×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

White House Tape Recycling Possibly Erased Emails

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the gee-thats-a-shame dept.

Communications 251

Pojut points us to a Washington Post story which details the White House's admission that it routinely recycled backup tapes from 2001 to 2003, possibly destroying e-mail records from that time period. While the tapes are being analyzed to determine if any of the data can be recovered, the White House also indicated that some e-mail through 2005 may not have been preserved. We discussed the beginnings of this investigation a few months ago. From the Post: "During the period in question, the Bush presidency faced some of its biggest controversies, including the Iraq war, the leak of former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson's name and the CIA's destruction of interrogation videotapes. White House spokesman Tony Fratto said he has no reason to believe any e-mails were deliberately destroyed."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

251 comments

Wait (4, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090494)

Wait, I keep forgetting: Is recycling a good thing?

Re:Wait (4, Interesting)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090510)

What's good for someone is bad for someone else.
This tape recycling is definitely good for someone.

Re:Wait (4, Informative)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090600)

Article Title:

White House Tape Recycling Possibly Erased Emails
Real-world:

White House Tape Recycling Erased Emails

There. Fixed that for you.

Never attribute to malice what can be explained by simple stupidity....except when it comes to the Bush White House.

Re:Wait (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090848)

Never attribute to malice what can be explained by simple stupidity....except when it comes to the Bush White House.

Malice is the goal, stupidity is the mechanism, malice is the result, and stupidity permits it. It's an amazing little cycle they have going on there.

Re:Wait (0, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091856)

Malice is the goal, stupidity is the mechanism, malice is the result, and stupidity permits it. It's an amazing little cycle they have going on there.
You left out greed and arrogance. They are also defining parts of the cycle, just before rinse and repeat. Or more correctly lie and repeat.

Re:Wait (2, Interesting)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091056)

Never attribute to malice what can be explained by simple stupidity....except when it comes to the Bush White House.

Well, technically it's the Office of Administration which is speaking here.. but agreed.. the sworn testimony which states that it is 'best practice' to recycle tapes containing archival data is quite astounding. There is at least one [blogspot.com] attempt to probe this, but accountability doesn't appear to be high on this administrations agenda.

Re:Wait (1)

Dever (564514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091234)

There is at least one attempt to probe this, but accountability doesn't appear to be high on this administrations agenda.

that's because then they would have to be the judge, jury, executioner, as well as the haplessly stupid defendant who forgot to wear gloves and cover their face.

I worked on this during the Clinton Administration (5, Informative)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091742)

Well, technically it's the Office of Administration which is speaking here.. but agreed.. the sworn testimony which states that it is 'best practice' to recycle tapes containing archival data is quite astounding. There is at least one attempt to probe this, but accountability doesn't appear to be high on this administrations agenda.

I spent 18 months working with the EOP on the security of the email system used to send out presidential press releases. The story that this happened by accident is just not credible.

First the archives, the archives were a pervasive force that was felt throughout the EOP. Every piece of paper, every tape, every scrap of information had to go to the archive. It was a whole cultural thing. And it was clearly a pre-Clinton culture. The people I was working with had been there since Reagan. They never refered to this as a Clinton mandate, it was the law.

The idea that a tape could be recycled for any purpose was a total departure from the Clinton era culture.

Second FOIA, was a constant issue.

Now we could assume that these changes were only due to the goal of 'restoring' executive power that Cheney and other Nixon era accomplices have advanced. Or it could be that they knew they had much criminality to hide.

I don't think these legal issues are going to go away after Bush leaves office. We are going to see a constant attempt to suppress government papers that implicate Bush in the criminality of his administration.

Re:I worked on this during the Clinton Administrat (0)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091814)

You sound like you could be in the unique position to help explain the email backups lost or erased during the Clinton administration. Although I don't know if you'd refer to the actors as 'Clinton era accomplices' as would be appropriate.

At least this isn't as deliberate and malicious as Sandy Berger stealing original documents pertaining to the investigation by the 911 Commission from the National Archives and destroying them.

Re:I worked on this during the Clinton Administrat (1, Informative)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091910)

At least this isn't as deliberate and malicious as Sandy Berger stealing original documents pertaining to the investigation by the 911 Commission from the National Archives and destroying them.

It is highly unlikely Berger was attempting to destroy the documents, he knew there were copies.

More likely he was wanting to either make sure that the Bush administration was unable to destroy them or to make them public.

Re:I worked on this during the Clinton Administrat (2, Insightful)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091930)

Berger has not revealed what documents were destroyed.

You do put a rather ludicrous twist on the issue, though. Burger destroyed the records to 'protect' them from the Bushies?

Clearly you've taken sides. I was just maintaining that the Clintonites were just as bad a gang of crooks as the Bushies.

Re:Wait (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091746)

It's beyond stupidity to think that reusing backup tapes is OK in a situation like this.

Seriously, anybody who is involved with system administration for an organization like the White House understands the implications of not having archival backups of everything. There is zero chance that somebody did this as an economy measure. The practice of doing questionable White House business using RNC controlled email accounts indicates that people in the administration are very conscious of hiding records of what they do.

So, somebody made a policy decision to destroy archival backups, and cover their tracks by making it look like they're economizing on tapes and storage. The only question was whether that decision was meant to cover their tracks in specific instances, in which case we have obstruction of justice, or whether it was meant to cover a multitude of unspecified sins they might commit, in which case we have an intentional breaking of records retention laws.

In either case, at a minimum any person who physically took an existing backup and destroyed it by overwriting it has committed a crime. Everybody on the chain up from them who knew about it also committed a crime. The person or persons who set up the procedure committed at least one crime, and possibly multiple instances of obstruction of justice on top of that.

The only reason this is not a huge deal is that the administration is so completely and unabashedly lawless that they've convinced a lot of people^H^H^H^H^H^Hsheep that accepting this is not only normal but patriotic. It's like the Big Lie: you can't refute them because they have a ready answer to any refutation. They make everything personal. It doesn't matter how true what you say is, your saying it means you are unpatriotic. There's only one way to deal with people like this: you remove them from power. You can't talk them out of what they are doing. You can't debate them out of their positions. You have to take action, which is risky to you.

After 2006, Congress could have done something by bringing investigations to the point where impeachment would work. They didn't, and it's not going to be politically possible now. So, we have to wait out the term and sort through whatever evidence they leave behind.

Re:Wait (0, Flamebait)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091862)

Not all information being backed up is vital information even in the white house. There is a lot of mundane information being passed back and forth that should be deleted over time. Email are a very insecure form of communication so (even back in 2003) Keeping Email Backups without hind sight seemed like a waist of time because it was almost all no priority stuff "Meeting at the Oval Office at 3:00pm" or "hey check out this funny joke" Having a year or two backup of this stuff is quite silly. For a considered low priority insecure form of communication... Including getting millions of peoples rants to the president. Back in the old days someone would have written a letter and it would have been destroyed by shredding it and/or incineration. Lets keep politics out of it or any irrational hatred of a person and or his policies, and think of it on an IT level here. Emails back in 2003 were considered junk messages. Backups kept were for cases of system crashes so they can restore data as it was left off, and maybe a year or two back in case something was deleted and needed to be retrieved.

Re:Wait (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091964)

Not all information being backed up is vital information even in the white house


True, but irrelevant. You're arguing that the cost of buying and storing tape media exceeds the probability that they'll contain something valuable. I'm saying (a) this is not true and (b) recycling tapes is illegal and everybody involved in this know it.

You can fit a lot of "Meeting at the Oval Office at 3:00pm" on a 400GB tape, which you can buy for about eighty bucks. If, doing incremental backups, you use one 400GB (native) tape every day, you need fewer than 3000 tapes. This is admittedly a lot of tapes, and will set you back over a quarter of a million dollars. However, those tapes would only take a tiny corner of the Presidential Library, on which maybe one or two hundred million dollars will be spent. It's not unreasonable to spend a quarter of a percent or less of that cost to ensure there is a complete record, which admittedly does contain things like meeting announcements (valuable) and invitations to lunch (maybe not valuable), but also contain things like policy debates.

Lets keep politics out of it or any irrational hatred of a person and or his policies, and think of it on an IT level here. Emails back in 2003 were considered junk messages. Backups kept were for cases of system crashes so they can restore data as it was left off, and maybe a year or two back in case something was deleted and needed to be retrieved.


Thinking of it on an IT level, you'd keep everything because (A) it's not that expensive relative to even the historical value and (B) you'd be breaking the law otherwise. You don't blow of Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA because it's not convenient. The law says you retain everything, and history says you retain everything. This was a deliberate crime which is only justifiable if you need to cover worse crimes.

Re:Wait (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091896)

My question is: Is this a new thing since Bush came into office, or is this a long-standing White House IT policy that just came to light?

Re:Wait (5, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090548)

Interesting that the Bush Administration's interest in protecting the environment begins and ends at the point where it enables them to destroy evidence, though. I'm sure the CIA didn't really mean to shred those documents either, but they needed some organic mulch for their sustainable vegetable patch.

Re:Wait (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090750)

they needed some organic mulch for their sustainable vegetable patch.


It's better that they use documents than secret prison detainees for that, I suppose.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091014)

I thought that a backup was a copy of the online system. Thus the online system may still hold all the emails?

A backup may be _another_ copy of "archived files" too.

Frosty Piss says... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090508)

Bull Fucking Shit it wasn't on purpose. Never attribute to Bush's stupidity what can adequately be explained by his huge fucking malice. And you guys voted for the asshole!
 

Re:Frosty Piss says... (1)

bwd234 (806660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090588)

"And you guys voted for the asshole!"

Ah... NO, we didn't! Gore won the election in 2000, and had it stolen from him, and the 2004 election was fixed. I don't know one fucking person that I've asked that has admitted to voting for that douche bag!

Re:Frosty Piss says... (2, Insightful)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090758)

Well, even with Gore winning the popular vote it was fairly close. Quite a few millions of The People did vote for him.

I'll agree to the 2004 election having some irregularities that could/should have been investigated/punished better, but I'm also pretty confident that a hell of a lot of people voted for him in that election too.

As for your last comment, remember that your circle of friends and acquitances are a self-selected sample, and not representative of the population at large down there :P None of my friends would have voted for Bush if they were American, but I know that polls up here indicate that *some* people support him. Not a great many, but some certainly do.

Re:Frosty Piss says... (2, Funny)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091434)

"Not a great many, but some certainly do."

It's a huge tragedy that exactly half of mankind have average-and-below IQs.

Re:Frosty Piss says... (1)

El Yanqui (1111145) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091020)

I don't know one fucking person that I've asked that has admitted to voting for that douche bag!

When you asked that question were you flailing your fists in the air as well? Just thinking it might not really be an objectionable survey.

Is it possible to have a private conversation? (3, Interesting)

jbridges (70118) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090512)

Or will everyone just give up on email since everything you ever say must be preserved forever to be used against you.

Will they all move to Instant Messaging?

Or maybe go back to handwritten paper mail as the only place to have a frank written conversation.

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (4, Informative)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090532)

The contested [wikipedia.org] Presidential Records Act [wikipedia.org] was to apply to the president and vice president. Not everyone.

Chill dude.

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (5, Insightful)

jbridges (70118) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090772)

The same thing is happening anywhere someone can be sued, not just the President.

Many companies (like Microsoft) are trying to keep email useful by making it company policy that email is not preserved.

Once you have something that could be preserved... the temptation is powerful to require people to preserve it, and thereby stifle it's use.

Imagine what will happen once all phone conversations could be preserved. With all calls going over VOIP systems on computers, it's only a matter of time before it happens.

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (3, Insightful)

novakyu (636495) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091156)

I thought it was a simple common sense: if you are doing anything that can be slightly illegal or basis for a lawsuit, discuss them in person. No non-secure phone lines, and definitely nothing that leaves paper/log trails.

On the other hand, routine deletion of data such as email ... somehow seems very fishy to me: Google can keep lifetime's worth of email for any member of the public at no cost, and yet, these companies don't even have an IT structure to keep a decade's worth of company email? If this is not obstruction of justice and destroying of evidence, I don't know what is. (Although, legally speaking, I think they are safe until they have been served, and even then, what's deleted under the usual "data retention policy" is fine---not that I agree with that particular law.)

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090958)

When they came for the president,
I remained silent;
I was not the president.

When they locked up the vice president,
I remained silent;
I was not the vice president.

When they came for congress,
I did not speak out;
I was not a congress man.

When they came for the lawyers,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a lawyer.

When they came for me,
I figured I probably had it coming.

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090536)

Sure, unless you're the president or his staff engaging in public business. Then you have to comply with the Presidential Records Act of 1978.

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (4, Interesting)

coaxial (28297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090652)

When it comes to the government the answer is more often than not, a resounding no. With respect to the presidency and vice presidency, the relevant law is the Presidential Records Act [wikipedia.org]. You must preserve all records, and can only destroy them after consultation with the Archivist of the United States.

These emails are of evidentiary value, and therefore should have been preserved. Destruction of these records is a federal crime. Not only is it obviously a violation of the PRA, but there is strong evidence that this is destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice. Furthermore, things like this don't happen by rouge low level staffers. Decisions to destroy vital records comes from the highest levels.

People go to jail for these crimes all the time. Will these people? Hell know, the dems are too spineless to actually bring indictments and begin impeachment proceedings, and so everyone will get off scott free.

As the saying goes [blogspot.com], "In a democracy, you get the government you deserve."

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (4, Insightful)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090946)

It's ironic how these assholes are wire taping all of us and keeping records of it all and yet they deliberately destroy the evidence of all the criminal bullshit they're doing and getting away with.

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090968)

the dems are too spineless to actually bring indictments and begin impeachment proceedings, and so everyone will get off scott free.

The underlying problem is not the Democrats in Congress. The actual problem is that if they WERE to begin such proceedings, they would not have majority public support for them. The public right now cannot stomach believing that a straightforward and simple conspiracy has happened, and so there is no easy mechanism for bringing justice. There are also too many boneheaded news pundits who would grind those sort of proceedings into the dirt, because we don't have very many genuine journalists on the air who actually care about things like "truth". Impeachment proceedings without public support are predestined to fail.

If 65% of the country wanted impeachment, we would have it.

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091954)

Destruction of these records is a federal crime.

I hereby pardon myself of all crimes.

Yours,

George W. Bush

Oh, and all the servants, or whoever they are, that deleted this stuff for me, yeah, I pardon them too. Don't mess with Texas!

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (5, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090656)

Besides the Presidential Records Act, why shouldn't it be monitored and preserved? Is a president's doings not everyone's business? It's hardly a private conversation as long as it is the plans for a nation and its future.

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (0, Troll)

FredThompson (183335) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091276)

Not exactly. You're confusing the difference between "private" and "disclosure."

The public has no more right to know all internal communications of the President than they would to know all the internal communications of the Chief of Police. The status of "public servant" does not mean every communication is, or should be, publicly available. Additionally, the status of "public servant" does not somehow remove right to privacy of that person.

Secrecy is simply a matter of disclosure. The police don't announce where they will be conducting sting operations, do they? Of course not.

Your last sentence is truly detached from reality. The vast majority of conversations concerning future planning most certainly are NOT suitable for the public, especially those which involve other entities. Privacy is an inherent necessity of negotiations of any sort, no matter who is involved in them.

Re:Is it possible to have a private conversation? (1)

vcalzone (977769) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091786)

What's wrong with redaction? You save all the documents, then "redact" the ones that aren't suitable for consumption by whatever level will be seeing it. There's no reason that presidential records should not be kept at LEAST for a few years after the term is over. If I remember correctly, Mr. Thompson, you were very much for record-keeping when it came to the 1996 Presidential campaign.

Seeing that its on tape (2, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090516)

They will be lucky if they can get the last thing written to it. There goes with my data. Out with the isopropyl alcohol. Nice clean heads again.

Where can one find privacy in this digital era? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090530)

Well, step aside my friend
I've been doing it for years
I say, sit on down, open your eyes
And open up your ears

Say
Put a tree in your butt
Put a bumblebee in your butt
Put a clock in your butt
Put a big rock in your butt
Put some fleas in your butt
Start to sneeze in your butt
Put a tin can in your butt
Put a little tiny man in your butt
Put a light in your butt
Make it bright in your butt
Put a TV in your butt
Put me in your butt
Everybody say

I, hey, that's, man, I ain't putting no trees in nobody's butt,
no bees in nobody's butt, putting nothing--
You must be out your mind, man,
y'all get paid for doing this?
Cause y'all gotta get some kind of money
Cause this don't sound like the kind of--
I'd rather golf, to be perfectly honest,
than put somethin in somebody's butt
to be truthful

Well step aside my friend and let me
show you how you do it
When big bad E just rock rock to it

Put a metal case in your butt
Put her face in your butt
Put a frown in your butt
Put a clown in your butt
Sit on down in your butt
Put a boat in your butt
Put a moat in your butt
Put a mink coat in your butt
Put everything in your butt
Just start to sing about your butt
Feels real good

How convenient (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090552)

What a great cover story for destroying some records that, if made public, would most ceratinly make the Bush Adminstration very uncomfortable. A story in the Guardian, a liberal brit rag, suggests that by this act, Bush and Co. is concealing evidence of his War Crimes: news.guardian.uk/article.pl?sid=07/07/24/174240 [dwarfurl.com]

parent is mini-city troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090578)

parent is mini-city troll

Re:How convenient (5, Insightful)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090650)

There's an old joke that, sadly, is far too applicable here.

A mobster is on trial for multiple murders. The prosecutor, frustrated he may lose the case because of the ease with which the mobster and his associates lie under oath, finally tries to threaten him on witness stand:

DA (sternly): "Sir, are you aware of the penalty for perjury in this state?"
Mobster (smugly): "It's less than the penalty for murder, isn't it?"

Too bad for us there won't even be a penalty for perjury.


Stay tuned for another exciting episode of Presidential Idol! Who will be eliminated this week? Call in and vote for your favorite!"

CRAP ANOTHER MINICITY SPAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091348)

Crap. Not another minicity spam. If you don't pay for your crimes against humanity in this life, know that you will in the next.

Also revealed at the same press briefing... (5, Funny)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090580)

"White House spokesman Tony Fratto also said to keep sucking, he has no reason to believe the Bush Administration intends to cum in America's mouth."

Re:Also revealed at the same press briefing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090810)

That's because the White House is behind you, raping your ass. That cock you're sucking? Corporate. Probably defense contractors, although I'd imagine after a few it gets hard to tell...

Now if only our country wasn't so keen to be just as much of a slut for government and corporations as America is...

Plausible incompetence (5, Insightful)

AsciiNaut (630729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090584)

The cock-up theory of history is widely believed. What better way, then, for administrations to circumvent the law and get away with it than by means such as this?

Plausible incompetence is just as useful a smokescreen as plausible deniability.

o/t - parent was foolishly modded as trolling (0)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090642)

Hiding behind screwups is a classic government maneuver to hide malfeasance. I don't understand how AsciiNaut's statement is trolling. It's very annoying to see moderators knocking someone down for voicing an opinion different from their own. If you don't think "the cock-up theory of history is widely believed" than debate AsciiNaut. Don't mod him down.

Re:o/t - parent was foolishly modded as trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091678)

are you his brother or somethin?

Before you complain ... (0, Flamebait)

Derling Whirvish (636322) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090610)

Let me see your e-mails from 2001-2003.
"Let he who is without sin throw the first stone."

Weren't White House e-mails reconstructed from erased tapes in the Paula Jones lawsuit?

If I'm in a public office that's required to? (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090698)

Sure. Or someone should hold me or someone on my staff accountable.

Re:Before you complain ... (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090700)

I have a 5Gb archive of every email (including spam) from 2002. Where do you want me to send it? :)

Re:Before you complain ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091238)

Where do you want me to send it?
Nakia T. Harden
2570 Beechwood Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Email Address: NakiaTHarden@fontdrift.com

Phone: 908-791-7492
Mother's maiden name: Hawkins
Birthday: October 28, 1977

MasterCard: 5493 2996 9902 2340
Expires: 9/2009

SSN: 154-14-0942

UPS Tracking Number: 1Z 233 E67 87 6813 678 9

(Courtesy of Real Name Provider [fakenamegenerator.com])

Re:Before you complain ... (2, Insightful)

d_i_r_t_y (156112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090724)

it's a bit different; this is a national government with a pretty herrendous record in just about all aspects of office, including baldface lying and distortions of facts directly to the people over Iraq WMDs, saddam having anything to do with al qaeda, chemical weapons factories, etc etc.

For the record I do have all my emails archived dating back to before 2000... on a $1 CDROM. "Losing" emails right around the period when the administration were busy lying their pants off about Iraq is pretty damn suspicious.

STFU (5, Insightful)

uhlume (597871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090726)

My failure to retain records of my communications isn't a violation of the Presidential Records Act.

Re:STFU (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090796)

No, but it may be a violation of Sarbanes-Oxley. So, do you have those emails?

Re:STFU (1)

uhlume (597871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090868)

As a matter of fact, I do. Since when does Sarbanes-Oxley apply to private individuals?

(I can assure you as well that my employer, a financial institution, has email records extending at least that far back, and we would be in serious trouble if we "recycled" them.)

Re:STFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091674)

Sure, but it may violate SOX [wikipedia.org].
Nice that the president has more lax records retention than publicly held companies.

Re:Before you complain ... (3, Interesting)

KJSwartz (254652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090902)

No - Former President Clinton had to have his backup tapes scanned for word sequences, and it was a running battle to agree on the regular expressions used. Back in those days there were noises about the back-up system, but the problem was only with a FEW tapes.

Tapes can save OR damn this Presidency. I vote subjecting ALL President Bush's tapes to scrutiny and prove how many times they were recycled - and when.

In the words of Ronald Reagan: Trust, but verify. Access to history may be lost; there is much explaining to be done.

Re:Before you complain ... (4, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091210)

Trust but verify would have been appropriate in 2001. These fuckers are well past the point where any further trust is merited.

Re:Before you complain ... (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091886)

Their credibility is way down at the level of Sandy Berger ** by this point.

(** the Clinton junta guy who was convicted of stealing records pertaining to the 9-11 attack from the National Archives and destroying them)

Re:Before you complain ... (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091000)

I have all my E-mails going back to the early 1980's, and I believe the same is true for many people. It's trivial to do.

But I'm not actually required to keep my E-mails, the president is required to by law.

Re:Before you complain ... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091188)

With a couple of short (one week) gaps between a backup and a hard drive failure, I have every single email that's been sent or received by me since around 1997 (when I started using email regularly). When I'm next accused of starting an illegal war, I'll be happy to provide copies of my mail spool to the court.

Re:Before you complain ... (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091202)

Weren't White House e-mails reconstructed from erased tapes in the Paula Jones lawsuit?
It doesn't seem like it. The only reference I can find to such a thing is from nutcasecentral, err worldnetdaily.

Even if it were true, which isn't likely, the absolute contempt this administration has for oversight compared to the Clinton administration would makes the circumstances incomparable.

Re:Before you complain ... (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091898)

the absolute contempt this administration has for oversight compared to the Clinton administration

I take it you are maintaining that Sandy Berger acted as an individual when he stole and destroyed original documents from the National Archives that pertained to the 9-11 investigation.

Re:Before you complain ... (2, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091208)

Let me see your e-mails from 2001-2003. "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone."

We are all sinners, that doesn't excuse the criminals currently inhabiting the white house.

I seiously doubt you'll find anything in my email in that time period that compares with colluding with Exon to financially rape the American public, starting a false war, ignoring dire threats of terrorism resulting in a national disaster, or selling the nation to Halliburton wholesale. Of course there may in fact be an embarrassing note or two in my save email folder, and I'm again just guessing, nothing that would justify my being stood up against a wall and shot.

I can't imagine the current administration can make the same claim.

Re:Before you complain ... (1)

igb (28052) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091304)

Let me see your e-mails from 2001-2003. "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone."
I have the vast majority of my personal email back to 1986 on-line, although I don't have the stuff prior to that in a usable form. I have all of it from 1999 onwards. Corporately, we retain all correspondence with our customers and suppliers indefinitely, with an archiving milter I wrote applied at the border, so we've got all of the stuff that's useful back to when we started that policy in about 2000. We have ~2TB of email on our central IMAP server and we have backup tapes of the mail spool monthly back since forever, so if we absolutely had to we could recover any piece of mail that wasn't deleted with 32 days of arrival (it's Cyrus, so the format is probably more tractable than Exchange).

Luckily there's a backup (5, Funny)

supachupa (823309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090646)

It's a good thing Bush approved the illegal interception of domestic internet traffic. Now they can just ask the NSA for a copy.

Implausible (5, Insightful)

1 a bee (817783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090654)

Give me a break.. Lose email? Could this happen at the company you work? Not if it's a company with a half-competent IT staff. To think the White House IT staff is so incompetent that they'd do this by mistake is unthinkable. No, it's not a technical mistake. If it were, White House officials would be running for cover and would hang it on the poor bastard who made the mistake.

--
They should subpoena the NSA. Surely *they* have copies..

Re:Implausible (1)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090858)

Unless the IT department employed one of those stingy pinko commie green liberal people who want to recycle everything in sight. That must have been it.

oh sure... (1)

VariableGHz (1099185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090670)

Yeah, because I'm sure those e-mails took up just soooo much space, they *had* to re-use the tapes because they were just bursting with petabytes of data...

Re:oh sure... (1)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090704)

You would be surprised how big email gets when it's a bunch of people sending around documents to each other. I've had bosses where everything is word doc attached to an email. Even 2 and 3 sentence stuff was word docs. After a while, that starts to add up even if they are using something like Exchange/Lotus with single instance storage. Since it's politics and they were archiving email for CYA purposes, I'm sure mail files got large quickly. I'm sure it's simple stupidity with some malice thrown in. "Hey Backup person, these tapes are to be recycled, we have additional copies of their contents."

Idiots or Criminals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090696)

Interesting. The While House with a budget of $$$$ has to recycle 'tapes'. How charmingly frugal! I don't have a White House budget but I never recycle my archival DVDs or tapes.

In any case, I am sure the CIA, NSA, or FBI will have copies.

If I were a significant honcho in one of the above I would damn well make sure I had several copies of White House emails, regardless of the legality (and there aint never been much prosecution of CIA, NSA, FBI individuals for doing so which is good proof that they do so and get away with it!). In any case, possession of such illegal copies would automatically guarantee immunity from prosecution.

Criminals have the reigns of power in the USA? Never! Why would a criminal want power and money?

Poor americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090710)

Poor americans can't seem to impeach their president when it really matters. I guess this stands as one more fact testament for who and what kind of people are in power and how americans are unable to fix things.

What's in a name? (5, Insightful)

TheBearBear (1103771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090714)

Allow me to replace the current adminstration with a different government in this summary.

Pojut points us to a Washington Post story which details the Kremlin's admission that it routinely recycled backup tapes from 2001 to 2003, possibly destroying e-mail records from that time period. While the tapes are being analyzed to determine if any of the data can be recovered, the Kremlin also indicated that some e-mail through 2005 may not have been preserved. We discussed the beginnings of this investigation a few months ago. From the Post:

"During the period in question, the Putin administration faced some of its biggest controversies, including the Chechnya war, the assassination of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, as well as murder of former KGB officer Alexander Litvenko. Kremlin spokesman Tony "Fat Knuckles" Fratto said he has no reason to believe any e-mails were deliberately destroyed."

Re:What's in a name? (1)

Murphy(c) (41125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091392)

That has to be one of the best analogies.

If I could I would simply say : +1 Insightful

Murphy(c)

not-so-plausible deniability (4, Insightful)

EjectButton (618561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090716)

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said he has no reason to believe any e-mails were deliberately destroyed

Right, they only had the means, the motive, and the opportunity. But we are supposed to believe it was all an accident. Also we are supposed to believe that years worth of email disappears for the White House and no one notices until congress asks for it. Most places I have worked as a sysadmin if everyone's old email disappeared in multi-month/year blocks my phone would be ringing within the hour.

yeah, I'm sure it was an honest mistake (2, Funny)

RelliK (4466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090722)

Cause I can summarize the current administration with one word: honest.

Spin is Spun (1)

Swift2001 (874553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090862)

First of all, it is against federal law to erase emails. What they did with them is irrelevant. Six presidents had obeyed federal law, and we're supposed to be put off by "they meant well"?

The computer ate my homework (4, Insightful)

ElGanzoLoco (642888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090880)

Those dirty, scheming, lying, backstabbing bastards are at it again - covering their ass, just in time before the White House changes hands. Blaming it on 'recycling' too - what a nice "fuck you" to Americans... This administration will go down in history as the most egregiously shameful, dishonest, dirty in the history of the United States. I still can't get over the fact that he managed to get elected again after he stole an election, started a war on fake motives, and let his rich friends get richer on the back of troops and taxpayers.

Re:The computer ate my homework (3, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091012)

This administration will go down in history as the most egregiously shameful, dishonest, dirty in the history of the United States.

I wouldn't be so sure; it's been a pretty steady decline over the last half century and it might just continue like that. Even a loser like Bush Sr. looks pretty good compared to his son.

Re:The computer ate my homework (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091838)

I wouldn't be so sure; it's been a pretty steady decline over the last half century and it might just continue like that.

If ANY of the current front runners win the election, you can bet on it.

Even a loser like Bush Sr. looks pretty good compared to his son.

This guy is making Nixon look good. The spirit of Rosemary Woods lives on.

Re:The computer ate my homework (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091694)

Although I'm no fan of the Bush administration by any stretch of the imagination, I imagine that they're blaming their own actions on what is a relatively standard practice.

Every tape backup operator I've ever encountered recycles backup tapes to some degree. Granted, this shouldn't be done as to destroy a considerable portion of historical data that was marked to be preserved/archived, but the sort of tape backups that one keeps around to prevent against a system crash are very routinely recycled, given the prohibitively high cost of purchasing a new set of tapes every time you do a backup.

Of course, I do imagine that malice is somehow involved, but that the backup operator is almost definitely not at fault here.

For those who don't read the fine print (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090900)

Tony: "So then, what's the reason why those emails were destroyed?"

Dick: "I'm not gonna give you any reason for that."

Journalist: "White House spokesman Tony Fratto said he has no reason to believe any e-mails were deliberately destroyed."

Of course not... (2, Insightful)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090906)

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said he has no reason to believe any e-mails were deliberately destroyed.

Of course it wasn't deliberate! Destroying evidence is standard procedure.

Remind me... (1, Flamebait)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090914)

... are we for or against log conservation ?
I guess some politicians discovered that it was not that convenient...

Dont Worry... (1)

learningtree (1117339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090936)

Dont worry, just ask the Chinese intelligent agencies. I am sure they must be having copies of all these emails ;-)

you insensitiVe Clod! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091002)

and suugesting faster, cheaper, duty to be a big obsessed - give confirming the design approach. As move any equipment every day...Like OpenBSD. How many of various BSD similarly grisly there are only Serve5 to reinforce by BSDI who sell be 'very poorly win out; either the EFNet servers. do and doing what Declined in market than a fraction

Look for the originals then! (1)

OMG (669971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091034)

Same thing happened in Germany recently. But not with the White House (of course) but with the armed forces (Bundeswehr) AFAIK.

They were able to recover the "lost" backup data from the originals from which the backups were taken (after the CCC told them to look for the originals) :-)

say it! (1)

biscon (942763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091432)

Never attribute to Alice what can be explained by Bob...
Yeah well people are not that stupid and in this case I think Alice knew exactly what she was doing.

How's That Impeachment Coming Along? (0)

TrollMaster 9000 (957590) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091686)

You pathetic pieces of whining shit. The best thing about Bush leaving the White House at the end of his EIGHT YEAR TERM will be not having to listen to you morons go on and on and on about Bush.

Typo (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091782)

"White House spokesman Tony Fratto said he has no reason to believe any e-mails were deliberately destroyed."

"White House spokesman Tony Fratto said he has no intention to admit any e-mails were deliberately destroyed."

There, fixed it.

I've been there (1)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091792)

They are just doing what I used to do. That is until I accidentally taped over my favorite Black Sabbath album. Dohh!

Backup tapes get recyled ALL THE TIME (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091884)

Get over it. I have been doing Disaster Recovery and Backup planning and adminstration for almost ten years. Every place I have worked recycles backup tapes. (which includes 3 large multinationals as well as the government) Backups are mostly to protect you from loss of data in the event of hardware failure or disaster they are not designed for archiving data for compliance with the various regulations. Those would be completely differant system (such as NetApp Nearstore with SnapLock and ASIS deduplication).
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...