In 2002, the National Security Agency (NSA) hired Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) "to help it build a state-of-the-art tool for plucking key threats to the nation from a worldwide sea of digital communication," in a project code-named "Trailblazer." More than three years later, the project has yet to get off the ground, but has cost taxpayers $1.2 billion. This isn’t the first time SAIC has been paid high dollars by the federal government for unfinished business. SAIC received seven no-bid contracts for Iraq, including an $82 million no-bid contract to run the country’s first post-Saddam TV network, even though the company had no broadcast experience. A surprise government visit found that while the work had not happened, SAIC had been paid anyway. Lucky for SAIC, it has friends in high places. Adm. William Owens, for example, went from SAIC president and CEO to a Secretary Rumsfeld’s Defense Policy Board. Christopher Henry, former senior vice president at SAIC, became a key aide to Douglas Feith, who supervised contract work done by SAIC in Iraq.
Good work if you can get it.