$8.5 Trillion Missing from Pentagon Budget

Reuters investigation reveals a missing $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money had been doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996 that has never been accounted for.

Story below source: Crooks & Liars

Yahoo Money’ The Daily Ticker  quoting a Reuters investigation that reveals that $8.5 trillion – that’s trillion with a “T” – in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996 that has never been accounted for.

You read that right. While Republican politicians  rush to slash food stamps for the 47 million Americans living in poverty – the highest amount in nearly two decades –  Republican U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has the audacity to complain that $20 billion dollars in automatic sequester cuts to the massive and secretive $565.8 billion Defense Department budget are “ too steep, too deep, and too abrupt,” all while the Pentagon and the Defense Department are overseeing massive fraud, waste, and abuse.

For anyone wondering, Reuters reports that the D.O.D.’s 2012 budget totaled $565.8 billion, more than the annual defense budgets of the 10 next largest military spenders combined, including Russia and China.

In an interview, Linda Woodford, an employee at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service – the Pentagon’s main accounting agency – reveals to Reuters that she spent the last 15 years of her career simply “plugging in” false numbers every month to balance the books;

“A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate. We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.”

In the REAL WORLD, that would be called MASSIVE FRAUD.

Woodford’s involvement in the fraud doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. The report also reveals that “a single DFAS office in Columbus, Ohio, made at least $1.59 trillion – yes, trillion – in errors,  including $538 billion in plugs, in financial reports for the Air Force in 2009.”

Yahoo Finance lists some additional findings, including;

    • The DOD has amassed a backlog of more than $500 billion in unaudited contracts with outside vendors. How much of that money paid for actual goods and services delivered isn’t known.
    • Over the past 10 years the DOD has signed contracts for provisions of more than $3 trillion in goods and services. How much of that money is wasted in overpayments to contractors, or was never spent and never remitted to the Treasury is a mystery.
    • The Pentagon uses a standard operating procedure to enter false numbers, or “plugs,” to cover lost or missing information in their accounting in order to submit a balanced budget to the Treasury. In 2012, the Pentagon reported $9.22 billion in these reconciling amounts. That was up from $7.41 billion the year before.

Recommended Book:

Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles, this is a thorough, astonishing expose of the “Black Budget“–a 36-billion-dollar cache used by the Pentagon to fund its own agenda of top-secret weapons and wars.

In this book based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles for the Philadelphia Inquirer , journalist Weiner probes the way the Pentagon has used secret budgets to fund huge military programs. This has grown to the point that there are now more than 100 multimillion- and multibillion-dollar weapons systems, many of them nuclear weapons designed to fight and win World Wars III and IV, built without the awareness of the public or even the Congress. Weiner takes a close look at programs such as the Stealth bomber and provides fascinating detail from Congressional testimony. The thesis of the book–that secrecy in government military programs is antithetical to democracy–is well documented and hugely important. As the Cold War draws to a close and military budgets come under attack, the public and Congress may tend to forget the defense establishment’s inclination toward secrecy and self-perpetuation. Weiner’s book serves as a timely reminder that this would be unwise. Highly recommended. – Jennifer Scarlott, World Policy Inst., New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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