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Commentary: Bonuses aplenty, but honesty hard to come by

  • Story Highlights
  • Campbell Brown says Treasury Department not forthcoming in AIG bonus scandal
  • Brown wonders: Who is Sen. Chris Dodd protecting at Treasury?
  • President Obama needs to beef up his staff at Treasury, Brown says
  • Campbell Brown says we don't have time for these embarrassing distractions
  • Next Article in Politics »

Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Wednesday night's broadcast.

CNN's Campbell Brown says President Obama better plug the holes at the Treasury Department pronto.

CNN's Campbell Brown says President Obama better plug the holes at the Treasury Department pronto.

(CNN) -- Why is it so hard to get an honest answer from our politicians? We learned today that a member of Congress hasn't been truthful with us about the AIG bonuses, and we have a pretty good idea now that some in the Obama administration's Treasury Department haven't been entirely forthcoming either.

Today here on CNN, after being outed by our own Dana Bash, Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd admitted he was the one who put a loophole in President Obama's stimulus bill allowing AIG to go ahead with it's multimillions in bonuses.

Dodd only yesterday said he was not behind the loophole. Why did Dodd do it?

He says someone at the Treasury Department asked him to. He won't say who and, big surprise, that person or persons at Treasury aren't coming clean ... so we don't know who they are or how high up.

What we do know is that we are still not getting straight answers from our leaders.

You can be angry at AIG, but it looks as though there is plenty of blame to go around here. President Obama has said the buck stops with him on all of this.

If that is indeed the case, then Mr. President, you have got to straighten out the mess at your Treasury Department ... and the mess goes way beyond this AIG debacle.

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There are people already calling for Secretary Timothy Geithner to step down. Maybe he should. But who knows?

In fairness, it is impossible to evaluate him. He may well be the right man for the job. But he can't manage this crisis alone, and the fact that he still has almost no senior staff supporting him is pathetic given the magnitude of our problems.

Treasury is supposed to be spearheading the rescue effort, and the top jobs there remain unfilled. Things are falling through the cracks right and left, and it has to stop. Video Watch Campbell Brown issue a plea to straighten out Treasury Department »

If the problem is that Congress won't confirm your people, then you better become "lobbyist-in-chief." Get on the phone or go to Capitol Hill. Do whatever it takes to get your team in place now.


Stop fighting a war without an army. The country is counting on you to lead us out of this crisis, and we don't have time for you and your team to get caught up in the kinds of embarrassing distractions we saw today. Share your thoughts on politicians and AIG bonuses

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Campbell Brown.

All About American International Group Inc.U.S. Department of the TreasuryChristopher DoddTimothy GeithnerBarack Obama

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