The head of the House Committee on Oversight and Governance Reform warned today of a “systematic failure” in basic security procedures as well as the safeguarding of classified information in the White House of President George W. Bush.
“Multiple current and former White House security personnel have informed my staff that White House practices have been dangerously inadequate with respect to investigating security violations, taking corrective action following breaches, and physically securing classified information,” Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote to former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card today.
According to Waxman, the security personnel “described a systemic breakdown in security procedures at the White House,” and he warned that they suggested “that the security lapses that characterized the White House response to the leak of [former covert CIA Agent Valerie Plame] Wilson’s identity were not an isolated occurrence, but part of a pattern of disregard for the basic requirements for protecting our national security secrets.”
The Oversight Committee chairman listed consistent allegations presented to his committee. The White House, he reported in the letter, ignored security breaches, blocked West Wing security inspections, and condoned mismanagement of the White House Security Office.
Waxman’s letter noted criticism of James Knodell, the Director of the White House Security Office, and Ken Greeson, the Deputy Director, for their inexperience and poor management.