CNN: OPM Director Not Vetted Properly By…Republicans

ArchuletaFrom Evan Perez and Wesley Bruer at CNN comes a wonderfully funny article: “OPM Director Katherine Archuleta steps down.”

Washington (CNN) Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta resigned Friday, a day after revealing the recent data breach of government computers was vastly larger than originally thought.

Which is also a day after she vowed to stay put.

Thought by whom? Do you mean, vastly larger than Archuleta claimed?

Archuleta confirmed her departure in an email to OPM staff.

“I write to you this afternoon to share that earlier today, I offered and the President accepted my resignation as the Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management,” she wrote. “Leading this agency and serving with all of you has been the highlight of my career.”

You have to really screw up to get shitcanned by this Administration.

Starting Saturday, Beth Cobert, currently the U.S. Chief Performance Officer and a deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget, will take over as acting director of OPM.

Interestingly, Ms. Cobert came to OMB from McKinsey & Company, which has “offered some of the worst advice in the annals of business.”

Archuleta acknowledged Thursday that her agency had discovered in April that hackers had breached sensitive personnel databases and had stolen the personal data of 22.1 million current, former and prospective U.S. government employees, and their family members.

What is that sentence trying to say? That Archuleta and OPM have been underestimating the extent of the hack since it was made public? The figure of 21 million was announced by OPM yesterday. OPM consistently low-balled its estimates: On June 4, “OPM publicly [announced a] data breach of personnel data systems affecting as many as 4.2 million current and former federal employees. Some officials [said] those estimates undercount[ed] the true scope of the attack.”

Support for Archuleta crumbled after her testimony. But she had never received a thorough vetting of her qualifications for the job.

Testimony? What testimony? Do the authors mean her June 25 testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee? Then say so. Are we supposed to be mind-readers?

But the most interesting part of that paragraph is that it sets up the following narrative: No blame is assigned to the Obama Administration for nominating an unqualified, inexperienced political hack for OPM Director; the real issue, per the authors, is the failure of the Senate to knock down her nomination in general, and the failure of Senate Republicans to do so in particular. Hey you guys! Why didn’t you go after the Latina nominated by the Obama Administration!

Uh huh.

When she won Senate confirmation to lead the Office of Personnel Management, the chief objections from lawmakers who voted against her focused on Obamacare.

That was October, 2013, and the 62-35 vote reflected the political concerns at the time about how the agency, which serves as the federal government’s HR department, would implement parts of the health care law opposed by Republicans.

Read that as: Republicans were so obsessed with Obamacare that they failed to adequately vet Archuleta. Democratic Senators, and President Obama, get a pass.

Less attention focused on the agency’s role in handling government security clearances and how it safeguards some of the most sensitive U.S. government databases.

Damn Republicans. If only you would have done your job.

Even less was paid to why Archuleta — whose most recent job was as a national political director for Obama for America, the President’s reelection campaign — was the person to help fix what was an agency already struggling to deal with technology problems and serious data breaches.

Because there’s nothing Democrats love more than the optics of Republicans obstructing Presidential appointments when it can be made to seem that racial animus and/or sexism is the motivation.

So even less attention was paid, certainly by the authors, as to why the President nominated her in the first place.

Note the passive voice: “was the person to help fix….” Again, the President nominated her. The passive voice deliberately obfuscates where the responsibility lies.

Aides to Republican lawmakers who voted for her confirmation now acknowledge they didn’t pay enough attention to the importance of technology in the agency Archuleta was taking over.

Yep, you got us. We totally dropped the ball.

Seriously?

U.S. investigators believe Chinese government hackers are behind the breach, the worst ever against the U.S. government. Some of the most sensitive security background check data, including information on mental and drug histories of federal job applicants, is now in the hands of Chinese intelligence, according to U.S. authorities.

Who are these vague “investigators” and “authorities”? Are you people journalists?

Also, that information is likely already “in the wild,” so limiting it to “Chinese intelligence” is wildly incomplete.

Also, nothing about phishing.

House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday became the highest ranking lawmaker to call for Archuleta resignation. He was joined by Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, of Virginia. In recent weeks more than 20 other lawmakers had demanded she be fired.

Maybe this can be written in such a way as to blame Republicans for both her firing and her confirmation?

Critics now call her a political hack who shouldn’t have the job, even though she got the job with bipartisan support and her political past played little role in her Senate confirmation.

So basically, this is passing around the gun to make sure everybody’s fingerprints are on it.

Administration officials privately acknowledged Archuleta has performed poorly in hearings and briefings, and that she has made missteps to hurt her own cause. At a recent hearing she was asked if she had met with FBI Director James Comey to discuss the investigation, given the seriousness of the breach. No, was her answer.

Hold my beer. I got this.

Her briefings for lawmakers have come across as misleading, in part because she stuck by a public estimate that only 4 million people were affected by the breach, even as Comey had told lawmakers the number was nearly five times larger and cited OPM’s own internal data.

Then why did you write, earlier in the article, that “Archuleta acknowledged Thursday that her agency had discovered in April that hackers had breached sensitive personnel databases and had stolen the personal data of 22.1 million current, former and prospective U.S. government employees, and their family members”?

The White House was saying even Friday morning that President Barack Obama continued to have confidence in her.

I can’t even.

Even before Archuleta took the job, there were signs of trouble at OPM that demanded attention. Internal audits found the agency was woefully behind in meeting security standards for sensitive databases.

Signs of trouble? As Jeffrey Lebowski said, THE G**DAMN PLANE HAS CRASHED INTO THE MOUNTAIN!”

And more suchlike nonsense….

People get paid to write that sort of nonsense. ‘Murica.

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One Response to CNN: OPM Director Not Vetted Properly By…Republicans

  1. “You have to really screw up to get shitcanned by this Administration.” And there is only ONE reason why she was thusly canned: she didn’t affect the Proles, the Groundlings, the Serfs. She instead affected FEDERAL employees up to and including various directors and department heads of multiple cabinets. THAT is why.

    BZ

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