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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Forward Observer: Enron on the Potomac

"Lawmakers return this week to a compost heap of phone messages, staff memos, political tracts, newspaper clips, party invitations, government and non-government reports. They would be well served, and hopefully enraged, if they pulled out of the pile one mercifully thin non-government report detailing how the Pentagon -- despite years of promises -- still does not know where many of its taxpayers' billions are going.

'The Defense Department's financial management practices would put any civilian company out of business,' concluded Kwai Chan in his little-noticed but devastating report entitled 'Financial Management in the Department of Defense: No One is Accountable.' Chan, until last year an assistant inspector general for the Environmental Protection Agency and before that an executive at the Government Accountability Office, wrote the report under the sponsorship of Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, a privately funded pressure group that recently took out a full-page ad in The New York Times calling for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld because of alleged incompetence. "

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