The IRS scandal explodes

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Over the last few weeks tension has been growing over the Lois Lerner/IRS scandal and today it has exploded. Lerner has been rather cavalier about the whole thing:

Lois G. Lerner, the employee at the center of the IRS tea party targeting scandal, wanted to recover files from her computer hard drive after it crashed in 2011, but when told it was impossible, she took a philosophical view.

“Sometimes stuff just happens,” she said in a 2011 email to the IRS tech staff that tried to recover documents from the hard drive.

Problem is, it’s just not possible.

Norman Cillo, an Army veteran who worked in intelligence and a former program manager at Microsoft, argued it is very difficult to lose emails for good and laid out six reasons why he believes Congress is “being lied to” about the Lerner emails:

1. I believe the government uses Microsoft Exchange for their email servers. They have built-in exchange mail database redundancy. So, unless they did not follow Microsofts recommendations they are telling a falsehood. You can see by the diagram below that if you have three servers in a DAG you have three copies of the database.

2. Every IT organization that I know of has hotswappable disk drives. Every server built since 2000 has them. Meaning that if a single disk goes bad it’s easy to replace.

3. ALL Servers use some form of RAID technology. The only way that data can be totally lost (Meaning difficult to bring back) is if more than a single disk goes before the first bad disk is replaced. In the diagram below you can see that its possible to lose a single disk and still keep the data.

4. If the server crashed (Hardware failure other than disks), then the disks that contain the DATA for the Exchange database is still available because the server hardware and disks are exchangeable. Meaning that if I have another server with the same hardware in it, I can put the disks in and everything should boot right up.

5. All email servers in a professional organization use TAPE backup. Meaning if all the above fails, you can restore the server using the TAPE backups.

6. If they are talking about her local PC, then it’s a simple matter of going to the servers which have the email and getting them from the servers. If the servers have removed the data you can still get them by using the backups of the servers to recover the emails.

And were it possible, it should never have happened in the first place. The IRS is required to make hard copies of emails just in case the worst happened:

“The [Federal Records Act] requires agencies to make and preserve records of agency decisions, policies, and essential transactions, and to take steps to safeguard against the loss of agency records,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, who subpoenaed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Monday.

The IRS’s own definition of the Federal Records Act makes clear that emails must be saved and documented, according to an instructional page for employees on the IRS website.

“The Federal Records Act applies to email records just as it does to records you create using other media,” according to the IRS. “Emails are records when they are: Created or received in the transaction of agency business; Appropriate for preservation as evidence of the government’s function and activities; or Valuable because of the information they contain.”

“If you create or receive email messages during the course of your daily work, you are responsible for ensuring that you manage them properly,” according to the IRS. “The Treasury Department’s current email policy requires emails and attachments that meet the definition of a federal record be added to the organization’s files by printing them (including the essential transmission data) and filing them with related paper records. If transmission and receipt data are not printed by the email system, annotate the paper copy.”

Now we learn that the computers of six more IRS employees involved in the investigation have conveniently crashed.

It’s not just Lois Lerner’s emails. The Internal Revenue Service says it can’t produce emails from six more employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups, according to two Republicans investigating the scandal.

The IRS told Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp and subcommittee chairman Charles Boustany that computer crashes resulted in additional lost emails, including from Nikole Flax, the chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller, who was fired in the wake of the targeting scandal.

The revelation about Lerner’s emails rekindled the scandal and today’s news has further inflamed Republicans. Camp and Boustany are now demanding a special prosecutor to investigate “every angle” of the targeting. They expressed particular outrage that the agency has known since February that it would not be able to produce the emails requested by the committee yet did not apprise the committee of the fact, and they charged in a statement that the IRS is attempting to “cover up the fact that it convenient lost key documents in the investigation.”

What we have here is obstruction of justice and obstruction of Congress. The House is finally getting off it’s ass and is actually doing something:

The Internal Revenue Service is about to get slapped with a harsh payback for messing around with conservative groups, blowing wads of tax dollars on employee conferences and helping implement Obamacare. The House Appropriations Committee is set to OK an IRS budget of $10.9 billion, $1.5 billion under President Obama’s request for fiscal year 2015, reducing the agency’s budget to 2008 levels.

It’s not enough. The IRS is hopelessly corrupted. It has become an arm of the Obama Brotherhood and has been weaponized to persecute conservatives. Every last IRS employee should be fired and new ones hired, but only with the approval of the GOP-led House. The IRS has lost all credibility.

These are the people who are going to enforce Obamacare? God help us.

Cleta Mitchell, the lawyer who represents Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote (who has been repeatedly victimized by democrats and Federal agencies), has a pile of questions for the attorneys who represent the IRS. Read all about it at Powerline.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) is seeking assistance from the NSA, which undoubtedly has copies of the Lerner emails. This ought to be great fun.

Politico ran a story saying:

Lois Lerner email flap inflames GOP ire in IRS tea party ruckus

Inflames the GOP? When exactly does the press find this important?

Remember this?

President Obama, in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, tried to put behind him the scandals that have hung over his second term, suggesting his administration did not mislead the public on the Benghazi attack and going so far as to say the IRS targeting scandal had “not even a smidgen of corruption.”

Obama’s denial that there is corruption is concrete proof that corruption is rampant.

DrJohn’s Law.

Pass the popcorn.

UPDATE

I found a picture of Lerner losing her emails

burningcomputer

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

43 Responses to “The IRS scandal explodes”

  1. 1

    David

    Clearly, the IRS is lying on this one. And, this isn’t the first time they’ve lied about anything. They’ve been caught lying in tax courts, lying in federal district courts, etc.

  2. 3

    retire05

    “It’s not just Lois Lerner’s e-mails. The Internal Revenue Service says it can’t produce e-mails from six more employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups, according to two Republicans investigating the scandal.
    The IRS told Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp and subcommittee chairman Charles Boustany that computer crashes resulted in additional lost e-mails, including from Nikole Flax, the chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller, who was fired in the wake of the targeting scandal.”

    Nope, not a smidgen of corruption.

    “the dog ate my homework” excuse proves that we are dealing with petulant children in this administration. And to think that Nixon got impeached because of 18 minutes of missing tape.

    Buy hey, RCP reports that there are still 40% of Americans who approve of Obama. That alone should tell you what bad shape our educational systems are in.

  3. 6

    mathman2

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we have here a felony. Failure to secure information relevant to an investigation is a major crime. Remember Oliver North? [Young readers may need to look him up.]
    You must secure emails. The balderdash being supplied by the IRS is blatantly false. All government data is stored securely, on multiple machines, and should be preserved in hard copy as well.
    One machine does not crash and destroy all the data. Perhaps the directory track was wiped. That can be restored. But all the data? Absurd. It is really hard to write over a hard drive enough to obliterate all the data on that drive.
    This is a blatant lie, from beginning to end.
    What happens if taxpayers, next April 15, send the IRS a note saying that they cannot file the taxes, since their computer crashed?
    This is the biggest coverup since Watergate. Who is being paid off? And by whom? Follow the money!
    It was those paper bags full of money which really got to people.

  4. 7

    Greg

    I think what remains all depends on how deleted email is handled by a system. Permanently deleted files generally remain, but slowly vanish as the sectors where they’re stored are routinely overwritten. They can be quickly rendered irretrievable after permanent deletion, however, if there’s data shredding software in place.

    I don’t know whether the government uses shredding software or not. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do, since you never really know were server drives might wind up when old equipment is replaced. Deleted isn’t definitely gone. Even reformatting a drive doesn’t render deleted data unrecoverable. You’ve got to digitally shred it to be sure. How would we like for an IRS server with hundreds of thousands of names and Social Security numbers on a hard drive to be routinely discarded via surplus sale?

    BTW, if you’ve got McAfee, you’ve probably got your own shredder tool. Having had one in the past would have saved me the inconvenience of pulling hard drives from donated computers.

  5. 10

    Angel Artiste

    If a corrupt regime commits a crime against its citizens and nobody hears about it because the media doesn’t report it, did it really occur?

  6. 12

    john

    You all DO realize that Lois Lerner was appointed to her position in the IRS by Bush don’t you? And that her husband’s law firm is a major GOP donor

  7. 13

    Buffalobob

    The progs have/are twisting themselves into convoluted pretzels trying to rationalize/excuse the lawlessness of obama’s regime.

  8. 14

    Petercat

    @john: 11
    And because of that, all is legal? What are you trying to say here? That we should accept criminal acts and corruption of government employees because of who hired/appointed them? Your post makes no sense. Please clarify your message.

  9. 15

    Petercat

    @retire05: #3
    @mathman2: #6
    Mathman, it took the IRS a year to come out with this information because it took them a year to make certain that all copies of the emails systemwide were destroyed when Lois Lerner crashed her computer.

  10. 16

    Nanny G

    @grego: Why any of us pay these POS is a mystery….

    We are paying them less….

    The Internal Revenue Service is about to get slapped with a harsh payback for messing around with conservative groups, blowing wads of tax dollars on employee conferences and helping implement Obamacare.

    The House Appropriations Committee is set to OK an IRS budget of $10.9 billion, $1.5 billion under President Obama’s request for fiscal year 2015, reducing the agency’s budget to 2008 levels.

    The goal is to keep the tax agency focused on its “core duties,” and eliminate efforts to judge the political activities of tax-exempt groups and brake its implementation of Obamacare.

  11. 17

    Ditto

    @Greg:

    Greg, don’t even bother to speculate about what you are clearly clueless about, you only make yourself sound more foolish.

    The data has been backed up multiple times. Anyone who tells you different doesn’t know a damn thing about how government computer systems are set-up by strict regulation, and government system IT professionals will not deviate from those regulations. Most IT professionals have no idea of the many methods that computer forensics professionals have in their arsenal to recover hard drive data, or how to foil such efforts. Such training is not part of normal IT training. The only way that this data (from all six IRS accounts) could irrevocably have been lost, is if you have a conspiracy of computer forensics experts purposely accessing Learner’s computer , the central servers, as well as every other person’s computer she emailed them to and their central servers as well as destroying the multiple back-up hard drives, as well as all the paper hard copies on file. It would be required to use Defense Department wiping protocols in multiple sessions to attempt to wipe the drives, and even with all that, it still may be possible to recover the data unless the individual platters themselves are destroyed.

    The reason “why” even with Defense Department level wiping, is that when a hard drive is formatted, it is formatted with a specific sector size. The entire drive surface is not utilized, so there are huge amounts of extra blank space surrounding the data tracks and around each individual byte. Hard drives use very precise magnetic fields to record each byte, and that magnetism “bleeds” to surrounding surface areas. Which is why formatting leaves such gaps on the surface, to avoid “bleed-over” between consecutive bytes. Even after wiping a drive, the blank gaps will tend to retain a memory of what the value of the byte near them formerly was (Value being 1=Positive or 0=negative). The only way to absolutely and irrevocably wipe the data from a hard drive without any possibility of recovery, is to physically destroy each platter (say by melting it down,) or use a piece of specialized equipment called a hard drive deguasser.

  12. 19

    Bill

    @This one: What we don’t have are the pertinent emails that have a bearing on determining what the White House knew about the targeting. That does not fit the description of “manufactured”. It does, however, exceed “smidgen” by quite a bit.

    @john: “You all DO realize that Lois Lerner was appointed to her position in the IRS by Bush don’t you? And that her husband’s law firm is a major GOP donor ”

    NO KIDDING?!? This means all of this is Bush’s fault then, doesn’t it!! I knew he was behind the IRS targeting conservative groups for harassment and sending their personal information to the Obama campaign!

    Actually, after further review, it turns out you are misinformed.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/16/embattled-irs-official-lois-lerners-husbands-law-firm-hosted-an-obama-campaign-organizing-meeting/#!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/09/lerner-expressed-interest-in-working-for-pro-obama-group-amid-scandal/

  13. 21

    enchanted

    @mathman2: The problem is holder won’t do a thing. No one will do a thing. If I were a betting woman I would bet that barry has collected all of the dirt courtesy of the NSA, FBI, CIA, DEA, et al he can on every single senator and congressmen both republican and democrat to keep them in line. There are a couple like Trey Gowdy that will stand up and do something. Yes there are some republicans standing up and hooting and hollering but they are just posturing, they are doing nothing (and I am a republican (not in good standing at this point in time)) democrats are doing nothing because they are hiding behind holder, peliesi (sic) reid and obama snickering that they have gotten one over on the American people and no one can touch them. fascism .

  14. 22

    Mully

    When emails are exchanged they are at the very least in two places. So to whomever she was sending and receiving emails with those emails exist on those peoples email systems. So there is a trail and most likely its more than one trail.
    Her emails did not exist in a vacuum and then vanish.

  15. 23

    Common Sense

    @Greg: Greg, the Emails where requested over a year ago!! Why are we finding out NOW that they where lost over two years ago?? BTW you can keep your health insurance and/or doctor period!! How are you coming with the proof that Romney cheated on his taxes?? All you can do is dream up poor excuses for the incompetence displayed by 0-blama and the Democrats. Your tune would be 100% different if Bush where in office, in fact it was!!

  16. 24

    FMB42

    The problem is holder won’t do a thing. No one will do a thing.

    And nor will these “public servants” do anything about the current illegal immigrant invasion, the terrorist releases, the chronically crippled job market, or Obama Care and what it’s doing to consumer prices. Nope, these overpaid and under worked elitists are too busy making a fuss over nonsensical “PC” issues and other “bread and circus” distractions.

  17. 25

    Greg

    @Ditto, #17:

    Greg, don’t even bother to speculate about what you are clearly clueless about, you only make yourself sound more foolish.

    I believe considering all possibilities is important. Sorry if that doesn’t meet with your approval.

    Most IT professionals have no idea of the many methods that computer forensics professionals have in their arsenal to recover hard drive data, or how to foil such efforts.

    Evidently I have at least some clue about that, even though I’m only a layman, or I wouldn’t have mentioned the routine use of data destruction utilities to insure that what has been deleted is truly gone. Having said that, I don’t know what the protocol is regarding the retention of IRS emails and don’t pretend to. Nor do I doubt for a moment that there are methodologies for recovering data even from files that have been reduced to random strings of ones and zeros. I seriously doubt if that’s easily and quickly accomplished, however.

    Sorry, they’re not available, seems like a pretty good response. Particularly if said with a faint smile. Republicans are misusing investigations to wage political warfare, exactly as they did with Bill Clinton. Fine. Let’s see who the process leaves looking the stupidest this time around.

  18. 26

    Ditto

    @Greg:

    Macafee shredder is a somewhat effective file erasure program, but it is not up to government or DOD standards. A file erasing program that is up to DOD standards is Heidi Eraser available at the following direct download link

    DOD quality file eraser programs can remove files from normal access, but even if they erase the entire drive at DOD level they will not foil a computer forensics investigator from recovering the erased files. As I have already spelled out, only completely wiping a drive with a degausser or the physical destruction of the platters can make it impossible to recover the files. Which is why the Republicans committee has now subpoenaed from the IRS not only her computer and hard drive, but ALL related electronic file (Yes that would include those on the IRS’s servers and the back-ups):

    Here are the items Issa is asking the IRS to produce:

    + All back-up tapes, external drives, thumb drives, or other storage media the IRS used to capture, archive, back up, or otherwise record e-mails sent or received by Lerner from Jan. 1, 2009, to Sept. 23, 2013.

    + All hard drives, external drives, thumb drives, and computers Lerner used from Jan. 1, 2009, to Sept.23, 2013.

    + All electronic communication devices the IRS issued to Lerner from Jan. 1, 2009, to Sept. 23, 2013.

    + All electronic files, including, but not limited to, .pst files, relating to the IRS e-mail account Lerner used from Jan. 1, 2009, to Sept. 23, 2013.

    + All documents and communications that Lerner printed and/or stored for Federal Records Act compliance purposes from Jan. 1, 2009 to Sept. 23, 2013.

    + All documents and communications referring or relating to the production to any congressional committee or member of Congress of e-mail communications sent or received by Lerner from Jan. 1, 2009, to Aug. 2, 2013.

    + All documents and communications referring or relating to the creation of “Enclosure 3” from the June 13 letter from Leonard Oursler to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, titled “Description of IRS Email Collection and Production.”

    + All documents and communications between or among IRS employees and employees of any Executive Branch entity referring or relating to the IRS’ production of documents to Congress from May 10, 2013, to the present.

    + All documents and communications referring or relating to the subpoena issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Aug. 2, 2013.

    + All documents and communications referring or relating to the subpoena issued by House Oversight to Koskinen on Feb. 14.

    The Issa committee recognizes the IRS claim of a crashed drive is a ridiculous, bogus excuse and could hold the IRS leadership involved, (and those IT department officers responsible for Learner’s computer and Central Server,) in Contempt of Congress, as well as opening those involved with Federal charges such as: Withholding of Evidence, obstructing Congress, and Felony Attempted Destruction of Evidence. If you think ‘lowly’ IT Techs are going to bite the bullet to protect the IRS leadership and Learner, you are going to be very disappointed. The absurd IRS claim is an even worse excuse than that of Nixon’s secretary “accidentally” erasing 18 minutes, as every Federal government IT Technician knows full well that Learner’s system and the emails have been backed up multiple times.

    Remember that it was your party that kept telling the nation that “the cover-up is worse than the crime”.

  19. 27

    Greg

    @Ditto, #26:

    The Issa committee recognizes the IRS claim of a crashed drive is a ridiculous, bogus excuse…

    I think the Issa committee will have an extremely difficult time proving that to be the case. To find anyone in contempt, they’ll have to establish that the specific items they seek still exist. I’m not sure how they could do so.

    What the IRS has had to do to comply with Issa’s requests so far suggests how costly and burdensome his investigations are becoming. Note the last line of the first page of the attachment to their letter to The Committee on Finance. The IRS has already expended over 12o,000 man hours in their efforts to comply with investigative committee demands.

  20. 28

    Ditto

    @Greg:

    Greg:

    To find anyone in contempt, they’ll have to establish that the specific items they seek still exist.

    Wrong. Contempt of Congress is based on the actions of an individual, government agency or other organization, that establish a clear intent to obfuscate, withhold evidence, lie, mislead, and otherwise refuse to cooperate with an investigation. (Properly pleading your fifth amendment rights is the only acceptable method to not cooperate.)

    Congress has the authority to hold a person in contempt if the person’s conduct or action obstructs the proceedings of Congress or, more usually, an inquiry by a committee of Congress.

    Contempt of Congress is defined in statute, 2 U.S.C.A. § 192, enacted in 1938, which states that any person who is summoned before Congress who “willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry” shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a maximum $1,000 fine and 12 month imprisonment.

    Greg:

    The IRS has already expended over 12o,000 man hours in their efforts to comply with investigative committee demands.

    Oh cry us a river. The IRS would not have had to expend so many hours, had the agencies leadership not continued to drag it’s heels and drag out the congressional investigation. It is the IRS leadership’s fault for not promptly and openly providing the committee with what it has repeatedly demanded. As a result, the IRS can count on having it’s budget reduced when Republicans take the Senate in November.

  21. 29

    Aqua

    @Greg:

    Evidently I have at least some clue about that, even though I’m only a layman, or I wouldn’t have mentioned the routine use of data destruction utilities to insure that what has been deleted is truly gone.

    So, you’re saying the emails were deleted? That’s not the current story. The current story is her hard drive crashed. A hard drive crash does not delete email unless the emails are .pst files. The IRS and most of the US government uses Microsoft Exchange. That is an email application. It’s not different that logging into your gmail account from another computer. A hard drive crash does not erase your gmail account. It also does not erase your Exchange account. The information still resides on the Exchange server.

  22. 30

    Greg

    @Aqua, #29:

    So, you’re saying the emails were deleted?

    No, I wasn’t saying that. I was commenting on the assertion that all IRS employee emails are invariably backed up in multiple locations, and the conclusion that follows, which is that the IRS is obviously withholding evidence that it could provide if it was willing to so do.

    Those are assumptions being made on the right, not established facts. The IRS has explained in considerable detail why some email may have been lost. If Issa wishes to hold someone legally in contempt, he’s going to have to disprove what they’ve said.

    As the letter points out, the IRS has expended enormous time and energy attempting to comply with his committee’s requests. The fact that they can’t find their smoking gun isn’t proof that the IRS is hiding it. It may never have exited in the first place. This may be nothing more than yet another very expensive, politically motivated fishing expedition he’s conducting at the taxpayers’ expense. He does have an obvious pattern of such behavior.

  23. 31

    Greg

    BTW, the IRS letter does explain how it can happen that deleted employee emails could come to remain nowhere other than on the hard drive of an individual employee’s computer. That’s covered on Page 3 of the attachment.

    I suppose what’s asserted there is what Issa would need to disprove.

  24. 32

    Aqua

    @Greg:

    As the letter points out, the IRS has expended enormous time and energy attempting to comply with his committee’s requests.

    I’m sure they have. They also spent an enormous amount of time and effort investigating conservative groups because they didn’t like a SCOTUS ruling.
    It’s all good Greg. Obama and his administration have set some precedents I’m sure you’ll be comfortable with when there is a republican president. At that time, you will have absolutely no right to complain.

  25. 33

    Nanny G

    According to a Dem Congressman (Didn’t catch his name) during today’s hearing, Ms. Learner got a head’s up just two weeks before her files disappeared.
    Someone warned her just two weeks before her computer ”crashed” that she and the IRS targeting of conservative groups would be investigated.
    Suddenly her computer crashes in such a way that EVERYTHING pertinent to her part in the scandal is completely gone!
    As far as I can recall, this is NEW information.
    Sort of reminds me of how Bill Clinton accidentally slit his wife’s throat by saying her brain damage was so bad it took her six months just to rehabilitate.
    Anybody else catch this?

  26. 34

    Greg

    @Aqua, #32:

    I’m sure they have. They also spent an enormous amount of time and effort investigating conservative groups because they didn’t like a SCOTUS ruling.

    The conservative groups should have been investigated. They gave the appearance of being political groups that were applying for a tax exempt status that the law specifically states political groups are not eligible for. Investigation of non-compliance with tax law is one of the duties the IRS is tasked with. Failure to investigate would have been negligence. Non-conservative groups were selected for investigation as well. The only reason for the numerical disparity is the fact that Tea Party inspired groups were proliferating at a much higher rate. There were a lot more of them applying.

    New Gallop poll results show that trust of Congress has now reached the lowest point in the history of Gallop poll-taking. Only 7 percent of respondents state that they have high trust in the Senate and the House of Representatives. So, where are all of these investigations being conducted? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the GOP more out of touch with reality.

  27. 35

    Bill

    @Greg: “New Gallop poll results show that trust of Congress has now reached the lowest point in the history of Gallop poll-taking.” You ignore the fact that Democrats control the Senate and are as much a part of the poor performance as Republicans, if not more. Reid and his histrionics, lies and obstruction could be a large part of what the American people see wrong with government right now. That and Obama’s incessant lying.

    Using the IRS as a political weapon doesn’t help anything, either. Look within, Greg. Look within.

  28. 36

    Aqua

    @Greg:

    the conservative groups should have been investigated.

    You know what I meant, but I’ll play along. Lerner and the IRS purposely stalled and put conservative groups through an inquisition. Meanwhile, OFA was approved in a month. We all know OFA has absolutely no political leanings or intentions.
    Like I said Greg, precedents have been set and you are obviously comfortable with it.

  29. 37

    Nanny G

    Obama said,
    ‘We did not know’:
    1. Islamist militants gaining in Iraq

    The Wall Street Journal (6/11/2014): Iraq Drama Catches US Off Guard http://online.wsj.com/articles/iraqi-drama-catches-u-s-off-guard-1402529874

    2. Russia’s intervention in Ukraine

    A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Obama was satisfied with the intelligence he received on Russian intentions in Ukraine.
    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/united-states-barack-obama-ukraine-crimea-russia-vladimir-putin-104264.html

    3. NSA spying on foreign leaders

    Obama was unaware for the last 5 years, the NSA had been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other members of world leaders. Only after an internal Obama administration review in 2013 did the White House know of the spying. Obama: I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the I.G. report before the I.G. report had been leaked through press — through the press.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/16/joint-press-conference-president-obama-and-prime-minister-erdogan-turkey
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304470504579162110180138036

    4. VA waiting list scandal

    CARNEY: “You mean the specific allegations that I think were reported first by your news network out of Phoenix, I believe. We learned about them through the reports. I will double check if that is not the case. But that is when we learned about them and that is when I understand Secretary Shinseki learned about them.” http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2014/05/19/press-briefing#transcript

    5. IRS targeting scandal

    Obama: “Well, let me take the IRS situation first. I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday.” http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/13/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-cameron-united-kingdom-joint-

    6. HealthCare.gov failing

    We did not know until the problems manifested themselves after the launch that they would be as significant as they have turned out to be. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/10/21/remarks-president-affordable-care-act

    7. DOJ obtaining AP phone records

    We don’t have any independent knowledge of that. Obama found out about the news reports yesterday on the road.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2013/05/14/press-briefing#transcript

    8. Fast and Furious scandal

    Obama did not know about this tactic until he heard about it through the media; the attorney general did not know about it. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/27/press-briefing-press-secretary-jay-carney-62712

    9. Air Force One flyover in Manhattan

    Obama: It was something we found out about along with all of you and it will not happen again. Thank you.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-fbi-employees-42809

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