Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Top Officials Hold Fake Degrees

They are safety engineers at nuclear power plants and biological weapons experts. They work at NATO headquarters, at the Pentagon and at nearly every other federal agency. And, as CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports, they're employees with degrees from phony schools.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles Abell has a master's from Columbus University, a diploma mill Louisiana shut down. Deputy Assistant Secretary Patricia Walker lists among her degrees, a bachelor's from Pacific Western, a diploma mill banned in Oregon and under investigation in Hawaii.

This story isn't as alarming as it would seem on the surface. At least some of the public servants with these degrees have other, much more important qualifications. Charles Abell, for example, seems to have a lot more going for him than his diploma from Columbus Printing Press. Then again, Abell was appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, so it makes sense that he experienced and meets the needs of his job. One wonders though if others further down the line, who still do important work, recieved less scrutiny and may not have the right training.


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