Why it's almost as if someone meant to do it.
IT chief at IRS just blown away at how so many Lois Lerner e-mails were accidentally erased
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You know, it’s the darndest thing. The IRS tried really really really really really hard to recover all those Lois Lerner e-mails. But you see, what happened was, there was this improbable series of unforeseen accidents, glitches, screwups, mistakes, misfortunes and anomalies. And they couldn’t get them. So, sorry! But rest assured, none of this was intentional!
Why, such an unprecedented string of cataclysms simply has the tech guy at the IRS in a state of shock:
According to the report, IRS Chief Technology Officer Terry Milholland told the IG office he was “blown away” after learning the tapes had been demagnetized—a process known as “degaussing.” This was done at the IRS’s IT center in Martinsburg, W.Va. Those tapes are believed to have contained Lerner emails that “were responsive to Congressional demands and subpoenas,” the report says.
“Backup tapes were destroyed as a result of IRS management,” the report says, noting officials failed to appropriately follow a May 2013 directive from Milholland concerning record preservation.
The report further states that the IRS “did not fully identify as a source or perform recovery attempts for email” associated with Lerner. It says that as many as “23,000 to 24,000 email messages may not have been provided to Congress.”
Beginning in the summer of 2011, according to the report, there was an effort by the IRS to recover the failed hard drive belonging to Lerner.
A July 19, 2011, email from Carl Froehlich, who headed the service’s “Agency Wide Shared Services” division, to Lerner declared that “Lillie Wilburn” was on the case. Wilburn is the IRS’s program manager of network services for IT in Atlanta.
“It may be too late - don’t send them off to the hard drive cemetery,” Lerner wrote to the IRS’ IT department on July 20.
On Aug. 5, 2011, Wilburn wrote to Lerner: “Unfortunately the news is not good. The sectors of the hard drive were bad which made your data [unrecoverable]. I am very sorry. Everyone tried their best.”
Lerner then replied: “Thanks for trying. It really do appreciate the effort. Sometimes stuff just happens.”
Of course, the e-mails were recoverable all along. The IRS just happened to find 6,400 of them a few weeks ago - oh, goodness, look, where did those come from? - but they refuse to share them because they have to make sure there aren’t any duplicates. Whatever that means.
What this whole thing looks like to me is an attempt by Lerner and others at the IRS, once they knew the content of their e-mails might become an issue, to create a fake trail of e-mails designed to give the impression that they really wanted to recover the more damning e-mails, but gosh darn it, they just couldn’t.
Thanks for trying, everyone! Sometimes stuff just happens!
So you think Lois Lerner would have given that response if a conservative group waiting for a ruling on its tax exemption had said it couldn’t come up with its donor list, or the list of speakers at its events? Thanks for trying! Stuff happens!
You know the answer. Just as you know the truth about this story. It’s a crock.