Via The Navy Times:
The Pentagon has retained its top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan for $60 million over the next year even as the company remains under criminal investigation by the military’s inspector general and its co-owner has been suspended from receiving military contracts.
The military has maintained its ties to Leonie because the company has satisfactorily completed its tasks in Afghanistan, and military leaders there have requested that their services be retained, said Lt. Col. James Gregory, a Pentagon spokesman. The contract will be open for competition in one year, if military leaders decide they need more information operations programs.
The Pentagon suspended Chidiac from receiving contracts after he admitted he was responsible for a misinformation campaign against two USA Today journalists who wrote about the company and the military’s information operations programs, according to an Army letter to him obtained by the newspaper.
Retaining a company under criminal investigation shows how dependent the military has become on contractors, and how difficult it is to get rid of them, said Scott Amey, a lawyer with the government watchdog group, the Project on Government Oversight.
“We often hear that it is impossible to fire a government employee, but it also looks like it is impossible to part ways with a federal contractor,” Amey said.