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Here's a fun story involving the USDA, the FDA, the GAO -- i.e., the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Government Accountability Office -- with the Office of Management and Budget thrown in for good measure.

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The Fed has nothing to hide about its dealings with AIG when it saved the too-big-to-fail insurance behemoth during the great bailout of 2008-9 -- or at least Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has signaled his full willingness to make the central bank's relevant "records and personnel" available to investigators from the Government Accountability Office.

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According to an internal e-mail obtained by the AP, the chief of staff of the EPA's enforcement wing has issued a gag order, telling staffers in June exactly what to do should a reporter, the inspector general or the Government Accountability Office call: "Please do not respond to questions or make any statements."

Robert Scheer

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A trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there, and soon you're talking real money. But when it comes to reporting on what the Bush war legacy has cost American taxpayers, the media have been shockingly indifferent to the highest run-up in military spending since World War II.

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All but two of the nation's 43 "fusion centers," information-sharing offices set up after 9/11 to help uncover terrorist activity, have been distracted by local crime and other distinctly non-terrorist intrigue, according to a Government Accountability Office report obtained by the Associated Press. The problem, like so many facing our nation, apparently stems from the lack of funding and oversight by the Bush administration.

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While the rest of us have been struggling to survive air travel without our precious liquids and gels, federal investigators managed to sneak liquid explosives and detonators through airport security, according to a Government Accountability Office report issued Wednesday.

Columns

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It's enough to make one a libertarian, Robert Scheer argues, as the federal budget is hijacked by a bloated military-industrial complex wallowing in post-9/11 greed. As the president smiles, the failures of this American experiment in imperialism become all the more costly and apparent.

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The Washington Post has obtained a draft of the Government Accountability Office's "progress" report -- quite the euphemism in this case -- about Iraq. The 69-page draft, which the paper describes as "strikingly negative," was apparently passed along by a government official worried that the final draft would be altered to lessen its detrimental impact.

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