Alias Richard Windsor

Not only has Barack Obama escaped the kind of media criticism experienced by his predecessor — see, for example, “The four-year honeymoon” by Fred Barnes in the new issue of the Weekly Standard — so have the characters around him in the administration. It turns out, for example, that outgoing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has been using aliases on EPA email accounts that she used to conduct official business. Somehow I think this would be a big story in a Republican administration.

At NRO John Fund catches up with the story deriving from a failed Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the hardy souls of Chris Horner and others at the Competitive Enterprise Institute:

When the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market group, came up empty on its FOIA requests for Jackson’s e-mails relating to her anti-coal efforts, it was told by an EPA whistleblower that she was using “Richard Windsor” and other aliases to coordinate with outside anti-coal groups and engage in other activity she wouldn’t want to come to light.

After CEI filed suit, the Justice Department last month reluctantly agreed to produce 12,000 “Richard Windsor” e-mails. The first batch is set to be released on January 14. CEI employees told me they expect the e-mails will be heavily redacted to obscure their content, but that House committees headed by Representative Darrell Issa of California and Representative Fred Upton of Michigan will launch probes that will ultimately bring all of the e-mails to light.

Kyle Smith comments in today’s New York Post. Horner’s related book is The Liberal War on Transparency: Confessions of a Freedom of Information “Criminal.”

This is a story that has been around for a few months, though I haven’t tuned in to it and, because of the operative double standard, one that has been easy to overlook. Jackson’s sudden resignation might be a tipoff that there is more to it than the Windsor knot. In a rightly ordered universe it might even be a scandal.