COMMENTARY | It is a sign of desperation at the IRS that it has used the “dog ate my homework” excuse to avoid handing over two years Lois Lerner’s emails. It says that the computer crashed and the emails are gone forever. Sorry about that.
Mind the tax agency must be counting on the notion that people are so lacking in tech savvy that they have never heard of data recovery. Two words occur when one hears this lame excuse.
A few other words occur as well, but we must restrain ourselves from uttering them.
To be sure the Obama administration may also be counting on people accepting massive incompetence where it comes to data archiving and backup. This is, after all, the same group of people who made such a hash of the Obamacare website. It will certainly be most willing to fix the IRS computer system. A few billion more in extra appropriations should suffice.
The “hard drive ate my data” is not the sort of excuse that the IRS is disposed to listen to when it is demanding more money. It can still ruin your life, attach your assets, and throw you in jail. It hardly seems fair that the tax agency thinks it can get away with using the same dodge in the course of evading a congressional request for information it needs as part of its oversight function.
Congress should demand that its own independent information technology experts be sent to recover the Lerner emails. It should also demand the firing of the in house IT guys who seem to be unable to effect the data recovery. While we’re at it, they need to be hauled in front of the congressional committees and made to explain themselves under oath.
Nixon had the 18 minute gap on the secret tapes. Obama has the mysteriously disappearing emails. The more things change the more they remain the same.