In a letter written to Counsel to the President Fred Fielding, Representative Henry Waxman
, Chairman of the Oversight Committee, has stated that he has received information that the White House is lying about it's handling of classified information.
Last week, I wrote the Vice President about evidence that he violated Executive Order 12958 by blocking the National Archives from conducting security inspections in his office. In response, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said: "The 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." She asserted that the only part of Executive Order 12958 that was not being followed by the White House and the Vice President’s office was the "small portion" giving oversight responsibilities to the Information Security Oversight Office of the National Archives. I have received information that casts doubt on these assertions.
There is evidence that both the White House and the Office of the Vice President have flaunted multiple requirements for protecting classified information, not just the section related to the responsibilities of the Information Security Oversight Office. According to current and former White House security personnel who have contacted my staff, White House practices have been dangerously inadequate with respect to investigating security violations, taking corrective action following breaches, and physically securing classified information. The Gavel
I suggest that you go to the The Gavel
and just read the whole letter so that you can enjoy every delicious bite! I would like to point out a couple of the tastier items on the menu, though. Karl Rove appears to be one of the larger salad croutons...
This renewal of Mr. Rove’s security clearance would appear to be another example of a questionable White House security practice. Under guidelines approved by President Bush in 2005, the "deliberate or negligent disclosure" of classified information can be a "disqualifying" condition. Moreover, these guidelines provide that an individual’s response to a potential security breach may be just as important as the breach itself. Under the guidelines, a lack of candor, even about unintentional breaches, can be grounds for terminating access to classified information. Under these standards, it is hard to see how Mr. Rove would qualify for a renewal of his security clearance. The Gavel
The main course sounds mouth watering, I am sure you will agree...
The Oversight Committee has been seeking to interview or take the deposition of White House officials with knowledge of these security matters since I wrote to former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card about them in April. While I do not question your good faith in seeking to negotiate the terms of these interviews, further delay would not be in the interests of the nation. 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. The Gavel
An enteree that is so good that it has to be mentioned twice!
I do not doubt your good faith in proposing that the Committee consider interviews with other White House officials before seeking testimony from Mr. Card. But it has now been over two months and the Committee still has not been able to arrange an interview with Alan Swendiman, the Director of the Office of Administration; Mark Frownfelter, a former White House security officer; and Jeff Thompson, the former Director of the White House Security Office. This continued delay is impeding the Committee’s inquiry and is not in the nation’s interest.
I respectfully request that the interviews that the Committee has been seeking be scheduled without further delay. If this cannot be accomplished, I will recommend to the Committee the issuance of subpoenas at our next business meeting, which is currently scheduled for June 28. The Gavel
I can't wait to see what's for dessert!