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Groups announce settlement in missing Bush e-mails case

Updated 6:01 p.m.
By Dan Eggen
Two nonprofit groups announced Monday that they reached a legal settlement with the White House that may result in the release of a portion of the 22 million e-mails that went missing during the Bush administration because of poor labeling and other technical problems.

The National Security Archive and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) first sued the White House in 2007 alleging that millions of executive office e-mails had gone missing from March 2003 to October 2005 in violation of laws requiring their preservation.

The Bush White House, which initially denied that any e-mails had gone missing, announced in January it had located more than 22 million messages that had been mislabeled after a search by computer technicians, according to court records filed by the government on the day after Bush left office.

Even then, the two groups said, spotty electronic recordkeeping suggested that many more e-mails might still be missing, leading the groups to continue to press their case.

Earlier this year, contractors restored 61 days of e-mails -- an expensive process that involves resurrecting lost messages from backup tapes. In addition, the administration has promised to restore an additional 33 days of e-mail records as part of its agreement with the groups.

The selections include dates that are historically important, randomly chosen or flagged for unusually low e-mail activity. The Obama White House has created a new system for prospectively preserving electronic records that should prevent the problems that emerged during the Bush and Clinton years, the two groups said.

"This settlement means that the Obama administration is trying to clean up the mess that the Bush administration left behind," said Meredith Fuchs, counsel for the archives group, which champions open historical records. "They want to move on; they don't intend to have this kind of problem."

Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director, said that documents show the Bush White House did not follow through on plans that would have helped solve its chronic e-mail archiving problems. "There are laws requiring these e-mails to be preserved, so people violated the law," Sloan said. "They figured out there was a problem but the policy people rejected a plan to retrieve them."

Norm Eisen, the administration's ethics counsel, said in a posting on the White House blog that President Obama "is firmly committed to ensuring that the records of this administration -- as well as those of all previous administrations -- are properly retained and preserved."

It's unclear how many e-mails will be released publicly, however. Any restored e-mails will become part of the Bush administration collection at the National Archives and Records Administration, and many are likely to be withheld for reasons of national security or because because they are considered presidential records not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, officials said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 14, 2009; 5:34 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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my apologies folks:

my error

I thought I was in financial lending thread.

I see this WAS the tab for lost emails -


Posted by: GREEDOM | December 15, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I find the obfuscation attempts in this thread to be revealing -

Why is it people want to change the subject ?

Truth is - Neal Bush looted this nation for over 1 trillion
Trith is - that same lawyer who defended McCain in the Keating 5 back with Silverado - I couldn't help but to notice - was Dowd - SAME guy who defended Monica Goodling to grant her immunity when she testified that she SINGLE HANDEDLY took over ALL hiring at DOJ - and took no notes.

Missing emails, missing notes, missing databases at Lehman and Bear Stearns, missing CO2 satellite, missing lives in Iraq- whole lotta stuff coming up missing.

And someone wants to carry on about a birth certificate ?

LEAST of worries.

Too bad Arnold wasn't elected, I don't support must be born on Native US soil anyway - some person 450 years - BEST QUALIFED - and you WOULD BE at 450 years, walks in - and we'd have to say- no, just because the US didn't exist when they were born ! I can see Arnold with "I'll be BAYACK" in the middle east - or the election campaign for part II.

HOWEVER, THREAD SUBJECT IS why banks can't lend.

They can't lend becuase their books are looking shabby from real estate- even if it's GOOD real estate- and they fear treading the critical capital requirements - they don't want to get hit on a Friday by the FDIC.

Until we fix housing, banks hands are tied, and I don't blame them one bit for not lending - as Pandit - or maybe it was Lewis said on C-span "It is not in our interest to make a bad loan".

That line is VERY powerful if you think about it.

THAT LINE REALLY ? ?? PROTECTED US ALL from this zeqo equity crap.

It was WALL STREET who said

"Making ANY kind of loan we can get Moody's to triple A is just fine with us, besides, we got AIG to back us- and they're backed by the peasant citizens who make under 7 figures a year".

THAT is CLOSE to the truth here.

I feel I can never get my hands ON the truth, but only closer, or further, but I feel I'm getting closer here.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: GREEDOM | December 15, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I also think severe criminal DOJ penalties need to go upstream all the way to Goldman.

Unfortunately we'll never be ABLE to prosecute Lehman or Bear Stearns now -will we.

Wow- gotta wonder what's on their books.

I'd wager my left arm Lehman went long on oil helping to create THAT artificial bubble - Big oil NEW in Spring 2009 - the Co2 data would be in from the second launched US satellite to PROVE it's human influenced- that one managed to blow up over the north pole in Jan, 2009, so, big oil rush wasn't necessary at $150 a barrel after all, Thankfully Japan's JAXTA IBUKI data IS IN, and will be released in Jan, 2010, and DOES SHOW (I know, I've seen it) Co2 is human derived, so - GOOD BYE oil 2010 - I hope there are liability suits to coal too !

I'd bet my RIGHT ARM though, Lehman and Bear Stearns were critical mechanisms in laundering these zero equity housing loan mortgage products.

Comptroller of Currency Dugan points out - Countrywide pushed IT's RECORD 300 billion through Wall Street, why ? I'll tell you why - because any BANK would have laughed you out of the room...

I can see it now:

In a REAL bank:

Client: "Fox News ran this Countrywide ad- saying I could live in a 350k home, I want THIS one - plus, we're gonna FLIP IT at 380, cause it's just magic money goin' on - thanks to a paid for TV ad on real estate I saw on Fox News late at night showing me how to do it all".

Banker: "Assets please? "

Client: "none, plus I'm unemployed"

Banker, "ok, MAYBE we can do this, we'll need a hefty down payment to cover our risk if you default"

Client: "I saw the President on Fox News telling me I didn't have to worry bout no downpayment"

Bankers potential responses:

Banker: "Security !"

Banker: "Are you high ? "

Banker: "Do you believe the world is ending or someting ?"

Banker: "Did you listen to Bush when he hinted it is End Days ? "

Banker: "Are you MAD ? "

Banker: "Please, I don't have time for this nonsense - why don't you go to Countrywide directly, and they'll jeopardize the entire housing market by artificial inflation, and in about 4 years, this bank will be foreclosed because we had GOOD real estate investments that LOOKED like they went south - mark to market- because people like YOU will have DESTROYED the integrity of the housing sector, and we'll be out of business".

Yes, indeed- a most dangerous client to enter a GOOD bank that day.



Paulson tells investment banks - FORGET GLASS STEAGALL - just do a fictitious name change, and call yourself a bank - don't worry, OTS is a bunch of baffoons anyhoo, plus, they can't do much about it anyhoo".

Tim Miltz

Posted by: GREEDOM | December 15, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

No amount of money will settle this one.

Watching an episode of ManTracker on Discovery Channel, some guy on a horseback- a professional tracker tracks 2 candidates for 2 days in the woods ?

One scene he gets off his horse, looks down and says- "well, I know we're on the right path now, you can see, right here is where they tried to clear their tracks, dead giveaway".

Maybe US current admin should bring in ManTracker !

You don't just LOSE 30 months of email, even the worst data center or ISP in the nation doesn't reach that low.

Makes you wonder what was lost in Building 7 now doesn't it - CIA/SEC building.

Makes you also wonder about Monica Goodlings notes, which to DATE I STILL haven't seen that lacky DOJ PICK UP ON, it's RIGHT THERE, Maxine Waters REMINDED Goodling, "You DO KNOW it is a FEDERAL OFFENSE to NOT keep records during the hiring process that you single handedly took up at the DOJ, don't you" ?

To Date ? Monica is TOTALLY FREE ON THAT, Guess the immunity really worked out in her favor - GO Attorney Dowd, I haven't seen the likes of Dowd show up since he defended McCain in the Keating 5.

Dowd doesn't screw around.

Seems private sector law has upped DOJ once again, and with ALL people- a graduate of Pat Robertson's REGENT law school - GIVE ME A BREAK.

Goodling ALSO just 'lost the records', of course, she hinted she simply didn't 'think to take any notes, it was all so busy'.

Again, not unlike how in December 2000, there just 'Wasn't enough TIME to count all those votes by mid December deadline - so Bush MUST be the winner ?'

Gee, even in AFGHANISTAN they have TIME TO COUNT THE VOTES, even IF FRAUDULENT and they even have RUN OFF elections there, we didn't even GET a run off election in the US.

I don't acknowledge Bush was EVER President - we suffered an 8 year coup.

Flat out - I have ALL the faith in the integrity of this new Adminstration, I promoted a Biden Boxer ticket - of my own creation, for 3 years prior to 2008 - I'm DAMNED happy Biden is in, and I do say- this President Obama, I get a REAL good read from him, perhaps a little green, but I think the intentions are golden.

Let's all hope we don't find out next, that it wasn't just 29 to 30 months of emails lost, let's all hope we don't find out we lost 8 YEARS due to a fraudulent coup. Now THAT would be a REAL loss, and NO amount of money could EVER fix THAT one.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: GREEDOM | December 15, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I knew they would find them...I heard rumors....on the Internets...

Posted by: jeromejmarkiewicz | December 14, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

The Subject of this column is substantive and Pretty Serious Stuff, if anyone cares...

Instead, we get the the whacko-anti-Obama inmates rattling on about something altogether different and, at best, the grossest of speculations.

Keep it up, children, just so we don't focus on the real and the important to all Americans.

Posted by: Spectator | December 14, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

The questions remain:
1. Where Obama was really born.
2. Why the Democratic National Committee failed to vet Obama before placing his name on the primary ballot.

It is actually number 2, literally, that Odumbo and the DNC are trying desperately to cover-up. Obama was never vetted and they floated a photograph of a birth certificate to a website and have called it a day. The liberal press has done the rest to cover for him.


It will be all right in the morning. I remember when I smoked my first joint too.

Posted by: truthman3 | December 14, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

You don't lose 22 million emails by accident. You do it by planning, up front, not to keep them. Which is to say, there must be something pretty good on them. But the truth is, the best stuff will be on the emails that the Bush team fights hardest to keep "lost."
This is the same gang that opted out of the Geneva Conventions as soon as possible. They didn't do anything without a plan. Follow the money, all the way to those pallets of greenbacks lost in Iraq.

Posted by: barbarian_horde | December 14, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Actually the long form birth certificate is in the possession of the State of Hawaii and could be released if Odumbo signed a release and paid $12.00. Instead Odumba has hired a fleet of attorneys and spent millions hiding his records. But we all know that.

Until further evidence is submitted in the vetting process we are all left to speculate where Obama was born. To confirm his birth in Hawaii will require the production of the long form that confirms the name of the hospital Obama said he was born at, the names of witnesses and the doctor that made the delivery. All of that is conveniently left off the short form Obama produced. The questions remain:
1. Where Obama was really born.
2. Why the Democratic National Committee failed to vet Obama before placing his name on the primary ballot.

It is actually number 2, literally, that Odumbo and the DNC are trying desperately to cover-up. Obama was never vetted and they floated a photograph of a birth certificate to a website and have called it a day. The liberal press has done the rest to cover for him.

It is still great fun to read your comments and know that you are all frothing at the mouth wiping spittle from your computer screens.

By the way, even though Obama is already a lame duck and will likely not run, he will have this same issue waiting for him in 2012. Only this time the law suits will commence as soon as his name is announced as being placed on a primary ballot. The focus will be on the Democratic National Committee and the vetting process.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | December 14, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Twenty-two million Bush Administration e-mails? Here's an opportunity for a federal emergency employment program.
I hope the National Archives opens a center in Indiana and hires half the state's unemployed to read through them.

Posted by: jmf3210 | December 14, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Bubbette1 the "long form" birth certificate is the fancy one you can get with a pretty gold seal on it to hang on your wall. IT IS NOT A LEGAL DOCUMENT. The long form goes right next to the Disneyland photo signed by Micky. Please go back and renew your membership to the flat earth society they really miss you.

Posted by: crete | December 14, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The "Do Nothing Democrats" spend most of their time looking back and not forward...blaming others but never themselves...yes, they brought us "change" alright, i.e., a bigger mess than we have ever had before and it is getting worst...time to throw those bums out of government...and let them just hire on as lobbyists in DC.

Posted by: ltk01 | December 14, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

fr bubbette1:

>If they can find 22 million e-mail maybe they can help Obama find his long form birth certificate.

News flash! PRESIDENT Obama was born in the US, in Hawaii, which IS a State. Sorry to burst your bubble there.

Posted by: Alex511 | December 14, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Bubbette1 I would love to see your birth certificate I am sure that you don't have a legal one with this name on it do ya?

You must be a female version of Bubba are you related to the Big Bubba Bill Clinton? Or do you just miss him?

Posted by: mikey30919 | December 14, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Another pile of stink left on the floor by the incompetent (criminal?) Bush administration for the Obama administration to clean up.

Rove and Cheney are booking their flight to Paraguay for a quick get away.

Posted by: thebobbob | December 14, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"Bubbette1", this article is about the Bush administration conducting a tyrannical operation. You are just sore about your party losing a fair election. The only reason why you have a profile on this news site is to disagree with every article it writes about your side getting caught doing something unethical.

Posted by: humanist81 | December 14, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

If they can find 22 million e-mail maybe they can help Obama find his long form birth certificate.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | December 14, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

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