Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A spectrum of investigation

Karl Rove is to be investigated by the head of the Office of Special Counsel, Scott J. Bloch. People have cheered, hooray! about time! What is not generally being discussed -- at least so far -- is that Scott J. Bloch is himself under investigation by inspector general of the Office of Personnel Management. Bloch has been accused by employees within the Office of doing what almost every other administration agency has been doing; covering their tracks, whitewashing problems and media control. One employee said that Bloch tried to
dismantle the agency, illegally barred employees from talking to the news media and reduced a backlog of whistle-blower complaints by simply discarding old cases.
So, a "loyal Bushie" who has marginalized and politicized the Office of Special Counsel with a purge of his own is going to be the guy the White House will use to "investigate" Karl Rove for his involvement in marginalizing and politicizing the US Attorney purge. That should work out well for the White House.

Just as a refresher, the AP recently composed a highly entertaining list of investigated, indicted and/or convicted Bush administration officials -- current and former -- which is entirely separate from all the congressional Republicans who have been investigated, indicted and/or convicted.
--Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice...

-- Alberto Gonzales, facing congressional investigations into his role in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys...

-- Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank and a former deputy defense secretary, facing an inquiry into allegations of cronyism after having arranged a State Department job and large pay raise for his girlfriend.

-- J. Steven Griles, an oil and gas lobbyist who became deputy Interior Secretary J., last month became the highest-ranking Bush administration official convicted in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal...

-- David H. Safavian, was convicted last year of lying to government investigators about his ties to Abramoff

-- Roger Stillwell, a former Interior Department official, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for not reporting tickets he received from Abramoff.

-- Sue Ellen Wooldridge, the top Justice Department prosecutor in the environmental division until January, bought a $980,000 beach house in South Carolina with ConocoPhillips lobbyist Donald R. Duncan and oil and gas lobbyist Griles. Soon thereafter, she signed an agreement giving the oil company more time to clean up air pollution at some of its refineries.

-- Matteo Fontana, a Department of Education official who oversaw the student loan industry, was put on leave last week after disclosure that he owned at least $100,000 worth of stock in a student loan company.

-- Claude Allen, a former Bush domestic policy adviser, pleaded guilty to theft in making phony returns at discount department stores while working at the White house.

-- Philip Cooney, a former American Petroleum Institute lobbyist who became chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, acknowledged in congressional testimony earlier this year that he changed three government reports to eliminate or downplay links between greenhouse gases and global warming. He left in 2005 to work for Exxon Mobil Corp.

-- Darleen Druyun, a former Air Force procurement officer, served nine months in prison in 2005 for violating federal conflict-of-interest rules in a deal to lease Boeing refueling tankers for $23 billion, despite Pentagon studies showing the tankers were unnecessary. After making the deal, she quit the government and joined Boeing.

-- Eric Keroack, Bush's choice to oversee the federal family planning program, resigned from the post suddenly last month after the Massachusetts Medicaid office launched an investigation into his private practice.

-- Lurita Doan, head of the General Services Administration, is underinvestigation for violations of the Hatch Act.

-- Robert W. Cobb, NASA's inspector general is under investigation on charges of ignoring safety violations in the space program. An internal administration review said he routinely tipped off department officials to internal investigations and quashed a report related to the Columbia shuttle explosion to avoid embarrassing the agency.

-- Julie MacDonald, who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service but has no academic background in biology, overrode recommendations of agency scientists about how to protect endangered species and improperly leaked internal information to private groups, the Interior Department inspector general said.
After all this prior and ongoing exposure of illegality, we now learn of yet another regulatory agency that, under Bush, doesn't like regulations at all. Bush appointed OSHA officials are now under investigation for ignoring workplace hazards.
The agency has killed dozens of existing and proposed regulations and delayed adopting others.
Dr. David Michaels, an occupational health expert, has this to say about the current version of OSHA:
The people at OSHA have no interest in running a regulatory agency. If they ever knew how to issue regulations, they’ve forgotten. The concern about protecting workers has gone out the window.
This administration is in desperate straights and under fire. The fact that they either cannot find someone in the administration who is not under investigation or in prison or have consciously decided to whitewash the decidedly bad scene over the attorney purge with a partisan Christianist hack and save Karl Rove's increasingly burdensome ass, demonstrates that they haven't quite figured out that Republicans aren't in the majority anymore. But if one things is clear from all of this, it is that the band of criminals currently occupying the White House have a much different idea of what the word, "administration" means than what has generally been accepted.


Blogger Maya's Granny said...

I received the George Carlin CD, What Am I Doing In New Jersey for my birthday this week and listened to it last night. He starts by talking about how large the crowd is "The most people I've seen in one place since the group shot of all the Reagan officials who've been indicted." And then goes on to mention that one of them is Ed Meese, the Attorney General. And, here we are again. Same refrain, different names.

2:04 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Yes, it is an god-awful reprise of the same themes. What does that tell us about the GOP?

3:31 PM  

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