If there is a single lesson to be learned from Watergate, it has to be “it’s not the crime that gets you, it’s the cover-up.” People can usually forgive you if you admit your mistake and take your lumps. (Your political opponents, not so much. But they’re a lost cause, anyway.)
Well, every now and then we’re treated to a reminder of the essential truth of that. And right now, we’ve got three wonderful examples of why trying to hide things not only almost never works, but ends up making things worse.
First up, the hot topic of the week: the global warmening “scientists” at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit and their purloined files. Every day more and more fascinating details emerge from the megabytes of data.
For me, the most damning element are the e-mails related to how to respond to a legal request for releasing their data. England has its own Freedom of Information Law similar to our Freedom Of Information Act, and the learned scholars at UEA had been served with such a request.
In response, they sent a flurry of e-mails “asking” (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more!) correspondents if they had expected their mails to be confidential and private, so they could resist releasing them on those grounds. And if that didn’t work, they were ready to just delete them — in absolute violation with the law.
It’s my understanding that, in American courts, if one party destroys evidence, then the court simply presumes that it was detrimental to that party’s case. I think that’s a sound principle — but I’d take it a bit further. I’m feel entirely comfortable in assuming that any deleted e-mails not only referred to near-absolute evidence refuting anthropologic-caused global warming, but also involved confessions that the scientists had used government funding to illegally subsidize their sexual obsession with lawn furniture.
The second case is with ACORN. Big Government has found repeated cases of ACORN simply tossing literally thousands of documents in the trash, containing highly sensitive information and confidential documents. And oddly enough, all these found their way into the trash right after California’s Attorney General, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, announced that he’d be conducting a
raid visit to those very same offices.
Why would ACORN be in such a hurry to get rid of all those highly-sensitive documents just before the AG is coming to pay a call? Again, the principle cited above holds — we should just assume the worst. And thus far, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government (who, if there was true justice in this world, would be up for a Pulitzer for their work) has found some very strong signs that that presumption is a fair one.
Finally, we have the Obama administration itself, with the case of fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin. He was fired for being old and senile and cantankerous, and certainly not for anything he was finding or might find during his investigations. Oh, heavens, no.
Well, maybe yes. It turns out those reasons were being pulled together after he had been fired, and it turns out that he was getting closer and closer to getting some serious dirt on a personal friend of Obama’s.
In each case, it’s getting clearer and clearer that there was some malfeasance at the core of their behavior. But in each case, the signs of that malfeasance are compounded by the amazingly guilty conduct of the parties in question.
Or, to put it more briefly, not everyone who acts to conceal or destroy evidence is necessarily guilty — but the percentage of guilty versus innocent is tremendously lopsided.
It’s the kind of thing that it wouldn’t be too risky to bet the rent on.