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Mother Courage and her Infuseion
June 16, 2009 1:18 PM   Subscribe

The Medill School of Journalism's Washington Program revealed its Pentagon Travel project last week (multimedia). Most privately paid for travel was found to be within the bounds of federal law, but some still show a clear conflict of interest. Key findings: From 1998 through 2007, sources outside the federal government paid for more than 22,000 trips worth at least $26 million. The medical industry paid for more travel than any other outside interest — more than $10 million for some 8,700 trips, or about 40 percent of all outside sponsored travel. Among the targets: military pharmacists, doctors, and others who administer the Pentagon’s $6 billion-plus annual budget for prescription drugs. Medill acquired 10 years worth of trip data and partnered with the Center for Public Integrity to form a searchable database which includes destination, date, sponsor, sponsor nationality, cost of trip or agency.
posted by Smedleyman (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow - kudos to the school for supporting some good investigative research, and for making this information available in the searchable database.

They should work on their support of print-friendly displays, though it might be just a fight between Firefox, NoScript and Flash. But why would a flash display need to be involved in a print display? But I digress.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:27 PM on June 16, 2009


This is some cool stuff here, and I hope some good stuff comes from people poking around inside the database. There are almost undoubtedly some smoking guns in there.
posted by barnacles at 10:45 PM on June 16, 2009


The medical thing is something I find not so clear. Easy to cry fowl, but what about legitimate reasons? Manufacturers make new surgical tools, artificial body parts, and drugs, all the time. If they have new stuff to show off for handling the battle wounded, why shouldn't they pay for such trips? Ultimately, the question isn't about who pays for trips, but whether buying decisions are based on the facts, rather than the frills.

This is about stuff that saves lives of our military people. Innovation takes place all the time. Do you want some body to loose a life or limb, because the military buying people didn't know about some new tool that would have saved them? Or they heard about it, but didn't appreciate why it was special?
posted by Goofyy at 7:32 AM on June 17, 2009


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