Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, February 23, 2009 8:19 pm

Open up

After promising more transparency in his administration than we got during the Bush years, President Obama is playing a tune from the Bush songbook:

The Obama administration, siding with former President George W. Bush, is trying to kill a lawsuit that seeks to recover what could be millions of missing White House e-mails.

Two advocacy groups suing the Executive Office of the President say that large amounts of White House e-mail documenting Bush’s eight years in office may still be missing, and that the government must undertake an extensive recovery effort. They expressed disappointment that Obama’s Justice Department is continuing the Bush administration’s bid to get the lawsuits dismissed.

During its first term, the Bush White House failed to install electronic record-keeping for e-mail when it switched to a new system, resulting in millions of messages that could not be found.

The Bush White House discovered the problem in 2005 and rejected a proposed solution.

Recently, the Bush White House said it had located 14 million e-mails that were misplaced and that the White House had restored hundreds of thousands of other e-mails from computer backup tapes.

The steps the White House took are inadequate, one of the two groups, the National Security Archive, told a federal judge in court papers filed Friday.

I’ll grant the possibility that making some of those e-mails public could harm national security. But one of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit is the National Security Archive, which, I suspect, knows how to handle documents relating to national security.

And it’s likely that the vast majority of these e-mails, if they do any harm at all, will do no more than momentarily embarrass the writers. That’s a small price to pay for a government we can keep an eye on.

Holding those e-mails back was wrong when Bush did it. It’s still wrong now under Obama.

1 Comment

  1. […] we can’t say we weren’t warned. Leave a […]

    Pingback by Meet the new boss jailer « Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Monday, June 29, 2009 8:55 pm @ 8:55 pm

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