Not knowing v. not caring

The FBI background check surely told the White House personnel office everything we now know about Michael Brown’s previous career, such as it was.

Jane Galt wants to know why the FBI background check on Michael Brown didn’t show up the holes in his resume. The Brad DeLong notices that Kevin Drum noticed that Laura Rozen noticed a story in the St. Petersburg Times suggesting that the background check almost certainly did find those holes.

At least, FBI agents interviewed one of Brown’s former employers, who was so down on Brown that he asked them if they were kidding about Brown’s being considered for a senior job.

There’s only one possible conclusion: no one in the White House cared, any more than they cared that the people hired from the Heritage Foundation job bank to run the CPA in Iraq had never been to or studied about Iraq, spoke no Arabic, and had no experience with public management, budgeting, contracting, or construction.

Brown was a loyal friend of Joe Allbaugh, a “made guy” in the Bushite Mafia. And Brown delivered, spending money freely and illegally to ensure that Bush carried Florida in the wake of the hurricanes of 2004.

No, Mr. Bush and his senior honchos weren’t fooled. They got exactly the FEMA Director they wanted. And I wish them joy of their choice.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com