Thursday, June 18, 2009
More IGs In Obama's Crosshairs
The Chicago Tribune: Senator questions firing of 3 inspectors general
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.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: Obama has fired 2 IGs in 2 weeks, leashed another
We are seeing a pattern, no longer just a single data point. IGs work independently to protect taxpayers from corruption and abuse from its own government agencies. A coordinated attack on IGs certainly suggests hostility to that mission, which isn’t the Hope and Change Obama promised on the campaign trail.