Weiner on being hacked: Hey, it happens; Update: GOP congressman calls for investigation; Update: Angry exchange with CNN
posted at 6:28 pm on May 31, 2011 by Allahpundit
Via Breitbart, another bizarrely low-key reaction to what was, of course, an alleged crime, possibly motivated by espionage, committed against a sitting member of Congress. If you need to catch up quickly on this story, spend a few minutes with Bryan Preston’s rundown at PJM, Jonah Goldberg’s gloss at the Corner, and Peter Ingemi’s list of convenient “coincidences” in Weiner’s story. Here’s all you really need to know: If Weiner’s version of what happened is true, then the story’s actually a bigger deal than if it happened the way we think. If some hacker’s tooling around surreptitiously in his Twitter account, then he’d have access to all of Weiner’s “direct messages,” i.e. private communications, with other Twitter users. Hopefully Weiner’s not so stupid that he’d send sensitive government information via a DM, but maybe he is — and even if he isn’t, other members of Congress might be and they’re potential targets too. Alternately, if the left’s pet theory that this is some sort of deep deep right-wing undercover operation to embarrass Weiner is true, then the culprit deserves to be richly punished for what he/she has done. At a minimum, this guy’s marriage could be jeopardized by framing him this way; worse, now that the story’s caught on in the media, it’s bound to affect his prospects for running for mayor of NYC, which he’s been thinking about for awhile. Long story short, there’s no earthly reason for police not to investigate this, even if Weiner himself thinks it’s no big deal. It is a big deal — objectively, beyond argument, regardless of which side you’re on. How come Weiner seems to be the only person who doesn’t think so, such that as of this afternoon no criminal case had been initiated yet? If he thinks this is such a distraction from The Real Issues, isn’t the fastest way to get past it to punt it over to the cops and let them confirm that the hacking happened? And yes, those are rhetorical questions.
I’m actually surprised that he hasn’t yet settled on Tom Maguire’s theory for how this will all play out:
My Bold Prediction for where this is headed – Congressman Weiner won’t be filing a police report. One might think that hacking a Congressman’s account to smear him and sexualy harass his Twitter followers is a big deal, but it’s not like he is the governor of Alaska or anything. After a bit of scrambling Weiner will explain the absence of law enforcement by offering up a brother or cousin or college roommate who will claim to have crept onto the account and played this prank simply because Weiner jokes never get old. Har de har.
Bingo. Tomorrow or maybe Thursday, we’ll be told that Weiner knew who the hacker was all along, just an old frat brother who thought he’d play a rib-ticklin’ little gag on his old pal which (tee hee!) could actually have destroyed his otherwise promising political career. That’s something buddies do to each other all the time, you know — ruin each other’s marriages by illegally hacking into each other’s accounts and making it look like they’re sending crotch shots to 21-year-olds. If/when that spin finally hits the fan, remember that Maguire had it first.
One lingering question which gives me pause: Wasn’t the photo posted to Twitter via Weiner’s Yfrog account? If so — and I may sincerely be wrong about this — aren’t all photos on Yfrog publicly viewable, even if sent via “direct message”? That is to say, you could click over to Yfrog, search for Weiner’s account, and see every photo on there, even if he intended the pic to be viewed privately. If I’m right about that (and maybe I’m not), then the “Weiner sent the pic” theory requires you to believe that AW didn’t realize that and actually took the extreme risk of sending a compromising photo via a photo account he wasn’t sure was secure. That’s not impossible — the “Weiner sent the pic” theory already imagines him taking an extreme risk by DMing someone a racy pic from his congressional account — but I never figured him for being that stupid.
Update: The heat is on.
Florida Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns is demanding an investigation into cybersecurity issues raised by #Weinergate, saying it is vital to “ensure our national security.”…
“Although this particular incident is a matter for law enforcement, it clearly indicates that hacking is a serious problem and as Chairman it would be appropriate for the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee to examine the issue of cybersecurity to protect our privacy and to ensure our national security,” Stearns said in an email to The Daily Caller.
Stearns is the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, a committee on which Weiner sits.
Update: Via Mediaite, full credit to CNN. They’re all over this. Make sure to watch to the end, where Dana Bash notes that the police still aren’t investigating — which almost certainly means Weiner hasn’t asked them to.
Update: The boss emeritus has a quasi-prediction of her own:
As a dedicated Twitter user myself, the most likely scenario is that Weiner himself mistakenly DM’ed (direct-messaged) the “prank” photo to the young woman in Seattle and intended it to be private. It takes just one wrong keystroke for a private DM to appear in one’s public timeline. (Allah wonders if Weiner would be so stupid as to post the photo through publicly-viewed Yfrog, but as we’ve seen from the recent bipartisan parade of — pardon my language — political wankers from Ensign and Edwards to Sanford, etc, etc, etc — politicians do supremely stupid things when they think with the wrong organ.
A second, but less likely, scenario is that someone with permission to post on Weiner’s account (most politicians have staffers who know the password to their bosses’ official Twitter accounts) tweeted the photo.
That spin would be even more convenient than Maguire’s; all he needs to do is convince some poor intern to take the fall. The one hitch is that Weiner’s “voice” shines through in his tweets; his account isn’t the usual boring congressional account where bland talking points get posted every few hours. It’s conversational, which creates the distinct impression that it really is him tweeting and not a staffer. (That’s one of the reasons so many people on Twitter follow him.) In fact, the NYT had a story about his Twitter habit just this morning in which it noted that “his Twitter personality is all him.” None of which is to say that it couldn’t have been an employee, just that it would be odd for a staffer to be messing around with his boss’s otherwise very personal account and doubly odd for him to be using it for something so risque.