Well, that didn’t take long, did it? After spending the last day or so insisting she wouldn’t step down after presiding over the worst data-security failure in history, OPM chief Katherine Archuleta has suddenly found a desire to spend more time with her family. It’s either that or someone in the White House conducted a successful exfiltration. The New York Times’ Julie Davis broke the news on Twitter:
BREAKING: Embattled OPM Director Katherine Archuleta resigns in wake of revelations about massive hack of govt computer systems
— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) July 10, 2015
ABC, Reuters, and AP all tweeted out the news almost immediately afterward. The Times extends the reporting:
Katherine Archuleta, the director of the Office of Personnel Management, will resign effective Friday, according to a White House official, one day after it was revealed that sweeping cyberintrusions at the agency resulted in the theft of the personal information of more than 25 million people.
Ms. Archuleta went to the White House on Friday morning to personally inform Mr. Obama of her decision, saying that she felt new leadership was needed at the federal personnel agency to enable it to “move beyond the current challenges,” the official said. The president accepted her resignation.
Beth Cobert, the deputy director of management at the Office of Management and Budget, will step in to temporarily replace Ms. Archuleta while a permanent replacement is found.
I’m pretty sure that this was not a self-exfiltration. The leak from the White House makes it clear that they wanted this headache off their hands as quickly as possible. Archuleta may have gone to the White House to discuss her employment, but I’d bet that she didn’t just drop by on her own volition. This was essentially the same read-out as Eric Shinseki’s “resignation” a little over a year ago.
Now, at least, the White House can claim with a straight face that they are trying to turn a corner at OPM. That won’t do much for the 21 million people whose most-sensitive personal and economic data ended up in hostile hands, but at least they no longer have to listen to Archuleta’s pathetic refusal to take any responsibility for the disaster.
Update (AP): It’s all our fault.
When she won Senate confirmation to lead the Office of Personnel Management, the chief objections from lawmakers who voted against her focused on Obamacare.
That was October, 2013, and the 62-35 vote reflected the political concerns at the time about how the agency, which serves as the federal government’s HR department, would implement parts of the health care law opposed by Republicans.
Less attention focused on the agency’s role in handling government security clearances and how it safeguards some of the most sensitive U.S. government databases.
Even less was paid to why Archuleta — whose most recent job was as a national political director for Obama for America, the President’s reelection campaign — was the person to help fix what was an agency already struggling to deal with technology problems and serious data breaches.
Aides to Republican lawmakers who voted for her confirmation now acknowledge they didn’t pay enough attention to the importance of technology in the agency Archuleta was taking over.
All 35 votes against her came from Republicans, who were stuck with a 45-seat minority in the Senate at the time. It was the Democratic majority who rammed this loser through. Any second thoughts about their own vetting procedures after the biggest espionage clusterfark in U.S. history?
So CNN blames GOP for not vetting Obama appointments when they fail, but will be cool with GOP blocking unqualified nominations now, right?
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) July 10, 2015
Update (AP): Undeniably true: