An Inspector General’s integrity

The operative word is INTEGRITY and the Washington Post has posted a story of the latest breach of integrity. This breach is not from our legislators but from the bureaucracy, the Civil Service that actually is the majority of our government. The appalling nature of this breach is accusation that the Inspector General, the oversight mechanism, failed to tell the truth by lying by omission.

Described by the Washington Post: “After the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the U.S. Agency for International Development [USAID] hired several non­governmental organizations to set up pro-democracy programs in Egypt — even though they were not registered to work in the country. Less than a year later, the Egyptian government charged 43 NGO workers with operating illegally. Sixteen of them were Americans, including the son of then-U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.”

The USAID paid the bail for these 43 people of $4.3 million, which is understood by the auditors of the USAID as a paid bribe to release the jailed hostages. None of this debacle was mentioned in the Inspector General’s report because he was awaiting confirmation to be the permanent Inspector General and did not want to make waves. He failed the most basic test.

We pay I.G.’s to make waves. We put I.G.’s in place to expose this sort of unethical and illegal behavior. The bottom line is that we expect Inspectors General to be the epitome of integrity. Nonetheless, no disciplinary action has been taken. Mr. Carroll has withdrawn his nomination but will remain in the same office as Deputy Inspector General. There will be no disciplinary action apparently.

When integrity is diminished, cynicism fills the void. One man’s act of cowardice, of fear of reporting his job because it might make him look like a poorer prospect, has diminished an entire agency and lot of the good work that the USAID actually does. Everyone loses.

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