Did Obama have a hand in North Korea blackout?

North Korea’s Internet service went dark for nine hours on Monday.

President Obama had threatened to retaliate against the nutty nation after he reportedly hacked into Sony Pictures’ email service to get back at the company for a film depicting the attempted killing of North Korean loony dictator Kim Jong-Un.

Did the president order the Internet attack on the communists? He’s not saying. Nor should he.

It reminds me a bit of something that occurred in the early 1990s. It involved a veteran member of Congress and an overly zealous challenger.

The congressman was the late Democratic incumbent Charlie Wilson of Lufkin. The challenger was a Republican former Army officer named Donna Peterson of Orange.

Peterson began running some highly negative campaign ads criticizing Wilson for his lifestyle, which included Wilson’s enjoying the company of lovely women. Wilson acknowledged his lifestyle. Indeed, he once said his East Texas constituents were proud of him for it, saying they didn’t want to be represented “by a constipated hound dog.”

Wilson came to the Beaumont Enterprise, where I worked at the time, and told us that he “never initiated” a negative campaign, but said if Peterson persisted, he’d be prepared to “respond accordingly.” She kept up the attack.

Shortly after that visit, an audio cassette arrived at the newspaper. It contained a recording of Peterson — who was campaigning as a high-minded, morally righteous individual — arguing with her married campaign finance manager over his refusal to divorce his wife and marry her, the candidate. The only conclusion one could draw was that the two of them were having an affair.

We asked Wilson point-blank: Did you record this telephone conversation? He denied having any “direct knowledge” of it.

Did we believe the congressman — who at the time served on the House Select Committee on Intelligence? Well, what do you think?

Still, he ended up trouncing his opponent, who hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

The Internet blackout kind of has the same feel — to me, at least — as the mystery tape that materialized in the heat of a negative campaign for Congress.

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