Rich Galen

This was: According to a Washington Post piece yesterday, Major General Harding "as the owner of Harding Security Associates received a consulting contract worth almost $100 million from the Army after certifying he was a "service disabled veteran" as part of a set-aside for firms owned by service disabled vets.

That's good, the government giving preference to disabled veterans. Who could be opposed to that?

Oh. His disability? Swallow your coffee first.


Sleep Apnea.

Over 37,000 American service members have been killed or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. How many, do you suppose, were send home because of sleep apnea?

And, in any case, how could sleep apnea possibly be defined as a service-related condition?

Turns out sleep apnea is a little more serious than what I shouted when I read the headline in the Washington Post yesterday morning:

"He got $200 million in contracts because of being a heavy snorer?"

Which scared the cat, awoke the Mullings Director of Standards and Practices, and so was not a good way to start a Sunday in any conceivable dimension.

Harding would have skated on his bad bookkeeping on that $54 million contract, there would have been sixteen recess appointments announced last weekend, and every TSA office in every airport in the land would have been sent a color photo of Major General Robert Harding (Ret.) as the TSA's new leader.

Alas, Harding bailed at the end of the week after that difficult hearing and, according to the Post, "after The Washington Post raised questions with the White House on Friday about his disabilities status."

Who's vetting these people, Michaele and Tareq Salahi?

Remember that questionnaire that everyone was supposed to fill out before they could be considered for a job in the Obama Administration during the transition? The final question was:

"Provide any other information that could be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-elect."

Maybe they ought to put that one back in.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at