Half the story has been told. On Tuesday the Washington Post reported that Bush is creating civil service positions for loyal appointees, in order to make it hard for Obama to get rid of them.
Bush has also, for some time now, been terminating large numbers of employees in the federal government, people known as whistleblowers, people suspected of disloyalty. Some of the higher profile cases are well known.
But there is more to the story. And it follows the strategy described in Thomas Frank's recent book, "The Wrecking Crew." I've been given what is believed to be a very incomplete list of 33 names of people terminated or forced to resign. These people are being forced into the ranks of the unemployed. They include, by salary ranking, 13 people classified as GS-15 or GS 14, and another 20 GS-13s and GS-12s. Some of these people do not want their names made public. Others are perfectly happy to talk. They include:
At the EPA:
Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
At the Department of Commerce:
At the Department of Labor:
At the Department of Education:
At the Department of Transportation:
At the Department of Commerce – Trademark and Patent:
I've spoken with Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Renee Berry. Coleman-Adebayo called what's happening a "silent coup d'etat." The Bush administration, she said, is "embedding their foot soldiers inside the government in order to sabotage any Obama initiatives while at the same time terminating federal employees who they assume would be supportive of the new administration." She compared this process to a soviet purge.
Berry said that people being forced out of work are looking at a future in poverty. "The government refuses, in many cases, to provide good recommendations for these employees, and that leaves them with a 20- to 30-year gap in their employee history."
Coleman-Adebayo has long been known as a whistleblower at the EPA. She worked with me to set up a website advocating the removal of EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, and her story is summarized at
In fact, Coleman-Adebayo's advocacy on behalf of employees dates back to before the Bush Administration, to the days when Bill Clinton ran the White House and Carol Browner ran the EPA. Browner is now being considered for a new position of Environmental Czar in the Obama Administration.
Marcia and Thomas Mitchell, authors of "The Spy Who Tried to Stop A War: Katherine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion," and "The Spy Who Seduced America: Lies and Betrayal in the Heart of the Cold War" (2002), have written the following about Coleman-Adebayo's firing:
Coleman-Adebayo v. Browner
The senior EPA analyst whose historic anti-discrimination case led to legislation protecting whistleblowers is being fired from her job at the Environmental Protection Agency. She sees this as the ultimate act of retaliation against her; a payback for continuing her fight to protect federal employees who speak out against wrongdoing in government agencies.