The Palin Emails, Wikipedia, and the Secret Service: What Happened, and Why.
By Joel Lalone
It has been revealed, as you probably know by now, that one of potential vice president Sarah Palin’s Yahoo accounts has been hacked, and further bits of her personal life have been sprayed out all over the Internet.
The story, and the emails, are available here.
The Items were originally posted on Wikileaks, a vast collection of publicly edited leaked documents that has given me more hours of fascinating reading than any website, ever. Wikileaks was down Wednesday night, and is still down this morning. Whether it has been paralyzed by traffic, or taken down due to investigations is immaterial-things have changed, forever. Wikileaks survived by operating under the radar, and was a carefully held and cherished secret to a few journalists, and a few more infophiles. By noon, everyone in America will know about it, and the amount of public scrutiny on its creators and hosts will lead to an insurmountable tidal surge of legal action. Regardless of the purity of vision possessed by Wikileaks, there is only so much time in a day, and only so much money to be spent on legal gunslingers.
It is not as unreasonable as it may sound that the website has been taken down. Eric Gonalez, the FBI’s spokesman in Anchorage, said to CNN yesterday:
“We are aware of the allegations and we are coordinating with Secret Service as far as the allegation that someone has hacked into Governor Palin’s personal e-mail account. We are going to be working a joint investigation with Secret Service on this.”
This is a sort of law enforcement code. It translates as: “We are goddamned serious about this, and we have unleashed a pack of big meat-starved dogs on the trail.”
The Secret Service are famous as the men who have made sacrificing their own lives for those they protect into a reflex action, as quick and unthinking as an eyeblink. When this level of commitment is brought to an investigation, the results are often unreasonably quick, and are always serious. They act to ends threats as quickly and as thoroughly as possible, and in their secret hearts all law enforcement personnel are slightly in awe of them. They will not worry about subpoenas, warrants, or due process, nor are they bound by any statute to do so. They will end the threat to Mrs. Palin and her family, and god help any website, journalist, or Obama campaign staffer that appears in the middle of their tunnel-vision.
There are only a few actual messages displayed on Gawker.com, which broke the story in the mainstream press early Wednesday afternoon. This is frustrating, as there are several tantalizing subjects in the screen captures of her mailbox, including “Draft letter to Governor Schwarzenegger”, and “Veep talking points” from Palin’s Anchorage office director, Kris Perry. Unfortunately for us, these messages are not available. As the story on Gawker points out, the Yahoo account was deleted just hours after the hack was made public.
The single message that is available does reveal quite a bit about the candidate when carefully parsed, however. It offers a glimpse into the private woman behind the public figure. It may not have been ethical to post these initially, but they are irretrievably in the Public Eye now, and so must be understood.
The original purpose of this story was to provide a careful analysis of this email, but the real story has grown far beyond any trivial details or voyeuristic peeks into the lives of the powerful and famous. One hacker has affected the course of an American presidential election, and these things will never be looked at the same way. In the months ahead, be prepared for a typhoon of outrage over Wikileaks, a quieter storm of sober recalculations from those in the public eye, and a spate of irrevocably altered lives.
Pailin Emails Reveal press Hate
Earlier today, we brought you selections from the private email correspondence of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. A look at the contents reveals… well, not much. Whichever /b/tard first hacked into the account didn’t actually seem to know what he was looking for and tossed the password into the public before anything that great was tracked down. But still! We can learn a bit from the emails thus far recovered. One, a cryptic, prayerful message from a friend Palin appointed to a nice government job. The other excerpt is maybe more enlightening: an exchange between Palin and her Lt. Governor, complaining at length about the indignities of having to defend their records to the media. Specifically, to one critical right-wing radio talk show host. If Palin can’t handle that, it’s no wonder she hides from the national press. Read on for the full emails.
First, an email from Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell (currently running to unseat Don Young in the US Congress). Sean writes Sarah to complain about Alaska talk radio host Dan Fagan. Parnell apparently told Fagan that he supported Palin’s oil tax plan, called “Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share,” or ACES. As a sate legislator, Parnell was anti-tax. Of course Alaska is a semi-socialist oil state, so the ACES tax is pretty standard fare, but Fagan apparently caught Parnell in the trap of having to support his governor as she taxed the beloved oil industry.
From: Sean personal2
To: Sarah’s Personal Email
Sent: Jul 23, 2008 5:40 PM
Subject: Re: Looks like it’s my turn in dan’s crosshairs
Yesterday, as I set the record straight on my support for you and my ads, Fagan asked if I supported ACES. I told him I did, gave my reasons why and now he’s replaying it over and over next to my ad where I tell people I’m for lower taxes. (which was my legislative history, voted against a state income tax, fought Tony’s long range financial plan that included five new taxes, didn’t raise taxes when oil was at 9 dollars a barrel, cut spending instead.)
It got ugly and will be.
Sarah responds, semi-coherently, arguing that Parnell’s taxes dodge shouldn’t matter next to his commitment to “life issues.”
Thursday, July 24, 2008 2:14 AM
To: “Sean personal2”
Subject: Re: Looks like it’s my turn in dan’s crosshairs
Arghhh! He is so inconsistent and purposefully misleading! I am sorry Sean. He can keep trying, but you are the right one for the congressional position and he KNOWS it (that’s the inconsistency!)…remember how he said it all only really matters on matters like LIFE, honesty, ability, etc…all those things you are (as opposed to attributes of your opponents)? He knows you fit all of this, and conservatives’, and Alaskans’ criteria. His fighting you reveals some evil stuff going on with him. Does he want someone OPPOSED to the life issue in Congress? NOT capable of working with both parties? NOT experienced and capable and standing strong on all the right issues?
I am so sorry he does this.
Next up, an email from Palin friend Amy McCorkell. McCorkell, of Wasilla, is an “office worker and fitness instructor” and some time “private legal investigator” hired by Palin first as an investigator with the Alaska Public Defender Agency and then appointed by Palin to the Governor’s Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
Sunday, September 14, 2008 6:51 PM
From: “Amy McCorkell” email@example.com
Subject: HI SARAH
I am reading the paper, and have thoughts and prayers going your way……..don’t let the negative press wear you down! Pray for me as well. I need strength to 1. keep employment, 2. not have to choose
Lately I just pray may God’s will be done. I am trying to learn patience and to listen to God.
I pray he gives you energy! Strength!
We have no clue what “choice” Amy is praying not to have to make here. Nor do we know what happened to her cushy job on the alcohol board! But we learned a lot: like newspapers are evil and should be prayed at until they go broke.
(Here are some great responses from the public! Priceless)
Credit of Gawker.com
Good stuff. I just stumbled upon this. What’s an election without some good ol fashion hacking? Imagine the damage if the idiots who hacked her email had been a little better at their jobs? That may have been it for the McCain Palin party. The subject of security privacy and hacking it will become a major election issue. Obama is advised by Richard Clark a guru on security and probably McCain has his security guru. According to congressional study we the US is loosing $ 450 Billion a year from hacking. Maybe this should become a major theme in the elections. We may wake up the dead regarding security and privacy. WHat are your thoughts?