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Anybody seen where my 2.3 trillion went?
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Nehmi
spectre of humanity


Member 684

Level 18.92

Mar 2006


Old Jun 4, 2008, 06:39 AM Local time: Jun 4, 2008, 06:39 AM #1 of 10
Anybody seen where my 2.3 trillion went?

This would be funny if it wasn't so tragically 'coincidental'.

Quote:
The War On Waste
Defense Department Cannot Account For 25% Of Funds — $2.3 Trillion

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29, 2002

(CBS) 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."
First off, how do you "lose" 2.3 trillion dollars? I mean I know our guv'ment is a big burracratic mess, but seriously... 2.3 trillion dollars!?! We could have fought a huge portion of this current War on Terror with that money that just vanished into thin air. And 2.3 is just some estimates... you can bet they picked the low-end on whatever they found.

Secondly, Sept 10, 2001? Seriously?

Jam it back in, in the dark.
Fluffykitten McGrundlepuss
Motherfucking Chocobo


Member 589

Level 64.55

Mar 2006


Old Jun 4, 2008, 07:21 AM Local time: Jun 4, 2008, 01:21 PM #2 of 10
Sadly, that's the nature of bureaucracies. If I remember correctly, the EU parliament has never had an audit signed off due to material uncertainties in the figures presented. I guess when it's other people's money you're spending you aren't so bothered about keeping track of it.

There's nowhere I can't reach.
Kagosin
Why don't you look at it.


Member 4108

Level 17.96

Mar 2006


Old Jun 4, 2008, 08:51 AM #3 of 10
I guess when it's other people's money you're spending you aren't so bothered about keeping track of it.
Pretty much the bottom line when it comes to things like this:

Not my money? Not my problem.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Peter
Wonderful Chocobo


Member 50

Level 21.86

Mar 2006


Old Jun 4, 2008, 09:01 AM Local time: Jun 4, 2008, 04:01 PM #4 of 10
Bureaucracy is inefficient in every country or international organisation, Japan loses pension records for almost half its population, here in Belgium we have a Ministry of Defence that's basically bankrupt, and our Ministry of Finances "misplaced" about 1 billion euros worth of tax money. Bureaucrats tend to become sloppy when they aren't dealing with their on money, when things get too abstract, they don't realize the impact that their mistakes can have. The worst part is that despite all the reports and warnings, bureaucrats never have to pay a price for their mistakes, even if they cover it up. External audits were created for a good reason, but even their findings aren't deemed significant enough to change the system. Sadly enough, just like so many other screw ups, this will cause a tiny scandal for about a week or so, and no seems to care anymore after that.

I am a dolphin, do you want me on your body?
Sarag
Fuck yea dinosaurs


Member 748

Level 53.85

Mar 2006


Old Jun 4, 2008, 12:29 PM #5 of 10
Originally Posted by Nehmi
Secondly, Sept 10, 2001? Seriously?
I'd like to know what you are trying to suggest, Nehmi. Where are you going with this?

I was speaking idiomatically.
Nehmi
spectre of humanity


Member 684

Level 18.92

Mar 2006


Old Jun 4, 2008, 12:50 PM Local time: Jun 4, 2008, 12:50 PM #6 of 10
Well it should seem obvious what I'm trying to suggest. Rumsfeld announces they lost 2.3 trillion dollars, and lucky for him no one even remembers since 9/11 occurred the next day. Awful convenient yeah? Lets not forget the the whole current war on terror cost approx 3 trillion so far, so we aren't talking a drop in the bucket in the way of money here. Thats more than an entire years budget for the entire government pre-2003. Also, according to wikipedia... that is more money than the income tax brought in for 2007.

Don'tcha think this might have been big news had it not been overshadowed the next day? An entire year's budget -zip- vanished? Of course this obviously can't be for only one year, but still, that is an enormous sum of money.

Its absurd!

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?

Last edited by Nehmi; Jun 4, 2008 at 12:52 PM.
Lord Styphon
Malevolently Mercurial


Member 3

Level 50.41

Feb 2006


Old Jun 4, 2008, 12:56 PM Local time: Jun 4, 2008, 12:56 PM #7 of 10
Someone remembered it four months later, when this article came out.

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Gechmir
Did you see anything last night?


Member 629

Level 46.64

Mar 2006


Old Jun 4, 2008, 01:02 PM Local time: Jun 4, 2008, 01:02 PM #8 of 10
I'd like to know what you are trying to suggest, Nehmi. Where are you going with this?
GOVERNMENT PLANNED 9/11 OMFGUHERDITHERE1STLOL

What, you don't want my bikini-clad body?
Hey, maybe you should try that thing Chie was talking about.

Nehmi
spectre of humanity


Member 684

Level 18.92

Mar 2006


Old Jun 4, 2008, 01:17 PM Local time: Jun 4, 2008, 01:17 PM #9 of 10
Nice straw man you got there Styphon.

CBS did one story on this and never mentioned it again. I can't find any other major news organizations that carried this story AT ALL. In fact, doing a search on this story only comes up with articles later based on this one story.

Thats it, one story. For 2.3 trillon dollars.

Did I mention the President had his state of the union address that night this story ran? No wait, I'm sure there were more people paying attention to this story than that. Silly me.

Jam it back in, in the dark.
Lord Styphon
Malevolently Mercurial


Member 3

Level 50.41

Feb 2006


Old Jun 4, 2008, 01:48 PM Local time: Jun 4, 2008, 01:48 PM 1 #10 of 10
Originally Posted by Nehmi
Nice straw man you got there Styphon.
Nice load of unsupported allegations you got there, Nehmi.

Maybe, if you could come up with some evidence to support the idea that Rumsfeld announced that the Department of Defense had lost 2.3 trillion dollars up to 2001 on September 10, knowing that the news would be overshadowed the next day (because he was in on it, of course), and that CBS followed up four months later knowing that the State of the Union address would overshadow it then (despite the fact that, if the media and the government were as tight as people like you say, they could have simply not run this story at all and gotten away with it), I'd let this continue.

As it is, it sounds like just a rant about how the government did 9/11 to cover up how it can't handle money now. We have a "don't rant" rule in Political. I will therefore close this before it becomes even more of a farce. If someone wants to remake the thread and concentrate on the gross fiscal irresponsibility in the story, feel free.

Nehmi, you have a journal. Continue to use it for your Alcoa-advertising needs.

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