How does the Bush machine keeps making more glitches? The Friday evening news teemed with federal faux pas. The list includes:
1. Alberto Gonzales saying he's still "searching for the truth" in the firing of eight attorney generals. Is it because he hasn't spoken it yet?
2. The Bush team wanting Alberto to stay to lead the "investigation" of himself. This is reminiscent of the White House Lessons Learned report from Hurricane Katrina and the Pat Tillman death investigation. And who can forget the CIA agent name leak investigation that produced not even a report, but warranted a conviction. The latest self investigation involves "Reading First" contractor, RMC Research Corp conducting an audit of its performance under a federal contract. Never mind, the already cited problems in the company's execution (see #6 below).
3. A general warned the Pentagon to tell the White House to tread very carefully around Pat Tillman's death as it likely was caused by friendly fire. Bush had the opportunity to be warned a week after the death while the family had to root out the cause of their son's passing after a month's time.
4. The transparent White House uses Republican National Committee e-mail addresses for official government correspondence. This bypasses federal records keeping requirements. Why would someone who claims to run a transparent administration allow such a thing?
5. The White House spokesman in response to Pat Tillman's death said "a review of the records" turned up no indication the President had seen the Pentagon's warning. Yet two days after the memo had been sent Bush made no mention of how the former NFL star died. Had the general snet his message via RNC e-mail, thus escaping the record review?
6. The President's signature reading program for K-3 failed to follow required conflict of interest measures. This allowed contractors and consultants with ties to varies corporate reading programs. Last fall an OIG report cited federal staffers playing favorites with vendors. The deja vu includes McGraw-Hill whose board is stacked with Bush buddies.
7. The Bush torture program for "the worst of the worst" in Guantanamo Bay got an Australian captive a 9 month sentence. In return for the light jail time, the prisoner stipulated he'd "never been illegally treated by a person or persons while in the custody of the U.S. government." The deal prohibits him from suing the government as a result of his incarceration and imposes a gag order for a full year.
8. George W. apologized to soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital for deplorable conditions in an outpatient clinic and living area. He blamed the problems on "bureaucratic and administrative failures". In an eerie Katrina like echo, Bush said "the system failed you and it failed our troops, and we're going to fix it." When one looks a little deeper this is another case of sending government business to his friends. In Bush's mind the bureaucrats held up his corporate charge.
What will the President do given this latest list of Bush team gaffes? Will his first step be to put Alberto Gonzales in charge of the investigation? Or will he go to his stalwart, Frances Townsend the crafter of the dafty Katrina Lessons Learned report? She put on a good coat of whitewash before, I trust she can do it again. She even avoided having her name stamped on the Abu Ghraib prison torture cases when she visited the prison on behalf of her boss.
Who will the President ask for help in clearing up his usual messes? Hhhhmmmmm? I think Alberto will be too busy to do any of these situations justice....