If you know what a robots.txt file is, take a look at the White House’s. Why would they do this [disable outside searching and archiving of White House material related to Iraq]? Here’s a tidbit from Google’s FAQ [emphasis mine]:

Google takes a snapshot of each page examined as it crawls the web and caches these as a back-up in case the original page is unavailable. If you click on the “Cached” link, you will see the web page as it looked when we indexed it. The cached content is the content Google uses to judge whether this page is a relevant match for your query.

When the cached page is displayed, it will have a header at the top which serves as a reminder that this is not necessarily the most recent version of the page. Terms that match your query are highlighted on the cached version to make it easier for you to see why your page is relevant.

The “Cached” link will be missing for sites that have not been indexed, as well as for sites whose owners have requested we not cache their content.

Thus, absent someone or some organization periodically visiting and cataloging the contents of the White House’s web page, you won’t know the next time that “combat operations” magically becomes “major combat operations” (see also Spinsanity). Nice. I should learn to never go to work without my copy of 1984–I’m sure I could quickly find some parallel scene. Via CalPundit.


UPDATE: Via Amazon’s new super-cool search inside the book feature:

Winston dialed “back numbers” on the telescreen and called for the appropriate issues of the Times, which slid out of the pneumatic tube after only a few minutes’ delay. The messages he had received referred to articles or news items which for one reason or another it was thought necessary to alter, or, as the official phrase had it, to rectify. For example, it appeared in the Times of the seventeenth of March that Big Brother, in his speech of the previous day, had predicted that the South Indian front would remain quiet but that a Eurasian offensive would shortly be launched in North Africa. As it happened, the Eurasian Higher Command had launched its offensive in South India and left North Africa alone. It was therefore necessary to rewrite a paragraph of Big Brother’s speech, in such a way as to make him predict the thing that had actually happened.