Peder with a D

[plays well with others]

Military Corruption: A Feel-Good Story

Posted by Peder on 16 December 2008

Though I generally want to refrain from republishing news reported by others in this blog, I just had to share this very disturbing story of corruption in the Defense Department.  Published in Wired Magazine’s Danger Room blog, the story articulates how friends of then-Secretary of Defense benefited to the tune of $9.2 million through a program intended to show overseas troops that the American public supports them.

(Original Story, via Boing Boing)

Superheroes of the Defense Department (Photo from Wired)

The idea behind America Supports You was simple.  “If you’re serving overseas, and you watch the mainstream media coverage, sometimes you can’t tell if America knows you’re there,” said a program official.  The problem was that the troops were not the only ones benefiting.  Soon monies started funneling into “questionable and unregulated actions.”  Then directors of PR firm Susan Davis International started receiving salaries ranging $300k-600k from the fund.  Then Mitch Semel was given a half million dollars for web work.  Most of the money was laundered through the Pentagon-run Stars & Stripes newspaper.  Absolutely horrible.

In light of everything happening with the corruption surrounding Illinois Gov. Blogojevich and the general concern over the mishandling of the wars in Afghanistan, and particularly, Iraq, this story is really disheartening.  Problem is, with some of the other stories regarding no-bid contracts and general abuses as a result of the wars, this really feels like small potatos.

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