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Emails on the Iraq War, CIA operative name leaks, and actions by the U.S. Justice Department were accidentally taped over; now one Judge demands answers

Federal Judge The ruling pertained to the case of Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics watchdog group's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for access to White House email.  When access was not granted, the group sued the White House Office of Administration in May, demanding access under the FOIA.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly ruled this week that the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics could submit a plan for discovery to the court by February 21, 2008.  If the plan was acceptable the case will proceed to a discovery phase where the group can question White House officials.  The goal of the discovery process is determined whether the White House is subject to FOI request, or whether it has immunity from them as White House officials have insisted.

The ruling to allow the case to proceed to discovery is a clear victory for the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and a headache for the White House.  The nonprofit group demands access to emails concerning several contentious issues, including the reasons for launching the Iraq War, the release of a CIA operative's name and actions by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The White House Administration says that it can not comply as the emails are destroyed.  The White House admits it routinely copied over its backup tapes from 2001 to 2003, destroying most of the previous contents.  The White House claims this is an innocent record keeping error, while some groups and individuals argue that its a willful attempt to destroy their digital paper-trail.

Presidential historian and author Robert Dallek stated, "Given how secretive this administration has been, it of course fans the flames and suspicions about what has been destroyed here. I hope we'll get an investigation."

The subsequent case by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics is drawing a surprising following -- computer storage experts.  Storage experts showcase the case as a need to implement effective backup systems to avoid legal hassles.  If you've got nothing to hide, don't make it look like you're hiding something, back it up, they say. 

Mike Osterman, president of Black Diamond, Wash. based Osterman Research Inc. says that many large businesses and organization operate under the false premise that email is not part of their business record.  He complains, "A lot of people are not implementing e-mail archiving [processes]; they're saving e-mail, but not in a cohesive or consistent way.  Companies can say 'Yes, we need to archive,' but [the process] must be policy-driven and taken out of users' hands."

He describes the White House's woes as a good learning experience, calling it a "good shot across the bow and a very good lesson for senior managers."

This exact principle landed Intel in legal trouble last year when AMD alleged the company carelessly destroyed backups pertinent to antitrust litigation. 

Another expert, Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group states that many entities lack the ability to optimize backups and make crucial data easy to get ahold of.  Whitehouse points out that people trend to two extremes -- paranoia or carelessness.  She states, "Everyone is afraid to throw anything away. All that [stored data] on the production system isn't pruned. It's all just continually backed up.  [Paranoia] is a characteristic of a lot of companies out there, and they're not repeatedly optimizing their backups."

Whitehouse says, "As unsexy as it is, we need to make sure we're doing it right and we have the right level of resources applied to [backup]."

Meanwhile the White House is left to try to develop a defense to establish that its negligence was accidental and not willful.


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Freedom v. Ethics
By Fnoob on 2/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Ringold on 2/16/2008 7:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
On the one hand, I agree entirely.

On the other.. Destroying tapes is destroying history . We can now look back at things like the Cuban Missle Crisis with amazing insight, but if too much was destroyed we could possibly never get a clear look at the run up to Iraq. I'd rather they save everything and then release it in time.

Some of this is just obvious political BS anyway. The guy that leaked Plame's identity already admitted to doing so (though of course nothing was done to him, they went after the sacrificial lamb instead). The Iraq emails could be interesting, but sounds like a mere political election year tool. What do they hope to achieve? Impeachment with subsequent removal from office when he's got all of 5 seconds left in office? Tear the nation apart to get him out a few months early at best? Good move.

Some people recently got Ben Bernanke's day planner released with a FOI request; what the hell business is it who our Federal Reserve Chairman has lunch with? Beyond that, there's an argument out there that the Fed Reserve should be opaque to a degree; when the people look past the wizard and see the man behind the curtain, the Fed appears to lose effectiveness. If it really does or not.. I think thats an open issue right now. Anyway, some of these are frivolous at best, needless violations of privacy at worst.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Brigandier on 2/17/2008 12:05:58 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly, they can have their security but not at the sacrifice of history. The erasing of the emails casts the entire process in a suspicious light, why erase emails unless you have something to hide. This isn't a Bush thing, this is a national government throwing citizens lack of power in their face. A good government is afraid of the people...


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Fnoob on 2/17/2008 9:38:12 AM , Rating: 1
security but not at the sacrifice of history

Umm, enjoy that history book which, may/may not, be legal under sharia law.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By kiwik on 2/17/2008 12:22:15 PM , Rating: 1
What does the Sharia has to do with all this?


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Fnoob on 2/18/2008 9:13:59 AM , Rating: 1
Do just a bit of research on Sharia and the UK. It's a preview of what we will soon see here.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Ringold on 2/17/2008 7:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
We aren't speaking Russian nor are we bowing to Moscow, and yet we've preserved much of what occured during the Cold War. I don't see your point.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By encryptkeeper on 2/18/2008 8:49:55 AM , Rating: 3
Here's the other thing. The mandate that emails be preserved was designed to be one tool the government could use to find illicit activity in businesses. Accidental destruction? This is the WHITE HOUSE. They have access to the most powerful equipment and best people our tax dollars can buy. The officials involved deserve a fair investigation, just like anyone else under due process. And don't think the government would ever hesitate to slam a company under THEIR investigation for deleting emails that they believed would show proof of illicit activities. The truth is this administration has been crying 'executive privilege' to cover their own asses. Now they're trying to do it to protect phone companies they looped into their illegal listening schemes, since they know they're facing consumer backlash.

The biggest problem is, they spent three years after the September 11th attacks trying to scare America into thinking no one could protect us from terrorism but them. Now they believe the in their own scare tactics.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By DRMichael on 2/18/2008 9:23:33 AM , Rating: 5
Save your Bush-Hating rants; this is NOT about the Bush Administration.

In case you haven’t heard. This is NOT the Bush Administration trying to keep things from the public illegally. This is an attempt by a watchdog group to get at the emails of the Office of Administration. The intent of the group is without doubt politically motivated. They are attempting to fish for dirt on the Bush Administration through internal emails of this non-political entity. Again, I repeat: This is not the Bush Administration trying to do anything illegal. This is simply office and support personnel for the Executive Branch. This is news because up until now the Office of Administration has not been subject to the Freedom of Information Act; during ANY Administration.

This should be an Eye-Opener to how the media manipulates a story and fuels the divide in this country. While most of the participants in these threads are fairly educated and will research information, the rest of the population takes news as gospel. Don’t get me wrong, I love open debate on policy issues; it’s what makes this country great. However, when intentional deception is used to turn debate into hate, it becomes destructive.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By UNCjigga on 2/18/2008 1:49:21 PM , Rating: 2
Well, at this rate the George W. Bush Presidential Library will be the size of your typical "Hudson News" at the airport.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Ringold on 2/18/2008 9:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I should read closer, if thats accurate the way you're representing it. I stand by that destroying emails is destroying history (since, you know, we dont use papyrus these days), and I think thats a pretty defendable position, but that adds a different flavor to the accusations being lobbed around entirely. Excellent catch.

What amused me more recently about the media bias is how Hillary has been feeling the full effect of left-wing bias, with the media milking Obama's popularity for everything its worth, clearly trying to create the sense of inevitability so he can move on in land slide. Sorry, Hillary, but the vast right wing conspiracy couldn't of even managed to pull this one off.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By audiomaniaca on 2/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Fnoob on 2/17/2008 9:34:53 AM , Rating: 1
And there are apparently plenty here ready to rate you up....

~sighs

There are those in THIS COUNTRY who would like nothing more than to telegraph all of our dirty laundry and state secrets to our enemies. Sure, 30 years later, it would have been nice to have access to them in a FOI request, but not now, in the midst of a war. Our laughably skewed media side with the rest of you hard core liberal types - you would rather us LOSE the war, just to make the GOP look bad. Which of course, makes you all morons.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By JS on 2/17/2008 9:44:53 AM , Rating: 5
The idea is that there should not be any dirty laundry to hide.

Even the military, the CIA and the administration need to follow the constitution and the law. There is plenty of room for classification of their activities, but the basis of that classification is regulated by law. They can't just classify the stuff they're ashamed of on a whim.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By rsmech on 2/17/2008 11:14:23 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The idea is that there should not be any dirty laundry to hide.


One mans trash is anothers treasure.

Point 1:
They want to know what was their reasoning for the Iraq war. This is not critical at this time. This is a distraction. We are there, what are we going to do? Either stay & fight or leave, their reasoning for the war is irrelevant at this time. If you feel we shouldn't be there then vote us out. One reason they want to find out why they went is to pull out because of those reasons. To say we shouldn't have been there. If you don't think we should be there quit looking for excuses or blaming others. If your reasoning is valid it should stand on it's own, or do you need a scapegoat.

Point 2:
They want to know about the outing of a CIA operative. Well wouldn't that be nice considering that a member of this group is part of the legal council for this CIA operative. Works out nice for her case to use the resources of this non profit for her profit.

Point 3: It comes from both sides, this is about politics & power. Not about the country. Elections are just about choosing the lesser of 2 evils.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Oregonian2 on 2/18/2008 2:30:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They want to know what was their reasoning for the Iraq war. This is not critical at this time. This is a distraction. We are there, what are we going to do? Either stay & fight or leave, their reasoning for the war is irrelevant at this time


Has someone erased the CSPAN tapes from that time when congress discussed, voted upon, and approved the Iraq war?

Releasing email would be interesting though just to see just how much SPAM they get and from whom. :-)


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Magius on 2/17/2008 11:10:04 AM , Rating: 1
I agree with you to some extent. There are some things that can't come out in the open. At least not for the time being. Time tables, operatives, foreign contacts, etc. all need to be protected. HOWEVER, the administration has been taking a lot of liberties in their interpretation of the law and that needs to be investigated.

For example, and you will understand this one since you are so keen to the secrecy... Would you want to bring the persons, the real ones, responsible for revealing that CIA agent's name? We know it came from the White House, but for all the hoopla the real culprits were never prosecuted.

Some people might say it is not as big as it seems, she just lost her career, blah blah. It goes deeper than that. By revealing her name every person she was close to (read: contacts) while she was overseas is probably dead/incarcerated/running already. That doesn't help us in our war, does it? Nor does it help if we need new allies, does it?

And that is only one reason why having those emails is important. A precedent need to be set that the administration cannot abuse its powers. It is definitively NOT above the law. It cannot brake it and say "if I do it it is all right, otherwise the bogeyman will get you at night".

Given you make your affiliation pretty obvious, think what would your reaction be had all this been done by the other party. Would you be calling for their blood then?

As for the skewed media, it goes both ways, check FOX News any time you want.

And neither side looks good to me either. The GOP is very, very fond of using scare tactics as of late. Check Romney's goodbye speech, voting anything other than republican will bring this county to it's knees or as he put it "become the 21st century French"... what? and the other side seems to hang on to every local crisis to act. Good example, when Hillary was promising legislation to control those evil video games (after a shooting at some school/college campus) without any real evidence.

Both sides are cut from the same cloth...


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Fnoob on 2/17/2008 12:21:26 PM , Rating: 1
Given you make your affiliation pretty obvious

Devout Libertarian?

Both sides are cut from the same cloth

Couldn't agree more. Equally disgusted...

As for the skewed media, it goes both ways, check FOX News any time you want.

Sure, FOX is right. ALL of the others are left. At least you have to acknowledge the concept of "fair and balanced" is at least a good concept - if not it's implementation.

Has the Bush whitehouse been anything other than a complete disappointment? Almost entirely. However, I do believe that both Gore and/or Kerry, and now Obama and/or Clinton would rather have us fighting a war on our own soil. That's Bush's only saving grace. He has the balls to take the fight to the enemy. Has it gone well? Hell no. Is it a total clusterfk? Absolutely. Did we really need to go into Iraq in the first place? Nope.

So imagine you find yourself procecuting a war like none before it, requiring development of tactics and strategy more or less 'on the fly'. Are you going to make some huge blunders? Most likely. Would you find it helpful or harmful to have the vast majority of your own people and press virtually PRAYING for your failure? Do you suppose that under those stressfull conditions, you might say or do something that would NOT be in the best interest of the country to have published?

I suppose the better title of this thread should have been: Idealism v. Freedom v. Ethics - PICK ONE.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By JS on 2/17/2008 3:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if the vast majority of the country wants something as you say, that something is by definition in the best interest of the country.

Stressful conditions is not an excuse for bad decisions (ask any soldier, doctor or cop), and even less so for breaking/circumventing the law.

If it indeed is stressful conditions behind it all as you say, the president should at least be man enough to admit that he is not man enough for the job.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Ringold on 2/17/2008 7:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well, if the vast majority of the country wants something as you say, that something is by definition in the best interest of the country.


What? That, sir, is precisely why we have a health care problem in this nation. We want our fast food, our tasty food, our fattening and cheap food, and we get it. It is not what is best for us.. but of course, we have a right to eat it anyway.

The same applies to government. People wanted peace and non-interference when Germany rolled over France and bombed the living daylights out of England. Roosevelt, in his wisdom, spooled up the propaganda machine, lied to insure he won re-election, broke international law to aid England, and waited until necessary provocation was given to enter the war. The people wanted peace. Roosevelt gave what was best for them, which was war.

You have read a few history books, right? :P If democracy has any weakness, it's the occasional ignorance and malice of the masses.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By JS on 2/17/2008 8:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
I am fully aware that what you want is not always what is best for you. That is not the point.

The point in case is that the administration does not get to decide what illegal/suspect activities of theirs are best left in the dark "for the good of the nation". Any administration will always motivate whatever they do with this argument (Nixon for example).

Ultimately it is the public and the law who get to decide what is in the nation's interest and the means to achieve it. If not, well, then it's just not democracy anymore.

And if a dictatorship has any weakness, it is the almost ubiquitous ignorance and malice of its leaders.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Ringold on 2/18/2008 10:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for archiving the records, I've said that much. But I wouldn't say Lincoln or Roosevelt had ignorance nor malice. We had dictators in Lincoln and Roosevelt both by your criteria, and Lincoln may/may not have been re-elected, but Roosevelt got a third re-election even after people had ample time to look around and realize freedom had gone out the door long, long ago. Difference is, that war was more obvious; Germans and Japanese alike had their uniforms and didnt try to hide it.

quote:
Ultimately it is the public and the law who get to decide what is in the nation's interest and the means to achieve it. If not, well, then it's just not democracy anymore.


They make decisions on our behalf, we elect presidents every 4 years. If we don't like it, they're gone. Even if we do, after 8 they're gone now anyway. That process is once again upon us.

I'd also point out, just for fun, that one man on Earth has all the cards on the table laid before him on a daily basis, and thats Bush (for the moment). Between the daily intel brief and access to the Joint Chiefs and intelligence agencies that probably aren't even publically known (like the NRO was for a time), he gets intel that we may not have access to for a lifetime. We have access to.. CNN and wikipedia. Therefore, I don't get up in arms, because if we carried out an election in the chaos of the Civil War when the nation was literally torn asunder then I'm pretty sure the next election will come and the people can pass their judgement then.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By JS on 2/21/2008 9:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
I know what you're saying. I just don't agree with the notion that public opinion only counts every four years and that people should shut up in the meantime and stop nosying around.

I also don't think that the administration alone can or should define what is in the interest of the nation. It may actually be that it is only in the interest of the administration and not of the nation (awarding billion dollar contracts without bidding to companies with close ties to cabinet members, for instance).

The administration may have the legal right to totally ignore what the vast majority thinks and do whatever the heck they want, but in my opinion it is against the constitutional principles the president swore to uphold.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By retrospooty on 2/18/2008 10:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
Umm... hitler WAS bent on taking over the world, and he was invading country after country to get to that goal.

How in any way does that compare to anything going on now? Iraq didn't invade anyone at his current war's outbreak.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Ringold on 2/18/2008 9:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
Um, who brought up Iraq? I know you're a professed Democrat, and Democrat's can't seem to get Iraq off their mind, but no need to project it on quite everything. He was speaking in generalities about giving the people what the people want, I spoke in generalities in return that giving the people what the people want is on many occasions not what is best for them. I, at least, vote for people who I trust to make the best decisions on whats best for the nation given information available to him/her that's not available to me. If I don't like the results, every 4 years we are provided with an opportunity to choose a new "decider."

By the way, Afghanistan invaded no one prior to our invasion either. Justified all the same. Sudan hasn't invaded anyone; intervention justified there all the same, or would be if the UN were capable. Rwanda didn't invade anybody, I'm sure the hundreds of thousands of dead would've liked a US invasion. Some Democrats and Republican's alike feel an incursion in Northern Pakistan would be justified. Your criteria seem to be rather limited.:) That criteria alone, the acquisition of land, hasn't been a big factor for 60 years, and WW1 didnt have anything to do with it either really.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By retrospooty on 2/18/2008 10:49:40 AM , Rating: 2
"I do believe that both Gore and/or Kerry, and now Obama and/or Clinton would rather have us fighting a war on our own soil."

Are you smoking crack, or just drinking Bush's kool aid?

There was no danger on our soil, there was no threat of war with Iraq. There was no army out to get us. Bush saying "We have to fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them here" is one of the boldest, transparent lies this country has ever seen, and fell for. There was no threat to this country from Iraq.

There were a small group of terrorists called Al Qaeda operating in Afganistan, and we chased them into Pakistan. Instead of following the fight into Pakistan, Bush turned our military on Iraq, which had NO Al Qaeda operatives at all.

How is that protecting us? Protecting us would be to go after the threat (Osama) at all costs, remember, either your with us or against us in fighting the perpetraitors of 911??? Bush lies, and you follow... Nice impression of a sheep you are doing.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Fnoob on 2/18/2008 1:33:05 PM , Rating: 2
Are you smoking crack, or just drinking Bush's kool aid?

No, weed. Crack is for black people. Everyone knows that. And I'm far too old for kool aid. Hell, I'm not even a Bush supporter, which makes this all so much more amuzing.

Your best point :

Protecting us would be to go after the threat (Osama) at all costs, remember, either your with us or against us in fighting the perpetraitors of 911

Of course we should have gone into Pakistan instead of Iraq. But it's the 'peace at any price' left that prevent us from doing so. Well, that and a few dozen nukular weaps.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By retrospooty on 2/18/2008 2:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
You may be correct there, but you have not answered my question to your comment "Gore and/or Kerry, and now Obama and/or Clinton would rather have us fighting a war on our own soil"

Exactly what war on our soil was there going to be?


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Fnoob on 2/18/2008 2:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
Had 911 happened on Gore's watch instead, he would not have gone to war with anyone. Not Iraq, nor Afganistan. I imagine his 'retaliatory response' would consist of a stern letter to the UN demanding sanctions. That stance goes double for Kerry and Hillary. Not so sure about Obama - I think he might have a pair.

The extremists that are clearly, currently, AT WAR with us have been for decades; whether or not we choose to acknowledge it. To assume a position of perceived weakness with these folks is asking to be tested. For historical reference look up September 11, 2001 in wikipedia. There are, um, just a few others.

It is my assertion that had previous elections gone differently, the odds of other attacks on our soil would be far greater. I do not believe the far liberal mindset has the balls to do what must be done (see 'waterboarding').

If you don't consider random sh*t exploding around you to be 'living at war' - ask an Israeli.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By retrospooty on 2/18/2008 3:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
First off, you saying they would't go after Bin Laden is rediculous. They wouldn't have gone to Iraq, which is fine, since AL Qaeda wasnt there. Obama has stated many times that he will be going after Bin Laden, as he is a real threat.

As for a war, you cant really call it that, because there is no army, just a small group of militants using guerilla tactics. You cant fight a group like Al Qaeda with an army, you do it with intelligence, and strike forces (as in, when you find them, go get them).


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Donkeyshins on 2/18/2008 2:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
Nope. Wrong. Thanks for playing. We probably *could* have caught Bin Laden had we continued to focus on Afghanistan. However, it was certain short-sighted neocons who were advising Bush that had a massive hard-on for Iraq which distracted us from what should have been our real goal (finding and capturing / killing Bin Laden). Instead, they siphoned off an enormous amount of resources to fight a toothless despot (Hussein) with absolutely no links to Al-Qaeda.

Was Hussein evil? You bet. Am I glad he is gone? Sure. Is Iraq better off now than before the war? Not bloody likely. Are we any closer to finding Bin Laden? Nope.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Fnoob on 2/18/2008 2:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed; and that's damn funny too. Not so funny : there really is no excuse for not having caught Bin Laden by now.



RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By retrospooty on 2/18/2008 10:39:00 AM , Rating: 2
This article is NOT talking about giving state secrets to our enemies, or the press (where our enemies can get a hold of it) It is talking about hiding information from a FEDERAL JUDGE... Information that is incriminating to the Bush white house. I think our traitorous president should be jailed for life... Better yet, waterboard him until he confesses why he killed thousands of US soldiers for money for his corporate fatcat buddies.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By DRMichael on 2/18/2008 11:11:15 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
It is talking about hiding information from a FEDERAL JUDGE... Information that is incriminating to the Bush white house.


No, it is NOT. You’ve been manipulated into thinking that the Bush Administration is hiding information. IT IS NOT. What this story is about is a watchdog group that wants the internal emails from the Office of Administration. This is not the Bush Administration, as the article would have you to believe. It is this type of journalism, whether intentional or not, that has HELPED to DIVIDE THIS COUNTRY.

The Office of Administration is simply support personnel for the Executive Office of the President. They are NOT part of the Bush Administration. The reason this lawsuit is making news is because the Federal Judge has made an unprecedented ruling to determine if the Office of Administration is under the Freedom of Information Act. The Office of Administration has NEVER been subject to the FOIA in any previous Presidential Administration.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By retrospooty on 2/18/2008 11:51:07 AM , Rating: 1
OK... I am not sure how this isnt the white house... seeing as the judge is looking for "access to emails concerning several contentious issues, including the reasons for launching the Iraq War, the release of a CIA operative's name and actions by the U.S. Department of Justice." and "The White House Administration says that it can not comply as the emails are destroyed. The White House admits it routinely copied over its backup tapes from 2001 to 2003, destroying most of the previous contents. The White House claims this is an innocent record keeping error, "

This entire issue aside, don't you dare blame journalism of any sort for dividing this country. I am 37 years old and George Bush's administration has single handedly divided this country more than ANY other entity (foreign or domestic) that anything else has in my lifetime. The lies, the deaths, the watse of trillions of dolloars while recession looms. The turning of the first budget surplus in over 30 years into record deficits, while China owns more and more of our debt... This man has to go and do do those that thinnk like him.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By DRMichael on 2/18/2008 12:41:20 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
OK... I am not sure how this isnt the white house...


Let me inform you:

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is the Federal District Court Judge that issued an Order of discovery concerning the charter of the Office of Administration. AGAIN: Don’t confuse this with the Bush Cabinet. The Office of Administration was created in 1977 to encompass all the personnel that serve as support staff for the Executive Office of the President. That is what the article above is referring to.

quote:
seeing as the judge is looking for "access to emails concerning several contentious issues, including the reasons for launching the Iraq War, the release of a CIA operative's name and actions by the U.S. Department of Justice."


No that is NOT what the Judge is looking for.
If you READ the article you’ll see that it is the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington that is wanting access to these emails. “The nonprofit group demands access to emails concerning several contentious issues, including the reasons for launching the Iraq War, the release of a CIA operative's name and actions by the U.S. Department of Justice.
quote:
This entire issue aside, don't you dare blame journalism of any sort for dividing this country.

This is the entire BASIS of my REPLY. In fact you ARE PROOF POSITIVE of what I said in my prior post: You have been manipulated into thinking that the Bush Administration is hiding information from the Judge; they are NOT. Additionally, you are replying and MISTATING the facts of the article. Perhaps a link to the Judges Order might clear things up for you. http://www.citizensforethics.org/files/Feb%2011%20... )

quote:
I am 37 years old...

Finally, I’ve been here longer than you have but I hardly see that as relevant. Perhaps now you will at least understand the reasoning for my argument that the press has had a hand in helping to divide this country; after all your reply made my point.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By retrospooty on 2/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By JS on 2/17/2008 9:35:58 AM , Rating: 1
I think that the governing principle for all levels of government should be that everything that doesn't explicitly merit classification should be transparent and accessible by the press and public (and definitely by the judicial system).

Transparency is the key to well-functioning and honest government. After all, we are paying their salaries and their expense accounts. (Well, sometimes lobbyists chip in too.) :oP


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Rovemelt on 2/17/2008 11:05:44 AM , Rating: 2
I agree...transparency in government is critical for a functioning democracy. US taxpayers spend a lot of money for a functioning government and should have the information they need to know that their government is serving the taxpayers.

Along with the problem of our executive branch leaders illegally deleting sensitive emails, we have their defenders illegally ignoring congressional subpoenas. There are existing laws designed to prevent this sort of thing from happening, but they have to be enforced to be effective.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By Aloonatic on 2/18/2008 6:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
This comment just goes to show how well the modern political and ruling classes know how to handle the media and the population at large.

I really would love to believe that we live is an a of benevolent and philanthropic rulers that only have the people's best interest at heart but I think we all know that that isn't the case.

Sure, our rulers can't demand to sleep with your new bride before you do any more or burn villages to the ground but this is only because of a lot of hard work and sacrifices by our ancestors, not because the rich and powerful are suddenly super duper nice and only want the best for everyone and it does not mean that they would want to be able to do whatever they liked given half a chance.

Maybe I'm a little more paranoid as I live in the UK where the big brother state really is just round the corner it would seem but I don't for 1 minute trust those in power and I really don't think that anyone in any country should either, even those in the greatest democracy on Earth.

You have a pretty good system in the US and you shouldn't let any of the checks and balances go, especially because of the "war on terror" or whatever the excuse is when it becomes clear to everyone that a bunch of goat herders living in mountains in Afghanistan/Pakistan aren't anywhere near the danger that our governments mite lead us to believe.


RE: Freedom v. Ethics
By HighWing on 2/18/2008 11:30:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you think that, in the interest of freedom, that there might be a few things that don't need to be on the cover of the world wide press?


It's comments like this that are why I'm upset with the American public. This only goes to show just how much you really learned from early American History. While our country was discovered and settled by prudes, the American government was established by people that were upset over laws being passed by the British that did not have their (the colonist's) interests in mind. And it's for this reason that a system of checks and balances were put in place. To ensure that our government never did the same thing. Yet what many people are noticing is that this IS happening. The system of checks and balances is slowly being removed. And when you do that you are going against parts of the very things this country was founding on and stands for.

Bottom line:
IT IS AMERICAN to question our government because we were founded on that. It is UN-AMERICAN to not do so and follow blindly what someone tells you.


The judge says...
By nvalhalla on 2/16/2008 4:41:28 PM , Rating: 5
The judge says "what happened to those tapes?!?"

The White House says "None of your F'in business"

Wouldn't be the first time the White House has told a judge (or congressional oversight committee) to F off...




RE: The judge says...
By borowki on 2/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: The judge says...
By TechIsGr8 on 2/16/2008 9:19:04 PM , Rating: 5
You should have paid more attention in school, dude. The rule that applies here is called "Checks and Balances". It is what the framers of the Constitution thought would guarantee runaway power abuse. They clearly had no idea, however, of the levels of abuse and outright illegality that Bush and Cheney would bring.


RE: The judge says...
By Samus on 2/16/2008 10:26:43 PM , Rating: 5
right, seperation of powers is so they have their exact rolls as governing bodies defined.

this doesn't call under that, this is checks and balances, and the judicial branch oversee's everything is legal, and can demand any form of evidence and ask any questions they want as long as the court is high enough (supreme court.)

the executive branch isn't immune to this. infact, they're usually a big blip on the judicial branches RADAR.


I believe it...
By Xodus Maximus on 2/16/2008 3:11:25 PM , Rating: 5
You know tapes are very expensive, and with how carefully the government spends, I'm sure they were reusing the old stuff to save a buck or two.*

*in case you can't tell that was sarcasm




Court Order
By DRMichael on 2/17/2008 5:03:33 PM , Rating: 3
Actually the judge didn’t say anything about turning over emails. What the U.S. District Court has said is that both parties must, through a discovery order, review the charter of the Office of Administration in order to determine if it falls under the Freedom of Information Act.

U.S. District Court Case 1:07-cv-00964-CKK http://www.citizensforethics.org/files/052207%20-%...

Here’s the story:

The liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) are essentially trying to take down the Bush Administration; nothing new. They’ve gone after the internal emails of the Office of Administration (O.A) in what is nothing more than a fishing expedition. They’re looking for something that will at minimum let them say ‘a-ha’ but of course are hoping for a paper trail leading to an impeachable offense. What makes this so unusual, however, is that the O.A. is an organization that advises and assists the President and has previously never been subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). So after the White House denies the group’s request, CREW searches out a District Court judge that will sympathize with their argument that the O.A. does fall under FOIA.

The Argument:

The determining factor of whether the O.A. does fall under the FOIA is based on the definition of the word agency . Under the FOIA, TITLE 5, Sec.552, states the following:
Each agency shall make available to the public information as follows : and continues to describe what shall be made available to the public.

However, the definition of agency as described in Sec. 551 states the following:
“agency” means each authority of the Government of the United States, whether or not it is within or subject to review by another agency, but does not include—
(A) the Congress;
(B) the courts of the United States;
(C) the governments of territories or possessions of the United States;
(D) the government of the District of Columbia;
or except as to the requirements of section 552 of this title—
(E) agencies composed of representatives of the parties or representatives of organizations of the parties to the disputes determined by them;


The question that the discovery granted by the court hopes to answer is whether or not the O.A. has been issued authority to perform certain tasks in its charter, or has performed authorized duties.

U.S. Code: http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/uscmain.html




RE: Court Order
By rsmech on 2/17/2008 11:30:49 PM , Rating: 2
Good post, but I don't think that's catchy enough for the evening news. You're missing key words like "mislead, scandal, destroyed evidence, or Cheny".


Fitting Article Picture
By daftrok on 2/16/2008 2:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
I love Jim Carrey!




RE: Fitting Article Picture
By Ringold on 2/16/2008 7:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
A better one would've been the actor that did "Thank you for smoking." Propaganda with a straight face! :)


It's called evolution
By dflynchimp on 2/16/2008 7:14:04 PM , Rating: 3
well evidently Nixon's err's were not to be repeated.

"I order you to turn over the tapes"
"Oh I'd love to do it...but...I had to tape that episode of Lost the other night...so..."




Political Instigation
By DRMichael on 2/16/2008 6:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
Jason,

You sure know how to find these politically hot tech topics. I admit I got too involved in the last one concerning FISA - but its good exercise for the brain. Great topics, however, I'm going to have to let this one slip by me though – family time you know:0)




By SiliconAddict on 2/17/2008 12:43:19 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously....2004 anyone?




Bait taken.
By ricleo2 on 2/17/2008 3:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
This site is reminding me of "America hater" Jakub Wojnarowicz from Firing Squad. But for some reason he has stopped posting stuff like this.




Another hearing?
By someguy123 on 2/16/08, Rating: 0
..
By Duwelon on 2/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: ..
By RogueSpear on 2/16/2008 5:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
so what are they hoping to find?

If you need to ask then you haven't been paying attention.

So should I take it that you'll be perfectly satisfied if a future left wing administration "accidentally" loses/erases/destroys their backups? Or is it only ok now, when there's a republican in the white house?


RE: ..
By Duwelon on 2/16/2008 7:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
If someone broke the law by deleting the emails and it gets proven then by all means, take those responsible to the cleaners.

Don't deflect the question by trying to make it about me.

What is supposed to be in the emails?


RE: ..
By RogueSpear on 2/16/2008 11:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm assuming its the rabid anti-bushites who are pursueing this

I'm not deflecting anything, rather I was addressing your ASSumption.


RE: ..
By rsmech on 2/17/2008 11:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
So what you are saying is you don't really know either. You are just ASSuming they will find something good about whatever. Sounds like due process to me, keep digging until you find anything that sticks.

I don't care where they look, just what they are looking for. You are ASSuming too much if you think that just because you are looking for "A" you have access to any & all gov't records. Show relevance.


RE: ..
By prickly on 2/16/2008 6:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What exactly is supposed to be contained in these missing emails?


That is precisely the question and hopefully enough for an invetigation that actually gets somewhere.

At this point it could be emails about anything - willfull distortion of intelligence, firing of lawyers, CIA destruction of torture tapes, illegal wiretapping - are just a few intriguing possibilities that come to mind ... of course it could be perfectly benign like emails asking for dry cleaning to be picked up ...

Given the track record of this administration though it's quote probable that something is being covered up.


RE: ..
By Duwelon on 2/16/2008 7:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
Given the decible levels in the media over this, apparently the white house's email legally must be backed up and saved?

Just so we're all clear, is it illegal for the white house to knowingly destroy emails?


RE: ..
By TechIsGr8 on 2/16/2008 9:28:56 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, it is illegal under federal law. But Bush and Cheney subscribe to Nixon's misunderstanding, that "when the president does it that means that it is not illegal." Nixon was wrong, and Bush/Cheney are wrong. But at least Nixon had the honor and integrity to dismiss himself after his wrongdoing was uncovered, in contrast with this criminal bunch of miscreants who are determined to screw America until the day they leave office by law.


RE: ..
By Duwelon on 2/16/2008 10:14:24 PM , Rating: 1
I think you jumping ahead a little bit. What has been proven that was illegal?


RE: ..
By Fritzr on 2/17/2008 4:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
White House staff are legally required to use the White House email system. Theoretically this ensures that all email is properly archived. The staff routinely used private email accounts for official communications and subsequently "lost" emails for dates when items now of interest to investigators were likely to have been discussed.

Provable illegal activity is this use of unapproved email accounts for official business. The defense so far has been "The backups are missing, but there wasn't anything of interest anyhow, so stop bothering us". Awaiting discovery of the "lost" records is whatever may have been discussed. Whether it was illegal, embarassing or completely innocent is unknown due to the illegal use of unapproved email accounts.

Note: The normal usage would be "unauthorized", but in this case Mr. Bush authorized the illegal use of unapproved accounts on his authority as President. Of course Congress is free to point out that the President swore an oath to uphold the law, but that is unlikely to restore the missing emails.


RE: ..
By drm67 on 2/17/2008 11:08:40 AM , Rating: 1
I don't think anyone here recalls when Al Gore did this back around 2001. He was illegally fund raising out of the Whitehouse. He set up a separate email system to circumvent the Whitehouse system. Of course he got caught but nothing happened because there were no email trails to prove what he was doing. How do I know or remember this? My firm at the time won the contract to set up the Whitehouse on one system so there would be back-ups to prevent this in the future. Of course all politicians are corrupt on both sides so here we are.


RE: ..
By TechIsGr8 on 2/17/2008 12:41:52 PM , Rating: 3
According to the history books, Mr. Gore was not in the White House in 2001. A squatter, named George W. Bush, had been appointed by the US Supreme Court, as the new president.


RE: ..
By drm67 on 2/18/2008 7:08:10 AM , Rating: 1
2000/2001 was the time frame for the contract to clean up his mess.

Maybe you aren't aware of how the electoral college works but Mr. Bush was elected fair and square. He wasn't appointed by the Supreme Court. The election system was upheld. The lefties were trying to use activist judges to get their way. Sadly this "sue your way into office" will probably continue as a new means for politicians to get their way. The fact that people even bring this up anymore is sad too.


RE: ..
By TechIsGr8 on 2/18/2008 3:39:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think the facts draw a different case, my friend. Mr. Bush went to the US Supreme Court to force Florida to stop a statewide recount, which was commencing, per the Florida Supreme Court. If only the local recount was permitted, Mr. Bush would still have won, albeit by a slimmer margin than originally declared. If a full statewide recount had been allowed to continue, Mr. Gore gained more of the undervotes and would have won Florida. Interesting that you say "activist judges", because that's exactly what allowed Mr. Bush to slip into office. He petitioned the US Supremes to stop the recount, on the grounds that a recount could cause him "material harm". That, apparently, was enough for the US Supremes to override Florida. The state of Florida has the Constitutional right to decide their own electorates, the US Supremes had no business interjecting their reich wing activist judges in a state matter.

It's not sad that people bring this up, it's called history. If we don't study history and learn from it, then we are as stupid as the people who voted this criminal Bush another 4 years in 2004, even as we were learning of his and Cheney's criminal activities in office. I loved in the 2004 debates that Bush responded to Kerry's assertion about the war costs, that Iraq has not and will not cost $300 million. Bush said it was a lie. What a freaking buffoon. Even worse, the buffoons who voted for him bought it, and every other lie. That, to me, is terribly sad, my friend.


RE: ..
By drm67 on 2/18/2008 5:04:40 PM , Rating: 1
So the Dems cared about a single state's votes? What about recounts in all the other states that were close or had the same errors inherent in their systems? The Dems struck first trying to sue their way into office using the FL courts. Trust me, if the shoe were on the other foot the Dems would have used the Supreme Court too. Don't be disillusioned thinking they are pure my friend. Besides, look at their non-democratic solution they have in place today with the super delegates. Aren't they about to disenfranchise about three states of voters? The super delegates may override popular vote to swing the candidacy. A system put in place to prevent Teddy Kennedy from getting the nomination. We'll see how this plays out. Of course, Clinton will probably use the courts (see the pattern here) to allow the other state's votes to count. Obama wans't even on the ticket.


RE: ..
By DRMichael on 2/18/2008 5:29:41 PM , Rating: 4
This is what happens when you listen to some liberal media outlet and don’t conduct your own research .

quote:
He petitioned the US Supremes to stop the recount, on the grounds that a recount could cause him "material harm". That, apparently, was enough for the US Supremes to override Florida. The state of Florida has the Constitutional right to decide their own electorates, the US Supremes had no business interjecting their reich wing activist judges in a state matter.


WRONG.

Here are the FACTS:

Dec. 8th 2000 – Florida Supreme Court ordered that manual recounts of ballots for the recent Presidential election were required in all Florida counties where so-called “undervotes” had not been subject to manual tabulation, and that the manual recounts should begin at once.

Dec. 9th 2000 – U.S. Supreme Court treats the petition from Republican candidates for President and Vice President as a writ of certiorari, and granted certiorari. Supreme Court reverses Florida Supreme Court’s judgment ordering manual recounts based on U.S. Code Title 3, Chap 1, Par. 5.
SOURCE:(PAGE 98)http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/boundvolume...

In layman’s terms: The Florida Supreme Court’s decision violated Federal Law.

Listen; I don’t mean to come across harshly, I embrace open honest debate. But some of the things you are saying are just plain FALSE. I understand you are just repeating what you have heard, but this is why it is so important to seek the truth from unbiased sources.


RE: ..
By drm67 on 2/18/2008 10:01:49 PM , Rating: 1
What are you calling truth? The fact that the Dems can use the Florida Supreme Court to sue their way into office and the Repubs can't use the Supreme Court to stop it? Do you honestly think if the circumstances weren't reversed that the Dems would have done the same thing? Listen, they are all out for themselves and whatever power they can get. Both sides! Did the FL court do this out of the kindness of their hearts or did they do this at the Dems request? There you go, omitting facts that you don't want to accept. First blood was drawn by the Dems. Also, in layman's terms if the FL Supreme Court violated Federal Law then didn't the Supreme Court do the right thing? We can't have a bunch of rogue states trying to swing a Federal election. Again, let's watch the Dems try to jury rig their OWN nomination of a candidate this year. They really just care what the sheeple want, right? Face it, we are all little guys caught in the middle and we'll take it up the back side every time.


RE: ..
By TechIsGr8 on 2/18/2008 10:19:17 PM , Rating: 2
Many politicians have their hands dirty, no doubt. A point to consider here is that a federal injunction was issued against the RNC for caging tactics, which they used to purge voter roles. The theory is that the lower the turnout, the better the odds for Republican victory. That was clearly in play in 2000, namely in Florida. It also horsed up the Ohio vote in 2004. There is plenty of evidence out there to support the above items.


RE: ..
By CarsonM on 2/19/2008 8:14:47 AM , Rating: 2
Where are you getting your TALKING POINTS? Do you have any evidence to substantiate your claims? Or are you simply a sheep following your left-leaning herdsman?


RE: ..
By Ringold on 2/17/2008 7:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think you jumping ahead a little bit. What has been proven that was illegal?


If it involves a Republican, they are guilty until proven innocent, and then often get hammered anyway, like Libby.

They're also failing to point out that Nixon had been impeached. Liberals haven't had sufficient ammunition to pull that off, but they'd rather act as if they did. More accuaretly, I guess Nixon resigned before the process could conclude, but no such process is going on with Bush at all.

Like a bunch of spoiled children, they're still angry over 2000, and in disbelief he could be re-elected in 2004. They'll get their pacifier later this year, quiet down, and get their turn at bat. Like every other time when one party gains absolute power, they'll screw up, then the pendulum will once again swing. Just as the current generations pouring out of universities are liberal, to the benefit of Obamania, studies show current school age children are of more conservative backgrounds. Benefit, then, to the Republicans in 2010 and 2012. Hang on to your seats..


RE: ..
By Brigandier on 2/17/2008 7:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
To pawn this off as a simple liberal v. conservative thing is trivializing the issue. Official business has to have records so in case anything uncouth does happen, there are records. There are records from the Bush administration for a very many innocuous things, why are these emails different? Did they show sensitive material like the CIA tapes? What exactly is going on? Any American should feel they have the right to know what is going on in their republic, whether the administration thinks so or not.

Again, this isn't Lib v Neocon, this is common sense vs. the sacrifice of rights and knowledge.


RE: ..
By DRMichael on 2/17/2008 8:44:21 PM , Rating: 5
No this actually is politically motivated.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a liberal watchdog group that had requested the Office of Administration’s email records under FOIA. This is unprecedented. Never has the Office of Administration been subject to FOIA. I know many of you believe that this is the same as the ‘Bush Administration’; it is not. I REPEAT: THIS IS NOT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. The Office of Administration is simply support personnel for the Executive Branch.


RE: ..
By CarsonM on 2/19/2008 9:14:31 AM , Rating: 2
After reading the article, I fail to see how this has anything to do with Bush and Cheney doing anything illegal. Please enlighten.


RE: ..
By rsmech on 2/17/2008 11:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
At this point it could be emails about anything


I don't see where political hacks R. or D. going fishing = due process. Almost everyone has broken some law. You'd be amazed at how many foolish laws are on the books.


RE: ..
By Fnoob on 2/18/2008 9:27:18 AM , Rating: 2
You'd be amazed at how many foolish laws are on the books

Yep, only in the last week or so has it become legal for Texans to go F themselves, as sex-toys are no longer banned.


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