The President can’t seem to find an honest TSA nominee. Harding withdrew his name from consideration over past defense contracts that over billed the government. I am sure someone is trying to pin this to Senator Jim DeMint who placed a hold on Erroll Southers who withdrew after it came to light that he mislead Congress regarding an illegal federal search he conducted.
“This was a great honor, and I felt that I could bring some leadership, vision and intelligence expertise to that position,” he said in a statement. “Ultimately, my goal was to improve the security of our nations transportation systems. However, I feel that the distractions caused by my work as a defense contractor would not be good for this administration nor for the Department of Homeland Security.”
The TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
At a hearing on Wednesday, Harding acknowledged “making mistakes” when a company he formed overbilled the government in 2004.
At issue is a contract that Harding’s company – Harding Security Associates – signed with the Defense Department in early 2004 to provide 40 interrogators and debriefers rapidly in Iraq.
Update- Ex-TSA nominee Harding got Army deal after claiming sleep apnea as disability
The firm owned by the decorated general who withdrew his nomination to lead the Transportation Security Administration had received a consulting contract worth almost $100 million from the Army after certifying he was a “service disabled veteran,” according to documents and interviews with government officials.
The disability he claimed was sleep apnea, a sometimes chronic breathing disorder that disrupts sleep.
Army Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, who became a federal contractor in 2001 after serving at the highest levels of military intelligence, withdrew his name late Friday at the end of a week in which he had been repeatedly questioned about his contracting activities. His withdrawal also came after The Washington Post raised questions with the White House on Friday about his disabilities status.