Friday, June 1, 2007

The White House email controversy: why does Karl Rove keep losing his BlackBerry?


By David Gewirtz

Karl Rove, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, is one of the most powerful people in Washington. He conducts a vast amount of political and official business via his BlackBerry. He also apparently regularly loses his BlackBerry.

"Somewhere out there are a couple of BlackBerry devices with a potential mother load of confidential or even classified information."

You would think that when someone this central to the management of the United States government loses something, loses something so integral to high-level communication, and apparently loses it repeatedly...well, you'd think someone would care. In fact, you'd think that the House committee investigating Karl Rove's email usage would pick up on this detail during testimony that took place in front of their own committee members.

Nope. No such luck. Look up the phrase "Can't see the forest for the trees" and you'll see our illustrious Congress. Can you say "National Security Risk"? Sure. I knew you could.

And, not only did the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform overlook this little detail -- even when the testimony took place right in front of them -- so did all of mainstream media. No matter if you watch CNN or Fox News, read the New York Times, or even Time Magazine, none of these media giants picked up on the fact that, somewhere out there are a couple of BlackBerry devices with a potential mother load of confidential or even classified information.

So why do we here at ZATZ have this scoop when everyone else missed it? We actually do our homework.

Rather than reading and reprinting the same press release everyone else did, I actually read through all of the testimony, making notes, and tracking down what's really going on. Ain't nothin' more boring than congressional testimony, but if you let the boring get to you, you might miss the meat.

We'll get back to Mr. Rove and his missing BlackBerry devices in a few minutes. For now, let's look at what Congress did actually pay attention to. It's a little boring, but it's worth reading for the meat.

Possible Presidential Records Act violations

Working on an in-depth project like our analysis of the White House email controversy can be something of a moving target. While we're working here at ZATZ to understand all the intricacies of the inner-workings of White House email, the United States Congress is also hard at work, trying to find some sort of smoking gun to further their political aims.