Government Response to CNN Investigation on Problems in Air Marshall Program is to Investigate Whistle Blowers – Federal officers charged with keeping terrorists off planes are now searching their own ranks for staff who told CNN about problems in the air marshal program. An e-mail discussing plans to expose corruption in the air marshal service was written by an air marshal who asked that his identity be concealed for fear of retribution by the Transportation Security Administration.
The marshal said he sent the e-mail because for six years, his colleagues have been trying to alert Congress about continuing problems in the air marshal service. Many have left, he said, because of low morale and complaints about management.
A May 2008 report from the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General said that the agency “currently experiences a 17% voluntary attrition rate and low employee morale.”
“Congress doesn’t want to hear it,” the marshal said. “They stick their heads in the sand. We tell them about the corruption. We give them examples and proof and I think they are scared of what they see. And they don’t want to deal with it.”
50 Percent of Sequoia Voting Machines Are Flawed – New York state is in the process of replacing its lever voting machines with new voting equipment, but the state revealed recently that it has found problems with 50 percent of the roughly 1,500 ImageCast optical-scan machines (shown in the video above) that Sequoia Voting Systems has delivered to the state so far — machines that are slated to be used by dozens of counties in the state’s September 9 primary and November 4 presidential election.
Republican Jewish Coalition Official Spends Day Lying To Reporters About Obama – Suzanne Kurtz, communications director for the Republican Jewish Coalition, spent her afternoon knowingly misleading — if not downright lying — to reporters. On Monday, the RJC blasted out a press release calling on Barack Obama to “disinvite” Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) from his upcoming trip to Israel.
The problem: Hagel isn’t going to Israel with Obama. He and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) are flying with the Illinois Senator to Iraq and Afghanistan, but not to Israel or Europe. The RJC should have known this, as it was already public knowledge as the UK Telegraph (among other outlets) reported.
And yet, throughout the afternoon, the RJC continued to propagate what was, at best, something they couldn’t confirm and, at worst, a lie. Contacted by the Huffington Post at 2PM ET, Kurtz stumbled and nervously laughed away questions about whether or not she knew her organization’s statement to be false. She would not answer whether the RJC would retract it, saying only, “if we retract it, it will be evident.”
Breaking the Law, Bush Administration Fails to Declassify 30-Year-Old Files – The State Department is again going to miss a mandatory three-decade legal deadline to publish an accounting of its foreign relations activities. Compliance with the 30 year deadline is not optional; it is a binding legal requirement.
Super-Rich Tax Cheaters – Hundreds of super-rich American tax cheats have, in effect, turned themselves in to the IRS after a bank computer technician in the tiny European country of Liechtenstein came forward with the names of US citizens who had set up secret accounts there, according to Washington lawyers investigating the scheme. The bank clerk, Heinrich Kieber, has been branded a thief by the government of Liechtenstein for violating the country’s bank secrecy laws.
Aides for committee chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) are scheduled to provide reporters with a background briefing later this morning in Washington on the committee’s investigation of tax haven banks in Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The names of the US citizens are now in the hands of the IRS and Senate investigators.
McCain Defends Czechoslovakia, A Non-Existent Country — Again – At a press availability today, John McCain expressed concern about relations between Russia and a country that hasn’t existed for quite some time. According to a rough pool report transcript, he said:
“I was concerned about a couple of steps that the Russian government took in the last several days. One was reducing the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia.”
Czechoslovakia, of course, split into two separate countries in 1993. McCain made the same mistake again today during a town hall meeting in New Mexico.