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June 18, 2009

Two IGs Investigating "Sensitive" Matters Fired; Third One Put on Short Leash;
"Top White House" Lawyer Tells Baffled Republicans That Walpin Firing Was "An Act of Political Courage"

"Political courage," Obama-style:

In one exchange, according to the GOP aide, the White House lawyers explained that inspector general Walpin was not working well with the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, and the administration believed that IGs should work well with the leadership of their agencies. Eisen said he knew that removing Walpin might be seen as an action that would raise questions. "But [Eisen] said that what they did in trying to fix the situation was an act of political courage -- and 'political courage' is the phrase they used," says the aide.

The lawyers would not answer specific questions about documents regarding Walpin's firing.

Go figure.

Apparently the government is rife with senile IGs. Because Obama is firing them like gangbusters, the law he co-sponsored be damned.

He was appointed with fanfare as the public watchdog over the government’s multi-billion dollar bailout of the nation’s financial system. But now Neil Barofsky is embroiled in a dispute with the Obama administration that delayed one recent inquiry and sparked questions about his ability to freely investigate.

The disagreement stems from a claim by the Treasury Department that Barofsky is not entirely independent of the agency he is assigned to examine — a claim that has prompted a stern letter from a Republican senator warning that agency officials are encroaching on the integrity of an office created to protect taxpayers. …

The dispute comes as Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is looking into the abrupt firings within the last week of two other inspectors general -- one of whom was fired by the White House and the other by the chair of the International Trade Commission.

Both inspectors general had investigated sensitive subjects at the time of their firings.

Grassley is now concerned about whether a pattern is emerging in which the independence of the government’s top watchdogs — whose jobs were authorized by Congress to look out for waste, fraud and abuse — is being put at risk.






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