The State Department made public a special “management alert” in which Inspector General Steve Linick warned that “significant financial risk and a lack of internal control at the department has led to billions of unaccounted dollars over the last six years.”
According to the report, some $6 billion has gone missing during those past six years.
Hmm. Let’s see, who was in charge of the State Department during most of that time?
Eh. What difference does it make?
According to the auditor, missing documentation opens the door to fraud: “It creates conditions conducive to fraud, as corrupt individuals may attempt to conceal evidence of illicit behavior by omitting key documents from the contract file. It impairs the ability of the Department to take effective and timely action to protect its interests, and, in tum, those of taxpayers.”
Heck, it might even hamper investigations, like if, say, some State Department mission were to be attacked by terrorists and everybody wanted answers about the truth of what happened?
According to the IG report, a recent investigation of contracts supporting the mission in Iraq could not locate 33 of the 115 files being looked into, totaling more than $2 billion in contracts. Out of the 82 files the investigators did find, about half were missing documentation that is required by federal law.
There have been many other instances of contract file mismanagement, the IG wrote.
One such was the issuing of a $1 billion contract in Afghanistan by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. The money was apparently paid, but the contract was deemed “incomplete.”
Linick, the IG who issued the report, began working at State in the fall. Before he came on board, the State Department had no inspector general for five years, according to the Washington Post.
The report recommended the State Department develop a centralized system to track contract files. The department’s official reply is that it “concurs” with the recommendation.
Isn’t that nice?
A skeptic might point out that the $6 billion is still missing.
Or that four Americans are still dead from the events in Benghazi.
A cynic might suggest that both cases will remain unanswered and brushed aside because the woman at the middle of both of them, Hillary Clinton, is running for president in 2016.
So what difference, at this point, does it make? as her supporters would no doubt say.
It all just depends on whether you think you want to live in a free society where the law applies to all, even the rich and mighty, or if you prefer to live in a prison nation where the government does whatever it wants but doesn’t let you do what you want. That’s the difference.