The move, announced Monday by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, made no mention of the fate of Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, the current MDA director, who was sharply criticized in a May 2 inspector general’s report for having an abusive management style.
We reported July 24 that Syring, the program executive officer for Integrated Warfare Systems, was under consideration for the job.
With the Senate in recess until early September, it was not immediately clear whether the White House might put Syring in the directorship on an acting basis.
The Pentagon inspector general found that O’Reilly, in the job since November 2008, had bullied and “yelled and screamed at subordinates in both public and private settings,” and had violated Pentagon ethics regulations.
“We recommend the Secretary of the Army consider appropriate corrective action with regard to Lt. Gen. O’Reilly,” the three-month-old report concluded.
A beeline for the exit
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton knows a thing or two about creating a buzz and getting stung by the media.
But those metaphors became a bit more real Monday when Clinton’s trip to Malawi reportedly ended with a hastened goodbye prompted by a swarm of bees.
Local media outlets reported “a mini panic at the international airport after bees thronged the area.” A witness told the Nyasa Times that people “scampered” in all directions to avoid the critters and that Clinton made haste to board the plane to avoid them.
But a State Department spokeswoman played down Clinton’s reported brush with the dangerous insects. “No panic or fleeing at all,” spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told Buzzfeed. Just “normal bees.”
And our colleague Anne Gearan, who was traveling in the motorcade behind Clinton, confirms that the tales of swarms of killer bees are highly exaggerated. Some bees were on the tarmac, but “no one was ever in any danger,” she assured us.
Still, just to be on the safe side, Clinton — who is on an 11-day tour of Africa and stopped in Malawi to meet with the country’s first female president — might want to rethink any bees-with-honey diplomacy.
From bad to worse
It seems that what happens in the Maryland suburbs doesn’t stay in the Maryland suburbs.
A Food and Drug Administration official’s arrest in Laurel on charges of soliciting a prostitute has one watchdog group questioning his work for the agency. Last month, William Maisel, deputy director at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, was arrested on four counts of soliciting a prostitute and one count of disorderly conduct. He’s facing a Sept. 20 trial.
That would be bad enough.
But now things are getting really ugly. The National Whistleblower Center, which was already unhappy with the FDA, is using the arrest to ask whether Maisel’s alleged crimes might have affected his work — particularly his involvement in a scandal in which FDA officials spied on agency scientists who had expressed concerns about the safety of medical devices.