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Do you know Chuck? Let me give you some background just in case: Chuck Spinney is a former Air force officer and highly respected retired Pentagon analyst who has been telling the truth about the excesses of the MICC (Military Industrial Congressional Complex) for decades. In fact, in the mid-Eighties, he made the front cover of Time magazine in his role of teller of the truth to Power – and survived. He is a remarkable man.
Retired or not – he lives on a sail-boat for much of the year - he continues to comment about defense matters and, in a recent e-mail, said the following.
Today we have a Pentagon that is spending more money (in inflation adjusted dollars) on defense than at any time since WWII, yet it can not pass the relatively simple audits required by the Chief Financial Officer's Act of 1990. This law was intended to put teeth into the Accountability and Appropriations clauses of the Constitution. The audits required by the CFO Act are "checks and balances" audits -- they merely describe whether or no any agency of the federal government spends the money Congress appropriated on the items Congress authorized for appropriations -- essentially the line between where the money comes from and where it goes.
This inability would be extraordinary enough in a company of modest size, but the fact that this situation exists here, in one of the most critical departments of the U.S. Government, year after year, is truly mind-boggling. And it is also illegal.
Recall that these people are spending over $1 trillion of our money (either from tax or borrowed) each and every year.
Farewell for the moment. Write soon. I miss your wit and your company.