In two prior columns, which can be accessed here and here, Mark Skidmore and I wrote about $21 trillion in federal government transactions in the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that our government indicated were undocumented and unexplained. As the concerns and questions we raised gained traction, investigative reporter Dave Lindorff dug into the issue, recently publishing the article “Exclusive: The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed” in The Nation. Based on a series of interviews with current and former government officials, Lindorff concluded that Pentagon accounting is “phony”, composed of made up numbers designed to obfuscate and thus propelling “US military spending higher year after year”.
Last year the Pentagon conducted its first ever independent audit, which it failed. During the audit process Pentagon officials became concerned that the audit would reveal potentially sensitive information. Several months after beginning the audit, the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) posted a new document, which recommended that the government be allowed to misstate and move funds in order to hide expenditures if it is deemed necessary for national security purposes.FORBES Holding U.S. Treasurys? Beware: Uncle Sam Can’t Account For $21 Trillion