The request to hold off announcement of the DOE loan, and request by your agency to Solyndra to hold off on announcing layoffs till after the midterm election, you don't have any recollection of this. So what I am saying is that through all of this you seem to have an unawareness."
In short, Chu took full responsibility for everything he wasn't aware of ... until it was too late.
Sound familiar? It was the leitmotif played in last week's Fast and Furious hearings with Attorney General Eric Holder.
Despite a raft of briefing memos with his name on them, Holder claimed he never received or read them. Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse ran interference, sanctimoniously explaining for all the non-career government attorneys in the audience -- including the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry -- that nooooooo one in the top echelons of the federal lawyers' bureaucracy actually reads memos addressed to them. It's merely a "convention" for junior staff to feel better and more important about themselves.
Taking his boss's lead, former Holder Chief of Staff Kevin Ohlson -- who is seeking a federal judicial slot -- explained away his failure to do anything about the festering Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal. He had "been informed that routine courtesy copies of weekly reports were forwarded to me that referred to the operation by name, but that did not provide any operational details and did not refer to gun walking or anything similar."
Although his name was on the documents, Ohlson just didn't bother to read them because they weren't marked important or sensitive. Imagine an ordinary small businessman or taxpayer trying that one out on the IRS.
Situational unawareness in the private marketplace or on the battlefield will cost you your livelihood or your life. In the Age of Obama, however, such willful ignorance is a job prerequisite. The less you know the better.