March 6th, 2008

The Truth About The “Malek Manual”

file under Fred Malek - Fred Malek @ 5:56 pm
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I’m thrilled to be a blogger. I enjoy the rapid fire exchange of ideas and the debate that occurs all the time in the blogosphere. And I enjoy hearing all opinions, even those contrary to my own.

But one thing that gets under my skin is when fiction parading as fact enters the general political discussion.

In a recent posting on Daily Kos the author said:

One of Nixon’s advisors, Fred Malek, compiled a manual of techniques for ensuring that government agencies were more “responsive” to Nixon’s political goals. The Malek Manual described how administration officials could thwart federal laws prohibiting the firing and hiring of career employees based on their political affiliation.

What’s wrong with that?

A few things:

1) I did not compile, nor author, that manual.

2) It was written by Alan May in 1974.

3) That was a year after I had left the White House (I left the White House and became Deputy Director of OMB in Jan. 1973)

Why is my name linked to this document? It can’t just be that people like the alliteration, since the “May Manual” is just as catchy. And his authorship of the manual is public record – both the Washington Post and National Journal have reported that Alan May wrote it.

So how did the document get dubbed the “Malek Manual”? Unfortunately for me, it was found in my files because a copy was sent to me as a “courtesy.” I found it distasteful. But did not in fact have anything to do with creating it.

My alleged authorship of the “Malek Manual” is one of those myths which will probably linger around for a while longer. But let the record be straight, I left government service feeling a great degree of respect for the dedication and excellence of civil service employees, and support the federal laws prohibiting the firing and hiring of civil servants based on their political affiliations. Claiming I wrote the so-called “Malek Manual” is a falsehood, plain and simple.

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