One of the basic premise which exists in any Police or Investigatory agency is that the records, time and time again, give an extra boost to investigations on people, companies and governments.
If anyone doubted that President Assad was capable of levelling city blocks with artillery, all they had to do was check the newspaper headlines, and they would have found he was simply following in Daddy’s footsteps, as dear old Daddy slaughtered some 20-40,000 of the inhabitants of the city of Hama, to crush their rebellion. Time after time, criminals have been tripped because they have committed the same crimes before, and the paper trail always catches them up.
So it is with some surprise that the officials of National Archives and Records Administration, (NARA) learnt that the Securities and Exchange Administration (SEC) had been routinely destroying over 9,000 records of people and companies where the investigations had, for whatever reason, had not resulted in a Matter under Investigation (MUI). And the most surprising thing which was done was the destruction was being carried out in the open, not secretly.
If the records had been studied thoroughly before archive filing began, many believe that Bernie Madoff’s trousers would not have achieved the fame they did, Lehmann Brothers might have been saved, and Obama might not have entered the White House.