Homeland security officials cash in

Lured by high salaries and generous perks, many members of the Bush administration’s homeland security team are quitting their government posts for private sector jobs in the security business.

The New York Times reported Sunday that dozens of members of President Bush’s security team assembled after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are now working for companies that sell security products and services to the government agencies they once helped manage.

“People have a right to make a living,” Clark Kent Ervin, the former inspector general of the Homeland Security Department told the newspaper. “But working virtually immediately for a company that is bidding for work in an area where you were just setting the policy _that is too close. It is almost incestuous.”

The Times found that at least 90 former officials in the department and the White House Office of Homeland Security now work for companies that do billions of dollars worth of business in the homeland security industry.

Loopholes in federal law make it easy for former bureaucrats to quickly capitalize on their government work.