30
Oct
08

Triumph Of The Whistleblowers: taf.org

Assuming an Obama presidency, the wholesale looting of public funds by fraudulent private contractors may well have reached a historic peak.  Indicators are strong that a philosophical shift away from free-market fundamentalism will accompany Obama to the Oval Office, which could mean the brakes will be put on the wild Washington joyride business interests have for decades enjoyed at the public’s expense.

While serious  study of government contracting abuse means mountains of generally dry and abstruse stuff, observers of this cultural struggle for the taxpayer’s dollar are not necessarily condemned to slog through government reports or to parse isolated news pieces to get a working sense of the culture, players, sums and offenses involved.

Taxpayers Against Fraud or the False Claims Legal Center is a non-profit group that publishes the terrific taf.org website.  TAF shows the results of fraud litigation instigated by whistelblowers under the False Claims Act of 1863, sometimes referred to as the “Lincoln law“.  Ever since the first US military contractor was sued under the FCA for selling Uncle Sam the first beaten-down mules or non-firing rifles, the act’s litigation history has been a fascinating peek into the mindset of corporate crime – and a chronicle of its defeat.

Since 1998, TAF has served as a kind of victory parade for the public, documenting billion after billion in funds recovered from corporations who were caught red-handed pickpocketing the public. Given the past thirty years of insanely deregulated, overprivatized government, It’s hard to find as dense a concentration of good news in one place as TAF.

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