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Tilting at Windmills

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June 18, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

QUOTE OF THE DAY....From White House flack Tony Snow, reacting to the news that 140,000 of Karl Rove's email messages have been lost:

That is a whole lot of email.

Sure, but most of it was probably just Viagra come-ons. So, you know, there was no real reason to bother archiving this stuff.

Kevin Drum 6:26 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (69)

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60 something a day, not a high price to pay for the warm feeling of having all those nasty records eraseable.

Posted by: supersaurus on June 18, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals are stretching to find some evidence, any evidence, no matter how flimsy and preprosturous, to square a circle by proving that this basic truth is false: Republicans have character, morals, and ethics, and the Democrats have none of these traits. But God given truths can never be proved to be false no matter how much you try.

Posted by: gregor on June 18, 2007 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

E-mail- carried on the internet- Al Gore invented the internet. What a guy! Thank's Al!

I think what you meant to say is:

"I'm appalled at the shamelessness of an administration that would stoop so low as to hide its official communications to avoid prosecution for crimes it was fully aware it was committing, and I'm further galled at the complicity of the Republican Party which willingly destroyed all the evidence when it came into public awareness."

And let me just say I'm as outraged as you are.

Posted by: tRex on June 18, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like another job for Patrick Fitzgerald... someone should goto jail for this, I am predicting another Fitzmas this year!

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 18, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure that, even over 4 years, even Karl Rove didn't actually send/receive 140k legitimate business-related emails.

I'm sure the bulk of them is spam.

However, if even ONE is lost, because it was done through an outside address, it's a CRIME.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 18, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

"most of it was probably just Viagra come-ons"

Or, y'know, Jeff Gannon come-ons.

Posted by: The Confidence Man on June 18, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone have a list of the trolls? I had to reinstall my operating system, and now need to update the GreaseMonkey Script.

Thanks.

Posted by: absent observer on June 18, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

osama_been_forgotten: I disagree with you there, it is easily possible that rove could have sent/received that many emails, and I don't mean viagra ads. do the math.

Posted by: supersaurus on June 18, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

What's this remind me of?

Hmm, let's see . . . oh, yes, Hillary's missing billing records.

And we know how understanding the Republicans then were.

If Hillary not lsong file in the White House prooves she's a crook, then erasing 140,000 email messages ought to be another charge in the indictment when we finally impeach Bush.

Posted by: Auto on June 18, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin--I was pleased as punch and warm as toast when I opened Washington Monthly and noted you were addressing this issue!

More:
Submitted by crew on 12 April 2007 - 2:27pm. Bush Administration Presidential Records Act
Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government issued a new report, WITHOUT A TRACE: The Missing White House Emails and Violations of the PRA, and made the shocking new disclosure that the Bush White House has lost over FIVE MILLION e-mails in a two year period. The report also details the legal issues behind the growing controversy over the White House e-mail scandal.

Through two confidential sources, CREW learned that the Executive Office of the President (EOP) has lost over FIVE MILLION emails generated between March 2003 and October 2005. The White House counsel’s office was advised of these problems in 2005 and CREW has been told that the White House was given a plan of action to recover these emails, but to date nothing has been done to rectify this significant loss of records.

Our Executive Director, Melanie Sloan, issued the following statement after learning of the revelation:

It’s clear that the White House has been willfully violating the law, the only question now is to what extent? The ever changing excuses offered by the administration – that they didn’t want to violate the Hatch Act, that staff wasn’t clear on the law – are patently ridiculous. Very convenient that embarrassing – and potentially incriminating – emails have gone missing. It’s the Nixon White House all over again.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 18, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'll betcha Inkblot swallowed all the missing Rove emails. That's why he is so portly.

And notice that Inkblot has lost weight lately - probably a result of Fitz telling Rove to stop sending Inkblot his mail to dispose of.

Cogent observation isn't it?

Posted by: Optical Weenie on June 18, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Gregor is one of the best comedians that I have herd in a long while. I always measure the character, morals and ethics of a political party by metrics.

Let us see, how many political parties have had to enter into a consent decree for voter intimidation and other acts of voter fraud? One, the Republicans. How many Presidents left office because they were going to be impeached and would have been ousted even by their own party. One, the Republicans. Go back over the past 50 years and who holds the record for indicted, convicted, resigned under a cloud officials and members of the Congress? The Republicans. Who knows how to make a marriage work? Not the Republicans. Gingrich, Guilliani, etc)

I do not say that either party has a lock on morals, ethics and character. However, too many Republicans have an almost religious belief in their own superiority. It leads to hubris and the constant history of Republicans having more scandals in this area. A little self-introspection and humility would help the Republican party a lot.

Posted by: JMOHR on June 18, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Osama's quite right. The outside accounts are criminal in themselves (sensitive government information is not to be sent to non-governmental servers), and their erasure is also criminal. If nobody goes to prison for this I don't know what the point is of having laws.

Tell me again why W shouldn't be impeached?

BTW, the trolls flailing at this, trying desperately to change the subject and/or find some pretext for bringing in Clinton/Gore, are high comedy today.

Posted by: jimBOB on June 18, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Someone remind gregor about what that 18 minute gap in the Nixon tapes was all about.

Posted by: pgl on June 18, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

OT but during the Vietnam War, didn't the media show coffins of dead troops arriving back on US soil? Also, when compiling Iraq US casualties, are only those killed directly in combat listed in the count? Are the troops that die later put on the list?

Posted by: uninformed on June 18, 2007 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

The gaps lie not in the tapes, but in ourselves!

Posted by: gregor on June 18, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

do the math.
Posted by: supersaurus on June 18, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Well; too many unknowns - we don't know what time-period this 140k number covers. The 5 million number has a time-period, but no number of message participants. So it's hard to come up with a reasonable estimate.

But a typical range for a busy professional is around 50-200 a day. (don't remember where I got that number, it's from school - it's a few years old - ); few people have the focus to process much more than that. At that level, a lot of them will remain unread (let alone un-acted on) - It's typical that when a person reaches that level, they tend to tell people to limit their email traffic. (but managers will often not do that, and simply ignore the bulk of this traffic).

So - assuming that Rove, fairly high in the organization, WANTS a paper trail for others' accountability, maybe reads 20-50 messages of a daily inflow of about 200. (times 5 days/wk, times 50 work-weeks/yr = 250) so a yearly message inflow of 50,000. Over 3 years, I guess 150k is a possibility, as an upper-limit. Depends on the size of his organization, (how many people does he directly manage?) - and his habits (does he use inbox rules, or has he established ettiquete protocol with his subordinates on what is appropriate to send, and not send). The real question is; how many of these 150k missing messages is significant?

My impression is that Rove likely has a tight operational focus, and doesn't go wide into his organization. How much of this is spam? What percentage was "conveniently" lost? These are all unknowns.

But using a third party mail server is not a legal excuse for "losing" this information.

Clinton's administration had an email-retention problem too. And they had a legitimate excuse. The email system (and the backup system) that Bush's father installed had some serious defects, that were never resolved - this was very thoroughly investigated during Zippergate (and various related "investigations"). Clinton's IT staff was cleared of all wrongdoing. It's a flagship case-study in IT-ethics classes.

Supposedly, these email-backup problems continued into the Bush 43 administration, completely unaddressed. So even had Bush's henchmen stuck to the White House email servers - there's a good chance their tracks would be covered too.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 18, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

email is lost all the time, Kevin. You don't have to invent a conspircy theory to explain it. Server crashes, getting rid of spam, cleaning hard drive, new servers, etc, etc. There are a whole host of reasons, Kevin.

Have you saved ever email you ever recieved, Kevin? I delete email all the time. Spam, joke emails, old emails, etc. It only makes sense Kevin. Or do you want the government to spend the funds for all that extra storage space. Oh yeah, I forgot, your a big government liberal who loves to spend money. Maybe we could start a new program, with its own cabinet position, called the department of extra useless storage space. I can see it now. Another new entitalment program for the liberals!

Posted by: egbert on June 18, 2007 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Also, when compiling Iraq US casualties, are only those killed directly in combat listed in the count? Are the troops that die later put on the list?

Actually, that's a very good question. Is someone who dies in a stateside hospital of his injuries a year and a day, say, after he received them listed on the books as a war death?

Posted by: Stefan on June 18, 2007 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

OBF: I wonder how many of those emails were just 1-line texts back-and-forth on a blackberry. If that's the case, Rove could easily send or receive 10 emails in an hour...it's just a running conversation over blackberry, which is a device Rove is known to make significant use of.

I think 140k "real" emails would be so much volume that they couldn't possibly all be used against him, because it's hard to determine whether he read something, and was therefore aware of, if he didn't reply to the email.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on June 18, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

yes it all makes sense, say 150k emails, say 2k apiece if you were windy, 300MiB @ $0.30/GiB for drive space, multiply in the IT markup of, say, 100X, presto, $9.00 to store them. multiply that by 88 people and pretty soon you are talking real money. of course that's if you *want* to save them, and in an administration famous for wanting to reduce the size and cost of government I can sure see how saving a few dollars on IT backup would make sense. oh, but wait, these were RNC servers? no wonder.

the thing is, if the 150k is even close to realistic, there are thousands of them sitting on people's laptops. why? because people travel and get out of reach of the server, so they keep local copies of all that stuff. I worked at a large company that had a mandatory fixed time delete policy, and guess what? everybody kept private copies (on IT backed up space no less) because they needed the records of conversations that happened over months. don't tell me all those emails are truly *gone*.

Posted by: supersaurus on June 18, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

egbert, email "lost" for those reasons is quite easily found. emails can only be truly "lost" if they are systematically erased, and even that takes some serious work. sorry to disappoint you. if the emails can't be found, they were destroyed. I know you don't want to believe that, but it's true.

Posted by: shams on June 18, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

um, Snow didn't say that 140,000 emails had been lost.

to OBF and co.: if "sensitive government information" had been sent through non-gov accounts...that may or may not constitute some sort of offense.

but the point of having non-gov email accounts is so that non-gov political business can be conducted. so, no, having non-gov email accounts is not a crime...it is an attempt to not violate the Hatch Act. so far, the primary allegation is that political business may have also been conducted through gov accounts...not the reverse.

but then you guys aren't good at figuring out what the talking point is anyway...

Posted by: Nathan on June 18, 2007 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Also, when compiling Iraq US casualties, are only those killed directly in combat listed in the count? Are the troops that die later put on the list?

Actually, that's a very good question. Is someone who dies in a stateside hospital of his injuries a year and a day, say, after he received them listed on the books as a war death?"

actually, it's not a good question. this was inquired into three years ago.

the answer, it still goes on the books as a combat fatality....(such deaths are rare btw, medical technology is such that if a serviceman survives an hour after the injury is received...the survival rate is very very high).

I believe you'll find a full breakdown of this question at icasualties.org.

Posted by: Nathan on June 18, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

And as the wonderful old saying goes....

Can you imagine the screeches of protest from the wingnuts if a Clinton had done something like that?

Best guess.....nothing will happen in the way of any penalties. Why should it. Congress has allowed our Constitution to be raped, our laws to be broken, themselves to be lied to, their privileges to be given away in the dead of night, and a lawless "decider" to continue funding a war with no end, no plan, no limits, no measurements, and no hope......and done nothing.

Posted by: dweb on June 18, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how many of those emails were just 1-line texts back-and-forth on a blackberry.

My son recently sent/recived over 2000 text messages in one month on his cell phone. I'm sure many teens do more.

Posted by: Qwerty on June 18, 2007 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

in fact, all 140,000 Rove emails were saved:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/06/18/white.house.emails/index.html

Posted by: Nathan on June 18, 2007 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

so far, the primary allegation is that political business may have also been conducted through gov accounts...not the reverse.

No, one of the main allegations is exactly the reverse, that they were attempting to hide government business from oversight by using non-government accounts to do so, in particular government business related to the firing of US Attorneys.

but then you guys aren't good at figuring out what the talking point is anyway...

I see Nathan's been taking his recommended daily dose of irony....

Posted by: Stefan on June 18, 2007 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

thanks for the info

Posted by: uninformed on June 18, 2007 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

viagra come-ons? they archive spam received? or are you implying that rove is sending that crap out? ;)

something tells me all my apolitical coworkers would be a lot more pissed off at rove if he were a spammer than any of his actual misdeeds.

Posted by: gorillagogo on June 18, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

clearly you are confusing Snow's email with Rush's. As you know they are two very different peo... oh wait... never mind.

Posted by: paulo on June 18, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Clearly the Nixon administration was a dress rehearsal for the first decade of the 21st Century.

It has succeeded well beyond the dreams of its creators and actors. Thank you Bill. Thank you Nader. Thank you Gore. Thank you Kerry. Thank you Nancy. Thank you Harry.

Posted by: gregor on June 18, 2007 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

"You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." --George W. Bush

It is time now to subpoena the hard drives.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 18, 2007 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

>"...during the Vietnam War, didn't the media show coffins of dead troops arriving back on US soil?"

The Bush regime declared that they prohibit media coverage of the arrival of the dead out of respect for family privacy... unless the dead are astronauts, in which case they are displayed with great fanfare.

This means that either: 1) The Bush regime is composed of lying hypocrites or 2) The Bush regime has no respect for the privacy of the astronauts families... or 3) Both of the above.

Posted by: Buford on June 18, 2007 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan spins: in fact, all 140,000 Rove emails were saved

Actually, we don't know from the CNN report how many Rove e-mails were not saved. The article does not say that the 140,000 are a complete record of Rove's RNC-addressed e-mails.

Posted by: tonktonk on June 18, 2007 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

media coverage of the arrival of U.S. war dead is not prohibited. fact.

what is true is that the military certainly doesn't help enable such coverage. but it is not (nor can it be) prohibited.

Posted by: Nathan on June 18, 2007 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

tonktonk:

the article indicates that some individuals' emails were archived (such as Rove's) while others (such as Mehlman's) were not.

I'd suggest that the Waxman report is the place to look for more on this.

Posted by: Nathan on June 18, 2007 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

From computerworld.com, focusing on computer storage:

"(Here's a side note to Congress: If the White House is telling you it lost those questionable e-mails, that means the mail client that authored the mail, the e-mail server that sent the e-mail, the e-mail server that received the e-mail and the e-mail client on the other end all lost the same e-mail -- a rather unlikely scenario, I think.)"

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 18, 2007 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

offtopic, but my computer had a total brain meltdown last week and I had to reinstall the operating system, also.

Is this going around?

Posted by: cld on June 18, 2007 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: Waxman says: "The RNC has preserved 140,216 e-mails sent or received by Karl Rove. Over half of these e-mails (75,374) were sent to or received from individuals using official “.gov” e-mail accounts...The RNC has preserved 140,216 e-mails sent or received by Karl Rove. Over half of these e-mails (75,374) were sent to or received from individuals using official “.gov” e-mail accounts."

Again, there is no indication in the CNN report or by Waxman's committee that Rove's saved e-mails are a complete record. Of course, we could give Rove the benefit of the doubt.

http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1362

Posted by: tonktonk on June 18, 2007 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus - the law states that the Bush administration MUST save email but, of course Bush reacts with indifference to law - as always.

Bush is a criminal.

Is this the Christian president that the Catholic Church wanted me, and scores of my fellow parishionersto to vote for - as if somehow abortion is everything – yet other criminal acts need not apply....WHY yes it is.

Makes me wonder if the Catholic Church is more mafia that Christian, it's looks like the church doesn't like the rule of law either. I mean, the way they cater to Bush and all his illegal acts. It's a bit like hiding pedophile activities and simply pretending that victimizing the children of the parish doesn’t exist, doesn't matter and isn't real, but is real and it is a sin.

I remember that Eric Schaeffer wrote a letter of resignation - his self sacrifice was ignored by our US elite press members. He quit, he's un-employed - but fuck him, who was he but a employed idiot, via jerks news members like Mr. Keller, the editor of NYT who likes to play footies with Karl Rove and every nasty Leonard Downie, Jr., who says there is NO civil war in Iraq - anything for his Judith Miller elite access devoid of facts, and his love for Bushies’s criminal ways.

YEAH, its hot topic news even if it's cheap and sorided, AND IT DOESN'T matter if Americans die for the big lie the Downie likeS to market. Who's your biggest advertiser, baby _ Must be EXXONMobil?

Bush is a criminal.

I remember that Bush had NO problem with signing that bill, that big lie about the cost of his senior drug bill right after one US Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster was threatened with his job in June 2003 if he told Congress the true cost of Bush's big Pharmaceutical k-Steet hand-out.

Bush is a criminal.

Wiretapping with out court appoval - Bush spits on US law.

I remember that Bush DIDN'T even want to go after bin Ladin because, as Richard Clark said:

Clarke that, a day after the attacks, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld pushed for a retaliatory strike on Iraq, though the evidence pointed to al Qaeda, because "there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq."

Bush is a criminal!

Bush is a criminal!

Bush is a criminal and I can't say it enough - this President, with intend to do so - lies every chance he gets and certainly our sheild law wanting media members and press member have given Bush every chance to lie.

Bush reacted with intend to lie.

I remember that BILL CLINTON, in his LOCK STEP fashon, went right along with Bushies lies .....those 16 words were just a mistake....BULLSHIT.

NOW we're being told the Obman did something bad to the Clinton's - frankly, I like to hear Obama's side - I bet it was a inside plant, particlarly since it came from Ms. Hillarys office first, imagine that....

Is Josh Marshall up to his old tricks again, to trash, to smear the way Josh did Howard Dean?

Maybe Obama needs to become an independent, in the way Howard Dean was afraid too become, and tell the Clintons were they can stick it?

I will NEVER, EVER vote for Hillary - the Clintons will LIE JUST like Bush lies.

Hillary HAS NO intention of LEAVING Iraq.


Posted by: me_again on June 18, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

tonktonk:

neither is there any indication that it is an incomplete record.

Posted by: Nathan on June 18, 2007 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Seems that Kevin got this wrong. The conversation with Snow was not about lost emails -- it was about using RNC email accounts to conduct official US govt business. The 140,000 figure was mentioned not to show how many emails had been lost, but how extensive the practice of using non-US email accounts was.

I assume Kevin will issue a correction.

Posted by: JS on June 18, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

neither is there any indication that it is an incomplete record.

Nathan: That's right. I'm sure you'll agree that you were wrong to say that all Rove's e-mails were preserved. In fact, we don't know. That's the problem.

Posted by: tonktonk on June 18, 2007 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

The 140,000 figure was mentioned not to show how many emails had been lost,

JS: that's right, its not known how many were not preserved. 140,000 is unlikely to be the correct number. 140K of Rove's were preserved. 55 officials had no e-mail preserved. The number unpreserved is likely to be many more than 140K.

I agree Kevin should stay on top of this. It could be much bigger than initial indications suggest.

Posted by: tonktonk on June 18, 2007 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Actually Nathan there is an indication that it is an incomplete record. Rover emails only retained after intervention by Pat Fitzgerald. emails prior to said intervention are stated to be gone. You are either lying or uninformed.

Posted by: bmaz on June 18, 2007 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

tonktonk, the point here is that the issue being discussed in the Snow briefing was not what emails were lost. Rather, it was the extent to which non-govt email accounts were being used to conduct govt business, and whether this was illegal. This is how the conversation with Snow starts:

Q Waxman's committee has put out an interim report on the issue of the RNC emails showing, they say, that there was more use of those emails than the White House suggested, indicating possibly widespread violation of the Presidential Records Act. It's, like, 140,000 emails of Rove's, so the White House Counsel's Office is aware that official business was being conducted through this party (inaudible) system?

The 140K figure was mentioned to emphasize the extent of such possible illegal use of non-govt email accounts.

Emails being deleted by the RNC is a separate issue -- not the one being discussed at that point. Evidently, Rove's email account (the 140K messages) is one of 37 that were not deleted.

Posted by: JS on June 18, 2007 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "Sure, but most of it was probably just Viagra come-ons."

Which was probably received as a direct result of all that internet porn they downloaded from links affiliated with Jeff Gannon's gay-for-pay website.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 18, 2007 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

bmaz:

that was reported at one time. but the Waxman report apparently doesn't assert that. so it's not clear that the old allegation is correct.

Posted by: Nathan on June 18, 2007 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

The 140K figure was mentioned to emphasize the extent of such possible illegal use of non-govt email accounts.

JS: you're right, and all the evidence suggests that the number of e-mails sent and received through RNC e-mail for users with .gov addresses vastly exceeds 140K. The scope of the illegality is vastly larger than Kevin's post suggests. I'm with you -- I hope he corrects this, too.

(And this doesn't count Bush-Cheney '04 who have not yet cooperated with the committee.)

Posted by: tonktonk on June 18, 2007 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bush and his henchmen have always valued secrecy over openness in government. Of course, with his long history of criminality, that should not be too surprising. Bush sought to hide his dad’s presidential papers in 2001,which would have likely revealed some nasty family secrets like the “backloading” of cocaine into the United States that Bush Sr. approved during the illegal arming of the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua or how he helped secretly arm Saddam Hussein during the 1980’s.

Then, of course, two-time drunk driver Dick Cheney held secret energy meetings with Big Oil and then lied about it and withheld the transcripts from the American people – who he is supposed to work for.

So, why should we be surprised that Rove used a secret e-mail back channel to circumvent government record retention rules and formulate political mischief and hatchet jobs against Democrats? And why should we be surprised when the Democrats do nothing about it?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 18, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

I have been cranky lately, should not have used word liar. However, Rove's own lawyer, Bob Luskin, has specifically confirmed that information.

Posted by: bmaz on June 18, 2007 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Given the RNC history with dirty tricks, any email archives in its possession, even if not deleted, should probably be considered tainted and unreliable. Why assume that emails archived by the RNC have not been tampered with?

This is why bypassing government record-keeping regulations is the main issue here.

Posted by: JS on June 18, 2007 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

bmaz:Rover emails only retained after intervention by Pat Fitzgerald. emails prior to said intervention are stated to be gone. You are either lying or uninformed.

Nathan:that was reported at one time. but the Waxman report apparently doesn't assert that. so it's not clear that the old allegation is correct.

Ahem. From the report by the Oversight Committee:

The RNC has preserved only 130 e-mails sent to Mr. Rove during President Bush’s first term and no e-mails sent by Mr. Rove prior to November 2003. For many other White House officials, the RNC has no e-mails from before the fall of 2006.

bmaz has you dead to rights, Nathan. Time for you to disappear again for a few months until you think it's blown over.

Posted by: tRex on June 18, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

This is why bypassing government record-keeping regulations is the main issue here.

I think there are two issues. Was the PRA violated? (That one seems pretty clear.) Then: why was it violated. Why was so much government business hidden from public view in violation of the law? Waxman (and other committee chairs) will not be indifferent to the content of those e-mails.

Posted by: tonktonk on June 18, 2007 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

media coverage of the arrival of U.S. war dead is not prohibited. fact. what is true is that the military certainly doesn't help enable such coverage. but it is not (nor can it be) prohibited.

It can certainly be prohibited in practice if not in law if the military doesn't allow the media onto the bases to record the flights arriving.

Posted by: Stefan on June 18, 2007 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

I count four major crimes: 1. Criminal conspiracy to violate the law by using "off-site" e-mails to conduct illegal activities. 2. Clear, willful violation of the Hatch Act 3. Unbelievably massive violations of the Presidential Records Act as a matter of policy 4. Obstruction of Justice

Other tangential crimes, criminal interference in a federal investigation, intimidation of witnesses, violation of the National Security Act (which they tend not to take seriously), perjury, and probable wire fraud. Criminal negligence by the Whitehouse Attorney (Gonzales gone nuts)

These crimes probably concealed even worse ones--massive espionage act and civil rights violations, possible war crimes, and solicitation (Gannon?)

So yeah, this is a non story.

Frankly I demand impeachment. Any Republican that stands with these gangsters will have to face the verdict of their constituents and history, including Lieber-Light.


Posted by: Sparko on June 18, 2007 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

trex:

um, I'd be curious as to whether there is evidence that Rove was using such an account before November 2003.

Stefan:

some of those flights land at commercial airports. but, like I said, the military hasn't gone out of its way to give media access. there's no denying that.

Posted by: Nathan on June 18, 2007 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

me_again's disjointed rant at Bush the Criminal that concludes with an apology for Obama is indicative of the quality of support Obama is receiving these days as his campaign tanks.

Posted by: againme on June 18, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

There is plenty of evidence that RNC email accounts were used specifically in order to avoid governmental record-keeping. From CNN:

Waxman's committee released another chain of e-mails it said illustrated the type of exchange taking place on the account. The e-mails began with a February 2003 message from Abramoff to Susan Ralston, the former executive assistant to President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove.

In the chain, Abramoff advised Ralston that an upcoming Interior Department gaming compact with a Louisiana Indian tribe would be "an anathema to our supporters down there."

When an associate notified him that his e-mail had been forwarded to another White House aide, Abramoff replied, "Dammit. It was sent to Susan on her RNC pager and was not supposed to go into the WH (White House) system."


Posted by: JS on June 18, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: media coverage of the arrival of U.S. war dead is not prohibited. fact.

Cite?

And is that why I see so many pictures of the dead soldiers returning home from Iraq in caskets on the news each evening?

Nathan: um, I'd be curious as to whether there is evidence that Rove was using such an account before November 2003.

Obviously you weren't curious enough, or you could have just followed the link and read the deposition by Rove's deputy Susan Ralston pertaining to that matter:

BY MS. AMERLING: When did Karl Rove first start usìng his RNC e-mail account to send and receive e-mails from the White House?

Ralston: From day one.

Next.

Posted by: tRex on June 18, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

trex:

um, the First Amendment?

Posted by: Nathan on June 18, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'm guessing that was a Nathan parody but for the real one, here's a little help with your research:

Under a policy adopted in 1991, the Pentagon bars news organizations from photographing caskets being returned to the United States, saying publication of such photos would be insensitive to bereaved families
Posted by: tRex on June 18, 2007 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

um, the First Amendment?

Are you saying the PRA violates the First Amendment?

Good christ -- I'm just sick of the rank dishonesty, the condecension, the bullying, party above nation, smug entitlement, shamelessness, cowardice, fearmongering, and all the other shit this administration has dragged this country through over the last six year. I'm just tired of it. I'm tired of little shits like Nathan who will take any position to defend the party, defend Karl Rove. The facts prove them wrong, over and over again. And they will lie to your face, without shame. It is sociopathic. I'm tired of it.

We have a situation now where Rove et al are trying to turn to the federal government into an organ of the Republican Party. The fusion of Party with Government is fascism. I'm sorry, I just don't know how to make sense of this in a more generous way, and I'm sick of it.

So Nathan, when you defend your man, Karl Rove, is that what you want to stand for -- the conversion of the federal government into a Republican stronghold. Because that is so fundamentally at odds with the precepts of constitutional democracy, I just don't get it.

Is that really the political society in which you would want to live? The country knows what's going on, and that's why Bush is at 28%. Surely, the republic is more important to you than that excrement on the heel of democracy that is Karl Rove.

Posted by: tonk on June 18, 2007 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

What the fuck is wrong with people like Gregor? Praising democrats for losing and allowing the abortion of the Bush presidency? I know people like him can only share their views in an anonymous setting because in real life he would be laughed at or have his nose broken, but still. How can someone just hate logic and reason, and the values that have allowed humans to coexist for so long? Depressing...

Posted by: Captain on June 19, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

neither is there any indication that it is an incomplete record.

Wrong. As others have indicated, there is fairly clear evidence that it is an incomplete record of the Rove emails, and on the broader question of White House staff emails, the 51 identified accounts of current and former Bush 43 White House staff members at the RNC that were used while they were at the White House but have been deleted in their entirety are even more clear evidence that the record is "incomplete".

Really, you should occasionally try to present a remotely plausible interpretation of the facts, just for variety's sake.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2007 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

um, the First Amendment?

Um, the First Amendment forbids a lot of things the Bush regime has engaged in. That doesn't mean they don't engage in them. The Bill of Rights is just a piece of tissue paper to these criminals.

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

The spammers aren't trying to sell Viagra to the real men in the White House, but soliciting for the better stuff they use.

Posted by: James Wimberley on June 19, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Assuming that 75,000 or so of them were sent to .gov addresses, do those count as 75,000 individual counts of violating either the Presidential Records Act (if they were official business) or the Hatch Act (if they were party business involving a .gov account)??

Posted by: biggerbox on June 19, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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