Matt Taibbi finally makes sense of the Pentagon's trillions in off-books "budgetary irregularities"

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Totally off topic, but what the hell.


How fortunate that the system for auditing the system that is unauditable is not also unauditable.


So basically it’s totally fucked up, the audits they’ve created to try and un-fuck it up are also fucked up and are now as much of a problem as the original problem, and there is probably no fucking way to fix it?

U S A . . . U S A. . . U S A!!!



Add to this that we are not allowed to criticize the state or direction of our forces without being called traitors, and you have a perfect system for those with contacts or in power to make incredible amounts of money.


Of course not! Why do you hate our brave troops? Why?


This is one of the best pieces I’ve read in so long. Thanks for posting @doctorow.


Agreed, excellent writeup, similar to his article on Goldman Sachs.
The really sad part is that this is also true for probably almost any government institution: local, state or federal.

And yet both left and right parties just want us to keep shoveling more money into the flaming void. Question the money given to the military? You’re unpatriotic!!! Question the money given to social programs? You want children to starve in the streets!!!

And freedom, why do you hate freedom? It’s not free, you know.


You know what’s messed up? All that money’s flying around, and I have guys on the ground in Afghanistan ordering 100 mph tape and parachute cord from me through Amazon with their personal credit cards. They literally cannot get the basic tools of the trade supplied to them in a timely manner.


Related, through a historical lens…

I don’t have time to dive in yet, but I know there are fellow BBers who might appreciate this.


Let’s not forget that Trump’s new proposed budget would give the military even more money than they actually requested. He’s the Italian grandmother of military budgets, insisting that they’re wasting away and serving them seconds even after they’ve started pleading they couldn’t eat another bite and have in fact have been slipping extra meatballs to the dog under the table.


Does anybody know why does Matt Taibbi uses the name “Mark Ruffalo” in those Avengers movies?

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That’s somewhat misleading. It was the trigger mechanisms that were sent, not the warheads. (The nose cone of the rocket contains the reentry vehicles, each of which has a warhead. The nose cone of the reentry vehicle, called the forward section, is just a trigger.) FWIW.


False equivalence. In my experience social program funding is extremely tightly monitored, constantly under threat of cuts, and tracked to the last penny. Any hint of unspent money (or even just inadequately successful programs) and the axes come out immediately.

Two very different circumstances, and it is not particularly productive to throw them both into the same ‘waste’ basket.


Agree with @rocketpj that this is a false equivalence. I haven’t seen any examples of unaccountable/wasteful spending on social programs that comes anywhere within a couple orders of magnitude of what we spend on the military, nor can I recall the last time a President proposed a spending budget that would give those social programs more money than the people running them asked for.


I’m not an accountant by any stretch of the imagination, but rather than trying to audit the Pentagon wouldn’t it be easier to audit the companies that have supplied the Pentagon to determine whats been sold to the Pentagon and how much was paid for it?
There are two sides to an equation and you can arrive at an answer working from either end.

But you can’t really do that until you’re confident you have a complete list of companies that have supplied the Pentagon, so either way you need the initial audit.