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White House admits non-existent email backups

'We can restore without backup'

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The Dubya White House has admitted that it has no backup tapes for administration emails sent and received between March 1, 2003 and May 22, 2003.

But it says that's not a problem.

Last October, two separate government watchdogs sued the George W. Bush administration in an effort to recover millions of messages that seem to have disappeared from White House servers.

Previously, the White House hemmed and hawed when asked if the emails were available on backup tape. But late Monday, in response to a suit from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), it finally acknowledged that some of its backups do not exist.

This is hardly surprising. The administration isn't exactly organized when it comes to email. According to court filings, Duyba IT workers liked to recycle backup tapes prior to October 2003.

With its Monday declaration (PDF), the White House also says that it prefers to ignore a court order ordering the preservation of its backups. You see, the administration is now claiming that those millions of emails did not go missing - even though it has previously said that they did.

Bootnote

The Iraq war began on March 20, 2003. ®

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