Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Is The Rove Investigation A Smoke Screen

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
today sharply criticized the decision to allow the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) to launch a broad investigation into three brewing Administration scandals, alleging that the move "suggests the possibility that the White House is orchestrating a cover-up of its illegal and improper activities."
The Los Angeles Times reported today that "the Office of Special Counsel is about to launch a sweeping investigation into Karl Rove's political operations."
The investigation will touch on three major administration scandals, according to the report. "The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House," the Times explained.
But as editor for The Nation David Corn noted, OSC head Scott Bloch, a presidential appointee, has been marred with scandal himself. The Washington Post reported in February that the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general has been investigating Bloch for alleged intimidation of career appointees. In May 2005, the Post reported on Bloch's refusal to enforce a discrimination ban within his office. And in April 2005, Bloch's office was accused of political bias.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan commented, "Having transformed OSC into a virtual black hole for legitimate complaints of retaliation, Bloch is decidedly not the right person to tackle the issues of misconduct and illegality that surround top White House officials." Sloan continued, "There is a serious question as to whether Bloch will just provide cover for an administration that has been covering for him."


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