Glenn Greenwald ponts out that Bush and Co. have been losing, and hiding, embarrassing docments for years. What else is new?
Also from TPM
But it's apparent from emails that the White House avoided the governmental email system because it was vulnerable to investigators. The Hatch Act just provided a good excuse. In 2003, for instance, a lobbyist for Jack Abramoff Kevin Ring wrote him that emails about Abramoff's clients shouldn't be sent to White House addresses because "it might actually limit what they can do to help us, especially since there could be lawsuits, etc." That warning, Ring told The Washington Post, came from Jennifer Farley, a deputy in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Susan Ralston, Rove's personal aide, used RNC provided email accounts when corresponding with Abramoff, her old boss.
And remember that Karl Rove reportedly uses his RNC-provided account for approximately 95% of his communication.
In other words, it was an open secret at the White House that the parallel system was to be used for everything you didn't want coming out later -- an understanding that was most likely never made explicit, but a situation that was carefully preserved by not providing apparently any parameters for what sort of communication should be done via the White House system.