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Bush Administration Ignored Warnings on Lost E-mails, Report Says

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Officials in the White House of George W. Bush ignored multiple warnings that the administration risked losing millions of e-mails required by law to be preserved, according to a watchdog report released Monday.

The report by the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and Washington concluded that Bush's top aides were aware of a technical glitch that threatened the White House e-mail archiving system "but repeatedly refused to take corrective action."

A number of the e-mails improperly deleted from White House servers were related to the Iraq war and the investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert CIA identity.

According the to the report:

After spending millions of dollars and years of effort creating an effective electronic record keeping system called the Electronic Communications Records Management System (ECRMS), the Bush White House abandoned ECRMS on the eve of its deployment offering explanations that NARA (National Archives and Records Administration), among others, did not find reasonable.

CREW sued NARA and the the Executive Office of the President in 2007 over their "knowing failure to recover, restore, and preserve" the e-mails. The suit was settled last December, and Monday's report is a summary of the entire investigation.

The settlement brought about the restoration of 94 days' worth of electronic communications from the Bush era, but millions more remain lost.

"A democratic system of government requires transparency. But the Bush administration prided itself on keeping secrets from the American people, ignoring federal records laws requiring White House e-mails be preserved for future generations," Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director, said in a statement. "E-mails that might shed light on our nation's recent history -- including records created in the lead up to the U.S. war in Iraq -- have been wiped away."

Read the full CREW report here.

Filed Under: Bush Administration, Iraq
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3 Comments

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eclasseclass

Yep...a lot of these e-mails, I'm sure, dealt with National Security. Transparency? The reporters on all media staffs should expose the Obama's Administration "transparency" of all the brides and pay-offs made to generate support for him and his followers. That is just outright FRAUD.

August 31 2010 at 10:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
msgusarmyret77

Must have used the same records keeper that lost most of Bush's records of when he was in the National Guard. They lost most of his pay records that would show when he attended required meeting. When he was in Alabama it was said that all he did was help a Congressman run for office and never attended any meeting. They were unable to prove or disprove the charge because his pay records were lost.

August 31 2010 at 9:29 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Charlee

Just proves that both sides like and cheat in office. It's time to expand beyond democrats and republicans both. If everyone who said that they were "throwing away their vote" actually voted for another party, we'd get some truly different people in office. Until then, we will be growing more and more partisan, more framing the other side, more time and money wasted when actually governing should be the priority.

August 30 2010 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MARK

TIMING IS PATHETIC. 3 YEARS LATER.

August 30 2010 at 9:09 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
eyeforeye42

If a violation of law, prosecute! Else add that to the record of the Bush administration currently ranked below Grant - 3rd worst of presidents but above Andrew Johnson, worst. Awful legacy but can the Republicans do worse- You betch ya!

August 30 2010 at 8:04 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
wbg3

gee...i know they didnt let all that info on the wars and plame just disappear on purpose

August 30 2010 at 7:48 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Tom

This is just the first glimmer of light to shine on those folks. Wait until the spotlight of history brings every devious thing they did out! I'm sure his ranking among the presidents of this country will go even lower, only time will tell after all of the dirt is out!

August 30 2010 at 6:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello Sean ;)

So are they going to make this much of a stink over the text messages sent to and from Obama when HE leaves office? For some reason I doubt it.

August 30 2010 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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