Sunday, June 7, 2015

June, 2015, Part 6, Political Class Insanity: Govenrment Computers Infested With Hackers, More TSA Ineptness, and More insanity

It is the start of another month which means it is time to review the latest political class insanity that the American political class has dropped on our heads in the past month or so. We do this review every month in order to continually prove our view that we are currently being served by the worst set of politicians in the history of our country. Their inane quotes, their failed programs and laws, their wasteful spending, their ineptness, and continued focus on their own careers and self enrichment at the expense of taxpayers is constant and disgraceful.

This month could be one of the worst ever, given the backlog that needs to be discussed. The insanity will cover a full range of areas where today’s politicians continue to disappoint and fail us. As always, the new ways they find to screw up is never ending and always creative.

Today is the sixth update to the insanity for this month:

1) Let’s start off today’s insanity with another travesty from the TSA. Remember that yesterday we discussed the reality that a test of TSA security at airports resulting in the TSA screeners intercepting only 4% of the fake weapons and explosives that were passed through their stations. A 4% success rate, pathetic.

Well, if that was not enough to scare you off of the nation’s airplanes, consider this TSA disgrace:
  • TSA security badges that allow TSA employees to access secure areas of airports have gone missing along with TSA uniforms and other devices used to control entry to secure airport areas.
  • Judicial Watch, under a Freedom Of Information Act request, obtained government records which show that hundreds of lost, stolen or missing badges are now out of the control of the TSA.
  • 139 security badges went missing in 2012, 131 went missing in 2013 and in 2014, 123 badges went missing.
  • From a missing TSA uniform perspective, O’Hare International in Chicago was among the biggest consistent offenders with 336 lost uniform items in both 2013 and 2014.
  • Washington Dulles International lost 343 uniform items last year and Philadelphia International 253. 
  • Houston Intercontinental was the leader with 220 lost items in 2012.
  • Other news reports show that the situation is far worse than what Judicial Watch reported since those news reports claim that more than 1,400 TSA badges that allow employees to access secure areas like runways and boarding gates went missing at one airport alone, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, over approximately two years and that 270 badges went missing at San Diego International Airport in the last two years. 
  • To really scare you, some of the security badges weren’t reported missing for months, meaning they weren’t deactivated and could still be used to enter restricted areas.
Unbelievable, you cannot make this stuff up, no one would believe that a fourteen year old organization that has been funded to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars can perform this poorly and this dangerously. Insane. Really tough to figure out what government agency is more inept, the TSA or the IRS.

2) Judicial Watch has also been active following up on another piece of government insanity and waste. They obtained government records that show the U.S. Secret Service agents were secretly redeployed from their security duties at the White House compound to protect a close friend of the agency’s director during a dispute with a neighbor.

Lisa Chopey was the administrative assistant to former Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan. She found herself in the middle of a dispute in her hometown in rural Maryland with a neighbor. According to government documents, Chopey requested that the Secret Service formally open a Federal invesitgation into the neighbor, Mike Mulligan. The Secret Service then secretly sent agents assigned to guard the White House to protect her.

What was at the center of the dispute? Did it have anything to do with national security? Was Ms. Chopey concerned about violence against her and her family from Mr. Mulligan? Not even close. Chopey accused Mulligan of “disturbing the peace” by riding noisy “four wheelers” around the neighborhood, according to the records obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

But it gets better. As a result of the noisy four wheelers, The Secret Service reportedly conducted undercover surveillance on Mulligan and his live-in girlfriend, harassed them, and ran database checks on their past and present activities. And this operation was not a short term deal. Documents show that these Secret Service agents were pulled off of White House security duty for at least two months to drive up to rural Maryland to harass Mulligan.

Again, unbelievable that taxpayer funded resources would be used in such a trivial and inane manner. And it is not as if the White House has been a secure location that can afford to give up any security resources. There have been White House fence jumpers, an actual intrusion of the building when a man with a knife was able to get far into the White House before being apprehended, White House windows have been shot out, etc. 

Maybe we should allow the Secret Service into the race for the most incompetent government entity along with the TSA and IRS.

3) A few days ago we reviewed an incident where Russian hackers hacked into the IRS’s computer systems and stole the vital and perosnal informaiotn of about 100,000 American taxpayers. These taxpayers now have to worry about the really strong possibility that they will soon be dealing with an identity theft issue as a result of IRS incompetence.

Almost more frustrating than the hack and steal was the inane comment from the IRS commissioner who stated that the stealing of the personal information of 100,000 Americans was not a security breach. I am sure those 100,000 people would disagree.

However, I wonder what he would call another breach of government computer systems, a breach that stole the personal and private information of almost 4 MILLION Federal workers? According to recent writing by the Washington Post, Chinese hackers allegedly breached the government computers within the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) late last year. This allowed the hackers to gain access to personal information of up to 4 million current and former Federal employees.

The OPM recently verified that indeed the data breach had taken place, that it will notify 4 million federal employees whose information may have been compromised. Kind of late for that, don’t you think, given that the breach happened six months ago, giving the Chinese hackers a big head start on abusing those files and the information within those files. Given how many personnel records were stolen, a government official recently stated that every Federal government entity was likely affected.

Unbelievable that there is such bad data security everywhere within the Federal government. The Russians recently hacked the IRS, unknown people have hacked Pentagon and White House computers in the past year or so, and now the Chinese have hacked the government’s human resources organization to the tune of a whopping four million records.

As we have asserted many times before in this blog, the Federal government has grown so big and is now so out of control and dysfunctional that it is basically useless, and in many cases, dangerous to the taxpayers that pay for such lousy service.

4) One last piece of insanity today. We have seen many examples over the years in the political class insanity discussion where politicians or Federal bureaucrats would have been fired and maybe sent to jail if they had committed the same acts and actions as private citizens. But because they are affiliated with the Washington political class, they rarely face any consequences.

Which means that recently resigned Commerce Department inspector general must have really done some really bad stuff. Todd Zinser recently resigned as the Department’s inspector general amid a growing scandal that has all kinds of angles to it:
  • A recent Congressional report says it found new examples of whistleblower retaliation by Zinser.
  • One of the new accusations is that Zinser had improperly placed a long time Federal employee on leave after he found out she had been talking to Congressional investigators.
  • Current and former members of his staff told Congressional investigators that he “had created a culture of retaliation in his office by isolating employees who resisted his agenda before stripping of them of their responsibilities.”
  • Zinser also had allegedly spent a quarter of a million dollars of taxpayer wealth to hire an outside law firm to defend himself in a wrongful termination case.
  • In 2010, Zinser allegedly hired a woman who was later revealed to be his girlfriend. The woman had had “significant conduct problems” in another division in the Commerce Department and was on the brink of being removed from eligibility for the Senior Executive Service program, a designation that would place her at the highest executive level in the federal civil service. 
  • Five weeks later, Zinser promoted his girlfriend to a senior position in his office, one that afforded her a $150,000 salary, and approved three SES performance bonuses for her totaling more than $28,000 by October 2012.
  • Zinser and his deputy inspector general allegedly collected and saved the emails of three senior staff he regarded as enemies, including his former deputy. The two then allegedly sifted through the messages to find "anything he might uncover in his former deputy's emails that Mr. Zinser might be able to use against him," according to testimony to a Congressional committee in March, 2015. Ironically, retaining official emails without alerting the office's chief information officer violated a policy Zinser himself established in 2012.
  • Apparently, Zinser has a long history of problems dealing with whistleblowers since he had been named in a whistleblower complaint to the Office of Special Counsel way back in 1996.
What a sweetheart this guy is. Spying on co-workers, trying to silence whistleblowers, helping out his girlfriend to a lucrative career move, etc. Again, you know it is bad when he actually has to leave government service, something that rarely happens no matter how bad the infraction.

Another day, another four examples of outrageous and insane political class insanity. Bullies in the Commerce Department, hackers everywhere, deploying government resources to hassle a noisy neighbor, and not unexpectedly, more ineptness and danger from the TSA. Six days into the insanity and we still have a long way to go down the rabbit hole of Washington craziness.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Term Limits Now:

No comments: