BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
September 18, 2002
Please help me, the Republican National Committee could not answer my question...
by Tim V. Johnson
I read with interest the New York Times article entitled "A Simple Click Stirs a Lot of Outrage" which I found via the BuzzFlash.com website under the title "State Department Shilling for Republican Party, Which is Against the Law 9/13."
The official account in the New York Times states that "The link was not removed until late this afternoon [September 12, 2002], after a reporter asked about it. State Department officials said they were not sure how long the link had been operating. But one person who noticed it said it was operating as early as Sept. 5 ." (my emphasis added).
did my own investigation at the Internet Archive WayBack Machine at
Lo and behold, I did find a nice copy of the State Department webpage
which was archived by the Internet Archive WayBack Machine almost
one year ago on October 31, 2001. This archived page still
has the active link to the Republican National Committee. Here is the
link to the archived page: http://web.archive.org/web/20011031042337/
So, not only had the link been in place since as early as Sept. 5 , it had been in place at least since October 31, 2001.
But wait... the Internet Archive WayBack Machine lists five other previous dates that the webpage had been archived. The earliest one is from February 11, 2001. Clicking on the link or picture from any of these five archived State Department pages will take you to an inactive link for the Spanish language version of the Republican National Committee page at http://www.rnc.org/enespanol/.
Back to the September 12, 2002, New York Times article: "Philip Reeker, a State Department spokesman, called the link to the Republican Party's Web site a 'mistake' and emphasized that agency officials were unaware of it until a reporter pointed it out...A spokesman for the Republican National Committee said party officials had no idea that a government agency's Web site had a link to the party's site." (my emphasis added).
My question then is this: Is it realistic to suppose that Republican Party operatives, as they claim, would not know about this link which had been in place for more than a year and a half?
If you have any insights in helping to answer this question, please contact me. Thank you for your time and consideration.
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