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Imagine an administration that designed a special way to communicate to keep their secrets secret from investigations and history.  Ok, stop imagining, because it's already here!!  

On the talking points website, we find an email with J. Scott Jennings Signature --a signature is the electronic equivalent to his business card.  And it says ---

J. Scott Jennings
Special Assistant to the President and
Deputy Political Director [note - this = Karl Rove]
The White House
Washington D.C. 20502
SJennings@gwb43.com [emphasis added]

Ok, so Karl's assistant doesn't use the WH email system but rather gwb43.com.  So, let's query the WhoIs database to see who owns gwb43.com:

Registrant:
Republican National Committee
  310 First Street SE
  Washington, DC 20003
  US

  Domain Name: GWB43.COM

  Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
     Republican National Committee dns@RNCHQ.ORG
     310 First Street SE
     Washington, DC 20003
     US
     999 999 9999 fax: 999 999 9999

  Record expires on 16-Jan-2008.
  Record created on 16-Jan-2004.
  Database last updated on 17-Mar-2007 13:19:34 EDT.

  Domain servers in listed order:

  NS1.CHA.SMARTECHCORP.NET    
  A.NS.TRESPASSERS-W.NE

Oh, I see.  The Republican National Committee maintains this server.  The Washington Post mentioned this in its Wednesday's story on Gonzales---

Jennings used an e-mail account registered to the Republican National Committee, where Griffin had worked as an opposition researcher.

Democratic congressional aides said they will investigate whether using the private address for government business violated laws against using taxpayer resources for political work or signaled that White House officials considered the firing of U.S. attorneys to be primarily a political issue. Jennings did not return a call to his office seeking a comment.

"As a matter of course, the RNC provides server space and equipment to certain White House personnel in order to assist them with their political efforts," RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said.

DeepSouthdoug blogged yesterday, in Send "kr" Your Love on Karl Rove's outside email account, kr@georgebush.com.  His blog was based on this WaPo article by Dan Fromklin.  

Fromkin asked the WH a these questions, all of which weren't answered:

  1. Does White House policy allow White House staffers to use non-White House e-mail addresses for official White House business? Does it prohibit it? What is the policy?
  1. Would these e-mails be treated any differently from official White House e-mails when it comes to archiving or subpoena purposes?
  1. Does it create either impropriety or the appearance of impropriety that gwb43.com is a domain owned by the Republican National Committee?
  1. Do other White House staffers regularly use non-White House e-mail accounts for White House business, and if so, why?

Since then, several readers have e-mailed me with their own questions and comments. So I've added four more, passed those along as well, and still no response:

  1. Does non-White House e-mail fulfill security requirements for White House communications?
  1. If other non-White House e-mail accounts are used, who are the providers for all of the other accounts? (Any others besides the RNC?)
  1. Does White House policy allow White House staffers to use non-White House e-mail addresses from their computers, even for non-official business? I'm told that during the Clinton administration, access to external e-mail, including Web mail, was shut off from White House (eop.gov) computers. Was there a conscious change of policy by the Bush administration?
  1. Have there been any recent changes in policy relating to e-mail practices, or are changes in policy contemplated?

He also wonders who maintains the domain that Karl used, georgebush.com.  Well, we can query the WhoIs database to find that answer--

Registrant:
Bush-Cheney '04, Inc.
  P.O. Box 10648
  Arlington, VA 22210
  US

  Domain Name: GEORGEBUSH.COM

  Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
     Bush-Cheney '04, Inc. Chuck@georgewbush.com
     P.O. Box 10648
     Arlington, VA 22210
     US
     703-647-2700

  Record expires on 01-Apr-2012.
  Record created on 01-Apr-1998.
  Database last updated on 17-Mar-2007 13:35:28 EDT.

  Domain servers in listed order:

  NS1.CHA.SMARTECHCORP.NET    
  A.NS.TRESPASSERS-W.NET      

Karl's works in the White house, but "Chuck@georgewbush.com" and Bush-Cheney '04 is responsible for maintaining Karl's uptime.  

Technical note:  for both email servers the "finger function" is disabled.  So, you can't find whether "kr" is the only user of that email server.

However, we can conclude that certain White House communications have been outsourced.

Does anyone remember when a convenient Windows update was made to Flordia state computers after the 2000 election and many emails were--oops!--lost!  

And whatdoyaknow?  Windows Vista has just been released!!

Also, I suspect that Fitzgerald did not supeona communications from these systems when he investigated the Plame affair.  If this was Rove's main email server, then Fitzy--well, it's a sad St. Patrick's day for this snookered Irishman.  

And perhaps most important, if matters of National Security were discussed on these servers--and we know that "National Security" is also political--then the very existance of these servers probably violates National Security laws and endangers our county.

Potentially, hackers could break in and find--well, a lot of stuff on National Security.  

But--and here it gets amusing or Orwellian, depending upon your sense of humor--someone should subpoena everything on these servers bec. National Security might have been discussed on this alternative channel.  But who--the NSC or the DOJ?

-----------------------
UPDATE 3/18/07; 11:45 EST  

There are many great threads below, briefly some intereting threads to "find on Page" for are

Network or trespassers-w – for mailserver and host information – who to subpoena and where the actual hard drives should be located
tech (Info on Smarttech – the company hosting the mail servers),
CREW citizensforethics.org – CREW is working on this issue
litigatormom (subpoenas scope),
Britain (a similar sit. with Blair's mailservers)
George (GWB & administration’s email habbits)
Ralston (Abramoff scandal link)

JEB posts on the applicable law

-- and then there's lots of other great threads!  (most more insightful than this post)

-----------------------
UPDATE 3/18/07; 12:00 EST

I spoke to someone at The Cleveland Plain Dealer about this story and server location and emailed the Times with the location and kos link.

So, I guess we'll see if the MSM has any interest in this story.  I'm sure CREW has contacted them before, as they probably first noticed the email address, kudos to the tech posters on the server info, and the rest of you all for your contributions and continued posts.  of course, there's still an opportunity for an intrepid Ohioian to check the location and see how many cars are in the lot.  All I'm suggesting is that if there are cars there, people would pay for the video . . .

Originally posted to BloggerJohn on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 11:19 AM PDT.

Poll

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