Members of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group Issue Statement on DNC Hack

July 28, 2016

Homeland security and counterterrorism experts comment on the recent email hack of the Democratic National Committee.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Leah Dreyfuss
Assistant Director
Homeland Security Program
The Aspen Institute
202-736-2904 |

Aspen, CO July 28, 2016 – 32 members of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group, a bipartisan group of homeland security and counterterrorism experts, have issued a statement on the recent Democratic National Committee hack:

Statement on the Democratic National Committee Hack
July 28, 2016

  1. We cannot ignore news reports that the IT servers of the Democratic National Committee have been hacked, with some experts attributing the attacks to hackers affiliated with the Russian Government. Other reports claim that documents stolen in these hacks have been released publicly at the instigation of the Russian Government, and there is widespread speculation that the release may be an effort to influence the outcome of the US presidential election.
  2. The facts remain to be conclusively determined, but the investigation of these events should have the highest priority. If true, this is an attack not on one party but on the integrity of American democracy. And it may not be the end of such attacks. It is not unthinkable that those responsible will steal and release more files, and even salt the files they release with plausible forgeries.
  3. This is unacceptable. Our president should be chosen by American citizens, not by foreign adversaries or interests.
  4. This is not a partisan issue. All parties should agree that foreign efforts to influence our elections through hacking and stealing confidential records must be deterred and thwarted through a strong and unified response.
  5. Future action is required:
    1. The president should ensure that the attacks are attributed and take prompt actions sufficient to hold those responsible accountable and deter foreign actors from pursuing such tactics in the future.
    2. Election officials at every level of government should take this lesson to heart: our electoral process could be a target for reckless foreign governments and terrorist groups. The voting process is critical to our democracy and must be proof against such attacks or the threat of such attacks. Voting processes and results must receive security akin to that we expect for critical infrastructure.
    3. Political parties and the federal government bear special responsibility for helping to prevent such intrusions in the future. What they have done in the past is clearly insufficient and threatens public confidence in the political process. Just as the federal government offers, and candidates routinely accept, Secret Service protection for their candidates, so too should campaigns and candidates be offered and accept assistance in securing their communications.

Signees of the Statement by the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group

Charles Allen
Former Under Secretary of Intelligence and Analysis
Department of Homeland Security

Stewart Baker
Former Assistant Secretary for Policy
Department of Homeland Security 

Richard Ben-Veniste
Former Commissioner
National Commission on the Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States 

Peter Bergen
National Security Studies Program
New America Foundation

William Bratton
New York City Police Department 

Michael Chertoff
Former Secretary of Homeland Security 

PJ Crowley
Former Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Department of State

Raj De
Former General Counsel
National Security Agency 

Clark Ervin
Former Inspector General
Department of Homeland Security 

Jane Harman
President, Director and CEO
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 

Michael Hayden
Former Director
National Security Agency; Central Intelligence Agency 

David Heyman
Former Assistant Secretary for Policy
Department of Homeland Security 

Brian Michael Jenkins
Former Adviser
National Commission on Terrorism 

Juliette Kayyem
Former Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs
Department of Homeland Security 

John F. Kelly
Former Commander
US Southern Command 

Michael Leiter
Former Director
National Counterterrorism Center 

James Loy
Former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security 

Christian Marrone
Former Chief of Staff
Department of Homeland Security 

Paul McHale
Former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense
Department of Defense 

John McLaughlin
Former Deputy and Acting Director
Central Intelligence Agency 

Jeanne Meserve
Former Homeland Security Correspondent
CNN News 

Michael Morell
Former Deputy Director
Central Intelligence Agency

Matt Olsen
Former Director
National Counterterrorism Center 

Eric Olson
Former Commander
US Special Operations Command 

John Pistole
Former Administrator
Transportation Security Administration 

Jessica Stern

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