This is just creepy. From the Washington Post: “White House Web Scrubbing”. Remember all those protests from Bush saying that those who criticized past U.S. policies towards Iraq were engaging in historical revisionism? It turns out those critics were just amateurs. The White House has bellied up to the bar to show ’em how it’s done: Alter or delete the record of public statements from government officials so that they do not contradict subsequent developments or policies.
- A headline on Bush’s website reading “President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended” had the word “Major” added before “Combat.”
- Comments from an official asserting that the cost to U.S. taxpayers of rebuilding Iraq would not exceed $1.7 billion (we’ve since learned it will be almost $100 billion) have been deleted.
Lawrence Lessig posted an entry about this sort of thing over a week ago, pointing to the problem of accountability when the White House actively works (through the use of their robots.txt file) to prevent any sort of automated external archiving of documents from the White House website.
Creepy. And incredibly dishonest.