June 26, 2007
In a letter to the White House counselís office, Waxman notes that White House spokesperson Dana Perino told reporters last week, ďThe president and the vice president are complying with all the rules and regulations regarding the handling of classified material and making sure that it is safeguarded and protected.Ē She added that Bush and Cheney exempted themselves from the provision that allows oversight.
Waxman argues that this is demonstrably false: the White House and the Office of the Vice President ďhave flaunted multiple requirements for protecting classified information, not just the section related to the responsibilities of the Information Security Oversight Office.Ē
* The White House regularly ignored security breaches. The security officers described repeated instances in which security breaches were reported to the White House Security Office by Secret Service or CIA agents, but were never investigated. In one case, the White House Security Office took no action after receiving a report that a White House official left classified materials unattended in a hotel room. In numerous instances, reports that White House officials left classified information on their desks went uninvestigated.
* The Presidentís top political advisor received a renewal of his security clearance despite presidential directives calling for the denial of security clearances for officials who misrepresent their involvement in security leaks. Under guidelines issued by President Bush, security clearances should not be renewed for individuals who deny their role in the release of classified information, regardless of whether the disclosure was intentional or negligent. Contrary to this guidance, the White House Security Office renewed the security clearance for Karl Rove in late 2006.
* The White House has condoned widespread mismanagement at the White House Security Office. According to the White House security officers, the White House allowed the White House Security Office to be run by managers who ignored basic security procedures and allowed other White House officials to do so also.
Itís probably worth taking an extra moment here to consider
the big picture.
Obviously, given the existing political climate, the key news today is that Waxman has caught the White House ignoring its own executive order regarding handling of classified materials. But letís not lose the forest for the trees: Waxman has assembled considerable evidence that the Bush gang, in a time of war, has been reckless when it comes to keeping secrets, and negligent when it comes to security precautions. The same people who claim credibility on national security are the same people who are careless when it comes to maintaining the integrity of a classified system. And then they lied about it.
Waxman went on to explain that heís been trying to get answers from the White House for months, but to no avail.
I am therefore writing to advise you that unless we are able to schedule these interviews promptly, I will bring before the Committee on Thursday, June 28, a motion to subpoena the relevant officials for depositions.
Heís not going to back down. Itís bound to get interesting. http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/11254.html