Kiriakou suggests that there is no coincidence that the Washington Post released information about the 2005 audiotape in which Donald Trump made misogynistic comments about women on October 7, around the same time as the first batch of Podesta emails was released by WikiLeaks.
"He really was trying to make as big a political splash as he could," Kiriakou told Radio Sputnik's Brian Becker during a Loud & Clear broadcast. "But at the same time, because he was so vocal about what his plans were, I think it allowed the Clinton campaign to make plans of their own."
Journalist Ben Norton added that it would be scandalous if it turned out that the timing of the Washington Post release was intended to downplay the impact of the emails, even before they came out, although there was no evidence that this is the case. Meanwhile, attempts by the former Secretary of State and the White House to blame the email hacks on Russia, in an attempt to distract the public's attention from a substantive critique of the US government, foreign policy, or candidate Clinton herself, are obvious, he offered.
"What I think we can say is that there clearly is a concerted effort that was begun by the Clinton campaign and has since spread to other elements of society, including the government, blaming Russia for not just these leaks, but for really any problems the US has," he said.
Norton also cited excerpts of Hillary Clinton's "compromised" speeches to Wall Street banks, included in some of the emails. Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign demanded that Clinton release the text of the speeches, for which she was paid several million dollars in 2014, foreseeing that they would prove that, despite Clinton's rhetoric, she was an ally of Wall Street.
"In these speeches she expresses support for Wall Street and…also admits she's ‘far removed' from the middle class," Norton said. "In a speech to Goldman Sachs she lamented that there's a so-called bias against successful people…She also claimed that it's oversimplification to blame Wall Street and banks for the financial crisis."
Kiriakou, who spent over 2 years in prison for exposing the CIA's torture program, also emphasized that it is not just the content of the emails that is important, or whether it does any damage to the Clinton campaign. What is important, he suggests, is that people in power can get away with behaviors and actions for which mere citizens would be jailed, or worse.
"If you are a friend of this President, or if you have four shiny stars on your shoulder, you can do anything you want; you can discuss classified information over a private email server, you can leak classified information to the national security journalist of your choice, and you can get away with it," he said.