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September 14, 2007

DHS and DOD can't pass basic audits

The AP has learned that neither the Department of Homeland Security nor the Department of Defense meets basic auditing requirements:

Ten years after Congress ordered federal agencies to have outside auditors review their books, neither the Defense Department nor the newer Department of Homeland Security has met even basic accounting requirements, leaving them vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse.

An Associated Press review shows that the two departments' financial records are so disorganized and inconsistent that they have repeatedly earned "disclaimer" opinions, meaning that they simply cannot be fully audited.

"It means we really can't put any faith in the numbers they use," said Ross Rubenstein, who teaches public administration at Syracuse University's Maxwell School. [AP]

According to the article, the DHS hasn't passed an audit since 2003.


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"It means we really can't put any faith in the numbers they use."

Boy, that says it all, doesn't it?

Wasn't Osama bin Laden a successful businessman with, one presumes, properly managed books before he took up the holy cause? Perhaps if we made him president we could at least get a minimum level of competence.

He's from a successful business family--the Saudi Binladen Group started in construction, but now does everything--but that is hardly the same thing as being a successful businessman. W is from a successful oil family. Also the success of the Binladen Group has as much to do with connections to the House o' Saud as it does business acumen.

In 1988, Michael Dukakis said he would offer "competence," not "ideology."

George H. W. Bush responded that "competence" is the Republican strong suit.

Maybe George H. W. Bush meant competence at stealing money from the taxpayers for corrupt deals.

Does anyone recall that in the summer of '01 there was a bruhaha about over 2 trillion unaccounted for by the DOD?

9.11 and that investigation vaporized. How convenient.

Now, who here was surprised? I mean, really.

By Mighty Thor, I want us to roll back to 1998. Roll the clock back. Strong stock market. Republicans were attacking the President for his military adventures in the Islamic world (Bosnia.) The United States had fairly serviceable rights of privacy and due process, warts and all. The Department of Homeland Security was an Orwellian freak nightmare after bad Chinese food, not the latest Republican slush fund among many.

Where's Monica - no chance in Hell she could be called back for one more unbelievable act of national service, or is that just too much for a country to ask of a citizen and patriot?

I'm never surprised by these stories, just depressed. I stopped being politically surprised circa 2001.

Sure, 2000-2001 was an emotional roller coaster. It turned out to be blissful compared to the emotional garbage scow that followed.

So, I'm left with the first law of the blues: Share your anguish with others, and maybe you'll feel better.

If we know what we spend for defense and homeland security, the terrorists have won--this is just another way to keep secrets.

So, I'm left with the first law of the blues

I found some CDs today I thought I’d lost a couple years ago – Elmore James, Charlie Patton, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Slim Harpo . . .

I was listening to Dubya Dipshit on the radio just then, yakking on about “all kahyhdah” and “terruh”. I put on a series of blues shouters and felt MUCH better. It occurred to me at the time that a selective criterion for the office of chief executive should be an appreciation of black popular music. The founding fathers would surely have included it in the constitution had they known what was to come.

The point is not to meet auditing guidelines when you're raiding the treasury.

I think mudkitty's got it. Muddled records have proved to be invaluable in Iraq for helping friends and allies get away with the loot; the government has only had to go to court a few times, I think, to prevent a company that defrauded them from having to pay it back.

Lindsay, please crank up the bass. I need to hear Robert Johnson and Robert Cray.

We shouldn't forget about the concentration camp guards who listened to Bach. Still, it does tell us something, I think, that the headliner at Bush's election-night 2000 party was Wayne Newton. (Who serenaded the crowd with "Danke Schoen".)

As the saying goes - it's not a bug, it's a feature. Anybody want to take some bets as to where the money ends up?

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