Head of Bush OSC Tried to Quarantine Gay Employees

You may remember Scott Bloch, who headed the Office of Special Counsel during the Bush administration, the agency that is charged with protecting whistleblowers and protecting federal employees from discrimination and political interference. He was fired in the waning days of the Bush administration after the FBI raided his office and found that he had used government funds to erase hard drives that contained evidence in several active investigations into his own misconduct. Now an Inspector General’s report finds even more evidence of wrongdoing on his part:

The former head of the Office of Special Counsel “wanted to ‘ship out’” all the agency’s gay employees to Detroit, according to a government report released Wednesday.

Special Counsel Scott Bloch, who served under the Bush administration from 2003 to 2007, established a field office in Detroit and reassigned several gay employees to the new location. But there is no evidence that those reassignments “were taken for a legitimate business purpose of the agency,” according to the report released by Inspector General Patrick McFarland.

“Mr. Bloch and his immediate staff offered an array of ostensible explanations [for the reassignments] in press releases, Congressional testimony, and interviews with the investigative team, seeking to link the reassignments to the bona fide operational needs of the agency,” the report stated. “However, our investigation developed evidence which tended to undermine the proffered explanations.”

The report suggests the reassignments were instead based on anti-gay sentiments.

Richard Trefry, a government contractor, told investigators that Bloch “spontaneously explained” his desire to “ship out” a number of gay employees. Bloch allegedly told him he “had a license to do this.” Trefry said Bloch seemed to be “very determined” to carry out these intentions.

Trefry also claimed Bloch said he wanted to reassign “homosexuals and other employees who [he viewed as] morale problems” to the new location in Detroit.

You can read the IG’s reporter here.

My old friend Tim Sandefur knew Bloch when they were both Lincoln Fellows with the Claremont Institute. Let’s just say he didn’t have much nice to say about the man:

First, Bloch is one of the most extreme theocrats I have ever met. During our time together in the Lincoln Fellows program six years ago, Bloch made it clear that he sees his Catholic faith as fundamentally opposed to the legacy of Enlightenment political philosophy, including the Declaration of Independence and the principle of separation of church and state. These things were, he repeatedly argued, rooted in Protestant bigotry against the church. When I mentioned that, among other things, the Pope had sworn out a death warrant on Elizabeth I, Bloch brushed it off. “Well, he didn’t have the authority to do that.” Oh, I see. He knows better than the pope–and finds such squabbles irrelevant in the face of the allegedly thoughtless bigotry of English and American classical liberals. I do not consider this a minor or academic issue. Bloch is the most extreme anti-secularist I have ever had close contact with. When folks at the Claremont Institute are trying to persuade you to be a little more secular, you’ve gone over some deep end, somewhere, no? Bloch is among the leaders of the very worst elements of religious conservatism in the United States. (And, of course, any critique of his extreme theocratic ideology he simply rejected as “anti-Catholic bigotry,” a concept whose abuse I’ve blogged about before.)

And that explains, I think, the other two points: second, Bloch’s intense ideological hostility to homosexual equality explains his efforts at OSC to restrict the use of civil rights laws for gays complaining of discrimination–even in the face of direct orders to the contrary from the George Bush White House. Again, when folks in the Bush Administration are trying to persuade you to be a little less hostile to gay rights, you’ve gone over some deep end, somewhere…

The Republican party’s relationship with the religious right is a combination of sincere ideological commitment to mysticism and the eradication of Enlightenment principles–and an insincere, even cynical desire to exploit those who share that mysticism. In Bloch’s case, that tiger bit the Administration time and time again, and it is only now getting around to doing something.

Bloch was also the guy who made sure that the OSC issued a ridiculous report on Richard Sternberg that it did not have the grounds or the authority to put out, lending credence to the utterly false claim that Sternberg was discriminated against because of his religious views by the National Museum of Natural History.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • colnago80

    And that’s why elections matter. Remember this in 2016 if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, against, say, Ted Cruz. Election of a ratfucker like Cruz would be a green light for the appointment of clowns like Bloch. Learn from the election in 2000 when Nader voters in Florida and New Hampshire put Bush in the White House, followed by Bloch in the OSC and Alito and Roberts on the SCOTUS.

  • raven

    after the FBI raided his office and found that he had used government funds to erase hard drives that contained evidence in several active investigations into his own misconduct.

    This is obstruction of justice. It’s a felony.

    It’s usually the coverup, not the crimes that gets these guys.

    What happened to Nixon. What happened to Martha Stewart. Arguably what happened to Clinton.

    Block sounds like a great guy. To be indicted.

  • Steve Morrison

    “…OSC Tried to Quarantine Gay Employees”

    Oh, Office of Special Counsel; got it! For just a moment I thought Orson Scott Card had done something even more homophobic than usual.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    “Trefry also claimed Bloch said he wanted to reassign “homosexuals and other employees who [he viewed as] morale problems” to the new location in Detroit.”

    So Teh Gays destroyed Detroit? I KNEW they were dangerous!!!1111

  • Donnie

    “And that’s why elections matter. Remember this in 2016 if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, against, say, Ted Cruz. Election of a ratfucker like Cruz would be a green light for the appointment of clowns like Bloch. Learn from the election in 2000 when Nader voters in Florida and New Hampshire put Bush in the White House, followed by Bloch in the OSC and Alito and Roberts on the SCOTUS.”

    Maybe the Democratic party in 2016 will remember what happened in 2000 when the Democratic party ignored a sizable portion of its base and the Democratic party will act accordingly in order to ensure that a repeat of 2000 does not happen again.

  • D. C. Sessions

    This is obstruction of justice. It’s a felony.

    Yeah — so is torture, and so is covering up torture, etc.

    But never mind that. Tell us about all of those prosecutors who are now in jail.

  • raven

    Tell us about all of those prosecutors who are now in jail.

    Aboput as many as Wall Street Plutocrats who touched off the Great Recession. I’m hoping Bloch will be the first one.

    Probably the most they will do is suspend his law license. If that.

  • Artor

    I think it’s time that we start to institute a religious test for public office. Can you separate your religion from your constitutional duties? No? Then you are not qualified for the job.

  • colnago80

    Re Donnie @ #5

    Maybe the Democratic party in 2016 will remember what happened in 2000 when the Democratic party ignored a sizable portion of its base and the Democratic party will act accordingly in order to ensure that a repeat of 2000 does not happen again.

    That worked out real well didn’t it. In addition to Bloch, Roberts, and Alito, we had a useless war in Iraq. Thanks for nothing Donnie.

  • adobo

    Im with SC on this. Some of those who supported and voted for Nader still hasnt learned the lessons of the “greater good”. I really was hoping that the Bush years would have tamed them.

  • maddog1129

    Is he a lawyer? Lawyer or not, to hold that office, didn’t he have to take an oath to uphold the constitution?

  • whheydt

    I wonder if his plan was to put all the people he didn’t like in the new office…and then decide that office wasn’t needed so he could fire them. (Or try to, anyway.)

  • D. C. Sessions

    I wonder if his plan was to put all the people he didn’t like in the new office…and then decide that office wasn’t needed so he could fire them. (Or try to, anyway.)

    I’ve seen companies do that, anyway. Relocate people to a new location, then close the location. Better yet, since they didn’t stay the year required for the company to reimburse relocation expenses they get stiffed for that, too.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    The problem on the Dems in 2000 was that Gore treated Bill Clinton like a bit of a liability. Bill should have been given a bus caravan and allowed to speak everywhere.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    I wonder if his plan was to put all the people he didn’t like in the new office…and then decide that office wasn’t needed so he could fire them. (Or try to, anyway.)

    It was simpler than that. He gave them two months to relocate to a distant city or they were fired. Their other option was to resign.

    *Poof*, one-quarter of the staff was gone.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Bloch’s intense ideological hostility to homosexual equality explains his efforts at OSC to restrict the use of civil rights laws for gays complaining of discrimination…

    But this can’t be right. Conservative From 2033 has told me that it was the right, not the left, who led the charge on gay equality back in the early 21st century. And Liberal From 2006 has told me that there is no real difference between the two parties anyway.

  • Al Dente

    As we saw with Michael “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” Brown in FEMA, the Bushites considered ideology more important than job qualifications.

  • gerryl

    What is it with Republicans and the name Scott? Rick Scott, Scott Walker, Scott Brown, Scott Bloch. I mean, really?

    Beware of people who name their kids Scott … or who marry people whose family name is Scott.

  • Christoph Burschka

    What is it with Republicans and the name Scott? Rick Scott, Scott Walker, Scott Brown, Scott Bloch. I mean, really?

    Beware of people who name their kids Scott … or who marry people whose family name is Scott.

    … Orson Scott Card …

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    When I mentioned that, among other things, the Pope had sworn out a death warrant on Elizabeth I, Bloch brushed it off. “Well, he didn’t have the authority to do that.”

    I prefer jiu jitsu:

    “Oh, right, I with you: the Pope – like you just said – was trying to assassinate political opponents, not act according to his authority. I’m so glad that you agree popes are much more likely to oversee political assassination attempts than to focus their entire lives on the will of God.

    …but I’m still trying to wrap my head around why Protestant refusal to submit to someone who refuses to live entirely according to the authority of God and instead unjustly kills – or attempts to kill – enemies is necessarily Protestant bigotry? Sure, the bigotry exists, but couldn’t it have come about after the Pope and his minions assassinated a few people and not before?

    I’m just confused, help me out here.”