Feeds

Obama balks at recovery of lost Dubya emails

Another executive privilege

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The Obama administration promises transparency and accountability in Washington, but it's siding with George W. Bush's view of executive privilege in an attempt quash recovery of what could be millions of missing White House emails.

Two open-government watchdog groups suing the Executive Office say White House emails documenting key points in Bush's presidency may be lost forever to the office's allegedly shoddy archiving processes. The National Security Archive and Citizens for Responsibility in Washington are calling for intervention of the Attorney General under the Federal Records Act.

In response, the Bush White House said it had found 14 million of the missing emails and claimed the lawsuit was now moot thanks to preservation of backup tapes which could be used for the eventual restoration of almost all the missing data. The groups shot back saying the controversy won't be resolved by "untested scraps of evidence" and that there's still a risk the data could be lost or deleted.

The watchdogs hoped executive efforts to block the email recovery would end with the new administration, but just one day after Obama was sworn in, the Justice Department filed a new motion to dismiss the recovery lawsuit. Last Friday, the Obama administration missed its deadline to withdraw the motion.

"President Obama on Day One ordered the government to become more transparent, but the Justice Department apparently never got the message, and that same day tried to dismiss the very litigation that has brought some accountability to the White House e-mail system," Archive director Tom Blanton said in a statement. "Justice could have pulled back from that first misstep but they have not. The White House e-mail presents a high-level test of the new Obama openness policies, and so far, the grade is at best an incomplete."

The groups allege the still-missing emails cover messages written in 2003 through 2005 — covering the the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, the Valerie Plame leak investigation, and the federal government's (lack of) response to Hurricane Katrina.

CREW's top lawyer Anne Weismann said the group was disappointed the Obama administration is no more eager to recover the missing emails and set up a proper system to preserve records than Bush and company. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?