gacpl: Here's the latest from realclearpolitics.com:
*The current IRS story is this:
"...it wasn’t just the hard drive on Lerner’s computer that crashed; it was the hard drive on six other computers. The agency also lacked a centralized archive, it says now, and employed an archaic practice of re-using the tapes backing up its system every six months -- thereby erasing the material already there. Who knew the IRS was so frugal? In a similar vein, IRS employees had absurdly low limits for how many emails they could store. And the agency apparently allowed IRS employees to decide for themselves which emails constituted an official record, which they are required by law to retain."
*Here is the rebuttal - which reinforces your points:
"(M)ismanaging emails and thinking you’ve lost them forever are two different animals. For starters, most, if not all, of the missing emails from Lois Lerner and her six IRS comrades with their fried hard drives have presumably been preserved elsewhere: at offsite Outlook email servers; in separate files kept by other IRS employees; or by recipients of the emails who work at other organizations or agencies. This is almost certainly true if they were sent to White House officials. It should be true, anyway: the President Records Act requires their preservation."
"Ferreting them out is probably beyond the ken of IRS computer geeks. More and more, this looks like a job for a special prosecutor. Could an independent counsel get to the bottom of it, and find the missing communications? I assume so. As Nancy Flynn says, echoing the Cannon Codicil, “There is no such thing as completely disappeared emails.”"