Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Scott Bloch in Trouble Again

Scott Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel, is in trouble yet again. The OSC is the office that is charged with investigating claims of discrimination or retaliation for whistleblowing in the Federal government, yet Bloch himself has been the target of numerous investigations over the years for his own misconduct. I find it interesting, though, how the Wall Street Journal spins the story:

The head of the federal agency investigating Karl Rove’s White House political operation is facing allegations that he improperly deleted computer files during another probe, using a private computer-help company, Geeks on Call.

Why point out that one investigation in particular? The implication is clear. They’re setting up an adversarial relationship between Bloch and the White House, but the reality is that Bloch is one of Bush’s main water carriers and long has been. Why do you think the White House has stood behind Bloch through all the allegations of wrongdoing over the years from his own staff at the OSC? Because Bloch does what Bush wants. Now, though, the White House may be forced to cut their losses and get rid of Bloch because what he did this time may be clearly criminal:

Bypassing his agency’s computer technicians, Mr. Bloch phoned 1-800-905-GEEKS for Geeks on Call, the mobile PC-help service. It dispatched a technician in one of its signature PT Cruiser wagons. In an interview, the 49-year-old former labor-law litigator from Lawrence, Kan., confirmed that he contacted Geeks on Call but said he was trying to eradicate a virus that had seized control of his computer….

Mr. Bloch had his computer’s hard disk completely cleansed using a “seven-level” wipe: a thorough scrubbing that conforms to Defense Department data-security standards. The process makes it nearly impossible for forensics experts to restore the data later. He also directed Geeks on Call to erase laptop computers that had been used by his two top political deputies, who had recently left the agency.

Geeks on Call visited Mr. Bloch’s government office in a nondescript office building on M Street in Washington twice, on Dec. 18 and Dec. 21, 2006, according to a receipt reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The total charge was $1,149, paid with an agency credit card, the receipt shows. The receipt says a seven-level wipe was performed but doesn’t mention any computer virus.

Bloch is clearly lying through his teeth. First of all, every major government agency has its own IT department. If you get a virus, you call them, not a private company. Second of all, you don’t perform a seven level wipe to get rid of a virus; you perform a seven level wipe to get rid of incriminating information in a way that prevents it from being reconstructed during an investigation.