It’s reassuring to know that when Alberto Gonzales was our nation’s attorney general, he schlepped highly classified documents to his home in Virginia in an unlocked briefcase. Oops! Also, once he’d toted them home, Gonzales didn’t put them in a safe for extra protection because he “couldn’t remember the combination.” Fiddlesticks!
The Washington Post:
Former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales told investigators he did not remember whether he took home notes regarding the government’s most sensitive national security programs and did not know they contained classified information despite notations on the papers that they were “eyes only—top secret,” according to a report released [Tuesday] morning.
The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that Gonzales had improperly handled materials about the government’s most sensitive national security programs, carrying the notes home in an unlocked briefcase for an “indeterminate” period of time. Gonzales failed to keep them in a safe at his Northern Virginia home because he “could not remember the combination,” according to the report.
A National Security Agency official who reviewed the notes told investigators that at least one item in the documents was “zealously protected” by the NSA and that designating the papers as highly classified was “not a close call,” the report said.
Improper handling of classified material can result in criminal charges, but prosecutors in the department’s National Security Division declined to bring a case after reviewing the allegations and consulting with senior career officials at Justice, according to the report and lawyers involved in the case.