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Winslow T. Wheeler: The Pentagon Remains Immune | CounterPunch

The House of Representatives will soon be debating the new Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill. It’s expensive – $649 billion, close to another post-World War II high. The bill covers almost all of DoD’s expenses for fiscal year 2012 – both routine expenses, such as basic payroll, training and weapons acquisition (known as the “base” budget), and war spending – for Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

It would also be useful to get an explanation why a bill that has no “congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits” has so much pork.

Asking such questions on the floor of the House of Representatives would mean that someone is focused on ethics and accountability in how Congress oversees Pentagon spending.

But I expect no such inquiries. Instead, it’s all business as usual as the Republicans and Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee run a defense-budgeting operation every bit as full of pork, gimmicks and dodges as ever.

Winslow T. Wheeler is director of the Straus Military Reform Project and editor of “The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It.”

Read more here: Winslow T. Wheeler: The Pentagon Remains Immune.

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