Lois Lerner Emails: Nothing Digital Ever Dies

digital-irs-noise

For RealClearPoliticsCarl M. Cannon writes: In 2007, while co-writing a magazine piece with Silicon Valley author and entrepreneur Michael S. Malone on best Information Age practices for politicians, I coined a phrase Malone instantly dubbed “the Cannon Codicil.”

 “…mismanaging emails and thinking you’ve lost them forever are two different animals…”

Postulating that electronic messages, like diamonds, last for forever, Cannon’s codicil simply holds that “Nothing digital ever dies.”

digital_irs

“…most, if not all, of the missing emails from Lois Lerner and her six IRS comrades with their fried hard drives have presumably been preserved elsewhere.”

Although inspired by the water torture Democrats were then inflicting on Karl Rove over his missing Republican National Committee emails, mostly I was being metaphysical. But now, with the Internal Revenue Service claiming it has lost tens of thousands of emails from Lois Lerner and six of her IRS subordinates, the question in Washington is whether such a thing is technologically possible.

“There is no such thing as completely disappeared emails.”

The interest in those emails is not academic. Lerner is the former government official who oversaw the division in the IRS that was apparently targeting conservative non-profits for stalling and harassment. “I did nothing wrong,” she testified before Congress, but that’s about all she’d say. Lerner deflected further inquiry by invoking the 5th Amendment privilege against incriminating herself in criminal wrongdoing.

Now, IRS officials have told congressional investigators — a year after Lerner’s emails were requested — that her computer “crashed” in 2011, wiping out electronic messages to individuals at outside groups and agencies, including White House. This was at the very time the IRS was formulating its rules that singled out groups with words like “Patriots” or “Tea Party” in their names. Suddenly, the question of whether digital communication can simply disappear is no longer a theoretical issue.

To say that the IRS “lost emails” has engendered skepticism is putting it mildly, especially in right-of-center circles.

“The Obama administration’s claim that the IRS has ‘lost’ two years of Lois Lerner’s emails is implausible to anyone who understands how email systems work,” writes conservative attorney John Hinderaker, a Claremont Institute fellow. “The Obama administration is lying, and lying in a remarkably transparent way.”

To hear the IRS tell it, it wasn’t just the hard drive on Lerner’s computer that crashed; it was the hard drive on six other computers….(read more)

RealClearPolitics


4 Comments on “Lois Lerner Emails: Nothing Digital Ever Dies”

  1. […] By Pundit from another Planet For RealClearPolitics, Carl M. Cannon writes: In 2007, while co-writing a magazine piece with Silicon Valley author and entrepreneur Michael S. Malone on best Information Age practices for politicians, I coined a phrase Malone instantly dubbed “the Cannon Codicil.” “…mismanaging emails and thinking you’ve lost them forever are two different animals…” Postulating that electronic messages, like diamonds, last for […] Like this? Read more and get your own subscription at […]


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