The Daily Muck

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February 14, 2007 10:17 a.m.
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Government Contractor Dwarfs Competitors
One of the most well-endowed government contractors, the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), also stands as one the most secretive. Having provided support to the NSA’s wiretapping program and the FBI’s software update, both of which turned out to be “colossal failures,” SAIC has receieved far less scrutiny than mega-contractors Halliburton and Bechtel. Nevertheless, with an employee payroll of 44,000 and a 2006 profit that reaced $8 billion, SAIC looks poised to continue its under-the-radar growth in the coming year. (Vanity Fair)More Army Waivers Granted To Ex-Cons
“The number of waivers granted to Army recruits with criminal backgrounds has grown about 65 percent in the last three years, increasing to 8,129 in 2006 from 4,918 in 2003, Department of Defense records show.” (The New York Times)

Tenet to Fire Back at Detractors in Upcoming Book
Ousted CIA Director George Tenet plans to strike back against administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, who blame him for faulty pre-war intelligence, in an upcoming book entitled “At the Center of the Storm.” Tenet, who was attacked in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion for infamously declaring the WMD case against Iraq a “slam dunk,” is writing his personal account in what friends describe as an effort to “balance the record.” (The New York Times)

Son of Texas Gov. to Consult on Lottery
“UBS, one of two large financial firms consulting with the governor’s office over the possible sale of the Texas lottery, hired Gov. Rick Perry’s son to work in its Dallas office about two weeks ago. The governor’s office said that there is no relationship between the two events and that Griffin Perry, 23, is a bright young economist who is pursuing a career on his own merits.” (Associated Press)

Justice Department Searching for Replacement for Departing U.S. Attorney
“With U.S. Attorney Carol Lam’s departure imminent, the Justice Department has interviewed four of her top advisers for the position of interim chief while a committee searches for a long-term replacement.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Defense: Libby Won’t Take Stand
“Defense attorney Theodore Wells reversed course Tuesday and said Libby won’t take the stand after all.” (Associated Press). John B. Judis of The New Republic’s weblog, The Plank, fingers an except from Scooter Libby’s interview with Bob Woodward as a telling example of the administration’s alarmist post-9/11 world view and deeply held scorn for international norms. (The Plank)

Padilla Granted Delay in Hearing Date
“A federal judge agreed to delay a competency hearing for suspected al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla by nearly a week to allow more time to investigate a report that he is fit to stand trial.”(The Boston Globe)

Campaign Finance Reformer is U.S. House’s Richest Rep
Despite publicly standing as a strong advocate for campaign finance reform, Massachusetts Representative Marty Meehan has over $5 million in campaign finance dollars – the largest sum for any sitting House member. While Meeham hasn’t faced a tight election since he was took office in 1992, his spokesman justified his massive war chest as being necessary in his fight for transparency in campaign finance. (Politico)

N.C. State Rep. to Plead Guilty on Felony Charge
“State Rep. Jim Black, who stepped down as House speaker amid a federal corruption investigation, will resign from office and plead guilty to a felony charge, a newspaper reported Tuesday. The Charlotte Observer reported on its Web site that Black’s attorney, Ken Bell, confirmed that the Democrat will plead guilty Thursday to one count of accepting illegal gratuities.” (Associated Press)

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