In that screen catch of Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account last week, the subject line of one message clearly didn't seem too surprising: "Fw: Tri-Cities family coming to convention." The hacked header (the son of a Tennessee state lawmaker is now the suspected invader) appeared to contain details on the St. Paul arrival of Palin's kin from Richland and Pasco - where the veep nominee's mother grew up and where her aunt and other relatives still live.
Other seemingly innocuous message headers made it easy for some to dismiss accusations that Palin might have been using the Yahoo account as a backdoor conduit for government business, enabling this so-called maverick to conduct business secretly and avoid public disclosure. Thus, an important issue - was she a hypocrite, perhaps a liar? - fell out of the news cycle.
But if you stop by pastebin.com today, you'll discover that:
Some of the screenshots reference several people in Alaska state government. One of these people is Sean Parnell, Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. Parnell mentions KFQD Radio's Dan Fagan, to whom he gave an interview about Palin's ACES initiative. Lt. Gov. Parnell's e-mail address is verified via an Alaska Republican Central Committee contact listing.
The Anchorage Daily News also reports that Palin "routinely" used the private Yahoo account to conduct state business, while Alaska station KTUU says that Palin government e-mails also "are being withheld from the public and the governor is citing executive privilege."
The Yahoo account was deleted by Palin or the McCain-Palin campaign (or as she calls it, the Palin-McCain campaign). Was there something these two advocates of government transparency wanted to hide? And was the deletion destruction of evidence that was sought in several legal actions including the Troopergate investigation?
"We're going to make everything more open," Palin said last week, "and more accountable, and more attractive to those who want to serve." She had no comment on the e-mails.