• Federal Government’s Version of Indefinite Detention

    April 6, 2013

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State

    The Washington Post ran a comprehensive piece on the Federal Government’s version of indefinite detention without trial for its own employees, placing unwanted employees on “admin leave.” Having been the victim of this money-wasting bit of nastiness myself, I am all too familiar with the game.

    Seeking to avoid offering an employee a chance to defend him/herself against political, personal or just dumb accusations, the Feds place that employee on “admin leave,” or call it “telework.” The person is paid, accrues vacation time and sick leave, but essentially is otherwise disappeared from the work force. S/he does not report to any office, is not held responsible for any real tasks and is never formally disciplined. S/he… just… goes… away. No muss, no fuss.

    Just money and lives wasted.

    The article is worth a read to help you understand yet another way the childish Federal government has become a dysfunctional adult.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      IF every Fed published a blog and linked to Wikileaks, would every Fed be placed on indefinite admin leave?


      04/6/13 12:40 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      By the way, PVB, that photo is prophetic.

      04/6/13 1:56 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      With all due respect Peter…but..

      quote:”This continued for 11 months while he drew his $150,000 salary.”unquote


      someone help me off the floor. To do WHAT? Sit at a computer at home? Copying net address’. right Even when in Iraq, this fucking redefines absurd. And the other guy..the one who drives NUCLEAR shit around..sits on his ass for FIVE FUCKING YEARS AT $47K per………..

      FLABBERGASTED notwithstanding, now I’m wondering.. how many civil service people are sitting at home drawing ABSURD paychecks at this very moment?
      Moreover, how many DOS and other gov employees are raking in $150k per year???????????

      This is fucking crazy. Sequester my ass. No wonder the national dept is 15 Trillion fucking dollars which will take the next 20 generations of taxpaying morons to pay off. I smell a tax revolt at some point. $150k.
      geeezus h christ.
      How many other people were drawing similar paychecks in Iraq, while the worst dooonboggle in history was in motion? Fuck me. Meanwhile, the Corpratacracy pays ZERO fucking taxes. Fuck me.

      Meanwhile..a hundred other fucking doonboggles are sucking up the bucks while producing exactly JACK SHIT…

      And then…some other fucking lunatics are pulling shit like this….which the MSM TOTALLY blacked out….
      quote:”The raid was one of the largest in recent U.S. history, twice the size of the 1993 Branch Davidian raid in Waco, Texas, which initially involved 76 ATF agents. It almost rivaled the recent 200-strong statewide manhunt for California cop-killing cop, Christopher Dorner. Yet only a few local stories emerged and those presented a hysterical portrait of Porter while largely underreporting the police presence.”unquote


      Twice the size of the Waco debacle. Right. And the MSM has it’s mouth taped. Right. And for what?..one stupid schmuck with a big mouth. Absurd is a massive understatement..this is stupidity on a scale relative to the Universe x infinity squared.

      I give up. Synthetic Lobotomy Serum my ass. This ENTIRE government is filled with psychopaths making absurd amounts of money. Ya know, 3 million armed citizens surrounding WDC ready to drag these motherfuckers out and burn them alive…NOTWITHSTANDING..I’d submit, at the rate things are going, massive INSURRECTION is just around the corner. Youbetcha.

      04/6/13 3:23 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- that episode of TWILIGHT ZONE is of course recognized as a classic in the series. It should be remade with Hag Hillary as the hectoring wife -don’t know who should play the husband role yet. It would be a Sartresque riff on NO EXIT where the wife miraculously has also survived after fully “redacting” every page of every book he picks up with his still intact glasses.

      04/6/13 3:50 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Ah is that Burgess Meredith in a Twilight Zone episode??

      The sad practice is those who are connected get protected, and that was my experience too – paid admin leave, extended twice in my case, was a work-around to a hearing for me. I was removed before I could even reply to the charges my supervisor made. After I raised red flags against cancelling the FUlbright Gaza program, warning how we might risk making grantees and their minor-aged kids refugees in a third country, risk making the Department look like it discriminated against Arab grantees, and would be violating security procedures for countries involved in the process (one of which later was embarassed when the program was canceled). After I raised warnings, I suddenly had the strangest performance evaluation experiences I had never had before.

      My evaluations were almost a year late, I was faulted – in writing in them – for trying to solve every problem as soon as it arose, of taking initiatve, and violating my local supervisors policy on Palestinian Gazans. I was told, in writing, there was no room to include my work accomplishments in my evaluations.

      The supervisor-switch-around occured, a popular tactic during the Bush-Cheney era, and I was told my new supervisor had nothing to do with the FUlbright Gaza program – except there were emails up the wazoo, some of which she approved – herself – in writing, directly connecting her and the FUlbright Gaza program. Of course, with no administrative hearing — who gets to see that kind of evidence? If you dont see it, then hey there is no problem, comrade. Monkey see or hear no evil.

      Adding to my claims, the fact I was a union member I discovered I got zero response from the Department when asked why my supervisors were allowed to issue evaluations a year late. Non-union colleagues , on the other hand, received transfers to other areas of the Department. I got paid admin leave instead – twice.

      It’s funny the Post article mentions how hard it is to remove civil service employees. The NY Times also wrote that it was ‘lower level functionaires” at State who canceled the FUlbright Program. Who does the media interview? State?? For my situation, I was just lucky to get my supervisors’ credit for their actions.

      Paid admin leave is being used as a work around in the system for all the wrong reasons. It is protecting dead wood from being reformed and punishing hard-working and conscientous government employees instead. We have a duty to do our jobs – not a right to sit on our asses and draw a salary for nothing. It is used to silence employees for all the wrong reasons. Meanwhile the employees who lie to their bosses and hide in their offices sleeping at the desk, get rewarded. You cant get anymore loyal than that.

      04/6/13 3:53 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      At first I thought that picture was from Vincent Price movie “The Last Man on Earth” – the one where Vincent Price kills zombies – which actually might be an even more apposite metaphor.


      04/6/13 4:09 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Yes, yes, we all know admin leave is the cowardly way State’s “managers” waste our taxes to punish “wrongdoers” who are usually guilty of exposing State wrongdoings. But the DIPlomatic Insecurity Flying Monkeys have found a better way to punish State “wrongdoers”: “DIP” – make SLANDEROUS false statements and engage in defaming the character of the “wrongdoer” to the local police of the “wrongdoer’s” community and to the “wrongdoers” neighbors ala the “DIP” (Disinformation Protocol) “Knight and Day.”

      For anyone foolishly considering employment with State be advised State managers control the employee appeal process and the DS Flying Monkeys are free to fuck you with impunity.

      As for you, PVB, you were on “double secret probation” and didn’t know it.

      04/6/13 5:21 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Speaking of a waste of money:


      Colon “Gasbag” Powell should have been polygraphed to establish he was a boldfaced liar in addition to an old fool.

      04/6/13 5:34 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Of course a simple savings tactic of my and your tax dollars would be to close the ludicrous embassy in Yemen. Sadly, that isn’t the way things go down in these days of tanking empire expectations.

      04/6/13 11:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Powell will never live that down. It will always gnaw him and be a stain on his record. There is a lesson there for the rest of us — dont be *that* guy – the witness type, who sees something, hears something but says nothing. Powell has blood on his hands as a result of not speaking up – he knew it was to the contrary and put his position ahead of his country. He knew he was being used by the neocons too. Now he has the rest of his life to regret it. That’s a serious burden

      It is outrageous it’s going to cost almost $5 million to administer a polygraph at one US embassy. It’s probably an excuse to downsize staff at the embassy and rather than say there’s a fiscal crisis and be honest (i know, i know), State will go about it the tortourous way — but not before someone with connections makes a profit. Cant put the polygraph industry out of business afterall

      04/6/13 11:23 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Powell is a puzzlement-at least to me. The whole bit of being a shill for empire makes no sense. He could have shown loyalty to empire in other more cautious ways and maintained his faux understated statesman like stature. There must have been a self destructive aspect to Powell. He probably at times knew what a light weight he was and how far he had gotten only because of his dusky skin color. It may even tear up a creep like Clarence Thomas who rose pretty high playing the “house nigger”.

      04/7/13 1:24 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      Condoleezza Rice, in the role of Prissy:

      “EEK! Captain Rhett, Saddam is comin! EEK!”

      04/7/13 1:36 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Perhaps Powell was in ‘shock’ and ‘awe’ of the activities of the neo-nixonites, continually surpassing themselves in levels of foolishness, maliciousness, greed and an expert ability to think only inside the box. One of those moments when a person says this can’t get any worse, but it deteriorates in unimaginable ways

      04/7/13 2:57 PM | Comment Link

    • Eric Hodgdon said...


      @pitchfork and the rest of the gang


      Butt-sitting for no pay is much more tragically wasteful. Old people are wanted and needed too.

      04/8/13 5:33 PM | Comment Link

    • vicki said...


      It’s inaccurate to say that all folks get paid administrative leave. If you’re an FSO – you get paid administrative leave. If you’re a CSO at State – you get unpaid administrative leave, even if you have annual leave that you could otherwise use.

      I was place on unpaid leave for nearly 6 months before I finally gave up and resigned. To even continue my health insurance coverage, I had to pay that cost out of pocket. I wasn’t allowed to use any of my accrued leave (which was SUBSTANTIAL). I was denied access to my email, to the building (without prior approval) and so was unable to communicate easily to keep apprised of what was going on (which was, essentially, nothing). In that time, DS never even got to the point of an ROI, which meant that there was nothing I could “fight.” I could only sit and wait, completely cut off.

      I only resigned when it became a choice between standing my ground and losing my house.

      04/12/13 2:40 PM | Comment Link

    • AngryFS said...


      @PVB: Thank you for writing about this. I know of a number of FS employees and DS agents who sit around doing nothing getting paid to wait and wait for a decision. Let’s say there are 20 such cases (which according to the OIG report, PR opened 800+). 20 cases of indefinite detention X let’s say an average salary of $80,000 (for simplicity’s sake)= $1.6M a year in salary payments to people doing NOTHING. It doesn’t take a mathematics degree to realize the numbers are FAR more than I have highlighted. Vicki writes that DS didn’t even get to an ROI – how is that even legal? How can we sit around and then resign without proof of wrong-doing? As for admin leave – I haven’t seen many people placed on paid admin leave unless they are top-level employees. The people I know sit and stare at walls or make photocopies while they hear the sound of silence echoing in their ears whenever they ask about their “cases”. This is wrong. No, this is illegal and contrary to the most basic tenants of American law. Guilty until proven innocent works for the countries we demonize – how the hell is it then that it happens across the government to employees who just want to get back to work, or terminated if that’s the final goal? Your posting, the WaPo article, and the OIG are all spot on but no one gives a damn in DOS.

      04/18/13 4:30 AM | Comment Link

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