Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Byte Me

The GOP tells the House that it’s not going to turn over White House e-mails.

After promising last year to search its computers for tens of thousands of e-mails sent by White House officials, the Republican National Committee has informed a House committee that it no longer plans to retrieve the communications by restoring computer backup tapes, the panel’s chairman said yesterday.

The move increases the likelihood that an untold number of RNC e-mails dealing with official White House business during the first term of the Bush administration — including many sent or received by former presidential adviser Karl Rove — will never be recovered, said House Democrats and public records advocates.

The RNC had previously told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it was attempting to restore e-mails from 2001 to 2003, when the RNC had a policy of purging all e-mails, including those to and from White House officials, after 30 days. But Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) disclosed during a hearing yesterday that the RNC has now said it “has no intention of trying to restore the missing White House e-mails.”

“The result is a potentially enormous gap in the historical record,” Waxman said, including the buildup to the Iraq war.

Spokesman Danny Diaz said in a statement that the RNC “is fully compliant with the spirit and letter of the law.” He declined further comment.

The response boils down to “I don’t want to and you can’t make me, so there. Nyah.”

Makes you just want to slap them, doesn’t it?