“Today, a row of chin-up bars stands beside a grassy mound topped with a manhole cover bearing the words, “WARNING DO NOT FILL.” This is the only visible reminder of Hadnot Point Well No. 602, in which one 1984 test found levels of the carcinogenic gasoline additive benzene at 76 times the allowable federal limit.”
Those carcinogens were part of the what could be the largest water contamination in U.S. history. Nearly one million Marines and their families used contaminated water for drinking and cooking for over 30 years. Only now is the clean up finally coming to an end.
“The government ought to be limiting prosecutions to those intending to harm our national defense. The overzealous prosecutions and subsequent silencing of those who might disclose government information undermines the legitimacy of national security claims and every open government declaration the President has made.”
“In tough times, when you’re making budget cuts and you’re looking to find waste, you don’t lay off the people who find the waste for you. You don’t in a fraud situation get rid of your auditors.”
-House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening.
Pentagon contractors are sitting on a backlog of contracts worth nearly as much as the entirety of Pentagon sequestration.
In other words, even if contractors absorbed all of the Pentagon sequestration cuts, they’d still be on track to receive more than $300 billion a year in new contracts, which is more than double what any other country in the world spends on its military.
Does any of this sound catastrophic?”
“The notion that the nation can’t trim its military spending back to 2007 levels – which is what the sequester would do – is bizarre. That level is higher than the Cold War average.”
Mark Thompson of TIME’s Battleland.
The sequestration cuts are coming on Friday, but experts say the Pentagon can absorb them without damaging national security.
“Not every defense dollar is sacrosanct. One need only spend 10 minutes walking around the Pentagon or any major military headquarters to see excess and redundancy.”
-former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in September at an event organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
Just so we are all clear, this was from a former Secretary of Defense. Remember this next time you hear a lawmaker say we need to cut everything else before we look at Pentagon spending,
Read more about what should be non-sacrosanct Pentagon spending at Bloomberg.