This was another one of those stories that my email inbox was flooded with this week, and it's a doozie. The Pentagram...er... the Pentagon, has failed its first audit. Let me repeat that: FAILED its first audit. So, thank you to all of you who noticed this story and passed it along, because as one might imagine, I have my own end-of-the-twig high octane speculation to advance on it:
Now, reading all this, I suspect one might have the same reaction that I had: I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both, with the meter tipped at first ever so slightly on the laughter side of things, until it became hysterical humor. For one thing, they spent an awful lot of money (from the third article), on this audit:
One figure that is available: the audit itself cost $413 million, which the department notes is roughly 1/30 of one percent of the Pentagon’s overall budget. In addition, $406 million was spend on addressing issues found by the department, with another $153 million on “financial system fixes,” per a DoD factsheet — a total in FY18 of $972 million.
Yes, that's right, the audit itself cost $413 million, with a mere $153 million spent on various "fixes", and another $406 spent on "issues." Isn't that nice? They spent on "fixes" and "issues," and the total cost of the audit, and its "issues" and "fixes" was nearly a billion dollars. I don't know about you, but I'm glad these people aren't preparing my taxes; my tax lady is much better at this, and she doesn't cost me $413 million dollars either.
But wait, there's more: they spent all this money on an audit that they knew ahead of time would be a failure (leaving aside the all important question of how and why did they know that ahead of time? The fix was in? Falling SAT scores for the Joint Chiefs of Staff? The sensitivity training was failing? The trans-gendered bathrooms on the aircraft carriers that don't work don't work?):
“We never thought we were going to pass an audit, right? Everyone was betting against us that we wouldn’t even do the audit,” Shanahan told reporters Thursday at the Pentagon.
“Some of the compliance issues are irritating to me because the point of the audit is to drive better discipline in our compliance with our management systems and our procedures,” he added. “Some of those things frustrated me because we have a job to do and just have to follow our procedures.”
Among those issues are what Shanahan called “inventory accuracy,” or issues where the central database at the Pentagon identified inventory that simply wasn’t there in the real world. He also hit on the need to be “better” at cybersecurity compliance and discipline. (Emphasis added)
Ok... so the really important thing is, "at least we tried, huh? Can we get 'high fives' for at least trying? After all, it's the process, not the result, that's important." Well, hear hear: give the Pentagram a trophy for at least "participating." It's all the rage these days, and if elementary schools in Amairkuhn quackademia can do it, why not the Pentagram?
But the real clincher is that one of the "issues" that they spent $406 million on was the fact that apparently the Pentagram has been buying inventory that doesn't show up... anywhere. Hooray... no national security problem there, folks: we can outfit 20 armored divisions and 30 wings of fighters and bombers, on paper at least.
Now, if you're like me, and you've been following all this "missing money", the needle on your Suspicion Meter is in the red zone, and if you've purchased your Shriek-o-Meter from Catherine Austin Fitts' Solari site, the Shriek-o-meter has passed the Screaming-Hair-pulling mark, and is headed toward the Babbling Lunacy mark. Either way, both meters are detecting pure steaming piles of cow puckey.
Now, as one might expect, I have some high octane speculation to advance in this respect: First, I suspect that today's "inventory that isn't there" is yesterday's thirty thousand dollar toilet seat and fifteen thousand dollar wrench. One can only launder so much money with toilet seats and wrenches. It's much easier to launder money for much more expensive toys that one doesn't even have to build, and all the corporations, lobbyists, and other cutouts can take their share of the management fees and commissions along the way. But secondly, I strongly suspect that the "inventory" isn't missing at all, it's just been intentionally mislabeled. In other words, the inventory exists, but it's a very different inventory than what appears on the balance sheets. That would go to things like Secret Space Programs, covert operations, a little off-planet tithe or tribute here and there, and a little into that other phenomenon I've been rattling about for a few years: a completely hidden system of finance.
So in a way, the audit didn't fail at all. It just confirmed what we already suspected, and added yet another data point to the mix.
See you on the flip side...