Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Misplaced American National Priorities: Fraud in the Department of Defense

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Department of Defense is a bloated organization, rife with fraud, waste and abuse.

Even then-Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Donald Rumsfeld remarked on Monday, September 10, 2001, that, According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. … We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion. Fully half of our resources go to infrastructure and overhead, and in addition to draining resources from warfighting, these costly and outdated systems, procedures and programs stifle innovation as well.”
ref: http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430

More recently, on December 21, 2010, the Governmental Accountability Office wrote that they “cannot render an opinion on the 2010 consolidated financial statements of the federal government, because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations.”
ref: http://www.gao.gov/press/financial_report_2010dec21.html

In his capacity as Acting Comptroller of the United States, Gene Dodaro wrote that, “(1) serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense (DOD) that have prevented DOD’s financial statements from being auditable, (2) the federal government’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and (3) the federal government’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements.”
ref: http://www.gao.gov/financial/fy2010/10gao1.pdf

Included in that scathing report of fiscal recklessness and laziness were “material weaknesses involving an estimated $125.4 billion in improper payments, information security across government, and tax collection activities,” which were rife in “three major agencies— DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Labor— did not get clean opinions. Nineteen of 24 major agencies did get clean opinions on all their statements.”
ref: http://www.gao.gov/press/financial_report_2010dec21.html
ref: http://www.gao.gov/financial/fy2010/10gao1.pdf

No entrepreneur, accountant, fiscal analyst, businessman or Chief Financial Officer in their right mind would tolerate what has been allowed to happen with it. Consider the F-35 Lightning II aircraft as a case in point.

At a cost now exceeding $400,000,000,000 ($400 Billion – that’s very nearly 1/2 Trillion), it is by far, THE most costly program EVER to have emerged from the DoD. Among the numerous reasons why it is THE most expensive program ever, are carelessness, recklessness, cost overruns, time delays, promises made but not kept, have all contributed to the extra expense. In other words, “Incompetency and Lies.”

Here’s what Bloomberg Financial/Business News wrote about the F-35 on February 22, 2013: “The Lockheed Martin Corp. aircraft has been plagued by a costly redesign, bulkhead cracks, too much weight, and delays to essential software that have helped put it seven years behind schedule and 70 percent over its initial cost estimate. At almost $400 billion, it’s the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history.”
ref: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-22/flawed-f-35-fighter-too-big-to-kill-as-lockheed-hooks-45-states.html

Let’s put that in perspective.

The 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development wrote that “In January 2013, 610,042 people were homeless on a given night. Most (65%) were living in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs and 35 percent were living in unsheltered locations.”
ref: https://www.onecpd.info/resources/documents/ahar-2013-part1.pdf (Key findings, page 1)

$400,000,000,000 / 610,042 = $655,692.55

With that money, we could have built a $600+ house for EVERY homeless person in the United States. In most areas in our nation, a house of that cost is considered a “McMansion.”

The Census Bureau wrote that “The median sales price of new houses sold in December 2013 was $270,200; the average sales price was $311,400.”
ref: http://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/newressales_201312.pdf

In other words, with $400 Billion, we could have built houses that are TWICE the cost of the national average for EVERY homeless person in the United States, and STILL had money left over!

In his farewell address January 17, 1961, then-president Dwight David Eisenhower (whom was the Supreme Allied Commander during World War II, and later, two-term Republican president) described, and warned us saying, “The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
ref: http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/farewell_address/Reading_Copy.pdf
See also: http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/farewell_address.html

There’s a saying which states, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
ref: http://biblehub.com/1_timothy/5-8.htm

Kinda’ makes you think, doesn’t it?

What ~ARE~ our priorities?

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