Monday, September 17, 2007 we posted Dick Cheney's Room 101 - his e-mails consigned to blanks in cyberspace that gave the back ground on how 5 million White House e-mails had disappeared.
(The Presidential Records Act 1978 requires the President to “take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented … and maintained as Presidential records.” )
Well the President isn't taking steps ... and Citizens for the Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) first exposed and described this massive hole in White House email records last April.
Now CNN's Jack Cafferty has taken up their further discovery that as many as 10 Million e-mails have ended up in Room101 Video here read the detailed CREW Fact sheet here 2 page pdf
The White House doesn't deny that 10 million emails over a 2.5 year period are missing - the number that is reflected in internal White House documents that CREW has requested under FOI. (The period covers March of 2003 to October 2005 - that's from the illegal invasion of Iraq- exposing Plame etc., through the aftermath (Inc Abu Ghraib )to Katrina.)
So what did the White House do to that FOI request of months ago ? The legal eagles of the West Wing advanced what CREW counsel Anne Weismann as a "newly minted legal theory that the Office of Administration is suddenly no longer an agency subject to the FOIA."See the CREW response here
"On the White House's own website, the OA is designated as one of the few components in the Executive Office of the President subject to the FOIA. The website also provides a link to the OA's FOIA regulations and identifies an OA FOIA officer."The White House (via Scott Stanzel) took a sniffy and gloriously vacuous stance ..
"CREW has yet to provide any basis for their assertions -- be it their original assertion, or their new claim. We are aware that some e-mails may not have been automatically archived in the past, but they may be available on backup tapes. Unlike what the liberal group CREW has asserted, we've never been without a backup system. The Office of Administration at the White House has been maintaining and preserving backup tapes for the official email system."
Just look at the lovely weasel word "may", dontcha just love lawyers ? we "may" not have archived records, we "may" have them available.
...and dontcha just love that "L" word ...CREW are "liberals"....and not only that there is a whole ..er..group of 'em out there. Scary.
GWU National Security Archive are on to the case as well here with links to details of pleas etc.,
The Archive filed this case on September 5, 2007, against the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and its components seeking to recover at least 5 million federal e-mail records improperly deleted by the EOP. After the government failed to provide adequate assurances that backups and copies of the missing e-mail would be preserved throughout this litigation, on October 11, 2007, CREW filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the White House defendants in its case. A hearing in CREW’s case was held before Magistrate Judge Facciola on October 17, 2007. Magistrate Judge Facciola issued a Report and Recommendation on October 19, 2007, advising the Court to grant a temporary restraining order. The government has filed objections to Magistrate Judge Facciola’s Report and Recommendation, and CREW has responded to the government’s objections.It's like the warrantless surveillance case by the EFF - this simply will not go away Mr President.
Get the background and history of White House e-mail here
PS : Iowa born, bred and educated (IS - Outstanding Young Alumni - Degree in Journalism) Scott Stanzel joined the Bush for President campaign in Iowa in 1999. After Bush won the Iowa Caucuses, Stanzel became a media coordinator in the Bush for President headquarters in Austin, Texas. After serving on the famous Florida recount team, Stanzel became a Spokesman in the Office of Media Affairs at the White House, dealing with the regional press.
In 2004, he became the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign press secretary. After the campaign, he joined Microsoft as a Senior Public Affairs Manager( so plenty of tech savvy on hand to find missing e-mails then ) until he joined the Tony Snow media circus. Checkout his blog here
Scott was the guy who took the softballs when the President announced commuting Scooter's 30 month sentence.