"Final IG report "makes no mention" of the White House's refusal to allow investigators to interview Joe Aldy, a White House official involved in the editing of the spill report"
5/8/11, "IG investigator says White House hindered probe of oil spill report," Politico 44, Donovan Slack
"An investigator for the Interior Department’s Inspector General claims the White House hindered an investigation into a report on the BP oil spill by blocking access to a key official and email records, the New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting.
The investigator was trying to determine whether the White House intentionally edited the report to create the false impression that outside experts supported the administration's call for a moratorium on offshore drilling. The White House had said the editing was a mistake, and the Inspector General’s final report concluded it was.
But the investigator, in a series of emails obtained by the newspaper, disagreed.
"I truly believe the editing 'WAS' intentional -- by an overzealous staffer at the White House. And, if asked, I, as the case agent, would be happy to state that opinion to anyone interested," senior special agent Richard Larrabee wrote, according to the Times-Picayune.
Larrabee, in emails to his supervisors, said he was disappointed that the final IG report "makes no mention" of the White House's refusal to allow investigators to interview Joe Aldy, a White House official involved in the editing of the spill report, the Times-Picayune reported.
White House officials reached Tuesday did not immediately comment on the accusations and referred questions to the Inspector General. The Inspector General's office did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Associate Inspector General Kris Kolesnik told the Times-Picayune that the office stands behind its report and that the office received full cooperation from officials at the Department of the Interior. As for the White House, Kolesnik told the newspaper that the IG's office "does not have authority to compel" White House cooperation. Kolesnik said Larrabee, like other investigators, was "entitled to have a personal opinion, but the OIG reports are factual," the Times Picayune wrote."
5/7/12, "Gulf oil spill moratorium inquiries rebuffed, investigator says," New Orleans Times-Picayune, Bruce Alpert
"Larrabee concedes that email messages were provided from Salazar's office, but he said the final inspector general's report should have had a disclaimer "that we did not independently validate" them by reviewing computer hard drives.
In one comment sent to his supervisors, Larrabee expresses dismay the final IG report "makes no mention" that investigators sought unsuccessfully to interview Joe Aldy, a White House official involved in the last-minute editing of the spill report. The report "is simply silent about our desire to interview Aldy and the White House declination," he wrote....
"I am deeply concerned that this is yet another example of how a double standard is being followed in this investigation in granting great deference to the secretary's office that would not be granted to any other department bureaus or employees. For what it is worth," Larrabee writes in an email....
In response to the emails, Kolesnik, the associate inspector general, said the Department of Interior provided "all the relevant documents that were requested." About its failure to get an interview with the White House official responsible for editing the agency's oil spill report, including the recommendation for the moratorium, Kolesnik said the inspector general "does not have authority to compel" White House cooperation.
The Obama administration, like previous administrations, has asserted executive privilege to rebuff efforts to obtain documents and interviews with officials who advise the president."...
Ed. note: Yes, but the point is you said Obama was different, would be the most transparent. Now you're saying Obama is not different. Why should anyone listen to you ever again? Why do you still have a job? It's true an IG can't compel WH cooperation but that wasn't the point. The investigator was dismayed that the entire event was left out of the report, ie that an an interview was requested and was turned down.