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News Link • WAR: About that War

Meet the Empire Watchdogs

by Kelley B. Vlahos, September 27, 2011 - This is the first profile in an occasional series about individuals taking on the Goliaths of war from inside the belly of the beast — Washington, D.C.

In Washington, there are those who rattle the sabers, and then there are those who use them. The Project on Government Oversight, or POGO, does both, and according to its Executive Director Danielle Brian, there is no better time than now for the defense budget to be on the receiving end of a sharp sword.

Nearly 30 years old, POGO is an independent watchdog organization that employs attorneys and investigators to identify waste, fraud and abuse in the nation’s capital, and then works to get rid of it. Where the various Goliath industries and their front groups have a phalanx of dark-suited lobbyists maintaining their financial and political interests on Capitol Hill, POGO has its own battle-hardened unit, often working with other watchdogs to provide a counterweight, raising alarms about specific projects, budgets and programs, pushing for greater oversight and transparency, and building contacts in Congress.

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