Trainwreck!

This is admittedly a little off the map from the stuff I usually post about, and noticeably behind the times, but I think it’s worth reading.

I ended up reading the Debate and Discussion Ultimate Scandal Megathread, and Jesus Christ, there is some outrageous stuff in there. It’s not like the secret torture prisons, corruption, rampant cronyism, politicization of non-political offices, or outright staggering incompetence is particularly new to me, but seeing it all in one place is…well, it’s interesting. I guess a lot of this is allegations and suspicions, but a lot of it is pretty provably true, and the things that aren’t, I’m willing to accept that they’re true.

Items that stand out as particularly horrible, that I don’t think have the nationwide media exposure that some of the other ones do.

A report by the Integrity Committee, a government board that investigates inspectors general, found that Robert Cobb “created an appearance of a lack of independence,” and it questioned whether NASA would do enough to reprimand him…only President Bush can dismiss Cobb, a former White House aide and 1986 law graduate whom Bush selected as NASA’s IG in 2002. The White House has said it is satisfied with NASA’s plans to require leadership training for Cobb, who once was an adviser (sic) on ethics to then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, now the attorney general.

Yeah, let’s fuck up NASA! Possibly my favorite government agency, because it’s the one where job success is most directly linked to intelligence and ability. Or it was, at least. Not only do you appoint some unqualified fucker to the job, you hire the guy who taught ethics to Alberto Gonzales? Speaking of which:

Gonzales and Card arrived and walked up to Ashcroft, who was lying barely conscious on his hospital bed. “Gonzales began to explain why he was there, to seek his approval for a matter,” Comey testified. But Ashcroft rebuffed Gonzales and told him that Comey was the attorney general now.

The quote doesn’t mention it, but the issue Gonzo wanted approval on was the (unconstitutional) warrantless wiretapping. He goes to see the comatose not-even AG, to get the OK on the thing, because the current acting Attorney General wouldn’t sign off on it.

I think it says something about Gonzales that he actually makes me miss John Ashcroft. I hate John Ashcroft, and most of what he stands for, but at least the man isn’t a bottom-feeding Yes man - he actually had a moral compass, even if I think it was horribly mis-calibrated. This is the Department of Justice. I love NASA for my own reasons, but I serously do not think America can afford screw-ups on the DoJ’s watch.

In late summer of 2003, General Geoffrey Miller, who had established a system of extreme interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay, was sent to Iraq to assess the situation. Miller declared that prisoners were being treated “too well” at Abu Ghraib. After conferring with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the general advised those in charge of the prison to “Gitmoize” it.

I don’t think I even need to say anything to that.

Finally, because I’m getting sick of reading about all the self-serving idiotic crap the government is doing, at the expense of regular Joes like myself:

In a troubling sign for the American-financed rebuilding program in Iraq, inspectors for a federal oversight agency have found that in a sampling of eight projects that the United States had declared successes, seven were no longer operating as designed because of plumbing and electrical failures, lack of proper maintenance, apparent looting and expensive equipment that lay idle.

Ugh. I don’t even know anymore.

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