Trust Us Now?

Holy crap:

As Edward Snowden prepares to defend himself in a worldwide webinar Thursday, the Justice Department is accusing the private contractor that vetted him and thousands of other intelligence workers of bilking U.S. taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars by conducting phony background checks.

USIS, the giant private contractor that conducted the background checks of both Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, is accused in a Justice Department lawsuit filed Wednesday night of conducting 665,000 fake background checks between 2008 and 2012.

“USIS management devised and executed a scheme to deliberately circumvent contractually required quality reviews of completed background investigations in order to increase the company’s revenues and profits,” said the Justice Department in its complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Alabama.

This is not the first time we’ve seen this sort of thing — remember the Obamcare navigators? But the epic scale of this deception is amazing. Not just because of the crime that was committed — but because our government needed 1.6 million background checks in just four years. That should give you an idea of just how massive our federal civilian work force is.

But this again illustrates why “just trust us” is not good enough for government surveillance powers. How many of these 665,000 had access to sensitive, classified or personal information? How many have security clearances? How many had access to the NSA’s databases? We are constantly reassured that our government’s power is double-checked and that there is a careful system of checks to make sure it isn’t abused. Then we find out they keep information away from federal judges, cover up sharing of information with the FBI and DEA and faked 40% of their background checks.

Feeling safe now?

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  1. InsipiD

    Am I the only one who read “USIS” and immediately envisioned “ISIS,” from Archer instead? Definitely some HR problems, especially if Pam wants to sleep with them.

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  2. Section8

    According to their website

    Has nearly 2,300 credentialed field investigators—the largest team in North America—and more than 2,000 additional highly trained professionals cleared for work on classified projects and programs.
    Performed nearly 2 million investigations for government agencies in 2011

    That’s a pretty high ratio of investigations per employee. How can you get a thorough investigations with that kind of ratio? Aside from the government’s complaint about profits, common sense from government officials should have raised a flag here but they were too busy expanding their empire to give a shit, and only care now not because the people got screwed over, but because the administration and supporters of this crap both left and right have been left red faced.

    Anyhow, while the left worry about the privacy of the First Lady’s party pictures, hordes of individuals who were not vetted properly get to peek into our rectums on a daily basis via various programs with a private rubber stamp court giving the go ahead in this “most transparent administration ever”.


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