I usually expect the occasional questionable or just plain corrupt contracting out of any government. The billions that have been wasted by
or mis-managed for Katrina just leave me numb and not wanting to think about how poorly the federal government is managed.
But then along comes a report of some small (relatively, compared to $billions) graft and it leaves me thinking: “Does the corruption ever end under the Bush Administration”?
From fiscal years 2004 to 2007, the Inspector General’s report notes, Barber funneled $8.8 million in contracts to the public relations firm Susan Davis International — to set up the myriad events, and to promote the ASY “brand.” The work was incredibly lucrative; Davis’ executives made as much as $312,821 to $662,691 per year. “Paying a public relations contractor annual salaries approaching three-quarters of a million dollars does not appear to be a cost-effective means to support the ASY program and the war fighter,” the report observes.
But what made it even harder to stomach was that Davis was a friend of Barber’s, and a well-known Republican operative, according to former Defense Department lawyer Diane Beaver. Another half-million went to media consultant Mitch Semel, for web work.