Accountability 101 – Let’s Get Rid Of The Inspector Generals

Most of us have no idea of the role of Inspector Generals’ in our government.  Who are they?  Where do they work?  What do they do?  Who appoints them?  Who can fire them?   There is a lot to unravel here.

Basically, and Inspector General is a watchdog.  They are there to insure that a given government entity is operating legally.  Their operations work independently of the White House.  Inspector General’s watch various government organizations to make sure they operate legally without missteps that can damage the function of a given organization.   I can pretty much guarantee that you would never know their names.  However, you are about to learn about five of them who have been fired of late.

Michael Atkinson – Inspector General of the Intelligence community.

Atkinson was the second person to serve this role since it’s inception in 2010.  He was nominated in 2017 and was confirmed by the Senate in 2018.  Atkinson handled the complaint filed by the anonymous whistle-blower that brought attention to President Trump’s dealing with Ukraine.  Whistle-blowers face a great deal of danger when they report on the actions of people they have been dealing with.  In this case, President Trump was all over the effort to “out” the whistle-blower.  Many Republican politicians worked hard to reveal the name of that individual.  The bottom line on that effort is that it goes against whistle-blower laws designed to protect them.   Efforts such as the ones mentioned say one very important thing to others.  KEEP YOU MOUTH SHUT!

President Trump fired Michael Atkinson stating that he no longer had “confidence” in his ability to do his job.   Let’s unpack this issue.  It’s very simple.  Using totally legal and required actions as an Inspector General to expose the Presidents wrongdoing, will get you fired.   SHUT UP, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!

Mitch Behm – Inspector General of the Transportation Department

Behm was working as the acting Inspector General since February.  The President can hire and fire anyone he wants.  He wanted him gone, he is now gone.  An interesting side light to this is that he was serving on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.   Seems that accountability is not part of this Administrations DNA.

Glen Fine – Inspector General of the Defense Department

Fine served as the acting inspector general at the Pentagon.  He was also selected to head the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. But with Mr. Trump’s removal of Fine as acting inspector general, he was also stripped of his role as leader of the accountability committee.

Christy Grimm – Inspector General of Health and Human Services

Grimm served in an acting role and President Trump announced a replacement after she released a report documenting testing and supply deficiencies in hospitals responding to the Corona virus.  President Trump responded to her release of the document saying that she was just “wrong” and he removed her.  Trump also questioned whether or not she scrutinized the H1N1 that occurred during the Obama Administration.  Her report illustrated that the Administration was not prepared and was not responding and so they replaced her.

Steve Linick – Inspector General of the State Department

Linicks office was investigating Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.  It appears he was fired as an act of retaliation.

The point that needs to be made, is that Inspector General’s play a huge role in watching over the Government agencies that they are involved with.   Their job is to hold agencies accountable for their actions.   Removing one of them is not generally considered a problem.   Removing this many is a dead giveaway to an Administration that does not want to be held accountable.  

This is the first in a series of posts that will shed further light on the Presidents absolute belief that he will not be held accountable or even responsible for anything he does.  This belief on his part, didn’t start when he became President, it has been that way for a great portion of his life.  As I stated in the previous post, there are no laws broken that we can tell, just breaking with the norms of the office. The only thing that can be done about that is to hold him accountable at the ballot box in November.

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