Cardinal Bernard Law Had Other Commitments

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

According to his attorney, guess what  former Penn State Graham Spanier is doing now?

Graham Spanier might have been ousted from his post at the helm of Penn State over the sex-abuse scandal that engulfed the university, but it seems he’s found a backup employer: the American taxpayer.

Only a disgraced public figure would consider joining the much-maligned ranks of the federal workforce as a step up, reputation-wise. We can assume there were no openings for a used-car salesman.

Spanier was faulted in an internal Penn State report after the conviction on child-molestation charges of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The report said he, head coach Joe Paterno and others helped cover up Sandusky’s abuse.

His lawyer confirms to the Loop that Spanier is working on a part-time consulting basis for a “top-secret” agency on national security issues. But the gig is so hush-hush, he couldn’t even tell his attorneys the name of the agency. In April — months after his ouster as president but before the release of the internal report — he told the Patriot-News of central Pennsylvania that he was working on a “special project for the U.S. government relating [to] national security.”

I suppose the guy has proven he can keep a secret. Maybe they’ve put him in charge of answering FOIA requests about drone strikes.

Though he was removed as president, Spanier is also still a tenured member of the Penn State faculty. So after all of this, he’s still depositing two paychecks from taxpayers. That we know of, anyway.


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17 Responses to “Cardinal Bernard Law Had Other Commitments”

  1. #1 |  Bob | 

    “His lawyer confirms to the Loop that Spanier is working on a part-time cnsulting basis for a “top-secret” agency on national security issues.”

    How can he possibly be qualified for this? For that matter, why would he need “Security clearance” to run Penn State? What are they doing there?

    I guess the Illuminati takes care of it’s own, huh?

  2. #2 |  Dan | 

    Of course he didn’t reveal the name of said agency to his lawyer, as that would have invited a round of fact checking by the media, a subsequent statement by said agency that they don’t know who this loon is and the discovery that HE’S LYING TO SOUND IMPORTANT.

    What a coward.

  3. #3 |  Whim | 

    There is a mutual admiration society of Higher Education officials, U.S. Government officials, state political figures, and vendors/contractors/suppliers that feed off of the taxpayer, and help cover for and take care each other. When a high state political figures retires or is ousted by the voters, they frequently land extremely well-paying positions in the Higher Education establishment. Spanier had served at the top of the Higher Education food chain for many years, and thus would have many others in his circuit of tax vampires that are beholden to him. This is not a surprise.

    Assuming his attorney is even telling the truth, as soon as it is finally determined who hired him at the state or federal level, Spanier will be terminated from the position.

  4. #4 |  Fascist Nation | 

    I am guessing, like Arizona St. U.’s Michael Crow, he is CIA. Like Crow he was CIA before he was president of Penn St. U. And I bet you can find a serious recruitment effort by the CIA on that campus to confirm (like ASU) that started immediately after he became president.

    What happens when the paranoid conspiracy theorists turn out to be right?

    A: You change the channel.

  5. #5 |  Anonymous | 

    Despite its name, “Top Secret” isn’t the highest clearance, so he might not be lying. When my then-boss flipped out for awhile from the stress of our work, they revoked his “real” clearance, which was Top Secret with special flavoring that raised it much higher (about three levels, as far as we could figure), but they left him the vanilla version. When he was released from hospital, he was reassigned to a lower-stress job back in the US at a facility that only dealt with “plain” TS and Secret stuff. Much lower stress.

  6. #6 |  CK | 

    And in other news, Joe Paterno is still dead and his reputation is still in tatters. When one wishes to have a whitewash for free call Freeh.
    Now if only PSU would remove the Paterno name from that library and return the money to the Paterno family. Tainted money don’t ya know.

  7. #7 |  EH | 

    I’m with Dan @2.

  8. #8 |  Other Sean | 

    Whim nails it.

    The one kind of empathy these pyramid climbers have, is that they can always imagine themselves in the position of the guy being forced to resign under a fog of scandal. I’m sure it’s easy enough, since most of them know about and are implicitly responsible for hundreds of potential scandals that remain hidden by chance alone.

    Think of a guy like Larry Summers. Probably when he was at Harvard he swept a few rapes under the rug to make the campus seem safer than it was. Maybe he protected an embezzler or two, so as not to upset any big donors during the annual funding drive. And don’t even try to count those phone calls to the local police chief whenever a tenured professor got pulled over for drunk driving.

    So when a top government appointment comes open, who do you think gets to weigh in with his opinion? It’s a bunch of guys just like Larry Summers. It’s the scum that floats to the top of hierarchical systems (the bigger the organization, the steeper the angle of ascent, and the more buoyant the scum).

    But I predict Whim will turn out to be wrong about one thing: Spanier will get to keep his job. Those who made the decision knew they’d catch a short round of criticism from the media, but they also knew some trivial shit (like the removal of a statue) would capture most of the attention. They’ll weather the storm, and Spanier will be allowed to remain a member of the New Class.

  9. #9 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    From one accountability-hating bureaucracy to another. Count me as not surprised.

    Other Sean made an excellent point about the phenomenon of scum floating to the top of large organizations. I see this every day in the large private (yes, private!) healthcare organization where I work. For example, the director of our security department–a controlling narcissist if I have ever seen one– has actually injured two hospital employees while demonstrating his cool wrist locks. The hospital paid out handsome settlements to the employees involved and, to my knowledge, the director never faced discipline for his poor judgement. If any of the officers in his department had done something this foolish, even once, I am sure they would have been terminated. They are mere wage slaves, of course, and our hospital would never just shell out money to make up for the mistakes of wage slaves. Heads would roll!

    In another incident, this douche threw a relatively harmless drunk onto a sidewalk and had the guy arrested for assault, claiming that the drunk tried to punch him. When security officers viewed the CCTV footage, they saw that the man had not attempted to throw a punch. Basically, the director got cursed at, overreacted and used excessive force. When the security officers objected to his actions and took a DVD of the footage to the HR department, HR turned it around on the security officers and said, “hey, where did you get that footage!” This proved to the officers that HR in our organization–or any business–is simply a protector of management. Even after these reckless actions, not to mention a record of employee intimidation and unprofessional conduct, this pig is still our security director.

    I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to readers here that the director is a former cop. He probably learned his report falsifying skills in law enforcement and then brought them into healthcare security. If he ends up getting fired from the hospital, perhaps he will find a federal consulting job too. Public or private, these organizations are not human friendly and tend to promote people who leave their conscience at home, if they ever had one in the first place.

  10. #10 |  Over the River | 

    Maybe it is “unnamed” and “top secret” and “eyes only” because he is embarrassed that the only job he could get was working as a cook at Chick-fil-A.

  11. #11 |  KP | 

    Spanier is busy figuring out how this cell of child abusers was uncovered at penn state and the second mile. His top secret duty is to develop a workable plan to insure other such cells never are brought to the light of day.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

  12. #12 |  Michael | 

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he does have some sort of job like that. People in those circles reward loyalty to the organization over doing what’s right.

    Hell, Marilyn Weaver could attempt to collect and destroy all evidence of something that would make the university look bad, and get rid of the person who found out about it. Now there’s a “Marilyn Weaver Excellence in Journalism Education Award.” I guess destroying evidence to prevent a story from getting out is good journalism now.

    But not only is this sort of institutional-ass-covering-at-all-costs tolerated, it’s rewarded.

  13. #13 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    They should put Spanier in charge of the TSA, so he can make use of his years of experience looking the other way while his subordinates grope people.

  14. #14 |  Other Sean | 


    You will like this:

    And this:

  15. #15 |  CSD | 

    #13 – I think position was filled a while ago.

  16. #16 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #14 Other Sean:

    Thanks very much for the links. I check c4ss on a regular basis and had already read the post by Carson, but I hadn’t read the article he referenced yet. Incidentally, I was among those commenting on the c4ss post. I was using the DaveinIL handle for that one. Yes, that was me going on a libertarian socialist rant. I think I made some of the employer-friendly folks a little uncomfortable. I expect that, and I believe that people who buy into corporate capitalism like that are probably either salaried employees or Randroids. If they can still convince themselves that an employment contract is 100% voluntary–just because “no one puts a gun to your head” as they say so smugly–then I’m unlikely to change their minds. Let them believe that the problem with capitalism is “just a few bad apples.” Look at the wonders that approach has done for policing!

  17. #17 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Other Sean–

    This part of the Shea article was especially insightful and reminded me quite a bit of my workplace and the empty suits that run (ruin?) it:

    “Whatever the original aim of the organization, to publish books, to heal the sick, to share information about computers, once it has been taken over by apparatchiks, it will acquire a new aim–to get bigger. It doesn’t matter whether a bigger organization will fulfill its purpose as well, serve its customers or constituents as well, or be as good a place for people to work. It will get bigger simply because those at the top want it to get bigger. Apparatchiks do to organizations what cancer viruses do to cells; they promote purposeless growth.”

    Exactly! I’m sure you’ve heard the slogan “grow or die.” Well I have a cynical variation on that: grow AND die (ethically speaking). Shea’s discussion of the tendency of such organizations to reflexively aim for monopolization should be enough to make an “anarcho”-capitalist cringe…or maybe alter his or her beliefs. And that is a big maybe.