Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor creepy Paul Ryan PAC…
The Postal Service often conjures images of quaint, nice things. Things like friendly mail carriers in goofy hats and shorts, the cute mini-mail trucks, stamps, the specialness of getting a letter in this digital world. It does not usually connote spies, doxxing and Islamophobic political attacks.
But this week, the post office is caught in the middle of a snarl where ex-CIA officer Abigail Spanberger, who’s running a surprisingly competitive race against Rep. David Brat (R-VA), discovered that a Republican-aligned PAC had somehow obtained her 124-page classified personnel file (called an SF-86) and was using it for opposition fodder.
Spanberger had worked for the Postal Inspection Service, the security arm of the post office, explaining how they had her file (which includes things as sensitive as her social security number).
America Rising, a Republican research firm, requested the form under a Freedom of Information Act request. Shockingly, extensive personal information, like an SF-86, does not fall under the purview of that law, especially in its unredacted form. But, when the postal workers were distracted hunting for those glue stick things lest they have to touch their tongues to the nasty letter strip, someone scribbled their John Hancock and sent out the packet of her personal information.
Maybe. We don’t know what happened and how malicious the intent was. The post office has apologized and seems to be blaming it on a woman in Human Resources. As for Spanberger, that explanation makes her “incredulous.”
America Rising, likely shocked by their good luck, sent the packet to their good buddies at the Congressional Leadership Fund PAC — a group closely aligned with a certain blue-eyed, black-haired, athletically-built, aw-shucks-I’m-just-a-nice-guy-from-Wisconsin-who-wants-to-redistribute-wealth-upward-forever House leader.
N.B. America Rising contends it did nothing wrong and says they don’t want the stupid thing anyway.
CLF seems to have more of an interest, as well as approximately zero qualms about using her extremely detailed and sensitive information.
“As is its right, C.L.F. will disseminate this information through all available means so that voters can reach an informed conclusion regarding their choice at the polls on Nov. 6, 2018,” wrote Megan Newton, a lawyer CLF, according to the New York Times.
Spanberger caught on to the plot when a reporter for the Associated Press showed her an email from CLF containing a copy of the personnel file. That particular enemy of the people chose not to publish the document.
Spanberger’s suspicions were confirmed when she heard about polling in the field testing how people reacted to a stint she did substitute teaching at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, Virginia (except they called it “Terror High” — unrelated note, Spanberger worked in a COUNTER-TERRORISM department at the CIA).
How did the ex-CIA official sleuth that out, you may wonder? Well, turns out she just waited until the dummies called one of her supporters.
Spanberger continues to accuse America Rising and CLF of obtaining the documents illegally, and is calling on them stop using the information to prove that they are “reliable, trustworthy, of good character and loyal to the United States.” That’s likely.
For letting their sweet, nice, old-fashioned corner of the government be sullied by the shadiest, slimiest, most unethical players in it, the Postal Service (sigh) is our Duke of the Week.