White House E-mails

Big debate on C-SPAN right now over a bill by Henry Waxman that would prevent future administrations from deleting 5 million e-mails as the Bush administration did. Rep. Paul Hodes says the bill will lift the Bush administration “veil of secrecy.” Chronology here.

Republican arguments seem weak. The computer that powers Dan “I lost to Gray Davis” Lungren has booted up the “high gas prices” software.

Of course I agree that all e-mails should be preserved, even if it costs $155 million as the Congressional Budget Office says. These are, above all, historical records, and erasing history diminishes us all.

But because the preservation of history is somehow a partisan issue these days, it bears noting that Clinton folks did much the same. A federal judge found the EPA in contempt because the hard drives of Administrator Carol Browner and other top folks at the EPA hard drive got wiped clean.

Back and forth we go.

Isn’t anybody bothered by the fact that Congress is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act?  And has always been exempt?

Update: Bill passed the House 229-193