[EDITORIALS]The Blue House’s skewed viewThe Blue House’s office of information and policy monitoring investigated suspicions about the National Railroad Administration’s botched Russian oil deal, but did not report the results to its superiors. That is a matter of grave concern. But at a Blue House meeting, at which President Roh Moo-hyun was present, it was agreed that the office had handled the case properly. Unless there was a reason to cover up the oil deal, this makes no sense.
Even at private companies, such failures of reporting are punished. This happened at the Blue House, the highest office in the nation. How can the administration just let this go?
The information and policy monitoring office investigated the oil deal last November, and made an independent decision to close the investigation. Since late March, the news media has been raising one allegation after another about the oil deal, but the office kept quiet about its probe for 19 days. And now the Blue House is not even discussing punishment for those responsible. It doesn’t make sense.
If the office closed the probe of the oil deal last fall because Uri Party lawmaker Lee Kwang-jae’s name came up, then the office should take responsiblity for it. Even if we accept the explanation that the case was closed because the office was only checking on policy issues unrelated to the corruption allegations, there are still issues.
Who is Mr. Lee? He was once called a business partner of Mr. Roh. He was one of the president’s closest aides. It has been said that Mr. Roh has Mr. Lee on his right side and Ahn Hee-jung on his left. The railroad’s failed oil deal became an explosive issue because Mr. Lee is suspected of being behind it.
The case has been disturbing the nation, and still the office of information and policy monitoring did not bother to inform top Blue House officials about its investigation. Perhaps the office is politically insensitive. Perhaps it is lazy. Most likely, it did not want to report its findings. The Blue House has said that the office should have shared its information in March. But that is not enough.
The Blue House’s newsletter says the media has been amplifying suspicions: “When a person sees something with only one eye, everything will appear distorted,” it read. The Blue House has not outgrown its old habit of blaming the media. It is not the media that is seeing things with one eye. It is the Blue House, which fails to grasp the seriousness of this situation.
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