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US Marshals Service’s Missing Thousands of Encrypted Radios

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 22, 2013

The Wall Street Journal reported on yet another example of an inept and wasteful federal government.  According to the report the US Marshals Service that is charged with protecting federal courthouses and protecting witnesses cannot account for at least 2,000 two-way radios worth approximately $6 million.  Making matters worse, these radios have protected encryption for secure communications, which in the hands of criminals could endanger innocent people’s lives.

The Journal obtained the information about the inept government waste through Freedom of Information Act requests.  When confronted with the report a US Marshals Service spokesman made the lame excuse that “this issue is in large part attributable to poor record keeping as a result of an older property-management system, as opposed to equipment being lost.”  However, that same agency’s Office of Strategic Technology had a more blunt assessment stating: “It is apparent that negligence and incompetence has resulted in a grievous mismanagement of millions of dollars of USMS property.  Simply put, the entire system is broken and drastic measures need to be taken to address the issues.  The 800 pound elephant in the room needs to finally be acknowledged.”

Last year the US Marshals Service was on the hot seat for a very different reason.  The Wall Street Journal then exposed the fact that almost all of the USMS’s Virginia employees had government cars.

It is remarkable that with nearly daily examples of inept government actions being reported that so many in the United States remain willing to give that government still more power.  As Forrest Gump once so infamously said, stupid is as stupid does.



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