Obviously Morgan I am not actually in favor of defrauding customers outright (Just to be perfectly clear). Finally you and I have some common ground here. Absolutely a project that was intended as fraud to begin with is a different story: But the results are the same. Frankly, you can't PROVE that Star Command made legitimate mistakes on their budgeting. Maybe they just wanted to live their dream of going to Pax and have some secret clandestine deal with the lawyer. I don't believe it, of course, but the point is: Mismanagement and fraud are not all that dissimilar and the results are basically the same. As indies we need to be aware of Star Command's mistakes to not repeat them - so once again I point out the importance of this thread, not as a knock against indies or kickstarter, but as an identification of the risks involved with this so called 'free money,'
And once again we find common ground: Not all indies are good at handling their publisher roles. I would say this is the second most common point of failure for indies on these forums. The first being simply not being able to get the game done with the level of polish needed to compete (or not done at all). The good news of that is if Kickstarter helps with the complete+polish phase more focus can be brought to the publishing role.
That said, very, very, few publishers I have worked with have been worthwhile value additions to a game and no worldwide publishing deal I have experienced ended up benefiting the developers more than it cost them. Most of the good ones are for specific tasks or territories with cash paid against royalties and/or a couple are cash paid to complete the product (against royalties).
But obviously you need someone working on promoting the game and securing distribution deals. It can be someone in house (which costs you time) a professional (like me, who costs you money and potentially some royalties) or a publisher (who costs you a royalty amount). Still has to get done and be budgeted!