FBI Building Not Secure
The FBI headquarters complex has a wee problem:
“The Hoover Building does not meet the Interagency Security Committee’s criteria for a secure Federal facility capable of handling intelligence and other sensitive information,” the Senate Appropriations Committee observed in a new report on the 2009 Commerce, Justice and State Appropriations bill.
“The Committee finds these conditions unacceptable and directs the Government Accountability Office [GAO] to review the Hoover Building and associated off-site locations, and provide a analysis of the FBI’s ability to fulfill its mission and security requirements under the present circumstances,” the report said.
Given that the FBI is the lead agency in domestic counterterrorism, either the rules or the building need changing, stat. Steve Aftergood reports that they’ve come up with a bizarre work-around:
The FBI is in the process of constructing a Central Records Complex outside of Washington, DC. When completed, it will provide secure, centralized storage for classified intelligence, consistent with the security requirements of Director of Central Intelligence Directive (DCID) 6/9 and related guidelines.
Now, I’m all for moving sensitive information and, indeed, most federal bureaucratic activities, outside DC and, preferably, the National Capital Region for reasons I won’t get into here. But one would think the FBI headquarters building ought to be properly equipped to handle classified information. Alternatively, if there is no reason to think that it isn’t, then we should quit inventing arbitrary rules that require massive expenditures to achieve unnecessarily restrictive standards.