a KGB agent who cut his teeth on kompromat, Putin would consider several options on how and when to use the Hillary file with maximum effect. If he preferred Hillary’s Republican opponent in the general election, he could release enough incriminating information (that could not be traced back to the Kremlin, of course) to scuttle her candidacy. For those who believe Putin would not dare interfere with a U.S. election, consider his strange flirtation with Donald Trump. Putin, however, may prefer Hillary to give him a sitting U.S. president on whom he has a big stack of kompromat. If Putin rules out blackmail, the Kremlin could selectively leak damaging information to U.S. allies and enemies that would weaken the United States’ hand in world affairs throughout a Clinton presidency.
Those who follow Kremlin propaganda understand that it is not necessary for Putin to have Clinton’s e-mails to cause serious damage to a Clinton presidency. All he needs is that many believe he has Hillary’s e-mails.
The Kremlin specializes in fabricating narratives (such as the U.S. intent to steal Siberia) that are false but may contain a small kernel of truth. Putin’s army of “information technologists” (propagandists) can release fabrications to its numerous clandestine sources throughout the world. Clinton might ignore or deny those narratives (which cannot be traced to the Kremlin), but the mere idea that Putin has her e-mails will lend the necessary credibility to the story. The Kremlin knows that repeated lies are eventually taken as truth, so that an unsourced narrative, repeated, will eventually become the “truth.” Who knows what Putin’s information technologists can cook up to blacken the presidency of Hillary Clinton?
Hillary Clinton has laughed off the e-mail scandal as partisan or petty legalism. I hope that she and the American public understand the threat to national security her e-mails have caused. The national security threat increases if she is elected president.
My own belief is that Hillary Clinton must have used her private email to keep hidden highly compromising information, most likely negotiating donations and speaking fees in return for influence, without realizing how open her server actually was. If that is the case, she would be powerless to confront a Putin who had the goods on her.