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Project on Government Oversight

POGO/GAP letter to SASC Chairman Levin and Ranking McCain calling for hearings on MRAP delays, rapid acquisition problems in the Pentagon

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February 27, 2008


Senate Armed Services Committee
228 Senate Russell Office Building
Washington, DC, 20510

Dear Chairman Carl Levin and Ranking Member John McCain:

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) and the Government Accountability Project (GAP) routinely work with whistleblowers and Congress to expose government mismanagement and corruption, commonly within the Department of Defense. We urge your committee to hold hearings into the Defense Department's track record of poor responsiveness to urgent equipment requests from troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One whistleblower we have worked with, Marine Corps science advisor Franz Gayl, has suffered reprisals for his disclosures to Congress on unnecessary and egregious delays in the Marine Corps' acquisition system. His disclosures to Congress have led to heightened attention to requests for non-lethal weapons that could prevent unnecessary civilian deaths, the procurement of significant quantities of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs), and surveillance technologies necessary to interdict insurgents in the vast geographies our stretched troops are responsible for covering.

We believe these critical national security issues should be debated at a public hearing. Moreover, without public accountability for the failures that have occurred, additional failures are more likely to occur in the future. Our nation's uniformed men and women rely on Congress to exercise its constitutional prerogative to oversee the executive branch; hearings on this issue would be an excellent opportunity to do so.

Please contact Nick Schwellenbach at POGO (202-347-1122) or Adam Miles at GAP (202-408-0034) if you need further information.

Sincerely,

Danielle Brian, Executive Director
Project On Government Oversight

Tom Devine, Legal Director
Government Accountability Project

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