I think it was the late U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen, from Illinois, who once quipped that "a billion here, and a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking some serious money." Of course, Senator Dirksen was talking in the 1960s, and adjusting for inflation, reckless federal spending, fiat debt-as-money, central banks, hidden systems of finance, and a budgetary process that isn't anywhere close to constitutionality, coupled with a corrupt federal judiciary that says that it is, and one would have to elevate the late Senator's remarks by several orders of magnitude, three, in fact, if the following story from Reuters which appeared during the election cycle last year, shared by Ms. K.M., is true. And frankly, I have no difficulty whatsoever believing it's true. In fact, if you've been following the various people who've been attempting to track all that "missing money" over the years - think of Congressman Grayson (D-FL) or Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), or Catherine Austin Fitts, or more recently, Dr. Carson at the Department of Housing and Urban Development - there's a lot of missing money, and virtually no way to account for it.
Well, now the U.S. Army, according to this 2016 Reuters article, seems to have misplaced a few trillion:
There's so much here one doesn't know where, really, to begin. So consider the opening two paragraphs:
The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.
The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up. (Emphasis added)
Yes. That's right. In 2015, the US Army made false adjustments of $6.5 trillion dollars, and cannot show any receipts or invoices to support those numbers. But wait, there's more, because as a result of this lack of "invoices and receipts", no one knows exactly where all this money is really going.
“Where is the money going? Nobody knows,” said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon and critic of Defense Department planning.
Well, we do know in part where it's going: it's going for expensive fighter project boondoggles like the F-35 or for warships that require to be hauled back to the USA for repairs of their sensitive systems on rented Norwegian freighters. Think about that one for a moment and imagine the operational risks. It's rather like the Royal Navy saying during World War Two that the battleship King George V contained such "sensitive stuff"(and it did, for the time) that if it became damaged far from British home waters, it would have to rent a Swedish freighter to haul it back to Portsmouth for repairs, running the risk of u-boat attacks and the tender attentions of the Luftwaffe. If systems are that sensitive, are they really operationally feasible?
I submit this is a national security issue, and during a time frame that has seen weird ramming events of US naval warships, it's a significant one. If the Army cannot account for where all that money went because of missing receipts and invoices, what about the other service branches? What, exactly, is the US taxpayer getting for all that missing money, besides very expensive systems that, if you followed my multi-part blog about the navy incidents earlier this week, either do not work, or that have been somehow compromised? What are we getting? Well, no one knows exactly, because there are no receipts and invoices!
It's those missing receipts and invoices that "get" me. What are the big defense contractors doing with all that money? One might speculate and say that the receipts and invoices are there, but they're for such deeply classified black projects, that they appear not to be. But that still leaves open the question, what are those companies doing with all that money? What are they really developing? The only other interpretive option here is plain and simple fraud, and the reality is probably some combination of both.
And that raises the issue of budget transparency to the status of a national security issue. More transparency is essential, because without it, we're going to have more incidents like the Donald Cook, the Fitzgerald, and the McCain.
See you on the flip side...