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June 17, 2013

The Obama Admin's War on Transparency?

A major press theme during the Evil Bush Years was that brave, truth-to-powering patriots who tried to hold the administration accountable would be harshly dealt with. So imagine our shock to read this, from a former Inspector General fired by the most transparent administration evah:

... I learned, through being fired by the Obama administration, that performing one’s responsibilities as one should, and potentially adversely affecting the administration’s image, is not the way to keep one’s job. (Fortunately, I was not dependent on my federal IG salary.)

That reality was made apparent to me — and, through what happened to me, to all IGs — when I supported my staff of longtime dedicated civil servants, who had recommended taking action against one Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player who had misused, for personal purposes, about $750,000 of an AmeriCorps grant intended for underprivileged young people. What I did not then know was that he was a friend and supporter of President Obama — a fact that caused the proverbial you-know-what to hit the fan.

Without detailing all that happened, the bottom line was that I started to receive pressure to drop the case against Mr. Johnson. When I declined to repudiate my staff’s work, the guillotine fell: I was summarily telephoned that if I did not resign in one hour, I would be fired. And I was, along with my special assistant, John Park. The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote of my firing: “The evidence suggests that [President Obama’s] White House fired a public official who refused to roll over to protect a Presidential crony.”

Similar questions have been raised about other IGs who somehow have been discarded. Amtrak IG Fred Weiderhold, Treasury special IG Neil Barofsky, and International Trade Commission IG Judith Gwynn all left their positions after disputes that weren’t appreciated by the administration, giving more reason for others to go easy with the administration. Further, the president has significantly failed to fill IG vacancies in important agencies (State, Interior, Labor, Homeland Security, and USAID) – well-documented by former IG Joseph Schmitz — demeaning the importance of the IG position.

We are shocked.... shocked to learn that the administration would intervene on behalf of a wealthy one percenter who stole from poor, underprivileged youth.


Posted by Cassandra at June 17, 2013 08:51 AM

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I wonder if the man in the White House also had something to do with the Mayor Johnson's Sacramento Kings not becoming the Seattle Kings? Nah. I mean, it couldn't be that. Could it?

Posted by: spd rdr at June 17, 2013 02:34 PM



Sorry. What were you saying?

Posted by: OregonGuy at June 17, 2013 02:41 PM

Sounds like we need someone to Occupy the NBA.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 17, 2013 04:45 PM

'I'm shocked, absolutely shocked to discover improper political meddling in an investigation by this administration!'
apologies to Claude Raines . . .

Posted by: CAPT Mike at June 17, 2013 06:22 PM

Occupy the NBA?

That's three seconds!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at June 17, 2013 11:16 PM