Every president has political appointees to the Pentagon. Hold over Secretary of Defense Gates has said that he’s happy with the transition and other hold overs from the Bush era ( Obama is keeping 140 out 250), that he requested will stay, but Jim O’Beirne, the special assistant to the secretary of defense for White House liaisons is having a drama queen attack. Obama dismisses Bush Pentagon appointees
In the email, O’Beirne tried to assure the soon-to-be displaced employees that the decisions were based on “policy change in the Obama administration” and not based on performance.
However, he said, if employees “harbor residual doubts” then they can “content yourself with the likelihood that it was your outstanding performance as a Bush appointee that drew the opposition’s attention to you.”
“In that regard, you may take justifiable satisfaction that you were among the first to be chosen,” O’Beirne wrote.
Jimmy suffers from the same strange inability for honest self assessment that has been a prominent feature of republican political hacks for years, Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq
After the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government in April 2003, the opportunity to participate in the U.S.-led effort to reconstruct Iraq attracted all manner of Americans — restless professionals, Arabic-speaking academics, development specialists and war-zone adventurers. But before they could go to Baghdad, they had to get past Jim O’Beirne’s office in the Pentagon.
To pass muster with O’Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn’t need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration.
O’Beirne’s staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade .
Many of those chosen by O’Beirne’s office to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq’s government from April 2003 to June 2004, lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance — but had applied for a White House job — was sent to reopen Baghdad’s stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq’s $13 billion budget, even though they didn’t have a background in accounting.
One thing someone looking for a job should not want is the enthusiastic endorsement of O’Beirne. We’ll probably never know how many American troops were killed or wounded because Jim’s warped sense of what constitutes competence.