I just allowed the posting of a real interesting anonymous comment to my earlier blog posting on Sen. Grassley’s (R,IA) letter to Sec. Napolitano about mismanagement in ISCD. This new comment maintains that Grassley has uncovered “yet another egregious abuse of authority in the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection”. As of midnight EDT there was nothing on the Grassley web site about these claims.
This anonymous reader maintains that:
“The political assistant secretary illegally removed his career deputy from office just before the 2008 election, enabling him to move his unqualified crony into the CFATS Director position, where she proceeded to practice more of the cronyism that got her there and to waste hundreds of millions of dollars, all while falsely reporting compliance with the law.”
Now if my memory (and a brief Google search) serves me correctly, the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Infrastructure Protection in 2008 was Robert Stephan, a Bush appointee. The ISCD Director would have been Sue Armstrong.
It will be interesting to see if Sen. Grassley actually has any information beyond the political cronyism charge. While we are supposed to have mechanisms in place to ensure that such things as are being alleged here never take place, no one with any experience in politics would be surprised if such things actually did take place. What is interesting here is that the cronyism started in the Bush Administration and continued into the Obama Administration. That doesn’t seem to be strictly ‘political cronyism’.
I will make one comment on one of the charges here; that of “falsely reporting compliance with the law”. If the anonymous reader is talking about Ms. Armstrong’s testimony about the CFATS program before various Congressional committees during her tenure as Director of CFATS, I don’t recall any of those appearances where she claimed anything about the program that wasn’t subsequently verified. The serious problems with the SSP authorization process didn’t really happen on her watch.
In any case, if anything more comes of this it will be just one more problem that the CFATS program will have to overcome in the next year.