I live and work in Washington D.C. I'm 25 and I've worked in the DC non-profit world my entire professional life. While much can be said about the pros and cons of working in such a field, in my opinion the best part is working for an organization with a mission you can believe in. So I'd like to use this space to share some information about the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).
Lewis Black called POGO "the most ass-kicking, name-taking, bunch of goodie-two-shoes, good government types in America."
POGO is a nonpartisan, independent watchdog that champions good government reform in the U.S. We work with whistleblowers, government insiders and the Congress to expose problems and explore solutions. For 35 years POGO has investigated corruption, waste, and misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable and ethical federal government. We work on all kinds of issues, from wasteful spending in the defense department, to conflicts of interest on Wall Street, to faulty medical devices approved by the FDA, to whistleblower retaliation in the VA and much more.
I wanted to talk about POGO here because I often feel like it's hard not to see a big old cloud of doom over the capitol these days. Frustration with the U.S. Congress is at all time high and many Americans feel like they're not being heard. But there are still people and organizations that devote themselves to fixing these seemingly insurmountable problems. And they have not been without their successes.
I don't want to end this on a downer so here are a few fun facts I've learned during my time as a nuclear security investigator at POGO:
The world's largest nuclear stockpile is guarded, in part, by over 80 military dolphins trained by the U.S. Navy. Also around 50 sea lions.
There are 92 known cases of nuclear bombs lost at sea.
In 1962 a U.S. B-52 bomber accidentally dropped two hydrogen bombs on North Carolina. One of the bombs went through all of the arming stages except one, and it is only because one switch wasn't switched that there wasn't a full scale thermonuclear explosion in NC.
Thank-you to everyone for reading this and to the Listserve for this very cool platform. Check out POGO's website if you want to know more about what we do and check out Eric Schlosser's book Command and Control for more fun stories of near nuclear disasters.