Well, as everyone who has been following the news lately knows, state-sponsored Soviet hackers have been digging up dirt on everybody from presidential candidates to US government agencies including the military.
But what many people may not realize is that these state-sponsored actors haven’t limited their hacking efforts simply to the highest levels of government – it turns out they’ve also been hacking into the private emails of some of the leaders and elected officials right here in Guilford County.
By paying $500 to Soviet hackers – well, technically to Armenian data dealers on the dark web acting as intermediaries – I was able to gain access to a virtual treasure trove of information: the full email transcripts of private emails for a large number of area politicians and leaders. I must warn you before you read any further that some of those emails are extremely eye-opening.
Though they contain some information that may be damaging to some careers of area leaders, I have made a determination that releasing the hacked emails serves the public interest rather than merely prurient interests.
Here are just a few excerpts from that giant cache …
Hacked Transcript excerpts 3,749 and 3,754. Sept. 5, 2016. Begin time: 11:12 a.m. Email exchange on private servers between Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn [NVaughanbosslady@gmail.com] and Greensboro City Manager Jim Westmoreland [Jwestmoreland42@aol.com].
Discussion thread: “Re: Gboro PR troubles”
Vaughan: Jim, regarding our discussion today about the increasing barrage of media and citizen criticism of the city’s government, especially surrounding police issues, I reiterate: WE MUST DO SOMETHING TO DRAW ATTENTION FROM OURSELVES. Per our previous conversation on possible distractions that would divert attention away from criticism of the city, I came up with the perfect solution.
I know this is an unusual request for a mayor to make of a city manager but it’s about time for you to start earning that 180K plus a year you’re pulling down. Now, you are to go to Eastern Costume Co. at 2005 Lees Chapel Rd. where there is a prepaid package waiting for you. I put it under the name of “Carlos Danger” so as not to arouse suspicion. You are to dress up in the costume – everything from the red nose to the floppy shoes – and go to woods around the Park at Oakridge Apartments off Old Oak Ridge Road near I-73. Small children play there often, so that should maximize the effect. Your appearance should sure take the public’s attention off of the city. Be certain to use all the makeup included to cover your face so you won’t be recognized.
Westmoreland: Mayor, this is CITY GOVERNMENT, not a Stephen King novel. With all due respect, that plan sounds crazy.
Vaughan: Yes, so crazy it just might work! Now do it!
Westmoreland: Have you run this by Nelson Johnson??
Nancy: Uh, hello? Of COURSE I ran it by Nelson. I run EVERYTHING by Nelson, so you can be sure I got his OK on this. The big man is completely on board – so no need to worry about that.
[The same email chain picks up the following day].
Vaughan: Great job, Jim! It is all anyone is talking about!! Killer clowns this and killer clowns that! It has – EXACTLY AS WE PLANNED – completely taken the focus off the city and the police problems. Fox 8! News 2! The blogs! The papers! ALL anyone is talking about is killer clowns. It even made the national news! Forget Greensboro – it’s all anyone is talking about in the entire country.
It worked like a charm! I am brilliant. I am the bomb!
Westmoreland: Are you crazy!? Did you not see what happened?? A GUY CAME AFTER ME WITH A MACHETE! A [DELETED]-ING MACHETE! He almost caught me! He could have taken my head off if I hadn’t distracted him by spraying the seltzer water in his face. When I went into local government administration, I didn’t sign up for this!
Vaughan: Don’t get soft on me now, Jimbo. We’re just getting started. Now, I just texted you some more area locations where our crazed clown should show up next …
Hacked transcript excerpt 147,490. Oct 21. 2016. Start time: 10:42 a.m. Email exchange between Joseph S. Nye, North American Chairman of the Trilateral Commission [Nyegoodtobetheking24@hotmail.com] and Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt [KingmakerCollicutt@yahoo.com].
Discussion thread: “Re: 2016 Election”
Nye: Charles, I hope you are doing well. It was good to see you and your country’s other 3,000 elections directors at our top-secret Trilateral Commission US Elections Directors’ Summit in Nepal last month. Now, as you are well aware, Trump has become a problem by pointing out constantly that the election is fixed and causing people to look into the integrity of the election’s system. Fortunately, his claims are falling on deaf ears for the most part right now, but the attention has been causing us a great deal of consternation.
Yesterday in a special meeting of the Commission’s High Council, we decided to increase Hillary Clinton’s margin of victory by another five percentage points on Nov. 8 to make sure there are no questions about the veracity of the outcome. That means that, in your county on Election Day, you need to increase Clinton’s margin of victory by 15,202 votes over the totals we had decided earlier.
Collicutt: Thanks, Joe, that shouldn’t be a hard adjustment to make. I can make some absentee ballots from Trump supporters get “lost in the mail” and also set a higher number of machines to record more votes for Clinton. Also, as you have instructed, we have outlawed selfies in the voting booths here so there will be no citizens’ records of how they voted.
BTW Joe, does the TLCOM have any preferences in the county commissioners or school board races?
Nye: The Trilateral Commission will be meeting with the Illuminati next week to decide the outcome of US school board and commissioners races and I will send your list of winners to you soon. In all of those races, we are leaving the margins of victory up to each local elections director.
Collicutt: Thanks! Long live the Trilateral Commission!
Nye: Yes, Long live the Commission! May it extend its 3,000-year reign forever.
Hacked transcript excerpt 197,492. April 11. 2016. Start time 1:53 p.m. Exchange between Former News & Record Editor and Publisher Jeff Gauger [email@example.com] and Gerald Green [firstname.lastname@example.org] vice president of Berkshire Hathaway Media Group.
Discussion Chain: “Re: News and Grits”
[Note: The following emails took place just before former News & Record Publisher and Editor Jeff Gauger mysteriously and suddenly stepped down from that post.]
Green: We were dismayed here at headquarters to see on Sunday that once again much of the N&R content was about grits after we believe we made it clear to you that we did not want to see any more of that.
Gauger: I will say this once again: PEOPLE LOVE READING ABOUT GRITS! They cannot get enough of it! You hire me to help save your paper but then you tie my hands by telling me I can’t write about grits!
Green: Jeff, we are not telling you that you cannot write about grits. It is merely that some on our board feel that the paper should not day in and day out be completely focused on grits. I understand that newspaper editors frequently feel strongly about their editorial content; however, quite frankly, we are surprised that this has proven to be such a sticking point with you since it is just grits that we are talking about.
Gauger: JUST GRITS!? Have you ever even eaten grits? Do you know how amazingly good they are? It is one thing for you to insult me and my judgment, but let me make this crystal [deleted]-ing clear: I WILL NOT SIT HERE AND LET YOU CRITICIZE GRITS! I will have you know that those “just grits” that you disparage provide much needed nutritional sustenance for many around the world on a daily basis and grits have a very noble heritage in this country that predates the arrival of Europeans settlers. The dignified Native Americans even prepared grits as part of their quasi-religious rituals and they gave this fine food the respect it deserves – unlike, sadly, those of you at this publication’s headquarters.
Green: Once again, the board is ready to approve a large raise and bonus for you and let you add a significant number of staff if you will just give in on this one thing. Also, once again, we are not asking that the N&R stop writing about grits entirely but, instead, that you not do so all the time. At first it was kind of quaint and interesting, but, from Warren Buffett on down the chain, we want it scaled back.
Gauger: I have had enough of this! You can take your grits-free newspaper and [Well, at this point it gets kind of graphic and we had better cut this next part out; however, you probably can figure out the gist of it.]
Note: There are many other emails from the Armenian purchase that we are still examining. Here at the Rhino Times, we are wading through them redacting portions where people would be endangered by disclosures, but we eventually hope to do a massive data dump on Rhinowikileaks.org.
Until then, stay tuned …