Thursday, March 29, 2007

Michael Beck @ Gmail?

Yesterday the Justice Department dumped another load of emails. There has been lots of buzz about the Administration skirting records keeping laws by using outside private email providers in order to not have the communications be part of the official record.

In yesterdays docudump, check out document AG000001014. There is someone named Michael Beck from the office of the Attorney General replying to an email from Kyle Sampson from Beck's Gmail account. Sampson instructs Beck to print and attach a letter and an email and give them to Alberto Gonzales. "Please print (1) the attached letter and (2) the below e-mail for the AG. Thx."

I have to admit that when I saw this Gmail, I actually burst into laughter. I have a Gmail account. I found the glimpse into Beck's Gmail account both humorous and fascinating... and frankly a bit spooky. He had 3363 spam mails sitting there. He had 643 emails in his inbox. Beck obviously saves every correspondence sent to him, no matter the import, or lack there of, of the mail he receives. Good lord my man, after you start acting legally in regards to official business conducted by yourself at the Justice Department and switch all the pertinent correspondence to the correct system... discover the delete link!

Obviously Mr. Beck's email address is known by just about every spam generator in the world. I get lots of spam with my Gmail as well, but I have my address publicized @ Club Lefty, and just about every other time someone wants my email they get my Gmail. I wonder how many spam mails one would get if they set up a Gmail account and kept that address secret? In other words, Beck is hardly undercover, and is using a widely accessed publicly available server to conduct Justice Department business. I hope and pray that Beck doesn't have ambitions to move up the food chain to a position that would require him to have a security clearance.

I also had to chuckle at the advertisements that Gmail targeted at Mr. Beck. The sponsor ads are not the same for everyone with Gmail. They target you based upon your google searches and other criteria. The very top ad is for the book "Why Mommy Is A Democrat". This makes me wonder if the publishers of WMIAD are targeting anyone who shows an interest in politics rather than just people sympathetic with the message of the book. The rest of the sponsor ads seem to have a definite right wing flavor. My favorite is the ad to get specialized bumper stickers from www.rightwing ... and the right side of the page is cut off. I wonder though, what kind of right wing bumpersticker do you suppose would be most appropriate for Mr. Beck?

Beyond the fascinating look inside a bigwigs Gmail world... I was flummoxed about just who Micheal Beck was. Googling his name in the news offers nothing. Searching for his name on the DOJ website: nothing pertinent. Talking Points Memo is the bible on all things Justice Department scandal, but no mention of Michael Beck there. In fact, searching the Judiciary Committees archives for documents between 03/01/07 and today brings up only 1 other relevant page. The Gmail from Beck is on Feb. 8. The day prior Sampson instructs Beck to copy an unrelated transcript and give it to Gonzales.

So we have 2 separate examples of Sampson instructing Michael Beck (oag) to copy documents and give them to Gonzales. From this I deduce that Beck is Gonzales' gatekeeper, and he's using Gmail to correspond with other members of the Justice Department. If there is something I'm missing from all this... feel free to point it out to me.

Frankly, I'm certain that Beck is not classified or undercover (if he is he is the biggest security risk going right now) so he shouldn't be very difficult to track down as a government employee. But I've used up my sleuthing skills... and I think the little bit unearthed to this point is very interesting.

I'm the author/publisher of Why Mommy is a Democrat. Thanks for pointing this out -- I think it's hilarious. And of course I'm honored to be a small part of an official document dump.

(By the way: Google has much more control over where the ad shows than I do. I'm trying to target Democrats, but Google shows the ad on virtually any website or gmail correspondence that has anything to do with politics or related topics. It's an inexact science, to say the least. If anyone could figure out a more efficient way to place these ads, they'd put Google out of business in about five minutes.)
I am honored you posted here. It is a funny link, and very odd to have it at the very top of all the other right wing pitches.
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