back to article McCain laptop theft sparks conspiracy theories

Thieves have stolen a laptop from the Missouri campaign office of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The Dell machine was swiped sometime in the early hours of Wednesday morning (1 October) after unidentified thieves gained entry to the office in Independence, Missouri by chucking a brick through its window. The …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Please clarify

    Thieves left behind 21 Eee PCs?

    So was this a 21:1 swap rather than a theft, or did they simply not steal some Eee PCs. Assuming the latter to be true, how would they know to steal the dell? The others could easily have info on them.

    I wonder if this is one of those reverse conspiracies - "lose" a laptop, point the finger of complicity at the Democrats and make them look bad while nothing really happened.

    Couldn't be.

  2. John Imrie

    This sensitive data ...

    was encrypted right. I mean it was on a laptop, something that could easily be carried, so as they are campaigning to be the leader of a technically astute nation, one at war on at least 2 different founts, they did know how to keep the data secure.

    Yeah right, and I'm the Archduke Ferdinand

    Mine the one with the new laptop, bought from that shady character in the pub, in the pocket.

  3. Michael

    Everybody knows

    that EeePCs are just for sending emails from the beach.

  4. EnricoSuarve

    Other ways of reading it

    Twenty-two Eee PCs were left behind by crooks, suggesting that the burglary was undertaken by crooks who

    1) figured they were too heavy

    2) knew enough to know they'd never be able to sell the pieces of shit

    3) were in a hurry

    4) were hoping for a better haul

    etc etc

  5. Marvin the Martian
    Thumb Down

    I like the argument

    "They stole my laptop but didn't molest me, therefore it must have been a gay robber" is equally logical.

    > "I'm the Archduke Ferdinand": ah, but that WOULD be newsworthy, "Archduke found alive --- WW1 a mistake".

  6. Bruno Girin

    @John Imrie

    Presumably, the data on the laptops was as secure as the location the laptops were left in. Considering the crooks got in by breaking a window, I suspect the unbreakable security was a top secret password, such as 'qwerty'.

  7. Mickey Porkpies

    of course the important data was encrypted and backed up

    start as you mean to go on!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    McCain Ain't Technosavvy

    I suspect it was "encrypted" with a standard Windows login.

  9. JRallo
    Paris Hilton

    Answers to the tests for...

    Also had the answer key for Mrs. Palin. Guess she'll just have to sit there drooling now. The new bar will be placed if she can wipe said drool from her mouth before it drips onto the floor.

    @This sensitive data ...

    You forget that McCain doesn't use that new fangled technology called electronic mail, or by us youngsters, e-mail.

    @Please clarify

    Will probably be spun that it was the 'liberals' that stole the laptop. I agree with them, they liberally applied a brick the window until it broke. Shows how smart the republicans are(n't)

    PH because she knows how to keep her lap top secure.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Just think....

    they could one day have the power to destroy the world....

    Oh well at least there was proberbly a gun in the drawer, just in case someone breaks in an steals something...Oh hold on.....

  11. Peyton

    @this sensitive data

    Of COURSE the data was encrypted - give the McCain group some credit! Tragically, however, the password was set to 'popcorn'...

  12. Andy Worth

    Re:Answers to the tests for...

    "Also had the answer key for Mrs. Palin. Guess she'll just have to sit there drooling now. The new bar will be placed if she can wipe said drool from her mouth before it drips onto the floor."

    Ok that made me LOL. I loved watching the vice-presidential debate where she actually managed to get through an entire session without giving an actual answer to any question. I know politicians like to avoid the real issues and babble but she takes it to a new level.

    Alternatively, if somebody breaks the "unbreakable security" on the laptop, they would be able to reprogram her so she might even begin to make sense...

  13. Anonymous Coward

    The McCain 'strategic information'

    I don't think they are missing much.

    The McCain strategy so far has been:


    More lies

    Runing away from interviews when there is a chance he will be called out on lies

    Employ some idiot bimbo so stupid that McCain looks good in comparison

    Produce TV adverts full of blatant lies


    Also this is the guy who he so out of touch he doesn't know how to use a computer, and his idiot bimbo running mate evidently thinks 'the internet' is Yahoo!.

    Wonder if the laptop password is 'liar'?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Photoshop opportunity..

    Sarah Palin on the beach with an Eee..

    "I can read email from my porch" or some similar nonsense.

  15. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Of course it isn't a problem

    Someone running for the presidentcy of even the worlds richest third world country will obviously have his security nailed down.

    After all, simple things like locking the office door and encrypting any files on any computer would come with the job.

    Wouldn't it?

    Well, one out of two is a start.

    But scarcely confidence-building.

    Can we have a "Daft Pillock" icon, please?

  16. Elmer Phud

    Bricking it

    "gained entry to the office in Independence, Missouri by chucking a brick through its window"

    And there's me thinking that the Republicans were really hot about security - well, they make enough fuss about it.

    Not even a small web-cam to take a picture - could have set up all them SCC's as a monitoring network. Pah, if it don't run on oil they just don't understand it.

    ps, it was the bears that wot done it - they're after Palin

  17. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Horns

    Osama Obama's Weather Underground friends Wm Ayers did it

    Any surprise that Osama Obama and his Chicago Thugs wouldn't pull something like this?

    Talk about lies, Obama's whole made-up bio is a lie. "Community Organizer" = Street Agitator for ACORN, which has been indicted in 10 states for Voter Fraud (enlisting illegal aliens, fellons and the DEAD to illegally vote!), claiming to vote against the war when he wasn't even in the Senate!

  18. Jodo Kast
    Thumb Up

    Hmm, interesting choice


    McCain earns a bit of respect!

  19. Damn Yank

    re: Bricking it

    This is Missouri we're talking about. Think screen doors, engines hanging from trees, and tires-holding-the-roof-down....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Webster Phreaky

    <nuff said>

    Webster Phreaky

    Your a world class cock, imho.

    Never mind 'Osama Obama'! You yourself continually peform literary acts of terror against this here website....

    </nuff said>

  21. Dave

    Eee PCs

    No doubt they would have taken the Eees as well but handling that many women[*] was beyond them.

    [*] You mean that the Eee doesn't come with everything shown in that picture?

  22. Paul


    OK Webby, you need to calm down and let Nursie administer your happy pills before you have an aneurism from too much thinking.

    I mean, seriously, you're an imbalanced ranting sociopath who's totally out of touch with reality and will lie and misinform as needed to support your deluded case. Which fits nicely with your apparent support of McCain, whose recent behavior has been imbalanced, angry and generally erratic too, not to mention the lies, detectable by the fact that his mouth is flapping. Probably has a sprinkler system installed in his pants to keep them from catching on fire...

  23. kain preacher

    Is just me

    Or is Webster Phreaky a bad knock of a an from mars ??

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is either the worst troll ever or lived near coal mine as a kid and was exposed to radon gas

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    All the hostility!


    There's a lot of repressed hostility that is being let out here. Charming to see items like McCain's hand injuries' preventing his easy use of keyboards getting twisted into technophobia. Do you seriously think that your feckless (erm, *fearless*) leader wouldn't have kept on using that one if he hadn't discovered that that particular slam played out poorly in the press? You appear to be somewhat 'out of touch' with your leadership, the new American Toom Tabard.

    The 'popcorn' password was amusing, too. That would be the password set by the sorry-arsed son of a demo who broke into her account, not Palin. Sorry to hear that all critical thinking has been suspended in favor of believing your own sound bites. Do you guys wank to pictures of Obama, or what?

    The sad part of this election is it is 'more of the same' running against 'more of the same'. I'll vote for the first one that promises to drop dead, but only if I can believe him.

  26. Daniel B.
    Thumb Down

    @Webster Phreaky

    Dude, did you take your meds today? "Osama Obama" made me chuckle... I find the whole Phreaky posts funny. Come on, Webster is the first person I know that thinks that "Latin America" is composed by former Italian colonies! (Hint: there aren't any.)

    Anyway, I doubt any Democrat conspiracy did this. "Doing a Watergate" isn't even in their league, that would be more Republican-ish of them to do...

  27. Shannon Jacobs
    Paris Hilton

    Reminds me of an old Rove story...

    Actually, my first reaction to this story was to remember one of Rove's stunts way back before he found Dubya. I don't remember if he was running the campaign, or just one of the senior staff people, but late in the campaign he called a big press conference to announce that the Democrats had bugged his office. "Dirty tricks! DIrty tricks!" The FBI was called in, but they never filed charges on anyone--including Rove, though there was a good bit of suspicion and even some evidence that he'd planted it himself.

    The Paris Hilton angle? I guess it was McCain's celebrity ad, stupid though it be.

  28. Erik Aamot

    I don't know how many Americans here .. however ..

    *The People* in America have just been swindled by our politicians to the tune of 1.5 trillion$ and it's too bad our vote doesn't include "none of the above" .. because a new poll shows 83% of us would like to throw 95% of our Congress out on it's ass and start over

    only saving grace is you dumbass Europeans buying so much of the phony money in the form of mortgage based securities, and the dumbass Chinese and oil rich Arabs buying so much of our government's phoney debt ..

    I don't think Paris nor Sarah are that stupid collectively

    'credit contraction' sounds like a good deal in the long run, how stupid is it to run business on credit and allow 'securities' to be owned on slim margins

    bottom line .. the Democrats *bought* votes by forcing the banks to make lousy loans to people that couldn't afford them .. the lossened money and credit requirements naturally caused a speculative bubble in home prices ( so much for affordable after about 2003 ) ..

    .. and now the Democrats are covering thier asses and thier friends asses with this bailout

    Obama is a product of a corrupt Chicago political machine, auguably the most corrupt in the nation .. he's been hand picked to run by the Dems, and has not one original thought of value to his credit ..

    McCain's almost as bad in different respects, but not likely to do much damage

    With any luck, unfortunate but real racism on the order of 15% of the US population will stop Obama, McCain will be unable to serve out his term and Palin will become President

    I'm serious ... the Central Banks have been pushing us all down this road for since the 1920's, maybe longer, siphoning the fruits of all our labor off for multinational corporate and banking interests .. and despite the myths, the Democrats / liberals are just as, if not more culpable in letting this happen ... set in stone since FDR's *new deal*

    did you know 'money' bills are to be originated in the House, not the Senate ? .. this *bailout* is completely illegal Constitutionally .. the House rejected it and our Senate should have not been allowed to write a money bill or any bill involving tax changes or futher tax burden .. the Senators are much worse hacks than Congressional Representives in general .. which is why only 2 Senators have ever been elected President .. one being John F. Kennedy .. he was going to dump the Fed Bank, and look what happenned to him

    Palin would make just as good a President, if not better than Obama, Biden or McCain .. she might not be *up* on everything yet, but she's a bright lady and not the high grade repetitive liar that just about everyone one in Washington DC is (other than Ron Paul)

    I think she'll gather the facts and act in the American People's interest intelligently, I have no hope at all that Obama will .. he's a liberal / socialist tool , and McCain's a tool of the neocons not much better than Bush

    2 sides of the same NewWorldOrder/Euro coin , with all the world's real estate, resources and the people's labor being swiftly taken over by the same banking overlords that created the problem

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Daniel B.

    Your doubts are hardly reassuring. Several of the rants above mentioned the Palin Yahoo email stunt -- if that wasn't a dirty trick, WTF was it? Given the identity of the guy that did it, how was it *not* politically motivated? Or are you saying that although the son of a Democrat legislator did it, it is excusable because he was not in an official conspiracy sanctioned by the Obama campain? I highly doubt that a record of any conspiracy would be available after the fact. Even though he acted alone (so far as we know), the information he provided was used by the Democrats. Maybe we should call it the tool party -- they weren't too proud to use it.

    The saddest part of the US democratic party these days is how they've granted themselves absolution from all wrongdoing. In cases where they can't weasel out of culpability, they pull the "we can do shit like that, because they're evil republicans." like some kind of idiot get out of jail free card. If they're going to claim the high ground, morally speaking, then they need to brush up on morals some.

    It's that kind of behavior that acts as a dog whistle for the Webster Phreakys of the world. Speaking as somebody in the middle, I just wish everybody would stop acting like a bunch of pinheads. It's embarrassing.

  30. amanfromMars Silver badge

    In another parallel world .....

    I'm wondering when the Hanoi Hilton Administration are going to share what they know of the war hero who kept getting shot down and then decided to stay safely on the ground out of harm's way.

  31. Alan Fisher


    Ignore them and they'll go away but if you retaliate, they succeed in derailing the thread and knocking it off point; just like the people they claim to support are so good at doing....

    kind of reminds me of school (back soooooo long ago); the bullies would resort to "you smell anyway!" or equivalent when they were losing an argument and had no real facts to make use of. Trying to tap into unsubstantiated hysteria to scare folks into agreeing with them...very sad indeed...

    anyway, I call this a double bluff; McCain and Co are learning a lesson from the British labour Party and associated organisations...."losing data" hmmmmm more like another way of leaking? Leaks woulod be frowned upon but if someone were to find or 'steal it'..wellllll

    who wants to bet there is either something bad about Obama on there or some false strategy?

  32. Alan Fisher

    Everyone has a theory

    @Eric Aamot; So the democrats will financially ruin America?

    @AC 07:48; so the nasty demmocwats are out to ruin us?

    lets face it, american politics is and always has been rotten to the core. Obama is better than McCain in some ways but not in others. I feel sorry for you folks (but then again i don't, look at the UK and Ireland) for having to choose the lesser of two evils, depending on your set of you want 'financial security' and endless wars or change and less wars?

    Not a great choice now is it? But tis the way of politics the world over these days....never trust a politician, they're out for themselves always...didn't some wise man say; "If a man seeks power then he should not have it"?

    Case in point; whoever gets power is going to be self-serving and corrupt, it's human nature

  33. Steve Swann


    "Palin would make just as good a President, if not better than Obama, Biden or McCain .. she might not be *up* on everything yet, but she's a bright lady and not the high grade repetitive liar that just about everyone one in Washington DC is (other than Ron Paul)..."

    A bright lady? She believe in creationism for pitys sake! That is not the belief of a 'bright lady' - it's the belief of a backwards, primitive mind!

    and... she thinks guns are for fun!

    Saints and ministers of grace preserve us from such thinking! (/END Irony)

  34. Jimmy

    @ Alan Fisher

    Nailed it in one, Alan. Ignore these attention seeking, lobotomised fuckwits. The only people they will convert to their cause are those who are similarly afflicted; the terminally stupid; the walking wounded and the gullible faith freaks.

    If you seek their monuments, look around you at a world reduced to economic chaos.

  35. James Butler

    About the laptop...

    If only one thing is stolen, that means it was a targeted theft by someone who knows its value.

    If other items, particularly other laptops, had also been taken, then we might be able to guess that it was more of a simple theft ... out for whatever could be fenced. But since it was only one laptop, and one that held information only known to insiders of the Missouri Republican team, then the first guess that should be acted on is that it was an inside job, and the second guess is that it was a job performed by someone who knew which laptops held what data, and therefore which one was to be the intended target.

    Typical burglars steal many things all at once. Insiders only steal what they know to be valuable.

    Since we can't definitively rule out the idea presented by JRallo and Shannon Jacobs (insider theft as political ruse), that should be the first priority for investigators.

  36. Richard

    @Typical burglars steal many things all at once.

    Surely a typical burglar would steal only that which they can easily run away with and fence?

    This sounds like an opportunist theft rather than anything else.

    I believe in Cock-up before Conspiracy, as that is the modus operandi of most humans.

    Humans who cannot lock laptops away at night or who cannot encrypt them or who cannot keep them out of plain view or etc etc

  37. Jeff Rowse

    Cthulhu For President!

    Why Vote For The Lesser Evil?

  38. Anonymous Coward

    @About the laptop (James Butler)

    I know of somewhere that suffered a break-in and the only thing taken was a POS laptop - the desktop unit next to it was completely ignored. Why?

    Cos the thief was clever enough to realise that he could get the laptop out through the window he'd just smashed and run off real quick, whereas hauling the desktop unit out would take a bit longer - and the rentacop might actually do his job and go investigate the alarm in a timely manner.

    Of course, running away with a laptop left near a window is "sensible" because the laptop is easy enough to conceal - grabbing the base unit and flatpanel monitor between the laptop and the window might be worth more but not so easy to explain...

    Was this laptop right next to the window? If it was inside the room and there was other kit nearer then something dodgy may have been going on (beside the theft, that is) but if it was next to the window then no surprise at all really.

    Possibly more to the point, what the fsck was the laptop doing in the office overnight anyway? If "they" needed a computer, get em a cheaper desktop unit. If they really do need a laptop for portability, why leave it there? My guess? Typical "I'm important so I need a wizzo toy rather than the best tool for the job I do" back office egotism.

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