In 2009, the Department of Energy loaned $535 million in taxpayer money to Solyndra LLC, a solar panel manufacturer and former flagship for green energy. After running into major financial problems in late 2010, the company filed for bankruptcy this September. So how does such an unstable company receive over half a billion dollars from the federal government? As the story unfolds, it’s looking more and more like the Obama administration knew the risks associated with Solyndra and yet, still pushed the loan through with devious intentions.

In front of a congressional committee, Solyndra executives refused to testify and pled the Fifth Amendment. You don’t plead the Fifth if you’ve done nothing nefarious; you only invoke that right to avoid incriminating yourself. There is clearly something sinister going on here.

The Los Angeles Times now reports that even Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the poster boy for incompetence in this administration, expressed concern over awarding loans to companies like Solyndra.

The Times discovered an internal battle between key administration officials over whether the loan program for green energy initiatives was too risky. A now- public internal memo showed that Geithner, along with Chief Economic Advisor Larry Summers and Chief of Staff to the Vice President Ron Klain warned that these loan guarantees needed a more stringent review. They even predicted that Solyndra would run out of capital in September 2011, which turned out to be correct.

In January 2009 Solyndra was denied a loan by officials from the Bush administration as the Department of Energy’s credit committee voted unanimously against the loan. Sometime after the Obama administration took over the loan was miraculously reconsidered and approved. They have now committed over $17 billion in loan guarantees to 30 companies working on renewable energy. There is no telling whether those other loans were properly vetted.

In another revelation, a Washington Post investigation has found emails from the White House indicating that Obama’s political operatives rushed federal reviewers in order to hurry a photo op for Vice President Biden at the company’s new factory.

ABC News reports that despite the administration’s knowledge that Solyndra was heading towards bankruptcy, they continued to say that the company was doing well until the day they declared bankruptcy. Shamefully, they agreed to restructure the loan so that the first, and probably only, $75 million in repayments would go to private investors, not taxpayers. The biggest recipient of that loan repayment? George Kaiser, a major Obama fundraiser.

The Obama administration either desperately wants green energy to be viable or they are engaging in pay-to-play crony capitalism. As a result they were willing to gamble away $535 million of your money on a risky venture out of neglect, incompetence or to pay back political favors. Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Prepare for more revelations to snowball in the coming weeks and months.
If the administration is shown to have been complicit in illegal activity, then the scandal could rock the upper echelons of our federal government.

Let the Watergate comparisons begin.