Thursday, January 22, 2004
According to this morning’s Boston Globe, unidentified Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee infiltrated the computer files of the Committee’s Democratic Senators from the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003:
Members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password.
With assistance from the US Secret Service and forensic computer experts from General Dynamics, the office of the Senate Sargeant-at-Arms has interviewed more than 120 people and seized servers from the Department of Justice and the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist along with several hard drives.
Manuel Miranda, an advisor to Leader Frist and former Judiciary Committee staff member, is quoted, in the article, as saying:
Stealing assumes a property right and there is no property right to a government document. . . . These documents are not covered under the Senate disclosure rule because they are not official business and, to the extent they were disclosed, they were disclosed inadvertently by negligent [Democratic] staff.
So, stealing isn't stealing if you say it isn't stealing...a little concept I'll call Faith-based Honesty.
The article deadpans:
The computer glitch dates to 2001, when Democrats took control of the Senate after the defection from the GOP of Senator Jim Jeffords, Independent of Vermont. A technician hired by the new judiciary chairman, Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, apparently made a mistake that allowed anyone to access newly created accounts on a Judiciary Committee server shared by both parties.
Photos: Chicago Sun-Times, US Senate, Reuters