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When the President of the United States needs to find out what people are saying on the phone, he just listens in. If he hears something incriminating, he either gets a warrant after the fact or, well, he doesn’t. Either way, you’re safer for it. Well, sort of.
But when the chairman of the board of an important company needs to know what people are saying, she does the same thing. This is perfectly correct (“I learned it from watching you!”)
Unfortunately, some narrow-minded sticklers seem to feel that by impersonating company officials and other kinds of officials, the private investigators she hired may have broken some rules.
This doesn’t mean she broke any rules by hiring them. Necessarily.
Someone on the board leaked, and she needed to know who. Once she found out (the hard way), she asked that guy to leave.
But he decided to stay.
Instead, a different guy — a very important guy — decided to leave.
But he also demanded that she spill the beans to the world.
But that would probably mean giving up her sweet sweet job, or at least giving up something. So she decided not to.
So he started leaking.
And now the California Attorney General spent all Thursday and Friday deposing journalists.
Which brings us back around to a phone call that happened over the weekend.
The remaining board members at HP — the ones who didn’t have any ethical problem with the chairman listening in on their phone calls — along with the chairman who was only trying to be an effective wartime president, had a conference call.
You’d probably like to know what they said. Was it awkward? Was it funny? Did anyone apologize? (“Sorry I leaked all that information to CNET. I guess that was pretty dumb.” “That’s okay. I’m sorry I hired those thugs to tap your phone. That was dumb, too.”)
Too bad you don’t have a P.I. on your side.


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