Karl Rove Abused Geeks To Cover Tracks

Published by • December 2nd, 2007 RSS News Feed

Karl Rove’s under fire for calling on nerds to cover his tracks

The head of the federal agency investigating Karl Rove’s White House political operation is facing allegations that he improperly deleted computer files during another probe, using a private computer-help company, Geeks on Call.

This is a pretty big issue that hasn’t received as much press as it should. Over the last few years, there’s been a laundry list of “scandals” that the Bush Administration has engaged in. I guess it depends on who you ask whether the law is being violated, but when there are so many issues going on that incriminate the government as a whole, where do you begin?

Well, Karl Rove knew where to get started when he ran into potential legal problems, it was simple really! The way to correct for violations of federal law is to violate the law again and hide the potentially incriminating data. I’m not going to get into Karl Rove’s Valerie Wilson Plame scandal, though it did involve questionable use of communications.

There are two problems we have to consider from a law and technology standpoint:

  1. Co-mingling Private and Public affairs. We know it’s illegal for government officials to use public funds and equipment to conduct private or political business. It’s also illegal to conduct government business using private or politically sponsored equipment. Yet, under the Bush Administration’s two terms, White House appointees have frequently used e-mail accounts provided by the RNC. The end result is a government that is left unaccountable for certain business and activity that it conducts on behalf of the American people. Now what’s interesting about Karl Rove’s dilemma is that he allegedly used government property to conduct business that should be kept separate. By having sensitive data deleted, he clearly violated the Presidential Records Act, which requires that the White House preserve ALL records.
  2. After government property was allegedly used to commit alleged illegal activity, private RNC servers and e-mail accounts were used to conduct internal business of the United States. What this does is gives potential abusers a way to cover up their tracks if they are engaging in partisan warfare on the dime of American citizens. A lot of noise was made about Hillary Clinton’s refusal to release more data from the National Archives because of the private nature of some of the data shared between her and the President. Instead of having to deal with the potential discovery of evidence of wrongdoing, the White House under the direction of Karl Rove, decided to remove any potential for “smoking guns” that might reside on the servers.

If you were paying attention over the summer, Karl Rove had five million e-mails deleted from the national archives, it was against protocol but the excuse at first was “oops, we thought the e-mails were backed up.” Now, when bad business is being done on taxpayer equipment, the excuse is “Oh, we had a virus so we had to have X amount of computers and hard drives cleaned for good measure.” I don’t know what bothers me more, the fact that we don’t have national safeguards in place to prevent this from happening, or the fact that our public officials are possibly engaging in illegal activity and removing evidence that would incriminate them. Yes, that’s also a violation of the law, there is no excuse for a public servant to engage in this kind of behavior.

For those interested in questionable government actions with respect to law and technology, Mike Huckabee is also in the news for similar actions. I’m sure a number of politicians will be implicated in this kind of activity in the future, they’re starting to catch on to the idea that technology is going to change -entirely- the way we do business and conduct government activity. Here’s the Huckabee story: “Huckabee asks Judge to dismiss lawsuit.”

Itola Author

is an Attorney and Entrepreneur from the Silicon Valley.
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