It’s been nearly a week since it aired, and there have been so many other scandals, disasters and idiocies since then, because that is what a typical week with the Bush Administration in power is in the US, but I just had to show this clip.
Here’s the context: There was a ‘Brown Bag Lunch’ at the Federal Offices of the GSA, the General Services Administration. The Wikipedia entry for the GSA is this:
The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies, among other management tasks. Its stated mission is to “help federal agencies better serve the public by offering, at best value, superior workplaces, expert solutions, acquisition services and management policies.”
Back in December of last year, Lurita Doan, (a loyal Republican supporter to the tune of $226,000 in campaign contributions) the GSA’s Inspector General, proposed cutting $5 million from the budget of GSAâ€™s Office of the Inspector General for reviewing government contracts for fraud and waste. In other words, remove oversight. One wonders where the pressure for doing such a thing may have come from (dare I say, Lobbyists for Government Contractors like Haliburton, perhaps?). When other Inspectors wouldn’t go along with her plan, (like GSA Inspector General Brian D. Miller) she said: “There are two kinds of terrorism in the US: the external kind; and internally, the IGs have terrorized the Regional Administrators.”
That’s right, going against her plan was likened to ‘Terrorism’. So the ‘You’re either with us or against us’ slogan applies to the awarding of government contracts, too.
But that’s not what this video is about. As I mentioned earlier, this is about a lunchtime presentation about a week ago at the GSA’s offices in Washington. It seems that the Powerpoint slides that were shown during the lunch somehow found their way to the desk of Congressman Bruce Braley (Representative from Iowa). The author of that Powerpoint was none other than the center of so many other scandals and skulduggery in Washington, Karl Rove.
The clip is a little long (about 10 minutes), but some of it is so unintentionally hilarious that I almost have to remind myself that this is real testimony, not a comedy sketch. If you’ve already seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, and you have a few minutes, take a look; Rarely do you see someone caught in such outright lies. Ms. Doan was clearly instructed by legal counsel to pull the ‘Reagan Defense’ (I don’t remember anything), but I’m not convinced, and I suspect that most people aren’t either.
Oh, and by the way, The Hatch Act of 1939 makes it clear that this sort of thing is illegal. Ms. Doan should not only be fired, but she should serve jail time. But that probably won’t happen in the slow motion train wreck that is the USA these days.