The White House Announces Project Purge genre: Polispeak & Snapshot Thoughts & Tongue-In-Cheek
One of the most interesting things about this President is the fact that he frequently asserts that he is the unequivocal decider. When I hear someone use that terminology, my first assumption is that they must run an awfully tight ship...keeping underlings on short leases while dictating countless guidelines and directives. The other thing I assume is that this type of person would no doubt have a track record of success to bolster such a bold leadership style. Then I realize I'm talking about George W. Bush, and I say nah, not the case.
In keeping with the long string of contradictory examples, we learned this week that a number of key administration employees may have lost, erased, deleted, or otherwise expunged an estimated 5,000,000 emails...emails that conveniently may have shed light upon who was involved in making the decision to fire eight U.S. Attorneys and whether or not the dismissals were nothing more than partisan politics. Today, the Los Angeles Times provides some further insight.
From the LA Times:
WASHINGTON — Karl Rove and other White House employees were cautioned in employee manuals, memos and briefings to carefully save any e-mails that might discuss official matters even if those messages came from private e-mail accounts, the White House disclosed Friday.
Despite these cautions, e-mails from Rove and others discussing official business may have been deleted and are now missing.
White House officials spent much of Friday reiterating that the missing e-mails were the result of an innocent mistake. About 50 aides in the executive office of the Bush administration have used e-mail accounts provided by the Republican National Committee to keep campaign-related communication separate from their official White House business.
However, some of those RNC accounts were used to discuss official matters, including the firing of eight federal prosecutors, which has triggered investigations on Capitol Hill. Democrats contend that politics was improperly inserted into Justice Department decision-making about which attorneys should leave.
White House employee manuals distributed in early 2001 made it clear that any e-mails containing discussion of official matters should be preserved.
The instructions dwell on the importance of separating political from official acts. But they also explain that all e-mail sent "to your official account is automatically archived as if it were a presidential record." The manual adds: "If you happen to receive an e-mail on a personal account which otherwise qualifies as a presidential record, it is your duty to insure that it is saved as such by printing it out and saving it or by forwarding it to your White House e-mail account," the manual said.
OK, so at some point we're left with a limited number of conclusions when evaluating this President and his administration. On the one hand, they repeatedly ask the American public to trust their judgment and support the actions they have taken...including the war in Iraq and countless other issues. Notwithstanding, at the very same time we are asked again and again to excuse the mistakes and misdeeds of those who serve under this President. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but the odds that competence and carelessness (I'll reserve the right to amend the latter to corruption at some future point) can exist under the same roof and consistently serve the best interests of the nation are minute.
I grow increasingly frustrated with the demands to trust this administration when the actions they undertake are so often followed up with the proverbial woops; we seem to have made a mistake. Look, I realize none of us are perfect and we all fall short from time to time...but when those that lead virtually demand blind trust without accountability, something is gravely wrong.
With that in mind, I offer the following visual to summarize my impressions of this current situation and my ever increasing skepticism that this administration is competent to lead...let alone to demand carte blanche authority. I don't think I can drink any more of that kool-aid.