Describes Agency “Crippled by Nightmarish Bureaucracy”
Washington, DC – Capt Aaron Mercer, former US Air Force pilot and recently discharged member of X-Com, was today called before the Senate Defense subcommittee to testify concerning his allegations about chronic mismanagement at the troubled international UFO defense agency.
Committee members reacted with outrage as he described an organization whose many failures and budget overruns could be attributed to a broken command structure where individual teams and departments are denied the authority to act on anything without explicit orders.
Capt Mercer became emotional as he elaborated the problems. “We had a team of forty scientists who could do nothing until someone upstairs sent down a command. Often, the leadership’s concerns would be tied up elsewhere and we’d have like four dozen of the world’s top minds sitting on there hands doing nothing while a warehouse filled with recovered alien artifacts just sat there just down the hall.”
He also claims this culture of strict control also extended to military operations in the field. “They’d send out soldiers who just arrived from boot camp. Men and women who’ve never been in combat and the first time they’re in a firefight it’s against Chryssalids! Even the veterans are afraid to do anything until they’ve been given specific orders from HQ! Rookies have even been ordered to keep a primed grenade in one hand in case they panic, the idea being that they’ll at least do some damage when they do. It’s not a surprise we have such a morale problem…”
The Senators on the panel spent hours grilling Capt Mercer about the highly publicized budget problems, learning how the agency’s attempt to expand too rapidly has resulted in multiple, half-finished bases around the world, tying up a large portion of the budget and threatening the agency’s ability to defend against future attacks. Ill-conceived orders given to interceptor pilots have also resulted in the loss of numerous fighter jets.
After eight hours of testimony the committee adjourned for the evening. Plans are already in the works to call X-Com’s mysterious commander before the congress to answer these allegations, though the international treaties surrounding X-Com’s creation confuse the issues of legal accountability. The Government Accountability Office is preparing its own report on X-Com and announced it will be released publicly next week.
In the mean time, Capt Mercer has been asked to remain in Washington for the foreseeable future, should the committee have any further questions. He has already become something of a national celebrity with many television interviews scheduled for the next month and a rumored book deal in the works.