In my piece yesterday, I ended by wondering just when the Fourth Estate and the people were going to wake up to the spectacle of abuse of power and dereliction of duty in the White House—“the misconduct of public men,” Alexander Hamilton called it? The beheadings and rapes in Iraq seem far away. The release of five top Taliban murderers for one army deserter may seem abstract. The slaughter of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans by al Qaeda offshoots in Benghazi after the administration first denied their requests for greater security and then refused to lift a finger to help them during their 8-hour fire fight—“at this point,” as former Secretary of State Hillary “I was poor like you” Clinton put it, “what difference does it make?” Deliberately lying to the public about Obamacare, “period,” who can really get their minds around that?
But here we have a former senior official from the IRS who deliberately harassed hundreds of conservatives groups. She has taken the 5th Amendment—why? What sort of self-incrimination is she worried about? A look through her emails would have the answer. But those emails are, according to the IRS, unavailable because of a hard disk failure. Do you believe that? Do you believe that the agency charged with tax gathering for the United States does not have multiple backups of its business correspondence? Do you? Imagine what the IRS would have to say to a (conservative) business it decided to audit if a request for electronic records was met with, “Gosh darn, we had a hard disk failure, and they’re just plum gone.” Imagine. And why have there not been instant calls for the data recovery folks to get involved? Why? The public, I’d wager, would find all this keenly interesting—if only the people charged with reporting the news would tell them about it.
Maybe I am naive, but I wouldn’t be surprised if those missing two years’ worth of emails does for Obama what the missing 18 1/2 minutes of audio tape did for Richard Nixon.