Patterico's Pontifications

6/16/2014

You Idiots, ‘You’ve Never Heard Of A Computer Crashing Before?’

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:52 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The House committee investigating the IRS scandal subpoenaed Commissioner John Koskinen to testify on June 23 about the agency’s claims it cannot locate Lois Lerner’s missing emails which were supposedly lost when her computer crashed.

Clearly, Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has run out of patience:

“I will not tolerate your continued obstruction and game-playing in response to the Committee’s investigation of the IRS targeting,” Issa, R-Calif., said in a letter accompanying the subpoena. “For too long, the IRS has promised to produce requested – and, later, subpoenaed – documents, only to respond later with excuses and inaction.”

In the meantime, Sharyl Attkisson reminds us of Commissioner Koskinen’s testimony about Lerner’s emails given last March:

Koskinen said, at the time, it would be 2015 before the Committee got the documents it subpoenaed. That means he predicted it would take the tax agency a year and a half from the time the material was first requested to provide it.

Koskinen said the IRS uses Microsoft Outlook but that a simple search through a user’s “sent” and “in” boxes would not turn up the emails because “they’re stored somewhere.”

Koskinen indicated that seven months after the request, the agency had not yet begun serious work to turn over Lois Lerner’s emails. But he said, “We can find, and we are in fact searching, we can find Lois Lerner’s emails.” He made no mention of a computer or system “crash.

Commenting from Air Force One about the missing emails, White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissively sneered:

You’ve never heard of a computer crashing before?

When informed that emails are stored on servers and not hard drives, Earnest predictably went on the attack:

I think it’s entirely reasonable because it’s the truth and it’s a fact. And speculation otherwise I think is indicative of conspiracies that are propagated in a way that left people with a disinformation about exactly what occurred.

So a good-faith effort has been made by the IRS to cooperate with congressional oversight. The far-fetched skepticism expressed by some Republican members of Congress is not at all surprising and not particularly believable.

It will be interesting to see what June 23rd brings.

–Dana

93 Responses to “You Idiots, ‘You’ve Never Heard Of A Computer Crashing Before?’”

  1. Earnest!

    Patterico (a0bb40)

  2. The importance of being Earnest!

    Dana (42159b)

  3. it’s not unimportant to not be earnest

    it’s just different

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  4. These people are too stupid to know when their lies are ridiculous.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  5. Clearly, Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has run out of patience:

    He may have run out of patience, but what does he have in the way of a stick with which to force compliance? And if he does somehow have one, would he use it?

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (9940a5)

  6. Having administered Microsoft Exchange servers for law firms that are required to have an archive of all incoming and outgoing email messages, I can tell you that the excuse being given would never be accepted in any court in America. All the servers that I ran had software that archived the messages as they came into the server, either from the local clients or from outside sources. These archives were backed up locally and another copy kept offsite. This was expensive, but it is a part of the cost of doing business as these records are required by law. If subpenaed, we could have faced all kinds of penalties for failure to deliver the records requested.

    Why should government employees not be subjected to all the same penalties? Start sending people to jail until the records are turned over.

    Easy Target (804124)

  7. Well, gee, I can’t for the life of me figure out why the following sentiment is becoming more pervasive.

    Gallup.com, December 18, 2013: Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question. The prior high for big government was 65% in 1999 and 2000. Big government has always topped big business and big labor, including in the initial asking in 1965, but just 35% named it at that time.

    Gallup has documented a steady increase in concern about big government since 2009, rising from 55% in March 2009 to 64% in November 2011 and 72% today. This suggests that government policies specific to the period, such as the Affordable Care Act — perhaps coupled with recent revelations of government spying tactics by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — may be factors.

    Currently, 21% name big business as the greatest threat, while 5%, a record low, say big labor. The high point for big labor was 29% in 1965. No more than 11% of Americans have chosen big labor since 1995, clearly reflecting the decline of the labor movement in the United States in recent decades.

    Each party group currently rates big government as the greatest threat to the country, including a record-high 92% of Republicans and 71% of independents, as well as 56% of Democrats. Democrats are most likely of the partisan groups to name big business as the biggest threat, at 36%; relatively few Republicans, 4%, view big business as the most threatening.

    Mark (7b4a56)

  8. Why should government employees not be subjected to all the same penalties? Start sending people to jail until the records are turned over.
    Easy Target (804124) — 6/16/2014 @ 11:02 pm

    ^This^

    “You don’t have the documents? Take him away and jail him for Contempt of Congress until he releases the documents. Next! You don’t have the documents, either? Take her away and jail her for Contempt of Congress until she releases the documents. Next!” And so on, and so forth.

    John Hitchcock (1b3b3c)

  9. On June 23rd, the IRS Comissioner will testify that he can’t testify to the technical details, but that “he is told [insert pack of lies] and that the email cannot be recovered, so there.”

    They should be dragging the IT guys in and letting them think about lying to Congress.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  10. They should be dragging the IT guys in and letting them think about lying to Congress.

    They should have them testify along with the security compliance people who attest to FISMA compliance, backup being one of the control. The IT guys would love to tell the truth I suspect. What you are likely to hear is although statements saying backups were being conducted, information categorized and protected for required amount of time, an annual control review was conducted, and a contingency plan exercised annually, etc.In the next statement admissions that the controls are often pencil whipped will be made.
    I believe that Obama will successfully run the clock out on all of these scandals, especially the IRS because it pulls key Senate Democrats into the vortex with their direct meddling with the IRS.

    vor2 (58243b)

  11. The republicans are in on it, thats why issa has zero on anyone in your choice of investigations.
    When does the military uphold the constitution?
    Oh wait, they are in on it as well.
    I really hate d.c.

    mg (31009b)

  12. Since the political class refuses to discipline themselves and instead arrogantly resorts to extended kabuki performances obfuscating issues, changing the subject, and running out the clock, it’s going to take an outraged citizenry to remind these two-faced bastards what happens to politicians who prove themselves unwilling or unable to do their jobs. Americans are hungry for a leader to arise who won’t put up with insulting assholes like Josh Earnest, one who’ll knock him on his ass, flatten his nose, and kick the daylights out of his sorry ass. That man would earn the love and respect of a grateful nation and could be elected overwhelmingly to any office he wanted.

    ropelight (ee02ef)

  13. I still think you’re being played in a huge, huge way. Note the copy of her email as shown at Powerline:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/admin/ed-assets/2014/06/LernerEmail0449.jpg

    In particular, note the use of the word “personal”. Then recall the fact the IRS was asked to provide any material regarding files sent to her “personal” email account.

    The Administration will likely let this run until some there is such an outcry that they will have a press conference to “explain” their failure to provide her “personal” emails. When asked about emails from here “personal” ISP/email provider, they’ll respond with “Gee, go ask Louis”. And, but of course, she took the fifth. Then the counter-attack will begin, in earnest, of how these partisan attacks are blocking needed work for the ” (illegal) kids crisis”, the Iraq mess of W, etc., etc.

    All in all, they didn’t call these folks the masters of deceit for nothing.

    cedarhill (252635)

  14. I was worried that Josh couldn’t possibly live up to the high standard of deceit set by Jay Carney. Turns out I was worried for nothing. And he brings stupid to the party as well.

    Joe Miller (22fd0f)

  15. http://www.powerlineblog.com/admin/ed-assets/2014/06/LernerEmail0449.jpg

    13. cedarhill (252635) — 6/17/2014 @ 4:10 am

    In particular, note the use of the word “personal”.

    She’s talking about personal files.

    By definition, any files that only exist on her drive, are personal.

    We don’t know the backup policies for her personal computer. Perhaps it excluded stuff. She was back at work – we don’t know how she got restarted. Perhaps all she needed were programs and access to the central server.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  16. Note that this e-mail, dated July 19, is about a month after the crash.

    I am not sure what this means, but perhaps this is consistent with NOT wanting to recover files

    She had somehow been commnicating with someone, and that person offers to recover her lost personal files, and finally meets with him personally on the morning of Tuesday, July 19, at a point in time when it is suspected that the dead hard drive has been sent away.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  17. #13 @cedarhill

    The term “personal” is to distinguish it from the term “organizational” (or whatever applicable term the IRS uses). I am a retired USAF MSgt who did AF IT for more than 25 years. All individuals have “personal” e-mail accounts (e.g. john.doe@edwards.af.mil); some individuals have access to and use (to send and receive e-mail on behalf of a unit or subunit of an organization) an “organizational” e-mail account (e.g. 412tw.cc@edwards.af.mil – which would be the organizational e-mail account for the Wing Commander at Edwards AFB).

    Whilst throughout the course of my careers (on Active Duty, as a Federal Contractor and as a law intern with the USAO) I never had any dealings with the IRS, I did have a number of “confabs” with IT professionals and users from non-DoD Federal entities. All of the, more or less, followed the same basic industry standard practices and procedures for e-mail account management and Exchange Server operations and data retention. It is very unlikely that that the IRS deviates much, if at all, from these standard practices. I would have to acquire (they’re probably freely available) the applicable Agency guidance and study them. Alas I am studying for the Bar and that occupies nearly all of my time.

    Lorem Ipsum (cee048)

  18. Yeah, that’s it! The old central server trick! Give it up, Sammy.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  19. I’m saving up a list of all these email tricks and excuses for the time that I have to produce things for the IRS. I’m sure the auditor will find my offerings every bit as valid as the agency is expecting of Congress. These things do flow both ways… don’t they??

    Too bad the committee cannot freeze their bank accounts, speaking of two-way streets.

    Gramps, the original (c15c43)

  20. I keep coming back to the idea that one of our biggest problems is that there is no zeal for justice in the justice department. Congress should have a neutral partner if not an ally in them when it comes to investigations and forensics resources. When your nation’s justice department appears to be nore in the business of thwarting justice, and ignoring laws you’ve got a problem– and we do.

    elissa (433a2d)

  21. I keep coming back to the idea that one of our biggest problems is that there is no zeal for justice in the justice department. Congress should have a neutral partner if not an ally in them when it comes to investigations and forensics resources. When your nation’s justice department appears to be more in the business of thwarting justice, and ignoring laws you’ve got a problem– and we do.

    This isn’t a new development with this administration, but the number of laughable excuses seems rather excessive. This latest excuse seems more egregious because most people (Sammy excluded) have had enough experience with how their company email and/or own email functions.

    How many articles have been written warning people not to use their company emails for personal business? It’s been an issue since the mid to late 90s. Having worked for companies with over 300 employees, I’ve seen almost a dozen fired because of personal business being conducted on company computers.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  22. Elissa when you think about the prospect of Lois Lerner being held accountable, it helps to remember that the feckless whore in charge of our useless and corrupt FBI is the guy

    …who put Martha Stewart in jail.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  23. Hey, Lois Lerner says sometimes stuff happens… why all the fuss?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  24. It was the hard drive cemetery for Lois Lerner’s hard drive. The IT tech gave it the old college try to save it, but it had lost too much blood and passed away without regaining consciousness.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. The DOJ has Eric “just us” Holder at the helm. You have no reasonable expectation of honesty, competence, adherence to law, good faith, ethics,moral values. So get over it.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  26. Hadoop @6 in End the Fed thread: on 6/17/2014 @ 8:54 am

    Hey Sammy! They’re now claiming that six other IRS employee’s emails are missing. What a coincidinky? Everyone’s hard drive in the IRS crashed! Eleventy!1!!1!

    Do you have any links? I can’t find this, so I don’t know what they’re saying.

    They are saying they told the Issa already before last Friday, and he’s feigning surprise..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/us/house-panels-looking-into-irss-claims-of-lost-emails.html?hpw&rref=us&_r=0

    An aide to Democrats on the Oversight Committee, who spoke Monday on the condition of anonymity, said that the lost emails had been disclosed previously in I.R.S. documents received by the committee under subpoena, and that Mr. Issa was feigning surprise.

    How much before, he didn’t say, I guess.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  27. SIX more computer crashes with lost emails! And, gosh darn it, the backup tapes have been aged off!

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/380576/irs-has-lost-more-emails-eliana-johnson

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  28. the lost emails had been disclosed previously in I.R.S. documents received by the committee under subpoena

    Friday’s “disclosure” was on page 8 of an attachment to a 7 page letter, lost in the middle of boilerplate. I imagine any previous “disclosure” was buried just as badly.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  29. cedarhill @13,

    I think you are way overthinking this.

    You do know we’re talking about an IRS agent who was targeting people because of their political beliefs, right? Hardly a sympathetic creature. I’ve read your comments and you seem to think people will rally around the idea that she has some sort of privacy right to abuse her authority in that way.

    “OMG, the evil Republicans want to invade people’s privacy to have an enemies list to sic the IRS and DoJ against! What’s next? Forcing Lois Lerner to have babies?”

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  30. 22. Elissa when you think about the prospect of Lois Lerner being held accountable, it helps to remember that the feckless whore in charge of our useless and corrupt FBI is the guy

    …who put Martha Stewart in jail.

    happyfeet (8ce051) — 6/17/2014 @ 7:44 am

    Somebody should have, Mr. feets, some of her “Quick Italian Recipes” would have been considered a crime in my family. My sainted grandmother would have been scandalized. Thank heaven she didn’t live to see it. Martha Stewart needed to be stopped.

    Surely an IRS agent targeting her political opponents under color of authority is no where near as dangerous some WASP vandalizing La Cucina Italiana.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  31. A’s higher A’s, B’s hire C’s; this is what you get when C’s (eg, Empty Chair) do the hiring.

    htom (412a17)

  32. Arrggghhhh. c/A’s higher A’s/A’s hire A’s/&wq

    htom (412a17)

  33. 9. On June 23rd, the IRS Comissioner will testify that he can’t testify to the technical details, but that “he is told [insert pack of lies] and that the email cannot be recovered, so there.”

    They should be dragging the IT guys in and letting them think about lying to Congress.
    Kevin M (b357ee) — 6/17/2014 @ 12:33 am

    I disagree, Kevin. I say put Koskinen under oath and give him enough rope to hang himself with.

    Then bring in the IT people and eviscerate the guy. His story will not hold up. The IRS is lying.

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/06/16/exclusive-former-irs-information-tech-worker-doubts-agencys-claim-to-have-lost-lerners-emails/?singlepage=true

    First, he points to the United States Code for government record retention. That code, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 33, governs what a government record is and requires that agencies must notify the Archivist of any records that are destroyed and the reasons for destroying them. The code was put into place after Iran-Contra to keep government workers and contractors from deleting records.

    There is already a law (several, really) that criminalizes Koskinen’s email retention policy. Assuming what he’s claiming publicly is in fact policy.

    …“The IRS IT projects were fully funded and never lacked for resources. To state ‘Backup tapes were reused after some short period’ is a complete joke. The IRS had thousands and thousands of tapes and ‘Virtual Tape Libraries’ (VTL or non-tape backups based on hard drive storage technologies). There was never a reason to reuse tapes.”

    Indeed, the U.S. government has been getting out of the tape backup regime for years. The former IRS IT worker points to this ExaGrid document from 2011. In the document, ExaGrid discusses its work with the federal government to eliminate tape backups in favor of faster and more secure record retention systems.

    …“This reason is why I scoff at the story being put out. Those folks would not have had such a short retention period for email unless they had it in writing from the highest levels. It would have made the local IT water cooler gossip if the IRS had screwed up and lost tons of email by accident.”

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  34. http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/06/16/exclusive-former-irs-information-tech-worker-doubts-agencys-claim-to-have-lost-lerners-emails/?singlepage=true&show-at-comment=730202#comment-730202

    If this is true, it’s a bigger scandal than the emails themselves would be….

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/06/16/exclusive-former-irs-information-tech-worker-doubts-agencys-claim-to-have-lost-lerners-emails/?singlepage=true&show-at-comment=730537#comment-730537

    But they could at least have made up a decent excuse. Massive, simultaneous equipment failures. Act of God. Something. Not just “We had a policy of destroying our records by re-using our backup media.” This isn’t 1985. Storage is cheap. No excuse.

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/06/16/exclusive-former-irs-information-tech-worker-doubts-agencys-claim-to-have-lost-lerners-emails/?singlepage=true&show-at-comment=730497#comment-730497

    The only reason for trashing them every 6 months is erase problems that IRS knows it has. But, attorneys recommend trashing them after a few months so that they can not be held as evidence.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  35. No I didn’t. Honest… I ran out of gas! I–I had a flat tire! I didn’t have enough money for cab fare! My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners! An old friend came in from out of town! Someone stole my car! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!!!

    Hadoop (8f7b57)

  36. Lois Lerner says sometimes stuff happens to several people at exactly the same time , although statistically highly improbable. Get over it, you honest Rubes.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  37. Lois Lerner says sometimes stuff happens to several people at exactly the same time , although statistically highly improbable. Get over it, you honest Rubes.

    Of course all the emails had to disappear. If you were Lerner’s colleague and watched how she threw those Cincinnati employees under the bus, wouldn’t you tell the management at the IRS to lose your incriminating emails too?

    The IT people have to be $h!tt!n6 a brick. Better have some documentation/request from Lerner ordering you to lose the emails, or when the music stops and there’s no more get-out-of-jail-free chairs left to sit in, sayonara!

    “Containment may be a moot point, old friend. The exodus continues. It’s like the party’s over and the last one to leave gets stuck with the check.”—Zed, Men in Black

    Hadoop (7fc17e)

  38. It seems the IRS is asking us to believe they have the most inept and incompetent IT staff and managers around.

    I think the argument can be made that the whole agency should be gutted and replaced,
    whether dishonesty or incompetence, it doesn’t matter.
    They would not accept these kinds of excuses from us the taxpayers, we the taxpayers should not accept it from them.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  39. well they just received a budget, commensurate with that level of competence, 2008 level funding,

    narciso (3fec35)

  40. It seems the IRS is asking us to believe they have the most inept and incompetent IT staff and managers around.

    Now that six other IRS employees emails have been lost, I can’t imagine anyone that could believe this wasn’t anything other than a deliberate attempt to conceal criminal behavior. Well, maybe one!:)

    Hadoop (7fc17e)

  41. I disagree, Kevin. I say put Koskinen under oath and give him enough rope to hang himself with.

    Steve–

    He will testify as to what he was “told”, and you cannot hang him with lies that he “believes” are true.

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  42. Kevin, he can only claim ignorance on technical issues. Not on questions of his agency’s compliance with the law. He can’t claim ignorance on regulatory compliance. The IT guys are experts on how the safeguards that ensured compliance were implemented (and yes Congressional investigators need to be deposing them as we speak). But it is Koskinen’s statutory responsibility as IRS commissioner to ensure such safeguards were implemented.

    The idiotic excuses the IRS is coming up with to explain this destruction of evidence accidental loss of emails amounts to an admission they broke numerous federal statutes.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  43. Hadoop (7fc17e) — 6/17/2014 @ 12:44 pm

    Now that six other IRS employees emails have been lost,

    We have to make sure that all six are important people.

    I can’t imagine anyone that could believe this wasn’t anything other than a deliberate attempt to conceal criminal behavior. Well, maybe one!:)

    Yes, but the key fact is this destruction of evidence happened in 2011, not now.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  44. 36. “Bigger than the emails” themselves.

    Sammy, just hurry up and drop dead.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  45. my whole life i never made anything carbonara

    That’s going to change.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  46. Commenting from Air Force One about the missing emails, White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissively sneered:

    You’ve never heard of a computer crashing before?

    Answer: Indeed I have. So has the rest of the world. That’s why the “backup” was invented.

    Where are yours?

    Karl Lembke (e37f42)

  47. Three words all Republicans need to start saying:

    “Obstruction Of Justice.”

    someguy (84ecc5)

  48. if the whore in charge of america’s sad pitifully corrupt FBI, one James Comey, could put Martha Stewart in jail but sits on his corrupt whore ass while Lois Lerner pleads the fifth like the corrupt criminal whore she is then I ask you

    what sense does that make?

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  49. Hey, someguy- you can get 5 years for obstructing justice.

    although the lackluster in chief will get none.

    mg (31009b)

  50. Steve57 (d38ceb) — 6/17/2014 @ 3:27 pm

    The idiotic excuses the IRS is coming up…amounts to an admission they broke numerous federal statutes.

    No, they are denying this breaks the law, and they probably have some legal opinion in the files justifying this.

    It is absurd, of course, because it assumes everybody is honest, but that’s what they did.

    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/6_13_14_irs_letter.pdf

    From the attachment entitled:

    Description of IRS Email Collection and Procedures

    Footnote 5, on the bottom of page 3:

    An official “record” is any documentary material made or received by an agency under federal law in connection with the transaction of public business and appropriate for preservation (44 U.S.C. § 3301). Not all of the emails on IRS servers or backup tapes qualify as official records; accordingly, the agency’s email system does not retain all mail indefinitely. Rather individual employees are responsible for ensuring that any email in their possession that qualifies as a “record” is retained in accordance with the requirements in the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) and Document 12990 (Record Control Schedules). You think they just made that thing up? I don’t.

    I think that’s exactly what their email retention procedures have been for years.

    And still are, except that since July 2011, the e-mail limit per employee has been 500 megabytes, rather than the previous 150 megabytes, and since May, 2013 they haven’t been recycling their tape backups, so they’ve got everything now going back to approximately November, 2012, but not in avery retrieveable form.

    There’s no record of which emails they deleted and why? Yes. There is no trail? Yes. Is this absurd? Probably. Is this a lie? I seriuously doubt that it is.

    This is not a lie. Just a secret, till now.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  51. This system was not invented for Lois Lerner or the current investigation.

    This was an all-purpose system for protecting all IRS corruption.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  52. No, they are denying this breaks the law, and they probably have some legal opinion in the files justifying this.

    Great, Sammy. Congress needs to put Koskinen under oath so he can deny that his electronic record keeping system didn’t violate any federal laws. And then let him produce a legal opinion from the Wally Thor School of Truck Driving, Hair Dressing, and Good Legal Opinion Writing and How To Do Other Stuff Good, Too to back that up.

    That’s all I’m asking.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  53. 1.10.3.2.3 (07-08-2011)
    Emails as Possible Federal Records

    Please note that maintaining a copy of an email or its attachments within the IRS email MS Outlook application does not meet the requirements of maintaining an official record. Therefore, print and file email and its attachments if they are either permanent records or if they relate to a specific case.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  54. Hadoop, it’s a bit confusing but also note.

    1.10.3.2 (08-30-2012)
    Security/Privacy

    1. Email messages are official documents and should reflect this perspective. Email communications can be offered as evidence in court and can be legally binding. Before sending an email, you must consider how it reflects on the Service’s image and take into account privacy, records management, and security factors.

    So emails are official documents, and are possible federal records.

    Clearly under paragraph to of that section you cite, any emails Lerner sent or received in the course of targeting conservative groups should have printed and filed as a federal record considering they are “evidence of the government’s function and activities.” Incriminating evidence, yes, but then you should be able to convict Lerner of violating the Federal Records Act for failing to maintain a self-incriminating federal record just like you could convict Al Capone for failing to file a self-incriminating tax return.

    But federal record or not, emails need to be archived as official documents. They still need to be available for FOIA requests and as evidence in court.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  55. to = two

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  56. But federal record or not, emails need to be archived as official documents. They still need to be available for FOIA requests and as evidence in court.

    Yep, either way, a record of the email needed to be archived. Koskinen confirmed via his testimony to Rep. Chaffetz that her records were archived. The video Pat embedded in the other post couldn’t be any clearer.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  57. O/T

    “You’ve Never Heard Of A President’s Job Approval Numbers Crashing Before?”

    http://polling.reuters.com/#!response/CP3/type/day/dates/20140530-20140617

    Strongly disapprove: 42.1%

    Strongly approve: 16.8$

    That’s all you really need to know. But don’t take my word for it.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  58. Tipping points are dangerous things.

    htom (412a17)

  59. SF:

    No, they are denying this breaks the law, and they probably have some legal opinion in the files justifying this.

    54. Steve57 (d38ceb) — 6/17/2014 @ 4:34 pm

    Great, Sammy. Congress needs to put Koskinen under oath so he can deny that his electronic record keeping system didn’t violate any federal laws. And then let him produce a legal opinion from the Wally Thor School of Truck Driving, Hair Dressing, and Good Legal Opinion Writing and How To Do Other Stuff Good, Too to back that up.

    That’s all I’m asking.

    They’re probably relying on something like a 1998 legal opinion by Deputy White House Counsel Bruce R. Lindsey, currently Chairman of the Board for the Clinton Foundation, sent to all federal agencies.

    Here’s an interesting case involving Bruce Lindsey, in which he tried to claim attorney-client privilege applied in the case of a federal government entity allowing lawyers to withhold information relating to a federal criminal offense.

    http://openjurist.org/158/f3d/1263/in-re-bruce-r-lindsey

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  60. Dear IRS,

    We meant to send in our taxes, but our computers like totally crashed.
    Or something.

    Signed,

    America

    Elephant Stone (1172ae)

  61. Here’s an interesting case involving Bruce Lindsey, in which he tried to claim attorney-client privilege applied in the case of a federal government entity allowing lawyers to withhold information relating to a federal criminal offense.

    That’s between the president and his/her attorney. How does that apply to Lerner’s correspondence to the WH, DOJ, Congress, etc.?

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  62. That same year, 1998, was when the IRS installed its e-mail system.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  63. Sammy,

    The IRS does not get to hide behind “my dog ate my emails” anymore than Joe Taxpayer gets to hide behind “my dog ate my tax returns.”

    Elephant Stone (1172ae)

  64. Scammy…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  65. ?

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  66. Megan McArdle of Bloomberg says that, you know, the IRS’ e-mail retention policy is not so unique.

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-06-17/missing-e-mail-is-the-least-of-the-irs-s-problems

    As it happens, I used to administer just the sort of e-mail systems that the IRS seems to be using. So I fired off a set of queries to the IRS about its e-mail system, its archiving policies and how the loss of data happened. Many of those queries remain unanswered, but I was given some documents that explain how the files could have been lost. My conclusion: It is plausible that this was an innocent coincidence. But it is only plausible if the IRS is managing its IT systems so badly that it is very easy to lose critical records — or for abusive employees to destroy the evidence of their misbehavior. A private company under investigation that responded to regulators, or a judge, with this sort of explanation rather than producing the requested documents would rightly expect to be handed an adverse judgment or a whopping fine. This incident should be thoroughly investigated, and steps should be taken throughout the government to make sure that no similar incident can ever happen again….

    …hey can partially reconstruct her mailbox by searching the archives of other IRS employees but cannot retrieve any e-mails to or from outside users, because the server’s backup tapes have been recycled, and the hard drive is gone.

    Is this plausible? Unfortunately, yes. I have worked for organizations that used these sorts of restrictions on hard drive space.

    However, it’s also moronic IT policy. Hard drive space has been dirt cheap for more than a decade. The IRS’s policies on e-mail storage were primitive even by the standards of 15 years ago, when I was working as a technology consultant….

    She notes that at that time, when they stored backups on tape, and reused backup tapes, it was standard policy at every office she worked at, including small businesses, to regularly pull a set of backup tapes out of rotation — once a week, once a month, or at least once every three months for the truly cash-strapped — and stash it in a vault.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  67. Not only that, but

    it is a waste of money to force even your lowest-level employee to spend time painstakingly deleting or archiving e-mails. If IRS staffers don’t have anything better to do with their time, then the IRS needs fewer staffers, not stricter mailbox policies.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  68. Sammy,

    Do you think OJ Simpson murdered Nicole and Ron ?
    Or do you find it “plausible” that a narco-terrorist gang from Colombia was working with space aliens from Planet Ork to frame Simpson ?

    Elephant Stone (1172ae)

  69. I really don’t agree with Megan McCardle that the innocent explanation is better than the semi-innocent one. (she only thinks so, because why would Lois Lerner not use an outside account in the first place?)

    But evvudence of that might be on her hard drive. Or somebody made a mistake, and sent something to her official account.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  70. 71. Elephant Stone (1172ae) — 6/17/2014 @ 6:46 pm

    Do you think OJ Simpson murdered Nicole and Ron ?
    Or do you find it “plausible” that a narco-terrorist gang from Colombia was working with space aliens from Planet Ork to frame Simpson ?

    I think O.J. was talked into it by some of his friends, particularly Robert Kardashian. If he had come up with the idea himself, and yet taken the precaution of not using any of his guns, but a knife instead and wearing gloves, amd all this about creating an alibu by saying taht the time of death was after he gine aboard that airplane, which was probablyhis intention, he probably would have tried to find somebody else to do that.

    My thinking is that O.J. was the “somebody else” and Kardashian et al naturally suggested he have the starring role.

    The motive was probably to prevent or halt an IRS audit started by Nicole. OJ was probably concealing income made from signing autographs.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  71. 70. Not only that, but

    it is a waste of money to force even your lowest-level employee to spend time painstakingly deleting or archiving e-mails. If IRS staffers don’t have anything better to do with their time, then the IRS needs fewer staffers, not stricter mailbox policies.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71) — 6/17/2014 @ 6:45 pm

    Yes, Sammy, and that’s why the IRS never makes copies of every single document. What with only a few monks, brushes, and only so much parchment to go around, they’ve got to pick and choose what they need copied.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  72. Sammy #73,

    Oh, Good Allah.
    Because it’s always better to be indicted for murder rather than tax evasion.

    (Elephant Stone buries his face in his hands.)

    Elephant Stone (1172ae)

  73. the e-mail limit per employee has been 500 megabyte

    For an organization that sends out copious emails and works online to a great extent, this is absurd.

    My PERSONAL email going back maybe 15 years, which contains almost entirely text and as little HTML mail as I can manage, is pushing 4 Gigabytes.

    I’d have to assume that an IRS agent, with Exchange mail which excels at bloating email files beyond belief, would be hitting 500 MB in a few month’s time. If that was “active email”, and other email wasn’t “deleted” but sent to archive, then maybe, but it still seems light for a working agent.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  74. A view inside the IRS IT department, as envisioned by Sammy.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/IBM_650_at_Texas_A%26M.jpg/640px-IBM_650_at_Texas_A%26M.jpg

    What it sounds like when you the IRS copy machine fires up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwcG3mYo5Kk

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  75. Elephant Stone @75

    75.Sammy #73,

    Oh, Good Allah.

    Because it’s always better to be indicted for murder rather than tax evasion

    But the only person who might face indictment for murder would be OJ, while a whole bunch of co-conspirators might be indicted for tax evasion.

    As for OJ, he would think he had a chance of getting away with murder, but no chance of getting away with tax evasion once the investigation started, because too many people were involved.

    For the murder, the body would not be discovered till the next morning (he didn’t count on the Kato the dog barking) and it would possible to hire a medical expert to testify that the time of death was after he had gotten aboard the airplane.

    Maybe that’s not too logical.

    But it wasn’t his idea to kill Nicole.

    He was probably talked into it by Robert Kardashian, who gave him the whole plot, and made sure, of course, OJ himself would be the fall guy.

    OJ’s friends have since seen to it that OJ is in jail.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  76. They had to prevent O.J. from being convicted, or else he might reveal his co-conspirators. They then wanted O.J. to be found guilty in a civil trial, so that the Ron Goldman family would be satisfied, sort of, and there would be no further investigation into the murders.

    That’s why the National Enquirer turned on a dime right after the acquittal from telling stories about how O.J. didn’t do it, to telling stories of how O.J. did it acting completely alone.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  77. Sammy, it was a crime of passion and Mr Elephant is very sorry he tried to be cute and mentioned OJ Simpson’s name on this thread. .

    elissa (433a2d)

  78. Department of Homeland Security on e-mail management and retention:

    http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/toolkit/pdf/ID317.pdf

    Page 8: Some e-mails must be deleted.

    Page 12: Most e-mails are “transitory e-mails” and can be deleted.

    Page 13: Short term e-mails also.

    Page 17: General policy.

    The Question to Ask: Should I delete, save or print? (paraphrased)

    1. Determine if an e-mail you sent or received is a record.

    2. Transitory e-mails (good for less than 90 days) should be deleted when no longer needed.

    3. Short term e-mails (90 days to a year) must be saved in a shared drive.

    4. Longer term e-mails (more than one year) must be printed and filed.

    5. After printing, delete the electronic version.

    6. If not, it is only a reference copy, and can be deleted when no longer needed.

    If you don’t know whether an e-mail is a “record” treat it as a “record” (Records are defined on page 6, Potential records on page 7, and some e-mails that are non-records are described on page 8)

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  79. 80. elissa (433a2d) — 6/17/2014 @ 7:36 pm

    Sammy, it was a crime of passion and Mr Elephant is very sorry he tried to be cute and mentioned OJ Simpson’s name on this thread. .

    It was NOT a crime of passion, and was planned well in advance.

    O.J. did it because he felt he had to. It was business, not pleasure. He spent a period of time staring at Nicole.

    O.J. was past the point of jealousy about Nicole at that time. That was not the motive.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  80. Paula Barbeiri was part of the plot. They arranged for her to first be with him and then break up with him that night. O.J. was kind of undecided until the last minute.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  81. Z O M F G

    JD (08d44e)

  82. Knives was exactly what was being used around tgaht time in mob murders in Chicago.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  83. I think O.J. was talked into it by some of his friends, particularly Robert Kardashian.

    I recall the image of Kardashian with his mouth sort of gaping after the jury verdict was read. I have a suspicion that if were in on the murder plot, he’d have looked more relieved and happy than surprised.

    BTW, I’ve heard some folks claim that Barack Obama isn’t innately a leftwinger and that commentator Pat Buchanan loves blood and violence. I can always trust the judgment and discernment of people who reach those type of conclusions.

    Mark (7b4a56)

  84. The disposal of the bag that contained the bloody clothes was not something left to chance. He dropped it off some place LAX airport and somebody else took care of that.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  85. 86. Mark (7b4a56) — 6/17/2014 @ 7:57 pm

    I recall the image of Kardashian with his mouth sort of gaping after the jury verdict was read. I have a suspicion that if were in on the murder plot, he’d have looked more relieved and happy than surprised.

    I think maybe he wasn’t in on the jury tampering. If there’s something a little bit wrong with what I say some detalils won’t match. O.J. was in on the jury tampering. You remember that little speeech he gave to the jury. I thought at the time, his lawyers were lying to him, and just telling telling him they were tampering with the jury, but that appears not to be the case.

    They had to tell O.J. they would get him off, because they didn’t want him to switch lawyers. But they didn’t need to tell Robert Kardashian. Kardashian was probably the contact between O.J. and the rest of the conspirators, and he probably didn’t tell O.J. there was anybody else involved.

    Kardashian would have bene surprised, because the jurors asking to hear the testimony of Allan Park seemed to mean that they were going to convict. If he had jeard about jury tampering (from O.J. maybe) he would have thought that wasn’t going to work.

    BTW, I’ve heard some folks claim that Barack Obama isn’t innately a leftwinger and that commentator Pat Buchanan loves blood and violence. I can always trust the judgment and discernment of people who reach those type of conclusions.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  86. WTF? Please stop! While I think your contrarian schtick is novel, this is beyond meshuggah.

    Hadoop (7fc17e)

  87. I learned something from today’s Wall Street Journal editorial:

    The IRS confessed about the missing e-mails probably because Congress subpoenaed the justice department to get correspondence between DOJ and Lois Lerner about prosecuting conservative non-profits.

    This meant Congress received some e-mails from DOJ that it hadn’t receiveed from the IRS in spite of a subpoena for “all’ records in August 2013, and in February 2014. Perhaps that was limited by the word “records”

    In June 4, 2013, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa had asked for (not subpoenaed) for all “documents and communications sent by, receoved by, or copied to Lois Lerner.”

    The IRS had to confess that it never had obtained all of them, and then that it didn’t have them.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  88. The IRS was definitely hiding the fact that it was not complying with the subpoena, or could not.

    Until Congress obtained e-mail from DOJ that they shold have gotten from the IRS.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  89. You can bet your last dollar (a condition many Americans are reaching under this criminal administration) that the reason these emails are being claimed as “lost” is because they are PROOF POSITIVE that the White House and Criminal General Holder are hip-deep in the conspiracy against conservative groups.

    Let us hope and pray that some government IT guy with a conscience will leak the “lost” email, thereby blowing the Obama administration to Kingdom Come.

    effinayright (ca169a)

  90. effinayright (ca169a) — 6/18/2014 @ 8:59 pm

    Let us hope and pray that some government IT guy with a conscience will leak the “lost” email, thereby blowing the Obama administration to Kingdom Come.

    What might be leaked is suspicions it was deliberately destroyed.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)


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