Bush Claims Secret Emails Have Been Erased

Yesterday, after the White House announced that emails sent by Karl Rove and others on its secret off-site email system had been erased, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, and chair of the Judiciary Committee said this:

“They say they have not been preserved. I don’t believe that!” Leahy shouted from the Senate floor as the dispute over the firing of federal prosecutors continued at a high pitch. “That’s like saying the dog ate my homework. It doesn’t work that way.”

“You can’t erase e-mails, not today. They’ve gone through too many servers,” said Leahy, D-Vt. “Those e-mails are there; they just don’t want to produce them. We’ll subpoena them if necessary.”

It sometimes surprises computer users to learn that it is very difficult to erase data from hard drives. When a file is deleted, it is actually simply renamed. Typically, the first couple of letters in the filename are replaced with wild card characters, such as “$_.” Recovering the missing file can be as simple as changing the name back to what it was originally.

The only certain way to erase data is to wipe the disk clean by reformating it, for example. Knowing this White House, I would suspect that the drives that once held Rove’s emails are all clean as a whistle by now.

4 Comments

  • April 13, 2007 - 7:59 am | Permalink

    Standard reformatting does not prevent data recovery.

    Standard repartitioning does not prevent data recovery.

    Ergo, they should be demanding the hard drives so that they can be analyzed.

  • Madison
    April 13, 2007 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Bob – They’ll probably have to send divers to the bottom of the Potomac to find them.

  • April 13, 2007 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    SURE! THAVE FOR SURE BEEN ERASED!! BUSH DOES NOT WANT HIS DAM SINS AND LIES OUT INTO THE OPEN AND THEY WOULD HAVE PUT IT ALL OUT INTO THE OPEN—–I SAY IMPEACH THE WHOLE LOT OF THEM THE LYING SKANKS!

  • Pingback: Flashback: Rove Erases 22 Million White House Emails on Private Server | Our End of the 'Net

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