Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sex, Drugs, and Rocks and Oil

It comes as absolutely no surprise during the Bush presidency -- unquestionably the worst in the history of the United States -- when we uncover the kind of corruption in our government employees like that described below. The entire federal government is in bed with the oil and gas industries, and prostitutes itself with impunity, no less! From CNN:
WASHINGTON -- Key government officials overseeing the energy industry had sex with, used illegal drugs with, and accepted gifts from representatives of oil and gas companies they were supposed to be regulating, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Department of the Interior's inspector general.

The $5.3 million investigation "uncovered recreational marijuana and cocaine use" by "a handful" of Interior Department staff, and found two federal employees "engaged in brief sexual relationships with representatives from companies doing business" with the department.

Two Interior Department employees "received combined gifts and gratuities on at least 135 occasions from four major oil and gas companies with whom they were doing business -- a textbook example of improperly receiving gifts from prohibited sources," Inspector General Earl Devaney says in a letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne accompanying the report.

Randall Luthi, head of the Minerals Management Service at the Interior Department, said the public had not suffered financial losses as a result of the employees' behavior.

Some of the government employees tried to hide their close association with the industry they were supposed to be regulating, the report says.

The investigation turned up e-mails in which MMS employees "preparing to attend industry events used such language as 'this trip is to be kept quiet,' or were asked to RSVP 'in private' by their supervisor," the report says.

"When we asked we these one of these employees why they needed to avoid discussing their social activities with industry, he responded with a slight chuckle, 'They might have, you know, contacted the [inspector general],' " the report says.

The investigation appears to have been prompted by an internal whistle-blower's report in 2006, and concerns activity from 2002 to 2006.

The report alleges inappropriate behavior by 19 members of the Royalty in Kind program -- about one-third of the department. Some have since left the department, making it unclear what kind of disciplinary action they could be subject to.


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