tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN December 8, 2016 5:58am-7:59am EST
and move through it and move forward with confidence. you know, it is normally an insurance to the public that we have disparate publication form of government where we have representatives and if one party or wanted administration is manipulating or providing an abusive work environment, it's always been a bit of a comfort
that changes next-line coming in will correct that. you we've seen an outrageous example of how none of those safe guard worked. none of the checks and balance work. and then we have someone whose name i want to say on the record when we get the information and you've got people creating a hostile work environment and totally manipulating data, fraudulent neck entity, a person involved in the iic that continue on. it is statically nasa's data beginning in the ranking member and i have always thought if the u.s. geological survey is just the gold standard and no i'm not
even sure it merits a mercury standard. it is chasing changing and moving it doesn't seem to have much of a form. it like a terrible joke about what would you like the answer to be questioning their anyway, as much as i like to dismiss this issue, we just cannot. as the fact come out, it seems to open more and more questions. how did this go on over the span of three decades of seizures, policy and management over the course of 18 years. how does this happen? the u.s. geological survey wants to put this behind them. as a committee we cannot close the books when the administration went this shows up with the two sentence explanation. this is a chance to get the record straight. we've been assured you will get us additional information when
the investigation is concluded. but i would suggest to you we are still waiting for documents we request that three months ago. seven.events were redacted, and duplicates or even blank pages. this document i am holding a peer, -- holding up here is page one cover sheet. page two display. at page three is going. page four and it's a comfort because this page like all these pages is only for her committee use. it is a blank piece of paper. page five is only for committee use. it is a blank piece of paper.
i don't know what you expect team this committee, whether it's this side of the aisle for that side of the aisle. i was supposed to play tictac taiwan this committee use only page six, seven-point pieces of paper? we have a little bit on page eight. again the link piece of paper on page nine. can we at least have a few things i'm not. 11, another blank piece of paper. this is extraordinary. i mean, it's unbelievable the federal government regardless of the administration, the federal government is being reduced to a choke accepted is so deadly serious. the gold standard it's not even
the toilet paper standard. so when you submit the additional information, please give us some mean besides blank pieces of paper are because otherwise the hearing where we get into the names of people who are dishonored the government, dishonored themselves, dishonored those who worked under them, we don't want to have to bring up your name is one of those who is dishonored the committee. you've been very gracious to come out. try to do with this issue. what we hope is this administration comes to a close the integrity and transparent to both be restored. department of the interior bought been an entrenched ideologies going on over three decades and finally hold wrongdoers accountable will because one way or another, this committee will hold wrongdoers
accountable and we want to make sure your name is not one of those who is helping cover for people who have done wrong over the years. bear with me just one moment. with that, but they also mention ranking member dingell, other members on the committee may have some additional questions for the witness. under our rules, if any member has additional questions, you will be required to respond to those who we are not talking about big pieces of paper with a stamp on it for committee use only good under committee rule for each government for each committee hearing record will be held open for 10 business days to provide those responses after such questions if any are asked. if there is so further business,
[inaudible conversations] why is congress now facing yet another government shut down deadline? >> well, the house and senate couldn't seem to get this all appropriations bills in the government said in a way this year. they'd done before the fiscal year started at number one, which is the first time in years they got one done before the
start of the fiscal year. the others will remain on hold because they have been mostly but may say. in the end come in the transition of incoming president donald trump wanted them not to proceed with the commonplace that they wanted to put together in december to close out fiscal year 17 family something so good until next year with a new administration can have more of a say in settings that main priorities. >> let's talk about some of the bills and some of the writers. how did they consider they are still under budget cap reviews are great too? >> well, they are to have the discretionary cap number from the two year bipartisan budget deal, which is $1.070 trillion. that is part of the deal that farmer speaker john boehner made with the white house to ensure
there would be a government shutdown. they would have a couple of years insurgency in with the discretionary spending level with me. they are using that as a guide and that is what they use for the first cr they wrote and passed in september and this is a continuation building on that first. when all is said and done, this plan calls for the government to be funded by stock apps for the first seven months of the fiscal year and that is causing concern with the approach creators and we don't believe the department of defense in particular should be operating especially when they have so many operations going on overseas. >> this bill does provide funding for the flint michigan water system. how much is included in the bill of rights is within the cr?
>> very two things going on but this is supposed to be carrying $170 million in appropriations to help flint deal with this drinking water crisis. but there's another bill moving through the congress this week also by reauthorization act and during the flint monday. republican leaders want to see them pass. the water resources bill creates the authority for the spinning but cr provides the real money and for flint to be insured at the money, they need both bills to be passed and signed into law. >> is also a provision regarding a waiver process for president he liked donald trump state for defense secretary retired general james mattis. explain that issue. >> current law says a member of the military cannot become the secretary of defense which is a civilian position and that a
person would have to be added the military for seven years before they could be considered for the post. in the cr, lawmakers inserted legislative language in the spending bill to provide a waiver to that seven year rule. democrats today said they don't like the dci or from the government is being used to change the law. this law should be debated in congress have given careful consideration, but some of them said they still don't have jack to him getting that way for that sort signals that will not be a big stumbling block. >> very spending for security for the president-elect. explain the differences between what is in the bill and what new york city has requested. >> well, it is such listed new york city has requested. congressman lowey, ranking member of the appropriations committee says this will not
help new york city nearly as much as it needs to address what's going on in new york right now. the kind of extra law enforcement resources that are being used. and yet, that in itself doesn't seem to be a stumbling block either. there are other things. for example, joe mentioned, senator from west virginia is very angry that only a very, very short extension of minors benefits is in the cr. he had been talking to republicans about extending protections to ensure that retired miners and their widows would receive help benefits for a number of years. in this cr, help benefits so they would be extended for the duration of the cr. today he was threat to withhold consent to allow the cr to go forward until he can negotiate a better deal.
he was talking about perhaps offering an extension through next week, maybe next monday, tuesday in order to give them more time to negotiate these and other things. >> are there any other provisions you been taking a closer look at? >> democrats say they've been frozen out of the negotiations from the cr, even now they have been negotiating the other spending bills together all year long. the one thing that the white house has gotten into this cr, maybe not at the levels they wanted, but they've got an extra money for the defense department and state department to connect overseas operations in iraq and afghanistan. it's not the entire amount president obama requested a few weeks ago, but it comes close. another thing is disaster assistance, something the white house is pushing for louisiana and other states in the end it
looks as though the cr will carry $4 billion in extra funding that the states were hurt by flooding last august including louisiana and other states that were hurt during hurricane matthew in the early fall can share. that's not enough lawmakers say about another good installment on what they need. >> with the white house about the continuing resolution? >> we don't know yet. we haven't seen definitive statements from the white house press room about that. senate democrats are also evaluating as they say they will have this national caucus because there are number of democrats who are very unhappy with provisions. we won't know until tomorrow what definitive the democrats will do. >> nancy ognanovich writes about
appropriations for bloomberg dna. thank you. >> it doesn't matter how much is in your bank account. you could find in the cayman islands and that they are theoretically. if you care about america, you are vulnerable to this government and the lack of insight every other person in every other socioeconomic bracket. anyway, while fools us into thinking they can buy our way out of suffering.
>> adversity while not fun to go through to grow and become stronger. if i had had no adversity and my advice and i had to do with catching any protect the bubble for 45 years, how do you think it would have handled the past year? >> the question is why do i never need to worry about $20 in my wallet, that any of them without much remorse with still a couple hundred for my account. that's a fundamental difference in terms of these. you can be pretty devastating and not have that feeling. but doing something higher and.
>> c-span video documentary is in full saying and asking us it is to tell us most import issue for the new congress in 2017. actually, tell us about your documentary. >> my partner and i produced a documentary where we covered issues of homeless veterans on the streets of orange county, california. we decided people have given their overall country and they are now sitting on a street not having anyone. we decided that we are going to about this issue within our community and we decided to make
a c-span documentary about it. i encourage all seniors in high school and juniors in high school and middle schoolers to use this platform to use their voice, to raise their voice, to say that your generation must be heard in the government and is a better place to speak the issues. >> my advice for the students on the fence of starting this documentary is too good-looking to the community and see what is of type and those around you. they are the ones who surround almost every day. if there is an issue you see happen every day on the street, that's probably where you can start. be a part of the documentary because you want to be a voice for the documentary. >> thank you for advice and tips. if you bought or, go to my
website, students the a.m. -- student cam.org. >> looking at procedures for classifying sensitive documents and how to prevent waste of the classification process. jason shay fixtures the house oversight committee. it is just over two hours. i'm not -- [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
>> good morning. the committee and oversight government reform will come to order. without objection they will declare recess at any time. we have an important hearing this morning. overclassification nontransparent date and security. something might be the best disinfectant without on what our government is doing we can't ensure it is operating efficiently and effectively. that's important to remember that the american people pay for the federal government. the federal government works for the american people. it's not the other way round and it is logical to make sure we are as open and transparent and accessible as possible. this is always a running battle. we are sent to find the proper balance between safety and security and openness and
transparency we can give up all of our liberties in the name of security. we had the hearing today with four expert people for their time, effort, talent, careers into this topic. there's a wealth of information they will share with us and that is what we are excited to hear about today. without knowing what our government is suing government is doing we can't ensure its operation effectively. transparency is the basis ultimately for accountability. at the same time transparency can create an opportunity for those who wish to do us harm and congress gave some agencies the authority to withhold from disclosure. this authority to classify information is needed to protect our national security. i don't think anybody doubts that there should be a degree of this is the question is what degree of this. when you get the authority to classify certain information, congress has a role to play in
making sure the authority is properly exercised. overclassification of information has become of his third. estimates range from 50% to 90% of classified material not properly labeled. the 1990s, congress established government secrecy does teddy those issues and develop recommendations. 1997 the committee issued a final report included 16 recommendations. three of those recommendations were implemented. seven were partially implemented in its remain open today. the chairman of the commission among late senator patrick moynihan wrote, if the president served in a large purpose, it is to introduce the public to the secrecy as a mode of regulation and the truth is the ultimate mode for a citizen does not even know that he or she is being regulated, end quote. hats off to him in his leadership and members handing
and really helping to champion this effort to move forward and really examine the degree to which secrecy is needed in our nation. here we don't even know what can hurt us. as a tendency to over classify information goes, so does the lack of accountability to congress and the american taxpayer. the commission also warned about the dangers of research in information for those who do need it. looking back, that seems almost pathetic in light of the event that unfolds september, 2001. after conducting an exhaustive study of the attacks comes 9/11 commission issued its own report this company to move forward from a system that need to know to a culture of need to share. what we've learned is overclassification can be damaging to national security are at a minimum kidney to second guessing kidney to second-guessing what might've been if we were able to get the information in the right-hand that the right time.
according to a report by the information security office in the last 10 years of federal government has spent $100 billion on security classification of duties. in fact, i ask unanimous consent to enter that reported the record. but that objection so ordered. last year classification estimated to have caused exceed billion dollars. it's unclear what exactly the taxpayers got in return for this expense. there was presumably some level of greater security as a result of restricting access to search information. again no doubt that there needs to be classification implicated above level. this leads us to a number of basic questions. the billions of dollars spent to classify and make it safer, how much money they spent on clearances for folks who probably didn't even than the first place. earlier this week the "washington post" reported the department of defense on
$125 billion in savings over five years by strictly on transit the streamlining. 125 yen. give you an idea the entire state of utah. everything we do in utah from education into the national guard to roads is about $14 billion. here at the department of defense, fighters in its $125 billion by simply streamlining iraq received. the department of defense was sufficiently embarrassed by this is issued and decided to bury the study. trust me, we are going to look at this. according to the article, the pentagon imposes restrictions on data which insure no one can replicate the findings. not what we should be doing. the prime example of why we hold this hearing today and would agencies have a toy to keep information congress must ensure those tools are used for nefarious reasons.
i look forward to discussing issues with the witnesses today. i think a panel of experts for coming before the committee to help us better understand some of the complexities of the government secrecy. i think you will find congress in particular has a keen interest on this. the committee has been a leader and champion of the freedom of information that, one of the tool is important for the american public to understand their government working for them is actually doing. i look forward to this discussion. somebody i know who holds an equal passion for this is my colleague, elijah cummings, breaking member and a leg to recognize him for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you very much for holding this hearing. government transparency is a bipartisan issue.
over my sessions of congress, our committee has made progress in making the federal government more open and accountable. we do this best when we work together. during this congress who were together to strengthen the freedom of information act and those amendments were signed into law by president obama in june. just this past monday we sent another bill to the white house to strength and protections for employees working for a contract towards keeping grantees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse. we now have the opportunity to work together to address flaws in our classification system. over the past several years, we have conducted multiple investigations, including our
review of secretary clinton females that exposed serious flaws in our classification system with agencies that disagree with each other on whether an e-mail is classified. we've seen information that began on class side, later being richer than the classified. we've seen documents that were not properly marked the classified. we have seen documents that are classified after they had already bid publicly released. first and foremost, i believe that we in congress should exercise the authority to improve the classification system and make government information more transparent. we can conduct oversight such as these hearings and we can investigate specific allegations of security breaches and unwarranted government received.
congress can also alleges late. we can pass reforms that actually address the problem we would hear about today. 20 years ago -- [inaudible] too little has been done since that report. for example, the commission recommended that congress enact a statute establishing the principles of classification that congress still has not taken that step. the fundamental purpose underlying all of our efforts today is to provide the american people with more information, especially when it impacts our national security. our operating premise is that a
better informed you that. leads to a better functioning government on behalf of all of the american people. i thank you for calling today's critical hearing. there's another national security area that i believe the american people should have much more information about from their government. on november 17, 2016, i read a letter to the chairman requesting our committee can talk to a bipartisan investigation into russia's role interfering with and influencing the 2016 presidential election. i specifically requested that we received a classified briefing from the intelligence community. today nearly three weeks have now gone by. i've received no risk odds in the committee taken no action. mr. chairman, i know you have
said he did not want to do any oversight relating to the president-elect donald trump when he was sworn into office and i can understand that. but these attacks intercountry verity happened. this is not something of a future threat. this has already been done. and unless we act, it may very well happen again. for these reasons, yesterday i joined democratic with steny hoyer and ranking members of the committee on armed services, homeland security and foreign affairs and we did ourselves with this committee did not. we sent a letter to the president requesting that all members, that all of us, all members of congress, democrats and republicans be provided the opportunity to perceive a
classified briefing by the intelligence community with the most up-to-date information on this issue. this is not a partisan issue and it should not be paid republican senator lindsey graham has called for this type of investigation in the senate. essentially saying republicans should not sit on the sidelines of the allegations about foreign government interfering in our election go unanswered just because it may have beneficial for them in this and games. republican senator marco rubio put it even more bluntly saying, quote, today it is the democrats. tomorrow it could be us, end quote. the bottom line is this is not a democratic issue and it is not a republican issue. this is an american issue.
elections are a core american value and are central to our democracy. with any foreign interference with their election should he have the greatest concern to every single member of this congress, the american people deserve as much information as possible about these guys and the inaction that government is taking to address them. as i say to my constituents over and over again in the last election and during these times, this is bigger than hillary clinton. this is to prevent donald trump. this is about a struggle for the soul of our democracy. so it is our job to ensure that we get this kind of information since it is their duty to make sure that our democracy stands strong and that our children's
children can have a democracy just as strong as the ones that we have it. is. with that, i yield back. >> we will hold the record open for five legislative days for new members who would like to submit a written pavement. we now recognize their panel of witnesses. it is to welcome mr. jay william leonard, information oversight office. mr. stephen aftergood, director of the department of secrecy at the federation of american science is. mr. todd lynn, director of the national security archive at george washington university. and mr. scott amey, want to make sure i've pronounce that properly at the product of government oversight. thank you for being here pursuant to committee rules. all witnesses are to be sworn before they testify. these brazen -- rising rates are right hand hand. do solemnly swear from the
testimony about to give the pictures come a whole truth and nothing but the truth? thank you did let the record reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative. to allow time for discussion we would appreciate your limiting your verbal comments to no greater than five minutes some members have ample time to answer questions. your entire written statement and extraneous materials entered into the record. mr. leonard can be recognized for five minutes. microphones in this committee have to straighten that out but then write up uncomfortably close. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. khan may become a member of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to attend this meeting this morning. the ability authority is a critical tool of the federal government and leaders to protect our nation and citizens. when negligently or recklessly applied, over classification of information of the system and also create needless impediments
to transparency that can undermine our former government and and its constitutional system of checks and balance is. i've come to the conclusion on the sony executive branches of incapable and unwilling to receive true reform. incapable and that absent external pressure from legislative or judiciary branches of our government. true reform within the executive branch of the matter involves equities of multiple agencies can be achieved with direct leadership emanating from the white house. over the past 40 years have seen one white house that a reform in the 1990s. bureaucracies respond to those and reform are typical. agency officials know that sooner or later every industry should eventually goes away providing opportunity for robot. with respect to the executive branch's unwillingness, i believe it is unreasonable to expect it to do so primarily since the unconstrained abilities such an attractive
tool for any admin is a shame to facilitate implementation of its national security agenda. in this regard in the years since 9/11, we've seen successive administrations laid claim to new and novel authority and wrapped his claims and classification. this can amount to unchecked executive power they were the president must have the ability to interpret them to find constitutional of the office and act unilaterally, limits of the president's authority are defined by the willingness and the ability of congress and the courts to constrain them. of course before the congress or the courts can constrain residential claims to inherent unilateral powers, they must first be aware of those claims. a long recognized power with a president classified dissemination of information in the interest of national security to the good access by congress and the courts. the combination of these two powers, what the president lays claims to inherent power to act
unilaterally but does so in secret can equate to the very open-ended mount circumscribed executive at already that is the constitution framers sought to avoid in checks and balances. besides an ongoing congressional oversight or judicial review of assertion for classification, no one should ever be surprised the authority is routinely abused and matters both big and small. i've attached to my formal statements or civic examples of classification leading to three criminal cases in which the prosecution ultimately does not prevail in large part due to government overreach of certain information was classified in each of these cases the government abuse of classification system and use it for other than its intended purpose. i believe there is that congress can take to address this matter. first it deals with enforcing accountability. the past several decades a significant number of individuals have been held accountable for improperly
handling information. to my knowledge during the same period, no one has ever been held accountable and subjected to sanctions for abusing the system and improperly classified information. despite the fact the president's executive order governing the authority treats unauthorized disclosures across the information in an appropriate classification of information vehicle violations of the order subjecting perpetrators to comparable sanctions could absent real accountability it's no surprise that over classification occurs within unity. a secondary worthy of possible legislative attention is providing a mechanism for routine independent review of classification decisions especially as a tool made available to the negatives coequal branches of government when exercising congressional oversight for judicial action and to which they can come to their own independent judgment as the executive assertions of classification. traditionally while congress and
the courts are understandably deferential to such assertions, none the less defined control of classification, government officials obligated to follow standards set forth by the president did not exceed government orders prohibition limitations. bassett is not only possible but entirely appropriate to conduct a standard base review of classification decisions. i've attached one potential methodology for such reviews. i applaud the committee for focusing on this critical issues for a nation's well-being and i thank you for inviting me here today, mr. chairman. i'd be happy to answer any questions you are committee members might have. >> thank you. now there is a model for ending at the five-minute art. mr. aftergood, i challenge you to come in with one second about mark as well. you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you ranking member companies. as you know express their will over classification presents
many kinds of problems. it makes your oversight job more difficult. it incurs substantial financial and operational costs and often leaves the public in the dark about national security matters of urgent importance that they should be aware of. why do we even have over classification? i think there are many reasons. for one reason and easier for officials to restrict access to information without carefully weighing the pros and cons of what should be disclosed. over classification many times is the path of least resistance. unchecked classification can also serve the political interest of the classifiers as a way to manage public perception to advance an agenda, to the meadow beside or simply to gain a form of political at adage. so what is the solution to over classification? i don't think there is a single
solution. i discuss several partial solutions in their written statements. many of those solutions depend on congress to assert his valve into the earnest tone is additional interest. congress is not a spec tater and it should not give it to when it comes to over classification. it is a coequal branch of government. in the executive branch, there are lots of fine conscientious people who are involved in classification policy, fortunately. but we should not have to rely on their integrity. we rely in that on congress to exercise checks and balance is in performing this routine oversight duties. finally, i would like to say that we are in a peculiar moment in our history that makes this issue particularly urgent. everything i've just said about over classification could've been dead 10 years ago for 20
years ago. this is a stubborn and persistent problem. but there is something different today. we are living in a period of unusual political instability that i believe requires even greater transpency. almost every day we see increased expressions of hostility against religious and that minorities. so-called fake news has lately resulted in actual acts of violence here in washington d.c. in the past week. and it seems that our political institutions are under a subtle form of attack by foreign actors as the ranking member discussed. this is not a normal situation in not the way things have always been. what complicates things further is the incoming administration that needs during the election cycle has indicated policy
preferences that departs significantly from existing law and the in areas such as foreign policy, questions of whether or not to engage in torture, questioned the multi-freedom of religion. in some cases, these rays basically constitutional issues. the bottom line is we are entering a turbulent time, reducing over classification and increasing transparency will not aware problems. but if we fail to reduce over classification, we are going to make those problems worse and harder to solve. thank you again for holding this hearing and for the essential work of oversight that you do. that would be glad to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you. mr. blanton come here and are recognized for five minutes. >> i am certainly not going to
match those timings. he did five minutes, he did four minutes. it's outstanding. thank you, ranking member comments and other members for having me here today. i'm here to make three points. one is a thank you for the freedom of information act amendments you mentioned as a model for what you can to classification. second is to reinforce the message of the report that was actually moynihan, jesse helme, john podesta commission. so you can tell when it's a unanimous bipartisan something to pay attention to and the number one recommendation was to pass a law, to govern and fix the system. the third thing i'd hate to tell you it's been a security official tell you something is classified, don't believe them. most of the time they are wrong. 50% to 90% of the time is the chairman, and it, they are brought. saddam believed them. i'll back that with a few examples.
the freedom of information act and why that's a model. this committee were the leaders in the house of representatives to get this amendment is inaugurated the central intelligence agency has released his way of eggs history that they locked up for 30 years. on what grounds? well, when you read it, you find out the ground. the historian who wrote it and drafted a set after more than 20 years it appears that exposing the agency senate rather than than any significant security information is what prompts continued to that request for release of these records. that is the norm in the bureaucracy. your you amendments broke this loose. the cia historian wrote on the back shots, recent 2016 changes the freedom of information act requires that two release drafts that are responsible for your request. he did it by statute. that is the congress' role.
you can do it to the classification system and i recommend a detailed list of recommendations in the back of this extraordinary report for how you can do that. you can build and cost benefits into the originating classification decision. you can build in assessments of what is to build this, the real vulnerability? what is that operation and found classified to do that on the front end. you can build in a declassification board power to rid the city could national declassification system on the backend subsystem doesn't it come up with the necessary secrets. you can move those 50% to 90% of what should be sacred to the public. you can do that but you've got to do it by statute. the government is not going to fix it though. you've got to do it. a third point is just don't believe them on classification. last month we got a nice letter from the joint chiefs of staff in answer to a freedom of
information request. that's the document they gave us. it's all blacked out because releasing it would damage our national security. this is at the secret level. it was fascinating because there's that person took a look and said that is the joint chiefs advice on a presidential policy directive back in july july 1986 that looks kind of familiar. he flipped back in the files and it turned out we got it in 2010 in full. that made us go look at the cover letter. you know the cover letter says? it says we have coordinated your freedom of the nation review and consultation with the joint staff and national security council. this is from the office of secretary of defense. osd and nsc had no objection to declassification in seoul. however, mr. mark patchwork of the joint staff thinks about to
be ossified and that you got the back watches. one office doesn't agree with another. one for six years, was visible damage our national security. attach a testimony of got half a dozen examples where it's not one office or another office. it's the same reviewer one week apart have diametrically opposed views of what would damage our securities. mr. chairman, ranking member, don't believe them. thank you very much for your time. it will come for your question. >> thank you. we welcome your passion. it's good. >> good morning, chairman chaffetz, member of the committee. the recognize the tension between openness and protecting legitimate government secrets of the executive or inch record over classifies more information than is necessary and no government information. such obstructions create barriers to the public
deliberation of policy and government spending, sharing and harming efforts to identify and remedy waste, fraud and abuse. an analogous commission said it simply. secrecy of unnecessary can also oversight. sometimes the results of classification is not for the legitimate need of secrecy that the concealment of embarrassing information which creates public distress. paragraph i've made plans ever to grace to discuss today. over classification, ritual act of classification, treatment and handling cases and finally executive branch use of secret law. and over classification, over classification might be a form of excessive redaction for improper markings. reports by the national security archive show that the classification process is most heading in the right direction and we've seen some improvement over the last few years, especially considering the amount of electronic documents
that have to be reviewed. the one number is a concern. in 2015 classification decisions were overturned in whole or in part in 50% of the challenges. those 411 cases overturned out at 814 decisions made. additionally we've heard stories about the lack of clarity and authority in standard citing different agencies to come to different conclusions as mr. blanton discussed. the public is concerned about the lack of clarity about what constitutes intelligence sources and methods which was okay and the two over classification. finally, classification start for you. total security classification costs exceeded $16 billion back in 2015. the moynihan commission had next month recommendation to improve the system. classification decisions but in the establishment of the program the longer based on damage to national security.
additional factors such as cost of protection, vulnerability, but if information in public understood from release could also be considered when making classification decisions. an agreement to such factors should be considered to reduce executive branch. on the issue of restrictive classification, for years has expressed concerns about? to produce to retract the classified information. first-hand experience because we were involved in area 51 and unclassified briefings to members across culver city whistleblower retaliation case. any relief should include a comprehensive look at issues affect the restrictive classification including failures in the system to classify information approach greatly, how frequently it occurs, what information was given whether publicly available and what constitutes issues related to prior restraints.
on the issue of controlled unclassified information, there's been a proliferation of cui and by 2010 there were over 100 different markings within government agencies. we've even witnessed examples of misuse and pogo hopes the committee will provide oversight of the implementation of recent release of cui recommendations. but recently heard an example in some degree it complained about during the s. that employees of dhs been given a training were also instruct in that if they have a foia that comes in the information is smart cui should not be released and that is opposite to the executive order as well as the language that is in the find of a commission from their. unequal treatment in handling cases. in the past few years we witnessed numerous instances in mishandling of a spider protected information. i'd go into more detail, but
pogo thinks the content is considered an high-profile cases involving senior officials issued because it are as well as other factors and whistleblower cases. secret law. pogo has put his concerns about the use of state of. how we come to conclusion and striking the right balance between security and right is imperative and the legal interpretations cannot be secrecy. secret that proposes a serious harm to our democracy. pogo's written recommendations are in her written testimony but i think there is one issue and point the 9/11 commission made that is important about nurturing that the current system nurtures over classification. there are no punishments for not sharing it her mission. agencies have pulled information protected rather than promoting a need to share culture of immigration. thank you for inviting me to testify. i look forward to working with the committee in further exploring how do reduce government secrecy.
thanks. >> thank you. appreciate of the opening statements. we now recognize the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in thank you for holding this hearing. it is something that probably many of us have surmised is going on in this certainly goes to a frustrating novel. i appreciate the fact that in this report to you pointed out, mr. chairman, the pentagon buries evidence of 125 million bureaucratic waste time by two reporters, one of which certainly has established credentials for investigative reporting and we have to take this seriously. when i read this, the frustrating thing was that number of assertions that lawmakers don't want to do anything about this because of the impact of their district. certainly there is evidence that i think this committee has
lawmakers better than that and i hope this is a real start. mr. amey, according to the article, in the "washington post," the department of defense differs commissioned and then hit the unflattering result, aggressively hit that with richard duchenne offered facts, you name it. but the waste and inefficiencies. are you familiar with the report? >> yes. >> don't expect so. in your view, what reasons could the deity have had to keep results from the public? >> you are putting me on the spot and trying to predict what the department of defense was thinking. i don't know. it's difficult because the report is on the internet. we found it yesterday when the story came out. it hasn't been on the internet is that time.
the defense business commission actually had a side presentation, summary of the report on its website. and so, we are trying to figure out a way reached at two reporters to figure out what the secrecy of his commitment about is taking place. i would imagine public embarrassment. at the end of the day the department of defense trying to protect $125 billion the fact they can pass an audit and there's other scrutiny of top of them that i think this is an issue of we didn't want to stick it out, so let's keep it under wraps. >> i'm sure $125 billion doesn't sound unreasonable to you. >> no, sir. when you look at goods and services, most of my work is on contract oversight. department of defense goods and services in the week that the rear prop in the tens to hundreds of billions of dollars worth of waste.