The PJ Tatler

Did the IRS Really Destroy Lois Lerner's 'Crashed' Hard Drive?

On Wednesday we asked questions about IRS honcho Lois Lerner’s “crashed” hard drive. The long and short of that is, it’s pretty hard to render a hard drive so inoperable that no data at all can be retrieved from it after a crash. It’s possible, but gets out to the hairy edge of IT.

You can burn, soak, hit with acid and even have a hard drive turned into an ant hive. In many cases, competent data recovery specialists can get some, if not all, of your data back.

IT specialists are asking the same questions, and some additional ones.

The latest to weigh in on the lost emails controversy is the head of the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers. Group president Barbara Rembiesa released a statement on Thursday questioning recent testimony by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who told Congress last Friday that Lerner’s hard drive was “recycled and destroyed” after it crashed in 2011.

She claimed that a certified “IT asset destruction” team should have been brought in to document and complete that process.

“If this was done, there would be records. If this was not done, this is the smoking gun that proves the drive or drives were destroyed improperly — or not at all,” she said.

Rembiesa adds her voice to a growing list of industry experts dubious about agency claims that Lerner’s emails disappeared after a hard-drive crash in 2011.

When I was a teenager, I had a little Honda Enduro. I loved taking that thing out into some open land behind my house. It was full of fox and rabbit trails that wound around through the woods, across dry creek beds, up and down hills. Most of the trails would wind back on themselves at some point, so no matter how far I want it was usually easy to get back to more familiar terrain. But sometimes I’d catch a trail that just went off into the weeds or woods and then…just wasn’t a trail anymore. That was a pain. A couple of times, it took me a little while to retrace my moves and get back out.

In my humble opinion, the claim that the IRS could not recovery any data and then recycled Lerner’s hard drive isn’t believable, and it isn’t even meant to be believed. It’s meant to be a rabbit trail down which investigators and bloggers and politically interested folks will run, and while they’re running down that trail, the clock on the IRS investigation will run out. Or it will be overtaken by another scandal or event — maybe the VA scandal, or events overseas, or maybe one of Obama’s many provocations. Eventually we’ll get to the mid-term elections, which will suck the air out of the rest of politics, and Obama can turn to his “war on women” and his racial schtick, and he’ll try turning the election around by turning his base out.