Rules Skirted, Millions Wasted on Navy Boat Barriers
The men from al-Qaeda guided their bomb-laden skiff through the harbor and drew near the USS Cole, detonating a quarter-ton of C-4 plastic explosive that killed 17 sailors and tore a 40-foot hole in the side of the Navy destroyer.Boy, howdy, I sure am glad we got a President who is so keen on protecting us from terrorist threats.
Pentagon officials vowed that nothing like the Oct. 12, 2000, attack in the Yemeni port of Aden would happen again. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service embarked on a plan to shield U.S. ships around the world with rings of floating, rubberized barriers.
The investigative service is responsible for security and probing criminal wrongdoing, including fraud in Navy contracts. But auditors concluded that NCIS hired companies that did little or no significant work on the boat barriers yet collected millions of dollars in fees.
Invoices, e-mails and audit documents obtained by The Washington Post also show that the General Services Administration, the agency that awards and oversees federal contracts, allowed the Navy to sidestep federal procurement rules designed to ensure competition and protect taxpayers from abuse and fraud.
"Millions of taxpayer dollars went out the window, given to companies who did nothing in return," said Eugene L. Waszily, a former deputy GSA inspector general who reviewed spending under the boat-barrier contract. "This was particularly disturbing because it was a national security project."
Another problem emerged for the project, which cost at least $100 million. "Navy officials advised us that the barriers were prone to leaks, can deflate completely, and that defects caused barrier gates to remain open," the GSA auditors said in a 2004 report.
Where's Neal Boortz? Is he out there somewhere? Boortz, I guess this proves you right ... you know what I'm talking about, right? Back in '04 when you said you weren't sure who was more dangerous: al Qaeda or John Kerry voters.
I mean, this top notch job that is being done to make sure our Navy is prepared, along with the 24 billion spent to make our Coast Guard less prepared to protect us from terrorists, is just another example of how right you were to make such a statement.