“COMPROMISED INTEL: Secret Democratic Political Research Files for Twelve 2012 Match-Ups Found via Google” says the title of an “article” posted yesterday on Media Trackers’ website by Brian Sikma.
With a headline like that, you’d like the hacks at Media Trackers had uncovered some juicy bit of top-secret intel the Democratic Party didn’t want anyone but friends to see. In fact, here’s what Brian Sikma wrote (emphasis added).
It could be one of the biggest political intelligence coups of the 2012 battle to control Congress. Media Trackers, a conservative investigative watchdog group, discovered nearly three-dozen Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee opposition research notebooks – extensive secretive manuals outlining anything that could be used against a political opponent. Several news outlets have reported that some of the files have been quietly published on the DCCC’s website to facilitate their use by independent expenditure groups. On Thursday, however, Media Trackers published a dozen opposition research books that Democrats have so far managed to keep secret.
There’s just one big, huge, epic problem with what poor little Brian Sikma wrote – the information Media Trackers “uncovered” really wasn’t much of a political intelligence coup, because the information “revealed” by Media Trackers was already readily available on the very public DCCC website.
Take, for example, the DCCC page for Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida. If one surfs over to that page and scrolls down to very near the bottom, they’d see a link titled “West clipbook” which would take said person to a Google Docs page chock full of opposition research on Rep. West. In fact, of the 12 sets of “compromised intel” that Media Trackers “uncovered,” I was able to view all 12 sets of research simply by visiting the DCCC website and surfing over to the pages for the Republican Representatives in question.
Heck of a scoop there, Media Trackers! You just “uncovered” documents that were already available for the public to view and use!