Verbal authority? In this day and age? Only in the White House and maybe HHS. Everybody else gets the autopen at the very least. Still, the Washington Post gets the story out and manages to slide in the sacking of 2 admirals, 2 captains and 2 commanders in an unrelated but similar scandal.
I'm a little disturbed by the security classification nonsense being bandied around though by just about everybody. Why is an 'acquisition' of silencers for the navy "TOP SECRET?" Why is it a security violation of ANY kind to tell the Husbanding Agent under contract to the United States Navy the dates and times when USN ships and US warships are expected to arrive and depart from foreign parts where that Husbanding Agent is expected to meet them with all their logistical requirements lined up and ready to load?
Nothing unrelated to National Security should have any kind of classification on it except FOUO and that only as it relates to the Privacy Act. Every other use of classification markings is nothing but an effort to hide the truth, hide the data and hide from being held accountable.
Agencies like the NSA have a great deal to hide and always have had. They let the fact that they could hide all the things they did from public scrutiny and accountability lead them to believe that they had a right to do all the things they do.