Report Describes Careless Handling of U.S. Secrets
Gonzales Says He Does Not Recall
So does this man ever remember anything?
Gonzales improperly carried notes about the warrantless wiretapping program in an unlocked briefcase and failed to keep them in a safe at his Northern Virginia home three years ago because he "could not remember the combination," the department's inspector general reported.
Ultimately, Gonzales stored them in a safe outside his Justice Department office that was accessible by people who lacked the requisite security clearances to see them ... In one instance, employees searching for material related to a Freedom of Information Act request in 2006 sifted through the sensitive material in the safe "document by document."
Gonzales characterized the amount of material he possessed as limited and said the lapses were unintentional. He said he had followed policies as he understood them during his time at the White House. "He always placed the notes in the most secure place over which he had immediate personal control"
The most insightful comment:
"Because so much information is classified, there's a tendency to treat classified records in a cavalier fashion," said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.