The Nation article on the Pentagon’s massive fraud and waste

See The Nation article Exclusive: The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed: How US military spending keeps rising even as the Pentagon flunks its audit. or download and listen to this audio Inside the Pentagon: First-Ever Audit Exposes Massive Accounting Fraud.

For exampe:

[T]here were no ledger entries or receipts to back up how that $6.5 trillion supposedly was spent. Indeed, more than 16,000 records that might reveal either the source or the destination of some of that $6.5 trillion had been “removed,” the inspector general’s office reported.

“In all, at least a mind-boggling $21 trillion of Pentagon financial transactions between 1998 and 2015 could not be traced, documented, or explained, concluded Skidmore. ”

As one congressional staffer with long experience investigating Pentagon budgets, speaking on background because of the need to continue working with DoD officials, told The Nation, “We don’t know how the Pentagon’s money is being spent. We know what the total appropriated funding is for each year, but we don’t know how much of that funding gets spent on the intended programs, what things actually cost, whether payments are going to the proper accounts. If this kind of stuff were happening in the private sector, people would be fired and prosecuted.”

“The absurdly huge plugs never even get asked about at Armed Services and Budget Committee hearings. ”

I wonder what Rep. Adam Smith will do about this. He’s the incoming chair of the House Armed Services Committee.  At recent debates and town hall meetings he often mentioned the upcoming audit (and wistfully hoped it would actually happen).

Related article: America’s Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost $5.9 Trillion “Not to mention 240,000 civilian deaths and 21 million displaced. And yet a congressional commission is urging yet more money for a bloated Pentagon.”

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