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Bush Condoned White House Security Mismanagement, Ignored Breaches, Prevented West Wing Inspections

Brian Zick

Jesse Lee at The Gavel reports an announcement from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee: New Evidence of Security Problems at the White House Current and former employees of the White House Security Office have reported to Chairman Waxman that there was a systemic failure at the White House to follow procedures for protecting classified information. According to the security officers, the White House regularly ignored security breaches, prevented security inspections of the West Wing, and condoned mismanagement of the White House Security Office. Chairman Waxman has written a letter to former Bush chief of staff Andy Card addressing these issues, in which he elaborates: The White House regularly ignored security breaches. The security officers described multiple instances of security breaches that were reported to the White House Security Office by concerned officials, such as Secret Service agents, but ignored by the White House Security Office. Several of the security violations involved mishandling of “Sensitive Compartmentalized Information” (SCI), the highest level of classified information, such as leaving SCI materials unattended in a hotel room. The White House blocked security inspections of the West Wing. According to the security officers, they were prohibited from conducting unannounced inspections of West Wing offices, which undermined their ability to assess compliance and deter violations. In addition, they reported that the White House denied the Information Security Oversight Office of the National Archives permission to inspect the West Wing, despite the fact that Executive Order 12958 gives this Archives office the authority to inspect all executive branch offices to ensure the effectiveness of security programs. The White House condoned mismanagement at the White House Security Office. The security officers described the leadership of the White House Security Office as poor managers who habitually flouted basic security procedures and allowed other White House officials to do the same. Full text of the letter at the link.

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