It was good to see you get mad at John Koskinen, but going up against the top of the Obama administration's "Beltway Maginot line" does not have a high success probability. But it does make good theater. After a lifetime of playing publicity chicken with big time politicians, a life time spent staring down opponents, Obama's cadre of political organizers are not going to break. The "Maginot line" mind set is that eventually any opponent will wear themselves out, and the wear out the interest of the public attacking the strong fortress of the Obama administration. There is a better way.
Go around the Maginot line and get to the heart of the problem, the technology contractors.
Koskinen said that he lost email. This is a technical problem. The US government does not run it's email servers or it's data farms. They are contractor supplied. Subpoena the CONTRACTORS. Not the big names, but the contract managers.
Where to focus your investigation into the contracts, the contractors and the officials who approve payment. Start with understanding the contract.
- Does the contract stipulate that you are responsible for data integrity, security and reliability or must the government uncover errors before you are required to take action.
- Does the contract state how long you must secure the data, under what conditions you can dispose of data, who approves losses that cannot be replaced?
- Can you assure us today that data that is stored or managed by your systems is safe, secure and available.
- Can you tell me how many redundant, distributed or replicated storage systems are used to protect government data that you are responsible for under your contract.
- Can you tell me how long it would take you to recover anything missing. Such as email that was lost due to a hard drive crash. Could a hard drive crash cause the loss of data.
- Did you loose a hard drive, has your company lost data, are you responsible for the missing email. If so what else in what quantity of information is missing besides the email?
- You submitted a bill for your company services last month, is that correct? Who approves paying that bill. Have you ever been denied payment for failing to meet the SLA in your contract. (SLA is Service Level Agreement)
- Where is the headquarters of your office, where is your office, and in what state or states are data centers located.
Go after the government individual who signs the payment authorization.
After you have the facts, bring in the lowest level administrators from the government. The person directly responsible for the contract billing approval. Ask them the same questions with a revised emphasis. You submitted a bill for your company services last month, is that correct? Who approves paying that bill. Have you ever been denied payment for failing to meet the SLA in your contract. (SLA is Service Level Agreement)
- You APPROVED a bill for the contractor that provided services last month, is that correct? Have you ever denied payment for failing to meet the SLA in that contract.
- Does the contract stipulate that the contract is responsible for data integrity, security and reliability or must the government uncover errors before the contractor is required to take action.
- Does the contract state how long the data must be secured, under what conditions the contractor can dispose of data, who have you ever approved losses for data that cannot be replaced?
- Can you assure us today that data that is stored or managed by the contractor is safe, secure and available.
- Can you tell me how many redundant, distributed or replicated storage systems are used to protect government data that under this contract.
- Can you tell me how long this contractor would have to recover anything missing. Such as email that was lost due to a hard drive crash. Did a hard drive crash cause the loss of data while you were managing this contract?
- Is company responsible for the missing email. If so what else in what quantity of information is missing besides the email?
If the government bureaucracy cannot manage to protect some email, how can the government be trusted with the health records of the entire nation?
This is the real question the real reason why this investigation is important. It isn't about Democrat chicanery or cover up. It is about the fact that the federal government under the Obama administration, which claims to be the most technical savvy administration in the history of the world can't or won't run the federal goverment information systems in a way that protects the people they are supposed to serve. The real question is, could the Obama administration be purposely overwhelming the data systems to crush American confidence in their government or are they simply so incompetent.
What do all these things have in common?
- The IRS lost emails.
- Edward Snowden data theft
- The ACA market place roll out debacle
The answer of course is a systemic failure of data management. Either willful or through complete incompetence.
So if the Obama Administration isn't performing the duties the administration is constitutionally obligated to perform what exactly are they doing with the trillions of dollars that they are confiscating, or printing and spending each year.
Change the focus, take the Obama administration out of it experience.
Once you have more knowledge then the Obama administrators you can throw them off their game, only then might you be in a position to break their "Maginot Line". Like the French, who faced with a flanking attack that drew them out to fight untrained and unprepared for a mobile war, the Obama administration's life long "organizers" will be out of their element, divided, without the mutual support, untrained for the challenge and not equipped to meet you on even grounds.
Use the location of offices and facilities to involve state prosecutors. Leverage your allies.
The information you get will open up opportunities to leverage state prosecutors to investigate wrong doing, corruption, malfeasance, misappropriation and other potential criminal activities that occurred within any given state, that involve the contractors or the government contract administrators. Every effort that draws resources out of the stonewalling by the administration weakens their resistance and improves Republican and American's chances. This would then no longer be partisan, it is a noble cause for the good of all Americans. You would be focused on getting to the root of this problem and all the "information technology" problems plaguing America today, which no one can fault unless they have something to hide.
Thank you for your efforts in Congress, in this committee.