Two watchdog groups – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive – have announced that the Obama administration has uncovered 22 million pieces of email that were sent under the Bush administration, and that had gone ‘missing’. The discovery was made pursuant to – and has lead to the settling of – lawsuits filed by both groups against the Executive Office of the President over the Bush administration’s alleged failure to install an adequate record-keeping system for electronic records, including email, as required by Federal law.
Said Meredith Fuchs, counsel for the National Security Archive, “Many poor choices were made during the Bush administration, and there was little concern about the availability of email records despite the fact that they were contending with regular subpoenas for records and had a legal obligation to preserve their records.”
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Observed CREW’s executive director, Melanie Sloan, “We may never discover the full story of what happened here. It seems like they just didn’t want the emails preserved,” adding that the sheer number of “missing” email “gives us confirmation that the Bush administration lied when they said no emails were missing.”
In fact, the 22 million pieces of email unearthed represent 3 months worth of email (94 days, to be exact).
That email was not deleted, however – it was mislabled, which could suggest that it was ineptness, rather than an intentional effort to lose the email, that lead to the email being deemed missing.
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