Another Obama TSA nomination collapses

posted at 9:17 am on March 27, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

It has now been over 14 months, and the Obama administration still hasn’t successfully appointed a person to run the Transportation Security Administration, the agency that provides security at the nation’s airports.  Barack Obama didn’t even get around to nominating a candidate until September 2009, and his first choice, Errol Southers, had to withdraw when earlier incidents of Southers’ abuses of sensitive information surfaced.  Late yesterday his second choice, retired General Robert Harding, also withdrew, this time over allegations of potential procurement fraud:

President Obama’s choice to lead the agency that guards United States airports abruptly withdrew his nomination on Friday night amid questions about his work as a defense contractor, the second time the White House has lost a nominee for the critical security post.

Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, a retired Army intelligence officer, was selected to take over the Transportation Security Administration, or T.S.A., just two and a half weeks ago, following the withdrawal of Mr. Obama’s first pick under fire. …

But it was his work after the military that drew scrutiny. His firm, Harding Security Associates, provided intelligence debriefers in Iraq, but after the government ended a $49.2 million contract early in 2004, an audit found that the firm received an overpayment and collected more money for termination costs than it should have.

The audit questioned $2.4 million of the $6 million actually paid to the firm, according to Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the senior Republican on the Homeland Security Committee. In the end, General Harding told the committee Thursday that his firm was forced to refund $1.8 million in a negotiated settlement in 2008.

Harding had been one of The 300 during the campaign — one of the large number of national-security advisers Obama claimed whenever anyone challenged his experience in such matters.  Perhaps there really is safety in numbers.  No one in the McCain campaign or in the RNC appeared to notice that the candidate of Hope and Change, the Washington insider running against Washington, had an adviser who had overcharged the government as a defense contractor.  Obama may have figured that no one would spot it when Harding was out in the open as a nominee, either.

This is a fairly egregious vetting error, even for an administration becoming known as incompetent at assessing potential appointees.  Harding didn’t commit violations of personal tax returns, after all.  He spent several years as a government contractor, and the audit and overcharge are public record.  For that matter, so was Southers’ dip into sensitive databases for his own personal vendettas.  Does anyone at the White House actually bother with background checks, or do they just pull names out of a hat?

The Times reports that the White House has no third choice for this position.  We can expect several months to pass before Obama gets around to appointing a replacement for a key national-security post.  Perhaps by the time he’s finished with this term, we may actually get one that can survive a confirmation hearing.


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Seems to me he’d fit in perfectly with this crowd.

OmahaConservative on March 27, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Didn’t he have to fill out that infamous 60-page application??? Or he did, and it didn’t matter? Which is it, Oh-most-ethical-administration evah?

hoosiermama on March 27, 2010 at 9:24 AM

You are all under the assumption that Obama wants a TSA director and is bumbling by nominating unqualified people.

Wrong.

He is nominating unqualified people knowing they will not be confirmed. Obama wants a vulnerable situation where another 9/11 can happen. Remember, never let a crisis go to waste. And what better crisis than a few planes blowing up in the sky?

angryed on March 27, 2010 at 9:27 AM

It has now been over 14 months, and the Obama administration still hasn’t successfully appointed a person to run the Transportation Security Administration,

Seems they can’t find a communist, anarchist that cares about protecting Amerikkka.

TugboatPhil on March 27, 2010 at 9:27 AM

procurement fraud

They are all a bunch of wh*res, aren’t they!

honsy on March 27, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Put KSM in charge, I am sure he would prefer to do the job than sit in Gitmo.

cat-scratch on March 27, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Perhaps by the time he’s finished with this term, we may actually get one that can survive a confirmation hearing

If we do, that’ll just mean Barry has been able to find a Democratic crook who’s been more skilled at hiding his/her crimes than the last two nominees.

Considering that the next nominee is likely to be just as damn corrupt as the last two (if not moreso), we’re probably better off without one.

AZCoyote on March 27, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Obama wants a vulnerable situation where another 9/11 can happen. Remember, never let a crisis go to waste. And what better crisis than a few planes blowing up in the sky?

angryed on March 27, 2010 at 9:27 AM

The man has his faults, his warped ideology and a determination for social justice, however, I highly doubt he would like to see a few thousand Americans die in another terrorist attack. And his last reason would be that it doesn’t help him politically.

sherry on March 27, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Liberal Lexicon:

Vetting: Driving a Corvette

BobMbx on March 27, 2010 at 9:36 AM

That entire administration appears to be encased in an inescapable bubble of incompetence, ineptness and stupidity.

rplat on March 27, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Could it be as simple as they aren’t picking people because they are good people but because they are BAD people? Seriously folks, have we not gotten the clue we are dealing with some fundamentally evil and corrupt people in this administration? Would Al Capone look for a wheel man for his getaways insisting the guy is a good honest person first?

Think Mao insisted on making sure whoever headed up his security forces was a good family man and gave to his favorite charity? Seriously?

The sooner we get out of the mindset that this is just another screwed up administration unable to function because of incompetence and get right with the idea we are in the middle of a revolution intent on cracking the foundation of America, the sooner we will quit being surprised.

Read the book- http://www.revoltthebook.com

archer52 on March 27, 2010 at 9:42 AM

All of Obama’s associates are dirty to some degree. I guess they would have to be, to be associated with his administration.

TXMomof3 on March 27, 2010 at 9:43 AM

sherry on March 27, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Open your eyes, child.

ericdijon on March 27, 2010 at 9:46 AM

HALIBURTON !!

/

pambi on March 27, 2010 at 9:52 AM

They don’t care.

n0doz on March 27, 2010 at 9:52 AM

pambi

2 “l’s”

ericdijon on March 27, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Even if I were qualified and willing (eager) to serve, why should I be associated with this traitorous and failed administration?

Yes, traitorous, this whole bunch is selling out our country.

Sir Napsalot on March 27, 2010 at 9:55 AM

In the end, General Harding told the committee Thursday that his firm was forced to refund $1.8 million in a negotiated settlement in 2008.

Forced? That isn’t chump change. So much for honesty and integrity.

conservative pilgrim on March 27, 2010 at 9:56 AM

ericdijon on March 27, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Going down that road leads to the slippery slope of delusion where you’ll find the birthers and truthers.

sherry on March 27, 2010 at 9:56 AM

What, William Ayres isn’t interested in the job?

yoda on March 27, 2010 at 9:56 AM

He is nominating unqualified people knowing they will not be confirmed. Obama wants a vulnerable situation where another 9/11 can happen. Remember, never let a crisis go to waste. And what better crisis than a few planes blowing up in the sky? angryed on March 27, 2010 at 9:27 AM

You’ve got a point. Think of the aftermath of 9-11, and the opportunity to appear as the country’s hero, swooping in with martial law, internet crackdown and economic “measures.” Maybe even healthcare savings from the decimated population…Think Mao, Stalin, Castro.

indypat on March 27, 2010 at 10:03 AM

sherry on March 27, 2010 at 9:56 AM

So, I can trust that you understand Ø-care was passed with a force more serious than arm-twisting – I mean since you use alliteration and metaphors, and all…

ericdijon on March 27, 2010 at 10:04 AM

All of these potential appointees are just guys off the street like most of us here. They are well-connected, have high-paying jobs to begin with. This general gets a fat retirement check every month and Veterans benefits. They are well off even if they don’t get these posts.

No wonder it’s been getting harder and harder over the decades for parents, clergy and teachers to tell kids to keep their noses to the grindstone and work hard in order to achieve success. Between political yahoos like this, various celebs, drug dealers, “athletes” and so on they learn that being a crook is the way to go.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 27, 2010 at 10:06 AM

There is currently a WHITE woman, Gale Rossides, who has been with TSA since its inception, running the TSA in an “acting” position.

She has been Acting Administrator since Kip Hawley left.

Wouldn’t she be extraordinarily QUALIFIED for the job???

Is she too white to be appointed? WTF?

13Girl on March 27, 2010 at 10:07 AM

If you recruit your employees in a whore house its unlikely you will have virgins working for you.

Aviator on March 27, 2010 at 10:07 AM

You’ve got a point. Think of the aftermath of 9-11, and the opportunity to appear as the country’s hero, swooping in with martial law, internet crackdown and economic “measures.” Maybe even healthcare savings from the decimated population…Think Mao, Stalin, Castro.

indypat on March 27, 2010 at 10:03 AM

You forgot suspension of elections…

13Girl on March 27, 2010 at 10:09 AM

I highly doubt he would like to see a few thousand Americans die in another terrorist attack. And his last reason would be that it doesn’t help him politically.

sherry on March 27, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Why do you doubt it? Because in our collective world, it would be impossible for a president to act in that way. For the first 43 I would have totally agreed with you. Whatever faults Clinton had, I think he still had the best interest of America in mind.

With Obama, that is not the case. I don’t know how you can look at what he’d done over the past 14 months and not clue in to the fact he hates this country. He hates what it stands for. He hates its institutions. He hates what it means to be an American.

And if you think for a second a few thousand lives will stop him from transforming the country into a socialist 3rd world hell hole, you need to wake up.

angryed on March 27, 2010 at 10:10 AM

What do Errol Southers, Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, Barack Obama and say, Cold Cash Jefferson have in common? Just sayin’……

wickedcurveball on March 27, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Winnie the Pooh should be available.

He might have a little trouble explaining why he was living under the name of Saunders, though.

turfmann on March 27, 2010 at 10:12 AM

And also Sherry:

It would help him immensely. People rally around POTUS in times of crisis. Bush’s approval went to 95% in the weeks following 9/11.

And I say once again, the quote from Rahm Emanual:

“don’t ever let a good crisis go to waste”

How much better a crisis could one have than a 9/11 type incident? Obama could do damn well anything he wanted to all in the name of ‘national security’. And you might want to recall the DHS report that identified gun owners as “potential domestic terrorists”. You don’t think in a time of “criss” he would take that DHS report and act on it do you? Nahhh….I guess not. After all John McCain did assure us all Obama is a good man.

Never mind.

angryed on March 27, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Pulls names out of a hat, to answer your question. The hat is pretty small though, containing only names of people that would like to be closely associated with BarryO and his cronies.

Robert17 on March 27, 2010 at 10:14 AM

We can expect several months to pass before Obama gets around to appointing a replacement for a key national-security post.

National security? It’s health care, immigration reform, card check, cap and trade, etc. National security probably doesn’t rank in the top ten.

He’s lowered the bar on sanctions against Iran, and pissed off the Israelis, and is laughed at by our allies all over the world.

Don’t you know? Gods don’t worry about national security.

donh525 on March 27, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Why do you doubt it? Because in our collective world, it would be impossible for a president to act in that way. For the first 43 I would have totally agreed with you. Whatever faults Clinton had, I think he still had the best interest of America in mind.

With Obama, that is not the case. I don’t know how you can look at what he’d done over the past 14 months and not clue in to the fact he hates this country. He hates what it stands for. He hates its institutions. He hates what it means to be an American.

And if you think for a second a few thousand lives will stop him from transforming the country into a socialist 3rd world hell hole, you need to wake up.

angryed on March 27, 2010 at 10:10 AM

I agree. I think it is literally in his blood. Look at his family history, and the way they think. Remember? He campaigned for his cousin Odinga…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6eVVVKFHu0

13Girl on March 27, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Didn’t he have to fill out that infamous 60-page application??? Or he did, and it didn’t matter? Which is it, Oh-most-ethical-administration evah?

hoosiermama on March 27, 2010 at 9:24 AM

No, no, no…you’ve got it all wrong; it was a 60-second application. You know…name, address, age, etc… Then, you just click “send” and wait for the instant-approval to show up in your mailbox. Vetting, shmetting…

Dopenstrange on March 27, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Wouldn’t she be extraordinarily QUALIFIED for the job???

Is she too white to be appointed? WTF?

13Girl

Too white, too female and certainly too honest in comparison to who O’Bambi wants in that post.

honsy on March 27, 2010 at 10:30 AM

angryed on March 27, 2010 at 10:14 AM

With Obama, that is not the case. I don’t know how you can look at what he’d done over the past 14 months and not clue in to the fact he hates this country. He hates what it stands for. He hates its institutions. He hates what it means to be an American.

This I couldn’t agree with you more.

And if you think for a second a few thousand lives will stop him from transforming the country into a socialist 3rd world hell hole, you need to wake up.

This is where I disagree with you. To take an improper vetting (which has become standard procedure for this administration starting with Richardson) and translate it to another way for Obama to control the American public by watching men and women jump to their death from skyscrapers is just that, a leap.

Don’t get me wrong, everything this man does is suspicious and dirty. Wandering in the direction of birthers and truthers takes the true focus off of what needs to be fought and eventually destroyed.

sherry on March 27, 2010 at 10:40 AM

You forgot suspension of elections…

13Girl on March 27, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Yeah, you wouldn’t want to see any of those racist Republicans get in positions of power during a “CRISIS” now would we?

angryed on March 27, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Whatever faults Clinton had, I think he still had the best interest of America in mind.

angryed on March 27, 2010 at 10:10 AM

I think he had the best interests of Clinton in mind. Didn’t he express some regret that 9/11 didn’t happen on his watch?

2ipa on March 27, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Don’t get me wrong, everything this man does is suspicious and dirty. Wandering in the direction of birthers and truthers takes the true focus off of what needs to be fought and eventually destroyed.

sherry on March 27, 2010 at 10:40 AM

ObamaCare will kill more people every month than died on 9/11. He has no problem killing off grandma to save a few dollars and has said as much. So why do you think he’d care if a few people died on planes?

Stop thinking of him as a president you don’t like. Start thinking of him as a revolutionary leader like Chavez or Mao or Castro. And when you look at him in that perspective you will understand why nothing is beyond the realm of possibility.

angryed on March 27, 2010 at 11:01 AM

even for an administration becoming known as incompetent at assessing potential appointees.

and let’s see…what else…..

winston on March 27, 2010 at 11:12 AM

This is where I disagree with you. To take an improper vetting (which has become standard procedure for this administration starting with Richardson) and translate it to another way for Obama to control the American public by watching men and women jump to their death from skyscrapers is just that, a leap.

Don’t get me wrong, everything this man does is suspicious and dirty. Wandering in the direction of birthers and truthers takes the true focus off of what needs to be fought and eventually destroyed.

sherry on March 27, 2010 at 10:40 AM

You think that he’s a better person than he has shown himself to be sherry, Bless your heart.

thomasaur on March 27, 2010 at 11:17 AM

The appointment of radicals and cheats is pure in-your-face “I don’t give a damn” egotism. It’s no different than having an inverse definition of transparency. Lying can take you places when you have the attention of youth that are still embroiled in progressive ideologies crammed into them from public school, minorities that have no respect for the number of or size of any entitlements, and seniors that worked hard on their road to retirement but didn’t give any thought about how to make retirement self-rewarding.

Terrorism on and in the USA will be easily explained away with lies analogous to hands tied behind backs. Simple minds, more concerned with where the tap for the milk is, will prostrate themselves before him and indulge him.

ericdijon on March 27, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Does anyone at the White House actually bother with background checks, or do they just pull names out of a hat?

Not the location that first came to mind for me.

GrannyDee on March 27, 2010 at 11:27 AM

The Plan is working….

d1carter on March 27, 2010 at 11:28 AM

love that pic Ed, perfect!

heh

his lack of experience clearly showing

cmsinaz on March 27, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Have a little compassion. It isn’t easy to find a Democrat who can stand a little sunlight.

SurferDoc on March 27, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Bless your heart.

thomasaur on March 27, 2010 at 11:17 AM

That’s funny. I have muttered that same expression when I see commenters kneeling at the altar of Sarah Palin.

sherry on March 27, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Since there was no vetting of Obama, why should there be any for his picks?

That seems to be the modus operandi of team Omoron.

profitsbeard on March 27, 2010 at 12:12 PM

I never tire of seeing that photo of Obama tripping! Makes me laugh every time.

NYconservative on March 27, 2010 at 12:58 PM

It’s not a failure of vetting that caused these Obamanominees to wither and die. The vetters wanted these nominees and probably thought they could send any revolutionary to the democrap congress and get approval. After all if you have a hard left ideologue as President and another as third in succession, how could anyone quibble with more hard left and corrupt official nominees? The fish rots from the head, and that goes double time in this Administration.

eaglewingz08 on March 27, 2010 at 1:10 PM

It has now been over 14 months, and the Obama administration still hasn’t successfully appointed a person to run the Transportation Security Administration,

Seems they can’t find a communist, anarchist that cares about protecting Amerikkka.that can stand the light of day.

TugboatPhil on March 27, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Protecting America would be purely incidental to them.

Slowburn on March 27, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Yeah, on the evidence one starts to believe that TSA boss has been set aside by this administration as a ‘black’ position. Hate to put it that way, but we’ll see who he sends up next.

JEM on March 27, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Oh, I don’t think Obama ‘hates’ America. I think he has a very, very different view from my own of what he wants America to be.

JEM on March 27, 2010 at 2:01 PM

It has now been over 14 months, and the Obama administration still hasn’t successfully appointed a person to run the Transportation Security Administration

Phew…I still have time before expecting a body cavity search at the airport in front of 2000 of my closest friends.

percysunshine on March 27, 2010 at 2:20 PM

Oh, yeah, why not ??
“Pres. Obama names 15 recess appointments, including Becker”

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/89473-pres-obama-names-15-recess-appointments-including-becker-

pambi on March 27, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Ready on day one!

AnotherOpinion on March 27, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Does anyone at the White House actually bother with background checks, or do they just pull names out of a hat?

Maybe they do. Suppose that they are looking for people who would be vulnerable to intimidation.

burt on March 27, 2010 at 4:27 PM