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GAO's Work Makes Headlines

  1. Editorial: Those Missing Guns in Iraq -- New York Times, August 7, 2007

    • "American taxpayers are rightly prepared to pay for all the equipment our soldiers need to defend themselves in Iraq. What is harder to accept is that because of the Pentagon's scandalous mismanagement, they may have been paying to arm Iraqi insurgents who are shooting at American soldiers."
    • "The Government Accountability Office reports that more than 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles and another 80,000 pistols that Washington thought it was providing to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005 are now unaccounted for. More than 100,000 pieces of body armor and a similar number of helmets have also gone missing."

    See GAO-07-711

  2. Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing; GAO Estimates 30% of Arms Are Unaccounted For -- Washington Post, August 6, 2007

    • "The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq."
    • "The author of the report from the Government Accountability Office says U.S. military officials do not know what happened to 30 percent of the weapons the United States distributed to Iraqi forces from 2004 through early this year as part of an effort to train and equip the troops. The highest previous estimate of unaccounted-for weapons was 14,000, in a report issued last year by the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction."
    • "The United States has spent $19.2 billion trying to develop Iraqi security forces since 2003, the GAO said, including at least $2.8 billion to buy and deliver equipment. But the GAO said weapons distribution was haphazard and rushed and failed to follow established procedures, particularly from 2004 to 2005, when security training was led by Gen. David H. Petraeus, who now commands all U.S. forces in Iraq."

    See GAO-07-711

  3. Report refines image of Asians; A Look at Subgroups Belies Stereotype -- San Jose Mercury News, August 3, 2007

    • "Asian-American students are often viewed as brainy, affluent and over-achieving. But a new government report concludes that several Asian groups are not well-prepared - academically or financially - to succeed in college."
    • "Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indian students typically do well in school, fulfilling the 'model minority' stereotype, according to the report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress' research arm. Many of their families have saved money for college and do not depend on their children's help at home."
    • "But others - Pacific Islanders and Southeast Asians of Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, Thai and Burmese descent - do not enroll in the rigorous math and reading classes needed to climb the ladder of collegiate success, the report found."
    • "Moreover, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander youths who make it to college are more likely to need outside financial support, often living at home and working to help their families, the report said."

    See GAO-07-925

  4. Capital Sources: Anatomy of a Nuclear Sting -- Newsweek Web Exclusive, July 23, 2007

    • "Gregory Kutz and his colleagues wanted to order enough radioactive material to make a dirty bomb. So they set up bogus companies and applied for separate licenses from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the state of Maryland. They didn't succeed with Maryland, but they got a license from the NRC in less than a month."
    • "Then Kutz and his associates doctored the license to increase the amount of radioactive material they could buy, and began placing orders for nuclear moisture-density machines, which contain Cesium-137 and Americium-241. Suppliers were only too happy to help. Fortunately, Kutz is head of forensic audits and special investigations for the Government Accountability Office. His operation was a sting-one of about a dozen his team runs each year, most of them successfully."

    See GAO-07-1038T

  5. U.S. Heading For Financial Trouble? Comptroller Says Medicare Program Endangers Financial Stability -- CBS "60 Minutes," July 8, 2007

    • "When the stock market soars or plunges, everyone pays attention. But short term results aren't that important to the man you're about to meet. David Walker thinks the biggest economic peril facing the nation is being ignored, and for nearly two years now he has been traveling the country like an Old Testament prophet, urging people to wake up before its too late. Who is David Walker and why should we care?"
    • "As correspondent Steve Kroft first reported earlier this year, he is the nation's top accountant, the comptroller general of the United States. He's totaled up our government's income, liabilities, and future obligations and concluded that our current standard of living is unsustainable unless some drastic action is taken. And he's not alone. It's been called the "dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows" - a set of financial truths so inconvenient that most elected officials don't even want to talk about them, which is exactly why David Walker does."

    See Fiscal Wake-Up Tour