Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Taking One for the Team

One million dollars to ship two 19 cent washers?

This story reinforces everything you've been led to believe about idiotic government, greedy defense contractors, and the evil of a military-industrial complex. You are disgusted, yet strangely satisfied that you knew this was going on all along. Confirmation feels good.

But hold on. Called as Seen explains that this is just one of the ways the Pentagon (via Congress) hides secret projects:

In essence, we may be seeing some funds "officially" being accounted for. Unofficially, though, I get the feeling something cool is being funded under the table.

But the explanation of idiocy, greed, and evil feeds into so many preconceived ideas that a secret is sustained. (Not that there isn't idiocy and greed aplenty in any area of the federal budget, mind you.)

As I've written on more than one occasion, hiding something usually doesn't mean keeping something absolutely hidden, but involves feeding a false explanation that enemies will readily believe because they already believed it.

Admit it, you believe a contractor can get away with billing a million dollars to ship two 19-cent washers.