Yesterday, the Blackwater scandal claimed its first administration victim. Richard Griffin, the State Department’s top diplomatic security official, agreed to resign, effectively taking the fall for the department’s non-existent oversight.
That’s the good news. The bad news, as ABC News’ Rhonda Schwartz and Justin Rood noted, is that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “quietly promoted” two other senior staffers who directly oversaw Blackwater’s security operations.
Justine Sincavage has been serving as director of the Overseas Protection Operation (OPO), which has direct responsibility for all State Department security contracts for Iraq and Afghanistan. That includes overseeing Blackwater, which has won more than $1 billion in security work from the State Department.
According to internal State Department documents, Sincavage was promoted Tuesday. Sincavage’s predecessor as OPO director, Kevin Barry, was also promoted, the documents show.
A State Department official who asked not to be named called the promotions of Sincavage and Barry a symptom of “a perverted system of government.”
“They both got promoted in the face of all this mismanagement and controversy — talk about government B.S.,” said another. “What does it say when State promotes the two people into DS’ most senior positions, when if they had properly managed the programs under their responsibility, we wouldn’t be in this mess?”
Actually, it says quite a bit about the Bush administration’s habit of rewarding those who fail.