White House Admits Recycling Tapes, Hedges on Missing E-Mail

By Chris Maxcer
E-Commerce Times
Part of the ECT News Network  

Conflict is igniting over official White House e-mails that some say have gone missing, though the Bush administration has officially denied that there is any reason to believe any have been lost. Others contend that the White House is well aware that e-mail for some executive offices of the President was not archived for up to 473 days. Rep. Henry Waxman has called for a hearing.

There are conflicting reports coming out of Washington surrounding missing White House e-mails as well as conflicting statements coming from the White House press room. A hearing has been scheduled by Democratic Calif. Rep. Henry Waxman to investigate comments from White House spokesperson Tony Fratto asserting that he had no reason to believe any e-mails are missing.

Meanwhile, a White House chart that was used behind closed doors reportedly showed that e-mail  for some executive offices of the President was not archived on 473 days.

The public learned of the chart when it was noted in a White House declaration filed Tuesday in response to lawsuits started by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive, an independent, non-government research organization. In this case, Magistrate Judge John Facciola issued an order earlier this month that required the White House to answer four questions concerning back-up copies of the millions of e-mails apparently missing from White House servers.

In addition, the court-ordered declaration revealed that the White House routinely recycled its backup tapes of e-mail before October 2003, which means that e-mails between White House officials surrounding possible discussions about leaking a CIA officer’s identity to reporters may be forever erased.

For more see Tech News World.

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