Most of the current attention on the abuse of National Security Data and Tools have been instances of failure to protect and secure the data or use of that data for non National Security purposes. These violations are now well established in the public record.
Less obvious and less discussed is another means by which National Security Laws may be abused; The Overclassification of Information for reasons unrelated to National Security and the refusal to declassify such information. We need to have that discussion.
Outrageous Redactions to the Russia Report
The FBI and DOJ have been burying the investigators’ questionable judgments and information helpful to Flynn.
By Andrew C. McCarthy, the National Review
Cute how this works: Kick off the week with some “the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted” bombast from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, by which he rationalizes that his defiance of subpoenas and slow-walking document production to Congress — which is probing investigative irregularities related to the 2016 campaign — is required by DOJ policy and “the rule of law.” Then end the week with the Friday-night bad-news dump: the grudging removal of DOJ and FBI redactions from a House Intelligence Committee report on Russia’s election meddling.
Now that we can see what they wanted to conceal, it is clear, yet again, that the Justice Department and the FBI cannot be trusted to decide what the public gets to learn about their decision-making.
They tell us that their lack of transparency is necessary for the protection of national security, vital intelligence, and investigative operations. But what we find out is that they were concealing their own questionable judgments and conflicting explanations for their actions; their use of foreign-intelligence and criminal-investigative authorities to investigate Michael Flynn, Trump’s top campaign supporter and former national-security adviser; and their explicitly stated belief that Flynn did not lie in the FBI interview for which Special Counsel Robert Mueller has since prosecuted him on false-statements charges.
Charge those who are insisting on this inappropriate series of redactions with contempt of Congress and Obstruction of Justice.