What, Ernie, Going So Soon?:

A. Ernest Fitzgerald, Pentagon scold and press darling, is retiring in March after 42 years in government service, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Fitzgerald, 79, a Navy veteran and Air Force financial management civilian employee, is perhaps most known for testifying before Congress about cost-overruns on the C-5 airlifter program in 1968. When he became President in 1969, Richard Nixon ordered Fitzgerald fired, which the Air Force did, only to bring him back in 1974 in a lower level position. It took Fitzgerald until 1982 to win a court battle against the Air Force to get back his former job. Over the years, he has, sad to say, become something of a cult hero. Just last October, he received an encomium from Scott Bloch, the head of the US Office of Special Counsel (a federal prosecutorial agency that makes a living out of protecting whistleblowers). Bloch compared Fitzgerald with the likes of Paul Revere and Patrick Henry, deeming him to be a “lamplighter of integrity.”