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White House emails disappear

  1. Jun 18, 2007 #1

    turbo

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    White House emails "disappear"

    According to this account, the White House claimed that about 50 staffers had RNC email accounts. Evidently, there were at least 88 staffers using these accounts, and the emails for at least 51 of these individuals are "missing" in violation of the Hatch act and federal laws requiring the preservation of Presidential records.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070618...use_e_mails;_ylt=Aq6XVD5nrdUu.7cYgvEBa_LMWM0F
     
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  3. Jun 18, 2007 #2

    Hurkyl

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    And? .....
     
  4. Jun 18, 2007 #3

    turbo

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    The preservation of public records is required by law, lest branches of our government operate in secret with no oversight and cover up illegal activities, like violations of the Hatch Act that forbid the use of public funds and facilities for partisan political activities. File a Freedom of Information request on the "missing" emails and see if our Congressional representatives can exercise any oversight on an administration that erases records with no regard for the law. This should have been the lead story on the networks tonight - not a peep.
     
  5. Jun 18, 2007 #4

    Hurkyl

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    I'm still at a loss as to the point of this thread. This is a discussion forum, not a news outlet; its purpose is to discuss, not to report. As the opening poster, at the very least you are required to provide
    1) A clear statement of purpose written by the person starting the thread and contained in the opening post of the thread.​
    and probably ought to actually start the discussion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  6. Jun 18, 2007 #5

    turbo

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    OK, in case it is not painfully obvious from the link and the original post, using government resources and taxpayer money for political purposes is expressly forbidden by the Hatch act. I thought most of us knew that, but what they hey?! Next, the intentional destruction of records of that are required to be preserved by the Presidential Records Act is forbidden. If our government is to be honest and open, we (the bosses, the citizens) are required to have access to their records. This is not a privilege. It is a basic right, and it has been subverted by the creeps in office. Imagine that you own a business and that you allow your employees to use your email accounts to conduct their business, and suddenly, the emails for entire accounts just "disappear". If you have a clue, then you will track these "disappeared" accounts down and try to figure out what kind of damage has been done to your business, and where the collusion leads. Some US citizens are ignorant and can be calmed with a word from "on high". Hopefully, some US citizens can recognize a pattern of behavior in this administration and demand a modicum of accountability.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  7. Jun 18, 2007 #6
    with an administration that seems to find this sort of thing acceptable, i dont understand why people are not more concern with the powers of big brother not being abused.
     
  8. Jun 18, 2007 #7

    Hurkyl

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    I don't think you understand what I'm saying. Your opening post was nothing more than a quote from a news article. Your subsequent posts lack cohesion. A thesis statement, or at least an introductory paragraph, would help tremendously.

    As is, I as the reader feel like I have only been shown a couple paragraphs out of a larger essay, leaving me bewildered about the author's intent. It's your job as the author to convey your intent to the reader; forcing the reader to guess causes all sorts of problems, which is why it's forbidden by the P&WA guidelines.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  9. Jun 18, 2007 #8
    Thanks for the info Turbo-1
    I believe that Turbo-1 was under the impression that frequent posters on P&WA would appreciate and understand the news item without having to draw a picture. Anyone who bothered to read the post and the link would quickly realise that there was not much else that could be said.

    But here is my version.
    All white house staff RNC emails had been ordered kept secure by the Congressional Oversight Committee. Some have already been subpoenaed.

    And since it is just one part of an ongoing investigation that has already been discussed on this forum there was no real point to make other than that the e-mails had disappeared.

    A point that could have been brought out it is that the current administration is a bunch of lying conniving bastards, and have further proven it by disregarding a congressional order and the public records law.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  10. Jun 19, 2007 #9

    Hurkyl

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    If there's no discussion to be had, then why post it to a discussion forum? PF is not a news service.

    That's not the problem -- the reader also has to appreciate and understand Turbo-1's purpose in starting a discussion. When a poster does not indicate his intent, it makes it unduly difficult to engage him in discussion. And even if a discussion does happen, it leads to frequent miscommunications.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  11. Jun 19, 2007 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    So Hurkyl, can we assume from your posts that you agree that this is an abuse of power and a crime? Or do you feel that this was innocent?
     
  12. Jun 19, 2007 #11

    Hurkyl

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    I call red herring. :tongue: But I'll respond anyways. I've absorbed a fact, but am currently uninterested in processing it. If there was a discussion to follow / participate in, things may have been different.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  13. Jun 19, 2007 #12
    After reading the article, lets start a discussion then.
    What do you think will happen now?

    Will everyone just go about their business acting as if its not a big deal? Will anyone be held responsible? Does anyone NEED to be held responsible? Who?
    Will we hear about the inquiry in 6 years when it is finally concluded? (grossly exaggerated)
    Will/Does some procedure need to be put in place to protect our rights from this happening again? How corrupt can the RNC get? (haha i kid, i kid)
     
  14. Jun 19, 2007 #13

    chemisttree

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    So what's the problem with the missing e-mails? I read that the evidence thus far simply does not support the report's breathless conclusions. That quote was from a ranking member of the Oversight Committee investigating the e-mails.

    I believe what this really is is an attempt to spy on the RNC by reading e-mails sent to and from staffers in hopes of dredging something up that will be useful in the upcoming election cycle. Nixon had his plumbers and the Democrats have their slim majority with subpoena powers...
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  15. Jun 19, 2007 #14

    turbo

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    All records relating to the development and implementation of Presidential policy are by definition Presidential Records and must be preserved. According to the article, Rove pretty much used the RNC account for everything, despite the fact he was Bush's top adviser, engaged in crafting EVERY policy of the administration, and despite the fact that until sometime in 2004, the RNC had a policy of deleting emails that were 30 days old. Then there are 51 officials for which NO email records can be found, despite the fact that some of them are very highly placed. If Bill Clinton had done anything of this type, the Republican Congress would have pilloried him. The fact is that Congress is supposed to engage in oversight of the executive branch (we are not a monarchy) - something the Bushies are not used to - and if cooperation is not forthcoming, Congress has the the responsibility to subpoena the necessary records. Our government is supposed to be open and accountable, and it is demonstrably neither, right now.

    Some Republicans claim that the RNC accounts were used to avoid violations of the Hatch Act (use of US Government resources for partisan projects) - well, that may be true, but if so, they have no right to claim that the Congress is engaging in "fishing expeditions", when for some officials like Rove, virtually all of their emails were on the RNC accounts. It is simply not realistic to let the administration cull the emails and decide which ones to turn over - that is the antithesis of Congressional oversight.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  16. Jun 19, 2007 #15

    The whole point was that the white house staff was using the RNC ISP to send e-mails. According to law White house staff is not allowed to do that when officiall government business is involved. They must use the Official White house e-mail system for official business to meet the requirement of the law.

    In particular the communications were about which federal attorneys to fire. And it primarily involves the United State Justice Department.

    This is not a minor case of poor judgment, this is an out right scandalous abuse of power. It now appears that this abuse is much greater than previously thought.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/06/18/emails-waxman/
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  17. Jun 19, 2007 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    A question directly related to the op is a red herring?

    It makes it appear that you don't want to have a discussion; or perhaps just not this discussion?
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  18. Jun 19, 2007 #17

    chemisttree

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    Then shouldn't the e-mails be saved on the DOJ server? Shouldn't all of the e-mails originating from RNC accounts and delivered to '.gov' recipients and the associated responses be saved on '.gov' servers? Isn't this exactly where the Committee is currently looking to regenerate these lost e-mails?

    Why are all of you so fixed on this crap? "Scandalous abuse of power?" Get real! In this interpretation, 51 to 88 staffers are conspiring with quite literally thousands of recipients regarding some nefarious hidden agendas that cannot bear the scrutiny of the Presidential Records Act! (insert 'Irony' here) These feckless conspirators scheme openly on the various servers that might store for all time the detailed plans of their illegal behavior. The conspirators, content in the knowledge that the RNC server will erase all trace of their outgoing e-mail, must think that the best way to conduct their conspiracy is to involve as many individuals as possible, knowing that the recipient will scrupulously delete all traces of them all the way back to their incoming servers!

    Isn't it more likely that this is just a political witch hunt aimed at some individuals who aren't particularly technically savvy? Or is this just another opportunity to paint the current administration as evil, malevolent, dishonest creeps guilty of yet another process crime?
     
  19. Jun 19, 2007 #18
    Wouldn't the witch hunters have found something more damning than missing emails? Seems like a lot of fuss over what would otherwise be a nothing-issue, certainly not enough to paint the administration so evil.
     
  20. Jun 19, 2007 #19

    turbo

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    These are some fundamental violations of law at the highest level of government that affect us all. Official administrative traffic is required to be conducted through channels that can be preserved and reviewed with Congressional oversight. Partisan activities are forbidden from such venues, in accordance with the Hatch Act, so those are appropriate for the RNC accounts. The point is (and some folks seem keen to blur the difference) that administrative business must be conducted on accounts that can be preserved, and partisan issues must be handled on personal/partisan accounts. If, like Rove, you are a high-ranking member of the administration, and you confine your communications to the RNC accounts that can be manipulated by your party, it raises (well-justified) suspicions that you are trying to put your party machinations out of reach of the Presidential Records Act.
     
  21. Jun 19, 2007 #20

    chemisttree

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    Not the purpose of the Presidential Records Act. Congressional oversight? Where does that come from? You should review the Act and see what it specifically addresses and allows the President to do. Pay attention to the exemptions granted the President for a period of up to 12 years after his administration.

    - Allows the incumbent President to dispose of records that no longer have administrative, historical, informational, or evidentiary value, once he has obtained the views of the Archivist of the United States on the proposed disposal.

    - Establishes a process for restriction and public access to these records. Specifically, the PRA allows for public access to Presidential records through the Freedom of Information Act (United States) (FOIA) beginning five years after the end of the Administration, but allows the President to invoke as many as six specific restrictions to public access for up to twelve years.

    This is not Congressional oversight! Of course any illegal activities override this law and destruction of evidence has an entirely different precedent.
     
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