Reminiscing About Simpler Times

Rose Mary Woods demonstrates how she inadvertently erased 18 1/2 minutes of her boss's recordings.
Rose Mary Woods demonstrates how she inadvertently erased 18 1/2 minutes of her boss’s recordings.

President Richard Nixon had recording devices installed in various rooms of the White House. This was a continuation of a tradition initiated by Franklin Roosevelt. Nixon’s system utilized modern technology by being voice activated, eliminating having to remember to flip a switch to turn it on. The existence of this system came to light during 1973’s Watergate hearings.

The 3,000 hours of tapes the Administration was forced to turn over included an 18 ½ minute gap. Rose Mary Woods, Nixon’s secretary, said she had made a mistake while transcribing the conversations and accidentally erased a portion.

Fast forward to 2005.

The George W. Bush administration somehow lost 5 million emails between 2003 and 2005. These messages came and went on private servers. Several years later, they admitted that the “lost” emails totaled 22 million. You remember, don’t you, the outrage and demands for Congressional investigations?

Bush’s tactician, Karl Rove, came up with the winning rovestrategy of attacking opponents for what are your side’s worst transgressions. We can see Rove’s approach still being utilized today.

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