back to article Investigators find secret White House email accounts

The Committee of Oversight and Government Reform has released its initial findings after investigating the use of parallel email accounts by officials in Bush's White House. According to the Presidential Records Act, White House officials are obliged to keep and preserve all communications which they send on official government …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Democrats really can't try to win w/o tricks,uh?

    The Democrats and their '68 neo-communist minded behaviour and ideas can't allow others to have privacy, all the privacy stuff belongs to the Democrats, "Heil Democrats!" we should start shouting since their political party with either the Clinton stuff or the Obama thing want to get power at any cost and breaking any rules.

    This "all you emails belong to us" campaign is disgusting to say the least.

    Shame on you Democratic party and Left Wing fanatics !

  2. JP

    WTF?!?

    How... How...? HOW has this been turned around to make the DEMS look bad?!?

    Which sick and fantastical world is the first poster living in that this is a story to make the Dems look like the evil ones? Emails relating to AT LEAST 5 ONGOING Republican investigations have been destroyed, which surely comes under comtempt of court if not obstruction of justice. The same names (the very top names) are getting repeated again and again and again (Libby, Rove, Rove, Cheney, Rove, Gonzales, Rove, Gonzales, Cheney, Rove, Rove...).

    Stop taking the recreational kool-aid, and get back on your medication.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    The first poster obviously did not read the arcticle very thoroughly

    "According to the Presidential Records Act, White House officials are obliged to keep and preserve all communications which they send on official government business"

    Its called the law!

    Its there to protect you and others from the people who wield power and abuse it.

  4. Graham Campbell Silver badge

    Wanted ...... a SMARTer President

    Strewth,

    Some of talk as if we're planning on making a Mars landing and use all the Communications Schannels and the President doesn't even use e-mail.

    George, you wanna get out more, son. They're playing you for a dumb-hick cowboy and boy, are you its Lone Star.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Alan White

    Privacy?

    '68 neo-communist behaviour? Wire-tapping republicans defenders of privacy? Are you drunk or something?

  7. Klaus

    Re: The democrats really can't.....

    I love your reasoning.

    The White House and their staff should be allowed to conduct all of their illegal government business without any record!

    That way the illegal business would never have existed, now would it......

    Hear no Evil, See no Evil......

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who tricks the trickster?

    Pretty narrow view there, mister Neo-Con. They broke the rules. They got caught. Now their wristies get slapped. Politics is a dirty game and the GOP are some of the dirtiest players out there. Don't look if you can't stand watching your team get hurt back sometimes.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This isn't about politics...

    it's just a question of national security. By using a 3rd party system for mail traffic that could be potentially classified as a secret, they are commiting treason. This case should be assigned to the nsa and not to some commitee. Btw, if the nsa would be as brave as its european counterparts, they would have a copy of all emails and text messages sent by everyone within the usa.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happens in the UK as well...

    I know of some government e-mail accounts that are with yahoo, gmail, etc so staff can communicate without being subject to FoI.

  12. evil tom

    Dude, are you insane???

    troll-breath wrote above:

    "The Democrats and their '68 neo-communist minded behaviour and ideas can't allow others to have privacy, all the privacy stuff belongs to the Democrats, "Heil Democrats!" we should start shouting since their political party with either the Clinton stuff or the Obama thing want to get power at any cost and breaking any rules."

    Breaking rules...power at all costs...hm, sounds familiar. Don't know where've I've seen that before, maybe spying on our own citizens? Launching wars of conquest in violation of international law? Imprisoning suspects without the right to trial? Kidnapping foreign nationals/US citizens and holding them incommunicado in secret prisons?

    And if these emails are exposed, probably rigging elections too?

    Bush and the rest should be charged with war crimes, found guilty and hanged.

    "This "all you emails belong to us" campaign is disgusting to say the least.

    Shame on you Democratic party and Left Wing fanatics !"

    And Hitler called Stalin a dictator...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: The Democrats really can't try to win w/o tricks,uh?

    Neither can the Republicans, evidently.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'dirty tricks' ?

    The person above needs to switch off Fox News once in a while.

    Governments work for the people, not the other way round. They must be held accountable for everything they do. When you're responsible for making decisions that affect millions - if not billions - of people, your privacy is not of any concern. If you want to send private emails go home and do it. When I screw up at work they can look at my emails and use them as evidence against me, and I'm not even doing something that's going to have an affect on people's lives, why should these people get away with it? Official communications should be monitored and the government should have to answer for everything it does.

    Many of America's problems stem from the fact that its citizens are unwilling or unable to question and criticise those in charge, defending every single thing one side or the other does because they're labelled 'conservative' or 'liberal'. Try practising some objectivity for a change.

    The government is not your friend, it doesn't give two hoots about you. They should be scared of us, not the other way round.

  15. Will Leamon

    Title

    Come now didn't the Republicans try and have Clinton impeached for a BJ? Where's his privacy? Of course that was a criminal act but only because the femme in question was not hot. I mean come on he's the president! When he scores we all do so it should be something more than what I can bring home on a Friday night,

  16. Martin

    Tricks?

    What we are talking about here is not one or other political party, it's all about accountability of elected officials.

    When it comes down to it people with that much power and responsibility need to be accountable to their electorate. Hiding their actions behind closed doors, or in this case deleted emails and secondary accounts, has airs of the sort of totalitarian regimes that Bush calls the "axis of evil" -- operating in the dark and shadows.

    In any free society politicians are elected by the people, employed by the people and must be accountable to the people, if they aren't then we have no way of being sure that they aren't working against the interests of the electorate or are simply corrupt.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Privacy?

    Why should public officials performing government business expect any amount of privacy?

  18. Jeff Paffett

    Re: The Democrats really can't try to win w/o tricks,uh?

    Must be a candidate for FOTW

    Oh look, it's anonymous.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Related to the Voter Caging emails

    Recall the voter caging of 2004, and the emails that were sent to *@georgewbush.org by mistake. Most are dull, but there's one or two, like the Voter Caging lists. (Send letters to black soldiers serving overseas, when the letter returns, use it to challenged the right to vote).

    http://2004.georgewbush.org/deadletteroffice/

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    -----Original Message-----

    From: Tim Griffin - Research/Communications [mailto:tgriffin@rnchq.org]

    Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 5:55 PM

    To: Kelly Porter [mailto:kporter@rpof.org]; Lindy Landreaux - Political [mailto:LLandreaux@rnchq.org]; Miriam Moore - Research/Communications [mailto:MMoore@rnchq.org]; Victoria Newton - Research/Communications [mailto:VNewton@rnchq.org]; Shawn Reinschmiedt - Research/Communications [mailto:SReinschmiedt@rnchq.org]; rkammerdiner@rnchq.org; Stephen Shiver [mailto:sshiver@rpof.org]; bdoster@georgewbush.org

    Subject: RE: caging

    thank you, perfect

    > -----Original Message-----

    > From: Kelly Porter [mailto:kporter@rpof.org]

    > Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 5:47 PM

    > To: Lindy Landreaux - Political; Miriam Moore - Research/Communications; Victoria Newton - Research/Communications; Tim Griffin - Research/Communications; Shawn Reinschmiedt - Research/Communications; rkammerdiner@rnchq.org; Stephen Shiver; bdoster@georgewbush.org

    > Subject: caging

    > The total to date is 1771.

    >

    > Thanks.

    >

    > Kelly

    >

    > ATTACHMENT: Caging.xls

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Some matches between the two email lists, e.g. Matt Schlapp seems to have an mvschlapp@hotmail.com address too. Trey Best is on both.

    Interestingly bdoster@georgewbush.org seems to be Brett Doster

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Doster

    The Florida CFO at the time, seems to have had a georgebush.com email address.

  20. Hugh_Pym

    Anonymous poster...

    ... what are you on about?

    Just calm down for a minute, take a few deep breaths call for your physician.

    This is one of the funniest comments I've seen in a long time. Clearly typed while shouting and shaking fists at the screen. surely flame of the week material.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: The Democrats really can't try to win w/o tricks,uh?

    No, really - you're retarded right?! You could not seriously have posted that comment and meant it! You must be ... I know, you're secretly a Democrat, and you're acting SOOOO stupid so that people will THINK you're a Republican and thus associate Republicans with "stoo-pid" hence bringing about the eventual downfall of the current regime! That's what it is, isn't it? Either that, or you completely failed to read the second paragraph, which states that 88 Bush officials IGNORED THE LAW (emphasis mine, for your benefit). Yeah, it's disgusting what the Democrats are doing, enforcing law-abiding behaviour on criminals. Heil yourself, you jackass.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apparently these Republicans do more campaigning than official business

    You would think that for paid government positions, these people should spend their work days doing the people's business, not being constantly at work on campaigning for the Republican party. Typically one's default email account is the one used most, so the fact that so many people used their RNC acounts as default implies either that a whole lot of RNC work was being done on the public dole, or these people had reasons to to to conceal their work products from the people who employ them, the public.

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  25. regadpellagru

    copies of mails ?

    "Karl Rove's PA, Susan Ralston, sent an email to Abramoff's associate Todd Boulanger, which said: "I now have an RNC BlackBerry which you can use to email me at any time. No security issues like my WH email.""

    Yeah, no security at all, thus no issues I suppose ...

    "The next step in the investigation is to discover whether other copies of these missing mails exist. The committee has written to 25 government agencies to see if they have copies, and initial responses are encouraging."

    I really hope the NSA _is_ able to find some bits of it ! With all of the keywords contained in the mails ("Cheyney", "real president", "business", "Alliburton", "my a** full of money" ), and all of the public channels they travelled trough (most of them being warrantlessly wiretapped), it would be embarassing otherwise ...

  26. Dillon Pyron

    Just block them

    I can't get to any of the webmail services from my current client. I can't even get to my own. It's just a matter of blocking them.

    But you don't think politicians of all stripes don't do the same thing? It's endemic in our government. It's a great way to leak information, to hide communication, to set up "plausible deniability". I'm sure some staffer on the committee has an anonymous email account.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somehow this reminds me of...

    Path: mcvax!moskvax!kremvax!chernenko

    From: chernenko@kremvax.UUCP

    Newsgroups: net.general,eunet.general,net.politics,eunet.politics

    Subject: USSR on Usenet

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    for neo-con

    Before you accuse the democrats of neo-nazi behavior, why don't you look up your hero, George Bush's past. Here's a hint Conrad Bush, his grandfather financed Hitler to gain power in Germany

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Who Votes the First Post was a "Seed"?

    I'm pretty much a riddle junkie so I have to bite on your question. Overall the post has to do with the upcoming Presidential election and little to do with the article. My guess is it's an overheated, armchair, political strategist already too far gone this early in the campaign. ...although it could be a "seed" worded to troll the article capitalizing on the Presidential Election. (which reminds me I have to replace the tinfoil lining in my hats.)

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @for neo-con

    Prescott Bush, not Conrad. And a bit-part player at most -

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1312540,00.html

    Drew Cullen

    El Reg

  31. Naiirita

    re:title

    ""Come now didn't the Republicans try and have Clinton impeached for a BJ? Where's his privacy? Of course that was a criminal act but only because the femme in question was not hot. I mean come on he's the president! When he scores we all do so it should be something more than what I can bring home on a Friday night,""

    he was impeached for lying under oath. A white house intern claimed she was fired after she refused an advance from pres. clinton. he said under oath that he never had made any advances at anyone. then monica was uncovered. then we all go obssessed with what the definition of "is" is, and foregot this started out as a sexual harrassment complaint.

  32. Morely Dotes

    @ Anonymous coward

    "Shame on you Democratic party and Left Wing fanatics"

    Excuse me? Was it the Democratic Party who sent burglars to break into the Watergate Hotel? Was it the Democrats who mismanaged the US economy so badly that they had to start not one but TWO foreign wars to distract the voters from the issues at home? Was it the Democrats who managed to "lose" eight ballot boxes in the swing State, Florida, during the crucial vote-counting, but later "found" them when their candidate was running neck-and-neck with the opposition? Was it the Democrats who had a Florida Secretary of State, legally required to determine if the election was valid, who was also the campaign manager for one of the candidates? Was it the Democrats who ignored the clear letter of the law and issued orders for warrantless wiretaps to be carried out against US citizens?

    As it happens, I'm not a Democrat, either. But I can see who the obvious criminals are - and they aren't Democrats.

  33. Dale Morgan

    The best bit about that article

    was the link to the video of George 'Mugya Bush' forgetting the name of Google Earth aka The Google Earth, If Google ever become supreme overlords of Earth they could change the planets name to that.

  34. Steve

    RE : Who Votes the First Post was a "Seed"?

    "No one, even the most beer-swilling, NASCAR-watchin', Country Music-listenin', trailer-park-livin', gun-totin', GOP-votin' redneck could be THAT dumb."

    Sadly, this is not true. Remember that upwards of 50% of Americans believe the earth was created in 7 days, 10k years ago, by a (suspiciously white) bloke with a beard who apparantly lives in the sky (although he's invisible, obviously)

    Millions of them have drunk the Fox News Kool-aid, and now use the term 'liberal' as though it were synonomous with 'traitor' or perhaps 'paedophile'.

    Sadly for the diminishing remainder of US citezens able to utilise their rational thought processes and string a sentence together without frothing at the mouth, these folks have ensured that in the rest of the world, the word 'American' is now more than ever synonomous with the local word for 'Retard'

    No apologies to El Reg's American fan base, you all know it's true. Bitterly, unutterably sad, but true.

  35. Naiirita

    @Morely Dotes

    all that may be true, and the dems are pretty popular. guess thats why all those dead ppl vote for them 2 or 3 times in every election.

  36. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    To the partisans

    Democrat and Republican are all labels. They're all bastards to the core, the difference is in how they go about it.

    Lets not forget that it's the democrats who faught tooth and nail to prevent a recent bill forcing ear-marks on bills to be made visible at a much ealier stage in the legislative process. These people claimed they were all for transparency in government, yet when they were held to this principle (hypocritically, one should add, by the republican rump who also liked earmarks when they were in the majority) they started to uhm and ah and make excuses.

    They're all bastards.

    Our lot are bastards too. Blair doesn't use e-mail. Half his cabinet probably don't know what a computer is. Bastards and idiots get in the politics because they can't function in the real world.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    "The committee also dismissed the claim that officials acted out of ignorance. White House Counsel issued "clear written policies" in February 2001 that White House staff should only use the official White House email system for official communications."

    I would have thought that meant "should only use" it for Official stuff like don't clutter it up with crap about everything if it's not that important use hotmail or something.

    Otherwise "should use only" the Whitehouse system no matter what, if it's official then use the Whitehouse system because of the law.

    "people to keep and bear Arms" just says keep and bear them not doing both "people keep to and bear Arms" means like keep arms and keep baring them

  38. Andy Bright

    Trolling for News

    Personally I think the first commenter was simply a Troll.. deliberately posting comments he/she knew would set people off..

    Only Fox News "reporters" are retarded enough to say those sorts of things.. usually on demand after receiving a quick call from the White House..

    As for the misdirection that Republicans get up to.. every politician does this, politicians that actually answer a question directly don't last very long.

    It's just the Republican Party has a particularly cohesive strategy when it comes to the illegal activities of their members.

    1/Get Fox News to start the misdirection by issuing comments about how this investigation is just about Democrats "Politicizing the issue".. and perhaps a quick "Dems used questionable sources/tactics to dig up this story".

    2/Get as many people on as many news networks repeating the mantra - "Politicizing the Issue".. so that our support base isn't disillusioned by our illegal behaviour, falling for the "Amazing.. a politician is being political" line.. (I always find it amusing that President always whines about people using politics to derail his political actions; perhaps he should of considered a different line of work if he doesn't like politics or political behaviour).

    3/Get as many representatives as possible to make statements in Congress about the "Dems using questionable sources/tactics to dig up this story" and maybe a quick "Politicizing the Issue" statement wouldn't go amiss.

    By the time they've finished, most of the tabloid news channels (CNN, MSNBC, Fox, etc) have forgotten what the real story is and happily finish the job for them. So instead of treating these tactics with the contempt they deserve, they actually accept these statements as serious answers to questions about the illegal behaviour of Republicans.

  39. Erik Aamot

    Dem vs Repuplican ?!?

    same old game .. get a clue .. they are ALL bought and sold or are 'familia'

  40. Andrew Sweeney

    *sighs*

    I think the first post missed a very big part of their American Government class. Anyone ever read the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution.

    "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    quoted directly from the D. of I. The government answers to and should be afraid of it's people. The people should not be afraid of their own government. I'm sure I'll be attacked left and right for this, but personally, I think the US is in need of a restoration of the original purposes of the government. If this means tearing it down forcefully and starting from scratch with the D. of I. and the Constitution. then so be it.

    -Sincerely, a Disgusted middle American that has given up party politics and vote for the guy he feels less likely to screw up the country anymore.

  41. night-hunter

    Rep vs Dems & Privacy

    From my POV: All citizens including those elected deserve privacy, especially from nosey busy bodies of the Press. While some organizations, my employer among them, think that they have the right to read any email passing through their computers, I feel that like mail delivered by the USPS, what is addressed to me, especially when it does NOT pertain to my job, is none of their business. Thus, I currently have 7 email addresses used for different purposes. As the official White House email is for “official business only” I would expect that the people there also have multiple accounts to deal with contacting friends, family, gathering news, carrying on other business, and yes, even supporting the Republican Party.

    The article is slanted such that the act of having multiple email accounts is suspect as a means of avoiding the archiving of official business. This is obviously a political ploy, as I would be willing to bet that everyone on Capitol Hill has multiple email accounts, if they are computer savvy enough to have email.

    As far as the Republican/Democrat controversy is concerned, there are criminals in both camps, stupid people in both camps, brilliant people in both camps, etc. Bill Clinton was impeached, justifiably, for lying under oath. I’m sorry that there was no punishment, but I’m very happy he was not removed fro office. Some of the members of Congress in both parties have also been found guilt of crimes, as well as some of the current administration. While some of the more rabid Bush haters think that everyone in his administration should be impeached, I’ve noticed that the Democratic leadership has NOT attempted to bring any sort of charges against either Bush or Cheney.

    While I have not agreed with a number of this administration’s policies, neither have I thought that they were the worst possible choices. In most cases I would consider them merely mediocre. Nor do I believe –apparently as do some- that Bush is the Devil, his associates are Demons, and Civilization is about to fall! I would suggest reading more, listening more, and actually thinking actions, causes, effects, and future consequences, before forming an opinion.

  42. Matt

    Trolled

    ^ anon - awful troll, but so many people fed it O.O

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  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple solution....

    Just get those emails from the NSA, you don't mean to suggest that government officials would not be wiretapped just like the rest of us, after all it's un-American to not be wire-tapped.

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