Third Party & Independents Archives

Denials and Credibility Gaps

Plausible deniability comes from the intelligence community and apparently the term was first put down in embryonic form during the early years of the Cold War. It allows people higher up the chain of command to deny knowledge of, and avoid responsibility for, actions performed by their subordinates. It was designed to allow US government officials to avoid criticism associated with covert actions carried out by intelligence agents in the field. It’s understandable, to an extent, in the life and death world of the late 40’s where nuclear war had suddenly become a real possibility thanks to Melita Norwood and other Soviet spies that gave the USSR enough secrets to even out the balance of military power.

Protecting a former employee at the IRS, is just a little less justifiable. But any idea will always find fertile fields that were not easily imagined when it was conceived. Of course, plausible deniability is now woven deep into the fabric of political and bureaucratic life. It is almost a cliche. That is, inside the beltway. Outside, voters still can recognize a lie when they see one, whether it is plausibly deniable or not. It is called a credibility gap: A scratched hard drive - how does a hard drive get "scratched"? - that may or may not have been damaged beyond repair, Commissioner Koskinen's elaborately evasive answers, Lois Lerner's refusal to testify, what missing emails may show up. The credibility gap in this case is large, and getting larger.

It is worth remembering that the underlying issue is about freedom from discrimination and the right of conservative groups not to be targeted, especially by an agency as powerful and pervasive as the IRS. Delaying and evading on the part of an IRS commissioner only weakens the agency and makes it even less trustworthy in the eyes of voters. A clean and clear-eyed response to the congressional investigation would have been the smarter move. At some point, the denials will have to end, and an honest investigation of what happened can proceed. Is Commissioner Koskinen willing to allow that to happen?

Posted by AllardK at July 28, 2014 3:37 PM
Comment #381570

Well, here it is, July 2014. You conservatives are still talking about a scandal, yet there are no indictments, no trials, no convictions. Issa promised to release the transcripts from his hearings, yet that never happened. At least 24,000 e-mails from Lois Lerner have been recovered. The result? Nothing.

Surely you are beginning to suspect something is wrong here. Issa has issued over 300 subpoenas, more than the three previous Oversight Committee Chairmen combined. It has resulted in precisely nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nil. Zip. Issa has claimed nothing happened because there was a cover-up. He found no evidence of any cover-ups. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nil. Zip. Yet you and other conservatives are still just so sure there must be a scandal out there… somewhere… I just hope you conservatives didn’t send these people your hard-earned money, cause if you are, baby, you got fleeced.

Criminy, how can you be so gullible!

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Comment #381574

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Posted by: gfetys at July 29, 2014 9:10 PM
Comment #381591

AK, how does a hard drive get scratched? Tell you what get to a DOS prompt on your PC and enter format c: and you will find out.

You seem to be adhering to the recent and somewhat puzzling anomaly being used by Republican/Teaparty/conservatives called willful ignorance. That is not the same a plausible deniability, as another person commenting here has tried to maintain and convince me of. Willful ignorance is much more insipid and seditious than plausible deniability. One seeks to disavow knowledge the other seeks to willfully ignore it, you know which is which. There is a difference but it seems to be indistinguishable to the right wing. This is done for their benefit not their party’s, not their country’s and certainly not for our ordinary fellow citizens.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 30, 2014 11:57 AM
Comment #381603

Come on AllardK, this is only the President of the United States. I mean, it’s not like you’re talking about somebody super important like a Governor.
Sheesh man, get your priorities straight.

Sorry friend, but these people are not honest or transparent enough for anything to come of this. The best the country can hope for is that measures are taken to prevent future abuse.

Posted by: kctim at July 30, 2014 3:20 PM
Comment #381614

Speak4all, why would Lois Learner format her hard drive? Was there something on there she didn’t want people to see?

Oh, never mind. I know you don’t have to answer, or won’t, or can’t. Can’t is more like it, having your lips firmly planted on any Democratic ass that’s currently in the spotlight.

You know, willful ignorance is also the act of making stuff up to fit your own personal beliefs. For instance, scratching a hard drive and formatting a hard drive are two different things. But willful ignorance will makes them one and the same to the willfully ignorant person.

The scratched hard drive story probably came from a scratched cd simile. Willful ignorance would also make them one and the same.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 30, 2014 5:46 PM
Comment #381627

WW, still haven’t learned the meaning of willful ignorance eh? Read the link, it won’t bite. I have no idea how the hard drive was scratched. Why don’t you try formatting your hard drive and we can find out how that went by the absence of your incessant derogatory comments. You have your lips planted somewhere but I am much more of a gentleman than you are to describe the location, you wouldn’t understand that. Why would you think that Ms. Lerner did anything, people in her position probably wouldn’t know what a DOS prompt is. Now get busy formatting, please, please.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 31, 2014 9:25 AM
Comment #381628

You make no sense, Speak4all. You are babbling. Read the link.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2014 10:01 AM
Comment #381630

I guess I need to clarify something. “Scratched” is a euphemism used by IT personnel to refer to wiping a hard drive of everything but the OS (as in starting from scratch). It does not mean taking the hard drive out of the PC and then using your keys on your key chain to physical scratch something on that drive. I would not recommend anyone use the format c: syntax except in the case of WW which would be a blessing for all of us.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 31, 2014 11:32 AM
Comment #381632


Not doubting you, saying your wrong or anything, I am just curious. What part of the country are you in? In these parts we say a hard drive has been reformatted or wiped when we do that.

I’m not really into this whole IRS thing, but didn’t they say the hard drive was scratched so they trashed it?

Posted by: kctim at July 31, 2014 12:53 PM
Comment #381634

kct, I’ll keep the part of country I am in to myself but I don’t mind answering your question. Scratched is a term used by almost all IT departments certainly the larger ones to refer to wiping a hard drive. This is not unusual and is done for a variety of reasons but usually when some one gets a new PC and it is installed and running, the old PC can then be reformatted for use by the next person. This may seem like something that shouldn’t happen but some times due to poor planning, no planning or just dumb bad luck these things can occur. Not wanting to start an Informational Technology seminar on data storage and retrieval but best practices and guidelines generally should address these problems. I would imagine that is being discussed at the IRS. I have had IBM technicians at $250 per hour who have inadvertently deleted all data and the OS on drives of large systems that I have then had to rebuild and restore. Not an excuse just an explanation.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 31, 2014 2:27 PM
Comment #381636

Wasn’t trying to be nosy, Speaks. I am in the Kansas City area and I am in the IT field. I travel all over the country, and have never heard scratched used in place of reformatted or sometimes, wiped. Just thought it would be good info to know and possibly expect the next time I am working in an area that uses that term.
Not a big deal.

Posted by: kctim at July 31, 2014 2:44 PM
Comment #381637

kctim, what does the kc stand for, Kind Confectioner? ;) You’re good at sugar coating your responses to Speak4all!

I’ve heard of a cd getting scratched and usless, but I’ve never heard of a hard drive being scratched in the way Speak4all pontificated.

Speak4all, why would they throw away a hard drive in a condition you describe? Being in an IT environment you also know what you describe is done with purpose, just as you pontificated, making it ready for the next person.

Again, your pontification is flawed. The hard drive was destroyed and thrown away because it was “scratched”. Just like a cd.

I think what you should have said to maintain your credibility was, the hard drive was dropped and subsequently scratched by the head, rendering it damaged beyond repair. See how that maintains a credible explaination?

Good lies are based in truth. That is more like the truth, and very well may be the truth, but since your pontificating was flawed it casts doubt on the original story.

In other words, you’ve shot yourself in the foot with this one.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2014 3:50 PM
Comment #381640

WW, gosh but you seem incessantly tedious. I provided an explanation for using the terminology “scratched”. As my final sentence in my previous comment stated, not an excuse just an explanation. Look you either have a drinking problem, have a bipolar disorder or some other psychological problem that I have no desire to deal with. Please seek help and find some one else to stalk on this blog.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 31, 2014 4:19 PM
Comment #381641

Guess Speak is having a “down” or “scratchy” day.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 31, 2014 4:35 PM
Comment #381646

Weary, Kansas City baby :)

As far as the sugar coating, I just don’t have as much fun at WatchBlog anymore. The far-left is starting to believe their own rhetoric more and more each day.
Once, you had to actually display racism, sexism or hatred to be labeled as such. Now, all you have to do is simply disagree with liberal policy.
Once, I could debate with Stephen for days and, while I’m sure he couldn’t understand my passion for rights and freedoms, I felt he respected it and would offer intelligent thoughts in return. Now, I am part of some blind, unintelligent brainwashed group who is enabling some group of rich white people with some secret plan to control him.
Phx8 used to offer some very logical arguments, often times making pause and think, sometimes even agree. Now, it’s ALL about shouting racism and hatred.
J2 used to be one the most enjoyable to butt heads with. A man of unwavering conviction who understood others who were the same. Now, we are all being duped by some evil right wing conspiracy.
Thankfully, we still have Rich.

Believe it or not, I actually miss the in-the-face passion of the lovely Adrienne.

Sorry about ranting on you like that Weary. I got carried away. Basically, I am just trying to be less confrontational in hopes of having some good discussions again. YES, I know I need to try harder, lol.

Posted by: kctim at July 31, 2014 5:00 PM
Comment #381660

Did you see Speak4all’s response? It’ always someone else’s fault. The Obama presidency is taking it’s toll on the Democratic Party. They cannot justify his lies and illegal behavior and resort to name-calling and blaming others for their lack of moral high ground.

Speak4all openly hesitates when asked to back up his rhetoric. He’s to uppity to answer a simple question yet claims to know everything about those who ask. For example, his last comment. He insists I have something physically wrong with me, yet never considers the fact I find his devotion to the One and his party baseless. In his mind when I don’t agree with what he agrees with there must be something wrong with me. To correct his statements equates to stalking in his mind. He and his party are incapable of taking criticism.

I don’t care what he says, scratched is scratched, not what he wants us to believe it is.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2014 6:50 PM
Comment #381668

I can remember as far back as the 1980’s referring to a hard drive that has had all of the data removed as being “scratched”. From the moment I heard that the IRS had “scratched” the hard drives I did not think of anything other than the data had been removed in preparation for either re-use or for recycling. You can’t put a physical scratch on the hard drive unless you took a hammer to the hard drive and then yes it would be scratched along with other damages. Maybe that is what they did, I do not know. I will stick with my interpretation that the data was removed (the hard drive was “scratched”) until I find out something different definitively.

Posted by: Speak4all at August 1, 2014 3:08 PM
Comment #381670

After googleing “Scratched hard drive” I have to agree with speaks, a first, somewhat. “Scratched” referred to a Hard Drive going bad like the hard drive on my old computer, error messages, lost programs, not being able to access programs.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at August 1, 2014 3:35 PM
Comment #381673


I understood what speaks was saying, well trying to say. I just wanted to know for better communication with clients.

As I said, I’m not really into this whole IRS thing, but what gets me is why people are defending IRS actions with the definition of ‘scratched’ you provided. If that’s all it was, the information is usually recoverable and all measures are taken to recover it. Whereas, if it’s an actual hardware problem, the drive is usually just destroyed after a couple feeble attempts to get something out of it.

It just seems backwards to me. You would think the supporters would be claiming it was actually physically scratched and needed to be destroyed.

Posted by: kctim at August 1, 2014 4:24 PM
Comment #381674

kct, the most recent reports are that the IRS was informed that data was recoverable from the drives but that they were destroyed prior to being able to do that. Whether the IRS knew that the data was recoverable or not before the drives were destroyed is something we may find out or we may never know. I am not defending any actions by the IRS, I merely stated my opinion of what the term scratched meant to me in reference to a hard drive. I am not a supporter for or against the IRS actions in this regard.

Posted by: Speak4all at August 1, 2014 4:35 PM
Comment #381678

Lois Lerner should have known something was going on with her computer, according to what I googled about the problem. She should have notified the tech people when she saw this happening and according to the tech people, geek squad, when this happened to my H.D. they MIGHT have been able to retrieve my files.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at August 1, 2014 7:14 PM
Comment #381684

Or, Speak4all needed to concoct another story, hoping to make us think Lois Learner and the IRS are as clean as the wind driven snow.

It could very well be the case whereas Lois Learner knew all the emails incriminating herself and her contacts were on the hard drive and destroyed the hard drive to keep it from the public. Perhaps the penalty for doing this is less than for the crimes on the hard drive.

The point is, we will never know as long as the Democratics keep whining about racism and political witchhunts. They need to start answering some of the questions that have been asked in this discussion.

We shouldn’t settle for:

I didn’t do it. I plead the fifth.

We certainly shouldn’t settle for:
We had the hard drive made ready for a new user and then threw it away.

The fact that we all have questions about what happened demonstrates this investigation is far from over. It demands more scrutiny by Darrell Issa and his committee. The Democratics need to stop being so defensive and stop sidetracking this investigation. The media need to start doing it’s job and start asking these questions, and insist the answers are better than what Speak4all offers.

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 1, 2014 10:57 PM
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