FBI agents have raided the former office of Vivek Kundra, a D.C. official tapped to be Barack Obama's chief information officer. A Kundra lieutenant has been arrested on bribery charges. But Kundra's clear, we think!
Or so say the geeks. Kundra isn't being implicated in the bribery investigation which resulted in the arrest of Yusuf Acar, who has been filling in as the District's chief technology officer on an interim basis since Kundra's nomination.
But why is the nerd press hastening to clear Kundra's name before the investigation has finished? The argument that the likes of Wired are making is that Kundra's mission to open up government databases and use cheap or free Web software is too urgent to quibble over a little thing like a bribery scandal. In other words: We use Google Apps, Kundra uses Google Apps — so lay off!
It's utterly ridiculous. If Kundra were actually a success at making D.C.'s technology operations transparent, wouldn't he have instantly detected the bribery scheme unfolding in his own office? And if he had really moved a substantial part of D.C.'s computer operations onto low-cost technology, what would possibly be worth a bribe?
Let's leave aside the question of whether Kundra is a technological P.T. Barnum without any real accomplishments besides his PowerPoint presentations. Yes, the economy is in shambles. Yes, we need to make the government more efficient. But are we supposed to suspend all critical thinking in the rush to find a rescuer?