Justice Dept. Official: We Could Get Lois Lerner's Emails From Backups, But It's Too Hard So Naaaaaah
from the facepalm dept
I try not to go for conspiracy theories generally, but this ongoing IRS nonsense involving conveniently disappearing emails potentially pertaining to the scandal involving targeting certain groups is making my skeptics beacon go off. The official story essentially involves a computer (server?) crash that obliterated the email data of several email accounts that would otherwise be of great interest to those trying to figure out who in the Obama administration knew what about how the IRS was operating. That crash somehow also involves the destruction of any local backups these IRS folks are required to keep as part of their job.
But what I imagine pretty much everyone that has even a modicum of interest in office technology is asking is what about the kind of backups that are typically run for disaster recovery and offsite purposes. You know, like tape drives (blech), D2D backups, or remote storage. It's difficult to believe that all copies of the data for those email accounts had somehow been disappeared by accident. Or, really, disappeared entirely at all.
As it turns out, there is backup data for those email accounts, but if you're thinking that we're finally going to get to the bottom of this nonsense, you're a silly naive person that hasn't witnessed our glorious government at work.
“A Department of Justice attorney told a Judicial Watch attorney on Friday that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington and there’s a catastrophe, so the government can continue operating,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told Fox News’s Shannon Bream. “But it would be too hard to go get Lois Lerner’s e-mails from that backup system."Now, I know, Fox News and blah blah blah, but this is a claim worth paying attention to mostly because it only makes sense to begin with. Well, the part about there being backups, I mean. The suggestion that such backups are so difficult to parse and recover that the administration isn't going to get them for review makes zero sense because that's what damned backups are for.
Think about the logic here for a moment. The reason the federal government has backups of data in place is because there's a great deal of horrible crap that could happen to their facilities. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, hallmark-level incompetence, Area 51 aliens going Rambo on the computers. These are the things they have to prepare for and they need the ability to restore data from a remote location should one of their facilities fall to our alien overlords. To say that restoring that data is too hard to do when requested is to say that they're ill-prepared for a disaster. The suggestion that the government can't retrieve emails for court or congressional review is to say that they wouldn't even meet FINRA compliance, something that itsy-bitsy little trading firms are required to meet.
Fitton said his group plans to ask a federal judge to order the IRS to hand over the e-mails, which conservative opponents of Lerner want to see in order to determine if there is a link between President Obama’s team and the IRS’s targeting of tea-party groups.And if the backup system isn't working, then fire everyone everywhere because this kind of thing is no joke. I'd say it'd be a bigger scandal to have any portion of the federal government not have basic backup and DR systems in place than to find out that any portion of the Executive administration was encouraging the IRS to target certain special interest groups.
“If this backup system is working, Lois Lerner’s e-mails are there,” Fitton said.