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United States Government IT News

FBI Searches New Fed CIO Kundra's Former Offices 173

Posted by timothy
from the rent-seeking-behavior dept.
CWmike writes "While new federal CIO Vivek Kundra gave a speech here this morning on his vision for the US government's use of technology, the FBI conducted a search of the District of Columbia's IT offices — where Kundra worked until last week — and arrested an employee and another person who works for an outsourcing vendor, say reports. There was no indication that Kundra was connected in any way to the FBI's raid, which was part of a bribery sting operation. And if Kundra was aware of what was going on at his former offices or concerned about the raid, it wasn't evident during his speech at FOSE 2009, a trade show focused on government IT. The FBI would not comment on the reports. President Barack Obama last week appointed Kundra to be the federal government's first official CIO."
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FBI Searches New Fed CIO Kundra's Former Offices

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  • More (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    change we can believe in?
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:17PM (#27172303)

    Okay, so a bunch of his underlings got arrested for a spot of corruption while he was either (a) ignorant or (b) had plausible deniability. I like this guy already. I think he's got a very good handle on what it takes to be a good IT manager. My only other question: Was the soda machine out of Mountain Dew? If so, we have a winner.

  • Choices... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Amazing Quantum Man (458715) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:18PM (#27172305) Homepage

    Is Obama just making really bad choices, or is everyone at that high a level in .gov just corrupt?

    • Re:Choices... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by causality (777677) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:32PM (#27172555)

      Is Obama just making really bad choices, or is everyone at that high a level in .gov just corrupt?

      They're puppets who may or may not falsely believe that they have anything like a will of their own or ideas of their own. The real political power is not the President but the corporations and old-money families who put him into office. They don't put a President into office unless he has views that they find to be either favorable or convenient. That's not a conspiracy theory so much as a proposition that entrenched power tends to act in its own interests, and as such, it should be self-evident.

      I cannot prove this but I will offer some speculation: the more I have heard of his speeches and his intentions and his beliefs, the more I think that John F. Kennedy was a fluke. He was a fluke because he really did want to represent the people and not the interests that got him into office. I believe that is why he was assassinated -- to those interests, this represented a betrayal or a "double-crossing" and they made an example. Certainly the Mafia could arrange such an event, and I will say that I believe that the monied interests who truly run this country make the Mafia look like a bunch of amateurs, though they prefer to buy people off rather than use brute force. Most people's princples are indeed for sale if the price is high enough, and they know this because they know what corruption is. It's just that occasionally there comes someone who cannot be bought and against whom they don't have some other form of leverage.

      I apologize that I do not know the time or place, but this is a quote from a speech delivered by JFK:

      The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society. And we are, as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweigh the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit, to the extent that it's in my control. And no official of my administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from the press or public the facts they deserve to know.

      An open government of the sort he advocated is quite terrifying to the powers behind the throne. So, I think Obama or any other President probably cannot help but to make bad choices or to have corruption. Even if he himself is a sincere man, he is working within a system that is not designed for sincerity.

      • Re:Choices... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @05:34PM (#27174469) Homepage

        I cannot prove this but I will offer some speculation: the more I have heard of his speeches and his intentions and his beliefs, the more I think that John F. Kennedy was a fluke.

        Just like JFK, Barack Obama is a product of Chicago Political Machine(TM) — easily the most corrupt [heritage.org] local political system in the nation (think Blagojevich [thepeoplescube.com])... I'd rather JFK and Obama were both flukes — having the nation's President come from such gutters as a rule is rather disgraceful...

        So, I think Obama or any other President probably cannot help but to make bad choices or to have corruption. Even if he himself is a sincere man, he is working within a system that is not designed for sincerity.

        Were you as forgiving towards the previous President? More importantly, were the moderators?

        • by lawpoop (604919)

          Were you as forgiving towards the previous President? More importantly, were the moderators?

          Did the previous president give any evidence of indication that he was a fluke ala JFK ( going against the interests of his class), or was he like JFK solely in the fact that, like JFK, he was born into a wealthy and politically powerful East Coast family?

          Are slashdotters really this simple minded? "This guy seems to think both JFK and Obama don't necessarily represent the interests of the wealthy. I wonder if he would extend the same courtesy to Bush?" Well, can you name a few things Bush did that were mo

          • by causality (777677)

            Were you as forgiving towards the previous President? More importantly, were the moderators?

            Did the previous president give any evidence of indication that he was a fluke ala JFK ( going against the interests of his class), or was he like JFK solely in the fact that, like JFK, he was born into a wealthy and politically powerful East Coast family? Are slashdotters really this simple minded? "This guy seems to think both JFK and Obama don't necessarily represent the interests of the wealthy. I wonder if he would extend the same courtesy to Bush?" Well, can you name a few things Bush did that were more in the interests of the common person, rather than the wealthy?

            Brevity is something I've yet to master, so I think you just saved me some effort by explaining that.

            Thank you.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mi (197448)

            So, I think Obama or any other President [emphasis mine -mi] ...

            Were you as forgiving towards the previous President?

            Did the previous president give any evidence of indication ...

            The GGP said: "any other President". Hence it was logical to wonder, if he was as tolerant towards corruption under Bush (who, BTW, had no problems appointing cabinet members without problems of tax-dodging).

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by causality (777677)

              So, I think Obama or any other President [emphasis mine -mi] ...

              Were you as forgiving towards the previous President?

              Did the previous president give any evidence of indication ...

              The GGP said: "any other President". Hence it was logical to wonder, if he was as tolerant towards corruption under Bush (who, BTW, had no problems appointing cabinet members without problems of tax-dodging).

              Understanding corruption and accepting the reality of it is not at all the same thing as feeling "tolerant towards corruption" (or excusing it, as you seem to imply), and on that basis I believe you have misunderstood me. I was attempting the former, not the latter.

              I find it useful to understand that this sort of corruption is systemic. We'd like to believe that it's the fault of $ONE_GUY, with the exact identity of $ONE_GUY varying depending on whom you ask. Most people you ask will select someone th

      • MOD PARENT UP!! Thanks for having the courage to talk about this. It's easy to dismiss as "conspiracy theory" or nutty, but it doesn't really require a conspiracy, just an understanding that certain people (and families) have common interests.

        Wake up, people!

      • by jabithew (1340853)

        Hmmm, +5 scary conspiracy theory. Have you stayed up all night playing Deus Ex and drinking coffee?

        • by causality (777677)

          Hmmm, +5 scary conspiracy theory. Have you stayed up all night playing Deus Ex and drinking coffee?

          You'll find that there is a conditioned response (not unlike Pavlov's dogs) to instantly ridicule anything that even looks like a conspiracy theory without ever spending a moment to think about its plausibility. Like all self-limiting responses, this one reduces thinking and limits possibility, not in reality of course but in your mind. Like most of our self-limiting responses, this one appears to come from the media. I mean, if you work at Company X and that company makes widgets, you and all of your co

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Em Emalb (452530)

      Why the hell is this marked troll?

      It's a valid question.

      How many of Obama's choices have had either tax problems or scandals?

      Seriously, troll is 100% wrong moderation.

    • Re:Choices... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dripdry (1062282) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:57PM (#27172989) Journal

      I don't know what's going on with moderation here, but I'll throw my hat in the ring.
      Why is this modded Troll?
      Why are som of the other posts moderated down?
      The politicizing that seems to be going on here is worrisome.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm posting AC because I want to remain neutral and not come across as being a conspiracy theorist or promoting these people's views. However, your post makes this very appropriate and I don't think anyone should ever be afraid of information.

      The Obama Deception [obamadeception.net] is a new documentary that is being officially released on March 15 '09, but it's up on the torrent sites so you can download it right away. I'm sure the creators won't mind people downloading it, either, since it's very political and they're trying

    • by iocat (572367)
      Why did you ask that as an "or" question? That's no a zero sum option!
  • Offtopic topic? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:21PM (#27172379) Homepage Journal

    arrested an employee and another person who works for an outsourcing vendor, say reports. There was no indication that Kundra was connected in any way to the FBI's raid

    So... what's the big deal?

    • Obviously, Timmeh's not a big fan of Obama. If kdawson is a left-wing tool, only fair we have a right-wing tool to balance things out.
      • by DrLang21 (900992)
        Is this a sign that /. is becoming "fair and balanced"?
        • Depends who's got the mod points at any given moment. Check all my comments in this thread for an illustration: Contrary to popular belief, no one "side" on anything controls the discussion here. One of Slashdot's last few charms.
    • Re:Offtopic topic? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:31PM (#27172531)

      Hmmm. Let's rewrite it slightly.

      While new republican CIO John Doe gave a speech here this morning on his vision for the US government's use of technology, the FBI conducted a search of the Texas's IT offices â" where Doe worked until last week â" and arrested an employee and another person who works for an outsourcing vendor, say reports. There was no indication that Doe was connected in any way to the FBI's raid, which was part of a bribery sting operation. And if Doe was aware of what was going on at his former offices or concerned about the raid, it wasn't evident during his speech at FOSE 2009, a trade show focused on government IT. The FBI would not comment on the reports. President George Bush last week appointed Doe to be the federal government's first official CIO.

      Change anything? IMO, it would have. "Look at the corruption, George Bush is now appointing a CIO of the entire USA from a corrupt Texas IT department that is involved in bribery and sting operations!"

      Oh. But this is Obama's administration. Who cares if several appointments of his weren't honest about their taxes (oh, sorry, "forgot" about certain items. Admittedly, in some cases, it did look innocent; but sometimes, not so much, especially for someone that you'd think would know these sorts of things...), that his CIO worked in an IT department that had bribery sting deals going on, or whatever...

      Eh. I know Bush administration wasn't good and that most all government is corrupt, blah blah. But that doesn't mean I should just ignore this because it happens to everyone or whatever. If the place he worked has people getting busted for bribery or whatever, then investigation should continue; no, not because she is guilty until proven innocent, but because I think government officials should be held to a pretty high standard. Especially since, in the last 100 years, they've tended to be dishonest.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Not, it's got nothing to do with Dems or Repubs. It's all in this sentence in TFS:

        There was no indication that Doe was connected in any way to the FBI's raid, which was part of a bribery sting operation.

        Which reduces this to a story about a couple of low-level employees getting arrested over nothing. Which is about as far from FP Slashdot fare as you can get.

        Boring.

        And then Timmeh slaps in a quick reference to Obama for the Hell of it.

        Lame.

        I'm not one to bash Slashdot and its "declining
        • Re:Offtopic topic? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:44PM (#27172785) Homepage Journal

          And that's supposed to make us feel good?

          The guy was/is the head of that office. He either didn't know about the corruption (as the frigging FEDERAL CIO for the country, that might be a think he'd be expected to know about corruption in his own office) or he was in on it.

          Either way, for me, this is 100% a bad sign and should raise a huge red flag.

          • Exactly. If he was just another low-level person in the office and didn't know about it, ok. And I can understand having employees and upper management isn't really responsible, especially dependent on the size of the office... but it should at least be thoroughly investigated, and should raise flags. Not "Oh my goodness, he is a sting operation person!" but at least a "We should check and make sure he's innocent before proceeding." Wanting to prove innocence != assuming guilty; it's assuming innocence
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mysticgoat (582871)

            He either didn't know about the corruption... or he was in on it.

            Above post has serious blinders on. Other possibilities:

            • he cooperated with the FBI investigation
            • he was informed of the FBI investigation before the arrests
            • he initiated the FBI investigation

            Any of these is quite likely, and the last is, exactly the kind of action I would want to see a CEO take if in the course of his work he became aware that something suspicious was happening in his business. What would be the alternative? "I'm firing you two because I'm pretty sure that you're guilty of crimes in my

            • by Em Emalb (452530)

              It doesn't bother you that the guy who is supposed to be the Fed CIO wasn't aware (if that's the case) that there was corruption in his own office?

              Cause it bothers me.

            • by nmos (25822)

              Above post has serious blinders on. Other possibilities:

              * he cooperated with the FBI investigation
              * he was informed of the FBI investigation before the arrests
              * he initiated the FBI investigation

              Sure but for any of the above to be true we also have to believe one of the following:

              * He forgot to tell the Obama admin about it.
              * He told them but they were too stupid to think they would need to have an explaination ready wh

        • Re:Offtopic topic? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ptbarnett (159784) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:41PM (#27173733)

          Not, it's got nothing to do with Dems or Repubs.

          No, it doesn't. But, the GP's point is correct: if this had been a member of Bush's administration, this article would already have 500 comments of wailing about how it was Bush's fault, Cheney's fault, and the fault of neo-cons, the Illuminati, FBI, CIA, RIAA, MPAA, etc....

          Can you say "partisan"? I knew you could.

          • 500 comments of wailing about how it was Bush's fault, Cheney's fault, and the fault of neo-cons, the Illuminati, FBI, CIA, RIAA, MPAA, etc..

            Yeah, 'cuz everybody's so quiet and respectful in this thread *rollseyes*
          • by Draek (916851)

            But that'd be a result more of a witch-hunt against Bush rather than Obama apologism. If this had happened during Bush's first year in office, I believe the popular response would've been "and this is news for nerds?".

            Which is exactly my personal response now.

          • by lawpoop (604919)

            No, it doesn't. But, the GP's point is correct: if this had been a member of Bush's administration, this article would already have 500 comments of wailing about how it was Bush's fault, Cheney's fault, and the fault of neo-cons, the Illuminati, FBI, CIA, RIAA, MPAA, etc....

            And, he would flutter gently into his new position, his apparent taint of criminality not having harmed his career in the slightest. Under Obama, he steps down. Can you say "Change"? I knew you could! :)

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        Change anything?

        No. Answer is the same: *yawn* Let me know when he's implicated in any way, then I'll care.

        If Scooter Libby hadn't actually done the Perp Walk, I wouldn't care about him either.

      • by SoupGuru (723634)

        Who cares if several appointments of his weren't honest about their taxes (oh, sorry, "forgot" about certain items. Admittedly, in some cases, it did look innocent; but sometimes, not so much, especially for someone that you'd think would know these sorts of things...), that his CIO worked in an IT department that had bribery sting deals going on, or whatever...

        I took all those tax snafus to mean our tax code is so titanic and so flipping confusing that even people that should know better can't make heads or tails of it.

        • by TheLink (130905)
          There must be millions in the USA who are not _correctly_ paying their sales tax and other taxes (e.g. "use tax").

          With such complexity in the US tax system I'd need more info before saying someone's "tax problems" = doing something unethical/immoral.
      • What a lovely straw man you've built there.
  • obviously, FBI is lacist.

  • Take a pay cut, show the world that you're not in it for the money, you're in it for the future of technology in the USA.

    Then call the BSA, report software piracy in a government office, collect the rest of your salary as the "reporting bonus".

    Or, in another thought: It really had nothing to do with him. Just because you work with someone who does something stupid/illegal doesn't immediately make you guilty of also being involved in the stupidity/illegalities. Doesn't mean it doesn't, just means it doesn'

  • Band of thieves (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @03:31PM (#27172533) Homepage Journal

    Is there even one person in Obama's administration that isn't a crook, in the same field they are appointed to oversee?

  • Yeah, so the first link goes to ComputerWorld, which draws it's information from...
    ...gad zooks!: A ComputerWorld Blog; the writer of whom gets his information from...
    ...gad zooks!: A political blog; the writer of whom gets his information from...
    ...his ass.

    Nice trail.
  • Acar worked under Kundra, Obama's pick to coordinate federal computer systems. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs would not say whether the White House knew the investigation was under way when it named Kundra last week, but called the case "a serious matter."

    Acar, a 40-year-old native of Turkey, had a $127,468-a-year position purchasing the city's computer equipment and lining up contract workers for numerous city agencies.

    Source: AP [google.com]

  • I think it's important to point out the Kundra is not a target of the investigation [yahoo.com]. Let's also be clear that exactly 2 people in an office of 300 have been charged with a crime [politico.com]. There's no indication that Kundra was involved in any way.
  • by hessian (467078) on Friday March 13, 2009 @08:27AM (#27179791) Homepage Journal

    Flatter them.

    Promise them big ideas and big, vague solutions.

    Tell them that everyone is equally important.

    That's how you make a Crowd happy. Of course, to do that you, you have to be a cynical bastard. That's why most Revolutionary leaders are corrupt people who plunge their countries into New Dark Ages.

    Obama, coming from the most corrupt political machine in North America (the Chicago machine), is undoubtedly aware of all these things, and knows how to manipulate them for personal gain. Again, very cynical. But that's the RealPolitik(tm) when you have a huge crowd of people out there who vote with their emotions, based on the appearance of realities they're too lazy to research.

    Hope! Change! Hope! Change!

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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