Rumsfeld Says 2.3 Trillion Dollars Missing

Discussion in 'Politics' started by trader556, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. THE WAR ON WASTE - Rumsfeld Says 2.3 Trillion Dollars Missing
    CBS News ^ | January 29, 2002 | By Vince Gonzales


    Defense Department Cannot Account For 25% Of Funds — $2.3 Trillion

    On Sept. 10, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared war. Not on foreign terrorists, "the adversary's closer to home. It's the Pentagon bureaucracy," he said.

    He said money wasted by the military poses a serious threat.

    "In fact, it could be said it's a matter of life and death," he said.

    Rumsfeld promised change but the next day – Sept. 11-- the world changed and in the rush to fund the war on terrorism, the war on waste seems to have been forgotten.

    Just last week President Bush announced, "my 2003 budget calls for more than $48 billion in new defense spending."

    More money for the Pentagon, CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports, while its own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends.

    "According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions," Rumsfeld admitted.

    $2.3 trillion — that's $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America. To understand how the Pentagon can lose track of trillions, consider the case of one military accountant who tried to find out what happened to a mere $300 million.

    "We know it's gone. But we don't know what they spent it on," said Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

    Minnery, a former Marine turned whistle-blower, is risking his job by speaking out for the first time about the millions he noticed were missing from one defense agency's balance sheets. Minnery tried to follow the money trail, even crisscrossing the country looking for records.

    "The director looked at me and said 'Why do you care about this stuff?' It took me aback, you know? My supervisor asking me why I care about doing a good job," said Minnery.

    He was reassigned and says officials then covered up the problem by just writing it off.

    "They have to cover it up," he said. "That's where the corruption comes in. They have to cover up the fact that they can't do the job."

    The Pentagon's Inspector General "partially substantiated" several of Minnery's allegations but could not prove officials tried "to manipulate the financial statements."

    Twenty years ago, Department of Defense Analyst Franklin C. Spinney made headlines exposing what he calls the "accounting games." He's still there, and although he does not speak for the Pentagon, he believes the problem has gotten worse.

    "Those numbers are pie in the sky. The books are cooked routinely year after year," he said.

    Another critic of Pentagon waste, Retired Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, commanded the Navy's 2nd Fleet the first time Donald Rumsfeld served as Defense Secretary, in 1976.

    In his opinion, "With good financial oversight we could find $48 billion in loose change in that building, without having to hit the taxpayers."

    ©MMII, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    1.1 Trillion Dollars Missing At Defense Department url

    3,400,000,000,000(Trillion) of Taxpayers' Money Is Missing url

    Federal Government and Congress To Lower Boom On Enron - Criminal, Fraud, Waste, Accounting Methods url


    Enron has 42 contracts with the federal Government, including the supply of chemicals to the Pentagon. "Arthur Andersen" has 64 contracts covering a range of consulting services. url

    "How do we know we need $48 billion since we don't know what we're spending and what we're buying?"
    Retired Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan

    Our tax dollars at full work.....
    Enronomics works well...
    not to mention the probe and congressional investigation into this... what a bunch of crooks

    hmmm moderators, would this be good for the Economics forum?
  2. *sigh* more liberal garbage from the seditious liberal press, digging up ancient history out of irrational hatred for the US.

    what about all the trillions that *didn't* disappear, that instead built the most effective bombs ever to blow childrens' arms off? what about the billions that let perle and wolfowitz work their magic, shutting down the Rape Rooms (tm) and giving the iraqis freedom and prosperity?

    the press should concern itself with France and the Dixie Chicks and stop helping the enemy with all this unpatriotic screeching - let the real men worry about how to spend the taxpayer's money.
  3. huh????

    Where do you see a call about dismantling the military?

    Do you know if this money are part of our govt's figures on national debt? deficits? is it swept under the rag?
    Maybe it does belong in the Economics Forum. This is a huge amount of money "mishandled" and it DOES effect all of our economic lives to a certain extend.. $8000 per taxpayer...

  4. Where do you begin to follow the losses?

  5. hmmm ..qurious.. why did you delete your whole previous post?

    Senior Member

    Registered: Aug 2002
    Posts: 432

    10-24-03 06:22 PM
    A bad idea...
    to pose this as a question for the Economics forum, this is an ethics question. Each one of us must bear part of the burden for military waste, imo. Those in the military are willing to make a sacrifice that this Nation might remain an encouragement to the other peoples on this globe.

    Admittedly, I have a soft spot in my heart for the military, as I was a part of it, as both an enlisted man and as an officer; however, the demand the Nation places on these courageous men and women is to die so that the Nation might continue. By civilian standards, they have a limited opportunity for advancement in economic status.

    Much of what I have read about 'lucrative military contracts' talks about the waste and corruption. Please note, we have the best-trained and equipped and the best compensated and disciplined force of "Guardians" anywhere. Would you trust their supply and their leadership to anyone who has no appreciation for and has made no sacrifice for the good of this Nation?

    You can argue that it is not 'right' to turn a blind eye in this direction. That is fair. Just where do you begin to relieve people of their commands and fire them for negligence or worse? Start with Generals? Begin with the Privates? Who is to replace them?

    I applaud your courage in calling attention to this problem. But dismantling the defense structure is no way to hold out HOPE for the oppressed of this world.

    After Adam and Eve had eaten of the Apple they discovered that their living was to be extracted at the cost of their efforts. That truth hasn't changed. If we, as a race, want to continue on this planet, we must strive using our best efforts to take care of what we have been given.

    I just do not believe we can exchange a more or less *temporary* feeling of having ridded the military of corruption with a much more serious problem of exposing our Nation and different parts of the world to anarchy. WE are the only Nation on Earth that has continued to look upon the Ideal of Freedom with an unwavering Spirit. It is this, I think, that has kept the World more or less whole so we, as a Race, can begin to deal with the problems before us.

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  6. maxpi


    Reagan set out to standardize the accounting of all the govt. departments, I heard a speech by the guy that had the job of finding out how many different ones there were. He quit counting at 650 and the administration decided that the job was impossible. That was pre-personal computer revolution, you would think the job might be doable nowadays?

  7. I worked for the department of defense for 20 years and here is what I think is wrong with it.

    The military shifts their officers from post to post and job to job all of their careers. By the time they get to the pentagon or the system commands they know a little about a lot of things and almost nothing about procurement. It not their fault. It is just the way the system works.

    A sailor might be a great carrier pilot but know next to nothing about evaluating technical proposals. Some have no technical expertise and other didn't even go to college.

    I spent my career fixing weapons systems that were placed in production but whose performance was poor.

    Every laboratory has a special mission. If you are in a surface warfare lab but have a solution for fixing an air to air missile forgetaboutit. The other lab will rally against you like you just stole their last crust of bread. If you go over their head to the pentagon and get permission and then fix the missile, the system command will hold it against you forever.

    Lets say you run a small business and have no political connections and present the pentagon with a really good proposal. They will have no qualms about stealing the idea and even if you have a patent on it. On the other hand, if you work for a powerful senator and go bare assed to the pentagon with a proposal to do some sort of paper study, you can walk away with 15 million dollars. Then you can do a business deal with your old boss so that he ends up with 8 million.

    Finally, there are alot of good people at pentagon but it is also a dumping ground for all the losers. These are typically incompetent gm-15 manager types that the labs can't fire because of all the civil service regulations. They are just as incompetent in their new jobs as they were in their old but the military doesn't always recognize this until some more damage is done.