The latest on the IRS Scandal is that the IRS says it can’t produce e-mails for Lois Lerner during a key period (2009 to 2011) of the IRS criminal (yes criminal) targeting and harassment of conservative Tea Party organizations. Her computer crashed and the “damaged” hard drive “recycled” (according to standard procedure).
But wait, it gets better, they are also saying it’s not just Lois, but six other IRS employees key to the investigation (including Steven Miller, former IRS commissioner and Nickole Flax, his chief of staff). The reasons vary from crashed computers to backup procedures.
Nope, not done yet… there’s more. IRS “procedures” actually require such communications to be printed and saved as hard copies. They weren’t.
So when it comes to procedures that result in the emails being destroyed they were following them to a tee, but when it comes to procedures that would have maintained the emails they weren’t following them at all. How convenient…
Well this kind of falls under my area of expertise, with 20+ years of computer programming and administration; so I can pretty confidently call Bullshit!
One computer crashing and thus losing some emails in this day and age is statistically highly improbable. We’re not just talking about a home computer here, which is what the IRS is hoping people equate this to, because anyone can understand a computer crashing and losing what’s on it.
We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar agency with federal law behind required backups. Email in this day and age does not reside on one computer. It also resides on one to many servers and those servers have safe guards so that if a hard drive dies, it’s compensated for. Other technology (RAID) protects data from hard drive crashes.
My point is, it’s very, very, improbable for Lois Lerner to lose her emails because the computer on her desk crashed. They would have been easily reconstructed from the server on her new machine within an hour, we’re not even talking going to the backups.
And even if this improbable event did occur, it would require gross if not willful negligence on the part of the IRS IT guys. And as skeptical of their competence as I am, even I can hardly imagine that.
So now, the IRS is asking us to believe this improbable event not only happened once, but SIX times to key people during the same time period. Let me be blunt. It is not possible. It did not happen. It is a lie.
I don’t know if the IRS is stalling as they destroy evidence or if they are simply telling Congress to screw themselves. But what they are claiming did not happen; not for one computer, not for six.
It is clear (as it has been for over a year) that major federal crimes have been committed at the IRS, the Lois Lerner is at the center of it, and that major crimes may be in commission as we speak to try and destroy evidence. A special prosecutor should be appointed immediately. And before all the liars can get together to get their stories straight (if it’s not too late); pull them before Congress under oath and give them every opportunity to hang themselves (via perjury). Haul the IT guys in there immediately… I can tell you, we techies are generally terrible liars.
Many, many, criminals have been caught by thinking something they deleted on their computer is gone for good. Hopefully, these criminals missed something; even though they’ve stalled and schemed for over two years now.
Sharyl Attkisson Understands:
Sharyl Attkisson, the CBS investigative reporter formerly in the Washington bureau for CBS News (fired for being too tough on the left) was very insightful on the issue of missing emails. This lady knows her stuff on this subject.
The Emails Were Not Lost:
“These emails are not stored on a signal server or a single computer, so if there were a crash of a hard drive or some sort of system failure, they would still be retrievable. According to [John] Koskinen, the IRS Commissioner at the time, he told Congress that emails were stored offsite. That jives with people who said emails were backed up daily. There is a responsibility on the part of government officials to retain the data, make sure that is and can’t be lost in the system. If it’s true that the emails are lost, that’s quite a story in itself”
Getting the Liars Before Congress:
“I would call in certain officials. Let’s assume there could have been some mischief committed — before they have time to get their stories straight and fix things up, I would get them in there under oath and start digging down and getting the timeline and getting people on the record about this. The only people that I see that can do this are members of Congress. The question is, do they have the will to do that?”
Computer System Safeguards:
“One official wrote me…to say this is entirely implausible, and he said there are criminal penalties for destroying federal records, which makes sense, including liability for negligence for not taking the necessary steps to protect files, including a federal requirement to backup data. This doesn’t happen. He said … all email servers are backed up with something called ‘RAID’ (Redundant Array Of Independent Disks), and it’s nearly impossible for something to delete the files, and that even if that were to happen they would not be gone forever.”
Getting to the Truth:
“One final comment that this particular guy made, he said if there was a cover-up here — let’s just assume for the sake of argument that maybe something went wrong — he said laws have been broken during an alleged cover-up that are much easier to prove than the original act, some poor IT schmuck, if you get him under oath, he will fold like a cheap suit, and I do feel like there is some truth to that. So if you call in the IT professionals who supposedly reported the crash and went after the irretrievable material and found they couldn’t be found I think you’d probably get the truth; and maybe the truth is nothing more than what the IRS says, but it’s just strange that they kept the subpoena and official request from Congress for 7-10 months without mentioning it that the emails don’t exist or are that they were gone. And it also then would be exposing a huge vulnerability in our federal computers if indeed data has been irretrievably lost by this. Remember, but the IRS is part of Healthcare.gov, if the IRS system can indeed be so vulnerable that some sort of crash can lose all kind of important data like this, what does it say about the federal system?”
Paul Ryan P!ssed:
Paul Ryan (R)
Paul Ryan is onto these guys even as the Democrats continue the stall tactics. Speaking to a very arrogant IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Paul said the following:
“I’m sitting here, listening to this testimony, I don’t believe it. That’s your problem. Nobody believes you. The Internal Revenue Service comes to us a couple years ago and misleads us and tells us no targeting is occurring. Then it said it was a few rogue agents in Cincinnati. Then it said it was also on progressives. All of those things have been proven untrue…”
“You are the Internal Revenue Service. You can reach into the lives of hard-working taxpayers and with a phone call, an e-mail or a letter you can turn their lives upside down. You ask taxpayers to hand onto seven years of their personal tax information in case they are ever audited and you can’t keep six months worth of employee e-mails? And now that we are seeing this investigation, you don’t have the e-mails, hard drives crashed. You learned about this months ago. You just told us, and we had to ask you on Monday.”
“This is not being forthcoming. This is being misleading again. This is a pattern of abuse, a pattern of behavior that is not giving us any confidence that this agency is being impartial. I don’t believe you. This is incredible.”
To which Koskinen retorted arrogantly he’d had a “long career” and never been told no one believed him.
Ryan said “I don’t believe you.”
To which Rep. Sander Levin (D., Mich.) snapped at Ryan to let Koskinen answer a question
Ryan yelled back, “I didn’t ask him a question! I control the time. I have not yielded time. I control the time.”
“Here’s what being forthcoming is. If we are investigating criminal wrongdoing, targeting of people based on their political beliefs and the emails in question are lost because of a hard drive crash that is apparently unrecoverable, which a lot of IT professionals would question, (TexasLynn included) and you don’t tell us about it until we ask you about it, that is not being forthcoming.”
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