In Orwell's 1984, inconvenient truths contained in historical documents were consigned to "The Memory Hole"; quite simply, an incinerator, which destroyed all traces of documentary evidence contradicting the Government's current version of the Truth.
Of course, Orwell did not foresee that, in the digital age, very little in the way of "hard copies" would exist, making the task of alteration or disposal even easier.
According to an article in The Washington Post (
"White House Has No Comprehensive E-Mail Archive:System Used by Clinton Was Scrapped" by Elizabeth Williamson and Dan Eggan):
For years, the Bush administration has relied on an inadequate archiving system for storing the millions of e-mails sent through White House servers, despite court orders and statutes requiring the preservation of such records...
As a result, several years' worth of electronic communication may have been lost, potentially including e-mails documenting administration actions in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Henry Waxman's House Oversight Committee is planning to hold hearings on this matter, currently scheduled for February 15. Let us hope that this committee, of which Vermont's own Peter Welch is a member, makes plenty of copies of what they find.