Cronyism, Corruption and the ‘War on Terror’
by Tom Burghardt
The partisan furor surrounding the collapse of solar equipment manufacturer Solyndra, a Fremont, Calif. firm which secured a $535 million government loan from the Energy Department, underscores congressional hypocrisy when it comes to widespread cronyism and corruption.
The Washington Post reported that “The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory, newly obtained e-mails show.”
According to Post stenographers Joe Stephens and Carol D. Leonnig, those “August 2009 e-mails released exclusively to The Washington Post,” shorthand for a controlled leak by Republican staffers, “show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which they planned to announce the deal.”
In response to White House pressure, “OMB officials expressed concern that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate time to assess the risk to taxpayers, according to information provided by Republican congressional investigators.”
Solyndra, a poster-child for the administration’s PR campaign to expand “green jobs” was part of Obama’s lifeless “stimulus package” which White House flacks argued would ameliorate unemployment through tax cuts and other perks to corporations in the wake of the on-going economic meltdown.