Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hey. What Happens If You Push This Button? Oops. My Bad

We're coming to you from the Department of Technological Technification here in the marbled halls of IM Central today. The DoTT is located somewhere under the exploded spaghetti pot of wires running all over the place, some of which probably go to something, but all of which we are afraid to disconnect, even if it would keep most of this equipment from constantly flashing 12:00 at us.

We tell you this by way of sympathizing with president Bush who seems to be having his own set of problems dealing with 21st century data storage and transmission devices, although, to be fair our problems usually arise from Stoli being spilled on the keyboard.

The Bush administration has not found disaster recovery files for White House e-mails from a three-month time period in 2003, raising the possibility that messages sent before and after the invasion of Iraq may not be recovered until someone can figure out a way to open Cheney's man sized safe. "We think we might have lost them when the levees broke," said a White House aide. "Oh wait. Wrong disaster. Um...mice ate them?"

That period was one of the most crucial of the Bush presidency. The United States launched the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, and President Bush declared the end of major combat operations on May 1. "We really don't think the president sent any e-mails during that period," said White House chief information officer, Theresa Payton. "Most of the time he was down in the map room pushing the little tanks and ships around and making war sounds."

Two federal statutes require presidential communications, including e-mails involving senior White House aides, to be preserved for the nation's historical record. "Come on now," said one White House aide. "Are you really sure you want to remember this administration?"

The White House's electronic archiving system has come under scrutiny from Democrats who allege that nearly 500 days' worth of White House e-mails from 2003 to 2005 may be missing. "I blame static electricity," said White House Press Secretart Dana Perino.

The administration said in a brief, filed with U.S. Magistrate John M. Facciola of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, that a court proposal to search and preserve all e-mail records on the White House network would "yield marginal benefits at best, while imposing substantial burdens and disruptions" on the government.

"Not only that, if we did happen to find them it could impose even more 'substantial burdens and disruptions' on us because our scrawny white butts might end up in the slammer," said one senior aide who asked not to be named.

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