Janine Jackson interviewed Dave Lindorff about Pentagon budget fraud for the December 7, 2018, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.
Janine Jackson: For those of us who remember the $640 toilet seat, the unbelievable absurdity of Pentagon spending has long been—while unbelievably absurd—taken for granted: The Department of Defense spends billions and billions on we know not what, year after year, tra-la. Elite media reported that Congress passed a $700 billion Pentagon bill—more than Trump even asked for—and that was a blip, unchallenged, although the same press corps, faced with a proposal for healthcare, see themselves in the business of grilling proponents on how on Earth they would pay for it. Pentagon spending is untethered, unaccountable. And no one complains too loudly, because “national security”—magic words that shut down any critical conversation.
But, you know, things are changing, and people are reviving questions that have been shrugged or laughed off, like, why can’t we know what the Defense Department is doing with what, if it were a matter of a few dollars for food stamps, would be importantly described as “our taxpayer dollars.”
Our next guest has been examining that set of questions, resulting in an exclusive for The Nation magazine. The story’s called “The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed: How US Military Spending Keeps Rising Even as the Pentagon Flunks Its Audit.