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This time it's Chafee: Another stupid, stupid, stupid Senate staffer

In Rhode Island, it appears that another US Senate staffer has gotten busted sending anonymous attack emails from a US government computer. When will these people ever learn?

From the AP:

A staffer for Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee was suspended without pay Wednesday evening for distributing a series of negative e-mails criticizing Chafee's Democratic challenger from a Senate computer, a violation of Senate rules.

How did Lammis Vargas get busted? The blog RIFuture.org traced the IP addresses to Chafee's office.

Matthew Jerzyk, editor of "Rhode Island's Future," a Democratic blog on state politics, said he and the blog's technological administrator decided to trace the e-mails' origins Wednesday after the appearance of the third message, which he called vile and distasteful. After they traced the message back to a U.S. Senate computer, he sent out a message to reporters showing the source of the message.

The bloggers at RIFuture kept a running post going about their investigation, as it unfolded. Pretty impressive stuff. Check it out:

The email in question has an ISP address of Thus, all addresses beginning 156.33.77 emanate from the office of a United States Senator from Rhode Island. And I really doubt that this despicable email came from Jack Reed’s office.

As Government Computer News helpfully points out:

They weren't anonymous, though. Not totally. Each e-mail sent over the Internet arrives with a detailed description of every step it took to get to its end destination, back to the origin. And the Yahoo! Web mail service goes one better, helping including the Internet address (called the Internet Protocol, or IP, address) of the computer that connected to that Web-mail server. ... Assuming the header is genuine, we will say it is almost absolutely certain that the e-mail was generated by a computer connected to a Senate network.

Seriously, people. Do I need to create a new P&T topic category called "Don't Get Fired"?