<\body> Stories in America: DOD Paid $5500 for Deep-Fat Fryer and $1000 for Popcorn Popper

Friday, February 02, 2007

DOD Paid $5500 for Deep-Fat Fryer and $1000 for Popcorn Popper

"In 2005, a retired army reserve officer complained to the Pentagon's fraud hot line that the Defense Department had overpaid for kitchen appliances, shelling out $1,000 for popcorn makers and toasters and $5,500 for a deep-fat fryer that cost other government agencies $1,919. Although he provided a four-page spreadsheet showing 135 cases of higher prices, the Defense Department dismissed his tip without checking with him."
--David Isenberg, research fellow at the Independent Institute -- Budgeting for Empire

So this is where our money is being spent.

Say what you will about the Democrats. They are holding hearings on everything from global warming and censoring scientific research to wiretapping and Iraq spending. The White House is FINALLY being held accountable for their BS. They'll keep feeding the 'war machine' for as long as they can, but at least the info is on record.

Gotta love Fiscal Conservatives:

"The levels of deceit and ignorance are so high that we cannot even begin to understand how bad overall American fiscal irresponsibility is," said Mr. Isenberg.

Please read this and forward it on. The final spending report is scheduled to be released next week. On February 6, Rep. Henry Waxman plans to hold hearings on Iraq contracts. The committee has asked executives from Halliburton to testify. Waxman presided over the most famous hearings in '94 when the 7 tobacco CEOs said they didn't add nicotone to their cigarettes.

Here are a few highlights from the Independent's new Budgeting for Empire report:
Front line equipment is wearing out--and there is no budget to replace it. "Senior marine officials admitted that if the war in Iraq ended tomorrow... it would cost $12.8 billion to reequip ... vehicles and gear lost in combat and through wear and tear. That outlay would take up a significant portion of the corps' yearly budget...."
The Army's plan to boost combat power is built on the unlikely assumption that "no new major demand will arise for U.S. soldiers at home or abroad"--yet the U.S. military is spread thin around the world, and the political climate is volatile.

The final tally for earmarks--spending inserted in a bill to benefit a specific Member of Congress-- in the 2006 Defense Appropriations bill are expected to top $12.2 billion. This is a record high.
In 2005, the Defense Department paid $1,000 for popcorn makers and toasters and $5,500 for a deep-fat fryer. When a retired Army officer with evidence of the problem came forward, he was dismissed without any investigation.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost even more than the public thinks because of accounting "tricks" and questionable budget rules used by both the executive and legislative branches, such as excluding the costs of the war from regular budget appropriations.
Nearly two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and despite Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's proclaimed mission of transforming the military, every single Cold War weapon system that was previously in the procurement pipeline remains.


At 2/02/2007 4:57 PM, Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

Your post has some excellent points. Here's some additional data:

The U.S. Department of Defense, headquartered in the Pentagon, is one of the most massive organizations on the planet, with net annual operating costs of $635 billion, assets worth $1.3 trillion, liabilities of $1.9 trillion and more that 2.9 million military and civilian personnel as of fiscal year 2005.

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

It is difficult to convey the complexity of the way DOD works to someone who has not experienced it. This is a massive machine with so many departments and so much beaurocracy that no president, including Bush totally understands it.

Presidents, Congressmen, Cabinet Members and Appointees project a knowledgeable demeanor but they are spouting what they are told by career people who never go away and who train their replacements carefully. These are military and civil servants with enormous collective power, armed with the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Defense Industrial Security Manuals, compartmentalized classification structures and "Rice Bowls" which are never mixed.

Our society has slowly given this power structure its momentum which is constant and extraordinarily tough to bend. The cost to the average American is exhorbitant in terms of real dollars and bad decisions. Every major power structure member in the Pentagon's many Washington Offices and Field locations in the US and Overseas has a counterpart in Defense Industry Corporate America. That collective body has undergone major consolidation in the last 10 years.

What used to be a broad base of competitive firms is now a few huge monoliths, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Boeing.

Government oversight committees are carefully stroked. Sam Nunn and others who were around for years in military and policy oversight roles have been cajoled, given into on occasion but kept in the dark about the real status of things until it is too late to do anything but what the establishment wants. This still continues - with increasing high technology and potential for abuse.

Please examine the following link to testimony given by Franklin C. Spinney before Congress in 2002. It provides very specific information from a whistle blower who is still blowing his whistle (Look him up in your browser and you get lots of feedback) Frank spent the same amount of time as I did in the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) but in government quarters. His job in government was a similar role to mine in defense companies. Frank's emphasis in this testimony is on the money the machine costs us. It is compelling and it is noteworthy that he was still a staff analyst at the Pentagon when he gave this speech. I still can't figure out how he got his superior's permission to say such blunt things. He was extremely highly respected and is now retired.


The brick wall I often refer to is the Pentagon's own arrogance. It will implode by it's own volition, go broke, or so drastically let down the American people that it will fall in shambles. Rest assured the day of the implosion is coming. The machine is out of control.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting on this blog entitled, "Odyssey of Armaments"


On the same subject, you may also be interested in the following sites from the "Project On Government Oversight", observing it's 25th Anniversary and from "Defense In the National Interest", inspired by Franklin Spinney and contributed to by active/reserve, former, or retired military personnel. More facts on the Military Industrial Complex can be gleaned from "The Dissident" link, also posted below:




At 2/02/2007 5:59 PM, Anonymous proud christian liberal said...

Thanks rosecovered. Amazing info. Will the American people wake up? You gotta give it to the Bushies. They sure know how to steer the debate in their favor.

At 2/03/2007 5:51 AM, Anonymous jack boo said...

Yeah, good comment. There's much more to this than what the headline here suggests. And yes, it really has very little to do with party affiliation.


Post a Comment

<< Home