Granny Rant
Sunday, March 07, 2004
::: GOP Aides Implicated In Theft Of Dems Computer Files :::

Democrats' Files Accessed and Leaked In Security Breach

Helen Dewar, in her March 5th article in, "The Washington Post" details the results
of a 3 month investigation by the Senate's top cop investigator. The report reveals
a serious flaw in the chambers computer security system.

Pickle and his investigators said forensics analyses indicated that 4,670 files had been downloaded between November 2001 and spring 2003 by one of the aides ... "the majority of which appeared to be from folders belonging to Democratic staff" on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) said at least 100 of his computer files were also accessed by the GOP aides.

The report identified the two former staffers as Jason Lundell, a nominations clerk who originally accessed the files, and Manuel Miranda, a more senior staff member and later the top aide to Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) on judicial nominations. Miranda, the report said, advised Lundell and was said by other aides to have been implicated in leaking the documents to friendly journalists or other parties outside the Senate. Miranda had previously denied leaking the materials.

Both men left their Senate jobs during the investigation.

The probe was prompted late last year after 14 memos written by staffers working for Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) turned up in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times and a conservative Web site.

The subject of the memos? ... Democrats tactics in blocking the most conservative of
Bush's nominations to the federal appeals bench.

Republicans called for the disclosure of the content of the memos to be made public
to show collusion between Democrats and liberal advocacy groups.

Democrats called for a special counsel to look into the possibility of violations of
federal law.

Hatch, expressing outrage at the GOP staffers' infiltration of Democratic files, conducted an inquiry of his own and then triggered the sergeant-at-arms probe, for which Pickle used Secret Service agents and General Dynamics Corp. computer experts to trace the Democratic documents. Pickle conducted about 160 interviews and seized the hard drives and backup tapes of several Senate computers, officials said.

Hmmm... would not be surprised to find one of those old geezers bent over their
computer screen, painting out mistakes with white out.


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