How Did the Bush White House Generate 234,042 Emails Per Day?S

Two groups reached an agreement with the Obama administration today which will release 22 million White House emails that were previously "lost" by the Bush Administration. These messages span 94 days. That's 234,042 emails per day. Crazy!

The action is the result of a 2007 lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive. In the suit, the groups demanded the restoration of emails the Bush Administration "lost," in violation of federal regulations. (This was due either to general incompetence or more sinister machinations, depending on your worldview.) Today's agreement will allow technicians to restore 94 days' worth of Bush Administration emails—22 million in all. The craziest thing is that 21 of these days will be picked specifically because they had a low volume of exchanges—which means the average emails per day was likely substantially higher than 234,042.

Seems like an insane amount of emails, even for a president's office. Consider this: CREW says the emails originally disappeared from "Bush White House servers," which presumably only served White House staffers—not congressional offices or agency bureaucrats, etc. The Bush White House had around 180 staffers, according this 2004 Washington Post chart. (Although the WaPo chart doesn't include military staffers, which probably adds a few dozen more.)

So, we can make a rough estimate that each Bush staffer generated around a thousand emails per day—give or take a few hundred. Keep in mind this includes emails sent and received (and maybe a bunch of unwanted spam, too). But still, that's a lot of "You know you're a Liberal if..." forwarded emails.

Unfortunately, it looks like it will be at least 2014 before the general public will get a look at these emails—if ever. Conspiracy theorists, begin your wackjobbery.