September 9, 2005

From Bad To Worse

The Adminstration and their cronies in Congress gear up to deflect any blame by setting up 'investigations' of their own offices and appointees that they themselves control, using bodies which are to have no oversight or legal power to make changes as well as being controlled by the incumbent party. The first cursory checks of the political hacks whose incompetence has already killed unknown numbers of Americans on the Gulf Coast and cost us an unknown amount of time and resources are showing that - surprise - they not only couldn't do the jobs they were in, but lied about their experience, apparently habitually. When the head of FEMA had only one emergency services-relevant item on his resume - "overseeing the emergency services division" of Edmond, Oklahoma from 1975-1978, it would behoove him to make sure that that was accurate. But no. According to the head of PR for the city of Edmond, he was in fact an 'assistant to the city manager' and that from 1977 to 1980. What did he do? According to the city manager at the time, "Mike used to handle a lot of details. Every now and again I'd ask him to write me a speech. He was very loyal. He was always on time. He always had on a suit and a starched white shirt."

When asked about this difference, FEMAs office of public affairs insisted that in fact while Mike Brown began as an intern, he became an 'assistant city manager' and (note this carefully) - the staffer in the office insists that "according to Mike Brown, a large portion of the points raised by TIME are very inaccurate."

Ooooh, that's interesting.

In other words, the professional flack whose job is to defend her boss has just said that not only is there some truth to the issues TIME has raised, but she's said something that directly contradicts the words of the city officials who employed Mike Brown at the time. Furthermore, and this is the most interesting to me, the professional PR shield said "according to Mike Brown." She explicitly sourced the rebuttal to the man himself. She didn't place the organization or anyone else's reputation behind it. She placed the weight of the veracity of that rebuttal squarely on the man's shoulders - so if, in fact, he has been stuffing his screamsheet, it's alllll his bad when the chickens come home to roost.

What that is, if you're not a bureaucrat, is a glaring sign that your organization is starting to disassociate itself from its head in the expectation that bad shit is going to happen to said head.

Now the question is to what degree the White House, the dumb-shit actor responsible for placing this idiot there in the first place, is going to spend political capital shoring him up - or whether they're going to simply burn him to save their own guilty-as-sin skins. "Oh, he *lied* to us. We thought he was competent!"

"But you didn't bother checking with his prior employers?"


This will be interesting.

Update: Looks like they're going to burn him. Now we just have to make sure they can't avoid their own culpability.

Posted by jbz at September 9, 2005 11:52 AM | TrackBack

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