June 21, 1988
There are leaks in the Pentagon and they're not the kind the Reaganisti are always worrying about. Nobody has let the people know how their money is being legitimately wasted. The place is leaking cash. Somebody's been copping it. It appears that some Pentagon officials, members of Congress and their staffs and anybody else who can do a military contractor some good have been accepting illegal payoffs. That's not much of a surprise. With all the money thrown at the Pentagon in the last seven years, someone was sure to start stealing sooner or later.
May 29, 1986
When the Pentagon wants a few dumpsters full of money, what it generally does is come up with a weapons system. That is some fantastically expensive killing device that may or may not work, but puts on a good show for visitors from Congress. In times when money's especially tight, the Pentagon then makes any savings and cuts in less obvious places, like fuel, ammunition and maintenance to make those fancy weapons work. It is a remarkably short-sighted and ineffective way to do business.
February 13, 1991 |
The Pentagon is spending billions of dollars in the Persian Gulf under an obscure Civil War statute that allowed Union soldiers to steal grain for their horses. The Pentagon says the statute - the Feed and Forage Act of 1861 - permits it to spend money Congress never put in the military budget. "We are entitled to spend more money than has been appropriated by the Congress," Pentagon spokesman Pete Williams said yesterday. Williams said the Army, for example, would exhaust the year's $22.5 billion operations and maintenance account by April - six months early - unless the Pentagon invoked the 130-year-old law. The Constitution says: "No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law. " The Pentagon has used the 1861 law since August to fund its operations in the Persian Gulf.
September 19, 1987 |
Less than three hours after President Reagan announced a tentative arms control pact with the Soviet Union, Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger yesterday publicly ordered tests begun on the hardware that might be used in the first phase of the Strategic Defense Initiative. The Soviet Union has vigorously opposed SDI - a space-based missile-shield program popularly known as "Star Wars. " "There may have been people in Washington who would have preferred that it not be announced while the Soviets were in meetings here," said Pentagon spokesman Robert Sims.
December 10, 1987 |
A top marshal of the Soviet Union went to the citadel of American military power yesterday and talked about "Star Wars. " It was another summit precedent-setter. Marshal Sergei F. Akhromeyev, chief of the Soviet general staff and military adviser to Mikhail S. Gorbachev, was the highest ranking Soviet, and one of the few of any rank, ever to set foot in the Pentagon. He was scheduled to go back today for breakfast and a meeting with the U.S. military chiefs. Pentagon officials declined to discuss the outcome of the meeting between Carlucci and Akhromeyev.
April 3, 1990 |
When spring arrived last month, so did a 135,000-lire bonus for the Pentagon's workers in Italy - $108 at current exchange rates. And when autumn rolls around, the Italians will find a similar premium in their paychecks. That is on top of their Christmas bonus of a month's pay, averaging more than $1,900, and the additional month's pay each receives at vacation time. In West Germany, the Pentagon's native workers get a Christmas bonus averaging almost $1,750 - along with an annual vacation bonus averaging $550.
October 17, 2007
LETTER-writer Mark Walker makes a snide comment regarding the lack of photos of Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon on 9/11 by pointing out how clear the security-camera photos of a shoplifting incident at a local Sears are. Because the crashes in New York were well photographed, it seems odd to some that Flight 77's crash into the Pentagon was not equally well photographed. Consider that we have no photos of the Titanic actually hitting an iceberg, so why do we accept that as fact?
February 18, 1990 |
Learning that the Defense Department may have stored away $30 billion worth of things it doesn't need made me feel a lot better about my basement. We don't have anywhere near $30 billion worth of stuff down there. In fact, according to the lowest estimate - that would be my wife's - what we have in our basement has no monetary value at all. She didn't actually prepare a formal estimate with hard numbers; I've put them together by extrapolation from the phrase "a bunch of worthless junk.
June 18, 1987 |
The nation's biggest defense contractors may have overcharged the Pentagon by $4 billion - and potentially much more - using computerized accounting systems that do not adequately protect the government's interests, according to Defense Department auditors. The Defense Contract Audit Agency, in its first written assessment of the excess charges, released a document yesterday estimating that improper charges ranging from $20 million to $500 million may have been realized by each of 200 contractors in recent years.
April 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Senior Pentagon leaders are taking another look at sharply reducing the number of unpaid furlough days that department civilians will have to take in the coming months, suggesting they may be able to cut the number from 14 to as few as seven, defense officials said Thursday. If the number is reduced, it would be the second time the Pentagon has cut the number of furlough days. It had initially been set at 22 days. The officials say no decision has been made and that they are not ruling out efforts to drop the furloughs entirely.