From the DWT Least Surprising News of the Day Department: Say, wasn't that somethin' about that Lamont fella screwin' up Joe Lieberman's website?
"On April 10, The New York Times also reported that, according to the FBI email obtained by The Advocate, 'it was not angry bloggers or Mr. Lamont's insurgent campaign workers who rendered the site inaccessible, but sheer technological ineptitude.' . . .
"Despite having reported the August 2006 allegation by Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's re-election campaign that supporters of Ned Lamont, then his rival in the Democratic Senate primary, had "hacked" Lieberman's campaign website, numerous media outlets--including ABC, CNN, and CBS--have yet to report that an FBI investigation reportedly concluded before the November 2006 general election that there was 'no evidence of (an) attack.'"
--from Media Matters' new report on the "story of the story" of the crashing of the Lieberman campaign website in 2006, and the aftermath this month
I assume by now everyone who's found his/her way to DWT has heard the much-belated sequel to the 2006 campaign "story" of how those left-wing crazies of Ned Lamont's insurgent Connecticut Senate campaign nefariously conspired to crash the Lieberman campaign's website. The sequel, only too predictably, was that it was like the outgoing Clinton staffers' trashing of the White House as they cleared out in January 2001: It never happened.
Of course the Republicans who made up the stories about the White House vandalism were just plain flat-out lying. Imagine that! The Bush regime began, at its very instigation, with a complete, flagrant, malicious fabrication, which was never retracted, accommodated, or otherwise amended as the evidence slowly seeped out that it was all Republican lies. At least in the case of the crashed Lieberman website, the senator and his media lackey the Abominable Gerstein [above] could claim to have been misled by others, and so they continued to claim when it finally came out recently that the FBI had investigated promptly and quickly reported back to the Lieberman campaign that it was all untrue, the whole story about the demons of the Lamont campaign doing them dirt.
In fact, the vaunted Lieberman website crashed of its own lack of weight--you get the impression that it wasn't much more than a few spare parts from somebody's basement held together with duct tape and spit. Then, within a few days we learned that not only did the Liebermaniacs almost immediately know that everything they had accused the Lamont campaign of, with such certainty, was a total fabrication, but that the Democratic state attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, and the Republican U.S. attorney, Kevin O'Connor, had this information and seem to have erected an impenetrable public stonewall, which kept the facts of the matter secret and allowed the Lamont campaign to suffer continuing contumely from its already-disproved bad behavior.
Even now, not surprisingly, Holy Joe and the Abominable Gerstein bat their eyes demurely and blame it all on their wicked and deceitful computer guy, who dagnab it told them it was all the Lamont meanies' fault. And then they have the world-class chutzpah to declare "case closed." Without troubling to explain how it happened that they never got around to publicly correcting the supposedly inadvertent lies they had spread so feverishly.
Certainly you would think that the most rudimentary honest and decency require, before they go talking about any cases being closed, that they offer a public explanation and apology--if only for the inadvertent error of their accusations. It is, after all, quite possible that this lie made the difference between Holy Joe slithering back into the Senate versus shuffling off, with Mrs. Holy Joe, to full-time, on-the-books employment with their K Street masters.
What? You think His Holiness's lie about opposing the war in Iraq was the lie that got him reelected? Or the lie that he would vote as a Democrat? OK, you could be right. Considering that pretty the Lieberman campaign was pretty much all lies all the time, it's hard to know without some good-quality research the relative importance of the individual lies.
Still, don't the rules say that when you're caught in a lie, you've got to acknowledge it and apologize, however quietly and insincerely, before you can blithely move on? Apparently not in the "Connecticut for Lieberman" inner sanctum.
Nor, apparently, among the media puppets who stoogefully reported the Lieberman campaign accusations. Now those meanies at Media Matters, with their tiresome fetish for facts have investigated and found that by and large the media that reported the Lieberman accusations have similarly found no need to set the record straight, one notably honorable exception being Keith Olbermann on Countdown.
Some of the detail in the Media Matters report is staggering. I encourage you to let your eyes wander through it:
Despite having reported the August 2006 allegation by Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's re-election campaign that supporters of Ned Lamont, then his rival in the Democratic Senate primary, had "hacked" Lieberman's campaign website, numerous media outlets--including ABC, CNN, and CBS--have yet to report that an FBI investigation reportedly concluded before the November 2006 general election that there was "no evidence of (an) attack." To the contrary, according to an April 9 article in The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, an October 25, 2006, FBI email indicated that the FBI had found Lieberman's website "crashed because Lieberman officials continually exceeded a configured limit of 100 e-mails per hour the night before the primary." Thus, despite coverage of the Lieberman campaign's allegations against the Lamont campaign, ABC, CNN, and CBS have yet to report that the FBI not only exonerated the Lamont campaign, but that it was reported this month that the FBI concluded the website crash was the fault of the Lieberman campaign itself.
CNN reported the Lieberman campaign's allegations repeatedly on August 8, 2006, and a total of nine times from August 8, 2006, to September 8, 2006. As late as February 23 of this year, CNN correspondent Josh Levs reported on CNN Newsroom that "back in 2006, Joe Lieberman's campaign website went down. You remember this campaign. It was a big deal, him against Ned Lamont. Well, at the very end of his campaign, his site just pretty much disappeared, and his campaign is convinced it was an attack."
On the August 9, 2006, edition of ABC's Good Morning America, senior national correspondent Jake Tapper reported: "Lieberman's campaign complained to law enforcement that its website was hacked yesterday by devious anti-Lieberman forces. Lamont said he knew nothing about the hacking. But the incident was symbolic of the tornado of anti-war liberal Internet writers, called bloggers, that Lieberman faced." On the August 8, 2006, broadcast of the CBS Evening News, then-correspondent Trish Regan reported that Lieberman supporters were "nervous not only because of this race, but also because Lieberman's campaign website was hacked into and shut down today. They're pointing the finger at the Lamont camp."
A search conducted by Media Matters for America on April 29 turned up no instances of CNN, ABC News, or CBS News programs reporting on the FBI's reported findings as of 11:59 pm ET on April 28. By contrast, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, who reported the Lieberman campaign's allegations on the August 8, 2006, edition of Countdown, covered the reported results of the FBI investigation on April 9, 2008.
Lieberman's campaign website went down on August 7, 2006, the day before the Democratic primary. Quoting from the October 25, 2006, FBI email it obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, The Advocate reported:
A federal investigation has concluded that U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman's 2006 re-election campaign was to blame for the crash of its Web site the day before Connecticut's heated Aug. 8 Democratic primary.
The FBI office in New Haven found no evidence supporting the Lieberman campaign's allegations that supporters of primary challenger Ned Lamont of Greenwich were to blame for the Web site crash.
Lieberman, who was fighting for his political life against the anti-Iraq war candidate Lamont, implied that joe2006.com was hacked by Lamont supporters.
"The server that hosted the joe2006.com website failed because it was overutilized and misconfigured. There was no evidence of (an) attack," according to the e-mail.
A program that could have detected a legitimate attack was improperly configured, the e-mail states.
"New Haven will be administratively closing this investigation," it concluded.
The Lieberman campaign alleged it was the target of a "denial of service attack," which can involve bombarding a Web site with external communications to slow it or render it useless.
"Our Web site consultant assured us in the strongest terms possible that we had been attacked," former Lieberman campaign spokesman Dan Gerstein said in December 2006.
According to the FBI memo, the site crashed because Lieberman officials continually exceeded a configured limit of 100 e-mails per hour the night before the primary.
"The system administrator misinterpreted the root cause," the memo stated. "The system administrator finally declared the server was being attacked and the Lieberman campaign accused the Ned Lamont campaign. The news reported this on Aug. 8, 2006, causing additional Web traffic to visit the site. The additional Web traffic then overwhelmed the Web server. ... Web traffic pattern analysis reports and Web logging that was available did not demonstrate traffic that was indicative of a denial of service attack."
On April 10, The New York Times also reported that, according to the FBI email obtained by The Advocate, "it was not angry bloggers or Mr. Lamont's insurgent campaign workers who rendered the site inaccessible, but sheer technological ineptitude." The April 9 Advocate report was also published in The Greenwich Time; both newspapers are owned by Gannett Co.
After losing the Democratic primary to Lamont, Lieberman ran for re-election to the Senate as an independent. Shortly after Lieberman defeated Lamont in the November 2006 general election, The Advocate reported that the U.S. attorney's office and state attorney general in Connecticut had "cleared" the Lamont campaign and its supporters of any wrongdoing. ABC, CNN, and CBS ignored that report as well. From a December 20, 2006, article in The Advocate:
The U.S. attorney's office and state attorney general have cleared former U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont and his supporters of any role in the crash of U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman's campaign Web site hours before last summer's Democratic primary.
"The investigation has revealed no evidence the problems the Web site experienced were the result of criminal conduct," said Tom Carson, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor.
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal confirmed the joint investigation "found no evidence of tampering or sabotage warranting civil action by my office." Both men declined to provide additional information, such as what might have happened to the site.
According to an April 22, 2008, Advocate article, the office of state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said it "never saw or read the [October 25, 2006] FBI e-mail until its contents were reported by The Advocate" on April 9.
"Even when we work cooperatively, the FBI never shares such internal documents with my office, a practice and policy we respect given our very different roles and responsibilities," Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal, a Democrat, said his investigation into the joe2006.com crash "was active and ongoing" until December 2006.
"Throughout the investigation there were discussions between my office and the U.S. attorney's office regarding the direction of the federal investigation but not any conclusion until after the election," Blumenthal said. "To have made any premature public predictions before our investigation ended... would have been irresponsible and improper."
Thomas Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney, said in a statement that the office updated the Lieberman campaign and Blumenthal on the investigation in late October 2006.
"In accordance with our usual practice ... the Lieberman campaign, as the alleged victim, and the office of attorney general, which had been conducting a contemporaneous investigation ... were provided with limited information," Carson said. "The investigation was administratively closed several weeks later."
Like the December 2006 and April 9 articles before it, the April 22 Advocate report has also been ignored by the major media outlets mentioned above that covered Lieberman's allegations against Lamont and his supporters.
So, in addition to the need for some public acknowledgment by the sleazoids of the Lieberman campaign, there is rather urgent need for coming clean on the part of Attorney General Blumenthal, perhaps with a friendly jog from U.S. Attorney O'Connor.
But then, what really is the point? Most of the media who were so eager to pass on the bogus story seem eerily uninterested in setting the record straight. Maybe the solution would be for Senator Lieberman to do the honorable thing and resign his Senate seat. He could do so with clean conscience, knowing that he would be replaced, not by the man who would have been elected to that Senate seat in an honest race in 2006, but by an appointee of Connecticut's Republican governor, Jodi Rell--in other words, a Republican like himself.
Well, we hope not quite like himself. We'd like to think that even Connecticut Republicans have higher standards than that.