I first posted about Bush’s Dept. of Interior being ethically challenged on Sept. 13, but now an editorial from the New York Times makes me think I need to post an update. Read editorial “Interior’s Internal Messes.”

And Time Magazine just weighed in too. Read “Department of Billion-dollar Bungling. How the Interior Department managed to lose about $2 billion of the public’s money. Can this mess be cleaned up?” By Douglas Waller.
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Post from Sept. 13.
In the 19th Century, the Department of Interior (DOI) was often regarded as the “Department of Corruption,” with the General Land Office being the worst division.

It was the location of one of America’s biggest government scandals in Warren Harding Administration — the Teapot Dome Scandal. People went to prison.

Over the years the Department, which houses the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and more, has gained some luster.

Unfortunately, more recently the tarnish has come back, thicker than ever. Now as then, the major location of corruption is oil and gas leasing, now done by the Bureau of Land Management, the successor agency to the old site of scandal, the General Land Office.

And now, the Inspector general of the Department of the Interior, is going to tell a congressional committee about it.

ABC News. The Mess at the Depatment of Interior.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project and the creator of The Wildlife News.

2 Responses to The terrible ethics in the Bush Department of Interior

  1. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    My comment is how far down the chain of command does the corruption go? I have seen a lot of bungleing at the Field office level.

  2. I think the corruption is more at the level of the political appointments, and the field office bungling a result of politically inspired orders, and the workers, therefore, suffering from discouragement.

    But I don’t know for sure that the political corruption hasn’t spread.

    In the past the oil companies have always profited by their contact with decision-making politicians with little need to buy off those at the lower level. They need only to be told to look away while the feast goes on.


September 2006


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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