Comments about ‘Robert Bennett: Let's hope the 'missing emails' scandal will impact bureaucratic inertia’

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Published: Monday, June 23 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

So Senators Cruz and Lee were out of line for "shutting down the government" because they were opposed to the never ending "omnibus" spending bills that the President insists Congress has to pass? Oh, those awful conservatives! It's Congress' own fault for essentially giving up their Constitutional prerogative to control how Federal money is appropriated.
I have a better solution than Mr Bennett for dealing with the IRS though. It has to be eliminated. We know the IRS improperly targeted conservative groups. We know confidential tax information was released. We know that in 2008 98% of political donations by IRS employees went to Democrats. We know that the IRS is the most feared agency in America.
Obviously the Federal Government needs a revenue collection agency but we have to start from scratch. The current IRS is obviously corrupt. We have to either have a flat tax or a fair tax and a new, and a much smaller and less intimidating revenue agency to replace the current IRS.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Good commonsense piece. Which means it will be rejected in Washington.

I'd also like to remind anyone that thinks this is a great Obama conspiracy of the 22 millions emails that went missing during the Bush administration.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I long for justice for all Americans, even for those in service to the American people by being a part of government. If a person uses the Constitutional protection to refuse to testify against themselves, which would even include e-mails, they should not be treated as criminals.

When a government official or other highly regarded person makes a charge against another, along with the words "I believe, I think, my opinion, I feel", or any other disclaimer in the Press or any other public media, it should be regarded as an actual charge of the crime and require all the protections granted by our Constitution.

If such a person upon making criminal charges against another, fails to bring those charges in a court of law, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for making false charges.

I do not believe that freedom of speech and the Press was intended to allow people to lie and not be accountable.

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

I have no doubt that if the IRS officials wanted to find those emails, they could do it in a New York Minute. The stonewalling of this and other investigations is amazing. All I can say is that the evidence must be really, really bad to warrant this blatant of a cover-up.

The hard drive crash (if there really was one) is a convenient excuse to pretend that this means all those incriminating emails are "lost forever". If all the emails really are gone, then the only question is: Did those who destroyed them cover all their tracks? Each email has at least two copies (one at the sender's end, the other at the recipient's).

Someone within the organization would be aware of the cover-up and could blow the whistle. It is very difficult to do anything electronically without leaving some kind of evidence behind. The truth will most likely eventually come out. The only question is: can that moment be delayed long enough for either the next election or for the voters to no longer care?

Vanceone
Provo, UT

Hey, for those questioning "mistake or deliberate:" Turns out that the IRS had a private company that they paid to back up emails, etc. Only weeks after Lois Lerner's emails "Disappeared" that contract was not renewed. Too bad the IRS hasn't volunteered the existence of their contract with this company.

Oh, this company is run by an Obama campaign worker........., Sonasoft.

Here's the link: here.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Anyone who has been the target of litigation or a formal investigation knows that email is "discoverable", it can absolutely be used against you in an investigation or lawsuit.

Bill Gates learned this lesson the hard way, and formulated a policy in Microsoft to specifically *not* back up email systems, and to have the "Empty Items" purged daily.

In my organization we've been advised to never use email for any kind of sensitive information. Use the phone, use text messaging (for now), use smoke signals... if you use email and it is used against you, you're an idiot.

For those conservatives who hammer the IRS as intentionally neglecting email backups, how do you explain Mitt Romney removing all the hard drives from systems as he was concluding his term as Massachusett's Governor? Technically, that was legal, there was no law against it.

Maybe we need to pass a Constitutional Amendment that compels all levels of government to only use email for communications, and to back them up properly, with criminal charges resulting if they don't.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

I think Bob's onto something here. The Republicans expect government agencies to upgrade their IT practices at the same time they cut their budgets. Of course, some libertarians, like at least one commenter on this page, would rather see the federal government simply disappear--until, of course, they themselves are in need and are upset because government didn't take care of them. Oh the hypocrisy.

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

I would hope that the IRS is trerated with as much courtesy and respect as they treat us. that would be NONE!

not here
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO

And why is there not all this upset when the Utah AG lost all his E-Mail and texts? Or is it, this nothing but about the party and the man that's in charge right now? P.s Oh and how about those on In your own Government saying that to much money has been spent and the investigation needed to stop? Were is your out rage over that? Please reply and looking forward to it.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Hmmm --

What makes us think we can trust Republicans to find a few missing e-mails in cyber space,

when they couldn't even a single physical, tangible, extremely deadly Weapon of Mass Destruction before launching a full on invasion of a soverneign, foreign nation?

GOP credibility is at an all time low...

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

The IRS is a creature of Congress. Congress made the tax law monstrously complex to administer but will not give the IRS the resources to keep IT systems updated. Congress is to blame, as Mr. Bennett should know.

GiuseppeG
Murray, Utah

What, they can't send a request in to NSA to get a copy?

Red
San Antonia, TX

The Government is being run by cunning men who aspire for power and riches. They are self indulgent and don't care.

The fact that they exempt themselves from all the junk laws they pass is evidence of this.

Someday they will all stand accountable.

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

10CC: "Use the phone, use text messaging (for now), use smoke signals... if you use email and it is used against you, you're an idiot."

Well, it appears that IRS officials and the Obama administration used email to do something very wrong. Apparently, they never thought anyone would have the power to actually force them to hand over the evidence. Once they figured out it could actually come to light, they had to think of any and every possible excuse about why they could not produce the emails.

The excuses so far (hard drive crashes, recycled hard drives, server backups automatically purged) are only plausable to their supporters (many on this forum). Everyone else who has even an ounce of impartiality sees it for the ruse that it is.

Roland and "not here":

Other administrations (e.g. Nixon) tried similar deplorable things, but suggesting that the current situation is OK because others have done bad things is merely a deflection.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

If repubs hate the emails that went missing at the IRS then they must have really hated the emails that went missing at our very own AG's office.

Why the double standard repubs?

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

"unless Congress starts providing the money and driving the change that will impact bureaucratic inertia and bring the government’s IT systems into the 21st century. That means passing appropriations bills that dictate specifics as well as the total, which is how things used to be done."

This will not work. Just as Obama refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage act, because he disagreed with it; so he will refuse to make changes here. It is just too convenient to declare that a hard drive crashed when he would otherwise get caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Second item:

The 5th amendment is there to prevent the government from abusing the people, not to protect government officials from the people. I propose limiting the 5th amendment. We should be able to force government officials to testify, under oath, with a polygraph attached. A democracy cannot survive if the people don't know what their government is doing to them.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

" that similar events will happen again unless Congress starts providing the money and driving the change that will impact bureaucratic inertia and bring the government’s IT systems into the 21st century."

The problem isn't money - but organizational inertia is the problem. I am working with several DoD accounts right now on a modernization project, and the structural/political walls even within the branches themselves would make your head spin. There needs to be huge structural changes in government IT.. not just money. Money in my opinion is the least of the issues.

" Apparently, they never thought anyone would have the power to actually force them to hand over the evidence." You know... I am a skeptic on this issue as well... but I do not believe for a second anyone thought someone could not request this data. They aren't that stupid, and most are career people who don't care which administration is in. I get that a server drive could have failed... I understand also sometimes backups are bad. I've seen it before. Timing though is the thing that makes this one hard to digest. Could have happened... just hard to understand systems this bad.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Look at the picture... this is the literal definition of "looking down your nose at people".

She thinks she's above us, and shouldn't have to answer to the people (but she will fall on her sward for her party).

IMO we need LESS people like this in Government... at ALL levels.

More common people should run for office. And more ccmon people should be appointed to positions like this. Then they would feel responsible to the PEOPLE... not the party.

EisenhowerRepublican
SLC, UT

Bob Bennett ran for Senate in 1992 on a pledge to make the 1040 Form the size of a post card. How did that turn out?

TheProudDuck
Newport Beach, CA

If Richard Nixon had been backed by the 2014 Democratic caucus rather than the 1974 Republican caucus, he never would have had to resign. They would have closed ranks as tightly around Their Man as the current crew is closing ranks now.

The disappearance of just those potentially incriminating e-mails, at just that time, is an extraordinary coincidence. Those require extraordinary evidence. Any person who does not want a special prosecutor is not a person for whom truth matters more than party.

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