In yesterday’s item in On The Marque, we learned some very nasty things about Chas Freeman, the Obama Administration’s apparent pick for chairman of the National Intelligence Council. I say “apparent pick” because today, the Washington Times is reporting that Freeman, who was announced as the choice for the job by the National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair a week ago, hasn’t even been vetted yet:
Mr. Freeman has not submitted the financial disclosure forms required of all candidates for senior public positions, according to the general counsel’s office of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Nor did Mr. Blair seek the White House’s approval before he announced the appointment of Mr. Freeman, said Mr. Blair’s spokeswoman, Wendy Morigi.
“The director did not seek the White House’s approval,” Ms. Morigi said. “In addition to his formal background security investigation, we expect that the White House will undertake the typical vetting associated with senior administration assignments.”
Come on, folks. This is getting absurd. First, Obama loses Bill Richardson to a pesky pay-to-play scandal in New Mexico within weeks of the Blago blowup. Then we learn about Geithner’s tax fraud (who, by the way, is now scolding “wealthy Americans” about tax fraud). Gen. Anthony Zinni (Ret.) gets kicked to the curb as Ambassador to Iraq after being personally invited to take the post by Hillary Clinton. The press gets wind of Daschle’s tax mess a week before the hearing, leading to a furious week of questions and rationalizations before a messy divorce. Obama’s “efficiency czar” is caught in the Daschle crossfire and goes down before she even goes up to Capitol Hill. Sen. Gregg is invited to take the Commerce Secretary job, then told he’s going to be allowed to run the Census like all previous Secretaries – exit Gregg.
Now, it appears that high-ranking officials are making rogue appointments for positions with direct White House access that get discussed all weekend in the editorial pages and the blogosphere, and which result in a request for an Inspector General investigation from Congress…and it still takes the White House a week to realize they never meant to appoint the guy?!?! In filling out my Administration victims scorecard, I don’t know whether to tally Freeman, Blair, or both. At some point, this bus is going to crash from rolling over all these people.
There was a time when the Obama Administration was going to signal a return to “competence” in Washington. Right now, I just hope someone’s watching the nuclear football.
(h/t John McCormack)