Democrats & Liberals Archives

Swine Diaries VI: How to clean your tracks

The House Oversight Committee announced today (link) that 51 of 88 White House officials, almost 60% of the White House officials, have separate email accounts with the RNC and those special email records are now missing.

To many, this is just old news, more of the same. But to those of us who have been waiting for years for someone to put back the public service in this executive branch, this is more evidence of just how far this administration has gone to cover their tracks.

"Given the heavy reliance by White House officials on R.N.C. email accounts, the high rank of the White House officials involved and the large quantity of missing emails," the report said, "the potential violation of the Presidential Records Act may be extensive."

With the age-old adage of 'oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive'. this administration had taken deception and made it an art-form. This unethical administration has done everything in their power to subvert laws, executive orders, courts & the press to insulate themselves from the prying eyes of an informed electorate. Remember folks; this is how a democracy is supposed to work. (ref: open government).

Just what is it that this administration is doing that they have to go to such great lengths to cover up? They've fired whistle blowers, they've outed CIA operatives and tried to coerce a sedated and ailing attorney general in his hospital bed to thwart the law. Just what is it that they are covering up?

i guess since the emails in question have been deleted, we'll never know the actual extent of the deception. And given that Rose Mary Woods died in 2005, the Bush administration will have to find some other scapegoat to blame for the deleted emails.

Posted by john trevisani at June 19, 2007 12:26 PM
Comment #223456

From the NYT Article and/or Waxman:

The Bush administration may have committed “extensive” violations

the potential violation of the Presidential Records Act may be extensive

Congressional Democrats are investigating whether White House officials used their accounts to conduct overtly political and, perhaps , improper activities like planning which federal prosecutors to remove and preparing partisan briefings for federal employees.

What a hatchet job, but hey, by your post it has served its purpose.

You may resume to your regularly scheduled Bush Bash now…..

Posted by: George in SC at June 19, 2007 2:10 PM
Comment #223461

I’m with George. What obviously happened is that somebody accidentally deleted the messages from 51 e-mail accounts. The idea that there is some kind of cover-up here is mind-boggling.

Only a Bush hater could possibly find anything suspicious about the fact that 5 million e-mails have disappeared. :>

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 19, 2007 2:31 PM
Comment #223463

Yes, George in SC: Investigation not a perfect science. When one starts to look for answers and many stand in your way (either by lying to investigators (ref: Libby) or by destroying emails) the definitive truth is becomes tempered by description.

Actually, G in SC, if you watch your local news station, you’ll see reports like this:
“So-and-so was arrested today for ALLEGEDLY robbing the convenience store.”

So when an interim report comes out, they cannot make definitive statements like “the Bush administration IS ILLEGALLY deleting emails to hide their underhanded games from the citizens of this democracy”.

They can’t but bloggers can. :)

Posted by: john trevisani at June 19, 2007 2:53 PM
Comment #223465

Just what is an “email record” anyway?

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 19, 2007 3:16 PM
Comment #223490

Any Documents including email made from, or on
any device or from any material belong to the
Government, can not be destroyed, removed or
tampered with in any way.
No communication between Gov. officials an Political fund raisers an other groups, are allowed
from any Government property an is prohibited. “Remember the Nixon tapes.”
This statement is not for bat-em, there are three
laws an may be some I am unaware of.

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 19, 2007 6:44 PM
Comment #223491

The last law I believe was called the Hatch Act.

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 19, 2007 6:49 PM
Comment #223518

I remember Al Gore making fund raising calls from his office and Clinton renting out the Lincoln bedroom. These were wrong.

I do not doubt that some Republicans did things like the Dems did before them. This email thing, however, is absurd. The Dems want to have access to all these emails so that they can go fishing through them and make connections that might not be there or find embarassing statements.

Think of the embarassing statements Harry Reid made re U.S. military. Those were public. Imagine all the things people just say. They are not wrong or illegal, but just embarassing. Would you want even your friends to read everything you wrote about them out of context or in a false context?

And let us not forget Sandy Berger who stole documents from the archives and destroyed them. We will never know if he was hiding something illegal or just embarassing, but in these cases he destroyed official government documents of definite historical significance. So Dems will please lay off the pretended outrage.

Posted by: Jack at June 19, 2007 10:08 PM
Comment #223520


So let’s see — you have Al Gore make calls from his office, Clinton putting donors in the Lincoln bedroom, Harry Reid talking out of turn… This is related to destroying records how?

You have an analogy with Sandy Berger, albeit on a much smaller scale. But two wrongs don’t make a right.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 19, 2007 10:17 PM
Comment #223540

Jack: What is your definition of an open government?

When you become a lowly contractor working for any particular government agency, there are so many rules for condition of employment, that any, slight violation, will result in your termination.

Yet, it appears that you condone the violation of said rules as long as your registration card begins with a big ‘R’. Personally, i don’t care if it says Republican, Democratic, Martian, whatever. If rules are put in place for a reason and you violate those rules, you should be held accountable.

Rove has never been held accountable for his actions with regards to the Plame outing (at the very least he should have his security clearance revoked; that would be the case for any federal employee) and now he’s allowed to covertly have separate email accounts to conduct government business.

Right is right, wrong is wrong.

Posted by: john trevisani at June 20, 2007 7:24 AM
Comment #223545


Email records has become a gray area. There was a court case yesterday saying that email records could not be accessed w/o a warrant. It was hailed by civil liberty types. I suspect if this was not a partisan issue, most liberals would be firmly on the side of privacy.


We had a court case re the Plame outing. Nobody was indicted for that “crime” and Richard Armitage is the one who did it. You are making more of Plame than there is to have.

The case of the email is not as clear as you like to make it. As I mentioned with Gore or Clinton, the president and his advisors are members of a politcal party. They should not be mix government and party business, but they do ned to be connected to their party because of their political base. We have a fundamental conflict and contradiction here that will always (as it did for Clinton too) cause friction. It is primarily a procedural and political issue. That does not mean it is not a serious problem, but you want to criminalize politics. This is a bad move.

Consider the special prosecutor. The Dems expanded that to attack Republicans. Then it came back and bit Clinton. We have politics to settle issues where we do not agree sufficiently to make a rule, law or custom. We should be very careful not to criminalize political disputes. I did not support it when Republicans did it to Dems and I do not support it now.

My bottom line re these emails is that you can feel free to try to get them, but recognize that this is a political issue. Leave the outrage out of it because someday a Dem will be in that position. In fact, your frontrunner Hillary Clinton already has extensive experience in just this sort of record keeping conflict.

Posted by: Jack at June 20, 2007 8:09 AM
Comment #223548

i must say that i’m shocked at your selective memory. Armitage was the one that spoke with Novak. Rove spoke with Cooper. Libby spoke with Miller. Libby was arrested and convicted for lying to prosecutors during this investigation. The emails in question came up during an INVESTIGATION of the firings of the US Attorneys. Investigators, looking for whether Rove had intervened into Justice Department workings found that emails had been deleted.

Wrong is wrong; no matter how ‘some people’ want to rationalize, justify or spin.

Posted by: john trevisani at June 20, 2007 8:56 AM
Comment #223552

These people are required by law to keep their e-mail records intact, and available to the people. If they had business they did not wish people to see, they had the option of not conducting that business; statements that they did not what releasted, the option of not making such statements.

You should stop and consider for a moment what you defend, before you defend it. The mistake of the Republican party, what’s made it more and more difficult for it to convince outsiders of the rightness of the party’s actions, is that you simply defend everything, mistakenly believing that this leaves no political opening.

In truth, justifying the destruction of e-mails, of outing agents, of covering up for embarrassing or illegal activity has contributed greatly to the downfall of Republican power.

I can understand how you can get caught up in that feedback loop of political defensiveness out of the best of intentions, but you have to, at some point, step outside of the position you’re taking and consider what exactly it’s communicating to everybody else about your view and your character.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 20, 2007 9:24 AM
Comment #223569


I don’t know what decision you are referring to, but I assume it refers to people’s personal e-mail accounts. What we are talking about here are government records, which is a whole different animal.

This isn’t about letting the government see people’s e-mail, but letting the people see the government’s e-mail. If Republicans don’t like that kind of transparency they should try to change the law instead of “accidentally” erasing their e-mail.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 20, 2007 1:19 PM
Comment #223623


The investigation of the firings is a partisan investigation. Of course the emails came up during that investigation.

The Plame affairs is cut, dried and over. Nobody was indicted for outing Plame, even though we know who did it and who did it first. Maybe it is not a crime. Libby was convicted about lying about something that was evidently not a crime. Bill Clinton did the same. That is what I mean by the partisan nature of these things.


I am being pragmatic. In the real world stuff happens. If we were very strict in interpreting rules, Bill and Hillary as well as Al Gore would all be in jail for hiding evidence and operating politically from government facilities. I do not advocate that, because I know that the strict interpretation is impossible. If Dems are elected in 2008, this same story will come up from the other side. I will still be where I am. You guys will be outraged at the partisan attacks.


The emails are on the RNC server. It is a political dispute. The Dems want to read them so that they can find things to embarrass people about. They are investigating something that is not a crime and then making it a crime not to cooperate with the investigation.

How did you feel about Ken Starr?

Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2007 8:06 AM
Comment #223625


I honestly don’t know what you mean by a “partisan” investigation. Please explain.

Ken Starr was single-handedly driven to investigate one man. He finally nailed him on a personal indiscretion. Most Americans, include yourself apparently, though that was needlessly destructive.

In this case, it appears that the Justice Department has been perverted into part of the political apparatus. There is a law that says the White House has to keep records, and the Democrats want to use it for their investigation.

I honestly don’t know what you mean about the Democrats making something a “crime”. They are just trying to get the White House to follow the law. I know there is some controversy about whether the law applies. That should be resolved in court, not by hitting the Delete key.

Can we at least agree that if they intentionally deleted the messages then that would be wrong?

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 21, 2007 8:48 AM
Comment #223647

Oops, that “single-mindedly” not “single-handedly”

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 21, 2007 12:41 PM
Comment #223680

I think it was two or three weeks ago that the
head of the CIA was on Meet The Press ? an stated
that Valery Plame was an active, covert agent, at
the time she was outed. For some strange reason,
the Attorney Generals office chose not to pursue
Treason charges against those people in the White house involved. Instead they pursued Scooter Libby
and charged him with the smallest crime possible,
purgery. Every one knows the facts of this case, so why are so many folks defending all these people??

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 21, 2007 7:12 PM
Comment #223702


The president has the right to change the federal prosecutors. He can do it for good reasons or bad. He can do it for political reasons. There is no way he could have broken the law by firing these guys. The complaint is political. Dems want to demonstrate that Bush or others made the decisions based on political grounds. They are probably right. But it is not a criminal case. It is a political one.

Personally, I would like Bush just to say, “Of course it was a political decision. You guys can just jump in the lake.” He should make that statement and then pardon Libby. Unfortunatley, he does not have the political courage, although I fail to see what he thinks he has to lose. What are the Dems gonna do about it that they are not already doing.


You probably mean the Fitzgerald. He was not the Attorney General. He evidently thought he did not have a case against the people he KNEW leaked. The first leaker was Richard Armitage. It is good that you know all the facts and can make the judgement, but the people who really know are evidently less certain.

Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2007 9:10 PM
Comment #223705

JACK-Who set up the Grand Jury an hired Fitzgerald?

As I noted, several others were involved an I am
not interested bringing up old news that most of
us have gone over many times already.

The main point for a critical thinker would be
to consider the Outing of an active duty Agent, an no
one is pursuing justice for her!!
I consider this incident more serious than Monica,
don’t you? It’s called Treason some very High Gov.

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 21, 2007 9:35 PM
Comment #223721

john trevisani-

I like your informative post, an I hope you keep
their feet to the fire an thanks for correcting
our mistakes an keeping the spinmeisters in


Posted by: -DAVID- at June 22, 2007 12:11 AM
Comment #223743


I support stronger safeguard on classified information. We have had all sorts of dangerous leaks. But you cannot make the law reach where it does not go just because you do not like the outcomes. Fitzgerald clearly knew who was the inital leaker. Novak cooperated with him and told him. He chose not to go after that.

Dems wanted to catch whoever did is, as long as that is Cheney or Rove. You cannot have a law that applies only to specific people.

You may want to check into how many people in the whole history of the U.S. have been charged with treason before you incorrectly use the term, BTW.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2007 8:21 AM
Comment #223745
I support stronger safeguard on classified information. We have had all sorts of dangerous leaks. But you cannot make the law reach where it does not go just because you do not like the outcomes. Fitzgerald clearly knew who was the inital leaker. Novak cooperated with him and told him. He chose not to go after that.

Dems wanted to catch whoever did is, as long as that is Cheney or Rove. You cannot have a law that applies only to specific people.

I know you were replying to David, but there is too much wrong here to ignore.

First of all, what the Democrats wanted is irrelevant. Bush appointed Fitzgerald as a US attorney. The investigation with a request from the CIA, which lead to the Bush Justice Department appointing him special counsel.

If Fitzgerald was after Rove and Cheney, he failed. He didn’t indict Rove, even though he was one of the two leakers. The other leaker, Armitage , was another Bush appointee.

“But you cannot make the law reach where it does not go just because you do not like the outcomes.” Well, Fitzgerald got convictions on multiple felonies, didn’t he? It sounds like you don’t like the outcome, either.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 22, 2007 9:05 AM
Comment #223746
There is no way he could have broken the law by firing these guys.

Not true. If you fire a prosecutor to stop an ongoing investigation, that’s obstruction of justice.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 22, 2007 9:08 AM
Comment #223778

Article 3 of the Constitution only allows the charges of Treason for leading a war against the
United states or by giving aide or comfort to
the enemy. I believe High Crimes an misdemeanors
may be applicable to those who outed Valery Plame


Posted by: -DAVID- at June 22, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #223782

Woody Mena-

-I checked for cases on treason an there were

only 35 to 40 cases ever filed an fewer than six

were ever convictions. I surely believe there must

be some examples set of those involved in this

kind of Dirty Politics.

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 22, 2007 2:20 PM
Comment #223784

Jack: i hope one day, your bar will raise above your ankles. For when you leave the bar so low that you’ll trip on it every time you turn around, you’ll fall down quite a bit.

The bar shouldn’t be, IMHO, if no one was indicted for the plame affair. It should be that our representative government and those holding extremely important positions within that representative government are held accountable for their actions.

It’s not about who wins. It’s about how you win.

This administration, with regards to the Plame affair, got away with it. They got away with lying to investigators and steering the investigation into a dead-end. They got away with making sure that their side won regardless of laws, guidelines and ethics. They got away with it because they were underhanded and lying is part of their sociopathic lineage.

They got away with it, isn’t a bar that i’m comfortable with. i’m sure you and O.J. disagree though.

Posted by: john trevisani at June 22, 2007 2:38 PM
Comment #223827


Fewer than six in more than 200 years. We had a civil war, various insurections, other wars in general and some really nasty politics. Do you really think that Armitage committed treason? If you do not include him, you cannot get at any of the others. And if you get more than six, you will manage to tie the all time record.

What about the treason at the NYT revealing state secrets? Maybe we could find another six there.


You guys will be in power. The bar will be in the same place. I will cut you about the same amount of slack. These are POLITICAL considerations, not legal ones. Politics is often nasty. Why do we have politics? To decide those things where we disagree enough not to have a law or custom.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2007 10:21 PM
Comment #223840

Jack- What did the Government do with Aldridge Ames
for outing covert Agents an do you see any difference between the two cases?

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 23, 2007 12:13 AM
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