Re-writing history - political revisionism in the Obama White House

| 2 Comments
A very interesting observation from pudge over at Sound Politics:
Obama's White House Web Site Still Breaks Millions of Links
When (or slightly before) Obama became President, his people broke millions of links to historical transcripts and videos, removing them from the White House web site. For example, this link to President Bush's so-called "Mission Accomplished" speech. It's just gone.

This sort of loss is intolerable. It matters. And yes, I know you can still find the content in various archives. But maintaining the links themselves are crucial. These are the footnotes and bibliography of much of the Bush years.

What should happen is simple: first, Obama's people should a new whitehouse.gov hierarchy for historical documents, perhaps ordered by year, perhaps by President's name, whatever. So for example, http://www.whitehouse.gov/bush-43/news/releases/. Put all of Obama's content in a similar location, http://www.whitehouse.gov/obama-44/news/releases/. Then all of the Bush content should be restored to that locations. Next, all existing URLs to /news/releases/.. should be automatically redirected to the Bush archives. Do the same for Clinton if necessary. And when Obama is gone, his replacement won't have to do anything to keep those historical records alive: they will remain in that location.

This really is important.
And it is not just Bush -- Clinton, Reagan, Carter -- all gone. The Internet Wayback Machine has them but that is not the place. Reminds me of Stalin's purges -- people would disappear from the historical record.
stalin_disappear.jpg
And yes, I am being a bit extreme here but, why would they do such a wholesale deletion of public records. Why could they just not (as pudge suggested) just move them to a separate file folder. And Bush maintained a lot of his predecessors records, press conferences, etc... These are just gone too.

2 Comments

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.... Obama that is.

I have a vague memory ... and based on other vague memories, it may be wrong. But what I remember was some press release bragging how effectively Obama's whitehouse.gov replaced Bush's whitehouse.gov. They made it sound like a complete server replacement, DNS update. Push old server out door.

Being an IT geek (or ex-IT geek) this both pained me and tickled me. It is such a silly waste of time to redesign and reposition everything from top to bottom -- but that is indicative of both how government works (or doesn't) and how IT works (or doesn't).

But in the same manner, even if they mucked up URLs, they could at least do some sort of bush43.whitehouse.gov archive.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 30, 2009 11:59 AM.

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