Feeds

Obama balks at recovery of lost Dubya emails

Another executive privilege

New hybrid storage solutions

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Net neutrality protestors slam the brakes on their OWN websites
Sites link up to protest slow lanes by bogging down pages
Italy's High Court orders HP to refund punter for putting Windows on PC
Top beaks slam bundled OS as 'commercial policy of forced distribution'
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Uber alles-holes, claims lawsuit: Taxi biz sued by blind passengers
Sueball claims blind passengers ditched, guide dogs abused
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.