Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Can the White House take the Fifth when it comes to their e-mail?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:40 AM Permalink

From the Huffington Post comes this report of a federal judge ordering the preservation of all e-mails and back-up tapes archiving all presidential communications:
A federal judge Monday ordered the White House to preserve copies of all its e-mails, a move that Bush administration lawyers had argued strongly against.

U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy directed the Executive Office of the President to safeguard the material in response to two lawsuits that seek to determine whether the White House has destroyed e-mails in violation of federal law.

In response, the White House said it has been taking steps to preserve copies of all e-mails and will continue to do so. The administration is seeking dismissal of the lawsuits brought by two private groups, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive.[…]

Justice Department lawyers had urged the courts to accept a proposed White House declaration promising to preserve all backup tapes.

"The judge decided that wasn't enough," said Anne Weismann, an attorney for CREW, which has gone to court over secrecy issues involving the Bush administration and has pursued ethical issues involving Republicans on Capitol Hill.[…]

The White House has provided little public information about the matter, saying that some e-mails may not have been automatically archived on a computer server for the Executive Office of the President and that the e-mails may have been preserved on backup tapes.

The White House has said that its Office of Administration is looking into whether there are e-mails that were not automatically archived and that if there is a problem, the necessary steps will be taken to address it.

Kennedy issued the order following recommendations to do so by a federal magistrate who held a hearing on the matter.
Geez, I can't believe that the most lawless administration in American history would not want to preserve all the evidence as to where all the bodies are buried, who committed what crimes, and when.

After all, this is the only legacy bush is going to leave for future scholars to confirm that bush is undoubtedly the worst president ever, and the only way in which what's left of the country when he leaves office can find out the true extent of the damage he has done to America and the Constitution he took an oath to protect and hasn't.

It is so heartening to learn that federal judges aren't buying into the "just trust us" line from the most distrusted maladministration ever, and the orders to preserve these communications may one day, hopefully, play a large part in the prosecution for war crimes of bush/cheney and the neocons who took us to war for oil and made the Middle East an even worse powder keg than it already had been.

A LITTLE SIDE NOTE: How embarrassing must it be for a court to tell "the leader of the free world" that he cannot be trusted, and how humbling, hopefully, to find that Fearful leader may still be reined in by the courts?

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At 11:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The White House has an email problem - get the evidence from the NSA!

The White House has an email problem
By: Steve Benen on Wednesday, November 14th, 2007 at 3:40 PM - PST
We learned earlier this year that most of the Bush White House’s senior staff, in blatant violation of the Presidential Records Act, sidestepped an internal email system, preferring to use private accounts provided by the Republican National Committee. Those thousands of emails, which included government business, are still missing after having been “accidentally” deleted.
As it turns out, that’s only one of two serious problems the Bush gang has in maintaining their electronic records. In an entirely different set of missing emails, however, we’re seeing quite a bit of movement this week. Dan Froomkin explains:
Why is it taking White House officials so long to restore millions of deleted e-mails from the backup tapes they claim to have?
The e-mails in question date from March 2003 to October 2005 — a crucial period that includes the Iraq invasion, a presidential election and Hurricane Katrina.
White House officials have known for more than two years that the messages were deleted — a clear violation of presidential records-preservation statutes. But the president’s aides won’t explain what happened, what sort of backups they have and what they’re doing about it.
When Congress asked about the 5 million missing emails, a White House lawyer suggested an outside IT contractor was responsible. The response appeared almost humorous, given that no such IT contractor exists.
Yesterday, in response to a lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a federal judge disappointed the Bush gang terribly with a major court order.
Filed Under: White House
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72 Responses for “The White House has an email problem”

Fran Taylor @ 41:
The NSA reads everyone’s email, right? Why not get copies from them?
What a splendid way of exposing all the bush crimes, using the very tool they implemented to subvert the government!



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