Monday, October 25, 2010
On the State of Department of Defense Account
Winston Wheeler's account of the Pentagon Black Hole at the Huffington Post.
Quite literally, the Department of Defense (DOD) does not know what happens to the money the taxpayers give it. This has been true for decades. The money gets spent; it's gone (they're pretty sure), but the prices DOD paid, when -- if ever -- the purchases were delivered, where everything is now, and a lot more are all quite unknown to the Pentagon. This incomprehensible condition has been documented in hundreds of reports over three decades from both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Department's own Inspector General (DOD IG). The studies are routinely sent to Pentagon managers and Congress. Once or twice a year, there will be a hearing on Capitol Hill; both Republicans and Democrats will declare themselves oh-so shocked; the DOD witnesses will say they are getting close to fixing it; outraged press releases flurry over Washington DC; a few press articles are written, and on very rare occasion, a scapegoat might get fired. Then, everyone goes back to sleep, and nothing happens.