Constant's pations

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cheney's File Indexing Problem

The Vice President may have a problem with evidence destruction.

He doesn't appear to comprehend how sampling plans work.

* * *

Let's put aside the possibility that the shredding truck may have been part of a regularly scheduled, contracted activity.

If the shredding was out of cycle, or there have been documents which were not logged, there are two options.

First, recall the sampling plans: It's possible to review the documents he should have received based on subsequent conversations; then back trace those to the original source. If those documents are not logged, as required, there's your lead.

Second, assuming the documents were not officially logged, but produced on a classified system, the Vice President would still have to account for the copies, signatures, and other approvals. The issue will be to review the document withdrawal files; then compare the weight of the paper he's purchased; with the weight of the paper shredded. The difference will give you an idea of the non-official copying he has; and the non-logged file volume he's not correctly documenting.

Third, let's consider the possibility that the Vice President has received incriminating data which he doesn't want to be linked to. Normal intercepts would keep a copy of the files he's received; if he has destroyed something that he's otherwise not supposed to have, there's still a data-link between the originating office, the copy center/contractor assigned, and the personnel who physically transmitted the data from the origin, to the point of contact.

Fourth, Addington would have an idea of the staff entry, exit, and the contracts and personnel assigned to do the computer uploads. Recall, Cheney's modus is to review paper copies of documents; he likes originals; and prefers to have the document presented to him, as opposed to him surfing the internet, and printing documents himself: He doesn't have the time to wait. Linked with that is a copier-maintenance requirement. Inside the copy system are the discrete publication-printer origin codes. The key will be to look for the data exiting Cheney's office; and compare it with his version of what was or was not destroyed. He's going to make an error: Not all the same copies are linked to the same computer codes; and not all the files he's destroyed are form the same computer. Again, going back to the original copier, it's possible to estimate the volume of paper he's used; compared with the volume of paper he's reporting; then look at the paper that he's transmitted. If you sample his exiting documents (from his office), you'll get an idea of the volume of paper, the types of reports, and the order the documents were printed.

Indeed, there will be gaps, but you only need to fine one small error:

A. Has the Vice President claimed to not know about a document he otherwise thinks is destroyed; but has been affirmatively linked to his staff copier;

B. Once his written responses on that copy were filed, and indexed, how were the subsequent staff copies archived, and subsequently logged, then indexed.

Cheney will make an error when he attempts to trace his steps; retroactively reconstruct his steps; then attempt to bundle his estimates, and retrace the incoming and outgoing documents.

His other problem will be his inability to control all the documents that leave his office; and the recollections of the staff assigned to other departments and contractors. It doesn't matter whether the document goes to an outside firm, law firm, or a commercial contractor: Once that document leaves, it must be logged somewhere. The problem for Cheney is that the subsequent files will be numbered on top of the original files; but the date of origin of the back-filled document will be after the subsequent files; or the files will mysteriously jump in sequence without explanation; or the files-numbers will no longer align.

Fifth, Cheney's other problem is the expanding investigation in Westminster, UK. The inquiry may not have started, but the document retention systems, as we saw with WMD-Dr. Kelly were subsequently used to cross reference the inconsistencies with the US files. The key will be to know that the UK-US filing systems, however they are managed, will not be consistent once Cheney attempts to control the files in the US, but cannot similarly match one-for-one the files in the other locations in GCHQ.

Sixth, using a random sample of his pre and post shredding, it is possible to statistically estimate the content, and numerical data associated with the missing and shredded information. The Vice President appaers to not understand how this work, and even though there may be gaps, a small sample -- even one highly redacted -- can prove his undoing.

The Vice President is in a trap, and cannot escape. There's no statute of limitations for war crimes.