Delete, Deny, Delay bush-at-computer.jpg

The White House has no way of telling what presidential records were lost or deleted in the buildup to the Iraq invasion, and can’t be bothered to look.

The Bush Administration responded to a federal court demand that it explain just how messed up it’s record keeping is.

Opponents were not impressed with their answers.

“The White House yesterday admitted to a federal magistrate judge that it has no computer back-up tapes with data written before May 23, 2003, and that it cannot track the history of individual hard drives within the White House system that may contain missing e-mails.”

computer-components.jpg The White House sneers that it’s court opponents seek”extreme injunctive relief,” that this is all none of their business, that they lack standing – making claims of malfeasance without having established their right to ask questions.


Administration lawyers argue that tracking down the records which they have lost, cleaning up the mess they made, would be time consuming, and might inconvenience current staff. The White House doesn’t even want to chase down three year old and more laptops to see if they contain lost documents.

Even as they admit their half-assed email archiving systemically failed, that “the earliest date on which data was written on any of the 438 tapes is May 23, 2003,” they baldly assert that they really shouldn’t be bothered with all this fuss.

And lest we forget, an author who has tracked the whole sad saga reminds us of the other lost documents:

“…in the 2,072 days between September 11, 2001 and May 15, 2007, a minimum of 103.6 million messages were likely sent by White House staffers on RNC servers….That’s an overt violation of the Presidential Records Act. Because these e-mails weren’t on White House servers, there wasn’t even a token attempt made to preserve them as is required by federal law. In fact, the RNC regularly deleted those e-mails.”

Comments are closed.