White House Restores Audio/Video to their Website!
(But what hasn't yet been restored? Apparently, plenty!)
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2004, 5:17pm PT  

Success! Mostly.

Chalk it up to "one for the little guy"!

In the wake of our series of reports on the White House quietly removing embarrassing Audio and Video from their website, it seems the bulk of that material has now been restored online! Thanks, no doubt, to the adverse attention they received via wire reports and Washington Post articles that our reporting was able to spur, the Administration seems to have gone through thousands of web pages and restored the previously available media to them.

That alone seems to disprove the theory offered by Jim Gilliam, one of the creators of the excellent OutFoxed documentary, who reported being told by the White House at the time that there was a policy to remove old audio/media after a year. As we previously reported, there was much media still online well over a year old. If this supposed policy was done for storage-space reasons, the restoration of gigabytes of media now would seem to disprove that notion as well. Looks like the WH was at least victorious in selling their line to those filmmakers. Just another in a series of apparent lies and nonsense peddled, too often successfully, by this corrupt Administration.

So what material is still not restored to the publically owned and historical website?

Their removed "List of Coalition Members", which originally started all of this when it was taken down just after Dick Cheney accused John Edwards of not counting Iraq as part of the "coalition" during the V.P. Debate is still, unbelievably, not available. We caught them red-handed at the time. And as of this date, in the final days of a Presidential campaign, in the middle of a war, the Whitehouse.gov website still has no list or information as to who our allies are in that effort.

Beyond that, there is no way of knowing what else has been deleted, removed, changed, redacted or disappeared since the White House doesn't allow Internet Archive sites to index it's thousands of pages. Thus, it's nearly impossible to track everything that has been changed and deleted. For example, the "Secretary Paul O'Neil testifies about terrorism risk insurance" link in their special report detailing "America's Response to Terrorism" is still missing (as illustrated at right).

At this point, all we can do is hope the Bush Administration has any respect left for "the rule of law" since all of the documents they release on their website are "historical documents" that belong to the people. As we previously reported, their deletion or editing without approval from the National Archives seems to be in clear violation of the "Presidential Records Act".

But they'd never disrespect "the rule of law" at this White House. Right?