Friday, December 05, 2003
An insult to hackers: A New York Times editorial page has finally discovered the infamous, pilfered Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat memos. The piece, entitled "Partisan Hacking in Congress," is an abuse of the language. According to The Wall Street Journal, one of the outlets to receive the stolen memos, what occurred wasn't exactly hacking.
A statement put out last week by Mr. Hatch's office says that the accused staffer "improperly accessed at least some of the documents referenced in the media reports." That accusation bears scrutiny in light of how the committee's computer system is organized: Until Nov. 16, all Judiciary staffers used the same computer server and had access to a shared drive, a system put in place when Sen. Leahy took over as chairman in 2001 and hired his own IT staff.
The Leahy techies neglected to put up a firewall between the GOP and Democratic staff, making it possible for all staffers to read everything posted on the shared drive. No one hacked into anyone's private files. These are, in effect, Leahy leaks.
So why is the hapless staffer being hounded? And why is no one reporting the much bigger story of the memos?
If the Times thinks this is hacking, then they must also believe that a two-year-old who swipes a piece of candy is a master burglar.
And this is the party of the man who invented the Internet?
The Times editorial is also notable for how it describes the content of the memos.
The documents detailed how Democratic senators had strategized and consulted outside interest groups dedicated to opposing some of President Bush's more extreme judicial nominees.
Go back and read the memos. The Times should be lauded for this description -- I don't think there has ever been a better make-up job done on a pig.
If the leaked memos had been from the Republicans and detailed...say...how Republican senators had "strategized and consulted outside interest groups dedicated to" passing the President's energy bill, I'm sure the Times editorial writers would be as unconcerned with the actual contents of the memos.