Thursday, September 18, 2008

Palin's Hacked Yahoo Account Reveals Bad Judgement By Palin

Some of the initial questions that arose from the breach of Sarah Palin's pseudo-official Yahoo! email accounts revolved around the infiltrators. I think that's really unimportant, people's email accounts get broken into all the time and nobody does anything about it. Wasting FBI and Secret Service time on this incident is, well, a waste of FBI and Secret Service time on something that isn't very important. 

What is important is what this incident says about Sarah Palin. 

The most relevant takeaway of this event to me as a citizen is, why is a government official using a free personal email account to conduct state business? If elected to office, would she continue to use a free Yahoo account? Would she use it to conduct official White House business? Matters of national security? Is pres.sarah@yahoo.com available? 

These are very important questions.

Let's break the issues down. Should a state officials use free personal email accounts? I believe that it all depends on way that the accounts are used. For personal communications, I believe that everyone is free to do whatever they want with their email if it is personal.

Where I do take exception is when those accounts are used for communications that are in the interest of the state, or the people of the state.Let's look at the two accounts in question: gov.sarah@yahoo.com and gov.palin@yahoo.com. Both of these addresses have the title gov, short for Governor, in them. Was sarah.palin@yahoo.com  or sarah_palin@yahoo.com unavailable? Why include your official title in the address? Is the address meant to be strictly for personal communications? or is it for state business as well? 

Consider the following paragraphs from the Washington Post:

Palin also routinely does government business from a Yahoo address,gov.sarah@yahoo.com, rather than her secure official state e-mail address, according to documents already made public.

"Whoops!" Palin aide Frank Bailey wrote, after addressing an e-mail to the governor's official state address. "Frank, This is not the Governor's personal account," a secretary reminded him.

It seems clear that Palin was using a free Yahoo email account to communicate official state business. There are some who believe that Palin followed the lead of the allegations made that Carl Rove conducted his best dirty work by using email that is hosted on mail servers owned by the RNC.

Two things: first Carl Rove is a genius if not an evil genius, if you're going to follow his example, it might be best to consult with world class technical advisors. Rove allegedly used email servers that were controlled by people he knew, not by a public corporation. It is much easier to make data disappear(allegedly) if you can destroy it yourself; Secondly: if she truly did create these accounts with the intent to use them to conduct covert communications I would question the integrity, judgement, technical sophistication, and intelligence  of Sarah Palin for the following reasons:

  • Integrity: if this is an attempt at covert communication, then her integrity must come into question. For what legitimate purpose could she be using an unofficial email address to conduct business that pertains to her office and the business of the state?
  • Judgement: this goes along the lines of integrity. It's a poor choice of email account names. At the very minimum it creates the appearance of improper communications. How can she not see this as the wrong thing to do?
  • Technical Sophistication: as covert communication goes this is the move of an amateur. If the purpose of the email addresses was to conduct business outside the visibility of others, she failed and failed big. 
  • Intelligence: If she isn't lacking in judgement and integrity, she certainly is lacking in intelligence. She's either corrupt, or she's a moron. In either case, I would call to question her suitability as the President of the United States.
As much as I hate blaming the victim for the crime. I can't say that Palin used good judgement in using those Yahoo accounts.

Question: Would it be fair for Sarah Palin to pick up the tab for all the forensic investigation that's being done on this incident? That's her legacy right? That's why rape victims in Alaska need to pay for the rape kits?

The last issue that I call into question is the disabling or deletion of these email accounts. Both accounts are no longer active. I don't know what was done to the accounts to make them inactive. Is this an attempt at covering up the accounts?

Investigators have requested email from those accounts. IANAL, but that appears to be an attempt at destroying evidence. If Palin is responsible for the deletion of those accounts, I am forced to believe that she lacks the integrity, judgement, and/or intelligence to lead our nation. 

Let's not mince words. McCain is not a healthy man. His chances of surviving the first term are not good. McCain's choice of vice president is important. That person may very well assume the office. It disturbs me that McCain would select someone who is continually showing herself to be unfit for any form of public office, let alone the highest office in the country.
Bad choice McCain.

EDIT: Here's some further reading at ABC News.

Wired's Threat Level is reporting that someone claiming to be the hacker who opened her email address explains how he did it. He also said that he read all the emails and did not find anything that was incriminating, as he had hoped.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I tend to think this is fairly minor when you take into consideration that Obama’s two economic advisors are former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CEO’s. Both are a couple good 'ol boys from the Clinton administration. Are these really the people we want advising a president? Talk about bad judgment.