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Thousands of White House E-mails Deleted

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the they-have-also-misplaced-their-homework dept.

Communications 799

kidcharles writes "The Washington Post reports that in the midst of an investigation by the U.S. Congress into the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys by the Department of Justice, numerous White House e-mails have been lost. Among them are communications from presidential adviser Karl Rove. Parallels are being drawn with the infamous '18 minutes' missing from the Nixon Watergate tapes. Also at issue is the use of Republican National Committee e-mail domains (such as gwb43.com and georgewbush.com) rather than the official White House domain. This is a violation of the Presidential Records Act."

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Does this... (4, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707327)

... really come to anyone as a surprise by now?

They done pulled a Hillary !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707693)



I recall dear Ms. Hillary Rodam did the same.

Politician? Crook? The difference?

Don Imus, we miss you -- Rutger's now-famous girl b-ball team

Fool me once... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707333)

Whatever, GWB is a douche bag.

-H

What a total outrage!!!! (-1, Flamebait)

SengirV (203400) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707823)

Whoever did this should get at least the same penalty that Sandy Berger did for removing those classified documents concerning terrorism/national security. What was his punishment again?

Oh........

Nevermind.

I had an email account at the RNC and got deleted (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707335)

all of my emails to my nappy headed hos got deleted. The RNC didn't like me referring to my hos' badonkadonks in such flattering terms. I like badonkadonks. Hell, I love badonkadonks. Baby got back. Daddy like, daddy like.

- DI

Oh come now (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707345)

We all know e-mails are never really deleted. They just hide a little bit harder.

Re:Oh come now (1, Funny)

linuxtuba (301735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707459)

In Soviet Russia, email deletes YOU.

Is anyone surprised? (0, Redundant)

pens (184563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707347)

Is anyone surprised in the slightest?

Some people (5, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707469)

Some people may act surprised: they're the ones who knew about it ahead of time. Some people may genuinely be surprised: they're the ones who have willingly accepted all of the lies and bullsh*t coming from the politicians over the last twenty years.

So is anyone in trouble? Apparently not. Stanzel was careful to apportion blame widely and generically...

What is the penalty for violating internal White House policy, I asked? "I don't believe the staff manual contains penalties for failure to preserve," the lawyer said.

Stanzel, possibly unwittingly, offered one possible explanation for why the rule on preservation was flouted so widely: Because there was apparently no prospect of personal consequences. "There are no personal violations of the Presidential Records Act, but you can have a personal violation of the Hatch Act," he said.

The lawyer criticized the crystal-clear (to me) ban on using non-White House e-mail for official purposes as being "too concise" and described a new, more extensive White House policy
No accountability, no responsibility, no repercussions for stepping over the line, no penalties, maybe they'll make some new rules as a token gesture of fixing the problem, they'll be sure to leave better loopholes with even less accountability in the new rules...

Our government has become everything that the first settlers to America were trying to get away from.

Re:Some people (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707653)

Where are my mod points when I need them.

And this crap has been coming out of the president's office(both parties) since at least Eisenhowser. Each successive president grabs a little bit more power for themselves.

Re:Some people (3, Insightful)

dlt074 (548126) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707701)

"Our government has become everything that the first settlers to America were trying to get away from."

yes it has and then some. there is a last resort solution the founding fathers added into the constitution. how many guns do you own? get them while you still can before the "loop hole" is closed.

you do own guns right?

Re:Some people (4, Funny)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707787)

I have actively avoided owning a firearm because, in all truthiness, there are too many people whom I should have a legitimate right to shoot--and I'm not convinced that I wouldn't have at some points in the past.

Right now I'm homeless. If I owned a gun the police would've taken it long ago and probably made me a felon for carrying it.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (4, Insightful)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707607)

Nope... USA has become a 1st class banana republic.

Slow news day, huh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707353)

Begin the left-wing conspiracy. This, Imus and Anna Nicole's baby are all I'm going to be hearing about for the next few weeks. Damn.

right wing! (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707489)

Something must have short circuited in in your partisan brain, but this would be a right wing conspiracy. It let to BabyBush gaining power and keeping it. Or do you believe all the exit polls were wrong at the last presidential election?

Whoosh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707535)

I think you missed the parent's pathetic attempt at being humorous. It was lame, but sarcastic nonetheless.

"left-wing conspiracy?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707769)

Why, that's so clever its ... stupid!

Miraculously.. (5, Insightful)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707375)

..Bush will still be allowed continue on this rampage without being impeached. Incredible.

Re:Miraculously.. (4, Insightful)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707387)

Right, because who's next in line is so much better.

Re:Miraculously.. (2, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707501)

That might be just the reason why is he still alive.

Re:Miraculously.. (5, Insightful)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707517)

Unless we could impeach Cheney at the same time, the best argument against impeaching Bush is "President Cheney".

Re:Miraculously.. (1)

spamking (967666) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707667)

the best argument against impeaching Bush is "President Cheney".

Exactly . . . what's even better is that people think GWB can even type.

Re:Miraculously.. (5, Funny)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707751)

Where have you been the past 5 years? Cheney has been President for years. To quote Robin Williams: "Ever notice that W doesn't speak when Cheney is drinking water?"

don't quote robin williams (-1, Troll)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707829)

Since he stole the joke anyway, from the Onion.

Robin Williams is a hack and a joke thief.

The nice part about this, is that he is ... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707591)

almost certainly involved with this as well. But president pelosi. Wow. I am not wild about that either. But then again, she is not the one who is running massive deficits, totally corrupted, treasonous, OR cowardly. But what worries me is that the W. and cheney would be let off scot-free as "being in the best interest of the nation" similar to what we heard from Ford and Poppa Bush. It seems obvious that as long as criminal presidents can get by, then others will be tempted to follow in the same paths and not make the same "mistakes". This time, all those that are involved (W., cheney, Rove, and probably libbey) need to do LOTS of time with no pardon in sight. Then and only then, will we have better future government.

Re:Miraculously.. (5, Insightful)

flaknugget (938238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707675)

It's not a question of impeachment in order to replace this guy.

Impeachment should be used to combat reckless use of power, it ensures The People still control its government and not the other way around.

Anytime someone even suggests the word 'impeachment', things quickly descend into a partisan hate orgy.

I understand why people are sensitive about the issue, but really, accountability in a democratic government shouldn't be a political football, it is supposed to be what defines DEMOCRACY as a system.

Re:Miraculously.. (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707705)

I don't suppose it's possible to impeach them both at the same time and disallow them to appoint karl rove as president.. is it?

President Pelosi? That's got a nice ring to it.

Re:Miraculously.. (1, Insightful)

daigu (111684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707713)

You can always impeach them both - and include some kind of jail time for Rove, Rice, Rumsfield and the others while you are at it.

Re:Miraculously.. (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707731)

That's right. He was chosen specifically as "impeachment insurance". Looks like it worked.

Re:Miraculously.. (4, Insightful)

twifosp (532320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707793)

I don't think it matters who's next in line. Even if Cheney would be worse, impeaching Bush would show that the separation of powers can still be applied.

Besides, impeaching Bush does not automatically mean he is removed from office. I remind you that Clinton was impeached for similar reasons (perjury) and remained in office.

At this point I don't even think it matters whether or not the White House is being honest with the investigation committee. If they are being honest, then they are incredibly inept and don't deserve to run this country. If they aren't being honest they are a bunch of filthly liars who don't deserve to run this country. Same thing with all the intelligence goofs with the Iraq invasion. It doesn't matter much if they were lying about the intelligence or intentionally misleading the Senate. Either way, they are either dishonest or inept.

Choosing not to impeach and seek justice based on the "next guy" is incredibly silly and un-American. Even if the decision is made to remove Bush from office, let Cheney be the President and let him be under the same scrutiny I say. This administration should not get away with being inept or dishonest, and they certainly shouldn't get away with being inept at being dishonest.

That's pretty much where I was going... (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707413)

...how much has to happen before impeachment proceedings? He is clearly at least as deserving as any former president, and probably far more. If you can have people impeaching you over a blowjob - which I know is a very tired statement, but bear with me - then bush's long, long list of offenses surely must qualify. As if I needed any further proof that the Democrats and Republicans are all part of the same gang...

Nonononono (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707521)

He didn't get a blowjob. He needs one direly, but he didn't get one. No blowjob, no impeachment.

Re:That's pretty much where I was going... (2, Informative)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707723)

Not to counter one tired statement with another, but he wasn't impeached for receiving a blowjob, he was impeached (by the House) because he lied under oath (committed perjury).

Re:That's pretty much where I was going... (1)

Tancred (3904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707727)

Well, the Clinton impeachment wasn't over a blowjob, it was over lying under oath. Yes, it was slimy tactics to get him to answer questions about legal but embarssing stuff in the first place.

What is this proof of Dem and Reps being part of the same gang you're referring to? Seemed like you were saying Reps were to blame for impeachment over a minor matter and that Reps were corrupt in the current situation as well.

If you want to make the "same gang" argument, try a pork angle or maybe a corporations before citizens angle. I think there's a case to be made there.

Re:Miraculously.. (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707419)

but you won't know about it, not after the men in black suits come to visit you this evening....

Re:Miraculously.. (1)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707499)

Thankfully, it's still too cold in Canada for the men in black suits to be running around kidnapping individual thinkers.

Re:Miraculously.. (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707585)

Of course. But then, those e-mails could most likeley be recovered by shipping the hard drives to the European firm, Convar, which the FBI used to recover financial data from hard drives recovered from the destroyed World Trade Center Towers.

Curious how, in a national security matter, the FBI would resort to a foreign firm (although it had just been bought by Kroll, which in turn is owned by the insurer of record to the WTC, AIG, and I believe the deal was brokered by the Blackstone Group, the mortgage holder of record - how very curious - most be one of those EXTREME "coincidences....)

Say...whatever became of all that financial data anyway??????

Re:Miraculously.. (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707699)

It's not like he got a blow job while doing his work, why should he be impeached?

Re:Miraculously.. (1, Flamebait)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707825)

Rampage?

You mean like in March of 1993 when Clinton had every single US attorney fired. That's 93 people for those counting. At the time the US attorney in Washington DC was investating the Ways and Means Chairman, the guy who was trying to push Clinton's economic program through congress. More importantly, allegations regarding the Whitewater scandal were coming to a head. The clearing of these attorneys allowed the Clintons to appoint a personal friend in Little Rock who conveniently never brought about any real indictments related to Whitewater and disregarded some information submitted regarding the case.

And you know what? It was his prerogative, just like it was the current administration's prerogative to fire those attorneys. It's my understanding that every administration is free to replace US attorneys at their choosing. I suppose Clinton was a bit smarter with timing having gotten rid of those attorneys shortly after haven been elected to office.

The problem is Clinton did the same thing, in some ways worse. But people are quicker to justify the action. When Bush does it, there must be some sinister conspiracy worthy of on-going investigations. The media and democrats are spun into a frenzy over this. Instead of focusing on serious problems it seems like there's this obsession with undermining the president just for the sake of putting him down.

I don't like Bush at all. But this has just gotten ridiculous. There's this immature fixation on Bush like he's the source of pure evil. He, and not only he but any republican does something democrats have been doing for years and there's this crazy uproar. And in some cases the uproar is justifiable. My problem is the polarized, all-or-nothing view some people have of the world, and worse the double-standard. When my guy does something it's justifiable, when your guy does it, he's got ulterior motives and is abusing his power.

N.S.A. Restores BushCo Syndicate Mail: +1, Fun (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707381)

From Crooks And Liars [crooksandliars.com] :

This one's a no-brainer.

The NSA has been monitoring and logging all US domestic phone and email traffic for a few years now, thanks to Bush and Cheney.

So subpoena the "lost" WH emails from the NSA. Put the domestic spying operation to some practical use.

If they don't have the emails, they aren't doing their job, and it will be time to get rid of the NSA.
Annoyed Canuck | 04.12.07 - 3:57 pm | #

I hope this helps the Federal criminal prosecution of the world's largest crime syndicate [whitehouse.org] .

Patriotically as always,
Kilgore Trout, C.E.O.

Typical outcome (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707391)

This is a violation of the Presidential Records Act.

And, as usual, no one will be held accountable for it. If it looks like someone may, they will claim "National Security" and halt all proceedings. It would seem that "Slick Willy" has some competition.

Re:Typical outcome (4, Insightful)

KaiserSoze (154044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707643)

Ah yes, except instead of "blowjob," we instead are dealing with the rigging of elections via bogus "voter fraud" cases and U.S. attorneys more loyal to the GOP than they are to the country. And WMD lies that led us into a now-four year war. But yeah, exactly the same as Clinton.

Re:Typical outcome (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707721)

And, as usual, no one will be held accountable for it. If it looks like someone may, they will claim "National Security" and halt all proceedings.
You do realize that Congress holds closed hearings to discuss matters of National Security?

Not to mention that all these e-mails outside of the WhiteHouse system are defacto not covered under any National Security and/or Executive Privilege waivers.

Re:Typical outcome (2, Interesting)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707767)

Staffers who work at the White House and also for the RNC and Bush's campaign have a potential conflict. The Presidential Records Act requires them to only use government email for White House work, but the Hatch Act requires them to never use government email for anything campaign or fundraising related.

There are no personal consequences in the law for violating the Presidential Records Act, but you can get a big personal fine or go to jail for violating the Hatch Act.

If there is any question of whether an email is going to violate the Hatch Act and be campaign or fundraising related, then how many people are going to risk jail in order to also follow the Presidential Records Act? Yeah, almost everyone is going to err on the side of following the Hatch Act and ignoring the Presidential Records Act if there is a conflict.

Now when you've got a Blackberry (which they were all issued by the RNC) and are using that to talk to other people in the White House about campaign/fundraising issues, when you need to communicate with those same people about something else, how many real people are going to bother to wait until they can get to their government email account and how many are going to just hit reply on the Blackberry?

Sounds to me like this is just human nature and some badly written laws coming together.

Blame the spamfilter (5, Insightful)

tglx (664015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707401)

gwb43.com and georgewbush.com domains are marked as spam domains. Would you keep copies of spam mails ?

Silly Executives (1, Interesting)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707423)

Don't they understand that computers mean nothing can ever be truly deleted?

Re:Silly Executives (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707743)

"nothing can ever be truly deleted?"

Really? Great! Could you get back my Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet from 1987? I've been looking for that sucker forever.

Deleted? What about the redundancy? What about the (4, Interesting)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707431)

I seriously doubt the server people in charge of email for the White House would not be keeping both full and incremental backups in addition to major redundancy. After all, they'd want to CYA for actions they did take more than actions they didn't take. Of course, this IS the government, so anything can happen!

Re:Deleted? What about the redundancy? What about (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707593)

These look to be three distinct domains. For example,

gwb43.com - 24.58.33.115
georgewbush.com - 64.203.98.31
whitehouse.gov - 205.160.212.222

And being as part of the problem is that the white housers were using those other domains, if that is where the emails are missing from, then we might not be able to blame the white house for losing the emails, as they may have been located on a different server, at a different location.

Re:Deleted? What about the redundancy? What about (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707697)

The problem here is that the emails were not on White House government email accounts but rather Republican Party email accounts. So technically it was a third party email system that the White House does not control. There is an issue whether the 22 aides should have used those accounts instead of their government accounts. The Republicans have countered that federal rules forbid the use of government email for anything other than government business.

Re:Deleted? What about the redundancy? What about (1)

daigu (111684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707763)

The secret is that the emails aren't on the White House servers and ought to be...

Which is why (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707773)

they purposefully used non-WH servers owned and operated by THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE. No retention rules. How convenient.

so... (4, Funny)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707451)

The US presidental office is run by a gang of criminals. What else is new?

Nixon (4, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707471)

Wow. Nixon had NOTHING on the current thugs in the White House administration. It's patently absurd that these people haven't been impeached, fired, and tried for treason at this point.

Re:Nixon (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707749)

It's because republicans have their fingers in their ears and don't want to hear anything negative about King George.. all they care about is winning 2008.

memo to Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707475)

subpoena the backups.

It's a good thing.. (1)

Diss Champ (934796) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707483)

.. that noone cares how many emails I've lost over the years.

Email is a medium while to the non-technical person seems the epitome of temporary. While there have been people who have gotten in trouble (both PR wise and in more serious ways) for emails that were kept when they didn't expect them to be, the average Joe still pays little attention to what happens to an email after they've read it. Neither in the sense of making sure to keep it, or making sure it's gone.

Bush administration totally corrupted (4, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707491)

I'm generally a conservative -- very pro-gun, willing to try the "surge" in Iraq, generally favor Republican policies over Democratic ones -- but I'm to the point now where I think the Bush administration (which I've never really felt comfortable with) has demonstrated that it is entirely corrupt -- lying to get into Iraq, lying about Plame, and now the total fix/lie-fest of the US Attorney mess.

Bush needs to hang Rove out to dry -- let a special prosecutor send that guy to a Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison, can Gonzalez and seal the door to Cheney's office.

Re:Bush administration totally corrupted (2, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707645)

I find it interesting that you aren't considering that Bush is part of the problem. After all, he could have gotten rid of Rove or Gonzalez at a word, but didn't. So either he doesn't know what the people he's appointed are doing, or he knows about it and approves. Either way he isn't fit to be president.

Re:Bush administration totally corrupted (-1, Flamebait)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707759)

lying about Plame

Oh, come on. If you're going to grouse about something, grouse about something real! The special prosecutor in that case knew, early on, that the person who leaked that name was a rather vocal Bush critic (Dick Armitage) working at the State Department, and that no laws were broken. Libby has been convicted of saying different things at different times about what he remembers about when he recalls talking to people about something that wasn't a problem and didn't cause any problems, except for himself. She wasn't covert, the White House didn't leak her name, her husband's silly take on things has been roundly and thoroughly debunked, and he's been pointed out as lying about (or just being oily about) the whole thing from the beginning. They're both looking to make lots of money off of book and movie deals that don't seem to been too worried about mentioning who actually babbled her well-known name to Novak (and that someone, says the special prosecutor isn't looking at any legal trouble), and they're making political hay out of it, partisans that they both are. You've gotta find a different dead horse to beat, I think. Where's the corruption in this? In the craven way that the special prosecutor, who knew the whole story almost immediately, worked this in an entirely political manner?

Re:Bush administration totally corrupted (1)

daigu (111684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707833)

Funny how everyone else is to blame but Bush. All of these people should see prison time - don't get me wrong. But let's not pretend that "the decider" isn't culpable.

It's nice to see (2, Interesting)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707495)

that somebody learned from the mistakes from the past [watergate.info] .

Hi. (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707509)

Hi. Can I have my country back please?

This isn't the sort of thing I was brought up to believe in. I was taught that we were supposed to believe in the constitution, and that the streets were paved with gold. Now I see that the constitution doesn't mean much, and the streets are lined with unemployed systems administrators!

Re:Hi. (1)

mutterc (828335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707603)

I won't be old enough to run in the 2008 election, so we'll have to wait for the 2012 one. Sorry.

Re:Hi. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707719)

The constitution is a piece of paper behind bulletproof glass. And I wouldn't take it out just now, it might get stained.

Or disappear altogether.

Subpeona the boxes (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707513)

I can't wait for some Senator or Congressman to subpoena the drives and spend $50,000 trying to examine the magnetic domains for traces of what may or may not be the emails he's looking for.

I bet he'll find more traces of spam and pr0n than useful emails.

The upshot of all this is Congress will demand White House keep all non-junk emails for a minimum period of time.

Some future president is going to get into very hot water for deleting or modifying an email before it's data-retention time expires.

In the future, about the only emails you'll see coming in and out of the White House will be to schedule or confirm appointments or to talk about innocuous topics. "Conversations that never happened" will be held in person, informally, without a paper trail.

Re:Subpeona the boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707771)

"Conversations that never happened" will be held in person, informally, without a paper trail.
That's the case for everyone thanks to over-reaching surveillance powers! When email, web and phone records are all on permanent record, people will explorer ways to communicate.

Re:Subpeona the boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707847)

Read the Presidential Records Act, you idiot.

Parallels... (1, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707531)

"Parallels are being drawn with the infamous '18 minutes' missing from the Nixon Watergate tapes."

Just like with the documents that went missing during the Whitewater investigations, right?

In fact, mine is likely the more apt comparison: because the odds are that those "thousands of e-mails" are as innocuous as the missing documents found in (iirc) the attic of Clinton's White House. They certainly aren't each a smoking gun the way the unexplained "18 minutes" might have been. The question is, who is to blame? I'm more prone to look to IT first and the administration second.

The second part, about them using RNC domains, is far more troubling to me. I'd be interested to know the specifics of the law they reportedly violated, and whether it was intentional.

Re:Parallels... (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707627)

Could we have at least one discussion on this without the words "But Clinton!" or any variant on the theme?

Re:Parallels... (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707803)

Could we perhaps read my post before assuming it's one of those? I was making the point that there are other scandals in the history of the White House that this incident might better be compared to. This looks a lot more like "crap, we lost some files" than "there is a small and conspicuous gap in this record that we can't explain". I must wonder if you did the typical American thing and stopped reading halfway through the post.

What about data retention? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707537)

All emails should be archived for national security. Isn't that the government position?

Well why get their own house in order first?

Should have used gmail! (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707545)

They should have used gmail, then they could have kept them forever! Well, assuming they didn't want them deleted...

gwb43.com? WTF is that - his IQ? (2, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707549)

gwb43.com? WTF is that - his IQ?

(Sorry, a little too easy.)

Re:gwb43.com? WTF is that - his IQ? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707851)

No, it's the number of people who still think he's doing a decent job.

Exactly what will it take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707553)

What has to happen before someone IS held to account for all of this ongoing nonsense? Exactly how bad will it need to be? Someone needs to bring the White House up short and remind it that no, it is NOT given a license to do as it pleases, and if it thinks it can and is prepared to insist on it the consequences involve job loss.

Can someone with a real background in politics explain what WILL be bad enough to merit serious action, if everything to date is not enough?

ugh, spell check. Editors??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707559)

adviser????

Newsworthy (1)

ab0mb88 (541388) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707561)

The real news in this story isn't that the e-mails were "lost", the story is that major media outlets are covering this story and not allowing this to go away.

Re:Newsworthy (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707663)

Main media outlets? The same that keep spinning the same stories we hear from the press release of the pentagon?

Politicians lie, the media lie. The difference between democracy and dictatorship is that in a democracy, they tell different lies.

Re:Newsworthy (1)

ab0mb88 (541388) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707815)

The same that keep spinning the same stories we hear from the press release of the pentagon?

That is the point. The media is reporting what the government is doing, not what the government is saying.

And? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707567)

Is there already a law that says this can't be persecuted or are we gonna get one in the next few weeks?

Wiretapping? (4, Funny)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707569)

Wouldn't it be ironic if their ISP was retaining their email?

Re:Wiretapping? (1)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707781)

How weird and ironic is it that we posted the same exact idea just about the same exact time?

Hmm sounds like a conspiracy.

I don't know you, I swear!

Did you hear something? (1)

Seantotheizzo (1011799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707589)

They're setting a fine example over there in Washington. Delete e-mails during investigations, wait until the Senate recesses to hire some questionable Swift Boat Veterans schmuck, refuse to allow under-oath interrogations, etc.

Hmm (1)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707619)

I hope none of their service providers had a constant pcap of cleartext port 25 going appending to a log file. This would create duplicates of all email for the last X amount of time it's been running.

Even if they have TLS enabled, I hope they don't use a third-party spam service. Yup, body of messages stored there too.

I bet this information is worth a lot of money.

Having only worked at a few providers across the east coast, I have no knowledge of this happening. Nope.

History repeats itself... (1)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707635)

While the opening post notes the infamous '18-minute' gap from the Nixon tapes, this happens more often than that, in administrations of all colors. For example, in the Clinton administration there emails that were deleted. That event caused as much uproar on the right as this event is causing on the left. For example, MotherJones [motherjones.com] notes:

Years later, with the embattled Clinton administration faced with numerous allegations of impropriety, including charges that it had illegally obtained FBI files on prominent Republicans for political purposes--this controversy became known as Filegate--a White House whistleblower came forward claiming that the administration had suppressed 100,000 emails related to ongoing investigations. Sheryl Hall, who helped to supervise the computer system in the Clinton White House, reported being told by a colleague that "if the contents of these e-mails became known, that there would be different outcomes to these scandals, as the e-mails were incriminating and could cause people to go to jail." Congressional Republicans, then in the majority, cast the alleged cover-up as a worse scandal than Watergate, concluding in a report by the House Government Reform Committee that "the e-mail matter can fairly be called the most significant obstruction of congressional investigations in U.S. history."

Democrats and Republicans are they really different?

Re:History repeats itself... (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707811)

No. I don't know why anyone seems to think they are different either. It's not as if one set are policitians, and the other are priests.

Presidential Records Act? (5, Insightful)

daigu (111684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707655)

Let's see:
  1. conducts war of aggression
  2. implements policies of torture in violatation of international treaties
  3. creates network of secret prisons
  4. "authorizes" the NSA to spy on U.S. citizens outside the oversight of the law
  5. got Republican legislators to suspend habeas corpus
  6. politicised D.A. prosecution focus toward political ends
  7. etc.

Given these facts, you're surprised he thinks the Presidential Records Act doesn't apply to him? You're joking right? You think these people want to be held accountable 5-10 years from now? Put it in the memory hole, so we can have one of those swell state funerals like they had for Ronald Reagan, put on the rose-colored glasses and talk about how greatness of this catastrophy of a President. America wins the war on intelligence!

Re:Presidential Records Act? (2, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707765)

You forgot...

8. ???
9. Profit!

Executive privilege (5, Insightful)

sharp-bang (311928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707685)

Also at issue is the use of Republican National Committee e-mail domains (such as gwb43.com and georgewbush.com) rather than the official White House domain.

On the plus side, I bet it will be tough to claim executive privilege on those e-mails.

Efficiency (0, Troll)

Normal Dan (1053064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707715)

All of this red tape is making things run slower and with less efficiency. Although I am all for recording 'official communication', I think they can go too far at times. If people are going to be sending emails for fraudulent activity, then I would not exactly consider it 'official communication'. If they send emails using different accounts for the sake of convenience, then we haven't much to worry about. The government is already far too inefficient. I say we need less red tape and fewer 'investigations'.

Re:Efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707843)

That was the single most stupid comment I ever read on slashdot. All that red tape gets in the way of government corruption does it? Oh noes...

On Discovery (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707753)

I recently got involved into a legal issue where the question posed to me was "What was on our Internet site on a particular day several years ago?" We went through our file backups, but it turns out the data was pulled from a database. Then it was looking at database backups, which we don't keep that far back except for certain patient-related databases.

To top it off, we've started implementing a policy where old stuff is no longer backed up, simply because of the huge costs involved in legal discovery. It's very easy to spend millions of dollars when a judge demands "Get every electronic document that talks about X".

That being said, I'm sure people can find all sorts of clever ways to recover e-mails. Personal computers are a good first step. It would be interesting if the NSA was intercepting e-mails. Sometimes when e-mails are "deleted", the hard drives still contain pieces of the data. Finally, if people are sending and receiving e-mail outside of the RNC's systems, you can look into those e-mail accounts.

I've investigated people doing inappropriate things and the best thing to do was to get your hands on their personal computers. There are amazing numbers of things you can find out about a person. Of course, I'm not sure the RNC would cheerfully hand over their computers to a Democratically controlled congress.

Watergate comparisons don't help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707791)

I think our commander in chief has been an unmitigated disaster, but Watergate comparisons on this particular issue of document retention regulation seem ridiculous. Especially considering the much more blatant constitutional crises brought on by the GWOT. And in the end, these are appointments by the prez.

I guess the dems think they got a case against Rove and feel they are cleaner than on the GWOT where they share some mud on their hands with the prez. Whole thing seems like an issue of technicalities, considering the crap we have going on with demestic spying and such that are clearly illegal and unconstitutional.

methods of deniability (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707797)

reagan: sorry, the president went insane and can't remember anything about selling drugs to supply terrorist with weapons.

Bush I: sorry,. we were just following orders.

Clinton: It depends what the meaning of is is, and I didn't inhale, and we eventually found the papers we misplaced

Bush II: Is has been 20 years since I supported terrorist by buying illegal drugs, I believe that Hussein had WMDs, and the emails have been deleted anyway.

So subpoena the hard drives (1)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707801)

If anyone else tried something like this, their hard drives would be seized and then gone over with tunneling electron microscopes to find recently switched bits.

  So, that's what Congress should do.

Some more interesting info from dKOS: (1)

JenniefromtheShire (636087) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707835)

GWB43.com -- Now Disappearing [dailykos.com] by diarist geek winstnsmth:

With the latest news of RNC hosted email archives being "mishandled" by the White House, I decided to take a trip around the cyberblock to see what's new.

To my surprise, I wasn't able to ping gwb43.com
More @ link above.
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