Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Lost" Bush White House emails found

I'm always feeling overwhelmed by my own overflowing inboxes, but glad I don't have to read the 22 million "lost" emails that were recovered after techs discovered they had been mislabeled. I'm seeing some optimism around the internets that this could lead to some long overdue frog-marching of high level Bush era officials, but I wouldn't start holding my breath just yet.
"The e-mails themselves are not what we're getting," Sloan said.Documents related to the handling of e-mail under the Bush administration and subsequent information regarding how White House e-mails are currently archived will be released under a settlement with the Obama administration, which inherited a lawsuit the groups filed in 2007. But the National Archives must sort out which documents are covered by the Freedom of Information Act and which ones fall under the Presidential Records Act - which means they could be withheld for five to 10 years after the Bush administration left office in January, Sloan said. [...]

Monday's settlement allows for 94 days of e-mail traffic, scattered between January 2003 to April 2005, to be restored from backup tapes. Of those 94 days, 40 were picked by statistical sample; another 21 days were suggested by the White House; and CREW, and the National Security Archive picked 33 that seemed "historically significant," from the months before the invasion of Iraq to the period when the firings of U.S. attorneys were being planned.

Also requested were several days surrounding the announcement that a criminal investigation was under way into the disclosure of then-CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson's identity. That investigation led to the conviction of White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to federal agents probing the leak.
There's some hope the emails could prove "Patrick Fitzgerald never received all the documents he requested during the Plame leak probe" but even if that happens, somehow I doubt we'll ever see Cheney or Rove in an orange jumpsuit. I keep remembering that weird "April Fool's joke" and the subsequent reports that emails had been deleted. Whatever the story behind that was, Rove really did visit the server farm around that time. Still think it's a strong possibility that the damning mail was routed through a dedicated server that has been sitting on the bottom of the ocean for a very long time.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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