In any case, I'm stuck on one those horns now.
When I was a sophomore in University, I got interested in the FBI. In those days, it was honorable to admire organizations that had a reputation for prestige, straight shooting and honesty. (The straight shooting was no problem. I had scored marksman on the shooting range.) I was aware that the FBI was created to investigate only crime within the U.S. borders. That was fine with me. I was prepared to defend my country, again, but this time within its borders.
So one summer, I visited the local FBI office and spoke to a very nice agent there about working for Hoover's gang. We had a long, interesting chat and I walked away with the application papers and a number of other papers defining what they wanted in an agent and what college degrees were needed to work for them. I even got the government ratings for different positions and the pay scale. As I recall, the scale was pretty good even for a starter position.
There was only one drawback. The job requirements. At that time (I do not know what present day requirements are) you had to either have a degree in law or be a Certified Public Accountant. Now that was a kick in the butt. Recognizing my own distaste for pencil pushing and a sedentary desk job, there was no interest on my part in being a CPA. None. Zilch. Nada. That left the study of law. I talked to the Dean of the Philosophy School and he was noncommittal and mumbled something about the joys of taking on Locke and the gang. So I talked to the Dean of Psychology and he pointed out the joys of helping people and being a published authority in the field to me. But he knew nothing about the FBI. So I talked to the Dean of English and she said I would be wasting my "talent" by becoming a lawyer.
I avoided the Dean of Accounting and visited with the Law Dean. He told me about the hard work, the fact that very few passed the bar exams on their first or second try, but that I might luck out and pass it the third or fourth time. (I decided then that if that department couldn't teach any better than that, I probably should find a different school or forget it.)
But I gained a lot more respect for FBI Agents. Lots of schooling behind them. These people had smarts galore.
So when I read that the FBI was in Iraq, I was surprised, because I was pretty sure Iraq was not a part of the U.S. And now this showed up in the news:
Who's in charge of phone bills?
The FBI has failed to pay phone bills on time, causing telecommunication firms to temporarily cut off wiretaps used for terrorism investigations, an audit found.
In a review of the FBI's handling of special funds used for secret operations, the Justice Department's inspector general found an archaic payment system that goes through disorganized third-party offices.
A summary of the audit released Thursday noted that a telecommunication specialist pled guilty in June 2006 to stealing more than $25,000 in confidential funds.The audit found that the employee had taken advantage of the FBI's mismanagement of bills to steal money from refund checks, as the agency even has trouble cashing refunds from overpaid bills.
The audit concluded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was particularly bad about paying phone bills by their due date.
One would think that with all the accountants on the payroll, someone would have experience in bill paying and forensic accouting.
I'm kind of glad that I didn't make the choice to join this organization.