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White House Tape Recycling Possibly Erased Emails 251

Posted by Soulskill
from the gee-thats-a-shame dept.
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."
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White House Tape Recycling Possibly Erased Emails

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  • Wait (Score:5, Funny)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Friday January 18, 2008 @03:29AM (#22090494) Homepage Journal
    Wait, I keep forgetting: Is recycling a good thing?
    • Re:Wait (Score:5, Interesting)

      by someone1234 (830754) on Friday January 18, 2008 @03:33AM (#22090510)
      What's good for someone is bad for someone else.
      This tape recycling is definitely good for someone.
      • Re:Wait (Score:5, Informative)

        by vought (160908) on Friday January 18, 2008 @04:01AM (#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: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by fictionpuss (1136565)
          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.

          • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Friday January 18, 2008 @08:47AM (#22091742) Homepage
            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.

            • 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.

              Have we all forgotten Bush's FIRST ACT as President?

              To secure the papers from his father's administration, which were about to become public as mandated by law?

              In their minds - they have every right to TAX us, in order to BRIBE the Telecom (Government Granted) Monopolies, to gather all of our personal
            • Yeah, that attitude clearly explains Clinton administration handling of the Rose Law Firm files.
              Or the following chronology:
              May 22, 1993
              - Judge Richey cites the Clinton White House and the acting Archivist of the United States for contempt of court for failing to carry out his order to issue new and appropriate guidelines for the preservation of the computer records of the Reagan, Bush and Clinton White House staff.

              August 13, 1993
              - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacates Judge
        • Re:Wait (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hey! (33014) on Friday January 18, 2008 @08:47AM (#22091746) Homepage Journal
          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.
          • In fact (Score:4, Insightful)

            by WindBourne (631190) on Friday January 18, 2008 @09:39AM (#22092084) Journal
            The other person who is lying here is Theresa Payton, the WH CIO. She claimed that she did not understand that these were archive tapes. ALL of clinton's email was taped in this fashion. Has been since the internet got commercialized. That means that she changed protocol. She would not have done so unless she was told that it was not an archive (zero chance of that), or she was ordered to do this by someone above her. I suspect that before this is done, she may be found guilty of perjury, conspiracy, and willful destruction of data.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by NeutronCowboy (896098)
              And just like Scooter Libby and Gonzalez, the worst that will happen to her is presidential pardon. Yes, she did that under orders, I'm convinced of that. But like a good crone, she will get a pat on the back for taking the fall. Maybe even a cushy job in a lobby agency. But I can guarantee you there will be no jail time whatsoever.
          • by dintech (998802)
            Too true. If you can afford billions on a war, a few backup tapes are probably affordable.
        • 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?
        • by beetle496 (677137) on Friday January 18, 2008 @09:26AM (#22091976) Homepage

          Never attribute to malice what can be explained by simple stupidity...
          Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.
        • by necro81 (917438)

          Never attribute to malice what can be explained by simple stupidity

          Yes, but for something as important as this - is stupidity or incompetence any better than malice? Put differently: is there a meaningful difference between the two in this case? Is one more understandable or forgivable than the other? Should the penalties for those responsible be different?

          [these are actual questions - I'm not throwing them out there to just rag on incompetents.]
    • Re:Wait (Score:5, Funny)

      by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday January 18, 2008 @03:46AM (#22090548) Homepage Journal
      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.
    • by Deadplant (212273)
      Actually, subby and the original reporter need a dictionary.
      The tapes were re-used, not recycled.
  • by jbridges (70118) on Friday January 18, 2008 @03:33AM (#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.

    • by Adambomb (118938) on Friday January 18, 2008 @03:42AM (#22090532) Journal
      The contested [wikipedia.org] Presidential Records Act [wikipedia.org] was to apply to the president and vice president. Not everyone.

      Chill dude.
      • by jbridges (70118) on Friday January 18, 2008 @04:53AM (#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.

        • 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.)
          • by tbannist (230135)
            It's simple, you make it policy to delete it because then you don't have to turn it over during discovery for a lawsuit, and it's not obstruction because you had the policy to delete them before the lawsuit began.

            Mostly, it's to limit fishing expeditions and the limit the cost of turning over that information. If you archive everything than you have 2 choices: Give the person who wants to sue you everything, or have people go and find the specific emails that the person suing you is asking for. It's much
        • 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.

          It's called "records retention policy", and it has been around since long before e-mail was common.

          Most big companies have an annual "records retention day", i.e. a records _destruction_ day, where everyone has to destroy stuff and confirm to their supervisor that they are in compliance with company policy. The policy is written to ensure that almost all communications are destroyed as soon as the law allows, and they make no bones about the fact that it's to make sure nothing comes back to bite them when

    • by coaxial (28297) on Friday January 18, 2008 @04:17AM (#22090652) Homepage
      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."
      • by tuxgeek (872962) on Friday January 18, 2008 @05:48AM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Jeremy Erwin (2054)
        Furthermore, things like this don't happen by rouge low level staffers. Decisions to destroy vital records comes from the highest levels.

        My friends, we must act now, and we must act decisively. It is clear that communist agents have infiltrated the highest levels of government.
    • by eebra82 (907996) on Friday January 18, 2008 @04:17AM (#22090656) Homepage
      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.
    • First, you are allowed private conversations, ON YOUR TIME. When you are on company, machines, etc. then no, you do not have private conversation (though you can use your cell phone). The POTUS/VPOTUS were hired for a 24x7 job. Because they were granted so many privalages, they have EXTREME power. As such, anything that they do officially is to be recorded. The problem is that W/Cheney/Rove/Libby have mixed their personal stuff with their professional. As such, ALL of it is to be recorded. Oh, btw, yes, the
    • Which part of public office do you not understand?

      This isn't about privacy rights for PRIVATE citizens.

      This is about the holders of PUBLIC office not following the very laws that pertain to them.
  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday January 18, 2008 @03:33AM (#22090516) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by opencity (582224) on Friday January 18, 2008 @03:38AM (#22090528) Homepage
    It's longer but that would have been so cool.
    Or if the gap lasted until January 22, 2005.
  • by Eternal Vigilance (573501) on Friday January 18, 2008 @03:55AM (#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."
  • by AsciiNaut (630729) on Friday January 18, 2008 @03:55AM (#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.
    • by dc29A (636871) *
      Butchering Clarke's 3d law: Any sufficiently advanced malice is indistinguishable from incompetence.
  • by secretwhistle (1116881) on Friday January 18, 2008 @03:59AM (#22090596)
    I believe that orginally read "...hopefully destroying email records from that time period."
  • by supachupa (823309) on Friday January 18, 2008 @04:16AM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1 a bee (817783) on Friday January 18, 2008 @04:17AM (#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..
    • by tinkerton (199273)
      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.
  • What's in a name? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheBearBear (1103771) on Friday January 18, 2008 @04:31AM (#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."
    • by Murphy(c) (41125)
      That has to be one of the best analogies.

      If I could I would simply say : +1 Insightful

      Murphy(c)
  • by EjectButton (618561) on Friday January 18, 2008 @04:31AM (#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.
    • by esper (11644)
      While I agree with your final conclusion, I think it's very believable that it could go unnoticed for quite some time if the backup tapes of old email (or, really, of anything) started disappearing. Aside from the sysadmin staff, nobody ever looks at the backups unless they actually need to restore from them and something's seriously wrong if you're doing restores every hour. (I spent a few years as the sysadmin at a mid-sized company of ~600 employees and only had to do restores about once a year on aver
  • by RelliK (4466) on Friday January 18, 2008 @04:33AM (#22090722)
    Cause I can summarize the current administration with one word: honest.
  • 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"?
  • by ElGanzoLoco (642888) on Friday January 18, 2008 @05:25AM (#22090880) Homepage
    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.
    • by nguy (1207026) on Friday January 18, 2008 @06:15AM (#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.
    • 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 t
    • Clinton had emails relating to current investigations deleted, even though there was a permanent archival system in place. The case over the FBI records was dropped due to insufficient evidence of wrongdoing. Coincidentally, emails about it were among those somehow deleted even from the archival system. The investigating committee called it the most significant obstruction of congressional investigations in U.S. history.
    • by sedmonds (94908)
      [blockquote]This administration will go down in history as the most egregiously shameful, dishonest, dirty in the history of the United States.
      [/blockquote]

      Until the next administration, which realizes that the line for what the American public will tolerate has not yet been reached. If there's one thing politicians are good at, it's finding new ways to fuck the public.
  • 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... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mystery00 (1100379)

    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... (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Yvanhoe (564877)
    ... are we for or against log conservation ?
    I guess some politicians discovered that it was not that convenient...
  • 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) :-)
  • They are just doing what I used to do. That is until I accidentally taped over my favorite Black Sabbath album. Dohh!
  • Since these are the backups, what happened to the primary copies?
    • Exchange can't grow forever.

      Yes, with 3rd party archiving software/hardware it technically might be able to, but this is a somewhat recent possibility.
  • White House spokesman Tony Fratto said he has no reason to believe any e-mails were deliberately destroyed."

    I am out of my mind (have no reason)

    I believe (halleluya!)

    all (any, who cares...) e-mails were deliberately destroyed!
  • The White House claimed that the erasures were part of a tape rotation that represented "Best IT Practices". Last time I checked, Best IT Practices didn't call for breaking Federal law. This is especially galling in the era of Sarbanes-Oxley, where the government (in 2002, under Republican control) placed significant burdens on businesses and their record-keeping. Seems like it is time for somebody to go to jail.
    • It is "Best Practice" to reuse backup tapes. They could have implemented email archival in a number of ways, separate from backup tape retention.

      placed significant burdens on businesses

      The EOP on the other hand, pretty much writes it's own rules. Believe it.

      Not saying this is all a good thing, but don't pin it on backup admins or politicians being savvy enough to understand how backup retention really works. Even when the policy from above is to keep for "three months", there is no guarantee that backups wont be kept longer than that.

      AFAIK, t

  • ...why they aren't using a live-capture system to make a mirror of every message the White House SMTP system handles? Yeah, I realise that that sort of thing is daunting from a general IT perspective - storage, maintenance, uptime, logistics, but it's one of those necessary things.
  • Those responsible would get their asses sued or go to jail (ask the ENRON guys). As an IT manager in corporate America, I can tell you that SARB-OX, GLBA, and HIPAA, requires us to keep all audit trails, backups, and emails for AT LEAST 7 years. We keep our stuff at Iron Mountain for 10 years, just to be safe.

    Why doesn't our Government have to adhere to the same standards? These laws were enacted to provide transparency and accountability to public companies, financial firms, and the health care industry
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Friday January 18, 2008 @10:45AM (#22092868) Homepage
    Do we see a pattern here? Not just with this administration, but in general.

    Some authority engages in controversial, borderline activity that might be illegal. It transpires that the activities were recorded (taped, logged, written in memos). Investigator tells entity to save those records. The mills of justice grind slowly. It then transpires that the records have been shredded, deleted, bulk-erased, recycled, whatever.

    Authority's spokeperson smirks*. Everybody knows darn well that the destruction was deliberate, but everybody knows darn well that there's absolutely no way to prove it.

    Nobody even needs to tell subordinates what to do in any detail. In many cases, all that's needed is to do nothing. It takes exceptional action to stop the janitor from emptying the wastebasket, stop the operator from reusing the tapes, whatever.

    In the Boston area there is a controversial school, the Judge Rotenberg Center, which uses electric shocks to train kids with behavioral problems. Recently, a kid at the center who had not done anything disruptive was subjected to a long series of shocks, on the basis of telephoned instructions from a "prank" caller. The shock treatment was taped. State investigator ordered the center to preserve the tapes. Surprise, surprise: they [wikipedia.org]were destroyed. [boston.com] Because, in the opinion of the head of the Institute, the investigation "seemed to be finished."

    I don't think there's a thing to do about this sort of stuff. But I just hope that once, just once, one of the bastards gets taped in the act of ordering the destruction of those tapes, and--

    --destroys that tape too?

    Oh well, never mind.

    *OK, I'm just imagining that smirk.
  • Where are all the people who used to defend all the early signs that Bush was worse than Nixon?

    You got us into this mess, by voting for Bush twice, and convincing other people it was OK to to do so. When your boys were riding high, you were unstoppable, especially in your bragging. Now where are you, when Bush is obviously worse than Nixon, and as bad as (or worse than) the rest of us said he was?
    • by photomonkey (987563) on Friday January 18, 2008 @05:09PM (#22100372)

      That's part of the problem with this Democracy. A turd gets elected (twice) and it's a game of fingerpointing, blaming the other 'team' for everything. This is not football.

      I, as a registered Republican (but not one who has ever even comes close to voting a straight ticket) voted for Bush on the first go-around, and against him on the second.

      The Democrat bastards I helped vote into office on the second go-around appear to be every bit as colluding, impotent and worthless as the last lot of idiots on the other side of the aisle.

      It's ok, though. You don't like the way things are going? Just blame the party you're not a part of (right or wrong) and hang the rest on everyone else. Thou dost protest too much.

      You know, we can keep ourselves busy bitching, or getting out there and doing something about it. The national politicians, almost without exception start their careers at the local and state level. In addition to writing letters to the people currently holding Federal office, be proactive in your state and community to make sure the people presently getting elected at the State and local levels are the kinds of people you might eventually want on the Hill or in the White House.

      Also, get involved with whatever party your a member of, and start actively setting standards and goals at the lowest levels of the party.

      Not many people are happy with this administration, and I'm certainly not either. But every moment spent bitching, complaining and blaming is time detracted from getting out there and making a difference.

      For what it's worth, the current crop of buffoons vying for the White House are nearly imperceptible from the last bunch of idiots. With the possible exception of John Edwards.

      But that's fine. We can just all sit back and treat this like the Super Bowl, throwing popcorn at the TV when our guy wins or loses, and then quite possibly spending the next four years wishing things had gone differently, passing our time with childish infighting.

  • If they keep "accidentally" losing and erasing eviden---- history, all that will be left for bush's presidential* library will be a once read copy of "My Pet Goat" and a Lee Greenwood CD.
  • then every american can read the email of every politician and bureaucrat in the US government. Our votes put them in office. Our taxes pay their salary, the computers they use, office supplies, etc. Any email they send on our time and through our equipment must be open to any American and thus be preserved for future investigation and historical study. Especially the top secret stuff that for reasons of national security are restricted from contemporary open examination. Anything else and the government is

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