Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WHY NO AUDIT AT THE PENTAGON?



There are fresh calls in Washington for the Pentagon to come clean about how it has been spending trillions of taxpayer dollars. The Department of Defense has not audited a single budget in more than 20 years, despite demands from Congress.

Let some meager misappropriation happen in a social program anywhere in the US and the media and Congress go into a rip-snort and demand an immediate audit and even defunding of the agency.  But the saintly military industrial complex, by handing over large sums of campaign cash to politicians (money which largely comes from the taxpayer), is sheltered from such scrutiny.

Many years ago while organizing in Orlando, Florida I saw this very thing take place as local social service agencies that ran job training programs for the poor were watched with an eagle eye. One organization somewhere in the US could not account for $40,000 and it became a national scandal. Tiny incidents like that gave Sen. Lawton Chiles (D-FL), on the Senate Budget Committee in Washington, the fuel he needed to help destroy the CETA job training program.  The money was transferred to the Pentagon and the military budget grew from $150 billion a year to double that in no time at all.  It's then doubled again and again while social spending is now in tatters.

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