Wanted: US Government Looking For Qualified Applicants
December 10, 2002
By Carol Norris
current administration is looking for qualified applicants
to fill positions in its new agencies, departments, task forces,
offices, appointments, organizations and bureaus spawned from
the war on terror. (No. Of course this is not big government.
We are a Republican administration. We call it: Operation
Never-Ending Small Government.)
Aging white men responsible for an assortment of wrongdoings
and misconduct in former administrations will be given top
Persons convicted of multiple felonies involving,
say, illegal arm sales to foreign guerillas, and then let
off on technicalities; those involved in egregious corporate
transgressions; and human rights violators and individuals
considered war criminals by many at home and abroad who were
once integral in the preemptive "secret" bombing
and killing of millions of civilians in a country in Southeast
Asia or in a deadly South American coup that happened on another
tragic September 11th in 1973 are welcome to apply. Misdemeanors
A proven track record of lying to/withholding information
from/misleading Congress and the American people in the name
of national security (or not) is a huge plus. Willingness
to continue doing so is extremely desirable.
References from current or past foreign dictators
and/or George Bush Sr. are favorably received. (An Axis of
Evil leader's recommendation is acceptable. If US corporations
find it kosher to continue doing business with these anointed
evildoers, that's good enough for us.)
Established, direct ties to industry an absolute must.
Ability to work shredder and delete button on computer
Space in private home to store sensitive, sought-after
governmental documents from past administrations puts you
at a real advantage.
Your conflict of interest is not a conflict for us.
Commensurate with what you can get away with. While George
W. Bush just limited federal employee raises (below what Congress
asked for), he has now reinstituted cash bonuses for political
appointees. This practice was banned during the Clinton era
due to questions of abuse and of rewarding political loyalty,
but like the daily resurrection of other long-gone, dearly
departed policies, practices and people revived in this administration:
A Justice Department memorandum explains that the bonuses
"will be limited to truly outstanding performance that contributes
directly to achieving the president's and the attorney general's
national goals and objectives." So just play nice with Mr.
Ashcroft and Mr. Bush and you're golden. Literally.
Unparalleled power veiled in a cloak of secrecy. We're
in the process of eviscerating the Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA). Sshhh. It's a secret. We know what a great tool
it is for the American people to find out what we're up to.
And we don't particularly want people to know these things.
So back in October 2001, Mr. Ashcroft assured agency heads
that the Justice Department would back any FOIA denials they
made to the public.
Then White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card gave instructions
in a March 2002 memo that agencies should restrict access
to "sensitive but unclassified" information requested
through the FOIA. "Sensitive" is, of course, a boundless
umbrella. Already this has resulted in the deletion of over
6,000 Pentagon documents - and there are more deletions on
the way, to be sure. Now the recently passed Homeland Security
bill includes a provision that lets agencies exempt themselves
from certain FOIA requests without any judicial review, so
there are almost no checks and balances in place.
Cloak of disinformation. It's true that Donald Rumsfeld's
Office of Strategic Influence was shut down after public outcry
about an office whose blatant purpose was to generate disinformation
and propaganda abroad and at home. But this fall he created
a new position: Deputy Undersecretary for Special Plans. "Special
plans" are deception operations that control public information.
So, basically these special plans will do what the Office
of Strategic Influence was to do under a different guise.
We do that all the time: change the name of something objectionable
so the American people will think the objectionable thing
has gone away. But we really keep it and repackage it under
a new, obfuscated, sanitized name. Remember the School of
the Americas and the Department of War? Still here. Same objectives.
New names. (Corporations who have gotten bad press do that,
too. Lawsuit-ridden Philip Morris will soon be the benign
Altria Group, Inc.)
If you want a perk we haven't mentioned just let us know
and we'll get it for you by burying it deep in the pages of
a long-winded bill, like we just did for our good friends
at Eli Lilly & Co. We slid in some language in the midst of
a domestic security bill that Mr. Bush just signed making
Lilly all but impervious to lawsuits regarding a preservative
in its vaccines that many claim causes autism. At first glance,
this clause may not seem to have a thing in the world to do
with national security. Just trust us.
The fact that George W. Bush sat on Lilly's board in the
70s, and White House budget director, Mitchell Daniels, is
a former Lilly executive, and that Lilly contributes more
to political campaigns than any other pharmaceutical company,
and this past summer Bush appointed Sidney Taurel, Lilly’s
Chairman and CEO, to the Homeland Security Advisory Council
is, needless to say, immaterial.
We also slid in additional perks for other industry people,
like the secrecy clauses that will make it a lot harder for
people to get information about the dangerous chemicals that
might be near their homes. We know congresspersons don't often
read through all the pages upon pages of all those tiresome
But, somebody caught the Lilly clause. And currently nobody
will claim ownership. Apparently, in America we can pass laws
without lawmakers completely reading them and understanding
their full consequences to the American people, and without
anybody having to take responsibility for them. (Another perk.)
Soon the question of who authored and inserted this clause
will fade away like the lawsuit to obtain documents about
Cheney's energy task force and its meetings with lobbyists
and industry executives; outrage about corporate scandals;
urgency to find Osama bin Laden; concern about rebuilding
Afghanistan; and the memory of Mr. Bush's dubious military
record. It's a good thing the American people have a mercifully
short memory. We are getting away with things we could only
imagine in our wildest dreams just a couple of years ago.
(A colossal perk.)
The US Government Is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Unless of course you are those translators we let go. We
are painfully short on people who can translate Middle Eastern
languages and we said we desperately, desperately need them
to help fight the war on terror. But they were, well…you know…(g-a-y)…and
we don't want to win our terror war that bad.
And we also don't employ too many women or people of color
– except those high profile few we can keep in our pockets
like Condi and Colin and Katherine. (Yes, the people elected
Ms. Harris. But we recently named this freshman congressperson
Assistant Majority Whip because she was just an absolute peach
during the 2000 election in Florida.)
You also probably need not bother applying if you aren't
rich. Almost every one of our upper-level appointees are multi-millionaires.
And finally, all you thousands of people we just canned from
the federal jobs we are privatizing to help out our industry
friends absolutely need not apply. No exceptions.
If interested please send resume, organization memberships,
voting record, schools attended, all websites visited, email
content and address book, DVDs rented, medical history, religious
affiliation, CD purchases, book purchases, protest and activist
history, library transactions, grocery list, content of questionable
and not-so questionable telephone conversations, ATM/banking
transactions, travel history, and all credit card transactions
…never mind. We already have them.
Carol Norris is a freelance writer and psychotherapist. She
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org