Classification Clash Over Iraqi Corruption

10.19.07 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

“It is an abuse of the classification process to withhold from Congress and the people of the United States broad assessments of the extent of corruption in the Iraqi Government.”

Remarkably, that complaint was endorsed Tuesday by a large majority of the House of Representatives, which voted 395-21 to condemn the Administration’s restrictions on disclosure of information about Iraqi corruption.

The resolution condemning the restrictions, sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman, emerged from the conflict between his Oversight Committee and the State Department over access to and disclosure of government records on this topic. See the October 16 floor debate on House Resolution 734.

One of the assessments of Iraqi corruption that was retroactively classified after Rep. Waxman’s committee requested it has been made widely available (pdf) on the Federation of American Scientists web site.

State Department official David Satterfield disputed allegations that the Department had improperly withheld information in an October 16 conference call.