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Battle for White House e-mails goes on

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. historians say their legal battle to preserve and recover e-mail records from the Bush administration White House is far from decided.

On one front, archivists told Sunday's Washington Post their efforts to force the administration to track thousands of White House e-mails reported missing from readily accessible files in 2005 is going slowly, while a legal battle continues with Vice President Dick Cheney about which of his records are to turned over to the National Archives.

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"We are worried," Arnita Jones, executive director of the American Historical Association, told the newspaper. "There is a context that is not reassuring."

National Archives Attorney Gary Stern said last week he was hopeful the missing White House e-mails, which historians contend are vital to understanding the country's current predicaments, will eventually be recovered, telling the Post, "we hope and expect they all will exist on the system or be recoverable. We can't say for sure."

Cheney, meanwhile, is arguing only e-mails relating to his assigned duties from President George Bush are eligible for the National Archives, in effect exempting documents relating to any of his own initiatives, the newspaper said.

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