Hastening the transition to fabulous wealth

In Jan. 26, 2015, the U.S. Agency for International Development suspended the non-profit company that ran a Cuba program called “Hastening the Transition to Democracy.” International Relief & Development, or IRD, had received at least $3.5 million for Cuba projects from September 2011 to September 2014. USAID accused IRD of reckless spending and mismanaging contracts, … Read more

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Not quite as secret

The U.S. government spends so much money that it’s difficult to comprehend. I create interactive graphics to make it easier to follow the money. My sense is that U.S. agencies that manage Cuba projects are more transparent than they were in around 2009 when I first started looking at these projects. Agencies still shield some … Read more

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Boom goes the Internet

The State Department has awarded at least $1,591,848 to a company called Advanced C4 Solutions Inc., or AC4S. But the contract has nothing to do with C-4, the plastic explosive. It’s linked to another kind of C4: Command, control, communications and computers. Spending records give few details about the contract. The company’s name is redacted … Read more

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U.S. agency fends off “drive-by” malware

The Broadcasting Board of Governors endured “drive-by” malware in 2015 that may have been linked to “a malicious Russian advertising site,” an internal memo shows. Drive-by malware is common. Merely visiting a malicious site – mail-order bride from Russia, anyone? – can infect your computer. The May 20, 2015, memo stated: The Agency received no … Read more

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A failure to communicate

The State Department did a poor job getting out the word of complaints that more than 20 U.S. embassy personnel and their family members in Havana had suffered “medical injuries similar to mild traumatic brain injury or concussion,” the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported. More effective communication is important, the GAO said, because it can … Read more

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