Just after Former CBS reporter Sheryl Attkisson slammed the Obama administration’s anti-1st Amendment tactics at a Senate hearing Thursday, the Department of Justice’s Inspector General charged that her claim that she’d been spied on by government agents is false. According to the Feds, Attkisson’s backspace key was just stuck.
Attkisson has long been a critic of the government’s treatment of journalists and whistleblowers because she believes she has firsthand experience of the abuse. In a book titled “Stonewalled,” the former reporter accused the DOJ of hacking into her computer and deleting files related to the terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and the botched “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation.
According to the OIG, an incident where text was eliminated from her personal computer “appeared to be caused by the backspace key being stuck, rather than a remote intrusion.”
Furthermore, the watchdog charges that whoever inspected Attkisson’s personal computer before the government investigation altered the computers logs.
“The OIG’s forensic examination further found what appeared to be searches and queries performed by an examiner with knowledge of computer logs,” the report noted.
“However, it appeared that the searches and queries were conducted while the computer was in operation and without write protecting the drive, which altered file information. This method of forensic examination is not forensically sound nor is it in accordance with best practices.”
OIG further charges that, when asked for a copy of the report from the technician who did the examination, Attkisson said, “My attorney says our material isn’t yet in a form that’s ready to share.”
IP addresses found on the machine which Attkisson said she believed to be evidence of government intrusion were “common, non-suspicious sources such as Internet cookies, Google searches, and web access to the [redacted] shipping web site,” according to the government watchdog.
In other words, either the government is covering its tracks or Attkisson sucks at technology as much as certain IRS officials.