The White House disclosed to a federal court on Friday that some of its computer hard drives from before October 2003 have been destroyed.
This disclosure comes amid the controversy surrounding millions of possibly missing White House e-mail messages between 2003 and 2005. The computer backup tapes were recycled – taping over existing data – that essentially destroys the information on the hard drives. This has generated concern that any missing e-mail messages may not be recoverable.
The White House revealed this information in an attempt to convince U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola that implementing an e-mail recovery plan would be useless.
Facciola proposed the plan on Tuesday after he expressed concern about the missing e-mails and a related lawsuit against the Bush administration brought by the groups Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archives.