Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States

A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Not Just Greedy, But Careless

As a follow-up to my post yesterday afternoon about the MICC’s profitability dilemma where war is concerned (namely, that after a certain period of time the cost of waging war results in government budget cuts that negatively impact the profit margins of certain well-healed firms in the government contracting game), I refer my readers to the following breaking news about an unfortunate incident that just befell one of the top fifty defense contracting porkers. For details click here:

Full disclosure: this company is a competitor of my welfare-queen employer, so there may be more than the usual dollop of Schadenfreude in my comments. Still, those who know me also know that I pretty much despise all of these companies equally (including my own employer), so my disgust at this little incident applies across the board to everyone playing the defense contracting game.

My question is: how can any firm that bills the government millions of stolen dollars on the premise that its people and facilities are “state of the art” or “superior” in terms of security architecture possible have the audacity to show its face and voice in print after an incident of this magnitude? I mean, what company other than one run by crackheads or retards could offer any excuse or response in a situation like this other than “Sorry, we screwed up and will fully refund your money?”

That SAIC placed sensitive and proprietary data in an environment without adequate safeguards and where it could be casually pilfered by outsiders (or even insiders), screams for them to be barred from doing business with the government, immediately and permanently. Of course this won’t happen for the very reasons cited in the story: namely, that SAIC’s senior management and board of directors are staffed with the very same corrupt and incompetent imbeciles who have mismanaged the entire country for the past half century. For this reason oversight and accountability are non-existent. Furthermore, since a growing percentage of Americans, especially in the urban Northeast, South, and West rely on welfare queens like SAIC for their paychecks, the odds of the public at large staging an uproar and demanding action are slim to none. Perhaps this explains the cavalier "what can I say?" attitude of SAIC's arrogant spokesperson.

A similar “short memory” syndrome took root after a major contractor lost, through insider theft and malfeasance, an entire database containing patient names, financial information, and records for the Department of Defense’s TriCare health provider system for the Midwestern United States in December 2003. Not only is there no record of the contractor responsible being fired and barred from any further defense contracting, but it is very likely that the contract was probably renewed or extended to other TriCare regions, and for an indefinite period.

I would like to think that the SAIC story and others like it will get lots of press and air time in the mainstream national news media. Unfortunately, welfare queens like SAIC provide a massive chunk of the media’s advertising revenue, so expect any coverage that takes place at all to be watered down and discussions of the incident among the chattering classes to be superficial, if not non-existent. For this reason I would say just one thing about this incident: expect much more of the same for the foreseeable future.