- The Washington Times - Monday, February 8, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In Thursday’s Page One article “Justice IG can’t probe Panther case dismissal,” Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine claims he can’t investigate the Justice Department’s dismissal of charges against the New Black Panthers because Congress stripped him of that authority. In July 2008, he said, “I hope that Congress will do something about that because I believe the inspector general’s office ought to have unlimited jurisdiction in the Department of Justice. … We’re independent, we’re transparent, and there’s no conflict of interest. So I think that ought to be changed.”

I disagree. No office in the federal government has been independent or transparent or has had no conflict of interest since the Civil Service Reform Act was passed and signed into law by President Carter in 1978. All government offices now employ senior executives at the highest decision levels, and they, subject to being moved anywhere in the government without notice or cause, are totally at the mercy of the administration’s whims and the desires of the highest levels of congressional power.

No studies performed by any federal agency after 1978 can be trusted to be scientifically or intellectually honest. That’s why, when the Congressional Budget Office (which is supposed to be independent) releases a report about how some act of Congress will affect the budget or the future deficit, I turn up my nose. That’s why when any inspector general releases a conclusive report, I turn up my nose. I am confident that the senior executives in those offices pushed and prodded their professional staffs until their studies showed exactly what the administration and the congressional leaders wanted the studies to show.

JACK DUCKWORTH

Burke, Va.


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