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AP Sobs: Palin May Dazzle Hacker Jurors

From those champions of hackers everywhere, the Associated Press:

Palin set to take stand in Tenn. hacking trial

By Bill Poovey, Associated Press Writer

April 20, 2010

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A former college student charged with hacking Sarah Palin’s e-mail account fears some jurors in heavily Republican East Tennessee could be dazzled when the conservative star testifies.

Jury selection begins Tuesday and Palin’s testimony could soon follow in the case against 22-year-old David Kernell.

He was a University of Tennessee student majoring in economics when prosecutors say he hacked into the Yahoo! account Palin sometimes used for state business. At the time she was Alaska’s governor and the GOP candidate for vice president.

Note how gently the AP describes this crime. Compare and contrast this with the way they talk about those criminals against humanity who leaked the FOIA information from East Anglia’s ‘climate-gate’ CRU.

But as we noted at the time, the Associated Press and the rest of our watchdog media treated the hacking of Mrs. Palin’s emails as a noble enterprise. Or, at least, good clean fun.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips has denied a defense motion to have prospective jurors answer a questionnaire asking if they have strong political feelings about Palin. Kernell’s attorney, Wade Davies, cited Palin’s speaking slot at a tea party movement convention and frequent television appearances. She is hugely popular with conservatives.

You see, if you are a conservative, you could never render a fair verdict.

By the way, as we have previously noted, in the ‘Climate-Gate’ story, the people who dared to file FOIA requests of the CRU are being questioned about their political beliefs.

Convictions on all four felony charges — identity theft, wire fraud, intentionally accessing Palin’s e-mail account without authorization and obstructing an FBI investigation — could send Kernell to prison for up to 50 years.

Isn’t that outrageous? For such a harmless prank? (This is the response the AP is aiming for from their readers.)

Meanwhile, the selfsame AP has practically called for the ‘Climate-Gate hacker’ to be drawn and quartered.

"If I was the individual being charged I would be concerned, particularly the other party," East Tennessee State University political analyst David Briley said. "Politics and religion are pretty close to the vest here."

Among the redneck bitter clingers, he means.

Kernell’s father, Democratic Rep. Mike Kernell of Memphis, has served in the Tennessee House since 1974. He has not been linked to the case against his son, and he declined to be interviewed Monday.

No, there could be no possible connection between an office-holding Democrat and the actions of his impish son. In fact, we are surprised the AP even brought his father’s position so early in the article…

Somebody might actually see it.

Palin’s account was accessed after news reports that her administration used Yahoo! accounts as an alternative to government e-mail that could be subject to Alaska’s Open Records Act. An Internet security expert previously said the hacker’s trail was easy for investigators to follow.

Again, it’s clear Mr. Kernell had no criminal intent. He was just having fun.

Davies, the attorney for Kernell, tried to subpoena Palin’s state e-mails for the hacking case but the judge said it was just a fishing expedition.


Surely, there must be some juicy and embarrassing material in them. Maybe the AP can file a motion as a friend of the court. Or maybe they will file a FOIA request.

Davies has also unsuccessfully challenged the search warrant that investigators used to confiscate Kernell’s laptop at his Knoxville apartment and a Knoxville magistrate’s authority to issue search warrants for records of e-mail providers outside of East Tennessee. Yahoo! is located in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Isn’t that rich?

This lawyer was trying to protect his client’s right to privacy.

If the judge was from the ACLU, the search warrant would probably have been thrown out – along with the case.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “AP Sobs: Palin May Dazzle Hacker Jurors”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    Maybe we can tell the jury this is about outing Valerie Plame.

  2. Mithrandir says:

    I am a little torn here….

    Liberals are never held accountable for their actions, that is why they don’t hold their voting blocks accountable either. (Ted Kennedy: Involuntary Manslaughter, Senator Byrd- former KKK recruiter) And it is high time they pay some price for their actions, lord knows this will probably be the first time on record.

    However, I don’t want the police-state to ruin another life with 4 felony convictions, and possibly (but not very likely) 50 years in prison.

    This stupid kid will unfortunately be stuck in a national political battle, and the stress of going to court probably has already ruined his life.

    • artboyusa says:

      “already ruined his life”…I hope.

    • wardmama4 says:

      Try this on to see if it helps you with your torn issue – Imagine that was your email account or your wife/hubby?

      Now do you see why it matters – it is not about a public persona – yes I do believe that simply by virtue of the profession they have chosen – they bring some of this on to themselves – this however was across the line – and if he did to one person (and suffers no consequence) what is to stop him from doing it again ?

    • proreason says:

      “This stupid kid ”

      stupid – yes
      naive – absolutely not

      He knew exactly what he was doing. He’s a criminal, pure and simple. His actions are no less odiuous than if he had broken into the Palin’s house and published private correspondence on the internet. It’s a capital crime. And he should be locked up for a long long time.

      But of course, he won’t be. Even if a jury convicts him (unlikely), the judge will commute the sentence.

  3. proreason says:

    I’ll be shocked if the thug gets more than probation.

    Texas is the only state where he would do a day of jail time.

    Tennessee sent the greatest con man of all time to the Senate. People there are easily confused by a house of mirrors.

    • Mithrandir says:

      And don’t forget, if the ‘genius’ al gore, would have won HIS OWN STATE! Florida count and re-re-re count would not have been necessary.

      What a fool. He didn’t win his own state, nor his former running-mate’s state: Arkansas. D’oh!

  4. Right of the People says:

    “Kernell’s father, Democratic Rep. Mike Kernell of Memphis, has served in the Tennessee House since 1974.”

    The ACORN doesn’t fall far from the tree, as the old saying goes. Gee, I wonder where he got his political preferences from? You know if this had been a lib who had his or her email hacked the AP would be screaming for blood.


    I have to beg to differ with you about his sentence. As a IT professional of over 30 years, many of them working on network security, this “child” if he did it has broken numerous laws, all of them felonies and should be punished accordingly. Network hacking is a serious business and in this case doubly serious because the account he hacked was that of a someone in a position of responsibility. There could have been any number of emails containing sensitive topics in her inbox. Remember the Gov of Alaska deals directly with the Russian government on a number of issues.

    Any hacking is serious but once you start messing with someone of Palin’s status (at the time of the crime, Governor of Alaska and candidate for the second highest office in our great nation) it is even more so. Like they say, you don’t have to respect the person but you do have to respect the office.

    If convicted he will spend some time in one of the country club prisons where he’ll be in with Bernie Madoff types but after he gets out he’ll have to learn how to say: “You want fries with that?” as his employment prospects aren’t going to be very good.

    • Mithrandir says:

      That is exactly what I mean. The police-state punishes you …..FOREVER! You don’t just ‘do your time’ and pay your debt to society, you are denied jobs continuously and are discriminated against continuously. And a felony is worse, he won’t get a passport or visa to work elsewhere….he will be stuck in the US as a prisoner.

      I am sure there is some middle ground for punishment here.

    • AcornsRNutz says:

      Cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it. In this technological day and age, not to mention the number of “rights” that have been given to alledged criminals, convictions don’t come as easy as they once did. IF you are convicted of a crime in this country today, the odds are better now than at any point in our history that you did commit it. I like a system that makes it hard to convict, I think it was designed that way and should remain so, but once you are convicted, all bets are off, you are a felon, and have by your actions voluntarily given up your constitutional protections and rights that we have reserved for ourselves as a society. That is why the death penalty, taking away a felons right to own firearms, taking away their right to vote, etc and so forth all pass constitutional muster. This kid knew damned good and well that he was commiting felonies, and he can work at freakin’ Wendy’s until he retires without me losing a wink of sleep. At least that is a good honest job which pays a decent wage in return for unskilled services being rendered. I doubt being a liberal he had much of a future in economics anyway.

    • wardmama4 says:

      Mithrander – Actions have consequences – No one held a gun to his head and made him do this (or I am sure we would have heard that 24/7 since day one). And that is what is lacking from our whole society now days – lasting consequences for our actions. Which is why we have so many criminals and liars running our very country into the ground.

      As both Right and Acorns say – I won’t lose any sleep over this criminal – doing time & getting out – to sling burgers – I didn’t make him do it, no one else forced him to do it and if it was my account or my hubby’s I’d want him strung from the nearest tree – he is dangerous and must be stopped.

  5. Perdido says:

    So the little darling is worried about the star power of Sarah Palin. Former Governor. Former US Vice Pres. Candidate. Conservative icon. Gorgeous. Loved and admired by millions.

    He didn’t know this when he hacked the account?

    We have a saying out here: You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

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