Friday, March 24, 2006

BLAH BLAH BLAH .... Pentagon Orders Investigation Of Cunningham's MZM Earmark


Undersecretary of Defense Stephen A. Cambone has ordered an internal study of how funding earmarked in a bill by then-Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) led to contracts for MZM Inc. to do work for the Pentagon's newest intelligence agency, the Counterintelligence Field Activity, a Defense Department spokesman said.

Cunningham pleaded guilty last November to tax evasion and taking bribes from contractors, including the former president of MZM, Mitchell J. Wade. Wade pleaded guilty last month to bribery-related charges and to making illegal campaign contributions to Cunningham and other legislators.

In documents filed in Cunningham's case, prosecutors said that in fiscal 2003 legislation, the congressman, who was a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, set aside, or earmarked, $6.3 million for work to be done "to benefit" the Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), created in 2002. Federal prosecutors have been looking into whether Pentagon personnel committed crimes in awarding CIFA contracts to MZM.

Cmdr. Greg Hicks, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed yesterday that Cambone has ordered an internal inquiry. Hicks said he was "unable to comment on MZM contracts or related matters since they are the subject of ongoing investigations by the appropriate organizations in the department and the U.S. government."

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