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The legacy of Rose Mary Woods is alive and well at the Justice Department:

“Large batches of e-mail records from the Justice Department lawyers who worked on the 2002 legal opinions justifying the Bush administration’s brutal interrogation techniques are missing, and the Justice Department told lawmakers Friday that it would try to trace the disappearance.”

And in a stroke of what I’m sure is pure coincidence, what’s missing just happens to be from a crucial time period:

“The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility…pushed to get access to a range of e-mail records and other internal documents from the Justice Department to aid in its investigation.

But it discovered that many e-mail messages to and from John Yoo, who wrote the bulk of the legal opinions for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, were missing…Also deleted were a month’s worth of e-mail files from the summer of 2002 for Patrick Philbin, another Justice Department lawyer who worked on the interrogation opinions. Those missing e-mail messages came during a period when two of the critical interrogation memos were being prepared.”

But never fear, the Obama DoJ is on the case. Kinda, sorta, maybe:

“Gary Grindler, the acting deputy attorney general who represented the Justice Department at Friday’s hearing, said he did not think there was “anything nefarious” about the deletion of the e-mail messages, but he could not explain what happened to them.

He said he had directed administrative personnel at the Justice Department to review the situation and determine whether there were problems in the department’s system for automatically archiving internal documents. He said the review would also seek to recover the missing e-mail messages if possible.”

Why do I get the feeling that in the spirit of the cover-up looking forward, not back, recovering the missing messages will be found impossible. Just a hunch.