- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 22, 2009

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Obama administration, siding with former President 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 (EOP) say that large amounts of White House e-mail documenting Mr. Bush’s eight years in office may still be missing, and that the government must undertake an extensive recovery effort.

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.

“We do not know how many more e-mails could be restored but have not been, because defendants have not looked,” the National Security Archive told a federal judge in court papers filed Friday.

“The new administration seems no more eager than the last” to deal with the issue, said Anne Weismann, chief counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the other group that sued the EOP, which includes the president’s immediate staff and many White House offices and agencies.

Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, noted that Mr. Obama on his first full day in office called for greater transparency in government. The Justice Department “apparently never got the message,” he said.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide