OPM Director Says No One Responsible for Historic Security Breach, Blames Old Computers and Software

Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Office of Personnel Management director Katherine Archuleta put her Administration’s zero accountability philosophy bluntly during congressional hearings on Tuesday, as reported by the Washington Post:

“We have legacy systems that are very old,” Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management, told Senate lawmakers at a hearing on the intrusion. “It’s an enterprise-wide problem. I don’t believe anyone is personally responsible.”

She then told Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), who pressed her repeatedly to take responsibility for failing to shore up the agency’s computer security, that the attackers are the ones to blame.

“If there’s anyone to blame, it’s the perpetrators,” Archuleta said. “Their concentrated, very well-funded efforts to come into our system are what we’re concerned about.”

The OPM director blames this blameless inattention from nobody in particular for leaving her department with obsolete electronic security to fend off state-of-the-art intruders. However, the latest information to dribble slowly out of this opaque Administration suggests the hackers got into OPM with valid user names and passwords, obtained by either targeting employees with malware, developing human intelligence sources with old-school spycraft… or possibly the simple expedient of getting Chinese nationals into consulting jobs with OPM that granted them full-fledged administrator access to everything. Nobody was responsible for any of that either, huh?

I expect we’ll see a growing emphasis from the Administration on blaming obsolete hardware and software for the data breach, because it allows them to blame preceding Administrations and inadequate funding for the debacle – two well-worn pages from the Obama fiasco playbook.

Archuleta claims she’s “working very hard on correcting decades of inattention,” for which she expressly believes nobody is responsible. Who failed to pay attention to security? Nobody. Everybody. But never fear, the completely blameless people who currently run the show have heard this wake-up call, and they’re doing stuff.

You may recall how President Obama is fond of claiming he’s more angry about the latest scandal than anyone, right before he does nothing about it. His underlings have learned from the boss.

“So to date you don’t consider anyone at OPM to be personally responsible [for the attack]?” Moran asked her. “Or is this simply a problem with the system and no one in particular is responsible?”

Archuleta responded, “I’m as angry as you are that this has happened at OPM. But cybersecurity is the responsibility of all of us.”

That’s Big Government failure in a nutshell, isn’t it? It’s everyone’s fault, which means it’s no one’s fault. Don’t ask what happened to the billions of dollars we were given to handle our core responsibilities. There are no refunds when we fail to live up to our end of a bargain with the public, no one to sue when our promises turn out to a huge swindle, no one to punish when the ball is dropped. The bigger the federal government gets, the less anyone within it worries about the consequences of abuse or failure.

In fact, you need to forget about the latest fiasco right this instant and give the Leviathan State even more power and money. It can’t launch a website, secure its employees’ data, handle health care for veterans, or even collect taxes without political chicanery, but it’s so much smarter than everyone in the private sector. You’re just lucky these super-geniuses trust you to manage any portion of your own lives at all. And now you’ll be lucky if the Chinese government decides to let you keep any part of your life private.

The Post theorizes that the OPM director’s “no one is personally responsible” riff is part of an impending “pushback” against “a growing chorus of lawmakers, federal employees — and today, presidential candidate Jeb Bush — who have called on Archuleta to resign following the intrusion.” Well, if there’s one thing Team Obama does well, it’s media pushback against domestic political opponents.


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