Soros sleaze infests US government media agency with Obama holdouts still refusing to go

The U.S. Agency for Global Media, which is the parent company of government broadcasting outfits such as TV Marti, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Voice of America, continues to be scandal-plagued, the latest incident of which was the pleading guilty in court of its "chief strategy officer" Haroon Ullah, for stealing $40,000 from the government, through downright phony expense claims.

According to Judicial Watch:

In the latest scandal to rock the U.S. government's international media networks, the Obama-appointed chief's right hand man has pleaded guilty to stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the government. The disgraced senior government official at the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), Haroon K. Ullah, admitted that he fraudulently obtained $40,000 in government funds by falsifying hotel invoices, fake taxi receipts and by billing Uncle Sam for personal travel. "Additionally, Ullah admitted that he created a falsified letter from a real medical doctor purportedly claiming that Ullah needed to fly in business class at government expense because of a sore knee," according to a Justice Department statement. "By submitting the forged letter from the doctor, Ullah fraudulently obtained costly business class upgrades at government expense, including on lengthy international flights. Ullah admitted to creating many of the false documents on his government-issued laptop computer."

Ullah, who is described as an educator, scholar and diplomat, was handpicked by USAGM Chief John F. Lansing in 2017 to be the agency's chief strategic officer. The author of a book called "Vying for Allah's Vote," Ullah oversaw several divisions at USAGM and was the key liaison charged with positioning the media networks within the broader U.S. government. As Lansing's top assistant, "Ullah's main responsibility was to lead USAGM to become a more strategically relevant agency within the national security, foreign affairs, internet censorship and global media spheres," according to his biography on the agency's website. Before getting recruited by Lansing, Ullah, a Harvard graduate, worked at the State Department. He recently pleaded guilty to theft of government money and faces up to a decade in prison, though it is unlikely he'll serve that much time. Ullah is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

Ullah was one of those guys who's the author of Sorosy-sounding books such as Vying for Allah's Vote,  lamenting what's delicately and Sorosily called "religious extremism," as well as a the producer of a Peabody award–winning cartoon series called Burka Avenger, which glorifies the wearing of a burka to fight villains.  (Update: The USAGM seems to have taken the link down, but much of it can still be read on this page of Ullah's own website here.) He went to Harvard, he's a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he got a Fulbright scholarship.  He was close to Richard Holbrooke and John Kerry.  His website shows praise for his work from Anne-Marie Slaughter, a partisan Obama operative, and Madeleine Albright.  And the guy was hired in 2017, after President Trump became president, and presumably when such people were out on their ear.  This guy is the swamp.

Now he's a petty thief, grifting $40,000 in fake invoices printed on a government computer, as well as a guy who cooked up a fake medical note from a fake doctor to get upgrades to business class on airline travel.

It's far from the only shenanigans going on that agency.  Judicial Watch notes that reporters were fired for putting out a documentary critical of George Soros in Latin America and lists a long series of other scandals.  The New York Times has a list of more scandals, presumably by right-wing reporters not keeping journalism standards.  Message: The agency is out of control.  And note that Haroon was caught when disgruntled internal employees ratted him out.  That's some agency they've got there.  One that lacks a leader save for an Obama holdout illegally determined to hang on to his sinecure.  Oh, and Soros-linked Columbia Journalism Review says all's well.

It highlights that USAGM is an incredibly scandal-plagued agency, and its leaders remain Obama holdouts, who, quite illegally, refuse to leave their posts.  There's no Mick Mulvaney for them, as there had been for the Obama holdouts of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Why this is still happening, with a perfectly decent Trump nominee ready to take over and clean house, is beyond anyone's understanding.  It's certainly baffling employees around the USAGM.

Meanwhile, the really dirty stuff, such as discriminating against women employees (who are conservative), can be read about on this little known website full of USAGM insiders, who are disgusted as hell at the state of affairs.  The blog reports that the Obama holdouts are doing things such as stealing personnel records of reporters with sterling reviews to keep them from being promoted and bringing in Obama operatives for all the best jobs, killing the earned promotions of female employees.  They're discriminating against conservative women.  The list of transgressions goes on and on.  

When is something going to be done about this?  Well, the new nominee from President Trump, listed as "Bannon-linked" and someone to be feared by The Guardian, despite his think-tanky background, is Michael Pack.  He still hasn't been confirmed in the Republican-led Senate.


Image credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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