Patterico's Pontifications

6/17/2014

IRS Has “Lost” Emails from Six More Key IRS Figures

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:01 pm

Haven’t you ever heard of multiple computer crashes?

The cynicism is overweening and could not exist in other than a leftist Administration, which can count on the media not to press the issue.

I want people to go to jail. Someone place a phone call to . . . Eric Holder.

Oh.

UPDATE BY JD: Previously I asked what the likelihood was that selected emails from a specific individual for a specific time frame could just disappear. Now I would ask what the likelihood of 6 people involved in the same investigation could have their emails disappear for the same period of time?

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: When this happens, remember where you saw it first:

52 Responses to “IRS Has “Lost” Emails from Six More Key IRS Figures”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Next budget, the House eliminates one in ten positions at every GS level above whichever it is that processes returns and payments, cuts all bonuses, and defunds all conferences (that last is what Instapundit wants).

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Now we know why Tiger Beat could tell O’Reilly that there wasn’t even a smidgen of corruption with such certainty.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  4. Disgusting beyond belief.

    What kind of fools are we to have allowed things to get this bad? By “we,” I’m referring to all the Americans who idiotically accept people like Obama at face value and fall for the idea that, yes, because they’re beautiful liberals, full of compassion and pro-proletarian fairness, we should trust him, or at least give them wide latitude to be the piece of crud they actually are.

    Look at how out of whack things are in Venezuela, where the populace there has given repeated hugs to Hugo Chavez and his successor, and all their sycophants.

    I like to think the ideological idiocy of people in that part of South America is somehow much worse than what’s found in this part of North America. But then I see the mentality of so many folks throughout blue-state America, in dyed-in-the-wool-true-blue urban America, and I know that’s not necessarily true.

    We’s can easily be as dumb here as they is there.

    Mark (7b4a56)

  5. Didn’t you hear? The dog ate it!

    The Emperor (e28272)

  6. Hush, Chimperor. This is your guy doing this. You were a full-throated cheerleader for Teh One.

    JD (08d44e)

  7. “full throated”. Lmao!

    The Emperor (cd1ca5)

  8. I updated the post with what seems to be a very simple question.

    JD (08d44e)

  9. I support him as long as he does the right thing for America.

    The Emperor (4dcc08)

  10. JD, nobody, and I mean nobody — by which I mean, Harry Reid, Paul Krugman, and Matthew Yglesias — believes this.

    Nobody.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  11. Everyone in the office, a little more likely than only one. Some small number greater than one, less likely.

    htom (412a17)

  12. Heed the words of Auric Goldfinger:

    Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times, it’s enemy action.

    John P. Squibob (4affc3)

  13. Htom – the likelihood of 6 or 7 out of around 106,000 employees, all of whom are subject to the same investigation?

    JD (08d44e)

  14. UPDATE BY PATTERICO: When this happens, remember where you saw it first:

    Patterico (9c670f)

  15. That goes for the other six folks too.

    “We could have had a better backup system, but due to the government shutdown…”

    Patterico (9c670f)

  16. Patterico – I suspect at least 2 of those 3 will attempt to minimize this, play it off as a phony scandal, or find a way to blame it on Bush or the Tea Party by this time next week.

    JD (08d44e)

  17. And yes, I know the timing makes no sense. Do you think they are letting logic get in the way at this point?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  18. Suffice it to say, the IRS would not allow this level of record keeping were you to attempt this as a taxpayer.

    JD (08d44e)

  19. JD, I’ve written my House Rep and asked him to sponsor legislation that any excuse the IRS uses to evade Congressional oversight shall be a legal defense for failing to meet an IRS auditor’s demands for documentation. Maybe we can get a petition going.

    I especially look forward to being able to use the government shutdown and global warming excuses.

    “The rising tides due to the melting polar ice cap ate my tax return.”

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  20. Now I would ask what the likelihood of 6 people involved in the same investigation could have their emails disappear for the same period of time?

    It depends on the frequency of hard disk crashes (said to be 5% a year) the number of people in the risk pool, and the time frame over which the hard disks crashed.

    This is 6 out of how many people, over how large a period of time?

    The Freakonomics people could calculate the probability of these being a coincidence.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  21. 14. It’s 7 out of the total number whose e-mail was subpoeaned.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  22. 16. Not the government shutdown. But they could try blaming any cut in appropriations
    in previous years.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  23. 18. And yes, I know the timing makes no sense. Do you think they are letting logic get in the way at this point?

    Patterico (9c670f) — 6/17/2014 @ 7:51 pm

    At this point? Since when have they ever let logic or history get in the way of anything?

    http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/06/10/1963-moon-landing/

    Remember When Republican President FDR Commemorated the 1963 Moon Landing by Declaring ‘Peace In Our Time?’

    …Like Ron Burgandy, anything you put into Barry’s teleprompter or on the page in front of him, he’ll read. (Including how he ate a dog, with no reaction or remorse in his voice.) But it’s particularly amusing to watch someone once declared “the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar” at the apex of hopenchange by one his toadies to apparently have very little conception of basic American history.

    …There really was a fair amount of it before Obama arrived in his manger, you know.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  24. Very bad time for our nation, an embarrassment of riches for right-thinking bloggers.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. Wait until we find out more about the other six folks involved.

    So far, we know that one, Nikole Flax, was a frequent visitor to the White House.

    Of course, former Commish Doug Shulman visited 112 times in just over 15 months, but can’t remember who he saw, what was discussed, or even why he went there on any of those occasions. Apparently the White House is much more impressive from the outside. Once in, it’s just another day at the office.

    Estragon (ada867)

  26. I seem to recall that part of the American System of Governance (“A Republic, if you can keep it”) is that the People Are Sovereign. So, when the American People ‘shut down’, TFB!
    We need a line in ‘Vegas on what the over/under is on the IRS remaining in existence. It could be the most popular bet in town.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  27. Estragon (ada867) — 6/17/2014 @ 9:18 pm

    He was checking in on the Easter Egg Hunt(s) for his daughter – all 112 times.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  28. Steve57 #24 – the manger reference explains why Pres’ent Obama is the Cowabungler-in-Chief …

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  29. Try this on the next IRS audit:

    “My computer crashed, and I recycle my backup files every six months. The documentation for my deductions was lost. Now you can stop your investigation.”

    and

    “Dude, that was two years ago!”

    David (6f3506)

  30. You know, I really don’t get Republicans. They don’t plan well, and certainly don’t understand how to play the Washington game.

    Smart Republicans would, once they control government again, remember that the bureaucracy is almost 100% composed of Democrats. And then using that knowledge, smart Republicans would pass a series of laws that would criminalize use of non-Congressional email systems, and would require that backups of all US government email systems would be made to servers under the Control of the United States Congress, for their perusal at any time, for any reason, in order to perform their Constitutional oversight responsibilities.

    It’s just a shame that they didn’t do this years ago, when Republicans controlled all 3 branches of government.

    And what’s really a shame is that there aren’t any smart Republicans.

    justsayin (84ecc5)

  31. justsayin (84ecc5) — 6/18/2014 @ 3:07 am

    How much do you want to bet that there were Republicans who asked the IRS to investigate liberal group’s political activity compromising their tax exempt status? Remember ACORN? That is why we’ll never get to the truth.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  32. Justsayin – your gift of foresight is staggering

    JD (010bc7)

  33. #31 justsayin, the real shame isn’t stupid Republicans, although there are plenty of ‘em, cowardly ones too, the real shame is the apparent complete absence of honest Democrats, or at least ones who can face up to the question: How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see?

    We have an administration arrogantly taking unilateral actions that are more characteristic of a dictatorship than of a constitutional republic. Blatant lawlessness, using federal agencies to target political opponents, subverting elections, refusals to deliver subpoenaed records, abandoning our fighting men under enemy fire, wrecking the economy with insane over-regulation, and the list goes on and on.

    If the GOP wants to lead the nation, now is the time to start proving they’re up to the task. We need competent leadership and it’s clear Barack Obama has failed the nation. He must go.

    ropelight (24a69e)

  34. “Justsayin” – pick a name.

    JD (08d44e)

  35. Patterico,

    The administration could blame the data losses on space aliens and the MSM wouldn’t blink.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  36. The administration could blame the data losses on space aliens and the MSM wouldn’t blink.

    The space alien excuse is more probable than the current bs.

    Hadoop (7fc17e)

  37. The space alien excuse is more probable than the current bs.

    You have me there.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  38. There is some bs about not having realized that ALL of Lois Lerner’s e-mails had been subpoeaned until it was reiterated this March, after Congress had received some e-mail between Lois Lerner and the Department of Justice that they hadn’t receoved from the IRS.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  39. Note to foobarbaz (#15 in the wshington Redskins trademark thread)

    The IRS doesn’t say it lost anything in a system crash, just that Lois Lerner and anyone else was responsible for determining what e-mails had to be kept, and their server could only hold so much, and their daily backups were recycled after six months, and she might have put old emails on her hard disk, but her hard disk crashed sometime shortly before 10:19 am Monday morning, June 13, 2011.

    (probably over the weekend when very few people were in the office.)

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  40. It seems to be more likely that an entire office (whether that’s 1 or 7 or a hundred) would somehow “lose” their email than one or a dozen of the hundred. Drive goes, all the mail’s gone (if itwas not correctly saved before being sent to the office’s drive. A drive failure will not take one person’s email, it will take everyone’s, or semi-random parts of everyone’s. The question to ask those who claim it’s a crash is “who else lost all of their email in that timeframe?”

    htom (412a17)

  41. 41. htom (412a17) — 6/18/2014 @ 11:32 am

    It seems to be more likely that an entire office (whether that’s 1 or 7 or a hundred)

    While I haven’t read any details, I don’t think all 7 worked in the same office, or that it happened at the same time.

    would somehow “lose” their email than one or a dozen of the hundred. Drive goes, all the mail’s gone (if it was not correctly saved before being sent to the office’s drive.

    No, the e-mail sent to the server was there. Her hard disk crashed sometime before 10:19 am Monday. June 13, 2011 (when a message was sent out to a doozen people saying that her hard disk crashed and she will be without email.)

    But the period of time for which almost all her e-mail is gone is prior to about April, 2011.

    The e-mail prior to April, 2011, had evidently been deleted from the server by Lois Lerner, and any early backups of the server were overwritten.

    It is not being explained why any of it survived – perhaps she kept some older email there, or had printed it out.

    A drive failure will not take one person’s email, it will take everyone’s, or semi-random parts of everyone’s.

    No, no, it was her own hard disk on her very own office PC that crashed.

    Her own hard disk was where she might have put earlier archives of e-mail. Actually, she may very well have not archived the e-mail that had exceeded the storage capacity of 150 megabytes they gave her, but just deleted most of it from the server, and the last time maybe she did that was in April. In July, 2011, the storage allocation per employee was raised from 150 megabytes worth of e-mail to 500 meabytes, with a warning kicking in at 475 megabytes.

    Her hard drive was mentioned because e-mail could have been there. Not necessarly that there is any reason to suppose that it was. Maybe other employees did that.

    The question to ask those who claim it’s a crash is “who else lost all of their email in that timeframe?”

    Yes, a good question. Did this all this happen at about the same time frame?

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  42. 40. …The IRS doesn’t say it lost anything in a system crash, just that Lois Lerner and anyone else was responsible for determining what e-mails had to be kept,…

    (probably over the weekend when very few people were in the office.)
    Sammy Finkelman (95e288) — 6/18/2014 @ 9:18 am

    No, Sammy, that is nowhere near the truth.

    http://www.irs.gov/irm/part1/irm_01-015-006.html

    1.15.6.5 (03-27-2014)
    Creation, Use, and Maintenance of Unstructured Electronic Data

    1. At a minimum, electronic recordkeeping systems that maintain the official copy of unstructured data such as text documents, email, presentations, audio video files, image files, and PDF files electronically will provide:

    A. A method for all authorized users of the system to retrieve desired documents, such as an indexing or text search system;

    B. An appropriate level of security to ensure integrity of the documents;

    C. An appropriate audit trail or tracking system for data manipulation and version identification;

    D. A standard interchange format when necessary to permit the exchange of documents on electronic media between IRS computers using different software/operating systems and the conversion or migration of documents on electronic media from one system to another; and

    E. The disposition of the documents including, when necessary, the requirements for transferring permanent records to NARA (see IRM 1.15.6.9).

    2. IRS may also choose to use a DoD 5015.2-STD compliant Records Management Application to assist in the management of unstructured electronic records. Currently, IRS has 60,000 licenses of EMC Documentum that will allow for Enterprise level management of unstructured electronic record data. For more information about this product, please contact the IRS RIM Program Office.

    1.15.6.6 (03-27-2014)
    Standards for Managing Electronic Mail Records

    1. IRS instructions on identifying and preserving electronic mail messages will address the following unique aspects of electronic mail:

    A. Some transmission data (names of sender and addressee(s) and date the message was sent) must be preserved for each electronic mail record in order for the context of the message to be understood.

    B. Offices using an electronic mail system that identifies users by codes or nicknames or identifies addressees only by the name of a distribution list shall instruct staff on how to retain names on directories or distribution lists to ensure identification of the sender and addressee(s) of messages that are records.

    C. Offices using an electronic mail system that allows users to request acknowledgments or receipts showing that a message reached the mailbox or in box of each addressee, or that an addressee opened the message, shall issue instructions to e-mail users specifying when to request such receipts or acknowledgments for recordkeeping purposes and how to preserve them.

    D. Offices with access to external electronic mail systems shall ensure that federal records sent or received on these systems are preserved in the appropriate recordkeeping system, which may be paper, and that steps are taken to capture available transmission and receipt data needed by the agency for recordkeeping purposes.

    E. Some e-mail systems provide calendars and task lists for users and, therefore, those utilities may meet the definition of a federal record. Calendars that meet the definition of federal records are to be managed in accordance with the provisions of General Records Schedule 23, Records Common to Most Offices, Item 5 Schedule of Daily Activities published in IRS Document 12829.

    F. Draft documents that are circulated on electronic mail systems may be records if they meet the definition of a federal record. If a draft document meets the criteria, including any comments or changes made, must be captured “as is” and retained as a record for the IRS. (36 CFR 1222.12).

    2. IRS offices will consider the following criteria when developing procedures for the maintenance of electronic mail records in appropriate recordkeeping systems, regardless of format. The recordkeeping systems that include electronic mail messages must:

    A. Provide for the grouping of related records or topics into classifications according to the nature of the business purposes the records serve;

    B. Permit easy and timely retrieval of both individual records and files or other groupings of related records;

    C. Retain the records in a usable format for their required retention period as specified by a NARA-approved records schedule;

    D. Be accessible by individuals who have a business need for information in the system or for recordkeeping purposes;

    E. Preserve the transmission and receipt data as required by agency instructions; and

    F. Permit either retirement or separation of temporary records from permanent, as well as the transfer of permanent records to NARA. See 36 CFR Parts 1235 and 1236 for additional information.

    Emails are official documents. The IRS has a statutory responsibility to maintain a system that automatically retain those beyond the six months some IRS doofus wants you to believe they keep teh magnetic tapes.

    The only thing the left up to the individual employee was which of these official documents constituted a federal record. Then they had to treat those federal records differently than a mere official document.

    3. IRS offices will not store the official recordkeeping copy of e-mail messages that are federal records ONLY on the electronic mail system, unless the system has all of the features of an electronic recordkeeping system, some of which are specified in paragraph 2 above. If the electronic mail system is not designed to be a recordkeeping system, ask an E-Mail/System Administrator to instruct you on how to copy the information from the electronic mail system to a recordkeeping system or produce a hard copy for recordkeeping purposes.

    Got it, Sammy? It wasn’t up to the individual employee to decide what emails to keep. The IRS had to keep records of all of them. It was up to the individual employee to decide which emails to keep as a federal record.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  43. Lerner and the other la-la-la-Losers lost emails have not been reported by anyone other than Fox News. Effing brain dead, colluding media.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  44. Sammy still isn’t sold on John Wilkes Booth as the single assassin.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  45. Hold the Presses…..
    Sammy just admitted that he doesn’t read details.
    So much for skimming the headlines of the NYT, huh Sammy.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  46. 45. Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 6/18/2014 @ 4:33 pm

    Sammy still isn’t sold on John Wilkes Booth as the single assassin.

    Don’t you know he wasn’t? He was the only one who shot at Lincoln, and the organizer of the conspiracy, but there were attempts on two or three other people.

    http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/lincolnconspiracy/lincolnconspiracy.html

    Every American schoolchild learns the tragic story of the assassination, just as the long nightmare of the Civil War drew to a close, of President Abraham Lincoln. They know of the shot fired by John Wilkes Booth into the brain of the great President as he watched Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. They know of Booth’s dramatic leap from the presidential box to the stage, his cry as he ran of “Sic Semper Tyrannus!,” his escape on horseback, and of his own death by bullet twelve days later in a burning Virginia barn.
    Far fewer Americans, however, know that Booth’s evil deed was part of a larger conspiracy of Confederate sympathizers–a conspiracy whose targets included Vice President Johnson and Secretary of State Seward and which had as its goal destabilization of the entire federal government. Fewer Americans yet know the fascinating story of the trial of eight conspirators before a specially appointed military commission in Washington

    One sub page:

    http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/lincolnconspiracy/lincolnaccount.html

    The last surviving convicted conspirator was Samuel Arnold, who died in 1906 after writing a detailed confession of his role in the conspiracy to kidnap President Lincoln.

    Also:

    The prosecution fairly can be faulted for intentionally obscuring the fact that there were two conspiracies involving Lincoln in 1865: the original abduction plan, developed in the fall of 1864 and supported by all eight conspirators and top Confederate leadership, and Booth’s assassination plan, conceived only after the original plan fell through when Lincoln cancelled plans to attend a play at the Campbell Hospital on the outskirts of Washington on March 17. (The plan had been to intercept the President’s carriage as it returned from the matinee performance.)

    After the failure of the March 17 plot, and abandonment as infeasible of another plot to kidnap Lincoln at Ford’s theatre, Booth’s thoughts turned to assassination….

    There was a conspiracy, but prosecutors tried to make the conspiracy out to be too big, and later on some people tried to claim that Edward Stanton had been the chief conspirator.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  47. ZOMFGWTF?!

    JD (d11cfd)

  48. Steve57 (d38ceb) — 6/18/2014 @ 4:16 pm

    Got it, Sammy? It wasn’t up to the individual employee to decide what emails to keep. The IRS had to keep records of all of them. It was up to the individual employee to decide which emails to keep as a federal record

    If it not a federal record, it doesn’t need to be preserved.

    Emails are official documents. The IRS has a statutory responsibility to maintain a system that automatically retain those

    Where do you see that?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  49. Sammy,

    I honestly don’t think you understand a lot of words as the rest of us do.
    I very specifically used the phrase “single assassin” in describing the murderer of President Lincoln, yet you claim that because there were attempts on other Cabinet members by other conspirators, that means there was more than one assassin who killed Lincoln.

    Good Allah.

    That’s like if I say that player X scored the winning goal in a World Cup match, then you turn around and tell me there were other teammates of his who attempted to score also.

    Elephant Stone (5c2aa0)

  50. Got it, Sammy? It wasn’t up to the individual employee to decide what emails to keep. The IRS had to keep records of all of them. It was up to the individual employee to decide which emails to keep as a federal record

    If it not a federal record, it doesn’t need to be preserved.

    No. If it’s not a federal record it doesn’t need to be printed, but it still needs to be preserved on the server.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  51. If it is related to the functioning of the IRS it is a federal record. There is very little, if any, discretion.

    JD (d11cfd)


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