Sweet Caroline a sour choice for ambassador.
Oct 16, 2013 | 7422 views | 0 0 comments | 150 150 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

Larry Penner's letter in your October 3rd issue was correct; Obama named Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to Japan because of her political clout and personal wealth.

Her diplomatic skills and experience add up to zero. Caroline is the last living symbol of Camelot and a political power broker. She helped Obama win the 2008 primary and donated heavily to his campaign.

The three-year-old son of Northwestern's Journalism School dean is more qualified for that post than Caroline; he speaks Japanese, she doesn't. But Neil Diamond didn't write a hit song about him.

Her nomination spotlights Obama's patten of picking fundraisers and political supporters for top level posts. He nominated Hyatt Hotel heiress Penny Pritzer as Commerce Secretary and HBO executive James Costos as ambassador to Spain.

His selection for Air Force Secretary is even more troubling. He nominated Deborah Lee James, president of technology and engineering for Scientific Applications International Corp (SAIC), those wonderful folks who gave us the $500 million City Time scandal, the worst contractor scam in New York's history.

This massive fraud occurred during Ms. James' tenure as the head of SAIC's

business information technology unit from 2004-2013.

Two SAIC federal contracts for intelligence gathering projects also came under fire. NSA director Michael Hayden blamed SAIC for going $400 million over budget on one contract, while FBI director Robert Mueller said SAIC was years behind schedule on another. Both projects were conducted during Ms. James stewardship from 2004-2013.

Why did Obama pick her as the Air Force's civilian boss? SAIC is the

nation's 9th largest defense contractor and 8th largest political donor.

It donated $1.2 million to election campaigns in 2012, according to the

Federal Election Commission. The top recipient: Barack Obama.

So much for hope and change. Can taxpayers tolerate this conflict of interest?

To quote Obama's campaign cry, “Yes We Can."


Richard Reif


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