Debunked: $8.5 Trillion Missing from the Pentagon

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This is a variation on an older story about $2.3 trillion "missing" from the pentagon in 2001.
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/de...annot-track-2-3-trillion-in-transactions.165/

The bottom line there is that the money was never missing, the transactions were simply not recorded with the correct level of accounting regulation compliance. This was mainly due to incompatibilities between the various computer systems used at the time.

The new story comes from a Reuters article:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/18/us-usa-pentagon-waste-specialreport-idUSBRE9AH0LQ20131118
Does this mean $8.5 trillion was lost? No, the $8.5 trillion is the entire pentagon budget from 1996 to 2012. That's the entire budget for 16 years, because the baseline budget is "only" about $0.5 trillion a year.



They did not lose the money. They spent the money. They even accounted for the money. They simply did not account for every single transaction in enough detail to satisfy the requirements for a full audit.

This is not to say everything is fine. It's not. There's a vast amount of waste, and quite possibly a vast amount of pork and fraud, likely totally billions over the 16 year period. But the suggestion that $8.5 trillion is missing is ludicrous - again, that's all the money the Pentagon (which is about half the budget of the DoD) has spent over those 16 years
 
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George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Yes, the lack of accounting accountability has fueled the belief that much of the truly "lost" money has been laundered into Black Operations and deeply classified programs . . . cannon fodder for many conspiracies . . .
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The Quakers have some good overviews of actual waste in the military, and suggestions for saving:
https://www.google.com/url?q=http:/...ds-cse&usg=AFQjCNH0FoVH1Fcb10JfTfL-P-K1WE-WLw
http://fcnl.org/issues/budget/

Note the above are all from .gov and .mil sources, not simply the Quaker's opinions.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
This is one conspiracy I believe is plausible and requires a handshake and a wink between designated Congressional Staffers, the GAO, selected DOD Staffers and corporate bigwigs . . . overcharges are passed into or parked into project accounts based on standing contract weasel wording allowing contractors to charge hundreds of hours on performance contracts when only a few hours were required . . . this money is then shared between excess profit for the corporation and free, un encumbered, untraceable funds . . . allocated to projects DoD wishes to remain covert except for those with a need to know . . .
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This is one conspiracy I believe is plausible and requires a handshake and a wink between designated Congressional Staffers, the GAO, selected DOD Staffers and corporate bigwigs . . . overcharges are passed into or parked into project accounts based on standing contract weasel wording allowing contractors to charge hundreds of hours on performance contracts when only a few hours were required . . . this money is then shared between excess profit for the corporation and free, un encumbered, untraceable funds . . . allocated to projects DoD wishes to remain covert except for those with a need to know . . .
Doesn't the DoD have a significant black budget anyway?
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Doesn't the DoD have a significant black budget anyway?
Yes, but me thinks it is inadequate to meet all their desires . . . they need funds from the unclassified budget to supplement their allocated budget but they need it without the risk of an audit trail . . . and they also want to avoid the scrutiny of the Congressional Oversight Committee charged with the classified budget . . .
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, but me think it is inadequate to meet all their desires . . . they need funds from the unclassified budget to supplement their allocated budget but they need it without the risk of an audit trail . . . and they also want to avoid the scrutiny of the Congressional Oversight Committee charged with the classified budget . . .
Has any of this ever come to light?

The only thing I can think of is Iran-Contra, and that seems rather more involved than a handshake and wink. It would seem like the potential for exposure of such a scheme would be vast - especially when involving the private sector contractors.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Has any of this ever come to light?

The only thing I can think of is Iran-Contra, and that seems rather more involved than a handshake and wink. It would seem like the potential for exposure of such a scheme would be vast - especially when involving the private sector contractors.
Some may but don't go too far because:


The key is there are the chosen few Beltway bandits who wheel and deal in this process and the practices are indistinguishable from any firm trying to maximize their legal profit. All significant contracts have provisions for cost over runs and allow modifications during implementation. But If things get hot the very few knowledgeable operatives within the companies just declare accounting errors and return the cash to DoD . . . no harm no foul . . . they cooperate because they make very nice profits and many feel they are part of the covert DoD system used to protect the national interests. . . . a patriot who gets richly rewarded for being a patriot. And profits because they keep their mouths shut!!!. . . it is actually low risk because the GAO, justice department , etc are just told there are national security issues involved and to go easy, delay, or drop an investigation . . . Most of the contract monitoring and money transactions are compartmentalized to usually one program contracting agent who specialize in all similar contracts . . . so one person could monitor and approve payments in the hundreds of millions. . . sometimes all the program manager knows at the business end of the stick is the job got done or it didn't . . . they quality control the work product not the costs or payments to the contractor . . .
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Seems rather unlikely that hundreds of these operations have gone on for decades without a leak.
 

SR1419

Senior Member
This is a variation on an older story about $2.3 trillion "missing" from the pentagon in 2001.

Does this have anything to do with the Leo Wanta story? This got a lot of traction a few years back but seems to have faded from the CT meme...although Wanta himself seems to remain active:

Mind the source: http://www.rense.com/general70/leo.htm

http://wantarevelations.com/

https://www.facebook.com/leeemilwanta

 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Seems rather unlikely that hundreds of these operations have gone on for decades without a leak.
They haven't . . . there are investigations initiated all the time but every time a GAO inspector appears they focus on the quality of the work product, number of employees, contract duration, millstones met or not met, the total amount of hours charged, the amount charged per hour and number of hours charged . . . but bottom-line most performance contracts do not specify how many hours it will require to accomplish a specific job (especially if it is new, never performed before) nor the amount of administrative personnel that are required for the contractor to accomplish the unique job . . . unbelievable wiggle room used to its fullest . . . I have seen IMO $150k jobs costing $3.5M . . . no questions asked !!

An inspector files a report that recommends tighter contract monitoring and better wording in the next contract revision . . . that is about it . . . nothing more . . . as I said a low risk high reward practice . . . since no one knows how much or where the laundered money goes . . . the trail ends with the inspector's report.
 
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Poncho

New Member
"Does this mean $8.5 trillion was lost? No, the $8.5 trillion is the entire pentagon budget from 1996 to 2012. That's the entire budget for 16 years, because the baseline budget is "only" about $0.5 billion a year"

Those numbers dont stack up or am I missing something?
 

MikeG

Senior Member
N
"Does this mean $8.5 trillion was lost? No, the $8.5 trillion is the entire pentagon budget from 1996 to 2012. That's the entire budget for 16 years, because the baseline budget is "only" about $0.5 billion a year"

Those numbers dont stack up or am I missing something?
I'm not sure what you mean. The original post shows the budget. I am sure that year-by-year numbers are available.
 

DougW

Member
Ah - Earlier this year I had a 911 CT try to tell me that the missing 2.3 trillion was used to pay off trauma actors and any witnesses to the staging of 911 and the they used CGI enhanced video of the planes crashing into the buildings.
I was called a sheeple and told to wake up......certainly an eye opener for me!
 

LindaI

New Member
The Office of the Inspector General released the following on July 26th, 2016.

http://www.dodig.mil/pubs/report_summary.cfm?id=7034

Please show me where the Congressionally mandated audit, due Sept 30th, 2017 is for the years 1996 thru 2015?
 
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mazoola

Member
Has any of this ever come to light?

The only thing I can think of is Iran-Contra, and that seems rather more involved than a handshake and wink. It would seem like the potential for exposure of such a scheme would be vast - especially when involving the private sector contractors.
There was the National Reconnaissance Office's multi-billion-dollar slush fund in the 1990s. I'm not sure if it was funded in precisely the manner George B describes, and it took place entirely within the context of the black budget, but it *is* an example of a DoD-related agency taking advantage of auditing failures to fund other projects.
 

BrightJ

New Member
So, since I am sure you know best, please explain how $6.5 trillion has been unaccountably spent in 2015, according the Inspector General of the Department of Defense? Let me guess, Forbes, the Inspector General, Professor of economics-Mark Skidmore, etc. are all conspiracy theorists.

https://media.defense.gov/2016/Jul/26/2001714261/-1/-1/1/DODIG-2016-113.pdf

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlik...-21-trillion-of-our-money-without-telling-us/
 
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Keith Beachy

Senior Member
So, since I am sure you know best, please explain how $6.5 trillion has been unaccountably spent in 2015, according the Inspector General of the Department of Defense? Let me guess, Forbes, the Inspector General, Professor of economics-Mark Skidmore, etc. are all conspiracy theorists.

https://media.defense.gov/2016/Jul/26/2001714261/-1/-1/1/DODIG-2016-113.pdf

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlik...-21-trillion-of-our-money-without-telling-us/
Conspiracy theorists, no, they explained it is sloopy accounting.

aka, sloopy/poor/bad accounting practices. Almost as bad as my accounting practices at home.

I guess this is why accountants make lots of money, when you use them.
 
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