Saturday, July 21
White House Denies Homeland Security Access to Homeland Security Post-Attack Emergency Docs
Besides Bush's 17 July executive order stipulating asset seizure for dissent (the weasel words are "threaten stablization efforts") against the Iraq War, the White House also denied Oregon Democrat Congressman Peter DeFazio, a member of the House's Homeland Security Committee, access to emergency plans for another terrorist attack.
The White House's refusal occasioned DeFazio to suggest budding allegiance to post-9/11 conspiracy theories.
Editor: Moose Kateer
DeFazio asks, but he's denied access
Classified info - The congressman wanted to see government plans for after a
Friday, July 20, 2007
The Oregonian Staff
WASHINGTON -- Oregonians called Peter DeFazio's office, worried there was a
conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for
operating the government after a terrorist attack.
As a member of the U.S. House on the Homeland Security Committee, DeFazio,
D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure "bubble-room" in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.
On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED
"I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack," DeFazio says.
Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. DeFazio doesn't know who did it or why.
"We're talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America," DeFazio says. "I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee."
Bush administration spokesman Trey Bohn declined to say why DeFazio was denied access: "We do not comment through the press on the process that this access entails. It is important to keep in mind that much of the information related to the continuity of government is highly sensitive."
Norm Ornstein, a legal scholar who studies government continuity at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he "cannot think of one good reason" to deny access to a member of Congress who serves on the Homeland Security Committee.
"I find it inexplicable and probably reflective of the usual, knee-jerk overextension of executive power that we see from this White House," Ornstein said.
This is the first time DeFazio has been denied access to documents. DeFazio has asked Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., to help him access the documents.
"Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right," DeFazio said.
Jeff Kosseff: 202-383-7814 email@example.com
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