|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by J.C. Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Saturday, August 7th, 2004
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? email@example.com|
|A year ago the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Defense Department's own Inspector General's office found the Pentagon unable to account for a trillion dollars of spending. The GAO said the Pentagon had lost track of dozens of tanks, planes, and missile launchers. Chemical warfare suits, in short supply during the invasion of Iraq, were being sold for pennies on the dollar as miltary surplus.
How is it then that President Bush signed a $417 billion Pentagon budget on Friday, with little press coverage and no debate? $417 billion is real money, even by Federal Government standards. It's not easy to put such a large number in perspective, but try this: invested at a modest 4%, the Pentagon budget would earn nearly $2 million every hour.
Few would deny the need for a beefed-up military in these parlous times. But handing a virtual blank check to an outfit liable to misplace a trillion dollars doesn't make anybody safer. Announcing the spending bill, President Bush said "Our enemies... never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people -- and neither do we." Mr. Bush never spoke a truer word.
The Afternoon Affront
On Monday's (8/2/04) Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff on CNN, Governor George Pataki of New York was allowed, unchallenged, to excoriate John Kerry for voting against certain military and intelligence spending bills over the course of his Senate career. Could it be that Mr. Kerry was in fact voting against some of that trillion dollar Pentagon waste, rather than worthwhile military funding? Ms. Woodruff left that question unanswered, and instead warmly thanked Governor Pataki.
If half-truths are given such a courteous reception on Inside Politics, I can't wait to see how they deal with outright lies.
ŠJ.C. Nossiter, 2004