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November 12, 2007


Gosh, ya' think?
I'll bet the WH will just say "no!" and dare someone to come after them, hoping to run out the clock. Maybe keep bumping it to a higher court, knowing that if they get to the top the chances fall their way. Maybe.

Repugs are in love with the "paperless society", except when somebody does backup onto tape.

But, even if they do abide by this, I thought it was the RNC servers that were being used anyway by Rove, Myers, etc...

Wasn't that what was proven by the Justice Department Firings?

it all seems so long ago, my memory is fading on this.

If the republicans do not succeed in monopolizing the telcom industry this electronic stuff will become a doubled-edged sword.

Soon enough, in their effort to enact their plans across the country they'll have to resort to human couriers on mule back to continue operational secrecy. .

IIRC some WH folks were using RNC servers and Blackberry accounts (which seems clear to me with the intent to do stuff that they didn't want to show up on WH mail servers, but hey, I'm just a dweeb), but I think that involves another action than this WH server issue.

Reporters from the Kansas City Star asked Blunt today about the Saturday AP story backing Eckersley's account and ( video here ) got shoved out of the way for doing so. Blunt was clearly shaken by the questioning as he avoided eye contact and then motioned his driver to leave in mid question. Off camera, a Blunt body gaurd apparently made sure the Governor could leave without answering the question by shoving aside the reporters and slamming the car door in their faces. Wait for the reporter's comments at the end.

Um Henry Kennedy wants what when? He has a much better chance morphing into John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He "ordered the White House." I bet they are really bummed about this "setback." CREW is five years late and 5 million destroyed emails and hard drives short. Those hard drives are long gone from this earth.

There's a simple thing about a court order and the White House. Fielding and Addington don't give a damn what the courts order. They are above, around,and beyond the law. Congress and the Courts are completely irrelevant to them. Try to match any court rulings with any compliance during Bush's administration and you will have a very very difficult time, particularly ones involving "terrorism" or "surveillance".

There were never "archiving problems" at the White House. They may be stupid, but they have plenty of access to IT help. MSFT spent 50 million in the beltway just to establish enough presence to service the gov 24X7. Their approach to those 5 million or so emails was to deliberately and effectively destroy all of them.

If it isn't clear by now, the White House has destroyed all significant evidence, and they aren't testifying before anyone, nor is Rove, nor is the twit candidate for the world's dumbest attorney Harriet the Rat Miers.

The objective of the White House is not to give a nano-millimeter on any issue, any information, and they are succeeding admirably. The compliant gutless Democrats go along with every last vote for the Bushies.

I um wouldn't hold one's breath to see the White House comply with any order from a trial court, or appellate court and Kennedy can't bring back the missing emails.

I wouldn't trust anyone in the White House to comply with any court's order to preserve anything. There is literally nothing to stop the West Wing from blowing off this order and no way or no one to enforce it.

Who? US Marshalls? A US Attorney? The US Attorney from D.C.? There are close to 5 million emails on a ship that sailed over four years ago, and those have been long destroyed--and I guarantee you although any HD would be recoverable those HDs were lost from planet earth years ago.

This is a White House that laces every law passed with signing statements. As for as they are concerned the Unitary executive answers to no one, and now they have their puppet in place who has never had respect for the Constitution Moooooookasey--a staunch subscriber to the Unitary Executive theory.

Within a couple weeks the White House will have complete control of the Telcoms and everyone's emails because your chickenlivered so-called Democrats on Judiciary are voting and marking up any way the White House wants.

I don't know 'bout living la vida loca, but living in the middle of the middle of 1984 ain't much fun.

Pete Pierce,

what the White house did or didn't do, I don't know.

I do know that your statement "and I guarantee you although any HD would be recoverable" is incorrect.

Pete - I dunno, Harriet the Rat's actual legal skills may be superior to those of Albertoad Gonzales.

"Jodi" I'm not surprised you're ignorant of programs like MIT's, but they have recovered any information off any hard drives including those in the ocean for years and "erased" by government protocols. But you have to have a hard drive in some kind of shape. That doesn't apply to the criminals in the White House.

If you think I meant hard drives that are destroyed or gone are recoverable, you're equally in error. MIT can take info off the edge of a hard drive. You need to read up, but from the posts I've seen you need to read up in an infinite number of directions.

Your statement with nothing to back it up is the same type statement Laura Ingraham gave on ABC this morning that Iraq is improving on all fronts. Including the 2.5 million refugees who can't find jobs, because the Arab brothers won't let them work in their countries.

These White House Hard Drives have long disappeared as have about 5 million emails--intentionally and that was my point. They don't answer to any laws anywhere.

And Jodi try something new in your life. When you say you know something--try documenting it or supporting it--something totally foreign to you.

I'm sure that's true bmaz but both of them had zero federal litigation experience before leaving Texas, --and what people forget as Jeff Toobin points out at all his talks--Harriet Miers is the only Supreme Court candidate who withdrew who was sure to be confirmed. Nothing would have stopped her confirmation no matter how many questions she couldn't answer. Refusing to answer questions because you're ignorant of the subject matter (as she was) or because you just don't want to because you're getting ready to Hijack the S.Ct. like Roberts and Alito still results in no answers--just like Mooooookasey.

And the only difference between the 109th Congress and the 110th Congress is that you knew the majority was voting with Bush up front--and it took a few months to realize that the new Majority is voting with Bush up front now on every significant issue and confirmation.

Pete - I at least think that Miers had been in state trial courtrooms at some point and she did actually handle cases in a law firm. The only time I have ever been able to discern that Gonzales was EVER in an actual trial courtroom was when he made a brief appearance in a municipal court to get Bush out of DWI jury duty. My understanding is he walked through the courtroom and discussed things in the judges chambers for a few minutes and left. That would be the sum total of his courtroom experience as a lawyer as far as I can tell. (He did sit as an appellate judge for a little over a year with a quite unremarkable record).

Bmaz that's true. I'm sure she had some state experience. Miers was the first woman hired for Dallas’s Locke Purnell Rain Harrell. She was elected their President--what this means I don't know.

But she had no federal litigation experience, and that is just one compelling reason she didn't belongs on the S. Ct. It's bad enough that you have judges on the D.C. Circuit, the Eleventh Circuit and most other appellate circuits who have had no litigation experience in a federal courtroom.

And her twitesque conduct while in the White House is consistent with her lack of federal experience.

Brett Cavanaugh comes quickly to mind on the D.C. Circuit. Frank Hull aka the Paris Hilton of the Eleventh Circuit, had little litigation experience and no federal experience whatsoever before doing brief stints in state court and superior court and then hopping to the Eleventh Circuit. Almost all cases she saw were from the state court bench--not ones she had to argue, and she never set a toe in a federal courtroom before being given the Eleventh Circuit appointment. It was one of Clinton's worst appointments, the requirement being that Hull be an anatomical female.

That Bush nominated her for the Supreme Court is a great index of his particularly sociopathic brand of chutzpah. This is a guy who could care less how much he damaged this country and its people--or how many laws he breaks or ignores.

Interestingly, although I suspect Miers would have voted the same way as Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and Roberts always will in lock step, IMHO, her votes would have been somewhat less predictable than those of Roberts and Alito.

Dershowitz has said and written that Renquist did more damage on the Supreme Court than any other justice in history. I predict that Roberts and Alito are going to surpass Renquist's damage. They are considerably brighter, and hire smarter law clerks who are totally committed to the base, and they will be exponentially more Machiavellian in ruling against the individual and for affluent business, for a Unitary Executive, and for the executioner rather than the accused every chance they get. Roe's sacking is a matter of time, just like Telco immunity and considerably more secret government particularly since no Democrats will stand up to Republicans on any confirmation, vote on a bill, or other issue.

I'll be honest, there is a pretty fair argument that Miers is preferable to Alito, even though she was nowhere near as qualified. She actually did some fairly decent pro-bono things and wrote a couple of things during her years at Locke Purnell that indicated she was not the heartless right wing ideologue that Alito is (her writing was abysmal in quality though). Miers is also older and would not be taking up a seat anywhere near as long as Alito. I still have a slim hope (growing weaker rapidly) that Roberts may moderate somewhat and at least be acceptable. This would depend on the court being shifted back left though, which won't take place, if it does at all, for quite some time. The next two likely openings will be Stevens and Ginsburg's chairs; putting good Democratically appointed progressive justices in those positions only maintains the status quo. It is the two after that that will be determinative.

Good points Bmaz. I wish I shared your optimism on Roberts, because I think he is just as venal as I know Alito is, but has a smoother and somewhat more scholarly and polished persona--more of a deadly velvet glove. Your read on Miers as not as heartless is probably dead on, but she had such unabashed adoration for Bushie for putting her into a D.C. spotlight that she couldn't wait to do his bidding. You need a lot of Phenergan to stomach those love notes from her to Georgie.

If this article isn't damning, I don't know what is.

Bush's team instituted e-mail deletion when he was Governor. And they brought the policy with them to Washington. And the policy was illegal in both places.

Bush or his top lieutenants knew. This was deliberate.

Pete Pierce

you say: "they have recovered any information off any hard drives including those in the ocean for years and "erased" by government protocols"

Further you challenge me to back up what I said. Well, I challenge you to back up that absurd statement.

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I am still laughing!
Here is a little joke: "Ok, I confess. I was responsible for getting rid of the hard drives. You can go to Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench (about 7 miles down) and get the 5 times DOD top secrecy protocol erased disks. I am so sure you will fail to find anything useful on the disks, that I tell you this."

Hey and get back to me too, Pete. Don't be a stranger.

Those emails don't exist only on the writers' computers. They don't exist only upon the recipients' computers. Even if both parties destroyed the emails, they left a trail of packets spanning the Internet, hopping in and out of caches, bouncing from node to node and leaping from server to server. Nets are tenacious because of the multiplicity of links. A line will fail completely if it breaks, but a net with a broken link will still catch fish.

If the FBI did its job properly when Aragoncillo (the Filippino spy) got caught operating out of Cheney's office, those original hard drives will be preserved in labeled baggies. I imagine that Ralston's computer files would be fascinating to browse through. Given the slave workers on our Iraqi embassy, one remembers the PPI affair... but I'm digressing.

Destroying a ring of information is almost as hard as destroying The One Ring. Maybe harder. One could drop a hard drive into an active volcano, where even MIT might fail to recover the data, but how could one melt down all the links and nodes of the entire Internet?

EW, just wanted to point out that I clicked both PJ's link and yours this morning and ended up at an article entitled "Witness describes holding Diana's hand". Just thought you might want to fix the link (if possible).

hauksdottir -- you raise a point that has puzzled me for awhile now... How are backups performed on the backbone of the internet? For example, an end user's computer might be set up to do a full backup once a week with incremental backups each night. As email is flitting around the web, is it preserved for some period of time on each machine it passes through? If so, how long is it preserved? And further, given the distributed nature of the web, how hard would it be to piece together a 7 year record of emails (assuming they were not preserved on the originating/receiving WH machines) from however many intervening machines were involved over that period of time. It strikes me as a daunting task of reconstruction. OTOH, given the telecom spynet, everything is probably readily available right now.

phred - newspapers are like that. Try today's LA Times story.

What? Bush and Cheney were involved in the Diana crash too? Those guys are pure evil!


you are right in a small degree but effectively and usefully totally wrong. It is like a garden hose. The water keeps going through. Granted if the shutoff is applied the water still in the hose will be stopped and stay there, but once the shutoff is opened again, the next water washes out the old, though it could be argued that there are a few molecules stuck on the walls of the hose for a while even with the water flowing. These however are useless for a reconstruction of the original water.

It is also the case that people pick up little tibits of data and information here and there over time, and then when they wish to they reconstruct this data is a way that is favorable to their highest hopes, their dreams and wishes.

But it isn't true just because you want it to be.

The greatest recent example of this kind of wishful thinking is the Vendetta against Karl Rove. Yes he was a sneaky little "bas*rd" but he really isn't Darth Vader and really, really didn't kill Diana.

Honest! Honest In'jun!


you are right in a small degree but effectively and usefully totally wrong. It is like a garden hose. The water keeps going through. Granted if the shutoff is applied the water still in the hose will be stopped and stay there, but once the shutoff is opened again, the next water washes out the old, though it could be argued that there are a few molecules stuck on the walls of the hose for a while even with the water flowing. These however are useless for a reconstruction of the original water.

It is also the case that people pick up little tibits of data and information here and there over time, and then when they wish to they reconstruct this data is a way that is favorable to their highest hopes, their dreams and wishes.

But it isn't true just because you want it to be.

The greatest recent example of this kind of wishful thinking is the Vendetta against Karl Rove. Yes he was a sneaky little "bas*rd" but he really isn't Darth Vader and really, really didn't kill Diana.

Honest! Honest In'jun!

oops, typepad!

Thanks PJ, that did the trick :)

bmaz -- Dodi Fayed's name probably ended up on a terrorist watch list and well, accidents happen ;) 'Course I'm not sure how Darth Cheney manipulated the Force prior to being installed as Emperor Bush's 2nd in command, but I'm not up on their ancient religion and sorcerers' ways ;)

Jodi, admittedly your reply was to hauksdottir, but my question remains, how are backups performed on the internet backbone?

phred @ 11:47

One vertebra at a time?
Seriously, they have to do backups of some kind on those computers, too. I can see multi-terabyte drive arrays for it. (I have friends who just got a 500GB external drive - that's half a terabyte. We're old enough to remember when a really large hard drive was 300MB, and this terabyte-external-drive the size of a hardback book is still mindboggling.)

PJ, cute, very cute ;)

Let me put it like this... How long does each computer handling the packets hold onto copies of what is passing through? I'm guessing these servers aren't backed up more than once a day. So do they retain copies of all the data they handle for at least a day so that it is backed up? Or are these files more fleeting than that, banking on the origination and destination computers to properly back up the information sent?

Of course, if indeed the government is running splitters off of network computers as Mark Klein has said, and assuming they maintain backups of this data, then the administration may be poised to hoist themselves on their own petard. Oh, sweet irony ;)

Earlier this year, Perry's office said the governor himself has no state computer or state e-mail account, doing all communication about state business verbally. "That's the way (Perry) prefers it," spokesman Robert Black said in February.

Now there's a governor that doesn't want pesky reporters or archivists reading anything from his administration. I wonder who he learned that from? Can't you picture W (ha, ha, I meant Rove) sitting down to explain how this works to newly promoted Perry?

As for the WH emails, something tells me that setup in AT&T's Room 641A could come back to bite the Bush WH in the ass.

phred, I think they may store it automatically in those multi-terabyte arrays. Think of Google caches, where stuff is stashed but accessible.
Or there's incremental backups, where just the parts that have changed are backed up in the short-term, but there's a long-term backup done less frequently.
(You know there's some kind of back-up, because it takes two or three days for a DNS change, like a new website address, to propagate through the net.)

Thanks PJ, that helps :)


according to my friends working for ISPs, the greatest concern (besides billing) even more than keeping the service up from moment to moment is the integrity and delivery of the email. This is the primary concern of most of the customers. Business as well as lovers rely/depend/love on their email. So they expend quite a lot (relatively) on backups of email in case something goes wrong. However the time periods for these kind of contingency backups never extends more than a few weeks, and usually just a few days. The time may vary depending on the conditions on the network and servers, for example if the network or servers are being worked on.

I had one friend tell me that they had acquired another company which didn't really do such a good job technically with their networks and this company had a large array of servers with big storage capabilities just to keep emails on for they kept screwing up delivering them. My friend was supervising the turnover of the acquired facility for a few weeks and he eventually had half the infrastructure there replaced and the procedures revamped. Then they didn't need all that storage, and they spread it out in the total company.

As for the backbone, well you have to define that more. The DNS servers?
Well the dns resolvers have caches that remember senders, receivers and addresses, and other elements even including your IE also have caches, but the time periods of retention are only minutes, or hours at most - usually.

The backbone is mainly wire/fiber/telemetry connecting networks that go somewhere, to some kind of service provider, an ISP, a School, a Government installation, etc., and that is where the storage is for the main part until it gets to you.

There is just way too much stuff for anyone to be collecting it along the way all the time, except for the precious emails (the lifeblood) at the service provider (ISPs typically), which stay on the ISP pop servers (mostly used nowdays) only until the customer downloads them, and on the web servers forever supposedly (like gmail) unless you select to delete or to pop(download) and delete.

If Rove had elected to use gmail, then everything could still be there. Or even on his own domain which he had from a previous company. My opinion is that it is long gone and quite deliberately as well as quite legitimately.

Now the exception is when they(?) are looking at you. Then they(?) might have an intercepting storage device at your local POP. That is the easy way that was used in the old days. (And "old days" on the internet is just a few years.) I would have to ask to see what they do these days with secret rooms, etc. My main source (boots on the ground) there has gone back to school yet another time.

For example throwaway cell phones make things a lot more difficult for the CIA/FBI as well as the local City police. You can see that on TV.

Though I did mention sometime ago how a simple deskside fax machine would thwart White House Archiving, I won't say how you can circumvent the spies on the wires though it can be just as simple as a fax machine even for a "civilian."

The absence of factual infomation has never come between Shit stain Jodi and her convictions.

Back here to check out the thread and look at that! An interesting information exchange! (Well...for the most part...some of the posts make me hungry for a good chocolate-chip cookie.)
The backbone network routers will not be a source for old traffic. Routers grab an incoming packet, look at the destination address, look up in a table how to get to that address (the "next hop" router), and send the entire packet off to that address, then flush the local storage for that packet. Job done, on to the next packet.

There is, of course, some storage of data packets in the router for use in processing and for retransmission requests, but it's very short-term. I don't recall long-term storage capability in routers (but my knowledge is at least six years dated at this point, so...) The number of packets processed by a busy router is unbelievable and the long-term storage requirements would be overwhelming for anything short of a national security data gathering location, where such a thing in existence :^)

There's a protocol arrangement called Quality Of Service (QoS) that dictates the reliability of transmission of packets. Routers may analyze the quality of the packet and if it's missing data, out of sequence, or in some other way compromised, the router (depending on the QOS state) usually requests a retransmission of the packet, often from the originating computer or mail server.

My understanding of email and data recovery is: you've got the originating computer, the local mail server (if you have one in your system), the ISP mail server (if you are using an ISP), the mail server at the other end, and the receiving computer. It's all stored for various lengths of time in these boxes, as well as backed up, but the length of time for storage of backups varies.

For a good time spend a few hours reading TCP/IP and routing protocol stuff. Wiki has it all in a fairly readable (non-code) form.

(BTW, at one time I think I read that all WH records, including backup data, was---by law---to be stored indefinitely. Not that these criminal-clowns care about silly things like laws.)

Jodi and marksb, thanks for the response. That was what I had thought was the case, but every now and then I run across a comment suggesting the files can be recreated from the packets passing along on the net and I just couldn't see how that would work unless absolutely everything was backed up. Unless you're on a mission (like the NSA) that seems pretty unlikely.

I can't find it now, but remember reading about one federally-owned building in Maryland or Virginia that was presumed to be housing massive digital storage (spying) equipment because the single building used more power than a good-sized city... and people were griping about having to build another power plant just for one building.

If data was simply passing through, they wouldn't be exponentially growing their storage capacity.

hauksdottir -- I don't doubt that the feds are saving absolutely everything, but given their track record they will claim state secrets and never fess up to what they have. What I was referring to was trying to reconstruct old data that had simply passed through the various systems comprising the web. I don't believe that data is saved in a way to permit its reconstruction. The storage requirements would be huge. That is why the government would need a splitter to reroute traffic through their own systems to be manipulated and saved as they saw fit.

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