We’ve reached a sufficiently high level of implausibility now, I think, that this story technically qualifies as a news-of-the-weird palate cleanser, not actual news.
Assuming the data isn’t recovered and no one is punished, as seems likely, this is a get-out-of-jail-free card for the next president’s administration, no? If some Democratic Senate oversight committee demands to see e-mails from President Christie’s underlings and the reply comes back that the hard drives were all corrupted, what’s the grounds for complaint?
IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20,” and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.
The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner’s technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens.
Per WaPo, the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers published a list of six unanswered questions for the IRS’s IT wizards today. Question one:
1.) What happened to the IRS’s IT asset managers who appear to have disappeared at a key juncture?
Ordering the destruction of a hard drive and documenting that process would be handled by trained, certified IT asset managers, according to IAITAM. But the group’s records show that at least three IRS IT asset managers were shuffled out of their positions around the time of the May 2013 inspector general’s report that detailed the agency’s targeting practices.
IAITAM said investigators need to “determine if these in-house IT asset managers were removed from the picture as the IRS email investigation heated up.”
Also, where’s the documentation for all this? If the hard drives were professionally destroyed because they were corrupted beyond repair, there must be an invoice somewhere attesting to that. The hard drives of “less than 20” employees can’t just conveniently go missing, not at the one federal agency more than any other that demands scrupulous documentation in its interactions with the public.
Some things, my friends, can best be said with song. Via Reason TV, here’s an ode to serendipity from Remy.