From today’s Washington Post (WP), an article titled White House Web Scrubbing details the ongoing removal of controversial documents from government websites by the White House. A specific example is the disappearance from the USAID site of a link to a transcript of statements made by the agency’s Administrator Andrew S. Natsios that the cost of Iraqi reconstruction would be $1.7 billion. The actual cost of the war and reconstruction may be as high as $400 billion over a several year period. See the President’s September 17, 2003 request for FY 2004 Supplemental Appropriations totaling $87 billion to fund the war and reconstruction.
The original address of the link was http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/nightline_042403_t.html. This page now contains the following message: “We’re sorry. The page you are trying to request may be temporarily unavailable or may no longer exist on the USAID web site, or may have changed locations due to our recent redesign.”
The WP also reports that the cached link to the USAID page has been removed from Google as well. Neither is the text of the document available in the Internet Archive or for free on the ABCNews.com Nightline site, the program that conducted the interview with Natsios. However there is a link on the Nightline website to purchase the transcript of the April 23 interview for $14.95.
See also my recent posting, New Report and Resources on Gov’t Docs. Disappearing From Public Access