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November 27, 2003

Who Watches the Watchers?

GOP staff seem to have been caught red-handed hacking into Democratic files to steal memos and leak them to the press.

To his credit, Orrin Hatch has admitted the seriousness of the criminal and political actions involved, and hired an independent investigator to get to the bottom of the crime.

But having voted for the Patriot Act's open-ended political investigations of political activists, the Senate GOP leaders seem to have suddenly discovered the virtue of limited government investigatory power:

Earlier this week, several Judiciary Committee Republicans, including Sens. John Cornyn (Texas), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Larry Craig (Idaho), and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) objected to what they feared would become a open-ended fishing expedition into committee business.

"We strongly object to allowing anyone to read backup tapes or other electronic media from the Judiciary Committee server, the Exchange server or otherwise breach the privacy of our electronic files and communications," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Pickle dated Nov. 22.

Committee Republicans requested that the sergeant-at-arms give them a status report of what steps have been taken and are currently being taken in the investigation, and notify them of all current action and any future action in connection with the investigation. They also demanded that the inquiry be limited exclusively to an examination of the 14 Democratic memoranda that were leaked to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times.

Damn, if I'm ever caught committing a crime, I hope I can make such demands on the police.

Posted by Nathan at November 27, 2003 11:47 AM