The Bush Administration repeatedly denied that there were missing emails and later insisted that any emails that were missing could not be found. Now, 22 million missing White House e-mails have been found, according to two public interest groups who reached a settlement over the records. I discussed the issue on this segment of MSNBC Countdown.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive deserve considerable credit and accolades for their struggle to uncover the emails. From the outset, the Bush Administration was hostile to efforts to gain transparency and to preserve records. This led to the lawsuit in 2007.
The litigation revealed that the Bush Administration knew about a problem in the computer system that resulted in the loss of millions of records and did nothing to address it. The NSA sued to try to recover 5 million e-mails in 2007 and CREW filed in 2008.
The Bush Administration appeared content to continue to use the broken system which effectively destroyed records that it was required to preserve. Under this agreement —settlement_signed — the government will construct 33 missing days of e-mails.
Here is what the White House said on January 17, 2008 — White House spokesperson Tony Fratto stated:
FRATTO: I think our review of this — and you saw the court filing on this and our declaration and response to the judge’s questions. I think, to the best of what all the analysis we’ve been able to do, we have absolutely no reason to believe that any e-mails are missing.
There’s no evidence of that. There’s no — we tried to reconstruct some of the work that went into a chart that was entered into court records, and could not replicate that, or could not authenticate the correctness of the data in that chart.
And from everything that we can tell, our analysis of our back-up systems, we just — we have no reason to believe that any e-mail, at all, are missing.
Just 22 million e-mails.
The Bush Administration and Justice Department, however, will have achieved its goal of delaying any review of the emails since they will now go to the National Archives and Records Administration for the glacial process of reviewing and documenting the emails. The public will not view the material until 2014 so not only did the Bush Administration avoid direct consequences for the emails but it succeeded in burying the emails for a decade.
The question is the lack of investigation into prior false statements in the case and that fact that two experts were able to find 22 million e-mails that the United States government could not locate for years.
33 thoughts on “You’ve Got Mail . . . A Lot of Mail: 22 Million Missing E-Mails From Bush Administration Found”
Although the “missing” emails have been recovered, the litigation over their actual disclosure will go on for years.”
…and I will enjoy every minute of it!
Although the “missing” emails have been recovered, the litigation over their actual disclosure will go on for years.
Yes ’em, Ms. EM’, yes ’em!
Hot dang, I gotta ‘mit, ya ‘ad me nigh *collared* with yourn *colerred* fur quite a spell ‘fur I figgered hit out.
Please, ma’am, in the future, don’t task my po’ ol’ brain so ‘tieable much.
Fer them other folk who need help–like me,
Colerred = col + erred (with a bit of RED tossed-up innit)
After that, my haid hurts…bess take 3 of them coler red interrick aspirins n’ summin the horse doc at furst lite, brake o’ day…
Dagnab them wurdsmyths nohow!
You mean even after all those years working for the gubmint you have still colerred here on the Turley blawg?
In the interest of presenting correct factual material within a legal blawg, I erred in my previous post.
The “ORIGINAL” was the BLUE stamp
The “COPY” and “FILE COPY” were the RED stamps.
Disclaimer: I only did this for 25 years in one Federal job and if I had done 31 years of Federal service, like Bonnie, I would likely had not erred with my colors…
With ANY luck, out of the 22 million that have been recovered there is ONE – all it takes is ONE – email that will send Chimpy and/or Darth to PRISON! Sending Karl would be just about as good but Chimpy and/or Darth would be the best…
THAT’S ASSUMING – Holder will actually implement the LAW that allows them to be prosecuted !!!
I agree also with Bonnie and with what A Patriot Acting said. The administration was lying during a legal trial and these e-mails are evidence.
As a former federal employee, I agree with you. I had red rubber stamps that denoted “ORIGINAL” & “COPY” and then a blue stamp for “FILE COPY” to which I affixed 1 of the 3 stamps to virtually all of my hardcopy documents.
Furthermore, I most often appended the electronic file path of those documents to the location on my computer’s hard disk drives.
The official stance of the Bush Administration was that there were no missing e-mails. During Cheney’s testimony in the Plame case he used the “I don’t recall” meme countless times and what with no e-mails to go to, Fitzgerald’s hands were tied. Fitzgerald said that there is a “cloud over the VP”. Well, now that these e-mails have been retrieved can’t Mr. Fitzgerald request to see Cheney’s e-mails from that time? They are evidence, no?
I want to see the Katrina e-mails, especially after Frances Townsends whitewash Lessons Learned report. Who omits the hospital with the highest patient death toll? Fran did. It benefited her boss’ friends and family.
“The question is the lack of investigation into prior false statements in the case and that fact that two experts were able to find 22 million e-mails that the United States government could not locate for years.”
Criminal Procedure Question:
Would the foregoing act as a toll on any applicable statute of limitations?
Talking about Bush,I think this comment is quite interesting:
“How interesting that it was “an order” to cut a deal with Lieberputz (before his wife loses her lobbying income, no doubt). It was not cut a deal with Sherrod Brown. Nor was it cut a deal with Rockefeller or Snowe or Hatch or McConell. Rahm put pressure on the wet Reid to cut a deal with a guy who wants no deal. What a perfect recipe for how to fail the public, to fail the idea of reform, to fail to improve health care and health outcomes?
If Rahm and Obama continue to paint this administration and party as a left-handed version of the GOP, they will send the Democrats and America into a tailspin that will make the Bush administration look like it flew straight and level.
Inside of one year, Obama has painted himself into a corner that it will take him three years to dig out of. He wasn’t pushed into it, he walked into it freely. He chose it. If Barack Obama fails the public on health care, he’d better decide quickly what he wants to do as a former president.”Interesting,eh?
As a former Federal Government employee of 31 years, I believed that they should have just served subpoenas and searched the offices and homes of all the relevant people in the Bush Admin. because everyone I worked with always printed out a minimum of three copies of anything important–just in case. I doubt that we will ever become a paperless society. And, if we did, the Feds would still keep paper copies just in case. . .
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