Scandal du jour
No, not Imus (good riddance). This one is of far greater significance to the concept of "preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States." Let the Washington Post summarize:
A lawyer for the Republican National Committee told congressional staff members yesterday that the RNC is missing at least four years' worth of e-mail from White House senior adviser Karl Rove that is being sought as part of investigations into the Bush administration, according to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.Oh yeah, some missing e-mails also relate to the Bush administration's firing of the US attorneys.
Not since Rosemary Woods' famous 18-and-a-half-minute stretch has the White House been caught in such an obvious effort to cover its tracks. Think about it: what do you do with important e-mail? Archive it or delete it?
The moral values crowd has definitely been caught with its fingers in the cookie jar -- again. The e-mails that have not been lost talk about being "loyal Bushies" as one of the requirements for keeping your job as US Attorney.
They also talk about whether the Bush appointees have done enough to track down and prosecute "voter fraud" -- code words for going after potential Democratic voters.
And of course you have the jailbird Jack Abramoff fretting when one of his e-mails made it into the White House system instead of the parallel black ops system run by the Republican National Committee. (You know gwb43.com).
The Bush mouthpieces try to blame Bill Clinton for this one -- saying their systems tries to clean up sloppy practices by the 42nd president. His was the first administration to really deal with e-mail and key aides carried dual laptops for official and political business.
But everything in the Clinton White House went through White House servers, as required by law. Not so the Bushies, who are trying out a novel legal claim. In the words of House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers:
“The White House position seems to be that executive privilege not only applies in the Oval Office, but to the R.N.C. as well. There is absolutely no basis in law or fact for such a claim.”Next week's testimony of Albert Gonzalez is shaping up as the best show since Fred Dalton Thompson, the Watergate Committee Republican counsel, asked Alexander Butterfield if he knew about the existence of the Oval Office taping system.
And let's not forget that the man defending the White House now, Fred Fielding, was brought in for his experience -- during Watergate, when he was a deputy to John Dean.
Who says history doesn't repeat itself?
UPDATE: Karl Rove's lawyer says he assumed the e-mails were being archived and he didn't delete them. I believe everything Karl and his mouthpiece say -- don't you? And you know what they say about what assuming does to you and me?