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.

Don't Drink The Kool-Aid

Daniel DiRito | April 14, 2007 | 3:06 PM
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1 On April 15, 2007 at 8:09 AM, Dean Esmay wrote —

Wow. A mural of a Bush administration official as a Nazi. How original and clever.

Hey, is there any possibility that there is no incompetence at all here? But rather that we live in an era where every corporation and every government office has lengthy and detailed employee manuals and policy statements that most people never read and often disregard? Which is pretty much normal? And is it possible that they just didn't make a priority out of saving email, especially since these days there's so damned much of it?

I am beyond frustrated at critics of this administration, who have been obsessive to the point of ridiculousness since Bush entered office and have only gotten more and more nasty and irrational since Bush made the morally, legally, and strategically correct decision to go to Iraq.

2 On April 15, 2007 at 8:55 AM, Daniel wrote —


Thanks for your comments...and may I say wow as well. Certainly you are entitled to support the Bush administration and to disagree with those who feel that they are incompetent (at best).

Notwithstanding, people in lesser positions are routinely fired for lesser offenses...ones that don't impact large swaths of society and have the potential to effect the future for years to come. They are also fired for recurring patterns of incompetence and disregard for company policy.

The fact that people don't read employee manuals and policy statements is certainly accurate...but do you really think it should be a legitimate defense for mistakes in government at the highest level?

I too see ridiculousness...but within the Bush administration...not with those critical of the Bush administration. Further, since when is criticism off limits...or have you not been listening to politics for the last twenty years?

I agree with your use of the word irrational...particularly in your suggesting that the President made the "morally, legally, and strategically correct decision to go to Iraq". May I suggest that that is in fact irrational...or is that also beyond your frustration threshold?

I welcome differing opinions here at Thought Theater and I enjoy lively dialogue. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.



3 On April 15, 2007 at 10:02 AM, barrelhse wrote —

I'm quite certain that all who received a hand book would have been required to sign a statement that they have, indeed, read the book.
I don't understand how any thinking person could defend the GOP cesspool in the WH.

4 On April 15, 2007 at 10:11 AM, Patty wrote —

The problem I have with the missing e-mails date back to Nixion and the missing minuets on a now infamous tape. Rove is very aware of the laws that were put into place to prevent this from happening again. So it is hard for me to believe that they went missing by accident,(come-on 5 million!!!) but deleted on purpose. This administration has a very big problem, unlike a tape from the 60's e-mails can be resurrected and Rove will not fair as well as Rosemary.

5 On April 15, 2007 at 10:28 AM, GRUMPY OLD MAN wrote —

For Dean Esmay to chew on.
They lost 5 million emails by "Mistake" and we are supposed to trust them to tell the truth? THESE PEOPLE ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO PRESERVE THEM.
And were they using an outside email system to avoid scrutiny? Yes. They have also admitted this. And is this against the law? YES. So how come all you LAW AND ORDER AT ALL COSTS Republithugs don't think that applies to you and yours?

This is the law of the land. Period. No questions. And no damn excuses. And as I also assume you know that this was a law put into place by the same GOP to try and curb the power of a Democrat President I find it strange that you don't think it is important.

Of course we just like picking on the Idiot who believes he was appointed King instead of being appointed President. The same halfwit that lied us into attacking a country that was in no way any threat to the US. Well you can apparently live with these lies and all the others but some of us believe in something better. Honesty.

6 On April 15, 2007 at 11:00 AM, nolo wrote —

nice graphic.

and, i have created
a few over here, myself. . .


7 On April 15, 2007 at 11:03 AM, gadzooks wrote —

I think that the charge "beyond redemption" is one reserved for the hegemony of priests and judges . What a clever juxtaposition to carefully sigh in a world weary reality , as a real time diaper changing muddler "beyond frustrated" . Then apply it to the adult supervision lately applied to the diaper mess of our national disgraces . Just brilliant . A polymaths dazzling of the hoi polloi , while serving as a care worn socratic saint , then posing acerbic thrusts of the emotionally satisfying belief systems elevated morally , legally , and strategically beyond what Americans will accept and what Rebelling Colonists wrote about in thought , word and deed in the Constitution . Thus nobly separating oneself from the theater of political shop kits and elevating by implying a biblical , priestly sanction i.e. Beyond . I wonder though would anybody actually be thick enough to miss the deliberate and inadvertent oopsies consistent in the accounting of the wide liberties granted to the actual meanings of words and their gentle , even overly gentle forgiveness or outright celebration of loopy and deadly incompetence ? As in the Administrations use of them and forgivingness of , umm ? There is also the troubling consistency with the practice of the consolidation of power exercised as by this administration in the ruthless demonising of among others the poor and defenseless . The devotion to a one party state . Prosecution by the party of the other parties for the party . The shifting of wealth , the shifting of allegiance from the nation and its people to the party . Perhaps you were a little too nimble in your dismissal of the correlation of the resemblance's morally, legally, and strategically to the National Socialist Party of yore . Maybe ? Just askin’

8 On April 15, 2007 at 8:24 PM, Boleslaw wrote —

Comparing members of W's administration to Nazi's is unfair. To the Nazi's.

Under Hitler, even at the height of his power, some of the German government departments remained independent of the Nazi party. Certainly, gov't departments did not lie about the numbers to make the Nazi party look good, true numbers were reported, even when unfavorable.

The right comparison is to STALIN.

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