The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rove Investigator Used Geeks on Call to Delete Computer Files

Rove Investigator Used Geeks on Call to Delete Computer Files

Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 09:03:12 AM PST

Scott Bloch, the head of the US Office of Special Counsel agency that was in charge of investigating violations of the Hatch Act is now being investigated for deleting files off his office computer. And he used Geeks on Call to do it.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Recently, investigators learned that Mr. Bloch erased all the files on his office personal computer late last year. They are now trying to determine whether the deletions were improper or part of a cover-up, lawyers close to the case said.

Bypassing his agency's computer technicians, Mr. Bloch phoned 1-800-905-GEEKS for Geeks on Call, the mobile PC-help service. It dispatched a technician in one of its signature PT Cruiser wagons. In an interview, the 49-year-old former labor-law litigator from Lawrence, Kan., confirmed that he contacted Geeks on Call but said he was trying to eradicate a virus that had seized control of his computer.

Let me stop here for a sec. This is wrong on soooo many levels. There's the obvious irony that investigator is now being investigated himself for using the same tactics that he is supposed to be investigating Rove for: Missing emails. But there's another level to this as well. Where was the security clearance?

Mr. Bloch had his computer's hard disk completely cleansed using a "seven-level" wipe: a thorough scrubbing that conforms to Defense Department data-security standards. The process makes it nearly impossible for forensics experts to restore the data later. He also directed Geeks on Call to erase laptop computers that had been used by his two top political deputies, who had recently left the agency.

Geeks on Call visited Mr. Bloch's government office in a nondescript office building on M Street in Washington twice, on Dec. 18 and Dec. 21, 2006, according to a receipt reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The total charge was $1,149, paid with an agency credit card, the receipt shows. The receipt says a seven-level wipe was performed but doesn't mention any computer virus.

WTF??? An agency that deals with investigations of Senior White House Officials is allowed to call the equivalent of the "Nerd Herd" to delete their hard drives? Were these people given Security Clearance in advance of this? I would think this would be considered a security breach. Unbelievable. And what does Mr. Bloch have to say about all this?

Mr. Bloch believes the White House may have a conflict of interest in pressing the inquiry into his conduct while his office investigates the White House political operation. Concerned about possible damage to his reputation, he cites a Washington saying, "You're innocent until investigated."

Does that sound vaguely threatening? Talk about eating your own. And lest we forget, he is already under investigation for previous complaints. In the long list of scandals this Administration has been involved in, I have to say this one's a classic.


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