When you treat everything as a political tool can it be any surprise that the
Republicans have no respect for national security secrets? We learned that during
the Plame investigation, when people like Karl Rove said Valerie Plame Wilson
was “fair game.” But this latest news, which is being revealed because oversight is now more than a word, goes to the heart of Bush incompetencies at the most sensitive areas of our country.
“These security officials described a systemic breakdown in security
procedures at the White House,” wrote the chairman of the committee,
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
Among the lapses cited by the security officers, who spoke to the committee
anonymously, are multiple instances of breaches being reported to the security
office that were ignored and never investigated. Several of those instances
allegedly involved the mishandling of SCI (Sensitive Compartmentalized Information),
which is the highest level of classified information.
In one instance, a White House official reportedly left SCI material behind
in a hotel room during a foreign trip with the president. The CIA did recover
the highly classified material, but the security office did not investigate
the incident or discipline the individual, according a security officer’s
account in the letter. … ..
This oversight is unleashing hell on the former untouchables in the White House. It’s finally reaching all the way down to Karl Rove and what’s going on the the U.S. attorneys. Rove’s words and deeds may finally be coming back to haunt him.
Most of the time, an obscure federal investigative unit known as the Office
of Special Counsel confines itself to monitoring the activities of relatively
low-level government employees, stepping in with reprimands and other routine
administrative actions for such offenses as discriminating against military
personnel or engaging in prohibited political activities.
But the Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most
sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad
investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that
for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove. …
… .. The decision by Bloch’s office is the latest evidence that Rove’s
once-vaunted operations inside the government, which helped the GOP hold the
White House and Congress for six years, now threaten to mire the administration
in investigations. … ..
office launches high-profile inquiry
The Office of Special Counsel will investigate U.S. attorney firings and other
political activities led by Karl Rove.
You have to wonder if the Office of Special Counsel would be investigating
if Bush had cut Gonzo loose as soon as the US attorney fiasco started gaining
traction. But his ego wouldn’t let him do it.
“This is a big deal,” Paul C. Light, a New York University expert
on the executive branch, said of Bloch’s plan. “It is a significant moment
for the administration and Karl Rove. It speaks to the growing sense that
there is a nexus at the White House that explains what’s going on in these
The 106-person Office of Special Counsel has never conducted such
a broad and high-profile inquiry in its history. One of its primary missions
has been to enforce the Hatch Act, a law enacted in 1939 to preserve the integrity
of the civil service.
Bloch said the new investigation grew from two narrower inquiries
his staff had begun in recent weeks.
One involved the fired U.S. attorney from New Mexico, David C. Iglesias.
The other centered on a PowerPoint presentation that a Rove aide, J. Scott
Jennings, made at the General Services Administration this year.
That presentation listed recent polls and the outlook for battleground House
and Senate races in 2008. After the presentation, GSA Administrator Lorita
Doan encouraged agency managers to “support our candidates,” according
to half a dozen witnesses. Doan said she could not recall making such comments.
It’s called a tipping point and Karl is about to feel some fresh and very well deserved heat.