[H]istorians researching those early alliance-building efforts say they are troubled by what seem to be deletions of and alterations to the early official lists of nations that supported the war effort. The lists were posted on the White House Web site.
While administration officials acknowledged that the number of nations supporting the war changed over time, academic researchers say three official lists appear to have been changed, yet retained their original release date, making them appear to be unaltered originals.
Two other White House lists appear to have been taken off the Web site, according to a study of the documents by Scott L. Althaus and Kalev H. Leetaru of the Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Back in 2002, I caught the Office of Management and Budget pulling a similar stunt in a Spinsanity column published on Salon.com:
Mitch Daniels, the former political operative and pharmaceutical executive who now serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Bush White House, has quickly made himself and his agency notorious... [A]n incorrect claim by OMB about the cost of the Bush tax cut has simply been erased from history.
As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman have pointed out, a July 12 press release from OMB contained a major factual error.
... In the third bullet point of the press release, OMB attributed figures pertaining to the 2002 budget to the wrong surplus estimate, claiming that "the recession erased two-thirds of the projected ten-year surplus (FY2002-2011)" and that the tax cut "generated less than 15% of the change."
The OMB's data itself, however, shows that those figures are incorrect...
The administration is fully aware that the press release was incorrect...
Rather than issue a correction, however, OMB has shamelessly slipped an altered version of the release onto its Web site in place of the original. There is absolutely no indication that it has been changed -- the offending bullet point is simply gone.
The error in the original release may have been inadvertent, but why can't OMB just admit its mistake and openly correct the record?
After Paul Krugman picked up the story, OMB finally admitted its mistake and added a disclosure to the release noting that it had been edited. Apparently, however, the administration didn't learn its lesson.