Noah Shachtman over at WIRED's Danger Room blog has posted a pretty big exclusive. "A Defense Department project, supposedly designed to support U.S. troops, was used instead to channel millions of dollars to personal friends and allies of its chief," he tells Boing Boing. How much you wanna bet we see anything but impunity for the crooks in the outgoing administration responsible for this? Also, what are the underwear perverts doing in that photo above? No, not Rumsfeld, I mean the blue and red guys.
Anyway: here's a snip from Noah's post:
The "America Supports You," or ASY, program was led in a "questionable and unregulated manner," according to a Department of Defense Inspector General report, obtained by Danger Room. At least $9.2 million was "inappropriately transferred" by the project's managers. Much of that money served only to further promote ASY, instead of assisting servicemembers.Exclusive: Pentagon Pro-Troop Group Misspent Millions, Report Says (WIRED Danger Room)
In 2004, the office of then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld set up ASY as a six-month effort to showcase the U.S. public's backing for the troops and their families. "If you're serving overseas, and you watch the mainstream media coverage, sometimes you can't tell if America knows you're there," one official overseeing the program says. America Supports You was seen as a way to counteract that sense.
In time, however, the program grew. Pro-troop rallies were organized. Special wristband and dog-tags were made. Special-edition comic books were printed up. Processions were held on the National Mall, on the 9/11 anniversary. Sesame Street characters were enlisted to make DVDs that encouraged families with young children to talk about overseas deployments. America Supports You became a kind of umbrella group for all sorts of charity-related work for servicemembers and military families.
Meanwhile, ASY began to spend millions -- not to help the troops, the Inspector General says, but to help itself.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.