The story got buried along with thousands of tons of rubble on 9/11.
More money for the Pentagon, CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports, while its own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends.
"According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions," Rumsfeld admitted.
$2.3 trillion — that's $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America. To understand how the Pentagon can lose track of trillions, consider the case of one military accountant who tried to find out what happened to a mere $300 million.
"We know it's gone. But we don't know what they spent it on," said Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
Minnery, a former Marine turned whistle-blower, is risking his job by speaking out for the first time about the millions he noticed were missing from one defense agency's balance sheets. Minnery tried to follow the money trail, even crisscrossing the country looking for records.
Donald "I see dead people" Rumsfeld has a vision on the morning of 9/11, right before the attacks. Amazing!
(8:00 a.m.-8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Rumsfeld Holds Breakfast Meeting at Pentagon; Key Military Figures Present
During the course of the meeting Rumsfeld predicts that some kind of “shocking” world event will occur in the near future (see (Before 8:46 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Most accounts suggest the meeting is adjourned soon after the time the first WTC tower is hit, presumably around 8:50 a.m., though one report says it ends at about 9 a.m. Just prior to the meeting ending, Rumsfeld is handed a note informing him of the crash (see Shortly After 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001). Edmund Giambastiani also sees this note. Whether the other people in attendance are notified of the crash at this time is unknown.
Thomas White says, “We all went on with the day’s business,” after leaving the meeting. He heads off to give a speech at the nearby Army Navy Country Club. [PBS FRONTLINE, 10/26/2004] Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Giambastiani return to their offices. [VANITY FAIR, 5/9/2003; AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/8/2006] The members of Congress leave the building. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/9/2002]
Yes, "Rummy" sure has a lucky star following him. It's too bad that those Army auditors that were tracking down that missing 2.3 TRILLION didn't have "Rummy's" prescience or they might of been able to leave the Pentagon before something slammed into the Pentagon on 9/11, destroying the evidence the auditors had compiled of the missing 2.3 TRILLION.
a trillion here, a trillion there ...
And we know that Flight 77, allegedly piloted by an incompetent, made an aerobatic, spiralling descent over Washington, effecting a 270-degree turn to strike the Pentagon from a western approach at ground level. The side struck was the only one with an exterior wall hardened against attack, and was relatively empty while renovation continued.
Relatively. The unfortunate construction workers perished outside, but who were the expendables within?
From The Pittsburg Post Gazette, December 20, 2001: "One Army office in the Pentagon lost 34 of its 65 employees in the attack. Most of those killed in the office, called Resource Services Washington, were civilian accountants, bookkeepers and budget analysts. They were at their desks when American Airlines Flight 77 struck."
The Arlington County After-Action Report noted that the "impact area included both the Navy operations center and the office complex of the National Guard and Army Reserve. It was also the end of the fiscal year and important budget information was in the damaged area." And Insight Magazine editorialized that "the Department of the Army, headed by former Enron executive Thomas White, had an excuse [for not making a full accounting]. In a shocking appeal to sentiment it says it didn't publish a "stand-alone" financial statement for 2001 because of "the loss of financial-management personnel sustained during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack."
Donny boy gets even luckier, as the actual Pentagon report states that an additional 1.8 TRILLION is not properly accounted for, but the auditors ran out of money and time... and out of living.
Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General -- Audit
The DFAS centers processed approximately $7.6 trillion in department-level accounting entries to DoD Component financial data used to prepare departmental reports and DoD financial statements for FY 1999. Of the $7.6 trillion in department-level accounting entries, $3.5 trillion were supported with proper research, reconciliation, and audit trails. However, department-level accounting entries of $2.3 trillion were made to force financial data to agree with various sources of financial data without adequate research and reconciliation, were made to force buyer and seller data to agree in preparation for eliminating entries, did not contain adequate documentation and audit trails, or did not follow accounting principles. We identified but did not have adequate time or staff to review another $1.8 trillion in department-level accounting entries.