AP -- From spending $150 million on private villas for a handful of personnel in Afghanistan to blowing $2.7 billion on an air surveillance balloon that doesn't work, the latest revelations of waste at the Pentagon are stories in a long line of similar stories stretching back at least five decades.
Other examples would include the Army's purchase of helicopter gears worth $500 each for $8,000 each and the accumulation of billions of dollars' worth of weapons components that will never be used.
And then there's the one that would have to be everyone's favorite Pentagon waste story: the spending of $50,000 to investigate the bomb-detecting capabilities of African elephants, which was a flop.
But now, the Pentagon Has Lost $6.5 Trillion.
In the George W. Bush regime Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld said that the Pentagon could not account for $2.3 trillion dollars. According to news reports, auditors searching the records were housed in the part of the Pentagon that suffered the 9/11 damage.
$2.3 trillion is an enormous sum, but now 15 years later the missing money is almost three times larger. The Pentagon says it cannot account for $6.5 trillion, which totals out at $8.8 trillion since the Bush era.
The Pentagon is also the only federal agency that has yet to comply with the Chief Financial Officers Act (1990), to be enforced by the Office of Management And Budget (OMB)which requires all government organizations to conduct an annual audit.
Why can the Pentagon be so wasteful and inefficient? How can it defy U.S. law? If it were a person it would be a felon because it is such a repeated law breaker. "Culturally, we're an organization that's all about getting the mission done and knowing where the money goes and keeping accurate records has not been, and probably never will be, seen as the department's primary mission," Mike McBull, the Pentagon's comptroller, said Monday, speaking about auditing the Pentagon's books and controlling wasteful expenditures during an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
He went on to say, "Our budget is the size of a pretty good-sized economy, say Belgium or the Netherlands, estimating the Pentagon owns 25 million acres of land and at least 500,000 buildings. Too we're not exactly sure how many overseas bases we have which causes an accounting problem.
"We're too big to be efficient and it isn't fair to ask us to do an audit. Besides, it would cost the American taxpayer millions, if not billions to do a proper audit. I'm sure they wouldn't want such a wasteful expenditure, said the Pentagon spokesman.
McBull further explained, "Gosh, we're not perfect, but who is? I know Office of Management and Budget wants enhanced efficiency of government agencies like the War Department, but that's just unreasonable."