Ethics

Odd couple – government and truth

New York Times reports a dodgy technician with a penchant for gambling wagered that Republican contacts, irrational fear of terrorism and dubious technology were cards for a winning hand.  Indeed, he earned millions and public officials are working hard and spending more to keep their folly secret. According to ProPublica, the U.S. is not even trying to recover funds or penalize the fraudulent contractor.

“[Dennis] Montgomery and his associates received more than $20 million in government contracts by claiming that software he had developed could help stop Al Qaeda’s next attack on the United States. But the technology appears to have been a hoax, and a series of government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency and the Air Force, repeatedly missed the warning signs. . .”

The Bush Administration declared that details of the software were state secrets that could not be disclosed in court. Accordingly, federal courts shielded the classified information. Obama specified new criteria for invoking state secrecy  and preventing embarrassment and concealing inefficiency or error were not legitimate reasons. Nevertheless, government stayed tight lipped.

Montgomery’s former lawyer says,

“If this unravels, all of the evidence, all of the phony terror alerts and all the embarrassment comes up publicly, too. The government knew this technology was bogus, but these guys got paid millions for it.”

Categories: Ethics

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