Earlier this week, our own Ryan Grim reported on the incredibly true story of how Congress, in its zealous race to shower ACORN with digestive leavings, accidentally passed a bill written so broadly that it could potentially "defund the entire military-industrial complex." The bill itself could face major constitutional obstacles, but the whole process by which it came about is such a scrumptious stab at the heart of government dysfunction and comic absurdity that it would be a crime if the story didn't get broad play. By and large, we're still waiting for anyone to take an interest.
That said, put ABC News' Jake Tapper on your honor roll! Yesterday, Tapper took up the story in a post on Political Punch, entitled "Will House "De-Fund ACORN Bill" De-Fund Military Contractors?" Tapper advances the story in two ways.
First, from Representative Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), he highlights another example of contractor malfeasance that Congress should -- and now, potentially can -- pursue with fury:
"We can't have a situation where the laws of justice are applied to one organization and not to any of the others, particularly when there are organizations that are polluting water for our soldiers and electrocuting them," Grayson says.
Contractor KBR installed electrical wiring in Iraq that led to electrocution deaths of US soldiers. One such death, of Green Beret Sgt. Ryan Maseth, was classified by the Army Criminal Investigations Division as a "negligent homicide," though the Pentagon ruled it would not pursue criminal charges.
Second, Tapper gets a spokesperson for Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) -- who sponsored the Defund ACORN bill -- on the record, accepting the premise that some measure should be deployed to fight widespread contractor abuse. Sort of, anyway!
I don't know how anyone can successfully argue those who actually perpetrate fraud and misuse taxpayer dollars shouldn't be held to a more scrutinized standard. But if people want to start a crusade defending federal dollar recipients who have committed fraud and mismanaged taxpayer dollars - they are welcome to make that case to the American people. For far too long, recipients of federal dollars have been given free reign and some have acted in a reckless and cavalier way and whether it be ACORN or anyone else - abuse and fraud will not be tolerated.
Is that a commitment to take this oversight fight far beyond ACORN? Well, it's not not a commitment!