At a State Department townhall conducted by Secretary Clinton, a staffer asked why Internet Explorer is mandated, even though Firefox is security-approved for the "entire intelligence community." The answer? A whole lot of bullshit, especially the insane citing of "expense."

Internet Explorer isn't mandated in every governmental department, and Firefox has been vetted and cleared as just as secure as IE (duh), so it's a legitimate question: Why not use the faster, safer, more customizable and more reliable browser? Clinton has no idea why Firefox is barred, which is totally fine with us—we really are happy she's spending her time on other things.

But Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy chimes in that it's "an expense question," at which point he is promptly and rightfully shouted down that Firefox is free, for god's sake. He goes into a lot of nonsense about "patches" and how even things that are free aren't really free, which sounds to us like a lame attempt to explain away his first answer—he probably didn't know Firefox was free when he cited expense in the first place. If Firefox has already been implemented in other sectors of government, it stands to reason that it could be adopted by the State Department fairly easily and quickly, and with minimal expense.

The rest of both his and Secretary Clinton's answer is mostly impenetrable, metaphor-laden government-speak about cutting costs that, sorry guys, isn't going to make us forget that you just claimed a free and vastly superior program, one that's already in wide use in other sectors of government, is too expensive to implement.

Pat Kennedy, you're officially on my bad side. [State Department via Switched]