Tag Archives: hacking

Hacking Private Sarah

I am sure that most have heard of the password cracking and posting of email from one of the two Sarah Palin private email accounts. You can read the details:

http://wikileaks.org/wiki/VP_contender_Sarah_Palin_hacked

and see he confirmation that yup she was conducting state business through this means and including hubby Todd (begging the question was the address firstdude@yahoo.com already taken?)

I take electronic privacy very seriously because I think the failure to safeguard personal data is a huge threat to freedom, and I believe that the absolute separation between personal and public activities of politicians and political appointees is a good idea that is pursued a little overzealously. I understand the post watergate origins of the attempt to wall things off, but am more than prepared to accept the occasional political phone call on government time.  I don’t think the fact of a tiny amount of mixing ought to be criminal. Just  don’t be running a campaign on the public dime, using government resource and government staff.

I also support some element of executive privilege. It is impossible to run anything if you have to worry that every conversation is on the record and could come out – not in 40 years as an archive release – but in 40 days via subpeona. And every time I see some crook like Scooter Libby or Ollie North hauled off it is twinged with a sick feeling because I believe we had no legitimate right to demand  their personal diaries or journals, absent specific probable cause that they contained evidence of serious crimes.

So why is this cracking of Sarah Palin’s email okay?

1. Because the McCain/Palin campaign is running on a stay the course platform regarding the Bush “War on Terror” and its associated rationalized abuses.

Torture

The unrelated and unjustified war in Iraq (as opposed to the necessary war in Afghanistan)

The massive, routine, and blanket invasion of privacy through domestic spying programs that even the NSA thought were illegal. Programs that only Dick Cheney, John Yoo and David Addington thought were legal, and classified the reasons they believed they were legal. (per Angler by Barton Gellman)

We are listening to your phone calls. Trust us, it’s legal. Who says it’s legal? We do, but you can’t see our reasoning, because its classified. Not even the people doing the spying can see the legal opinion.

2. Because it absolutely 100% puts the lie to the Palin claim of executive privilege used to stonewall any Troopergate investigation. She obviously used these personal forms routinely and consistently to avoid hiding aspects of her role as governor outside the scope of the formal record as a deliberate tactic. She included civilians like Todd in her State activities and deliberations which demolishes any of the privilege argument.

Do I like spying? Nope. Am I completely opposed to executive privilege? Not at all.

However…

Petard

Hoist

Repeat

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Filed under Election 2008, Politics