Issa Bit Hypocritical For Darrel To Want WH Email Compliance Now

You might remember a little kerfuffle over the preservation of White House emails that roiled during the Bush/Cheney Administration, consuming national discussion and court resources.

Well, that was during the Bush/Cheney Administration, those fine Republican watchdogs in Congress are calling for change from the previous policy for the Obama Administration. Yep, that’s right, now that there is a Democrat in office, they want some responsibility and accountability And point man on this righteous demand is car thief Representative Darrel Issa (R-Asswipe). From the Political Ticker:

A California Republican congressman has called on President Obama to put in place a system that ensures all White House emails be preserved even if official business was done through private e- mail accounts.

Rep. Darrell Issa, the senior Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, made the request in a February 19 letter to White House Counsel Greg Craig.

Issa specifically mentioned the new administration’s brief use of Gmail accounts after Obama was sworn in last month, as they waited for the official White House e-mail accounts to become active.

"As you know, any e-mail sent or received by White House officials may be subject to retention under the Presidential Records Act (PRA)," Issa wrote Craig in the letter.

"The use of personal e-mail accounts, such as Gmail to conduct official business raises the prospect that presidential records will not be captured by the White House e-mail archiving system. Consequently Gmail users on the President’s staff run the risk of incorrectly classifying their e-mails as non-records under the [Presidential Records] Act."

Oh, that is rich. You have got to be kidding me. Let’s look back for a moment at Issa’s past views to see what a true Galaxy Class Hypocrite looks like. From Mother Jones:

During a House Oversight Committee hearing last month on the preservation of White House records, an indignant Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a frequent critic of Chairman Henry Waxman’s investigations, did his best to play down the extent of the Bush administration’s now well-documented email archiving problems. Defending the White House’s decision to switch from the Lotus Notes-based archiving system used by the Clinton administration, Issa compared the the software to "using wooden wagon wheels" and Sony Betamax tapes. To observers of the missing emails controversy, Issa’s comments seemed little more than an attempt to deflect blame from the White House for replacing a working system for archiving presidential records with an ad hoc substitute.

Heh. Well, that was then, this is now; don’t ask Baby Darrel to be Mr. Clean, cause baby he don’t know how. It takes a lot of gall for Republicans to be carping right out of the gate about email compliance by Obama, and Issa has a lot of gall.

38 replies
  1. bobschacht says:

    Well, Darrel Issa or no, I’m wondering if some of our tech gurus can tell us what is happening on the WH email front to salvage the mess the Republicans left behind when they left the WH. We did hear about several problematic email episodes. Have the techies taken over from the kiddies yet?

    I’m not just talking hardware here, but about the software and backup systems.

    Bob in HI

  2. Mary says:

    Pretty darn funny.

    Too bad they can’t respond along the lines of, “You betcha, and as soon as we get all the email issues from the last 8 years fixed we are going to focus on that. We’d really like to jumpstart fixing the problems of the last 8 years of emails and make it a bipartisan effort, so we’d love to appoint you as co-chair of the committee to fix the old emails. That way you can have some direct impact on how soon we can move on to the newer emails. Smoochies, “

  3. JTMinIA says:

    Someone needs to ask Issa if they need to keep Biden’s emails, too. Issa is too stupid to realize the trap he’d be walking into when he says “of course.”

  4. NMvoiceofreason says:

    We went through this stuff pretty thoroughly a couple of weeks ago. The RNC e-mails were used to conduct federal business for the gain of a single political party, a criminal violation of the Hatch Act. Also, every employee who used those accounts defrauded the US government, claiming to be working for the taxpayers while really working for the RNC. So it is no wonder those e-mails disappeared. To the consternation of most of us, on the Federal side it will be nearly impossible to prove there were any lost e-mails, and they are exempt from any punishment if they do turn up missing, and it will be years before the archivist even releases them.

    Sorry, EW for the pessimistic forecast.

    BMAZ, you noted something that TERRIFIES ME! “Representative Darrel Issa (R-Asswipe)”. Asswipes have their own STATE now? ()

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Nah, that’s just a virtual Congressional District. I don’t know why every Republican in the House seems to want to run for that seat though. I thought Issa had a lock on it, but Cantor’s giving him a run for his money. It’s been a long time since the Dems have been competitive there…

  5. randiego says:

    It takes a lot of gall for Republicans to be carping right out of the gate about email compliance by Obama, and Issa has a lot of gall.

    Ya think? It’s like a fraternity. You can’t be a member anymore unless you pass the “asshat” and “chutzpah” tests.

  6. randiego says:

    PS – what is it about Kall-ee-fornya that produces so many wingnut/corrupt Republicans?
    Duke was my rep, and Duncan “Gitmo is like Club Med” Hunter is nearby too.

  7. Loo Hoo. says:

    And Issa is mine. CA-49. Oh, and his solution to the economic crisis for families here in his district is for parents to get rid of their kids’ cell phones.

  8. Teddy Partridge says:

    Craig and Issa — what a cavalcade of brilliance!

    They deserve each other, let them duke it out on pay-per-view.

  9. Mary says:

    12 – condolences.

    OT – but politico is reporting that the DC Cir is getting impatient on the Miers et al subpoenas…..7eb2e.html

    Obama asked for an ext to March 4th to figure out if he was going with hugs, kisses or hugs&kisses for the subpeona dodgers, but the court is only giving him until next Weds.

    The story mentions [wh counsel]Greg Craig’s earlier statement:

    “The president is very sympathetic to those who want to find out what happened.,” Craig said, according to a statement the White House e-mailed to reporters. “But he is also mindful as president of the United States not to do anything that would undermine or weaken the institution of the presidency. So for that reason, he is urging both sides of this to settle.”

    I hadn’t seen it, but let me get this straight. He ran a campaign arguing that the Bush presidency had unconstitutionally seized and abused power, but now he wants to make sure he doesn’t “weaken” the Presidency by disavowing any of the power that Bush grabbed for it.

    I’m waiting agog for Biden to walk in, kick Obama’s butt out of the Oval office and say he doesn’t want to weaken the institution of the Vice Presidency.

    Bacevich called it.

    • PJEvans says:

      “Get Disappointed by Someone New”. The bumpersticker my car wore for the election.

      What else should we expect from someoen who likes Blue Dogs?

  10. Mary says:

    Also OT,

    Horton has one of Harper’s great “6 Questions” up, this one with book author “Karen Greenberg, the director of NYU’s Center on Law and Security, [who] took a close-up look at the first hundred days in the life of the detention center at Guantanamo. “

    Really interesting stuff, but this is one that floored me. I always wondered a bit about the ICRC arrival at GITMO. A mystery no more:

    3. Rumsfeld previously suggested that he called the Red Cross (ICRC) in to check things out at Guantanamo. But your book suggests very strongly that the Office of Secretary of Defense was adverse to the idea of the Red Cross being involved and that this occurred at the initiative of senior military at Gitmo. Can you elaborate on this?
    The story of the ICRC’s arrival at Guantanamo is one of quiet defiance. General Lehnert had requested the presence of the ICRC when he first arrived at Guantanamo, before the detainees were en route. His request was denied up the chain of command to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Meanwhile, at U.S. Southern Command, where there was widespread agreement that the ICRC presence was necessary, a military lawyer finally gave into his frustration over repeated requests for guidance from the Joint Chiefs. He picked up the phone and called Geneva himself and invited the ICRC to Guantanamo Bay. They readily accepted, much to the chagrin of the Joint Chiefs and the Pentagon, who not only chided the military lawyer for what he’d done but asked if there were ways to delay or even divert the arrival of the Red Cross. (Even to this day, we should note, the ICRC, is excluded from the ghost prisons at which other prisoners in the war on terror are allegedly held.)

    Interesting piece.

    • PJEvans says:

      It’s probably smarter than I am, with all the electronics. (I describe it as ‘no user-serviceable parts inside’.)

  11. amilius says:

    Issa is a hypocrite from way back who is still bitter about having his play for the governorship thwarted by the Terminator. He practically bankrolled the Gray Davis recall. I see a desperation for attention in all of his disingenuous posturing. If he really wants to establish credibility, he should also go after the previous administration for what it has yet to send to the archives or Congress. However, never hold your breath for a hypocrite like Issa.

  12. R.H. Green says:

    Dear Congressman Issa,

    In respect for your oversight position in congress, let me assure you that after our initial interruption of WH email service, we now are now able to preserve our electronic communications in accordance with the law. Further, you can be assured we will meet or exceed the standards of the previous administration in this regard. Your record of close attention to the tradition of careful stewardship of our nations records is appreciated, and we hope to not let you down.


    • MadDog says:

      I suggest this final modification to your Issa letter/email:

      P.S. Please be assured that we are maintaining copies of all your email correspondence and are happy to make it public so your constituents may enjoy your obvious endearing qualities.

      • R.H. Green says:

        I disagree with your suggestion. That would be just mean. Besides it might give the impression that the congressman is under some sort of surveillance, and that wouldn’t be proper…or would it, nowadays?

        • MadDog says:

          On a serious note, why is it that there is no similar Congressional Records Act?

          The Congressional component surely plays a major role in our country’s governance.

          All those lobbyists’ sweetheart “deals” that somehow wind their way into law. All those pay-for-play Congressional giveaways for campaign contributions. All those midnight “loopholes” that earmark favors for Congressional friends.

          Shouldn’t there be a law that mandates the retainment and archiving of all Congressional records including their email?

          Why shouldn’t Congress play by the same rules as the Executive branch?

          What does Congress have to hide?

          What’s good for the goose must surely be good for the gander. Right?

          Just sayin’!

          • R.H. Green says:

            “What does congress have to hide”? Suely you jest. I’m laughing so hard I can’t eat my supper.

            Seriously, I couldn’t agree more.

          • 4jkb4ia says:

            All of that would be up to the ethics committee. As it is there is the Congressional Record and records of public hearings.

      • PJEvans says:

        (If he has problems with that, remind him that it was collected by the previous administration, the one he was so fond of. And which was kicked out be a majority vote, including 2/3 of the Electoral College.)

  13. bobschacht says:

    Can we get Congress to amend the Presidential Records Act to make it a felony to interfere with the timely retention and recovery of presidential records? As it is now, there’s no real penalty for destroying or concealing presidential records, is there?

    Bob in HI

  14. JohnLopresti says:

    Buzzflash almost made it appear the representative may have had email correspondence with the political architect of the prior administration in 2003. Bf’s theory is Rove planned the swap once the ballot measure qualified. Issa also was a classic Republican booster of the state university’s regents’ vote to take the Bakke path away from affirmative action.

  15. Loo Hoo. says:

    I read somewhere last summer that Issa had a net worth of $635 million (after something like $100 million in 2001). Here’s hoping he had lots of it invested with Madoff and Stanford.

  16. drational says:

    This is not hypocritical.
    Issa paid attention during the Waxman hearing and was convinced of the need to exercise oversight. He would have done the same had Bush won his third term.

    • bobschacht says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
      (Wipes slobber from chin)
      Whoooeee! That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day!!!

      Um, what color is the sky on your planet?

      Bob in HI

    • bmaz says:

      Heh, you must not have caught the hearing live. It was a stupifying performance by Issa. Seriously stupifying. Genuine oversight and actual concern about the White House system were not even close to being part of his exaggerated act.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    No regular reader at FDL would miss the gargantuan hypocrisy in Issa’s comments. But not all Democrats or voters followed this issue closely. Obama’s retainers would be fools to let Issa get away with this.

    The best counter-attack would be on several levels. Sending Congress a bill, probably a good $100 million, to replace the dog’s breakfast that was the Bush administration’s official e-mail system(s). (Presumably, the real one was distributed at the RNC and among private firms.) It was wholly non-compliant with both the law and prevailing IT best practices. Arguably intentionally so.

    Next would be reminding Congress that the Rethuglicans had much to do with the design and operation of Congress’ e-mail too, not to mention the systems used elsewhere in the executive branch. Undoubtedly, these need updating and the removal of a few herds of Trojan horses that probably drive the RNC intel chariots.

    Lastly, Obama’s DOJ should vigorously pursue outstanding issues relating to Cheney and Bush’s non-compliance with, e.g., the PRA. Violations of the law should be swiftly corrected, and all presidential papers promptly reviewed and scheduled for release. Among others, that would include the papers of Poppy Bush.

    The best attacks are multi-pronged. They drill deepest into the details and the bureaucracy, where all the good stuff is buried, and have the most lasting effects. Use Issa’s absurdly comic comments to good effect. Take the momentum back from him and keep it.

Comments are closed.