He’s A Watchdog?
More Like A Lapdog
There is little doubt that the American people have little, if any, confidence in their elected officials in Washington and think likewise about the bureaucrats who are often cozy with their elected brethren.
The latest scandal to come out of the Obama administration will do nothing to instill confidence in the political machine under this president’s watch.
As The Washington Post reported last week, a report from a Senate oversight panel alleges that the “top watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security altered and delayed investigations at the request of senior administration officials, compromising his role as an inspector general.”
Charles K. Edwards, the “inspector” in question, “routinely shared drinks and dinner with department leaders and gave them inside information about the timing and findings of investigations,” according to the report from a panel of the Homeland Security and Government Operations Committee.
Indeed, as the Post noted, the “year-long bipartisan investigation by the panel also found that Edwards improperly relied on the advice of top political advisers to then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and acquiesced to their suggestions about the wording and timing of three separate reports.”
So much for the concept of oversight. Nothing like dinner and drinks with the auditor where you can tell them what should be in the audit.
Even more concerning is the fact that “Edward’s actions occurred while he was seeking President Obama’s nomination to become the permanent inspector general overseeing DHS, the third-largest government agency.”
The report came out of an investigation into the salacious allegations of 2012 that Secret Service agents had hired prostitutes during an advance of a presidential trip to Colombia. Whistleblowers alleged Edwards had requested changes in that report to “remove derogatory information about the service and evidence implicating a White House staff member.” During this time, the Post reported, “more staff members came forward to allege deletions and delays in other reports.”
The Senate report “confirmed improper delays and deletions in several reports” even though it “did not reach a conclusion on the Secret-Service related allegations.”
Syndicated columnist Michele Malkin, never one to mince words, summed the whole mess up thusly in a recent column; “Whistleblowers outlined how Edwards cozied up to multiple DHS execs and legal staffers, who directed him to alter reports on immigration enforcement, TSA screening and the Secret Service’s dalliances with prostitutes in Argentina.”
Those accusations in and of themselves are plenty to digest, but Ms. Malkin also noted that Edwards “failed to recuse himself from audits and inspections that had conflicts of interest with his wife’s employment.”
Talk about the foxes running the hen house. While this may be business as usual in Washington, D.C., the American public simply can’t grasp how reasonable people think this type of behavior is acceptable.
What, if anything, comes of this latest mess remains to be seen. If the ongoing scandals at the IRS are an example, it will be long time to any sort of resolution.
And what of Mr. Edwards? As the Post reminded us, Edwards “resigned his office in December, three days before he was scheduled to appear at a Senate hearing to answer questions. DHS granted his request to be transferred into its office of science and technology, and the hearing was cancelled.”
Don’t hold your breath waiting for accountability.