Lost Bush Era Email Message Excuses, Delays Persist

On The Media's cleverly titled report "Delete All" documents an ongoing attempt by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) and GMU's National Security Archive to obtain "lost" | "deleted" (nonexistent?) email from the Bush Administration. CREW told Bob Garfield today that they believe the Obama Administration has yet to demonstrate their full commitment to transparency, at least where this subject is concerned.

As CREW's Chief Counsel Anne Weisemann noted in a separate Wired story, the federal appeals court ruling was unhelpful, but "starting with his own offices, President Obama now has the perfect opportunity to make good on his promise of transparency." The White House Office of Administration is claiming that they're not an agency, so they need not comply with FOIA. CREW and, according to Wired, 36 other groups, sent a letter to the Obama Administration requesting a better outcome than they secured from the Bush Administration.

Speaking as an IT professional, most galling of all is the claim that the email has gone missing or unavailable due to "problems with the email system." Um, right. The email system for the White House is probably run on PhP Horde with support from some part time student in Bulgaria. GMU's National Security Archive advises that as of January 2009, the White House "had not recovered files from computer workstations or collected external computer storage media that may contain missing emails."

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