Senate Republican staffer put on leave for accessing Democratic files

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ARogueTrader, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. Senate Republican staffer put on leave for accessing Democratic files
    JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer
    Tuesday, November 25, 2003
    ©2003 Associated Press


    (11-25) 16:48 PST (AP) --

    WASHINGTON(AP) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said Tuesday he had put one of his staffers on administrative leave for improperly obtaining data from the secure computer networks of two Democratic senators.

    Hatch, R-Utah, said preliminary interviews suggested that a former Republican member of the committee staff may have also been involved in penetrating the Democratic computers.

    "I was shocked to learn that this may have occurred," Hatch said in a statement. "I am mortified that this improper, unethical and simply unacceptable breach of confidential files may have occurred on my watch."

    Hatch launched an investigation after Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., protested what they said was the theft of memos from their servers. The memos, concerning political strategy on blocking confirmation of several of President Bush's judicial nominations, were obtained and reported on by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times.

    Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle informed Hatch on Monday that the committee's four computer servers had been disconnected and that daily backup tapes had been given to the U.S. Capitol Police for safekeeping. He said an outside expert would conduct a forensic assessment to determine if there had been unauthorized access to files.

    Hatch said that, at his direction, two federal prosecutors assigned to the committee had conducted interviews with about 50 people.

    He said the interviews revealed that at least one current staff member had improperly accessed at least some of the documents that appeared in the media reports and which have been posted on the Internet. The person has denied leaking the information to the press, he said.

    The staff member, who was not identified, was put on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of Pickle's investigation, Hatch said.

    ©2003 Associated Press
  2. Typical spineless Republican response. Can you imagine Kennedy, Schumer and Leahy sacrificing one of their drones this way? It would never happen. They would have the political skills to turn the discussion back to the contents of those memos, which were despicable.

    Hatch is being term-limited out of the Chairmanship of Judiciary next year. That is the good news. The bad news is that the guy in line behind him is Arlen Spector, a pro-abortion liberal. If the Republicans cannot get judges confirmed under Hatch, they will face an even tougher time under Spector, who voted against Robert Bork. It is possible that the Republican caucus could bypass Spector, but that is unlikely since they seem much more interested in log rolling for corporate interests than advancing conservative government. For example, they could have insisted on a real filibuster, forcing the Dem's to stay up all night "debating" to block consideration of the judges they are opposing. Instead, Majority Leader Frist has allowed them to get away with a pretend filibuster, probably so as not to inconvenience anyone or interfere with passing pork barrel bills.
  3. Yes it is surprising that they didn't pull an end justifies the means that you long for.

    Orin Hatch has a conscience....and you don't like it.
  4. Gotta go with you here.

    AAA, who I disagree with generally, but respect anyway, has gone overboard once again (I have faith he will come back to earth soon).

    AAA.....I don't even know if I should take your post seriously. Are things REALLY that black and white in your world??

    Either I am deluding myself and give people too much credit (especially intelligent people like you), or you are putting us all on.

    There is no room for compromise/disagreement in your world? Is every single person who disagrees with you automatically wrong?

    Is "pro-choice" too hard a term to even type out? And are you a female? If not, what gives you the right to decide what a woman can do with her own body? (Please, don't make this into an abortion thread....I am only trying to point out that your strict party line politics seem to be more cartoon-ish than realistic).

    Even GWB himself isn't as "pro-him" as you are. Is the right wing infallible? Is the religious right a legitimate political voice according to our system of government? Why not put a cross on our currency. superimpose it over "In God We Trust", so we can know "which God" it is we trust?

    Should we just appoint Clarence Thomas as dictator, and save all the time, effort and expense of having elections? (We can have Ted Kennedy sentenced to death for too many reasons to list, and have all who voice dissent put in prison for sedition, like Mondo Trader suggested). Hell, we can sterilize those who don't contribute to the GNP. We can send the prisoners serving time for sedition to work somewhere in the Alaskan wilderness. Which really is just a suburb of Siberia.

    We can open up camps so the non conformists can be in a concentrated area. Save land by cremating those who don't make it.

    So many original ideas to make our country great once again. To think, the only thing really stopping this is that a majority of the people don't feel this is the ticket. But it doesn't really take a majority. History has proven that. But still, we are making progress. We have a President who got less votes than his opponent. We had a very fair and non-partisan vote by the Supreme Court to stop a re-count. We have invaded a sovereign country without provocation and against the will of the rest of the world.

    Let me ask you one thing. You used the term "pro-abortion". Now give me one single example of ANYONE who is "pro-abortion". "Pro-life"? Yup, I can accept people using that term to describe themselves. "Pro-choice"? Same. But in my entire life, I have NEVER EVER heard of anyone saying that they were "Pro-abortion". Not once. Have you?

    I guess if you believe in capital punishment, that makes you "pro-death"? Is that how you would describe yourself?

    Watergate never happened. That had to be a left wing conspiracy to make Nixon look bad. How could Hatch sell out his party the way he did? He should be ashamed of himself for abiding by the law. Screw the law. There is a greater good to be served.

  5. A sizeable number of outstanding judges are being filibustered simply because they have religious or morally based scruples against abortion. Not one of them has said they wouldn't follow the law, as invented by the Supreme Court. In effect, a religious test has been imposed for being confirmed as a federal judge. Apparently the Democrats will permit you to profess belief in a religion, provided they are satisfied you don't mean it or actually believe it.

    A number of other outstanding judges are being filibustered for the crime of being a minority and not adhering to liberal orthodoxy. It was quite clear from the leaked memo's that this was the sole basis for opposing nominees like Estrada.

    The memo's also confirmed what had been suspected all along, namely that the Committee Democrats had manipulated the confirmation process to prevent an additional judge being added to the Sixth Circuit until after the University of Michigan affirmative action case had been decided. The additional judge would have been the swing vote to decide the case against the racial spoils system run by the University.

    So what does Chairman Hatch get worked up about? Some staffers who got the goods on the Democrats. When liberals do something like that they are called whistle-blowers or celebrated for their courage, eg. Pentagon Papers, Anita Hill et al.

    The problem I have with Hatch is he is a gentleman in a street fight, and he either doesn't know it or isn't willing to hand the gavel over to someone who will fight back. Ditto for Majority Leader Frist, a wonderful man and gifted heart surgeon who simply doesn't have the temperament to deal with the hardball politics of the Kennedy's, Clinton's, Schumer's and the like.

    Since the opposition to several of the nominees centers on abortion, it is legitimate to question how hard Spector will fight for them, given his position on the issue. It is not a matter of the religious right running the country. Under the Consitution, the President is entitled to nominate judges, as much as the left wants to deny him that privilege, and he is entitled to a vote on them. No where does the Constitution allow a supramajority for judicial confirmation. That, my friend, is the law and the Democrats are running roughshod over it for partisan reasons. As despicable as their conduct is, I blame the Republicans for allowing them to get away with it.
  6. Judges who make judicial decisions based on their personal interpretation of their chosen religion have no place on the bench.

    It is called separation of church and state.

    We have evolved enough to make moral decisions without the need to look at a religious book to tell us what to do.
  7. HUH?

    Why can't it just be that there is "right and wrong"? Why does everything need to be politicized?

    Anita Hill stood to gain what? Robert Bork was not an extremist? John Tower was not an influence peddler? (Clarence Thomas is not scary?).

    Facts don't matter. Conservatives are good. Liberals are bad. Is this correct?

    Republicans who adhere to the laws of the land rather than protect their party are spineless? Like Elliot Richardson? Please!!!!

    The Pentagon Papers was a partisan issue?

    Nixon was ok for lying about the Watergate cover up, and his "plumbers" were good guys trying to protect our country from itself by attempting to sabotage an election (that they had wrapped up anyway).

    But Clinton was the devil for lying about sex. (Why did Eisenhower get a pass?)

    AAA, I gotta hand it to you. No one is as consistent. Your principals are unshakeable. Must be nice to be always so sure about being absolutely "right".

    Keeps life simple. Must be a comfortable lifestyle.

  8. :D well said, RS.
  9. Well, you have an odd way of looking at things. You seem to feel everything the left does is clearly principled opposition to extremism or worse. Anything the right does is either mindless partisanship, extremism or an attempt to install some kind of Taliban religious government. What I keep trying to tell you is EVERYTHING is politicized. I don't like it, I don't advocate it, but I can't ignore it. The problem I have with the Republicans is they don't seem to have the stomach for the infighting that is necessary. Can't say I blame them, but maybe they should look for another job if they don't relish grappling with an asshole like Chuck Schumer.

    To answer your questions, Anita Hill went from being a mediocre lawyer who got her lowly jobs through the patronage of Clarence Thomas to an icon of the left with lucrative speaking tours and a cushy law faculty job that she clearly was not qualified for. Robert Bork was clearly not an extremist but instead was one of the giants of legal scholarship. The spectacle of him being lectured by Teddy Kennedy on the law reminds me of the "Dogs Playing Poker" picture. The mind reels...

    John Tower was a politician, no more, no less. I think his ethics and judgment compare favorably to such liberal stalwarts as LBJ, Lloyd Bentsen, Carol Mosley Braun and both Clintons.

    And no, Clarence Thomas is not scary. I've met him and he is a gracious and humble man with uncommonly sound judgment and the courage of a lion. What scares me are judges who confuse their role with that of the legislature, or in some cases, a dictator. Consider the Massachusetts Supreme Court which recently had the temerity to order the legislature to enact a gay marriage law. Why even bother with having the legislature? Send them home and save the money. Why let a little thing like democracy get in the way of progress?
  10. OK, I guess we just disagree. Different perspectives.

    I can't seem to be so sure about things along such rigid guidelines. On some issues, I guess I am right of center. On some, left. I think you know that. Clearly I have defended conservatives and conservative issues as well as liberals and their issues here on ET. How many times have I said I always vote a split ticket? I try and go into the voting booth with knowledge of the candidates. But in reality, it's not completely possible (for me) in every case. If I am unfamiliar with candidates for "dogcatcher" or school board members, traffic judges, or whatever, I admit to just voting against the incumbents. Why? Just habit. (Or I can give my real reasons, but that's a whole different discussion).

    To me, Bork is an extremist. What can I say? Certainly he is more qualified than I am to interpret the law. But striking down a court decision to allow the use of contraceptives (by MARRIED COUPLES) seems a bit over the top to me. What can I say?

    Clarence Thomas is a robot IMO. No need to await his rulings. They are 100% predictable. Seems scary to me that anyone can be that way. If issues were so clear cut, why do we need a Supreme Court? Why nine members? Why not just one?

    I agree John Tower was just another politician like LBJ. Good example. Another influence peddler. Could not agree with you more. Yet I admit that I despised him while he was in the Whitehorse, in retrospect, I think he was a pretty good and well meaning President. A tragic figure really. Wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. But I think in a way his politics had an impact that forever changed things in the American south. The end of the "Dixiecrat" concept. Which I guess was long overdue.

    As for your meeting Thomas, I understand how you could be impressed. People that attain national power tend to emit a positive charisma. Which is why personal campaigning works. I met Bush (Sr.) and though I never thought much of him prior to meeting him, I was impressed as hell when I shook his hand and had my picture taken with him. Guess it's human nature. I had an even stronger reaction when I met Colin Powell. I have heard from people I know who met the Clintons that they felt the same way (some of them Clinton haters...there are so many of them).

    This argument can cut both ways. Why have an electorate or a Florida Supreme Court, when just Clarence Thomas was able to stop the recount? (Not that the outcome would have been different. That is irrelevant, I think we both agree on that.)

    #10     Nov 26, 2003