Subject THE PENTAGON'S SECRET BLACK BUDGET Written 423 pm Feb 25, 1991 by christic in cdpc
Subject: THE PENTAGON'S SECRET BLACK BUDGET
Written 4:23 pm Feb 25, 1991 by christic in cdp:christic.news
THE PENTAGON'S SECRET BILLION DOLLAR BLACK BUDGET
Project Censored: Nomination for the "Ten Best Censored Stories of 1990"
While the nation enters a recession and budgets for federal social and
educational programs are cut, the Pentagon has a secret stash, called "The
Black Budget," which costs taxpayers $100 million a day. Despite the
extraordinary changes in international relationships, this secret money is
still being spent on the weapons to fight the cold war, the Third World War,
and World War IV.
The black budget funds every program the president of the United States,
the secretary of defense, and the director of central intelligence want to
keep hidden from view; in the past three years, $100 billion has disappeared
into the Pentagon's classified cache.
The money to run America's eleven intelligence agencies has always been
hidden in the Pentagon's budget. But something new transformed the black
budget when Ronald Reagan came to power. A White House obsessed with secrecy
began to conceal the costs of many of its most expensive weapons,
enshrouding them in the deep cover once reserved for espionage. The black
budget exploded; by 1990 it quadrupled in size, reaching about $36 billion a
The Pentagon keeps this money hidden by keeping two sets of books: one for
the general public, one for the generals. Hundreds of "black programs" are
concealed in the public budget it submits to Congress, camouflaged under
false names, their costs deleted, their goals disguised. The Pentagon simply
stamps a secret code on the price of a bomber, a missile, or a spy
satellite, and open debate ceases. The Pentagon also pads seemingly
unclassified programs with billions intended for black projects. In short,
the Pentagon budget, which is nationally debated, is a false document, an
elaborate cover story.
Behind this shield of secrecy, we are wasting fortunes perfecting plans
for nuclear war, building nuclear bombers that cannot be used, launching spy
satellites that fall from the sky, conducting self-destructive covert
operations against enemies both real and imagined, running guns and missiles
to warring tribes 10,000 miles from home.
One of the big problems, according to Tim Weiner, a Pultitzer
Prize-winning investigative reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, is that
the terrible failures of secret spending and research are never scrutinized.
"Today more than 100 multimillion- and mutibillion-dollar black weapons are
being built ... in windowless buildings."
The Pentagon which buys "bargains" such as $436 claw hammers and $9606
wrenches from its favorite contractors, says that the black programs are
better managed, more efficient and less susceptible to fraud than
unclassified programs. Frank Conahan, the head of the General Accounting
Office's national-security division says that's nonsense. "The only
difference between the two (programs) is the degree to which things are kept
from the public."
As Weiner says, if we are to be a truly open democracy, we cannot allow
our treasury to be spent in secret. "From the creating of the atomic bomb
through the construction of the Stealth bomber, from the covert funding of
the CIA's secret wars through the clandestine conspiracies of the
Iran-contra disaster, the costs of secrecy have been high; billions wasted
on useless weapons and a series of renegade foreign policies. ... We are
told we must build secret weapons and fight secret wars to defend our
democracy. But the secrecy best suited for a nation at war can be an enemy
to a people at peace."
SOURCE: ROLLING STONE, 9/6/90, "How the Pentagon Hides Its Secret
Spending," by Tim Weiner, pp 39-40.
End of text from cdp:christic.news
Source: Peacenet Via New York Transfer News 718-448-2358, 718-448-2683
[ This file has travelled through the Socialism OnLine! BBS
at +1-719-392-7781, 24 hours, 300-9600 bps HST/MNP/V42bis,
on its way to you, the reader of this file. Please share
any information you have about "big brother." Venceremos! ]
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank