Sunday, February 11, 2007

More From the News Rack

This month Vanity Fair is running a long exposé piece on SAIC, which they call "the largest government contractor you've never heard of." "Washington's $8 Billion Dollar Shadow" describes how this "nondescript" company has avoided the spotlight that glares at Halliburton and Bechtel in relation to mismanagement and inside deals, despite its similar involvement with fiascoes like the Virtual Case File for the FBI, which "three years and a million lines of garbled code later" is dismissed as a $124 million white elephant. SAIC also apparently botched another costly database project for the NSA called Trailblazer. Reporters Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele recount shenanigans involving the company's Iraqi Media Network and flat-panel cockpit display in which the box that was shown to military bases turned out to be a fake.

Of course, anybody who follows game politics has been aware of the general idiocy of SAIC consultants (and equally embarrassing media illiteracy of elected officials on the Intelligence Committee) for almost a year, after SAIC "experts" paid seven million dollars identified this harmless videogame fan film with a soundtrack from the movie Team America as their prime example of "terrorist use of the Internet." Amazing that we recognize Letters from Iwo Jima as a cinematic artistic achievement but can't imagine a US company making a videogame that allows play from the perspective of the opposing side.

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