IRS loses two years of Lois Lerner’s emails. Selectively.

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Please note, you are not, repeat NOT, reading The Onion.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service said Friday it has lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency’s tea party controversy, sparking outrage from congressional investigators who have been probing the agency for more than a year.

The IRS told Congress Friday it cannot locate many of Lois Lerner’s emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed during the summer of that year.


The IRS said technicians went to great lengths trying to recover data from Lerner’s computer in 2011. In emails provided by the IRS, technicians said they sent the computer to a forensic lab run by the agency’s criminal investigations unit. But to no avail.

It’s the infamous Friday document dump.  All administrations do it, they dump bad news on Friday so the low information votes who are spending their weekend drinking beer and watching sports on TV don’t hear about it until the Monday news cycle.  The second part of the equation is to overwhelm the Monday news cycle so the Friday story is “old news.”

Please note, you are not, repeat NOT, reading The Onion.

Your Curmudgeon, while not a geeky tech wizard, knows a thing or two about big systems and big system security.  The story smelled a tad (OK, it’s a month old cat box in a hot room) to us, so we did just a little investigating.  We asked a guy who is in the loop in the salt mine where we enjoy our day job if a “glitch” on our work computer could wipe out two years worth of emails.  We owe him a new shirt and a new keyboard and monitor, he spit a whole mouthful of coffee all over everything.  It was a real mess.  After he stopped choking, he started laughing.

When he recovered his composure, he said, “No.”  He used more than 15 words, some of them we thought had been reserved in the 60’s for Marine Drill Sergeants, but the general meaning was emphatically, “No.”

As he explained the process at our cash-constrained little salt mine (low margins on salt, we spend money on executive perks not infrastructure) our serves have “mirrored drives.”  When your humble Curmudgeon sends an email, one copy is resident on the 1984 IBM PC assigned to our “desk” space (see Dilbert.)  A copy is stored on the server.  Another copy is stored on the mirrored drive.  Should someone inadvertently pour a cup of expresso into our 1984 electronic wonder in the hopes of speeding up transmission time, short of a gasoline induced fire, it’s highly unlikely that the information, emails included, on our machine would be harmed.  There is no way on earth the fire burning under our “desk” could take out the server.  Or the mirrored drives.

At the end of the day all of the information on the servers is backed up to offsite storage.  And that would be multiple offsite storage locations.  That way, it takes a lightening strike on the salt mine IT department, a hurricane in one unspecified location attacking offsite #1, an earthquake in offsite #2, and tornadoes in offsite #3.  All simultaneously.

Please note, you are not, repeat NOT, reading The Onion.


We should note right here that not ALL of the beleaguered Ms. Lerner’s emails were lost.  Nope.  The intrepid IT folks at the IRS spent $10 million of your tax dollars trying to find every last email that the House committees requested last year.  $10 million.  They found a whole bunch of email to and from her IRS partners in crime colleagues.

It was really the innocuous and inconsequential stuff that was missing.  Emails sent to the Department of Justice, to the Campaign Finance folks, and to Democratic Congressmen.  Oh, and to the White House.  The IRS didn’t say, but we’d bet any potentially embarrassing emails sent to her spouse suggesting a desire for wild and crazy sex when she got home from a hard day are missing as well.

It’s important to keep in mind that the House committees asked for those emails well over a year ago.  And yesterday they got the surprise of their lives.

We’re guessing this will generate some heat.  People are starting to call for a special prosecutor.  That would require Barack Obama and that Attorney General Guy to agree and appoint one.  And then open the books to him/her.  Assuming they even know a prosecutor who didn’t max out political donations to the Obama Campaign.

After all, the head of the FBI said there was no indication any laws were broken, and that there was no evidence of corruption.  No groups were “targeted.”  Said the head FBI investigator who donated $6,000 to Obama’s campaigns.

And don’t forget the President…

Please note, it’s all FoxNews fault.  Got that?

Somewhere, Richard Nixon and Rose Mary Woods are sharing a bottle of Dom P and laughing.  It’s really too bad they didn’t live to see this spectacle.

Oh, and,

Please note, you are not, repeat NOT, reading The Onion.


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