Obama’s Defense Department appointees – The $3.4 Trillion Dollar Question

Former Raytheon lobbyist, William Lynn, was appointed deputy defense secretary on Wednesday, February 11th after a contentious Senate confirmation hearing that led Republican Senator for Iowa, Charles Grassley, to forcefully object to the appointment on the basis of Mr. Lynn's “very questionable accounting practices that were obviously not in the public interest” while in the position of Pentagon Comptroller during the Clinton administration. The Senator's objection did not go far enough in exploring the “very questionable accounting practices” that Lynn engaged in during his tenure at the Defense Department from 1997 to 2001. The relevant question that should have been asked is “Where did the $3.4 Trillion go?”

In fiscal year 1999, the Department of Defense reported that it was missing $2.3 Trillion. In fiscal year 2000 the Department reported a missing $1.1 Trillion. Total: $3.4 Trillion “missing” taxpayer money. This happened under the watchful eye of the same William Lynn that now passes through the revolving door between the Department of Defense and the Defense industry.

Lynn was the Defense Department's chief financial officer and as such was responsible for all budgetary administration and reporting. He was also responsible for the publication of audited financial statements which he failed to do during his tenure and which have not been published since.

Lynn was nominated by Obama-Biden because “Lynn brings decades of experience and expertise in reforming government spending and making the tough choices necessary to ensure that American tax dollars are spent wisely.”

The other appointee, as Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller), Robert Hale, served as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force in the role of Financial Comptroller from 1994 to 2001. He was also responsible, along with Lynn, for the management of Defense Department funds. Hale is also a Certified Defense Financial Manager with acquisition specialty. This is his particular connection to the Military Industrial Complex.

Between these two appointees, they have lost enough taxpayer money to pay for Obama's Stimulus Plan 4 times over and are now again responsible for overseeing how the Department of Defense manages its appropriations. Obama's promise of fiscal responsibility within his administration can now be dumped in to the already overflowing trash can of broken promises.