Friday, March 11, 2005

March 11, 2005

Screwed Again

Are you sitting down? Glad I was when I read this morning that the Treasury Dept… the people in charge of our national checkbook -- wasted $173 million on a failed human resources computer system. That’s right. This comes one day after we learned the FBI wasted $170 million on a computerized case management system.

When I wrote about the FBI boondoggle I wondered out loud just who got most of that money. I was going to find out who got paid for failing. Well I did and I was not surprised to discover that it was San
Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., a company I have been writing about since 1993 when they ended up with the exclusive contract to register Internet domain names. A look at SAIC’s board of directors at the time read like a Who’s Who of retired CIA, NSA and Pentagon brass.

(SAIC blames the 9/11 attacks for failure of their Virtual Case File system.)

Years later I would write again about SAIC, this time because it, along with Halliburton and Computer Science Corp. (CSC) were landing millions in no-bid contracts in Iraq.

Oh, look! What a coincidence! When I checked to see who got paid to install the failed human resources system at the Dept. of Treasury it was… ta da… CSC. A subsidiary of CSC, DynCorp, is the largest and most controversial provider of private security services in Iraq. When the company was hired by the US to provide the same kind of security services in Kosovo some of CSC’s thugs ended up being charged by UN officials with being part of a sex-slavery operation.

Kathryn Bolkovac, a U.N. International Police Force monitor filed a lawsuit in Britain in 2001 against DynCorp for firing her after she reported that Dyncorp police trainers in Bosnia were paying for prostitutes and participating in sex trafficking. Many of the Dyncorp employees were forced to resign under suspicion of illegal activity. But none were prosecuted, since they enjoy immunity from prosecution in Bosnia. (

Nevertheless, CSC and its subsidaries continue getting plenty of taxpayer money. DynCorp troops protect Afghan president Hamid Karzai. DynCorp planes and pilots fly the defoliation missions over the coca crops in Colombia. Dyncorp is in charge of the border posts between the US and Mexico, Pentagon's weapons-testing ranges and the entire fleet of Air Force One presidential planes and helicopters. (Talk about holding the President's life in your hands!)

Among the plumest of plum contracts handed out in the wake of the war in Iraq was one to SAIC to rebuild and run the entire Iraqi news broadcast system. The broadcasts were so obviously US propaganda they became a running joke within Iraq and at one point nearly the entire Iraqi news staff quit. In the end SAIC failed and was removed from the job... but were paid anyway.

So, as I predicted yesterday, we learn all we need to know about how $343 million of our tax dollars were pissed away on two failed federal agency computer systems. And why those responsible have not been name, investigated, charged or even sued.

SAIC and CSC, like Halliburton, are about as well-connected as companies can be. They get to play by different rules than other private sector companies. For them failure is not only an option, but they get paid for it. We should all be so lucky. When I fail to deliver a product I don’t get paid. When these companies fail they not only get paid but get more work from the client they just screwed.

By now you may be asking, so where is Congress? Ah, not to worry. Congress is hot on the trail. They are demanding a full investigation. The subpoenas are a flying like snowflakes along the Potomac. Congress is going to get to the bottom of – steroid use by baseball players.

And the mainstream media – where are they” On the case. They are camped out. Watching every move. Filing regular updates from both the west and east coasts, nothing gets by them. Martha’s cappuccino machine was BROKEN when she got home from prison. And the Jimmy Olsons on the West Coast filed second by second reports on Michael Jackson showing up late for court in his PAJAMAS!

Memo to Democrats: You puffed up pack of self-congratulatory windbags. Why aren’t you raising holy hell about these contracts and companies and their connections to the Bush administration? Do we need to do your job for you? Are you like these companies – getting paid for failing us?

Memo to Mainstream Media: You puffed up pack of self-congratulatory windbags. Why aren’t you raising holy hell about these contracts and companies and their connections to the Bush administration? Do we need to do your job for you? Are you like these companies – getting paid for failing us?

Grrrrrrrrrrr! It took me less than thirty minutes and two web searches to find out who was paid for failing in both these cases. Do you think maybe you can take it from here now?

Let me give you some help getting started:
SAIC Backgrounders
CSC Backgrounders

Now, damn it, get to work. You have to know that there are more of these multi-million dollar taxpayer screwings going on at other federal departments. Do you think, maybe, by the same companies?

Wanna bet? Oh look what one more Web search turned up:

“Northrop Grumman Corp. won the $281 million Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS) contract to develop and implement the world's largest HR system.”

I wonder how that puppy is doing?

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