Chicago Tribune - John Kass - June 21, 2009
It's amusing to watch the Washington political establishment feign shock, now that President Barack Obama's reform administration has used a clay foot to vigorously kick one inspector general and boot another out the door.One inspector general foolishly investigated a friend of the president. Another inspector general audited those juicy bonuses given to AIG executives as part of $700 billion federal bailout of the financial industry.It's a decent man-bites-dog story, at least until North Korea tries lobbing a few missiles toward Hawaii. But until that happens, the political talk shows will buzz about Neil Barofsky, the inspector general overseeing the financial bailout.Barofsky now claims that his autonomy will be compromised if the Obama Justice Department rules that he is merely a functionary of the Department of Treasury.
"An adverse ruling ... could potentially have a serious impact on the independence of our agency and our ability to carry out our mandate," Barofsky wrote in a letter to ranking senators on Friday.