12.16.2007

10 Million + Emails... "Lost"





Still think the Badministration gives a crap about the Constitution? Think again.

The e-mails in question date from March 2003 to October 2005 — a crucial period that includes the Iraq invasion, a presidential election and Hurricane Katrina.

1994: Executive Office of the President (EOP) implements Automated Records Management System (ARMS) integration with e-mail clients for secure archiving of White House e-mails. ARMS automatically segregate, categorizes and archives e-mails according to whether they fall under Presidential Records Act or Federal Records Act.

1996-1998: White House IT staffer claims in U.S. District Court affidavits that e-mails coming into one White House server were not archived over a 27-month period.

1997: White House Staff manual establishes policy for staff to only use ARMS-supported e-mail clients (Lotus Notes and Oasis All-In-1) for all official communications.

2002-2003: Executive Office of the President switches from Lotus Notes to Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) Exchange Server and Outlook e-mail client. ARMS integration with Lotus Notes discontinued, not replaced with similar secure archival system for Microsoft Outlook. Presidential records and federal records no longer segregated and archived in separate storage servers.

March 2003-October 2005: Some 5 million EOP e-mails deleted from servers, representing hundreds of days of missing created or received White House e-mails, according to Office of Administration.

Oct. 2005: In response to government subpoenas, OA discovers missing e-mails, begins investigating how this happened.

Feb. 2006: CIA leak case prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald writes that numerous White House emails from 2003 are missing from White House computer archives.

April 2007: White House Press Secretary Dana Perino "wouldn't rule out" that 5 million e-mails lost in EOP system. Perino later says they "should be" on backup tapes. To date, White House has not shown evidence of the missing e-mails being restored via backup tapes.

May 2007: OA counsel Keith Roberts tells House Oversight Committee an outside IT contractor was responsible for "daily audits" of e-mail archive system.

Aug. 2007: Oversight Committee chair Henry Waxman asks White House to name unnamed IT contractor by Sept. 10. As of Oct. 3, committee has not received an answer.

--With additional reporting by Joseph F. Kovar.


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