Nukewatch Quarterly Fall 2016
A Reuters investigation by Scot Paltrow published August 19 found $6.5 trillion in public Army funding is unaccounted for in the year 2015, after military book keepers fudged the numbers on a massive scale. The news of the mishandling of funds at an unfathomable scale—reported by the US Army’s own Inspector General (IG) July 26—prompted anti-militarist critics to action.
Worldbeyondwar.org published a scathing open letter to the Army Inspector General offering to launch its own inspection “until we determine exactly where the unaccounted for $6.5 trillion ended up—the $6.5 trillion that you report you just can’t locate.”
The group offered “to do this on a contingency basis, accepting as payment a 0.0001% percent finder’s fee each.”
To put the level of fraud in perspective, Worldbeyondwar.org’s letter pointed out to the Army that “$30 billion a year could end starvation and hunger worldwide”; “$11 billion a year could provide clean drinking water to everyone who needs it”; and “all the green energy projects ever envisioned that could preserve life on earth would collectively cost significantly less than this pocket change of yours that has gone missing.”
According to Paltrow’s investigation, the latest IG report “affirms a 2013 Reuters series revealing how the [Pentagon] falsified accounting on a large scale as it scrambled to close its books. As a result, there has been no way to know how the [Pentagon]—far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’ annual budget—spends the public’s money.”
Eric Pianin reported in Fiscal Times that the Pentagon “has never completed an audit of how they actually spend the trillions of dollars on wars, equipment, personnel, housing, health care and procurements.”
In 2009 Congress set a deadline of Sept. 30, 2017 for the Pentagon to be audit ready, a requirement that it may fail to meet leading to unknown penalties.
—Reuters, Aug. 19, 2016; US Dept. of Defense Inspector General Report, July 26, 2016; Fiscal Times, July 31, 2016, & Mar. 19, 2015; Oregon PeaceWorks, Aug. 24, 2016; Reuters, Nov. 18, 2013