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Lieberman Campaign Manager to be DHS Spokesbot


Joe Lieberman’s 2006 primary campaign manager, Sean Smith, who accused Ned Lamont of hacking their website the day of the Connecticut primary in 2006, has been selected to be the new Administration’s spokesperson at the Department of Homeland Security.

If there’s any federal department that needs truth-talking more than DoJ, it’s likely DHS. Its serial errors throughout the Bush Administration are an embarrassment: color-coded politically motivated terror alerts; the utter failure to prepare for and respond to the devastation of the Gulf Coast by Katrina; its continued lunacy about airline passengers, liquids and shoe-removal; its managers’ racial insensitivity; its politically timed and motivated leak about the Democratic presidential candidate’s far-flung family; Secretary Michael Chertoff using undocumented workers to clean his own home; cruel immigration raids across the country targetted at employees but not employers.

Americans have many good reasons to distrust DHS.

Putting Sean Smith at the podium at the Department of Homeland Security is not going to advance the credibility of the department.  Recall, please, that Sean Smith first proposed the "hacked website" canard in Connecticut the day of Ned Lamont’s primary victory over incumbent then-Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman:

Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith said the campaign has contacted the Connecticut attorney general’s office and asked for a criminal investigation by state and federal authorities.

"If Ned Lamont has a backbone in his body, he will call on these people to cease and desist," Smith said.

Lamont, campaigning early Tuesday afternoon in Bridgeport, said he knew nothing about the accusations. "It’s just another scurrilous charge," he said.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office declined immediate comment. Calls placed to the FBI and the chief state’s attorney’s office seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Smith said the site began having problems Monday night and crashed for good at 7 a.m.

"Voters cannot go to our Web site. They cannot access information," Smith said. "It is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise voters." 

Of course, the accusation was totally baseless. A federal investigation revealed that the Lieberman campaign was responsible for their own website crashing.

But Sean Smith well understands Lieberman’s victimology. Just last month, he provided an insightful quote to TIME magazine as Senate Democrats were "deciding" what to do about the traitor in their caucus who had backed unsuccessful GOP presidential hopeful John McCain:

"Most people will see Lieberman as one of the big losers of this election," said Sean Smith, Lieberman’s 2006 primary campaign manager, who worked for Obama in Pennsylvania in the presidential election. "In reality, though, the bet he made on McCain had no downside. If McCain had won, he would have been rewarded handsomely. But if vengeful Democrats now make an example of him, Lieberman will wear it as the ultimate badge of honor in the martyr myth he has built of himself — punished for his independence and for putting friendship above party."

Why would Secretary-designate Janet Napolitano choose such an integrity-impaired spokesbot for her department, especially one with such close ties to and deep understanding of the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Senator Joseph Lieberman? Can the American people trust Sean Smith to tell the truth from the DHS podium when we need to hear it?

Or will we be treated to more fantastic stories like the one he told the national media about the Lieberman campaign website hack?

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Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge