In my article last Friday about the use of video to help voters gain oversight of their elected officials, I used as one example the "Hacker-gate" incident, where Sen. Joe Lieberman and his campaign made wayward and irresponsible accusations against Ned Lamont, his campaign staff, and the bloggers who were sympathetic to his campaign. The investigation both by the FBI and Dick Blumenthal's office turns out to show absolutely NO evidence of foul play by any of them/us.
Subsequently, the FBI's investigation further showed that the definite blame for Sen. Lieberman's website crash was caused by his own staff's incompetence and their use of a low-bandwidth ISP package, which was easily overwhelmed by their own email usage the day before the primary.
The primary was held on August 8, 2006. Attorney General Blumenthal's own investigation wrapped up in late December, which was after the general election concluded, though the results of his investigation weren't officially announced. Brian Lockhart of the Stamford Advocate made an inquiry to Blumenthal's office about the investigation and was told they had found no evidence of wrong doing in the crash.
The FBI's investigation wrapped up in October, at least 10 days before the general election, and an internal memo from October 25th was revealed by an FOI request earlier this month that not only exonerated Ned Lamont and his staff, but also placed the fault of the website crash firmly on Joe Lieberman's people.
This information may never have become public had it not been for Brian Lockhart's FOI request, which took well over a year to process.
When I interviewed Dick Blumenthal four days after the date of the FBI memo, he stated that his investigation was ongoing, which at the time it was.
This raises several immediate questions. Why didn't the FBI share this information with the CT AG's office? Why did it take so long for Blumenthal's investigation to conclude? And why, when it was clearly in the public interest to reveal the results of both the Federal and State investigations since so many people had been harmed by Lieberman's false accusations, did it take so goddamned long for this information to come out?
That being said, I do want to apologize to Dick Blumenthal if my article made it look like he had been less than truthful with me. I am now convinced that he was answering my questions honestly, and while there are many things about this case that still puzzles me and justifies further investigation, I wouldn't want any lingering doubt about Mr. Blumenthal's honesty to remain. He and his staff have been very good about having an open dialog with me ever since this story cropped up earlier this month.
So, in the parlance of an NFL referee, "upon further review, the ruling on the field is overturned."
I'll close with this, a lovely original composition by former Lieberman campaign wizard Sean Smith, entitled "An Ode To Lamont's Hackers":
Is it any wonder why so many of us were upset by this bullshit?