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Where Are the E-mails?
Why is it taking White House officials so long to restore millions of deleted e-mails from the backup tapes they claim to have? The e-mails in question date from March 2003 to October 2005 -- a crucial period that includes the Iraq invasion, a presidential election and Hurricane Katrina.

White House officials have known for more than two years that the messages were deleted -- a clear violation of presidential records-preservation statutes. But the president's aides won't explain what happened, what sort of backups they have and what they're doing about it.

That obstinacy led a federal judge to step in yesterday and order the White House to preserve every bit of related data in its possession -- just to make sure nothing untoward happens while a civil suit by two open-government groups goes forward.