All this is challenging to comprehend but is clearly unacceptable:
The “Bulletin of Atomic Scientists” reported that between 1980 and 1992 contractors Grumman, Lockheed, Northrop and Rockwell admitted to or were all convicted of criminal acts related to their work for the Pentagon.
From 1986 to 1990, Pentagon official John Marlowe cooperated in a large sting operation after being caught molesting little girls. The Wall Street Journal reported that as a result “more than 90 companies and individuals were convicted of felonies...including eight of the military’s largest suppliers...”
From 1987 to 2005, there were 2,655 cases of fraud involving the Department of Defense that required action by the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.
The Project on Government Oversight found that from 1989 to 1994, Boeing, Grumman, Hughes, Raytheon, RCA, McDonnell Douglas, General Motors, Teledyne and General Electric pleaded guilty, were convicted or settled in fraud cases involving everything from price-fixing to false testing.
Retired Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, when speaking about $48 billion in new Pentagon spending called for by George W. Bush in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, said, “With good financial oversight we could find $48 billion in loose change in that building...”
Even Donald Rumsfeld in 2002 said, “According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in (defense) transactions.” Speaking for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Jim Minnery added, “We know it’s gone. But we don’t know what they spent it on.”
In 2003, it was determined by the Pentagon’s own inspector general that $1 trillion could simply not be accounted for. Tragically, at the same time, chemical and biological protection suits were being sold online for pennies on the dollar as soldiers were preparing to invade Iraq without them.
In 2005, a report by the Government Accountability Office listed 25 government programs it judged to be financially risky; eight were programs or functions of the Department of Defense and two—inventory management and weapons system acquisition—had been on the list since 1990. In the GAO assessment, 56 planes, 32 tanks and 36 missiles that the Army just plain lost joined the infamous $640 toilet seat as glaring examples of waste.
In 2007, a $13,400 per month no-work contract was arranged by the Air Force for Charles D. Riechers as he awaited confirmation for a civilian position with the same service branch. Riechers was quoted as saying, “I really didn’t do anything for (Commonwealth Research Institute). I got a paycheck from them.” The company did millions of dollars of work with the Pentagon while Riechers was a principal deputy assistant secretary for acquisitions.
Also in 2007, defense contractor Brent Wilkes and his employee Mitchell Wade were convicted of giving former (now imprisoned) Rep. Randy Cunningham, R-Calif., $1.7 million in cash and gifts in exchange for $240 million in government work.
Fraud-related waste at the Pentagon in 1996 was said to be $172 billion per year. That’s $233 billion in today’s dollars and if just this figure was applied to the 2008 budget of $669.5 billion it would instantly have been reduced by 35 percent to $436.5 billion—Berkley Bedell and Jim Frost