White House aides have conducted at least half a dozen political briefings for the Bush administration's top diplomats,
including a PowerPoint presentation for ambassadors with senior adviser Karl Rove that named Democratic incumbents targeted for defeat in 2008 and a "general political briefing" at the Peace Corps headquarters after the 2002 midterm elections.
On Jan. 4, just after the 2006 elections tossed the Republicans out of congressional power, Rove met at the White House with six U.S. ambassadors to key European missions and the consul general to Bermuda while the diplomats were in Washington for a State Department conference.
According to a department letter to the Senate panel, Rove explained the White House views on the electoral disaster while Sara M. Taylor, then the director of White House political affairs, showed a PowerPoint presentation that pinned most of the electoral blame on "corrupt" GOP lawmakers and "complacent incumbents." One chart in Taylor's presentation highlighted the GOP's top 36 targets among House Democrats for the 2008 election.
We knew that this administration was the most political in our history but this practice seems not only unethical but also illegal.
In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, asked whether the briefings inappropriately politicized the diplomatic agencies or violated prohibitions against political work by most federal employees.
"I do not understand why ambassadors, in Washington on official duty, would be briefed by White House officials on which Democratic House members are considered top targets by the Republican party for defeat in 2008. Nor do I understand why department employees would need to be briefed on 'key media markets' in states that are 'competitive' for the president," Biden wrote.
How can anyone still support this administration? Politics and winning elections are all that is important to these people and running the government is secondary. Nothing they have done has shown any competence from Katrina to the War in Iraq but politically they are one of the smartest administrations in history. Luckily in 2006 competence trumped politics and the country showed some intelligence and put the Democrats back in charge of both houses of Congress. This article shows us that they will do anything including illegally using foreign service officers for political gain.
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