Sharyl Attkisson is the investigative reporter who believes the Obama administration hacked her personal computers because she reported on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi. Today she announced her family’s $35 million lawsuit against the federal government for the alleged hacking.
According to the initial complaint, Attkisson believes “unknown named agents” of the Department of Justice, the United States Postal Service, and the U.S. government conducted “unauthorized and illegal surveillance” of her and her family’s “laptop computers and telephones” between 2011 and 2013.
There is zero evidence that federal agents placed Attkisson’s family under illegal and retaliatory surveillance, and Attkisson’s new complaint does not offer any actual proof that any state-sponsored surveillance took place. Here is a sampling:
On January 8, 2013, Ms. Attkisson made arrangements to deliver her Toshiba laptop to a contact with connections to a government forensics computer expert in the intelligence community.
On January 9, 2013, the forensics expert reported to Ms. Attkisson that the Toshiba laptop showed clear evidence of outside and unauthorized “intrusion,” and that the sources of the intrusion were state-supported due to the nature of the technology used.
On January 10, 2013, the computer was returned to Ms. Attkisson through an intermediary, along with a report. According to the report, the forensics computer expert found that so-called sophisticated software had been used to accomplish the intrusion, and the software fingerprint indicated the software was proprietary to the federal government.
Let’s break this down. Attkisson supplied her laptop to an unnamed “government forensics computer expert in the intelligence community”—via an unnamed “contact”—who later asserted “clear evidence” of an “intrusion” from “sources” that appeared to be “state-supported” because of the “the nature of the technology used.” Later, Attkisson received her laptop and the expert’s report through another unnamed “intermediary.”
Believing that any of this is true, or even slightly true, requires faith in the judgment and ability of three individuals that Attkisson refuses to name—one of whom she apparently has never met in person.
The rest of Attkisson’s $35 million lawsuit offers more of the same: Malfunctioning electronics; crappy Verizon FiOS service; and several nameless parties alleging outlandish conspiracies targeting Attkisson. It might be easier, in the end, to read her lawsuit not as a serious attempt to collect damages from lawless government goons, but as a work of experimental fiction.