...Was that a lot of it seemed plausible. Buncha politicians secretly racist? That's an easy sell -- easier than some guy down the block with eyeholes in his pillowslips, which is probably the bulk of what's going to be mined from the actual data-dump.
There's a problem with this sort of thing and it's the same problem as the "Red scare" witch-hunts of the 1950s and earlier:* the guy who went to a meeting or signed up for a mailing list out of curiosity, ignorance or orneriness and later turned away is painted with the same stain as the most wild-eyed True Believer and it's difficult to sort them out by cross-examination: how do you tell honest regret from sneaky deceit?
I'd suggest we can only judge men and women by their actions; their true thoughts can never be determined with certainty. Despite that, expect witch-hunting and sensationalized (and likely highly imaginative) accounts. The Press will love it if they can find at least one public figure to topple.
Is it better to have a determined gang of "hacktivists" do this sort of thing† rather than J. Edgar Hoover's FBI or a House or Senate Committee? Probably; but the falsely or inaccurately accused will still face the same kind of stigmatization, albeit free of the wrath of Congress and/or Federal prosecution. ...Think what a comfort that will be for their children, to know Mommy or Daddy won't be going to jail, merely loathed by the neighbors....
Were there Communists in the State Department, Reds in Hollywood? Yep. Was everyone accused of it an actual commie or fellow-traveler? Nope. Did every Soviet mole, spy or sympathizer get rooted out? Oh, hells no. Remember that in coming days. Haters still gonna hate and like the poor, they'll always be around.
* Yes, earlier. Red-hunting history didn't begin with Murrow's news coverage of McCarthy.
† Mind you, even that is nothing new.
4 weeks ago