Watchdog Disputes Gao Testimony to Congress
NOVEMBER 21, 2003
Misleading and Inaccurate Report to Congress Dodges Accountability and Trivializes Deaths
Judicial Watch Report Details USPS Failures to Act and Disregard for Emergency Regulations During Anthrax Crisis
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecute government corruption, said today that the General Accounting Office’s (GAO) October 23, 2003 sworn testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform concerning the anthrax contamination of the Brentwood Postal Facility in Washington, DC, was misleading and inaccurate. The GAO “whitewashed” misconduct on the part of senior U.S. Postal Service and other government officials. The Brentwood Postal Facility has been renamed the “Joseph Curseen, Jr. and Thomas Morris Jr., Processing and Distribution Center,” after two Brentwood Postal Service workers who died from inhalation anthrax they contracted working with mail in the contaminated Brentwood facility.
On October 23, 2003, Mr. Bernard Ungar, the Director of Physical Infrastructure for the GAO, testified under oath before House Committee on Government Reform and provided written testimony entitled: “U. S. Postal Service – Clear Communication With Employees Needed Before Reopening the Brentwood Facility,” (GAO-04-205T/October 23, 2003).
Today, Judicial Watch published: Analysis of GAO Testimony: “U. S. Postal Service – Clear Communication With Employees Needed Before Reopening The Brentwood Postal Facility.” The Judicial Watch analysis found that GAO failed to address why evacuation and other mandatory protective measures were implemented at the Brentwood Facility only after Brentwood Postal employees contracted inhalation anthrax and started dying. All other mail facilities (private, government and postal) instituted emergency measures based upon solely on the suspicion of anthrax contamination. The GAO attributes this to “miscommunication,” while Judicial Watch has uncovered documents and other evidence that the delayed shutdown was purposeful. The analysis is available on the Internet by clicking here (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
“We have concluded that GAO has failed to investigate most, if not all, of the facts surrounding the anthrax attacks in the United States, and that GAO’s October 23, 2003, testimony to Congress is incomplete and misleading. We call on GAO Comptroller General David M. Walker to take personal control of the GAO’s anthrax investigation to ensure a complete investigation of how officials mistreated innocent Brentwood postal workers,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.