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How to Disappear Money, Pentagon-Style


How to Disappear Money, Pentagon-Style

William Hartung

Now you see it, now you don’t. Think of it as the Department of Defense’s version of the street con game, three-card monte, or maybe simply as the Pentagon shuffle. In any case, the Pentagon’s budget is as close to a work of art as you’re likely to find in the U.S. government -- if, that is, by work of art you mean scam.


The military industrial complex (MIC) has mastered the art of profit in complexity and profit in confusion.

Why can't single payer medical insurance and other "domestic programs" be funded "off budget" the way many military ventures are ?


It interesting when reading press releases from the US Military, as referenced by the article , just how badly that same military claims to be underfunded.

They claim they do not have enough ships and troops and aircraft and that parts being cannibalized from other aircraft to keep some small percentage in the air.

In a recent exercise in Europe out of 5 Countries testing military training and readiness the US finished last out of the 5.

Yet they spend more than the next 7 largest spenders in the World combined and this not even counting all of that hidden spending.

It really mind boggling this goes on even as funding for Food stamps and social program spending is cut.


Oh gee the Pentagon budget! Oh yeah! I remember that. We used to object to it once. We used to care about how big it was getting once. We used to ask questions and demand answers from our representative government. We even used to protest profigate spending programs too. People keep mentioning the MIC ( military industrial complex ) but they don't even know anything about it anymore. They just say MIC and start complaining in general but they don't know any specifics anymore. Lol. That sure makes things easier for the Pentagon when people aren't even interested in knowing the figures anymore!

Yeah? What ever happened to the Pentagon budget anyway? You never hear about any of that anymore?

Thanks Hartung... maybe people will remember that the bombs are in the budget and ...

...the budget are the bombs.


In short, for all practical purposes, the unelected Pentagon mob runs the government, and not the other way around.


After 9-11 they relabeled Pentagon spending that could not be accounted for OFF BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS.

They gave Haliburton a key to the US Treasury's loading dock to keep truckloads of taxpayers' money flowing out without disruptions.


It is known that the Pentagon loses trillions, yet keeps asking for more, more.Put them on a budget and use the freed money to actually play for things that will help our country be strong.


Yes, and wasn't Halliburton the military contractor that was involved with Paul Bremer and the $9 BILLION palette of hundred dollar bills that went "missing" at the beginning of the Iraq invasion/occupation?


Just because we spend more money on our military does not mean that our equipment is superior. It just means that profiteers are making more money off our military.


We haven't won a war since 1945. WE have killed a lot of people, however, the transparent ones.


While I appreciate the financial accounting that Mr. Hartung brings to the discussion, it hides the real costs: those inevitable deaths, dismemberment, and decimation of people's homes and infrastructure that these weapons will assuredly produce.

The focus on numbers numbs and sanitizes the horrors.

From the article:

"If your head is spinning after this brief tour of the Pentagon’s budget labyrinth, it should be. That’s just what the Pentagon wants its painfully complicated budget practices to do: leave Congress, any administration, and the public too confused and exhausted to actually hold it accountable for how our tax dollars are being spent. So far, they’re getting away with it."

Very similar arguments and rationales were used to unleash the multi-trillion dollar markets in derivatives, swaps, and other exotic Wall Street money changers' instruments of Financial Mass Destruction.

Rule by Mars and Mammon... a truly ungodly combination.



Couldn't agree more. The biggest threat to our national security may be the lack of accountability for military spending. If all we taxpayers do is pay, and no one knows what we pay for, it's questionable whether all that spending really keeps us safe. No one should take refuge in how much we spend. Our security depends on how effectively we spend.


" If you can't run our military on $350 billion a year it's time to get some new generals. " Tony McPeak, Ret. Major U.S. Air Force And, that's the damn truth! For the rest of the " off the books " bullshit, end it. And, then pass the SSA COLA to match the DoD inflation rate. Homeland Security and NSA, etc. same same. It's a nightmare and bad joke in sequence.