[EDITORIALS]Blue House breakdownThe breakdown of order and discipline at the presidential office is at a dangerous level. One Blue House official leaked sensitive documents dealing with the strategic flexibility of U.S. troops stationed here while another murdered his wife after a domestic dispute. Such things from secretaries that closely aid the president seldom happened in past administrations. It’s no wonder that the president is not getting much help if he is aided by people of this caliber. There needs to be a consideration of why such things continue to happen under the current administration.
The incidents caused by aides from the Blue House that have become social issues can be categorized into three types. The first is a breakdown of morality and discipline. The first sign of this became apparent when President Roh Moo-hyun called the Blue House during his visit to the United States in May of 2003, right after becoming president, and nobody answered his call. After that, Blue House aides used helicopters for their families and themselves under the pretext of looking at a national project. Sensitive photos were also leaked by a photographer attached to the Blue House. In addition, Choi Do-sul, the Blue House secretary for general affairs who was called “the butler of President Roh,” had to resign on charges of accepting illegal political contributions, while another presidential secretary went down to the provinces and received entertainment from a person who was involved in a criminal case.
The second type of blunders can be categorized as actions driven by ideology. Officials unhappy with a recent agreement between Seoul and Washington on the strategic flexibility of U.S. troops here have leaked diplomatic documents and posted messages fueling social disparity and antipathy toward the wealthy on the Blue House’s Web site.
The third is the act of covering up problems. When a problem arises, the aides often respond by raising a conspiracy theory and attacking the press that is critical of it.
Why are Blue House aides acting this way? It’s because they don’t know how to act as public officials and presidential secretaries. They don’t draw a line between official and private business. If they were aware their wrong actions could hurt the president, these things would not happen. The fact that the president is lenient and calls them “friends” only makes matters worse. Mr. Roh now has less than two years left. The Blue House should no longer be an experimental place for state management nor an association of political comrades. The Blue House needs an overall change for the better.