Remember Scooter Libby’s Lost Emails?

Turns out they’re still lost.

When we last heard from Libby’s lost emails, CREW and National Security Archive had reached a settlement with the White House to restore 33 days worth of email and examine 21 days of low volume email to see whether prior restorations had really worked (among other things).

I’m still reading through the documents to figure out what has happened since (aside from Libby’s emails still being lost–but then, that’s not news). The eye-popping takeaway is that, for the 21 days of emails supposedly restored, 83% of the emails weren’t restored:

As documented [in a report from Microsoft included in CREW’s available documents] the comparison of the two data sets–one containing emails previously identified as the archival email records of the Bush administration for the 21 days in question and one containing emails extracted from backup tapes for those 21 days–revealed a huge discrepancy between the two. Specifically, 190,819 email messages on the backup tapes were not found in the archival set of email messages. Conversely, 31,819 emails contained in the archival set were not found on the backup tapes for those same days. In other words, 83% of the universe of known emails for those days were not archived and would not be available today but for actions of CREW and the Archive and the resulting restoration project.

Now, the discrepancy, to me, is even more interesting than the sheer numbers involved. It suggests that two totally different sets of emails were captured in the multiple archiving processes. Which suggests a great deal of emails may have been tampered with between the time they were written and archived. (Though I await the tech wonks to explain this in more depth).

And then there’s this bit.

[On May 10, 2006], the estimated cost for one of [the options for restoring White House email]–restoring all dates of low volume email for EOP components–was $2,414.221 [sic]. The Bush White House did not pursue this option, and instead hired multiple contractors to perform various costly analyses aimed at winnowing down the number of days that arguable could be considered as statistically low volume.

In other words, rather than spend what now looks like a pittance (less than $2.5 million) to restore everything, the Bush White House instead spent even more money paying consultants to argue that not all these days needed to be restored. And that decision was taken, of course, at a time when Libby’s case was in discovery and any indictment of Rove had just been declined. And, presumably, Patrick Fitzgerald still may have had lingering suspicions that Libby and Judy (if not Novak) were emailing back and forth about outing Plame.

But really, none of this is suspicious at all.

Meanwhile, CREW just recently started this whole process over again to get John Yoo’s missing torture emails.

Does no one else see the pattern here?

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64 replies
  1. Leen says:

    “In other words, rather than spend what now looks like a pittance (less than $2.5 million) to restore everything, the Bush White House instead spent even more money paying consultants to argue that not all these days needed to be restored.”

    How hard did Fitz push for ALL of the emails?

    “83% of the emails were not restored”

    One would have thought he would have demanded everything they could restore

    Did he want to get to the truth or not?

  2. qweryous says:

    Does no one else see the pattern here?

    Well…perhaps not.

    Certainly not anyone in a position to prevent this.
    Or alternately to punish those responsible to prevent this.

    Of course the two previous sentences might in some situations represent a self amplifying feedback loop.

    Number of former Bushco employees punished for willfully destroying public records/ evidence… I can’t find that number.

    ADD: The part about spending much more than necessary to NOT restore the missing emails- bug or feature?

  3. person1597 says:

    Conversely, 31,819 emails contained in the archival set were not found on the backup tapes for those same days.

    Gee, it wasn’t just the Hadley email?

  4. bobschacht says:

    I’m feeling obtuse. I’m having trouble seeing the pattern.

    1. Was the CREW FOIA request successful, or not? This suggests that it was successful:

    …83% of the universe of known emails for those days were not archived and would not be available today but for actions of CREW and the Archive and the resulting restoration project.

    2. The Bush administration’s response was dilatory, and successful only in keeping the emails out of PatFitz’s hands until it was too late (?but his office is still technically open if he wanted to look at those emails now?)

    3. Based on this, are you expecting the Obama administration’s response also to be dilatory, but ultimately unsuccessful (except in delaying discovery)?

    Or what am I missing here?

    Bob in AZ

    • bmaz says:

      1) Partially successful in that they got this information; mostly not because they still do not have, and apparently have no ability to get to, the vast majority of the critical emails.

      2) Special Counsel’s office may still technically be open, but all critical statutes of limitation have expired on the underlying crimes.

      3) Obama will make sure this goes no further.

  5. pseudonymousinnc says:

    I think we’d need to know more about the sources. We know that BushCo was running a MS shop with Outlook and Exchange, even before considering the mobile use, and we also know that there were records that were basically dug out of PST files on individual machines — or in Scott Bloch’s case, given the seven-layer dip. The Microsoft report says that the PRA/FRA archive was composed of EML files (i.e. one file per message, though no indication of whether cc:d messages were stored in duplicates) and that comparing it to the dumped output of PST files produced a very different email corpus.

    (It also shows that the PST format is a pile of shit, as anyone cursed with Outlook and large volumes of email at work knows all too well.)

    Now, you could possibly write off a big chunk of that 190,819 surplus as incoming mass mail, spam, the latest offerings from the Regnery Discount Book Club, etc. — messages that came into an email account from outside sources, without being personal communications, that might be edge cases for what counts as a ‘record’ for the purposes of the law, but if that’s the case, I’d like to know the protocols that were used to determine such things.

    As for the rest… well, were systems set up to bypass the archiving element of the mail system, whether deliberately or just by crappy configuration? Were mail clients locked down to use only SMTP servers in the internal (archiving) network? Were there workarounds using non-standard ports that got around firewalls or blocking on port 25?

    Some kind of additional header-based forensics — tracing the path that emails took as they were piped through the tubes — seems like an obvious next step for CREW if the budget stretches far enough: the properties extracted by the Microsofties from the PST files into their big SQL database didn’t include that kind of routing information, but it’s no more difficult to extract and parse than the other header data.

    So: it’s difficult to legislate tech standards in a way that satisfies the basic requirements of archiving for both present-day retrieval and the historical archive — but for the PRA and FRA to mean something, there have to be some governing standards that can be implemented by the controlling authorities.

    The EML-file archiving method is actually a good approach, and reading about that is the only heartening thing to come out of the report — storing messages in individual, RFC2822-compliant plain text means that they should be pretty resistant to bitrot, but only if they make it into that archiving pool in the first place, and that means everything that counts as a PRA/FRA-worthy record has to be picked up.

    The Lotus Notes environment for the Clinton admin had its problems, thanks to case-sensitive typos in the backup scripts; the Outlook one of BushCo appears to have been basically screwed from the outset.

    But I realise that I haven’t tech-wonked Emptywheel’s question:

    Which suggests a great deal of emails may have been tampered with between the time they were written and archived.

    It’s honestly hard to say. For the larger heap of messages that didn’t make it into the archive but showed up in the PSTs, you can conceivably imagine that a protocol that it’s not *.gov to *.gov, or didn’t take a particular internal route through the tubes, it’s not a presidential or federal ‘record’ and didn’t get automatically archived. Whether that’s justifiable is another matter.

    For the smaller heap that were in the archives but not the PST backups, it could be down to an incomplete backup set of PSTs, corrupted databases, intentional or unintentional wipes of the local (or LAN-based) PSTs, though with only 315 PSTs forming the corpus over a relatively small timeframe, that statistically reduces the idea of sporadic corruption. You’d really want to know if any individual PSTs had particular disparities between their content and the EML archive to make judgements: if it’s across the board, then you look at the server settings, if it’s a handful of the 315, you’d want to know if a set of machines were running scheduled tasks to wipe their PSTs before the nightly backup started.

    • emptywheel says:

      Thanks. That’s helpful. I realized this last night after I went to bed:

      Now, you could possibly write off a big chunk of that 190,819 surplus as incoming mass mail, spam, the latest offerings from the Regnery Discount Book Club, etc. — messages that came into an email account from outside sources, without being personal communications, that might be edge cases for what counts as a ‘record’ for the purposes of the law, but if that’s the case, I’d like to know the protocols that were used to determine such things.

      There’s some junk mail in here that we might not care about.

      And we still don’t know what happened. And mind you, these are just 21 days.

    • klynn says:

      if it’s a handful of the 315, you’d want to know if a set of machines were running scheduled tasks to wipe their PSTs before the nightly backup started.

      Wow, that’s quite the question to investigate. Where would someone start to get an answer to that question?

      I can only imagine such a set-up would only be done with an intent to hide one’s tracks from archiving?

      • klynn says:

        I can only imagine such a set-up would only be done with an intent to hide one’s tracks from archiving?

        Let me restate my question. How would wiping PST’s be a SOP in the process of archiving when doing nightly back-ups?

      • BoxTurtle says:

        Not at all. PST files are large painful hemmorrhoids, very rarely do they serve any useful purpose and they are sometimes created automatically for you without any real notification.

        There were several people who deleted them as part of their signoff script where I worked and I would run a general delete of *.pst files whenever I cleaned out my browser cache.

        IMO, somebody wrote a network spider that killed indivivual entries in the .pst files and left the dates on the files untouched so they’d look unchanged. The spider simply couldn’t get to every computer, either because the computer was secured or because it wasn’t connected at the time.

        Looking forward wouldn’t be so bad if something was actually happening. But even ignoring the past, ObamaLLP is still too busy for Immigration refore, DADT, Iraq withdrawl, wall street reform, or economic stimulus.

        Boxturtle (Surely, handwringing about the Oil spill isn’t THAT time consuming)

        • klynn says:

          So that would be standard even in an archiving setting? I would think that it would only be standard after archives went through the back-ups?

          Your thoughts about a network spider are curious. Makes me want to know the contractors even more and look at the contractor history with POTUS…

          • BoxTurtle says:

            I didn’t mean to imply it was policy, though I know the network backup geeks suggested it on more than one occasion. Basically, those .pst files were considered worse than worthless (I NEVER used one during my entire 25 years at lexis) and if you ran low on disk space or outlook slowed down, those were among the first to go.

            Nobody who was serious about archival would depend on .pst files anyway. They index poorly, take up way more space than they should, aren’t stored in a common location, and completely under the control of the user or the outlook server.

            Boxturtle (Eventually, there was a company policy against putting .pst files on the servers. Local only)

        • prostratedragon says:

          Looking forward wouldn’t be so bad if something was actually happening. But even ignoring the past, ObamaLLP is still too busy for Immigration refore, DADT, Iraq withdrawl, wall street reform, or economic stimulus.

          Tremendous resources must be devoted to steadying the collective head of the Executive to keep it from whipping around with each new document release. That doesn’t leave much for managing a policy formulation process.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bringing the best of the big bidness model to government service. That is, so long as the cost is someone else’s, eg, the taxpayers, and the benefit is to individuals or the Republican Party, then no cost is too great to bear and no benefit is too small to pass up.

    Here, the benefits are delay (until any applicable statutes of limitation expired), insurance, a potential get-out-of-jail-free card, and other legal defenses. At worst, this would be obstruction; at best, simple negligence. Were the e-mails archived intact, however, they could have revealed crimes resulting in considerable jail time or considerable electoral losses for the party leadership that performed or authorized them.

    Anyone who thinks this was unintentional rather than meticulously planned hasn’t played 52-card pick-up after an all-night game of poker or hasn’t played discovery games with a big city law firm.

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, remember too, that when the guy in charge of the 3 option full restore was moving forward, he discovered that someone else had “taken care of it.” Meaning Fitz got some emails (we know he got one email between press people from the affected days, IIRC), so that may have put off Fitz.

  7. pseudonymousinnc says:

    Ah, crap. Insert paragraph breaks where needed, as the edit monster took them away.

  8. Stephen says:

    I guess we can be thankful they are still putting on some sort of song and dance. Me thinks some day soon the powers that be will just tell us to f-ck off. Emails, we don’t need no stinkin emails or accountability for that matter.

  9. Gerald says:

    Well, at the risk of getting my head handed to me, I would like to point out two very great inconsistencies.

    1. Bush and company showed great and consistent incompetence in all areas.
    Most here agree with that.

    2. Bush and company showed great and consistent competence in a very technical and complicated matter and lost all incriminating emails.
    Most here agree with that.

    Me and Mr Spock say “that doesn’t compute!”

  10. Gerald says:

    Thinking more on that, maybe that is only “one” great inconsistency.
    Spock is going to get back to me on that.

  11. Gerald says:

    Note- the “editing” facility doesn’t work very well!

    Well, at the risk of getting my head handed to me, I would like to point out two very great inconsistencies.

    1. Bush and company showed great and consistent incompetence in all areas. ‘
    Most here agree with that.

    2. Bush and company showed great and consistent competence in a very technical and complicated matter and lost all incriminating emails.
    Most here agree with that.

    Me and Mr Spock say “that doesn’t compute!”

    • razorbrain says:

      I WOULD SAY THAT YOUR FIRST PREMISE IS FAULTY, AND THAT bBUSHCO GOT AND ACHIEVED EXACTLY WHAT THEIR REAL GOALS WERE, SO, QUITE COMPETENT AT TAKING CARE OF THEMSELVES AND THEIR CRONIES, THE COUNRTY, NOT SO MUCH.

      sORRY FOR THE CAPS, KEYBOARD REBELLION LOL.

      • Gerald says:

        Just a little tongue in cheek razorbrain, though I do get tired of people asserting that someone is so stupid, and then that stupid person seems to get the upper hand. Spock would say “quite inconsistent, actually.”

        As for the incriminating emails which have become kind of a holy grail among people that really hate Bush, I doubt that many if any exist. As some people above have pointed out, emails are kind of like viruses. It is hard to eradicate them. And people do like to keep them for their own purposes so if anyone has seen or gotten an interesting one, it should show up sooner or later, but none have, so the implication is that there are none.

        But it is difficult to prove a negative.

  12. bobschacht says:

    CREW is one thing, but the Presidential Records Act is another. The Archivist has an ongoing responsibility to obtain those records, doesn’t s/he? So, even if CREW gives up, the Archivist must keep trying?

    Bob in AZ

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The archivist primarily deals with records delivered to it. It doesn’t normally question whether it received the full and complete records. It is the administration’s responsibility to supply those, although the president has a short period of time for his exclusive use of those records.

      There are few or no practical penalties for failing to fulfill that obligation, which is little incentive to preserve or release records that might incriminate the president or senior members of his administration in multiple and serial felonies, including possible war crimes.

      As is true of much else about the federal government, this process is flawed and needs improvement. Given that the Republicans seem willing to obstruct the government in its entirety rather than reveal their president’s possible crimes, the Senate seems unlikely to contribute positively to making those much needed improvements.

  13. Frank33 says:

    It is about time that CREW started living up to their hype. I have criticized them plenty and I take no credit but CREW did also finally start going after corporate criminals after I began posting about their hypocrisy.

    Next perhaps CREW will start fighting against the illegal Bushie/Obama wars, and their targeted assassinations of anyone. Melanies Sloan’s husband does publicly support assassinations of anyone that the government or SAIC thinks will help the war effort.

  14. klynn says:

    [On May 10, 2006], the estimated cost for one of [the options for restoring White House email]–restoring all dates of low volume email for EOP components–was $2,414.221 [sic]. The Bush White House did not pursue this option, and instead hired multiple contractors to perform various costly analyses aimed at winnowing down the number of days that arguable could be considered as statistically low volume.

    (my bold)

    Why do the words “aimed at winnowing down” sound like conflict of interest?

    The FOIA request requested ALL the emails, that includes the ones the Bush White House saw in their interest to avoid producing and set out with the intent of not reproducing them via contractors rationalizing away the need to retreive.

    Who are the contractors?

  15. fatster says:

    O/T OMG.

    Could Another Bybee Memo Help Preserve Arizona Immigration Law

    “A coalition of civil and immigrants rights groups has filed suit against Arizona’s draconian immigration law. But efforts to challenge the law could be complicated by a memo written by one of the Bush Justice Department lawyers who also drafted some of the key opinions greenlighting torture.”

    LINK.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      My bet is that memo won’t help much. Even if ObamaLLP is too spinless to withdraw the memo, the key issues will be constitutional, not administrative.

      The Az law might well hold up on its face, but they’re not going to be able to enforce it IMO without violating civil rights law or the unreasonable search clause.

      The first person who gets harassed by this will bring the entire law crashing down. Remember, the cop has to be able to find probable cause without refering to skin color, language spoken, manner of dress, etc. And he’s going to have to be careful to ask about as many people of european stock for their papers as he does others.

      I think everybody in Az against this lawshould start speaking with a Canadian accent.

      Boxturtle (Why sue ’em when you can mess with their minds, eh?)

      • skdadl says:

        I’m a bit confused. I thought that OLC memos did not make law. I don’t know how you describe their status technically, but how can they be law, rather than just directives for everyone in the executive branch to follow?

        Correspondence courses in how to talk Canuck available on request, eh?

        • BoxTurtle says:

          They don’t make law. Or at least, they’re not supposed to. They are supposed to be guidence on how to follow or implement the law, nothing more. BushCo used them to circumvent the law and it’s likely ObamaLLP is/will try it too.

          They can be admitted as evidence and frequently are. This one could be admitted even if it was withdrawn, though it’s value would be much less.

          Boxturtle (There’s more to Canuck than just ending every sentence with “eh”?)

      • bobschacht says:

        I think everybody in Az against this lawshould start speaking with a Canadian accent.

        Wait while I check my shed-ule. Ah, today I need to vote.

        Bob in AZ
        (I had a Canadian roommate once)

        • Leen says:

          good idea…Does Rosetta stone have a program for picking up the accent? Good idea
          ot
          over at Cspan
          Clinton Gibbs, Mullen talking about Russia sanctions against Iran (Hillary says she has Russia and China on board)

          Next stop Iran folks… all on schedule, no looking back at the pile of bodies in Iraq..just turning the page just like the I lobby has ordered. Next stop Iran
          http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/05/18/HP/R/33003/Clinton+Sanctions+reached+with+Russia+china+Against+IRAN.aspx

            • Leen says:

              Clinton just claimed that Iran is enriching over 20%, keeps accessing more enriched uranium, and troubled by their unwillingness to meet with the P5 less 1″

              Not sure how true any of this is

              • BoxTurtle says:

                If Iran is enriching over 20%, where are they doing it? And what are they using for feedstock? The IAEA has confirmed that all of Iran’s known LEU is accounted for and still at 20%.

                My paranoia has said that Iran has undeclared enrichment plants. If Clinton is telling the truth, it looks like my paranoia was right.

                Iran wants to be like Japan, I think. Japan could likely assemble a Bomb in a week if they HAD to. But even so, I worry that Iran would share nukes with terrorists if they got pissed at us.

                Boxturtle (And it looks being pissed at each other is going to be the basis of our relationship for awhile longer)

                • Leen says:

                  Clinton completely contradicted the IAEA’s statements by saying that they are “enriching over 20%” She said those words.

                  Not a good sign. What would you do if you just watched the U.s. invade your neighbor and destroy the country based on a “pack of lies” Surround your country with military bases then Watch what Israel did in the Gaza.

                  Christ who could blame them for wanting nukes even though there is no hard evidence that they have a program.

                  Next stop Iran

                  • harpie says:

                    Sorry if I missed it, but where did you hear Clinton say “enriching over 20%”? And what was the first part of the sentence, if you don’t mind? Was it in the Q/A part of the testimony today?

                • Leen says:

                  I do not trust Clinton one bit. This is a woman that knew that Iraq did not have WMD’s and voted for that 2002 war resolution. She is a warmonger

      • bmaz says:

        It is nowhere near that simple; and the standard is reasonable suspicion, not probable cause. If the law stands on its face as you say, then it will indeed be enforceable.

        • BoxTurtle says:

          Thanks for the correction.

          I’m still having trouble seeing how that law can be enforced without eventually running afoul of civil rights laws, unless you ask everybody for their papers at every stop.

          Still, you are the lawyer, not I.

          Boxturtle (The business boycott may produce results quicker, I hope)

      • fatster says:

        Thanks so much. I went back to your article about that hearing, and it doesn’t seem he said a lot on this one subject. I guess we will be hearing more, though, as the ACLU et al. legal action rolls forward.

  16. klynn says:

    Boxturtle (Why sue ‘em when you can mess with their minds, eh?)

    You mess with their minds and then file a lawsuit against ’em. Double the impact. (and fun!)

    Thanks for your response @ 27. That makes sense.

  17. JohnLopresti says:

    The scripts questions noted by several posters are interesting. ?Does this workstation allow the maven down the hall to load a **copy dirname *.pst** codeline on this one cube*s PentiumInside machine*s batchfile n? The Notes facet might see more ellucidation if Ockham happens along. ?Was a simple fact witness (nonaccused) in an OH election involved in helping reroute the political huddle emails so the Grand Old Party*s policy experts could review comms and perfect messageTalkingPoints? Did the atty in the OH case have some discovery at all in the matter? ?Are there further scriptCodeForensics possible; namely, ?Was Connell writing original scripts, or employing always strictly off-the-shelf routines in his corner of the server topology?

    What were the terms of Crew*s out-of-court settlement in the **21** days plan; Did Waxman*s forensics experts produce any written work product relevant to Crew*s settlement and agree with the 21 days narrowed scope?What was the explanation of the executive departments* various total absence of emails in the Waxman 26pp grid examining the bracketed dates of interest? ?Did the Natl Archivist agree to the settlement terms in toto, or, was there a subsequent report distilling suggestions to improve integrity for purposes of the Archivist*s chartered responsibilities? The elevated cost of the restoration project probably is worthwhile; although I agree with ew*s apparent impression it provides easements in which there would be no forensic scrutiny, a technique seen all the time in administrative law exercises. In one perspective, it is actually kind of an evocation of genius to forge regulations in a way that encourages the enterprising mind. I wonder what backup architectural lessons Msft took from completing the study; probably more of the cloudComputing strengthening concept, even if a cloud in a container.

  18. harpie says:

    Sorry for another o/t:
    Deepwater Horizon Springs Another Leak; Scott Horton; 5/18/10

    […] An alert creditor would take action to block Transocean’s efforts to move its assets out of reach. The question is whether the United States is capable of acting like an alert creditor.

      • harpie says:

        Yeah. I hope some[knowledgable]one will write a post about it. If you see/hear about one, will you let me know? Thanks!

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yes, that was a zinger for a guy so professionally understated that his points often seem lost in the journalistic ether. The US could attempt to stop this action by informal persuasion, directly or through oil companies, or by direct legal action from the DoJ. The billion in hand means the company is flush; it would just rather not pay its creditors by throwing the money to its shareholders, something it would not do if it were not afraid of going under. In most jurisdictions, as Horton says, that is civil fraud.

      Once the money is in shareholder hands, it is harder, more expensive and time consuming to get back. The identities of the shareholders may make it more politically costly, too. Just one of the many costs of too laissez-faire an attitude toward “self-regulation” of business.

      Here, an inherently dangerous one is about to get away with murdering the environment. Instead of internalizing the cost of that behavior, the company and its shareholders are attempting to get away scot free. They will, no doubt, regroup and continue the same activity through another entity.

      None of that is rocket science, it is painfully predictable. An administration that tells the “plume scientists” to STFU, isn’t interested in fixes; it’s interested in minimizing the immediate fallout prior to November’s midterm elections.

      If this president and his DoJ, his departments of energy and the interior, the epa, etc., take no preventive action, it’s because they feel it politically expedient to avoid laying blame where it belongs. After all, they can stick it to the taxpayer about as often as this oil will stick to the beaches and fishing grounds, from N.O. to the Keys, the Carolinas to the Grand Banks. Still more interesting will be what happens when some of that plume reaches the coasts of Ireland, the UK and France.

      • klynn says:

        Still more interesting will be what happens when some of that plume reaches the coasts of Ireland, the UK and France.

        That’s a point I made on another thread. Thanks for making it in the context of the quote harpie posted. Yet another thought worthy of a post…the diplomatic impact of ruining another country’s coastline. Especially with BP in the UK.

  19. nahant says:

    83% of the universe of known emails for those days were not archived

    Does no one else see the pattern here?

    Any system Admin who didn’t have a complete back up everything, every day would be fired on the spot.. Period! If you can’t restore Every Thing you are Worthless!
    So yes there MUST be Tampering with all the systems and backup systems…
    As said before it is not the crime but the cover up that will git ya!!
    We can only hope the BO Justice will look into blatant breaking of Federal Crimes.

    • bobschacht says:

      We can only hope the BO Justice will look into blatant breaking of Federal Crimes.

      Well, if enough Federal Crimes are broken, maybe we’ll get back to keeping the laws? (*g*)

      Bob in AZ

  20. Becca says:

    The Bush Administration obviously made a regular practice of destroying evidence of criminal wrongdoing on a massive scale.

    Remember, many of ’em came from the Nixon era and remembered well what happened eventually when you left evidence laying around to be found.

  21. dopeyo says:

    remember that cheney said (here i paraphrase) if you don’t leave any paperwork, it can’t bite your on the *ss”

    it doesn’t take a fancy script to ‘disappear’ incriminating emails. at the end of each day, delete all your ‘sent’ folder contents. you will have set up outlook to sort all plane-related emails into 1 folder. so delete the contents of that folder daily. tell outlook not to create a temporary .pst file.

    and if you can’t get back to the white house at the end of the day, set up your power-saver app to shut down after 1 hour of inactivity or at (archive time minus 60 minutes). on those days when you are certain that your outlook folders are clean, leave your pc on and let it be archived.

    it doesn’t take a genius or a high level of competence. anyone smart enough to get to d.c. is smart enough and motivated enough to do it.

    • bobschacht says:

      it doesn’t take a fancy script to ‘disappear’ incriminating emails.

      In the old days, when you sent a letter, there was only one copy.
      Nowadays, with email, most people keep an electronic copy of the email that was sent: Receiver gets one copy, sender gets one copy. But now, it is so easy to send copies to others, so there may be multiple recipients. In addition, electronic trails make even more copies: backups, servers, routers, etc. It’s so quick and easy to make copies. In this environment, you’re stupid NOT to keep a copy, for defensive purposes. It may be that copies don’t exist where they are supposed to be, but that doesn’t mean that there are no copies. Somewhere. Once you send an email, it is extremely difficult or even impossible, as others have pointed out, to destroy all copies of the email.

      Bob in AZ

  22. timbo says:

    I remember there was some national security investigation surrounding them…something about people in the White House deciding to out a CIA agent because her husband was causing them political problems…something like that, wasn’t it?

    Is it any wonder that our legal system and, frankly, entire moral compass is now spinning wildly out of control, given that this was thought to be perfectly normal a thing to do–forgetting to back up all your emails? Okay. Using a political parties resources to conduct government business, okay. But, hey, that appeared to be fine with Congress…and, frankly it appears to still be fine with Congress. Or, Congress continues to believe “there is nothing they can do” or should do about this? Weird stuff. The Article I branch appears to be entirely cowed. What scares me is the calf that will come later.

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