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The Nation

President Reagan, hit by controversy over reports of Pentagon purchases of $426 claw hammers and $7,000 coffee-makers, asked a former secretary of defense in the Richard M. Nixon Administration to head a panel to help ferret out waste and fraud in Defense Department contracts. Reagan’s decision to appoint David Packard to head the commission came under immediate criticism on Capitol Hill, where it was denounced as a sham and “an admission of incompetence” on the part of Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger.


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