Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ethics Crisis + "No Comment" = Guilty

The Washington Post ran an article today about Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen M. Goldfein, now vice director of the joint staff, and how--in Nov. 2005--he allegedly interfered in a multi-million dollar Air Force contract by inappropriately exercising his influence over subordinates. The contract was awarded to a relatively new company started by a recently retired four-star general and civilian pilot who had grown close to Air Force officials. A two-year probe determined that Goldfein had worked (and even gone to some pretty great lengths) to favor the company, whose offer was more than twice as expensive as another bid.

The Washington Post obtained a Defense Department Inspector General report that "offers a searing, blow-by-blow account of how a relatively mundane Air Force contract spun out of control, highlighting serious conflicts of interest in the selection process, officers stacking the deck in favor of friends, and others influencing a system designed to eliminate such favoritism in spending taxpayer dollars. "

Goldfein's response?


He declined to comment.

Nice call, Major. Why didn't you just repeat what you said in the report? That wasn't too bad. Even if you are guilty, can you at least say something ambiguous like, "This is a very unfortunate situation that is casting an undue cloud of doubt over an esteemed branch of the armed services?"

Come on!

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