Remember the bizarre case of John C. Beale? Last year, it was finally revealed that the former high-level Environmental Protection Agency employee managed to defraud the federal government of almost a million dollars over the course of twelve years while doing almost no work, and then excusing his many absences by claiming that he was jetting off on secret climate-change-related business in conjunction with the CIA, followed by a fake retirement party. Much to the EPA’s chagrin, federal watchdogs were not filled with confidence in either our sprawling bureaucracy generally or the EPA’s power-grabbing/obfuscating tendencies specifically, and began an investigation into the lack of internal controls that allowed the guy to fly under the radar for so long; then in February, the EPA inspector general wrote a letter to Sen. David Vitter informing him that several EPA employees were actively getting in the way of the IG’s investigations thereof. This afternoon, the Associated Press just dropped another bomb on those inauspicious EPA activities:

A unit run by President Barack Obama’s political staff inside the Environmental Protection Agency operates illegally as a “rogue law enforcement agency” that has blocked independent investigations by the EPA’s inspector general for years, a top investigator says.

The assistant EPA inspector general for investigations, Patrick Sullivan, was expected to testify Wednesday before a House oversight committee about the activities of the EPA’s little-known Office of Homeland Security. The office is overseen by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s chief of staff, and the inspector general’s office is accusing it of impeding independent investigations into employee misconduct, computer security and external threats, including compelling employees involved in cases to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Under the heavy cloak of `national security,’ the Office of Homeland Security has repeatedly rebuffed and refused to cooperate with the OIG’s ongoing requests for information or cooperation,” Sullivan wrote in prepared testimony obtained by The Associated Press. “This block unquestionably has hamstrung the Office of Inspector General’s ability to carry out its statutory mandate to investigate wrongdoing of EPA employees.” …

EPA’s Office of Homeland Security was set up in 2003 by an administrative order, and has no statutory authority to conduct investigations or enforce the law. But since July 2012, in an agreement with the FBI, it has been the primary contact on all investigations with a connection to national security.

Hmm — this EPA office secretively operates by using the heavy cloak of “national security” as its justification? Is that kind of like how John C. Beale used the cloak of national security as a justification, do you suppose? They already have the oh-so-convenient justifications of the “public health” and “environmental protection” to excuse their every whim; how many more can they possibly need if, as they claim, they really aren’t up to anything untoward?

Funny how the self-proclaimed Most Transparent Administration, Evah seems so averse to scrutiny — particularly the zealously environmentalist agency currently marshaling as much authority to itself as it can muster for the sake of almost singlehandedly executing President Obama’s costly and ideological climate change agenda via top-down regulations executive orders.