Crucial White House Emails Remain Lost

Files from '03 — at start of Iraq war — backed up, but where?
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2008 10:57 AM CDT
Looking for critical Iraq-war emails among stacks of backup tapes is proving as hard as finding a needle in the White House.   (Flickr)
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(Newser) – White House emails from March-September 2003—the first few months of the Iraq invasion—still have not been found, the Washington Post reports. An advocacy group is suing for the release of the emails, and federal law requires such high-level communications be preserved. Officials, still searching, say the data might have been mislabeled, and could yet be retrieved from disaster-recovery tapes.

"We're talking about the White House, and documentation of our history that may be lost," says a representative of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the group bringing the lawsuit. The administration contends efforts to save emails "yield marginal benefits at best, while imposing substantial burdens and disruptions" on the White House. (Read more White House stories.)