January 23, 2006

Sorry. I’m afraid Waxman has me hooked on these damn email documents.

But I wanted to point out a curious bit of timing. I’m working on a mega-timeline, but note this mini-timeline:

January 20, 2006: McDevitt and friends determine that there are gaps where the missing emails should be.

January 23, 2006: Fitzgerald informs Libby’s lawyers "via Telefax and regular mail" that:

In an abundance of caution, we advise you that we have learned that not all email of the Office of Vice President and the Executive Office of President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system.

January 23, 2006, 11:18 AM: McDevitt writes Susan Crippen,

Someone needs to fill in some of the blanks.

January 23, 2006, 1:19 PM: Crippen responds,

SIS has "filled in" the blanks.

January 24, 2006: Someone in the White House writes a document claiming to have found the missing emails.

According to a document dated just four days later that was shown to Committee staff, but not provided to them, the White House team recovercd 17,956 e-mails from these individual mailboxes on the backup tape and used these as their basis to search for e-mails responsive to the Special Counsel’s request.

January 31, 2006: Fitzgerald’s letter entered into PACER, alerting the press and DFH bloggers to the missing emails.

February 2, 2006: Addington prints off email for discovery.

February 6, 2006: Fitzgerald receives "missing" emails.

February 11, 2006: Dick shoots an old man in the face.

Okay, okay, I just included Dick’s lawyer-hunting for fun (though I have long believed the revelation of Cheney’s NIE cover story and the missing emails contributed to his carelessness that day).

But does anyone else find it odd that the WH "found" the missing emails the day after Libby’s lawyers learned that news of them would imminently become public?

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204 replies
    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Something has to be wrong for an experienced shooter to aim so low; unless Cheney is more used to aiming at birds still in the gamekeeper’s hands.

    • scribe says:

      It’s a causal-nexus thing:
      pre 2/11: Deadeye getting worried.
      2/11: Deadeye gets shitfaced because he’s worried and goes hunting.
      2/11: Deadeye shoots Whittington in face.

      I’ve said it any number of times and in any number of fora since Deadeye shot Whittington – (1) there’s no way a careful (even moderately so) hunter shoots Whittington so either (a) Deadeye was overcome by his bloodlust to the point he was shooting into the sun at low-flying quail (seriously dumb), (b) he was careless because he was, in fact, under the influence and shot into the sun at low-flying quail, or (c) both (a) and (b); and
      (2) he came within a couple inches of blowing Whittington’s head off; and
      (3) Whittington was a hell of a lot closer to Deadeye – maybe 10 yards, max. – than he and his hunting companions have claimed.

      The conclusions in (2) and (3) come from the number of pellets extracted from Whittington, as well as their being concentrated in his neck and head, combined with the gun Deadeye was reported to be using and the mechanics of shotgun shooting.

  1. MadDog says:

    I wonder if Addington bought himself a lil’ copy of this utility (which serendipitously I found when looking for SIS in EW’s previous post *g*):

    Automatic .PST Gathering
    EAS is the only solution to employ automatic .PST file gathering. EAS Administrators are no longer required to rely on users to gain access to the location of the .PST file(s), and/or obtain passwords to access these files. Without automatic .PST file archiving the problems are obvious; the process is tedious and the administrator needs to know the location and ownership of all .PST files. With an organization containing over 100 users, this becomes an administrative nightmare.

    Maybe Addington was keeping his own copies of selected OVP PST files and burning them onto DVDs. After all, Waxman’s Committee Report documented the fact that:

    According to Mr. McDevitt, “ln mid-2005 … a critical security issue was identified and corrected. During this period it was discovered that the file servers and the file directories used to store the retained email … were accessible by everyone on the EOP network.”

    • bmaz says:

      Correct me if I am wrong, but would that not have been a cheap, easy and off the shelf solution for their “intractable” problem?

    • Citizen92 says:

      I’m with your theory about Addington being the RM (records manager) for the entire OVP. Curious that “Cheney’s Cheney” would have time to also be a systems administrator, but I guess that’s the price of loyalty. And that would be consistent with Cathie Martin calling Addington “central records.”

      No wonder the guy was so cranky in meetings – he’s got more jobs than a spy.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        It would be in keeping with Cheney’s obsession about secrecy and suggests Cheney’s team communicated partly within a closed loop system, cut off from the rest of the White House system. I wonder if Addington and his PC are put to bed at night in Cheney’s Ben Affleck-sized safe, assuming he ever sleeps.

      • MadDog says:

        Curious that “Cheney’s Cheney” would have time to also be a systems administrator, but I guess that’s the price of loyalty.

        The solution may have been stated by earlofhuntingdon in #12:

        I wonder if Addington and his PC are put to bed at night in Cheney’s Ben Affleck-sized safe, assuming he ever sleeps.

  2. SparklestheIguana says:

    And these are the same people (they and their cronies) who were barking about Hillary’s Rose Law Firm billing records suddenly surfacing in some White House drawing room.

    • Phoenix Woman says:

      And these are the same people (they and their cronies) who were barking about Hillary’s Rose Law Firm billing records suddenly surfacing in some White House drawing room.

      Say it with me now: “It’s OK, But Only If You’re A Republican.”

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The White House claimed that it “found” the missing e-mails. Addington claims he searched them, apparently using limited criteria that appear not likely to identify all relevant records. Addington’s personal computer and printer were used to make hard copies. All relevant hard copies were turned over to Fitz.

    What shape curve would a Six Sigma analysis of that process generate, I wonder. A narrow bell, a flat line or a horseshoe-shaped parabola?

    • MadDog says:

      The White House claimed that it “found” the missing e-mails. Addington claims he searched them, apparently using limited criteria that appear not likely to identify all relevant records. Addington’s personal computer and printer were used to make hard copies. All relevant hard copies were turned over to Fitz.

      It has been reported as a fact that Fitz and his team made “images” of Rove’s computer/s (I believe Turdblossom’s attorney Luskin stated this).

      My question is: Did Fitz & Company search/make images of other folks computers? Folks like:

      -Libby
      -Addington
      -Cheney (I know, I know, they say both Deadeye and Junya don’t compute ’cause it might leave tracks, but I remain unconvinced).

      And the reason why this question is all the more pertinent is the simple fact that the EOP was using PSTs for email archiving, and that the PSTs resided in wide-open fileservers on the EOP network that were accessible by anyone in the EOP.

      Fitz, as late as yesterday during his congressional testimony, mentioned the fact that he was limited by the scope of his inquiry as to where he investigated possible wrongdoing.

      I wonder if Addington’s computer/s were off limits?

      • looseheadprop says:

        Fitz, as late as yesterday during his congressional testimony, mentioned the fact that he was limited by the scope of his inquiry as to where he investigated possible wrongdoing.

        I wonder if Addington’s computer/s were off limits?

        Actually, he said something more ominous than that. He said that if he came upon evidence of crimes outside his mandate, his only recourse would be to pass that info on the AG, for the AG to act upon.

        Gee, even if Pat found open and shut level evidence of a million crimes and passed that on to AGAG, what do you think AGAG was gonna do? Prosecute someone?

        • SparklestheIguana says:

          So I wonder. If Fitz came upon an email from Cheney that said, “Soon, very soon, I’m gonna shoot an old guy in the face, like with a million bullets” would that count as a “ticking time bomb” scenario? Could Cheney have been tortured to reveal when and where and who he was gonna shoot in the face?

        • ApacheTrout says:

          Is Fitzgerald coming before the HOC again? Can he be asked about referring to AG any investigations outside his scope?

          • Jeff says:

            I see you beat me to it. No sign of any further appearance. However, members of the subcommittee have five days or so to submit follow-up written questions to Fitzgerald.

          • looseheadprop says:

            Can he be asked about referring to AG any investigations outside his scope?

            They can ask, but I don’t see how he can anser unless it’s by statistic “I forwarded X# of issues to AG for further examination, but due to Grand Jury secrecy rules, I can’t tell you what any of them were about”

            And I’m not sure he’d even go for the statistic, he takes GJ secrecy pretty seriously

            • Jeff says:

              I will add that Fitzgerald alluded in a footnote to either some filing or a letter to the defense – I think it may have been in his argument against Libby’s motion to dismiss – that he forwarded any information he got to do with other possible crimes to DoJ. But at the time this was widely interpreted to be a reference to letters he got from Congresspeople or someone asking him to look into x, y or z, rather than evidence his own investigation turned up.

              • Jeff says:

                It’s actually in the affidavit that Fitzgerald attached to his response to Libby’s motion to dismiss:

                In fact, when I received letters asking me to expand my jurisdiction to cover other allegations, I have referred those letters to other Department of Justice officials because I did not think it was my mandate to decide whether the subject matter of the investigation should be expanded.

                So he doesn’t say anything about evidence he himself might have turned up that likewise he would have referred to other Department of Justice officials.

                • looseheadprop says:

                  As I said above, if he did refer anything else, I really would doubt that he would expose that publicly.

                  All the time he harps on the importance of not exposing GJ materail at all, nor investigative materail w/o a compelling reason. He gives speeches about this. He’s kinda hard core on the topic.

                  That being said, the first ever court of appeals opinion I ever read about unsealing GJ material came out of the work of his office. His office, during his tenure, has petitioned to nseal–and they very compelling grounds ot do so.

            • ApacheTrout says:

              yes, Fitzgerald does respect the grand jury process. I think just simply answering yes to the question would give HW cause to get begin asking other people in DOJ what their responses were. If the answer is no, then well, nothing to pursue.

        • Jeff says:

          Why of why wasn’t the obvious follow-up question at least asked, even if Fitzgerald might have declined to answer it:

          And Mr. Fitzgerald did you in fact find evidence of other crimes and pass those on to the Department of Justice?

          Maybe it was because only two Democrats on the committee bothered to show up to ask Mr. Fitzgerald questions. So there wasn’t enough aggregate alertness in the room, or something.

        • MadDog says:

          Gee, even if Pat found open and shut level evidence of a million crimes and passed that on to AGAG, what do you think AGAG was gonna do? Prosecute someone?

          LOL! Only on odd leap years. *g*

      • sojourner says:

        Just a quick drive by (but I am salivating at all that is being written here!)…

        There is a difference, as I understand it, between an image and a copy. With that said, is an image searchable? i.e. — I am under the impression that an image is made only for restoration purposes in case of a server disaster.

        • MadDog says:

          Just a quick drive by (but I am salivating at all that is being written here!)…

          There is a difference, as I understand it, between an image and a copy. With that said, is an image searchable? i.e. — I am under the impression that an image is made only for restoration purposes in case of a server disaster.

          Drive carefully! *g*

          I’m not sure there is a differenc between an image and a copy. In my field, we use them interchangeably, but the preference is image.

          Yes, imaging or (cloning if you will) technology has progressed in the last few years so that one can “explore” the image’s contents at the file level, replace files on a individual file basis, etc.

          In the case of Fitz & Company’s imaging of Turdblossom’s computer, I would guess that they did this so they could “in affect” duplicated his computer and take it back to the FBI lab for a whole lot of forensics on it.

          It is a “quick and dirty” way to accomplish their search tasks while allowing Turdblossom continued access to his own computer/s.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            Just a thought in case MD sees this — I was surprised (extremely surprised) to learn that Rover was using a Mac. Macs allow the owner to set up multiple users on a single machine — so is there any way to know whether the FBI got the WHOLE machine image (of ALL users), or did they only get the image of ‘a user = ‘Rove’?

            Because they’re not equivilent.
            ‘Rove’ is a subset of the larger, machine owner.
            The machine owner can create multiple users on a machine (schools sometimes do this).
            Anyone have answers…?

            (Just hoping the FBI didn’t miss anything…)

            • MadDog says:

              Just a thought in case MD sees this — I was surprised (extremely surprised) to learn that Rover was using a Mac…

              Where did you find this info? To my knowledge (admittedly leaky *g*), the WH standard was Microsoft Windows-based.

              Macs allow the owner to set up multiple users on a single machine — so is there any way to know whether the FBI got the WHOLE machine image (of ALL users), or did they only get the image of ‘a user = ‘Rove’?

              Windows allows the same thing, so that would not be the issue.

              Instead the issue is what software product would be used to create the image of the hard drive. Symantec’s Ghost does not support Macs. There are products that support imaging a Mac drive, but I have no experience with them.

              Lastly, a disk imaging product is generally insensitive to stuff like “User” identities. Instead, it works at a lower level to capture the entire contents of a hard drive.

              Hope this helps, and let me know on where you found the info that Rove used a Mac!

              • Rayne says:

                I hope like hell the FBI didn’t just “ghost” an image of the hard drives in question.

                The appropriate approach would be to “ghost” an image onto a new hard drive, then swap out the old for new.

                The old hard drive contains all the forensic details that a mere image would never contain.

                • klynn says:

                  My husband and I were wondering the same thing last night as I read the thread. He was surprised at the possibile indication that the old hard drive was not swapped out.

                  If it wasn’t, we wondered how in the *&&$%# would THAT have happened by accident at THAT level in such an important investigation…?????

                  Let’s hope it was…

                • bmaz says:

                  I think the better question is whether all the necessary hard drives were “ghosted” at all. Just Rove’s won’t cut the mustard; you would need all the OVP, Addington, etc. individual computers and main servers associated thereto. I haven’t seen evidence of more than Rove’s stuff at best; but maybe I am missing something.

                  Klynn – Cool!

                • MadDog says:

                  I hope like hell the FBI didn’t just “ghost” an image of the hard drives in question.

                  The appropriate approach would be to “ghost” an image onto a new hard drive, then swap out the old for new.

                  The old hard drive contains all the forensic details that a mere image would never contain.

                  Well, yes and no. *g*

                  Ghost does maintain a lot of stuff like file date/time settings, so there would be some good forensics available like Date Modified, Date Created and that kind of stuff.

                  Are all the low level file attributes unchanged with a Ghost image? I’m not entirely sure about that, but I believe that the answer is a “qualified” yes.

                  • Rayne says:

                    I hear you, but data that had been deleted and reformatted or overwritten doesn’t get copied by “ghosting”.

                    If these guys were regularly copying .PST’s to DVD’s and deleting the original, then overwriting it, it wouldn’t show up in an image; only the relative newness of subsequent data might show up and I haven’t seen anything that tells me they noted such details.

                    • MadDog says:

                      I hear you, but data that had been deleted and reformatted or overwritten doesn’t get copied by “ghosting”.

                      If these guys were regularly copying .PST’s to DVD’s and deleting the original, then overwriting it, it wouldn’t show up in an image; only the relative newness of subsequent data might show up and I haven’t seen anything that tells me they noted such details.

                      Excellent point!

                      Maybe Fitz & Company need to get themselves a few good techies!

              • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                Thanks MD – I know about lotsa stuff, but that mirroring/imaging thingamajig just kinda floats over my glazed eyeballs. Appreciate the explanation.

                Also, thx to Citizen92 and klynn for documenting Rove’s only known decent quality (owning a Mac) in a timely fashion.

  4. Jeff says:

    But does anyone else find it odd that the WH “found” the missing emails the day after Libby’s lawyers learned that news of them would imminently become public?

    Ahem, Waxman may have hooked you, but where have I heard about this odd bit of timing before? Waxman?

    Oh and by the way I’ve got some mini-timelining for October 2003, with some good nuggets, back in the last thread.

  5. spy4hire says:

    does anyone care to parse Robert Luskin’s statement here? I am reposting to this thread. But look at what Luskin says Fitz told him

    Karl Rove attorney Robert Luskin gives a fresh response to Jason Leopold on Rove’s Hadley email. From a very good story published yesterday. The Luskin exchange is great.

    http://www.opednews.com/articl….._quest.htm

    By Jason Leopold

    In an email exchange a couple of weeks ago requesting that he clarify his position, Luskin said he “speculated that the [Hadley] email was overlooked because of a gap in search terms, but I have no direct knowledge.” That contradicts his previous statements http://www.yourbbsucks.com/for…..php?t=5345 to Newsweek in which Luskin stated unequivocally that the email was not found because the wrong search terms were used.

    “Neither Mr. Rove nor I was involved in any manner in the collection of emails or other electronic documents in response to subpoenas from the Special Counsel [Patrick Fitzgerald],” Luskin said. “Mr. Fitzgerald’s staff worked directly with the White House counsel and the IT folks from the White House. However, Mr. Fitzgerald did advise me that Mr. Rove had absolutely no responsibility for the oversight and that he has never regarded the failure to turn over the [Hadley] email as ‘culpable’ by anyone.”

    That statement, or at least part of it, does not appear to be entirely accurate. In a May 10, 2007 deposition before investigators working for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rove’s former assistant, Susan Ralston, testified that during the leak investigation she and Rove were instructed “to go and do keyword searches based on the subpoena that we got, and search all of his folders for keywords.” Ralston said during her deposition that there were “six or seven” subpoenas Rove received from Fitzgerald for documents in Plame leak. Any documents that were found were turned over to Gonzales. Yet the email Rove sent to Hadley was never turned over to Fitzgerald.

    Luskin would not provide a copy of that email, which has never been released publicly. He said the contents of the exchange have been “widely reported.” Luskin added that he had no interest in providing either the Hadley email “or any other documents,” including a copy of a letter Fitzgerald sent Luskin that purportedly cleared Rove of criminal exposure in the leak case, to me because of a story I reported two years ago that stated Rove was indicted by Fitzgerald. Luskin added that I “played a despicable role in circulating false allegations concerning an indictment of Mr. Rove and persisted with the story even after it was demonstrated to be false” and he therefore would not provide documentary evidence that could demonstrate his client’s innocence.

  6. Peterr says:

    But does anyone else find it odd that the WH “found” the missing emails the day after Libby’s lawyers learned that news of them would imminently become public?

    Yes.

    I would have said “minutes after” rather than “the day after.”

  7. looseheadprop says:

    OK, we all know that I am a techno tard. But I do know, because I followed the Computer Associates case, that the way the gov’t “caught” CA backdating contracts (and don’t forget this backdating of computer info was done by people with a pretty high level of expertise), was because the “meta data” is hard to fake.

    The meta data usually leaves a trail fo everytime you added, deleated or changed something.

    I have not heard word one about actual computer forensics being employed. There are actual experts who do forensic examinations fo computer data, the same way “CSI” does a forensic examination of a crime scene or the way a forensic accountant does and examination of a company’s books and records.

    I don’t recall anybody–Pat included– ever using the phrase computer forensic to describe the attempt to recover these emails.

    That has always seemed odd to me.

      • looseheadprop says:

        it’s a cost effective way to ascertain if crimes were
        committed.

        Cost effective? During the CA case, ttheir Lawyer Bob Guiffra (yes, that bob Guiffra of Ken Starr fame)couldn’t complain loud enough about how expansive it was to mirror all those hard drives. Evidently after giving the mirror immages to the FBI, CA then went and hired it’s own forensic computer guys to try to figure out what it was that FBI’s computer forensic guys might be able to find/recover.

        That’s how they figured out that they needed to confess enter into a deferred prosecution agreement. To hear Guiffra carry on about it, it is horrifically expensive. Millions and millions of dollars

        note that in yesterday’s testimony about he cost of the investigation, if you back out the bookeeping entry for salaries the investigation only cost about $1/2 million out of pocket and the 2 biggest items were travel and Court reporter’s transcripts.

        Ahem, no big computer forensics bills. I don’t think he looked for them himself. I think the onus was on the WH to produce, he had mirros of Roves hard drives which would 1) hopefully make Rove turn stuff over figuring Pat could “gotcha” him at any time, 2)[and much more important from my point of view] safeguard the contents and preserve them for future review.

        • BayStateLibrul says:

          My point is compared to all the time consumed to date tracking this
          mess, hire a consultant to look specifically at the forensics aspect.
          Get an estimate first, and if it’s too much than can it…

          • looseheadprop says:

            Have you noticed how they spent their time and money? Pat did not pull a Ken Starr. He didn’t go on a fishing expedition. I don’t know that there is enough, enough specifics, to overcome theinertia of the suspended investigation.

            I think “new evidence” would have to be pretty specific and compelling to get me to re-open, and I’m not as conservative as Pat.

            • BayStateLibrul says:

              True enough, Pat did a great job holding down the costs.
              Public opinion (thru KO/Matthews/media)to elevate this “appearance of
              obstruction” is the first step…

              • looseheadprop says:

                Can’t hurt, but if it were me, and I had mentally returned to my day job (and had a high profile case about to go to trial that could topple a governor and badly wound a presidential candidate)

                It would take a big big push to overcome stationary inertia and get that other investigation moving again. A realy big push.

                Just don’t get your hopes up yet.

                • MadDog says:

                  And add in the fact that the occupation’s clock is running out and the miscreants will have to leave the premises.

                  Couple that with a new administration January 09 which could certainly provide far more gravedigging help to a more robust investigation.

                  Shorter Fitz: “They can run, but they can’t hide.”

                  • looseheadprop says:

                    Couple that with a new administration January 09 which could certainly provide far more gravedigging help to a more robust investigation.

                    Shorter Fitz: “They can run, but they can’t hide.”

                    i’m sorry to sound like such a pessimist, but I don’t know how much stockI put inthat either. I have no clue what Mccain administration might do. Obamam is likely to want PAt dead 9at least careerwise) by the ned of the Rezko trial. ANd Hillary would have a hard time going after Bushco without it looking like payback an political vendetta.

                    So, unless you want to root (sp?) for Huckabee, or believe that Romney or Edwards will unsuspend their cmapigns and come back for an upset victory (or that [shudder] Nader wins) how would Pat get an opportunity to clean up during the next admin?

                    • MadDog says:

                      I ping-pong between the same pessimism and…well, at least the idea that somebody is going to make somebody else pay. *g*

                      I could envision both Clinton or Obama deciding that payback was in their political interests (under the right circumstances).

                      Nailing Repugs to the wall may be what keeps the Democratic afloat over the next election cycle (not 2008, but 2010, and even 2012).

                      I realize that some political remarks have been made about “reaching across the aisle” and “comity”, but my cynicism leads me to believe that is just the political equivalent of eye-candy.

                      Repugs ain’t gonna suddenly change, and I think we’re still in for some serious fisticuffs that may dwarf the “minor” contretemps we’ve had the last 20 years.

                    • looseheadprop says:

                      Nailing Repugs to the wall may be what keeps the Democratic afloat over the next election cycle (not 2008, but 2010, and even 2012).

                      Darlin’

                      Exposing all the corruption and desecration of our Constitution (no matter who did it) may be what keeps our democracy alive.

                      Restoration of the rule of law is what I care about. Not “nailing” memebrs of one party or the other. I don’t care who does the crime, you target behavior not individuals. Otherwise you end up with travesties like the Seiligman persecution prosecution seems to be

                    • MadDog says:

                      Restoration of the rule of law is what I care about. Not “nailing” memebrs of one party or the other. I don’t care who does the crime, you target behavior not individuals. Otherwise you end up with travesties like the Seiligman persecution prosecution seems to be

                      And what makes me sleep better at night is knowing that we can do both. *g*

                      Under cover of “restoration of the rule of law”, it would seem that the current party in power has almost endless vulnerabilities.

                      And should the next Administration find folks of the Democratic persuasion behaving badly, I would not raise a peep in their defense. They too can enjoy all the comforts of a correctional vacation.

                    • bobschacht says:

                      Exposing all the corruption and desecration of our Constitution (no matter who did it) may be what keeps our democracy alive.

                      Restoration of the rule of law is what I care about. Not “nailing” memebrs of one party or the other. I don’t care who does the crime, you target behavior not individuals. Otherwise you end up with travesties like the Seiligman persecution prosecution seems to be

                      This is what worries me. By not pursuing impeachment now, what will the next president do? There will be pressure for “unity”, and to let bygones be bygones, with our Constitution lying in shreds all over the ground. The wretched behaviors must be addressed!!!

                      Bob in HI

                    • Leen says:

                      If they want the peasants to have a wee bit of faith in what is left of this justice system…they had better hold their asses accountable.

                      Or they can go with the “let’s move on” horse shit and have the lies, and very serious criminal behavior continue to eat away at the threads of faith that the American people are barely clinging to.

                    • bobschacht says:

                      “Obamam is likely to want PAt dead 9at least careerwise”

                      LHP, I can’t see through the possible typos here to understand what you mean. Please clarify.

                      Bob in HI

                    • bobschacht says:

                      I believe LHP was referring to a Renko prosecution by Fitz. Obama’s “linkage” to Renko has caused some hearts to “flutter”.

                      But if our hypothetical President Obama were to appoint Fitz to investigate such matters *despite* the Rezko investigations, would that not help diffuse any accusations that it was a witch hunt?

                      Bob in HI

                    • looseheadprop says:

                      Even for me that was bad. I’ll try a again.

                      Obama is likely to want Pat dead (at least career wise)

                      You do realize that the Rexko case involves a an alleged campaign contribution made by a a particualr individual out of ill gotten gains to candidate A (or is it 1?) and another contribution to the same candidate froma another individual who was illegally reimbursed by Rezko (who had already meaxed out to Obama) and the ONLY campaign contributions listed for either of these individals to anyone for the relevant time period are to Obama?

                      ANd that Rezko faught like the devil to get the trial pushed back, specifically citing the primary elections and that Pat’s ofice fought that off? You think Obama’s gonna have any love for the Fitzman after that?

    • MadDog says:

      I have not heard word one about actual computer forensics being employed. There are actual experts who do forensic examinations fo computer data, the same way “CSI” does a forensic examination of a crime scene or the way a forensic accountant does and examination of a company’s books and records.

      I don’t recall anybody–Pat included– ever using the phrase computer forensic to describe the attempt to recover these emails.

      That has always seemed odd to me.

      I certainly don’t remember anything coming out about it during the Libby trial, but the fact that Turdblossom’s computer/s were imaged by Fitz’s investigators certainly leads one to conclude that the computer forensic folks back at the FBI lab were put to work.

      Perhaps it is simply that Fitz’s public persona as an Iceberg (not cold, but most hidden) means that only the tiniest bit ever is on display.

    • Peterr says:

      I had noticed the same absence of computer forensics from Fitz.

      . . . WAG alert . . .

      I’d say that Fitz may have been picking his battles with the WH very carefully, trying to draw them forward here by not necessarily firing all his guns over there.

      That is, if Fitz pushed the computer forensics angle against the WH/OVP, he knew that the tiniest bit of cooperation he was getting from them would come to a screeching halt as they fought out the computer stuff in court. It would have taken the national security/states secrets/executive privilege arguments to a whole new level. God only knows how long it would have taken, and whether it would be worth the efforts to go that route, and in the meantime there’s no cooperation on anything else.

      Instead, Fitz chose to tread lightly in that area — not letting up on access to the emails, but not demanding the computers themselves — in order to build his case another way.

      One more thing: in choosing NOT to push to get access to the computers today (whatever “today” that might have been), he did NOT foreclose making that choice down the road.

      . . . end of WAG . . .

      Fitz is a strategic thinker, and looking at it now this absence of “computer forensic analysis” strikes me as a strategic — not tactical — decision on his part.

      • emptywheel says:

        Don’t know WHY he didn’t go forensic–perhaps because, by the time he had cause to ask, he knew there wasn’t much further he could go.

        That said, I do wonder whether Fitz has learned anything new in the last day, with this stuff public?

        • looseheadprop says:

          I do wonder whether Fitz has learned anything new in the last day, with this stuff public?

          You and me both. Well, I suspect at least one of your devted fans at DOJ will point all this out to him.

        • Peterr says:

          I’m reasonably sure he’s learned something new.

          What I wonder is what, exactly, that might have been, and what, if anything, that new information might lead him to do.

  8. emptywheel says:

    But Fitz was explicitly permitted to pursue destruction of evidence charges relating to his investigation:

    At your request, I am writing to clarify that my December 30, 2003, delegation to you of “all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department’s investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee’s identity” is plenary and includes the authority to investigate and prosecute violations of any federal criminal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure, as well as federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, your investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses; to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted; and to pursue administrative remedies and civil sanctions (such as civil contempt) that are within the Attorney General’s authority to impose or pursue.

    • ApacheTrout says:

      So if he was authorized to pursue destruction of evidence charges, its surprises me that he didn’t go after these emails with more gusto. I get the sense that he just acknowledged that they were missing, couldn’t build a more vigorous case against Libby or others because of it, but then backed away from walking down that path.

      • MadDog says:

        So if he was authorized to pursue destruction of evidence charges, its surprises me that he didn’t go after these emails with more gusto. I get the sense that he just acknowledged that they were missing, couldn’t build a more vigorous case against Libby or others because of it, but then backed away from walking down that path.

        It may be that the WH OA techies convinced him that the loss of emails twas merely everyday techie gremlins.

        Or it may be that Fitz is just now finding out the real backstory just like all the rest of us.

        Or both. *g*

    • looseheadprop says:

      Look, I know that the absence of something that ought to be there leads a reasonable person to assume that it was destroyed, but I would not go to trial smply on that, and I’m a lot more reckless ahem, not as conservative as Pat is when it comes to thinking a case is ready for trial.

      Which brings me back to the apparent absence of a forensic examination of the metadata. Odd.

    • MadDog says:

      But Fitz was explicitly permitted to pursue destruction of evidence charges relating to his investigation…

      But wrt to Addington’s computer/s or even Fredo’s, attorney/client privilege may have stymied him from even looking.

      • emptywheel says:

        Doubt it. Addington testified that he had told Libby he had no A-C privilege. Fitz would have elicited that from Addington’s earlier testimony–well before he had proof the emails were missing.

        • MadDog says:

          Doubt it. Addington testified that he had told Libby he had no A-C privilege. Fitz would have elicited that from Addington’s earlier testimony–well before he had proof the emails were missing.

          That does refresh my memory (often poor at the best of times *g*).

          And just as a curiousity, can the Legal Eagles explain to this simpleton how one can be the Counsel to the VP (or the P) and not have an A/C relationship?

          Does that mean Fredo, Harriet and Freddy can be deposed about EOP stuff? What is the limit on it?

  9. SparklestheIguana says:

    I don’t see how Addington’s computers could have been off limits, given that he was central to everything. The example Fitz gave was tax fraud – e.g., something totally unrelated to his investigation.

  10. ApacheTrout says:

    EW’s commentators sure ask a number of sharp, specific questions. Has there been any attempt at compiling them and forwarding them to HW and other members of the HOC?

  11. BayStateLibrul says:

    My theory is that Fitzy was pissed when he got all this fucking bullshit
    from the WH. He dealt with it by saying that the “e-mails were not archived
    properly” and moved on…

  12. SparklestheIguana says:

    Anne Broache writes for CNET News: “Republican Ranking Member Tom Davis (R-Va.) said the White House has said it has since reduced the number of days’ worth of missing e-mails from 473 to 202 after discovering that those messages had been filed ‘in the wrong digital drawer’ as part of a switch from the Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange e-mail system in 2002.”

    (from today’s Froomkin) Is this news, or did we (and by that I mean EW) already know it?

    • emptywheel says:

      It came out yesterday. Though NARA doesn’t buy it. Since they’re not reconstructing using the logs, there’s no guarantee they’re finding everything.

  13. looseheadprop says:

    or did we (and by that I mean EW) already know it?

    ROTFLMAO!

    I only wish I knew 9that is retained) a tiney fraction of what EW keeps in her short term memory

  14. falasafa says:

    slightly OT – epu’d from rncc thread:

    citizen92 and orionATL have had the same thought about payton and and her position at wachovia, and ew’s response was the same, that the shifty business coordinated by ward began after payton left, but i wonder.

    July 28, 2003 Bloomberg announces Wachovia coming to NYC.

    http://nyc.gov/portal/site/nyc…..#038;ndi=1

    August 26th, 2003
    Ward Harkavy
    Village Voice

    Committee On Arrangements For The 2004 Republican National Convention
    fec.gov(Federal Election Commission) opensecrets.org (Center for Responsive Politics)

    Looking to see how your bank fees and insurance premiums are being used? Keep an eye on campaign finance reports filed by this group, a vehicle (along with the New York City Host Committee) used by the GOP to finance its big show. The latest reports, incidentally, show the Republicans taking out huge loans from Wachovia Bank to start paying for their coronation activities. Apparently, deficit financing is OK for plutocratic celebrations, but it can’t be used to pay for food, education, health care, and housing for the rest of us. Oh, and you try getting an interest-free loan from Wachovia, as the GOP did.

    ward took over in the spring of 2003.
    from thecarpetbaggerreport:

    A pivotal moment for the NRCC occurred in spring 2003, shortly after Reynolds took over the panel, when he ousted Donna Anderson, a longtime committee staffer who oversaw the NRCC’s accounting.

    Ward then moved up to the top accounting position within the committee, making him responsible for tracking tens of millions of dollars in political contributions and expenditures each cycle.

    “Clearly, after the transition from Anderson to Ward, it was a different regime for what followed,” said one GOP insider with strong ties to the NRCC.

    payton switched jobs, from wachovia to bank of america, in september 2004, the very month of the nyc convention. and the change was from one big north carolina bank dealing to get market share in nyc to another. my point, though, is that the time frame covered by the enron auditing scandal does include time when payton worked at wachovia.

    as to the amount of that interest free loan? i can’t find the number on the web, but i seem to recall it was about $56 million.

    sorry for such a sloppy presentation.

  15. LS says:

    “Some attachments in the new system will not be searchable by text for obvious reasons: there is no text associated with digital photos, audio, or video files”

    Ahem.

  16. emptywheel says:

    Hey, “The Spreadsheet” is up.

    Two things I notice first of all. The period after Judy’s Appeal got shot down includes not just some no-email days, but some light email days.

    And there are huge chunks of time when PFIAB is missing emails. They don’t have much to begin with. But since they’re the other “agency” that refuses to turn over evidence of classification and declassification, I find it interesting.

    Plenty of emails recorded for leak week and for the week of June 9, 2003, though.

    • MadDog says:

      I’ve been pondering “walking the cat back” as they say wrt to Waxman’s revelations this week.

      It sure seems to me that there must exist a “strategy” behind his show. The stuff he has produced was not suddenly cobbled together over a beer and pretzels one night this past week.

      This has been in the works for many, many months. The committee’s staff know’s full well that this material is dynamite, and appears to have been tirelessly constructing a very solid case of obstruction, albeit in the realm of politics rather than a court of law ala Fitz.

      So, what’s the strategy’s goal?

      I think I may ponder that a wee bit more. *g*

      • looseheadprop says:

        There are a group of very frustrated congressional reps 9and an even larger group of frustrated staffers–if a certain congress critter of my aquaintance is to be beleived) who would Love love love to find somehtong so compelling that impeachment might get back on the table.

    • Rayne says:

      Something else is wrong on The Spreadsheet. Really, really wrong.

      WTF happened in January of 2005 that the OVP decided to really begin using email?

      They are underreporting emails until that point — at least. They’re only creating emails on a ratio of 1-to-10 up to that time, when they being to produce emails at 1-to-4.

      Gawddemnitall I hate those bastiges.

      • lllphd says:

        what happened in jan 05?

        the chumps were reinstalled, and with a congress of parrots and goose-steppers, that’s what.

        hubris set in, that feeling that they’re protected by their enemy congress that has been infested with their own little monkeys.

        what could possibly happen to them with that kind of security?

        • emptywheel says:

          That’s actually one of the main things, judging from the correspondance. In 2005, they stopped really working on the replacement archive system. And they stopped talking to National archives.

  17. emptywheel says:

    Let me make a (I hope) helpful point about prosecutions in 2009.

    There is almost no way one coudl prosecute Cheney for ordering Libby to leak Valerie Wilson’s identity. After 2009, you’ll be past the problem of indicting a sitting VP for actions he did as VP. But you’re still stuck with the fact that Bush and Cheney claim Cheney had the right to declassify Plame’s identity in any manner he so chose.

    If President Obama or President Hillary really wants to do some useful investigations, they–and the US–would be much better served prosecuting Bush and Cheney and Yoo for signing off on torture. Valerie Wilson is never going to get her cover back. But the US can–and needs to–start regaining international credibility back.

    • MadDog says:

      You are correct that there are far more crimes one could charge than betraying Valerie Plame Wilson’s CIA cover.

      However, related to that very topic, I would suggest that obstruction of justice would do rather nicely.

    • bmaz says:

      Quite frankly, assuming it is a five year statute, which is the upper end for most similar stuff, there will be a statute of limitations bar by the time they could get anything going on Cheney and people below him. I could make out a cognizable argument that the statute is tolled as to Bush though because he is incapable of being charged while in office; whether it would fly I don’t know, but I think it is a pretty valid argument.

      • looseheadprop says:

        He could still be impeached after leaving office. And in some circumstances with coverups and obstruction thrown in, you get a tolling. date of discovery analysis can sometimes come into play, it’s very fact specific.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, I understand about the impeachment end of things; I think there is a decent argument that the statute on criminal charges is tolled while he is in office. This is just a thought off the top of my head, but it fits with everything I have dealt with and known in the past with statute tolling.

  18. Mary says:

    23/27/30 etc. – Exactly. That’s why I have said so often that I would like for someoen, in one of the House exchanges with him, to ask him about whether or not he made any referrals (not asking for the details of them – so he should be able to answer), how many, if anyone was assigned for follow up, etc. and I would still like to hear ask/answer on whether or not he found evidence of possible Pres Rec Act violations or Hatch Act violations (since those are specific topics being revealed by the shenanigans and under investigation) and who he handled them if he did.

    OTOH – what he said about the limits on his scope is old news. IMO, since the delegation (which was only for the matters recused) but if not since then, then at least since Walton’s ruling on the principal officer matter.

    And on Spec Pros rules, etc. – which is supposedly why they had him there – I still can’t believe no one has dotted the i-s on chain of authority on charging decisions (Jeff, I answered in the earlier thread why I didn’t think we had anythind dispositive on that
    http://emptywheel.firedoglake……ment-55019
    )

    27 – destruction of evidence relating to the Plame outing – not so much other kinds of destruction, but even there, who do you say “destroyed” the emails in a system like what they had, how do you prove it, and how do you prove mens rea?

    69 – I’m not as sure that Obama would hold out in grudge territory on Rezko, but I do think that either Dem would probably have a pick for ND IL that might not be Fitzgerald. Which might or might not be a good thing, depending on who their pick is I guess. I think Durbin and Obama have both said they think he’s done a fine job and I think Chitown likes him pretty well.

    • bmaz says:

      And LHP too – Why would simply answering whether there were referrals violate GJ secrecy rules? That would be the special prosecutor’s decision to make a referral, not a GJ indictment or charging document. I don’t see why such a general question is improper for him to answer; possibly (a little weaker here) even as to general areas that were referred.

      • looseheadprop says:

        Why would simply answering whether there were referrals violate GJ secrecy rules?

        I don’t think it would. But he’s stickter than that. he has this thing about how you don’t discuss investiagtions,period, if you can possibly avoid it. There are good reasons for this: you caould unfairy damage someone’s reputation, you could be wrong, it could tip off your targets, it could make people who might otherwise tell you stuff not do so.

        This is not a guy who would be happy answering that question and would be likely to try to wriggle out of doing so. the only way to get that sort of optional information out of him would be to pin him down, not accecpt his polite, but firm, declinations and demand that any thing he is legally permitted to tell Congress he must tell Congress.

        Considering that the folks asking hte questions seem to be a bit in awe of him, I don’t see that happening, which is good for his comfort, but not yours.

        Pat has a way of making you feel like you are prying and doing soemthing wrong when you ask a questionabotu info htat a regular person would have volunteered in the first place. Just passing stuff, like what he had for lunch.

        With info he intentionally wants to keep confidential? good luck.

  19. Mary says:

    Ahem, no big computer forensics bills. I don’t think he looked for them himself. I think the onus was on the WH to produce

    Would there have been a big computer forensics bill, or would it have been an inhouse DOJ/FBI charge accumulation – so you’d have to go through and pick out salary attributions and match names? I don’t know – just asking.

    Again, with the in-house issue, he was not in a good position to take info that Gonzales for WH and Addington for OVP signed off on and certified and call them liar liars and go behind that. Even in a straight litigation situation where you didn’t have such weird alignment of parties questions, not many judges would, off the cuff, let you just flounce in and say that another lawyer’s production certifications were fraudulent and let you go behind them without a lot of evidence. Try doing all that with your boss’ private lawyer being the guy you are going after.

    • looseheadprop says:

      Might have been done in house. I don’t know if those salary accounting entries are public record or not and whether they included FBI or only DOJ. The reason I say that, is for CIPA there was a ton of work done by agency lawyers and I doubt that was counted toward investigation.

      Also, I love the FBI, have many friends there, but their computer situation, not so good. They have to rely on outside consultatns for a lot of stuff. So, special nature of this investigation favors using outside (security cleared) consultant. Pat really trying hard not to run up a big bill favors doing it in house. I don’t have a theory, only note absence of big bill.

      As for your second paragraph.

      Yep. Yep. And yep.

  20. Mary says:

    you target behavior
    Or, if the criminals own the prosecutors, you just redefine the behaviour as non-criminal.

    At least, that’s what you do with prosecutors who acquiesce. And that seems to be all we’ve had for a long long time.

    • looseheadprop says:

      i know, and of all of them, he actually might. But I also know he is in the middle of ignoring his own signature campaign finance law, so how much credance can we actually put in anything he says?

      i must be in a bad mood or soemthing, cause I’m usually a glass half full kinda girl and I just seem to be a downer on every bit of hope in this htread.

      Sorry.

      Funny thing, I don’t FEEL like I’m in a bad mood.

      • SparklestheIguana says:

        I want to see Fitz reappointed just as badly as the next person (we NEED HIM HERE), but not if the price is President McCain.

  21. MadDog says:

    EW and everybody else,

    In case you miss it, we have a new Emptywheel presence by the name of TheGayCurmudgeon.

    He posted a comment on the previous thread.

    Why am I mentioning this?

    Well, it’s always nice to welcome new folks to this place.

    And…did I mention the fact that TheGayCurmudgeon actually worked at the White House Office of Administration?

    And…did I mention the fact that he actually worked on the fookin’ email system we’re blown away by?

    Hmmm…I must of forgot to mention all of that. *g*

    Welcome TheGayCurmudgeon!

    And please, jump right in and let us in on all the gory details! Puleeeeeze!!!

    • TheGayCurmudgeon says:

      Hey MadDog,

      Just a correction and clarification; I have never been employed by the White House Office of Administration and have not worked on any government implementation in any capacity whatsoever.

      I worked on the engineering team for the e-mail server software the White House uses and I had a lot of experience talking to organizations about issues and strategies when migrating to that server software.

      When the story originally broke about the missing e-mails there was a comment from White House spokesperson Dana Perino about their migration from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook where she said that they might have lost mail in the migration process. It’s clear from the subsequent information that it wasn’t the migration from one server platform to another that is the issue here, but the management of a Records Management solution for their e-mail system.

      Here’s the post I wrote in April 2007 on “the migration excuse”.

      ~GC

      • MadDog says:

        Just a correction and clarification; I have never been employed by the White House Office of Administration and have not worked on any government implementation in any capacity whatsoever.

        Doh! and Ooopsie! My apologies for misrepresenting you! How in the world did I screw that one up? I coulda swore I read that you were…

        I may never live this one down. Nor should I, but I’m glad you’re here all the same! *g*

        I worked on the engineering team for the e-mail server software the White House uses and I had a lot of experience talking to organizations about issues and strategies when migrating to that server software.

        Ok, given you correct background (slapping self in forehead), I (and many others) have a wee few questions:

        1. What do you think of the “journal to PST” concept that the WH OA used at one time?

        2. And of course the big one, what happened to the missing emails?

        I’ve got a lot more, but they can wait…at least for another minute or two. *g*

      • Citizen92 says:

        Glad to hear you’re now a contributor.

        Any ideas what the MZM contractors were doing? (they’re mentioned in McDevitt’s questionnaire)

        A collegue of mine who was affiliated with SMEI said that OA really kitted out their workspace at NEOB with Hermann Miller chairs and the like. Did you run across this?

        Any ex-WHCA guys on your team? Was WHCA involved in any way with the OA e-mail systems that you were working on?

        • MadDog says:

          My apologies to you too for leading you astray. TheGayCurmudgeon wasn’t at the WH.

          I swear I’m never gonna live this down. Arrrrrrgggggghhhh!

          • Loo Hoo. says:

            MadDog, if you screwed up once, it would hardly go to your credibility. You are totally respected. Go forth!!

            • MadDog says:

              MadDog, if you screwed up once, it would hardly go to your credibility. You are totally respected. Go forth!!

              Ta Loo Hoo! I’ll keep that in a safe place for a rainy day. I’m liable to need it. *g*

      • MadDog says:

        I’m still not clear on the storage setup for the users in question; were they working with server storage only or server and PST file storage?

        And I wasn’t quite sure what you meant by this question on the previous thread.

        The understanding I have currently of how the email setup worked is via this document and the brainstorming the folks have done here.

        That document specifically said this:

        10. How were e-mails sent to and from Microsoft Exchange accounts archived and preserued? Please describe the various steps involved and the individuals responsible for each step, including the process through which e-mails stored in journals were saved in .pst files.

        I was not directly involved in the management decision to proceed with the
        implementation of Outlook / Exchange. I also did not have any operational responsibility for the archiving of email in either the Notes or Exchange environments.

        The initial email retention process involved a manual process of copying messages from the Exchange journals to .pst files for storage and retention. This process was to be performed on a regular basis.

        At some point, this process was partially automated using a utility designed for this purpose. The Mail Attender utility was used to automatically copy email message from the journals to the .pst files on a regular basis.

        And this part is perhaps also relevant to how the files have gone missing:

        According to Mr. McDevitt, “ln mid-2005 … a critical security issue was identified and corrected. During this period it was discovered that the file servers and the file directories used to store the retained email … were accessible by everyone on the EOP network.”

        It seems that the PSTs were scattered about on wide-open files servers in the EOP network and that any EOP user could access/modify/delete them.

      • MadDog says:

        More questions for TheGayCurmudgeon – Can you give us any info on this tool from MS:

        If my recollection is correct, at that time there were over 5,000 .pst files with an average size of approximately 2 Gigabytes. Since each of these files contained messages one or more days and since it was not possible to determine what days were included in any given file, we needed to determine a method to perform this analysis. Prior to this effort, Microsoft had provided the EOP with a custom software application for performing searches on .pst files. This tool was commonly referred to as the “Findlt” tool.

        Microsoft was contacted and was tasked to modify the Findlt tool so that it included the additional functionality of providing a message count for each day represented in a given .pst file. This process was performed on each .pst file in the inventory and the data was aggregated into a single data set. This is the data set that provided the basis for the analysis.

        I’m wondering just what were the “search” capabilities of this tool. Could it search PSTs for their message content (i.e search for Valerie Plame Wilson as an example).

        • sojourner says:

          MadDog, thanks for your earlier response!

          FWIW, Exchange 2003 has a search tool built in to it. I work in IT project management, and have to maintain a pretty extensive set of personal archives (*.PST files) for back reference. I often use the search tool to find specific emails by sender, phrase, etc. I suspect the Exchange version that TGC was working with would have been Exchange 2000, and it may not have had search capabilities in it. I know that there are add-on tools to enhance search and archive functions, but I have never had much trouble finding what I was looking for — provided I was in the correct archive.

          I cannot remember the name offhand of the contractor that was hired to install the new email system and archive. The fact that it was not completed should not be a surprise. Our federal government has not conducted much oversight of contractors under the current regime. IT is regarded as more of a necessary evil, and there is not much forethought given to IT requirements or security when the government issues a contract.

          I just hope that I get to know the whole story of all this chicanery before I die…

          I have not gotten a blessed thing done the last two days because of EW’s one-track mind on emails This whole thing has fascinated me from Day 1. Due to where I work, I am cautious about posting too much from there. I began wondering about the PST files a long time ago. Exchange is apparently something of a hog in terms of space required to keep emails on a server. That is why so many companies have policies in place to remove email from the server after a certain period of time, and/or limit the size of mailboxes. Such policies force recipients to make a decision to either store it in a personal archive, or delete it. Either way, it gets it off of the server. On the other hand, I believe someone mentioned that the email system that the EOP began installing cost about $500K, and that would buy some pretty honking big servers and storage.

  22. Mary says:

    85 – but their computer situation, not so good. They have to rely on outside consultatns for a lot of stuff. So, special nature of this investigation favors using outside (security cleared) consultant

    That all makes sense. It sounds like nothing goes right for the FBI personnel on the tech funding and access front, from what little gets discussed publically.

    89 Why would simply answering whether there were referrals violate GJ secrecy rules? I don’t think it would, fwiw. But I do think that he is bound on his answers to follow DOJ guidelines set and so he would have to defer to that if there are strictures coming out from above, and if there were any disagreements internally, then you may get into deliberative privilege issues. But I can’t figure out why no one is even asking.

  23. looseheadprop says:

    Wow, that was a very useful bit of info.

    So, if GC is right ( and welcome indeedy) in order for a multipary email to disappear ALL the parties to he email have to be complicite in the deletion?

    Either Addington would have to log on as each recipient or LOTS of PEOPLE were in on the destruction. Wow, just wow.

    have I got that right? Am I understand GC’s comment?

  24. Sara says:

    Specifically, with regard to the E-Mail issue, the party most offended here is Future Historians — the whole Presidential Records Act, passed in the wake of Nixon’s efforts to take his tapes and papers to California for his own use and profit — was passed as a result of Historians lobbying for their interests — and the interests of future Historians.

    With this in mind, I hope Waxman has in mind some amendments to that act, that are simply preventative — but establish clearly the right of citizens to have full access (usually through Historiens who write) to the records of all administrations. When the act was passed, E-Mail did not exist, and except over at DARPA, the idea of the internet was nonexistant. I would propose, for instance, that Waxman provide for the National Archives to certify any archiving technology used in the WH — and for that matter, all executive departments and agencies, and on a regular schedule report to congress on any failure to cooperate, and all technical glitches encountered. The Archives would need budget for techs who regularly would inspect all systems at the systems administrator level, and the legislation probably should contain job qualifications. (No Brownies need apply). Would need highest security clearance, and fairly strict delineation of authorities. But in the end, the purpose of such additions to the Presidential Records act should be framed as the initial bill was — in the interest of Future Historians.

  25. looseheadprop says:

    Closing up the laptop and heading home gang. Littleprop has bronchitis and needs some mommy love. Catch ya on the flip

    • Leen says:

      Mommy love is oh so healing. Really like the lots of lemons, honey and hotwater…grandmother remedy. Of course along with those antibiotics.

          • Minnesotachuck says:

            I prefer the Two Hat Cure, although it’s probably not yet appropriate for littleprop. Get out a bottle of cognac or single malt scotch and your hat, mosey over to your easychair, pull up the hassock and after you put your feet up put your hat on one of them. Then start sipping. After you start seeing two hats instead of one, stagger off to bed for the night.

              • bobschacht says:

                “Why not just look for four feet?”

                While enjoying the more sophisticated commentary on subtantive issues, I am reduced to offering this objection: What if the #@$%! feet won’t stay still until I… can…. count….. themmmmmmmmmmmmmzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (thunk)

                Bob in HI

  26. freepatriot says:

    It may be that the WH OA techies convinced him that the loss of emails twas merely everyday techie gremlins.

    Or it may be that Fitz is just now finding out the real backstory just like all the rest of us

    I hope not

    I like to believe Fitz is smarter than me

    if that’s the way it is, he ain’t even close

  27. BayStateLibrul says:

    Holy Shitski…

    From ESPN:

    Remember a movie last year called “Reservation Road”? The poster tagline read: “To find the truth, you have to find who’s hiding it.”

    Naw, they’re not talking about the OVP, but our beloved Clemens…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn…..ortCat=mlb

    • bobschacht says:

      Holy Shitski…

      From ESPN:

      Remember a movie last year called “Reservation Road”? The poster tagline read: “To find the truth, you have to find who’s hiding it.”

      Naw, they’re not talking about the OVP, but our beloved Clemens…

      http://sports.espn.go.com/espn…..ortCat=mlb

      Holy metaphor, Batman!

      Robinert in HI

    • bmaz says:

      Yes this third rate sports twit is a brilliant analyst and his knowledge and understanding of criminal law is beyond dispute. I am here to tell you that irrespective of Clemens’ guilt, this investigation, and likely prosecution because Congress is demanding it to buck up the oh so precious Mitchell Report, is NOT what it seems and these people flapping their lips don’t know squat about the real underlying facts or the criminal process, and that includes most of the lawyers I have seen commenting. Would you like to wager any significant money on Clemens being convicted? If so, I would consider such a wager. However, in all good conscience, I would urge you not to make such a bet.

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        I’ll bet you a gallon of water around Ft Huachuca, the home of the
        world famous Information Systems Command… (that was scheduled to
        move to Massachusetts in 1988, except for the wheely-dealy McCain, et.al
        who pulled the plug on Devens in 1991.)
        You may be right, Clemens could skate, but you have to admit, the article was pretty funny…

  28. Hmmm says:

    Because I can’t help myself, I’m plotting the spreadsheet on top of EW’s timeline. As an HTML table. Not sure when it’ll be done yet, but for what it’s worth, I notice a strong correlation between outages in the OVP and in the OA starting around December 2003.

      • Hmmm says:

        Hadn’t considered the Plame timeline, just the WH emails one. Hmmm.

        What we need here is a master database of dated events, with the ability to assign each event to one or more topic groups (WH email, Plamegate, Torturegate, NIEgate, peoples’ names, etc.), and then display on a calendar all the events belonging to one or more selected topic groups. And it needs to work over the web. And folks need to be able to submit new events to it, again over the web. The MIT timeline widget might work well for the display side, but maybe not so much the data input & storage side. Maybe a wiki feeding the timeline widget via some custom scripting…?

  29. JohnLopresti says:

    @70, I wonder if the site host has a way to copy and paste from the .pdf to .xls; one of the neat things to do with multi page spreadsheets is to deploy them on succeeding pages in Excel, then write formulas to drill down thru the layers. There is a lot of profiling evidently waiting for discovery on the misalignments between anticipated and reported volume of emails for each office. Excel has the added feature of developing graphics to chart effects; bar, pie, and scatter all seem appropriate from glancing at the matrix initially as a pdf in the current oversight committee document. However, the disparateness of month lengths makes for extra effort in multipage format in .xls; may be best to leave as is, or on one page. We always went around about the best format when doing global telecoms datasheets, often opting to rotate the column titles so more fits onscreen. It gets tedious, but that is an ew forte, prelude to insight. I heard her remarks as something of a tease, given the statute of limitations and the likelihood a rigorous NARA overseen compliance model likely would be the product of bipartisan wrangling in the legislature and first installed in the WH of a Democratic party administration. I think there remains a lot of feinting in the presentations we are reviewing.

    On the overarching consternation of the Oversight committee findings yesterday, I am happy to work with the documents provided, and I appreciate the suggestion, along which paradigm Waxman likely has already drafted a framework: to rewrite the regs so as to leave less to the discretion of each presidency. I clearly heard the CIO say complete restoration is doable, just timeconsuming and costly, based on disaster recovery tapes, and establishing a separate net, server, to which to write the restore.

    Clearly Bush is going to continue to hide the maximum amount of information his administration can, long into the future. Yet, the Yorba Linda library just passed a 25-year threshold and has many thousands of pages of Nixon materials newly available to historians without the reputed parsimonious oversight of the former overseers of the previously private segments of the papers; maybe there is material there for due diligence for the legislators looking to augment the spirit of PRA.

  30. JohnLopresti says:

    One topologic issue may clarify by comparing missing emails with the second document Waxman put on the oversignt committee server yesterday filename 20080226160101 2.2MB pdf, though only a possibility. I was trying to conceive of how complicated it might have been to delete or even just winnow thru emails as seen in the document available newly today filename 20080227155329 19MB. The concept I am developing is how complex the Libby ruse was with the Plame outing, as compared to the parallel degree of complexity to coordinate erasure of emails; the latter document destruction initiative must have been intricate, involving many people; I have yet to believe the entire .pst hypothetical trialBalloon as presented in many reports: i.e., this was much more than AGAG giving AndyCard 18 hours to scramble over the weekend before the saveEverythingGermane formal memo arrived in WH; rather, the emails evanescence was selective across many executive branch agencies and for disparate subsets of calendar days.

  31. bmaz says:

    Golly. If only those founding father dudes had anticipated such malfeasance and provided some way to investigate a situation like this, and have the results displayed to the public and voted on by the duly elected representatives of the public, so that the guilty could be so found and the innocent exonerated. So that the public could have confidence in the integrity and propriety of their government. If only there were something like that….

  32. MadDog says:

    More questions for TheGayCurmudgeon – I’ve looked at the Microsoft Knowledgebase Article – Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Merge program (Exmerge.exe) information.

    In your opinion, was Microsoft’s ExMerge.exe program used at the WH’s OA to create the PSTs from the Exchange server mailboxes?

    And if so, do you know what the drawbacks/limitations of using ExMerge might have been on the EOP Exchange server environment? For example:

    1. Was the ExMerge program providing both positive and negative processing information for each mailbox-to-PST operation?

    2. Was the ExMerge program providing sufficient granular detail on its mailbox-to-PST operations? Stuff such as mailbox owner, date range of messages, number of messages, etc.

    3. How did/does ExMerge handle error situations? Does it retry? Does it have an “alert” function that informs operators?

    Based on my reading of just the article and not having used ExMerge, it would seem that the program is fairly primitive, and for reporting purposes, merely creates a log file called C:Exmerge.log, which contains any errors encountered during operation.

    That kinda says to me that if I needed any automation such as operator alerting, I would have to write my own scripts to do so. Concur?

  33. awater says:

    Hey EmptyWheel,

    I was just thinking that you might want to build your timeline with something pretty and dynamic. There’s an open source project called “Timeline” at MIT that you may want to look at:

    http://simile.mit.edu/timeline/

    Have fun! And great work ….

      • emptywheel says:

        Technically, I’m genetically a coder. The only reason I’m not a programmer, I say, is because I didn’t go to Big Blue nursery school like my brothers did. The Methodists saved me.

        I think those timelines are nice–but I don’t think they do what I would need them to do.

    • awater says:

      True, true. I also like emptywheel’s last suggestion. Its quite simple to build a database of events queued by time period. And it’s also pretty straight-forward to put together some kind of layer that access that DB and speak to the web. We’ve got enough data to fill this? It would be nice to plugin that timeline software …

  34. kspena says:

    Just out of curiosity and an abundance of ignorance, I’m wondering if there is some relation between the archiving problems being discussed and the fact that the OVP was intercepting all the emails of the NSC without their knowledge.

      • sojourner says:

        Just shooting in the dark, and I have mentioned this before, but I suspect that somewhere there is an enormous storage area network (SAN) where intercepted NSC and missing EOP emails are residing. Think of a SAN as lots and lots of computer hard drives linked together to form a HUGE storage device. We just installed one at work that will hold about 23 Terabytes, and that is not even considered to be that large.

        I also still believe that there is an ego factor at work. Whoever has engineered this whole thing is enjoying the hell out of his handiwork. Once the emails are totally deleted, the game is over and there is nothing more to hide.

    • MadDog says:

      kspena and EW,

      Why on earth is the National Security Council (NSC) listed in that spreadsheet?

      I know I read that the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) runs a separate email system for the NSC staff. They certainly did so during the Clinton years.

      So my question is, how is it the White House Office of Administration (OA) has a spreadsheet showing PSTs from the NSC with lots of days of captured email, and a good many days where there was no email from the NSC, versus the info that the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) is supposed to be running the separate classified email Exchange servers for the NSC, and doing their own backups?

      And my 2nd questions is, were those NSC PST files containing the most classified stuff available for reading/deleting/modifying as was indicated here:

      In mid-2005, prior to the discovery of the potential email issues, a critical security issue was identified and corrected. During this period it was discovered that the file servers and the frle directories used to store the retained email .pst files were accessible by everyone on the EOP network.

      • bmaz says:

        MadDog – Question. What is your knowledge of the cost of imaging a large server drive? Smaller individual drive? Masaccio above suggested $500 for a server drive. Thoughts?

        • MadDog says:

          MadDog – Question. What is your knowledge of the cost of imaging a large server drive? Smaller individual drive? Masaccio above suggested $500 for a server drive. Thoughts?

          Hmmm…depends on what all is included in the cost. For example, these are the things that come to mind:

          1. Labor – biggest ticket item. Inhouse staff – cheap cause we work for peanuts *g*. Outside contractor – expensive in the range of $75-$150/hour. If one uses Lawyers? – mucho expensive – usually need 30 year mortgage. *g*

          2. Image software – depends on license. For single user (using Symantec’s Ghost product for example), $20. Enterprise pricing has tiers and for big enterprises (hundreds of servers, 10s of thousands of client PCs), I’d guestimate $7,500-$10,000 annually with 15% annual “support” fee.

          3. Media such as CDs/DVDs for the image, between $.02 and $.25 per blank. Real cheap stuff these days. *g*

          Your question about drive size really doesn’t matter in the whole scheme of things. That’s because it is only marginally more time-consuming, and a question of whether you’ll need multiple blank CD/DVDs which cost a pittance.

          So going back to Masaccio’s $500 estimate, sure with either inhouse or contractor efforts, that would fit.

          If you bought a copy of Symantec Ghost for your home PC, it would cost you $20 and a blank DVD or two or ten.

          I do this quite regularly both at work and at home (for different purposes). At home, it takes about 20-30 minutes to image my production system.

        • looseheadprop says:

          I don’t know if this helps or not, and I don’t have direct knowledge, but Bob Guiffra once said it cost $10,000 a pop to mirror the CA servers. It ran into the millions of dollars

          • bmaz says:

            I saw that from you earlier, and that is exactly what I am interested in rebutting. Not you personally of course, just the meme that it would have been cost prohibitive etc. As primarily a crim defense/plaintiff’s civil rights lawyer, heh heh, I was mostly interested in NOT having things imaged. Nevertheless, from what little I know, that Guiffra figure would only be correct if it was a severely damaged hard drive that had to be “recovered”, which involves clean rooms, rebuilding, time, etc., before being imaged. My bet is that our trusted commenter masaccio is just about right on the money with the $500 give or take per healthy working hard drive (which they should have been in the WH). If that is right, then there was no reason for not having preserved evidence as to the OVP, Rove, server hard drives I referred to above. In a nutshell, that is my attempted point.

          • MadDog says:

            I don’t know if this helps or not, and I don’t have direct knowledge, but Bob Guiffra once said it cost $10,000 a pop to mirror the CA servers. It ran into the millions of dollars

            Ah hah! “Mirroring” is much different than imaging a hard disk drive.

            Mirroring consists of have duplicate hard drives writing the same data twice.

            Imaging consists of using a software package to make a copy of a hard drive which is written to some form of media (another hard drive, CD, DVD, memory stick, etc.).

            I’m gonna also guess that the CA servers each had multiple hard drives, so duplicates would double that amount.

            Most corporate servers have half a dozen to a dozen separate high-end pricey hard disk drives in each server. If one does mirroring in that environment, you double the number of hard drives.

            Yes, $10,000 a server would not be out of the ballpark.

            • bmaz says:

              Aw jeez, you are not helping here MD. The FBI has techs on the payroll already, and they have the duplicating/imaging equipment. Why can’t they send a couple of them, with some of their equipment over and make the requisite copies/images? I am just not buying into this cost prohibitive argument….

              • MadDog says:

                Imaging is cheap, mirroring is not.
                Imaging is software, mirroring is hardware.

                The FBI can easily afford to “image” hard drives.

                “Mirroring” is something done by the owner of the servers, primary to ensure maximum availability of the data.

                Typically, mirroring is done for stuff that needs to be always available like databases for customer accounts or transaction databases.

                Mirroring is typically not used for your run-of-the-mill server, and is rarely if ever used on the end-user machines.

                When you need “high availability”, that’s when you “mirror” hard drives.

                I say again, the FBI could (and should have) imaged hard drives for the involved folks like Addington, Hadley, Libby and selected others in the OVP and it would have cost the FBI a mere pittance.

                And at the point that Fitz & Company were informed by the WH OA that email was missing, the FBI folks should have demanded all pertinent backup/archive tapes for the affected email servers, as well as the file servers where the PST files were stored.

                Fitz & Company, like most of the FBI, has yet to catch on to the crimes of the 21st century.

                It ain’t necessarily done with mirrors, but there are ghostly footprints left in the silicon sand if one knows to look.

                • Rayne says:

                  Full agreement with your description of mirroring, although it involves both hardware and software.

                  Most corporations will use mirroring in email, since these machines have much higher transactional volume than servers used to store/share documents, and the sensitivity and business necessity of up time as close to 100% as possible can’t be assured in high volume transaction systems without levels of redundancy for failsafe operations.

                  Financial transaction servers are another opportunity for mirroring, as are web servers that have high transaction volume. Most other lower demand systems will be better and more efficiently served with good backup systems.

                  Cost is definitely greater for mirroring than for backup systems.

  35. nolo says:

    just wandering by, to muse. . .

    so — i must admit to being
    very thick-headed in 2007 — as i
    am certain that many others here
    assembled are quite entirely well-
    aware of this, but the paragraph
    quoted above (by EW) re fitz’s
    abundance of caution. . .” is
    in response to a brady request
    by ted wells, on behalf of scooter.

    okay — let that sink in.

    fitz is telling ted wells that
    this may (emphasis MAY) be
    exculpatory evidence — then he says:

    “. . .In an abundance of caution, we advise you that we have learned that not all email of the Office of Vice President and the Executive Office of President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system. . . .”

    so — “missing” veep emails may prove exculpatory
    to scooter — why? because those email may prove
    that scooter did his lying on the direct orders of
    the sitting vice president of the united states.

    i am sure this was long-known by all of you,
    but the enormity of that is just now sinking
    into my little pea-brain. . .

    i think i’ll go lie down, now.

    p e a c e

    • emptywheel says:

      I think you’re overreading.

      Fitz took many opportunities to reveal tidbits (as he began to reveal the beginning of Libby’s NIE cover story) when he had the opportunity. That was the opportunity.

      Also remember that at that point, Fitz only knew the emails was missing–he did not know it had been found. That, I’m sure, was the logic behind slipping this in there, not Brady.

      • nolo says:

        fair enough — perhaps i am “over-reading“.

        fitz’s letter, on its face, though, makes
        that “abundance of caution” remark
        in direct response to ted well’s
        brady material request (with
        specificity, as required by applicable rules,
        in ted’s letter to fitzie).

        whether fitz already “knew” the veep emails
        could” (and would!), be found (as a clever
        prosecutor in the conrad black case learned,
        didn’t he!) seems likely to my eye. but you
        are clearly the expert — peace.

  36. Sara says:

    Excuse me, but you are all playing games with why these E-Mails should be archived properly. You are playing one-up tech games rather than focusing on the legislative intent of the Presidential Records Act.

    As someone who has in my wallet along with credit cards, a thing that lets me into the National Archives, into the FDR Archive, the Truman and Eisenhower Archives, and who understands why these places exist, and spent hours reading in these places, — I think the higher value is not the tech argument, rather it is whether the tech’s serve the interests of Historians. Please simplify the issue and join it to something larger.

    The base issue is quite simple — Bush II has not followed his legal obligation to preserve the record of his administration. Perhaps some can be recovered, but it looks as if they are quite uninterested in doing that in a comprehensive way. There are some doubts as to whether the current National Archivist is going to insist on legal compliance. You have all seen the pictures of Pakistani Lawyers making street protests and all — well how do you get American Historians to go critical? It is not with lots of discussion of the tech. That is means, the goal is the kids in kindergarden today who grow up to become historians have stuff with which to work.

    • Rayne says:

      Sara — you are asking for a separate conversation, one that might come later.

      What appears here to be painful minutiae to those without IT backgrounds is the hunt for evidence. We’re not looking for historical records now; we’re looking for smoking guns and bloody fingerprints that have been deliberately hidden.

      Totally different objectives. At some point, if we can solve the mystery, we may be able to answer the meta-issue of historic records, but without the emails and all the technical voodoo required to find out what happened to them, we can’t uncover many crimes of this administration OR flesh out history over time.

      If only this was as simple as 18 minutes of deleted tape recording…

  37. pseudonymousinnc says:

    From that presentation: one thing that immediately strikes me is that there was a plan to implement an inventory during the journals-PST archiving process — basically, for cross-referencing. That wasn’t in the system. The other aim was to replace SAN storage (soj/143) with a dedicated email archive server (the unimplemented ECRMS). So they were just dumping the PSTs on the K: drive in generic networked storage space, or on the L: drive when the K: drive was full?

    Most of all, the White House is planning to dump its buggy PST shit on NARA’s lap next year and leave it for the next administration, should it desire, to pay to have eight years of shoddily-archived email unpacked into something that’s of any use to historians, or, say, prosecutors. The transition to EARMS was put on go-slow after the 2004 election, and by October 2007, Payton was saying ‘well, it’ll take at least 18 months to incorporate everything, so we won’t.’ Gosh, how fracking convenient. (Also, I hope that whoever it is calling MS Exchange ‘Xchange’ is just a secretary taking minutes.)

    When Bush is saying that history will judge him, he’s covering his bets, by making sure that historians don’t get to see shit.

    (Btw, get Waxman to talk to Mark Stern at NARA: he appears to know his stuff.)

    • emptywheel says:

      Stern was at the hearing the other day–he didn’t give an opening statement, but he answered many of the NARA qusetions.

      I was thinking for a minute, btw, that they had hired Payton to stall long enough that Bush could pardon everyone. But it may well be they’re stalling out statute of limitations on the Plame outing, among other things.

  38. pseudonymousinnc says:

    One more thing: Christopher ‘what’s the big deal with getting all the emails?’ Oprison is a pile of shit. But we knew that already.

    Chris asked what was NARA’s bottom line interest? We said that at the end of the Administration, we wanted a complete set of Bush emails in a format that we could accept into ERA. ‘We stressed tbat if they determine they need to do tape restorations projects (TRP) to recover missing email it needs to begin as
    soon as possible, so that they could complete it before the end of the Administation. Chris noted
    that a restoration project that involved de-duplication would be extremely expensive.

    And: “will Vice President’s records be coming to Bush43 Library?”

    • emptywheel says:

      You liked that VP question, too, huh?

      I don’t know that we have an answer to that yet. I’d say, probably. Weinstein testified to getting a storage location in Dallas, which seems to suggest it’s all going there (and, remarkably, so is Cheney). I’d imagine he’d want to keep it there bc it falls under Bush’s protection.

  39. pseudonymousinnc says:

    Okay. Before I crash:

    They restored a journal-PST SAN backup that was made on October 21, 2003. The PSTs weren’t there, nor was the journal. What we don’t know is when the last extant backup was made. Is this a monthly? My guess, given the time that had passed, that it might well be, since they couldn’t go to the weekly (Sep 30-Oct 6). They also got the Exchange server monthly from the same date.

    That gives two weeks’ space to scrub-a-dub-dub.

    They don’t say whether they found PSTs that covered the period, given the ad hoc dating. They say that they didn’t find messages from that week. I think it’s important for Waxman’s team to ask if they found PSTs dated for that week.

    (The NARA people are right: it hardly qualified as a ’system’ in IT terms.)

    One other thing: the transition from ARMS to ECRMS was scheduled ‘with work to begin’ in late 2004. I now honestly believe that there was no intention to implement it. The schedule was set so that, were Bush to lose the 2004 election, the email records would be dumped on NARA’s lap in the same shitty PST-ed state that they’ll arrive in 2009. And that’s why there was a two-year hiatus in even considering the ECRMS implementation as soon as Little Boots sneaked back into office. They could have implemented it, but “why the fuck bother? We’ve got till 2009, and this would only make it easier for people to see what we’re doing.”

    If Waxman’s feeling impish, he should put in an appropriations request for $25m to cover the cost of ‘restoring the Bush Presidential Archives to a state that will make them accessible for historians’, and point out that the Preznit wants history to be the judge of him.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yes, I absolutely agree–they never intended to have an operational system. I would bet McDevitt could tell us more about how ECRMS got spiked. BUt it is clear to me that that was the goal.

  40. Hmmm says:

    In the spreadsheet, how come all the department columns go blank at various points? The OPD cuts out first on Jan 20 2005, for example — start of the 2nd term there, hm — then the rest start disappearing in July ‘05.

    • Rayne says:

      20JAN05 — that’s the week the OVP actually reports more rational email numbers.

      What happened with IT contracts, I want to know? Did they expire that week and new contractors began that week??

  41. Hmmm says:

    Finished merging the spreadsheet into a copy of EW’s Disappearing White House Emails Timeline. Where, if anywhere, ought I send it?

  42. Rayne says:

    Hmmm — what version/brand spreadsheet program did you use?

    Would you like me to parse it into XML for upload to that SIMILE widget atwater linked upthread?

    • Hmmm says:

      Hmmm — what version/brand spreadsheet program did you use?

      Would you like me to parse it into XML for upload to that SIMILE widget atwater linked upthread?

      I just captured EW’s existing timeline, turned it into a table with one row per event, added the same per-department columns as the spreadsheet, and set the cell background colors red or yellow as per the spreadsheet. I was just looking at the scanned PDF, not importing an Excel file etc., and I was working in an ordinary HTML editor — GoLive.

      And thanks for asking, but I have no objection to anybody using it in any way they like. Let’s see if EW finds any use for it, if not I can send it to any email address you like.

      • Rayne says:

        Groovy. The more I’ve thought about it today, the amount of info on the email spreadsheet may not work in the SIMILE timeline, being too data-dense.

        I’ll think this one through some more, might be another better tool for this.

  43. Citizen92 says:

    Allen Raymond in his “Rig Elections” book reported that Rove had a Mac infrastructure that he used during the 2000 campaign.

    I can’t recall ever seeing a reference to a flavor of Rove’s “inside the 18 Acres” computer equipment set up, other than being pictured with both a BlackBerry and an iPhone at various times.

    And in the immemorial picture of Rove’s ‘command center’ in the White House’s family dining room http://www.democraticundergrou…..215;423695 I’m only seeing PC’s.

    Again and again I ask myself who paid for that computer set-up, and how appropriate was it to run a political war room in the Mansion…? Remember that Gore got ‘dinged’ from making two phone calls.

  44. klynn says:

    Here you go…

    http://thehill.com/david-hill/…..01-26.html

    Apple’s leader, Steve Jobs, seems to have sensed last year that his company was getting too “political.” He backed off some of his campaigning for John Kerry and cryptically signaled to The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg in an interview that he understands the problem.

    “People have said that I shouldn’t get involved politically because probably half our customers are Republicans — maybe a little less … [but] I do point out that there are more Democrats than Mac users so I’m going to just stay away from all that political stuff because that was just a personal thing,” Jobs said.

    There are, in fact, devoted Republican Macintosh users, but that is not the perception. So Apple desperately needs to introduce a replacement image to achieve the original Mac’s vision. There would be no better way to do this than to add a Republican or two to Apple’s board of directors. Mac users such as Karl Rove or Arnold Schwarzenegger adviser Mike Murphy would be possibilities, but Rush Limbaugh is the most obvious choice. Rush is an ardent Mac evangelist and knows a thing or two about marketing. Even if Limbaugh is not put on Apple’s board, the company should market through his daily radio program, paying Rush to tout his favorite computer the same way he builds mattress sales for Select Comfort.

    -The Hill

    Hope this helps

    • bmaz says:

      One of the best features of my Mac is that Jobs did have Al Gore on the Apple Board, but never stooped to putting degenerates and gasbags like Rove, Limbaugh and Murphy on. Worth the extra money right there; not to mention that it is just a better designed product.

      • klynn says:

        Hey bmaz!

        I agree about Gore on the board and not stooping to bring on the others! Here, her on the “worth” of a MAC.

        I’ve only had time to “lurk” this week because of a big presentation I had to finish. Gore would have loved it…All about an assessment for a corporate carbon footprint…

        Some interesting developments in the threads and Waxman’s hearings. I’m wondering where this is going… If timing is right…It could create quite the Rep circus…

    • MadDog says:

      Ok, that seems to confirm Rove likes Macs, but does that mean he was using one at work or that he uses one at home?

      The WH EOP email infrastructure is based on Microsoft Outlook/Exchange. There were and continue to be Microsoft Office products for the Mac.

      Anybody got a picture of Turdblossom in his WH office?

      • Citizen92 says:

        I’ve got an image of Karl’s office.

        Go to http://www.gettyimages.com

        Enter 51312337 in the “search” field.

        That will bring up a photo of Rove talking to Bolten. The caption says it’s Rove’s office.

        That REALLY looks like a Mac iBook on Rove’s desk.

  45. JohnLopresti says:

    I wonder if the native event logs show unusually large deletions, and even, since it is a net environment, whether the log identifies the node or nodes which did the deletions. Suppose JennyM or someone else was tasked with tossing specific dates’ 1GB .pst’s in recycle on each of forty days all of whose emails now are missing; unusual if a subnet workstation could navigate to the directory with those fat .pst’s, but maybe the topology and permissions were configured to allow that; or, if it is as amorphous as McDevitt seems to say, maybe several individual people could have carried out the methodical deletion of the 5,000 1GB .pst’s; some of those executive branch agencies likely have a few large files; CEA, OMB, and the like, but, still, perhaps a question worth investigating in event logs, until it becomes clear which agencies and workstations show records of deletions of files of that magnitude that probable correlation with the erased email composite bulk archive .pst’s could be more believable. I doubt anyone did the recycle task by script, but that too could be possible.

    • MadDog says:

      I wonder if the native event logs show unusually large deletions, and even, since it is a net environment, whether the log identifies the node or nodes which did the deletions.

      I’ll have to go reading through Steven McDevitt’s interrogatory again, but I seem to remember him stating that Auditing was not turned on/enabled or that it was specifically turned off.

      Ah, yes indeedy:

      There were four types of risk that were discussed on a number of occasions within the management ranks of the OCIO and OA. This risks included:

      …User Accountability – The approach of simply storing email message in .pst files provides no mechanism or audit trail that tracks changes to data files or the activities performed by users or system administrators. The integrity of the data could be called into question because it was not possible to ensure the inappropriate action, either intentional or unintentional, could not occur. Or, if they did occur, the actions would be logged and the user who performed those actions could be identified. The potential impact: No verification that data retained has not been modified or what activities have been performed by system users or administrators.

  46. Citizen92 says:

    From that same article:

    That he has so many roles fits the personality of the consummate multitasker. Rove keeps two computers in his office: a PC for government work and a Mac (his preference) for politics and his Amazon.com book-ordering addiction. His BlackBerry has every appearance of being surgically attached to his hand, and he uses color-coded folders to keep track of his business with those who orbit in his universe. The blue one marked potus goes home with Rove on Friday because he knows he will talk to Bush several times over the weekend.

  47. JohnLopresti says:

    MadDog, I was referring to something I saw under the hood in NT3.51, a log of every event in the sense of object oriented, event activated. In a discussion last month a helpful commenter described NT3.51 merely as a breadboarded beta comprised of a small library of unix routines, then compared it to the components of early builds of MacOSX. Win2k appeared with a billing as mostly a debugged version of NT3.51. I understood the McDevitt complaint about the Outlook app, or thought I understood; that .pst’s are rooted in that part of the Office platform, though we are talking 2002 here, and NT3.51 shipped, after a fashion, approximately late-1995-early 1996. So what I was mentioning was a low level log of events I saw in several tours under the NT3.51 hood; and I was projecting that onto the more polished and integrated WinY2K family of apps, wondering whether the event log was still there. Perhaps by the time the entire suite shipped arounc 2001, or maybe in some of the ancillary programs such as Exchange Server or Enterprise Server, what McDevitt’s highly censored replies to interrogs is saying may be in fact what you are suggesting, namely, that the superset features indeed provided a toggle for setting eventLog to Off or On.
    One revision I would make in my @183 is the total count of .pst’s, which several commenters described as 5,000 files each ~=1GB filesize; my impression is some of those .pst’s survived but select few were deleted. Perhaps the reason all those executive agencies whose interest in erasing emails is less than apparent simply had their email archives erased for the dates and blocs of dates which disappeared merely because the net backup was to bulky .pst’s which included all the branches in that .pst’s input topology.

    • MadDog says:

      Event log stuff is still turned on in Windows 2000/Windows XP/Windows Vista, and I don’t know or believe it can be turned off.

      And generally event log stuff is too generic to document file modification/delection stuff.

      Auditing however, is very, very specific. You can trace fingerprints on who simply reads a file, and of course who modifies/deletes files, and when they do it.

      Of course, enabling Audit for stuff can be resource intensive and the log files can rapidly overwrite themselves if the Admin is not careful to limit what and where is audited.

      In any event, it appears that the WH OA either did not turn on auditing or was ordered not to from OA management.

      I would have thought that after all those missing emails and their PSTs, that OA would have insisted on enabling audit on at least key PSTs (OVP for sure) and perhaps all PSTs.

      And maybe they have, but we don’t know it, and I likely doubt Theresa Payton, the ever helpful Bushie CIO, would countenance keeping track of what higher-ups want disappeared.

  48. WilliamOckham says:

    Don’t know if anybody is still here, but Karl Rove used a Windows PC at the White House and I can prove it. I’m not saying he didn’t have a Mac as well, but he used a PC. Here’s how I know. Take a look at this image on TPM Muckraker. Look at the bottom of the image. The footer (file://C:Document…) proves that it came from Rove’s Windows PC. The article discussing it is here.

    Oh, and I have to brag a little. I was the one who tipped TPM off to the fact this page was printed from Rove’s computer…

    • MadDog says:

      Yup, and Citizen92’s post at both 189 and 190 slams the door. He had both a PC and a Mac.

      And wrt to all his “lost” Blackberries, methinks some of them are deliberately lost, lost at least to law enforcement types.

      Turdblossom probably has ‘em safely buried under the Begonias in his back yard waiting for the Sheriff’s posse to leave and will “find” them when the coast is clear. Blackmail awaits and it’s all he can do to keep them buried.

      • Rayne says:

        Burying a Blackberry wouldn’t make a difference; they don’t hold that much information. The real dirt’s on servers, and in the case of a Blackberry, it’s going to be the RIM transaction log that we need.

        Fitz should have snagged that and any traffic logs on Exchange servers way back and compared them for in/out content.

        JohnLopresti (201) — nah, unless he had a script written that would execute a deletion on emailing a command, I doubt it.

    • Citizen92 says:

      That annotated item on Wisconsin fraud with “Discuss w/Harriet” wwas a great find.

      Do we know if that’s actually Karl’s handwriting? I found this example and it looks close.

      Reason I ask is because the “discuss w/Harriet” writing looks somewhat like Cheney’s. The “H” is the same (with a low transversal between the two vertical lines), as well as the arc-style dot used to dot the i’s.

      The FOP letter shows that Karl is not consistent – the “s” are sometimes cursive, sometimes block. The “t”s sometimes connected, sometimes not.

  49. JohnLopresti says:

    wo, I was looking at some of the emails in the Waxman hearing whose documentation is the topic of this current thread, at least one had partial printing of text in the margin area where timestamp and originator info might appear.

    In some of the suggestions about imaging a drive and giving the owner the replica, not the original, I was reminded of the flap over the president’s order to ban fbi from having secrecy clearances to look, but I am still away from my archival computer to provide a link; an article currently available which reminded me of this discusses even more about the politics inside doj with respect to fbi ig and opr, a Bazelon effort Lederman currently is linking in his abstruse argumentation concerning olc oversight.

  50. JohnLopresti says:

    Being un-tech these days, I wonder if KR could Blackberry in to delete a .pst; and also wonder if Blackberry messages might be archived in a pop somewhere.

  51. JohnLopresti says:

    Rayne, I thought it would be too much of a stretch for KR to have been transporting or launching a script from a Bbery; and it is possible already some KR call logs from ResearchInMotion may be in Fitzgerald’s file, under the category uninvestigated and dormant. One further thought occurred yesterday after the discussion of the lowLevel EventLogs in W2k; instead of the GUI platform’s audit feature toggle having needed to be set to On to capture file management actions, I wonder about the capabilities of the drive controllers. I have seen a few jukeboxes, CD burners, and mirror arrays at tradeshows; all of which makes me wonder how advanced those systems were at WH during the period when surreptitions deletions and edits took place; i.e., whether the drive units’ own memory logs might be extant still and have kept a continuous record of disk space parameters.

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