Friday, April 16, 2004

More Magical Tolerance from the Bush Administration A few weeks ago, the ever so-special religious dogmatic that holds the position of U.S. Special Counsel (the governmental position that enforces the civil rights of Federal employees) came out with a position saying, in effect, "Open season on Gay Employees, Fire 'em at will". When the press actually took notice of this, the Bush Adminstration rescinded the order, lest their religious crusading draw too much overt notice. Well, as one might expect, Silly Sully (aka "Little Roy Cohn"), who only sees the Bush Administration's general pattern of abuse and discrimination when it finally is aimed at him (only to swoon again when somebody gets killed) noticed this. Now, the worlds most inconsistent gay columnist (and most flagrant overuser of the word "insouciance"), has noticed something new: Scott Bloch, recently appointed by the Bush Administration to serve a five-year term as the U.S. Special Counsel, began his tenure by suspending agency policies protecting federal employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Last week, in an embarrassing rebuke, the White House announced a reversal of Bloch’s self-imposed suspension. After complaining in media interviews about “leakers” within his own agency being responsible for the controversy that was actually triggered by Bloch ordering material removed from OSC’s public web site, Bloch issued the following to all agency staff: “[The] Special Counsel has directed that any official comment on or discussion of …sensitive internal agency matters with anyone outside OSC must be approved in advance…” In addition, Bloch forbade his staff from even discussing the newly restored sexual orientation anti-discrimination policy with outsiders, including other federal employees and agencies asking for guidance, and instead “simply refer them to the [new] press release on our web site as a complete and definitive statement of OSC’s policy.” The three whistleblower protection organizations (the Government Accountability Project, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Project on Government Oversight) condemned Bloch’s order on the grounds that his actions may violate the Whistleblower Protection Act, statutory restrictions against use of public funds to establish or enforce broad non-disclosure policies (i.e., gag orders) and constitutional free speech guarantees. What a guy. But here's something for Andrew.
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