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Phillip Swarts

Phillip Swarts

Phillip Swarts is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times, covering fiscal waste, fraud and political ethics. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and previously worked as an investigative reporter for the Washington Guardian. Phillip can be reached at

Articles by Phillip Swarts

Red-blue split seen in wood-burning suit

Eight states Wednesday sued the Environmental Protection Agency over what they say is the agency's lax regulation of emissions from wood-burning heaters, the latest in a battle that's pitting red states against blue states over how much influence interest groups wield at the agency. Published October 9, 2013

A prominent opposition leader, Abdullah Abdullah, seated right, registers his candidacy in next year's presidential election in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. The presidential election is a key vote that will help determine the success or failure of 12 years of U.S.-led military and political intervention in the country. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Afghan prosecutors faulted for lax corruption efforts

In a country rife with corruption, Afghanistan's top prosecutors aren't doing enough to combat the top-level officials committing the crimes, said the chief U.S. watchdog in that nation. Published October 2, 2013

FBI now tries to manage with shutdown after sequestration

Already hit by budget cuts and sequestration, the FBI is now trying to figure out how to deal with the federal shutdown that has laid off employees deemed "non-essential" to protecting national security. Published October 1, 2013

Golden Hammer: Army gun shopping spree came up empty

In the latest example of wasted tax dollars, the Pentagon spent a whopping $14 million to go shopping for semi-automatic rifles that the Army now acknowledges it doesn't need or want. Published September 26, 2013

** FILE ** A foreclosure sign sits outside a home for sale in Phoenix, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Fannie, Freddie leave $4.6 billion in collectible foreclosures

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage finance giants whose financial woes required massive taxpayer bailouts in recent years, could be missing out on as much as $4.6 billion in payments from foreclosed mortgages in their portfolios, a federal investigator said. Published September 25, 2013

** FILE ** A U.S. Air Force F-16 jet fighter from the 31st Fighter Wing lands at NATO's Aviano Air Base in Aviano, Italy, on Friday, March 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Air Force faces flak over handling of artworks, artifacts

The U.S. Air Force Academy may be facing a sequel to the famous government warehouse scene at the finale of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" as the school faces criticism over its ability to keep track of thousands of historic pieces and valuable artwork. Published September 24, 2013

** FILE ** An opium field in Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

Terrorist organizations still profit from Afghan drug trade

Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist organizations are receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from illegal drugs in Afghanistan, warned a report by the top U.S. watchdog in the war-torn nation. Published September 20, 2013

Swarms of police stand outside the Navy Yard as workers are evacuated from the area as police search for a gunman, in Washington, D.C., Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times) ** FILE **

Navy family to rally after ‘horrific blow,’ Mabus vows

Saying the service had suffered a "horrific blow," Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on Monday vowed Navy personnel would rally as a family from the attack that left 13 people dead at one of the Navy's oldest and most storied bases. Published September 16, 2013

The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse.

Golden Hammer: IG says U.S. aid dollars unaccounted for in Afghan health program

A U.S. government program to improve public health standards in Afghanistan might have misspent as much as $190 million thanks to a "high risk of waste, fraud and abuse," though poor recordkeeping makes it difficult to know how much might have been lost, federal investigators say. Published September 12, 2013

"A blind spot [on public health] anywhere in the world is a risk to us," says Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

CDC warns of complacency on global health issues

America is facing a "perfect storm of vulnerability" for exposure to infectious diseases, making public health efforts more important than ever, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday. Published September 10, 2013