Thursday, January 9, 2014

Obama Administration's Epidemic of Deceit

House Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Darrell Issa, charged that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made false and misleading statements to Congress for which she may be criminally liable, "...about the security risks present on"  Issa wants to see documents and communications made in preparation for Sebelius's congressional appearances after October 1, 2013.

In a statement from Issa the Congressman says:

"...Providing false or misleading testimony to Congress is a serious matter...Documents and testimony obtained by the Committee, including information provided by Teresa Fryer, the Chief Information Security Officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the MITRE Corporation, a contractor hired by HHS to conduct security assessments of, show that your testimony was false and misleading..."

Earlier this week the Oversight Committee put out a fact sheet laying out points of contention, but yesterdays despatch to the press details statements that Sebelius made before Congress:
  • "...MITRE was conducting ongoing security testing;
  • MITRE's preliminary report did not raise flags about going ahead;
  • no one… suggested that the risks outweighed the importance of moving forward;
  • Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius speaks with ...
    Criminally Liable For False & Misleading Statements To Congress?
  • MITRE made recommendations to CMS about moving forward..." (note:  MITRE is a firm that contracts with the federal government)

Issa charged in a letter to Sebelius "...your failure during numerous Congressional hearings to explicitly mention the serious problems with security testing in the month prior to launch creates the appearance that you carefully chose language that would mislead Members of Congress and the American public..."

The letter to Sebelius cites that she told:
"...the House Energy and Commerce Committee that MITRE was performing security testing on an ongoing basis and that the contractor’s preliminary report 'did not raise flags about going ahead[.]'..." and that "...MITRE and Blue Canopy, the contractors utilized by CMS to conduct security testing of and its related components, did not conduct ongoing security testing of the system.  According to Ms. Fryer’s testimony, MITRE’s final round of security testing on the federal exchange prior to the October 1, 2013, launch ended on September 20, 2013..." (Fryer is purportedly CMS's top cybersecurity expert)
Another concern of Issa's is MITRE's preliminary report, which according to his statement yesterday
"...raised many specific problems that concerned Teresa Fryer, CMS’s top cybersecurity expert...In preparation for a September 23, 2013, security briefing, Ms. Fryer prepared a PowerPoint slide that listed two high risks with opening the Exchange on October 1, 2013.  The two ‘unknown’ risks identified by Ms. Fryer, which confronted individuals who entered their information into beginning on October 1, 2013 were:

  • “Unknown risk of applications to withstand attacks aimed at system availability.
  • “Unknown risks associated with those controls and those functionalities that were not tested.”
Fryer told Committee staff in a December 17, 2013 transcribed interview, 'From a security perspective, for a security risk only, in my opinion, yes, it was a high risk because of the level of uncertainty discovered during the testing.'..."

According to Issa, "Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee on November 6, 2013 that 'no one… suggested that the risks outweighed the importance of moving forward including our independent evaluator, MITRE, who made recommendations to CMS, as is required.' On the contrary, Fryer was so concerned about MITRE’s findings that she repeatedly recommended to Tony Trenkle, CMS’s Chief Information Officer, that the website launch be delayed. In a memorandum drafted by Fryer, she said the Exchange “does not reasonably meet the CMS security requirements…  There is also no confidence that Personal Identifiable Information (PII) will be protected.”

Issa also charged that Sebelius falsely stated that MITRE, the chief security contractor, “...'made recommendations to CMS, as is required,' when in fact MITRE has told the Committee they were 'not informed, nor asked, by CMS about a ‘go-ahead for'...”

Issa warned Sebelius:

"...Witnesses who purposely give false or misleading testimony during a congressional hearing may be subject to criminal liability under Section 1001 of Title of 18 of the U.S. Code, which prohibits 'knowingly and willfully’ making materially false statements to Congress.,..With that in mind, I write to request that you correct the record and to implore you to be truthful with the American public about matters related to ObamaCare going forward. In addition, in order to determine the full extent of other officials’ roles in developing your recent Congressional testimony, I request you provide copies of all documents and communications, including meeting notes, prepared for your three appearances before Congress after October 1, 2013..."

It has been established that the President lied about several promises he made to Americans regarding ObamaCare, and with the subsequent apparent cover-ups of Fast and Furious, BenghaziGate, the IRS scandals, the NSA lying about spying, the Director of National Intelligence lying to Americans, and with revelations coming forth from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates about Obama and Clinton lying for "political" reasons, this administration has lost all credibility and it is beyond a "culture of corruption," and clearly has graduated to an epidemic of deceit...

Vanguard of Freedom Perspectives

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