White House used shadow computer system

040907rose.jpgThe Bush White House, already recognized as the most secretive in history, used laptop computers and other communications devices paid for by the Republican National Committee to conceal questionable activities from investigators and circumvent the law.

The laptops, used alongside official White House computers, provided a way for Bush political guru Karl Rove (above) to work “off the books” and send communications that bypassed traditional channels and avoid the tracking systems used in the West Wing.

Writes Tom Hambuger of the Los Angeles Times:

When Karl Rove and his top deputies arrived at the White House in 2001, the Republican National Committee provided them with laptop computers and other communication devices to be used alongside their government-issued equipment.

The back-channel e-mail and paging system, paid for and maintained by the RNC, was designed to avoid charges that had vexed the Clinton White House — that federal resources were being used inappropriately for political campaign purposes.

Now, that dual computer system is creating new embarrassment and legal headaches for the White House, the Republican Party and Rove’s once-vaunted White House operation.

Democrats say evidence suggests the RNC e-mail system was used for political and government policy matters in violation of federal record preservation and disclosure rules.

In addition, Democrats point to a handful of e-mails obtained through ongoing inquiries suggesting the system may have been used to conceal such activities as contacts with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was convicted on bribery charges and is now in prison for fraud.

Democratic congressional investigators are beginning to demand access to this RNC-White House communications system, which was used not only by Rove’s office but by several top officials elsewhere in the White House.

The prospect that such communication might become public has further jangled the nerves of an already rattled Bush White House.


  1. Johnny Flatline

    It only exposes the obvious. There was never a government of the people. It’s always been an elite shadow government pretending to be ours. This just highlights how bold and arrogant they have become . . . stealing elections, bribing officials, giving favors to donors, torturing who they please, ignoring the constitution, ignoring international law, lying about war, promoting the most ignorant, firing the most honest . . . Catch 22.

  2. vista vancouver island


    so there IS a connection between Paul Wolfowitz – the neo-con, Straussian father of the “War” in Iraq (Step One of the PNAC) and now head of the World Bank – AND those like-minded Pentagon officials – including the Comptroller who oversaw the disappearance of Trillions of taxpayers’ dollars – with whom he’s conspired since 9/11/2001 to have happen…

    One question would be: where’s that money right now?

    Try financing mercenaries willing – for enough money – to have initiated sectarian violence in Iraq – with the Grand Mosque in Samarrah, on the eve of the 2004 elections, and many times since.

    figure it out.

  3. jacbi

    Now I’m no legal expert but what are these RNC tied laptops doing on the WH premises? What are these “staffers” doing on the taxpayers’ dollar? Whether they are emailing Abramoff staff, plotting the overthrow of the judicial system, or typing sweet notes to Ken Mehlman it was still most likely when they were being paid to do the business of ALL American citizens as they were paid by the same. The verrrrry first thing that s/b reviewed before we get into all the content is the date/time that this “work” was done. Might I suggest that everyone of these staffers be docked an hour’s pay for each and every email sent on the taxpayers’ dime. BTW do they get OT?
    Just Asking.

  4. SEAL

    We can’t start trying to figure out who is drawing government pay when they are performing purely personal agendas. If we do we will find that most of them only spend about 20% of their time doing what we pay them for.

    What about all the current candidates for president? We are paying them while they are fundraising and campaigning. That holds true for every one of them during the election cycles.

    Most of the politition’s time concerns their career and is spent play politics. Government is politics. Very little of it functions the way it’s supposed to. And that which does is always designed to draw attention, make a name for themselves, and further someone’s career.

    This is what you get with the two party system. None of them do the job they were hired to do. Everything has to do with the other party. What are they doing, what will they do and so forth. Nothing is done because it should be done or it is best for the nation. Most of it is done because it is best for them and/or their party. The only real government business occurs if and when it’s necessary, like funding essentials.

    So, picking on one piece of it by one person is silly.

  5. Patriot

    History will record this administration as having been not only the most brazenly corrupt but the most inwardly disceptive, even unto itself.

    I can’t even imagine what it must be like for the majority of decent federal [and state] government employees who are being intimidated to keep quiet about the wholesale sell-off of this Nation that surely they are witnessing day-after-day.

    If I live long enough, maybe some of those employees will have found the courage and the honor to have come forward to speak about and verify what the majority of Americans already know.

  6. Carl Nemo

    Soon we’ll hear of another impotent probe being launched by “republicrats” who most if not all, are on the same “shadow team”. The Whitehouse has a shadow computer system, the U.S. government has also a long-standing shadow government in the event of nuclear war or possibly an asteroid incoming. There is also a political shadow government that this newly disclosed computer system serves. So this means that as bad as Buscho seems publicly there’s shadowy deep-pocket controllers twitching their strings from London, Zurich, Ridyah, Tel Aviv, Beijing, and of course from the backporch on behalf of mega-wealthy U.S. patrons probably all given access to this same system. They probably are not using the normal web either, but are using the governments secure shadow net.

    The visible U.S. government is nothing but a feelgood display for the un-washed masses that labor as slaves from minimum wage jobs to even high-level corporate positions all being indebted until the 12th of never with nothing in return for their America, now simply AmeriKa! We are all in the same boat as far as the aforementioned elitists are concerned, we are nothing but groundlings; i.e, their prey, and they, the planetary corporate predators feeding at the “debt-trough” of the U.S. Treasury.
    America and the world is in harms way with this evil corporatist system that is now in place and growing all the time. My best suggestion is kick every incumbent that’s currently in D.C. out of office when they come up for re-election regardless of their ongoing promises and weighing in on the strength of their incumbency on powerful, pork-barrel feeding committees etc. This is precisely why we are in our current predicament as a nation! We not only need term limits, but I’m saying they should only get a single term in D.C., all of them. The executive and legislative branches need to be reigned back-in bigtime. It’s probably too late to do so because the electorate is more enamoured with the illusory comfort of their heavily indebted “good-life” to get involved with the everso tedious business of having to pay attention as to how they are governed.

    I’ll provide the duty link so citizen/patriots regardless of party affiliation can contact their elected “republicrat” and demand summary action concerning this newly discovered shadow computer system. These mattoids in the Whitehouse are about 4 years overdue for impeachment. Fire your thought-shot across the bow of dreadnaught “Tyranny”…! http://www.conservativeusa.org/megalink.htm

  7. Dan

    This may seem unrelated, but in my mind it isn’t.

    I recall numerous instances of video footage of the President and his White House staff cutting cedar brush together at his Texas ranch. The images were intended to portray these people as rugged, for political gain. While this may seem like a complaint about a trifle, recall that the indictments against Reps. Rostenkowski and Trafficante included allegations of felonies for using federal employees to do private yardwork or private farmwork.

    The laptops located in the White House by the RNC comprise just another example of how this administration has used the White House and its staff for private purposes, rather than solely to conduct the taxpayers’ business.

  8. Stek

    Nothing can shock the American people anymore then what has been exposed. This administration will go down in history as the most corrupt, secretive, and most power hungry president since Nixon. Wherever Nixon’s soul is now, he is smiling knowing that Bush’s legacy has surpassed his as the worst ever in history.

  9. Harry Butts

    Have you forgotten about cigar sticking slick Willie Clinton? He who pardons terrorists and forgives felons? The one who does not think that a blow job is sex?

  10. JimZ

    I find it surprising any “outsider” laptops are even allowed in the White House. Bending the rules there? Using government facilities and property to conduct personal or illegal activities?

    Perhaps Bu$h just re-wrote the rules (probably like Clinton before him)? Just try to take a camera, cell phone, camera cell phone, or even a portable CD player or Ipod into a secured government facility. Any reg’lar US citizen would be fired and perhaps charged & jailed. A record forever banning us from government service.

    Bunch of hypocrites and traitors (as usual).

  11. Greg may be interested in doing a deep cavity investigation on this creep Michael Connell who is tied to this story and maybe even vote fraud. Anyone with information on Connell or more details of this story contact zach@gregpalast.com

  12. vista

    how CAN you compare anything Clinton did with what George dufus Bush has done?


    The massive fraud perpetrated by the Bush administration on the American public – and the world (via Douglas Feith in the Office of Special Plans, in the basement of the Pentagon) to launch an attack on Iraq using phoney “intelligence”, should invite an enormous class-action civil suit for “fraud by inducement”.

    They’re ruining the country.

    Either help save it or get out of the way.

  13. Harry Butts

    You guys are going to save it by running around the country sniffing the hind ends of dictators?
    Stop drinking the Kool Aid Buddy!

    Ha Ha Ha……..

  14. Harry Butts

    Heres one for you about the current Democratic Hero:

    Pratfall in Damascus
    Nancy Pelosi’s foolish shuttle diplomacy
    Thursday, April 5, 2007; Page A16

    HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered an excellent demonstration yesterday of why members of Congress should not attempt to supplant the secretary of state when traveling abroad. After a meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, Ms. Pelosi announced that she had delivered a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that “Israel was ready to engage in peace talks” with Syria. What’s more, she added, Mr. Assad was ready to “resume the peace process” as well. Having announced this seeming diplomatic breakthrough, Ms. Pelosi suggested that her Kissingerian shuttle diplomacy was just getting started. “We expressed our interest in using our good offices in promoting peace between Israel and Syria,” she said.

    Only one problem: The Israeli prime minister entrusted Ms. Pelosi with no such message. “What was communicated to the U.S. House Speaker does not contain any change in the policies of Israel,” said a statement quickly issued by the prime minister’s office. In fact, Mr. Olmert told Ms. Pelosi that “a number of Senate and House members who recently visited Damascus received the impression that despite the declarations of Bashar Assad, there is no change in the position of his country regarding a possible peace process with Israel.” In other words, Ms. Pelosi not only misrepresented Israel’s position but was virtually alone in failing to discern that Mr. Assad’s words were mere propaganda.

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    Ms. Pelosi was criticized by President Bush for visiting Damascus at a time when the administration — rightly or wrongly — has frozen high-level contacts with Syria. Mr. Bush said that thanks to the speaker’s freelancing Mr. Assad was getting mixed messages from the United States. Ms. Pelosi responded by pointing out that Republican congressmen had visited Syria without drawing presidential censure. That’s true enough — but those other congressmen didn’t try to introduce a new U.S. diplomatic initiative in the Middle East. “We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace,” Ms. Pelosi grandly declared.

    Never mind that that statement is ludicrous: As any diplomat with knowledge of the region could have told Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Assad is a corrupt thug whose overriding priority at the moment is not peace with Israel but heading off U.N. charges that he orchestrated the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri. The really striking development here is the attempt by a Democratic congressional leader to substitute her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president. Two weeks ago Ms. Pelosi rammed legislation through the House of Representatives that would strip Mr. Bush of his authority as commander in chief to manage troop movements in Iraq. Now she is attempting to introduce a new Middle East policy that directly conflicts with that of the president. We have found much to criticize in Mr. Bush’s military strategy and regional diplomacy. But Ms. Pelosi’s attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.