The Building For No One: The Defense Department Set To Demolish Huge Facility That Was Unused And Unneeded

money_1As the federal and state governments continue to shutdown or curtail core educational, environmental, and scientific programs due to lack of money, the disclosures of unspeakable waste continue to mount in Afghanistan and Iraq with no appearance of accountability or abatement. Indeed, for years, the media has reported billions of lost or wasted funds, including money disappearing into the corrupt government circles of leaders in the countries. Yet, Congress would prefer to debate Planned Parenthood or global warming grants. Consider the latest outrage. The U.S. military spent $34 million to build a huge headquarters for the Marines in Afghanistan with a theater, special operations rooms and other amenities. The problem that various people including the Marine commander were saying that it was not needed and would not be used. Now it is likely to be demolished, unused and unoccupied. There was the bridge to nowhere and now we have the building for no one.

The building is larger than a football field and has state-of-the-art air conditioning and equipment. As usual, contractors made a mint on the building and people in the military made sure that its lack of need or likely use would not stop the money flowing to willing hands.

John F. Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, wrote about the building in a recent letter. The 64,000-square-foot facility in Camp Leatherneck has everyone, as usual, pointing fingers in every direction with the result that no one will be punished. Sopko wrote “The building will probably be demolished.”

The building continued despite a letter sent by the top commander at the base that the building would not be used and should not be built. Contract officers simply ignored the letter and kept the money and construction going.

Of course, the building is the perfect metaphor for our recent wars — throwing billions at operations and programs that showed little evidence of long-term impact. No one wanted to take responsibility to pull out of the wars so we just kept spending hundreds of billions and killing or wounding thousands of our personnel. The importance was the appearance that we remain firm and victorious like an empty building in the middle of the desert.

Yet the war was a tremendous success for contractors who have made these billions.

Source: Washington Post

49 thoughts on “The Building For No One: The Defense Department Set To Demolish Huge Facility That Was Unused And Unneeded”

  1. Bill McWilliams,
    Yes I mean it. We cannot prevent terrorism by spending billions in conventional warfare and the loss of civil liberties in order to win the so called War on Terrorism is not worth what gains have been made. You cannot defeat a movement by killing kingpins and civilians. Time to leave Afghanistan and stop all payments of money to Karzai and his cronies and see how long he lasts. We need to stop wasting billions to hold up puppet governments that are not making us any safer.
    You don’t really think that the moon landings never happened, do you?

  2. Ike, on his last day. Military Industrial Complex. Watch out for it. No one heeded him. Now we are the Roman Empire and the Emperor himself is broke and has no clothes. Millions for defense, and not one cent tribute!

    Yeah. I say no money for defense and none for tribute. Especially to those Pirate Territories.


    Linchpin for Obama’s plan to predict future leakers unproven, isn’t likely to work, experts say

    WASHINGTON — In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

    The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

  4. “War should only be declared by the authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to support its burdens, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits.” James Madison

  5. “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.
    The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”- James Madison

  6. Emperical Data points: It takes great sophistication to bid and receive a government contract. If you get it from the start, do the steps and survive a couple of bid protest awards, you learn the game played. If you have big nads, you do an international project and survive, but all the while watching for the mistake that is invariably made on the part of the government so that you can get the change order you might need. Eventually, there is not a lot of competition, or you are so entrenched it doesn’t matter. I would love the to see the bidding record for the contract, and I bet it is largely available and would tell an interesting story, including who the subcontractors were. The contractors involved are a small group, and if pressed I could guess 3 of the top 10. So could others.

  7. raflaw — do you really believe that? Surely, you were just trying to be funny.

  8. Darren,
    The terrorists could be winning by making us try to outspend them and it won’t work.

  9. “When someone asked [President Lyndon Johnson] why he had not involved the public more in the question of Vietnam, he was told: ‘If you have a mother-in-law with only one eye and she has it in the center of her forehead, you don’t keep her in the living room.'” — David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest

    Speaking of more US government cyclops white elephants:

    Albino Pachyderms (lines 1051-1120)
    (From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

    White elephants sit in the living room
    Like Johnson’s Cyclops mother of a wife,
    Inhibiting the conversation’s bloom

    Suggesting by their presence sordid strife:
    Returns upon investments others made,
    Supported troops supported out of life

    Supporting politicians in the shade
    Who can’t support enough to get their fill.
    Upon the treasury they make a raid

    To profit from supporting those who kill.
    With such support the troops deploy once more,
    Their stop-loss orders telling them they will:

    A back-door draft supporting troops galore,
    Their Raven contracts honored “Nevermore.”

    Supporters of the troops roll in the dough,
    Their carpetbagging no-bid contracts huge.
    It’s not the “what” but rather “whom “they know;

    Their lobby toilet swirl a centrifuge
    That separates no quo from any quid.
    They figure after them comes the deluge,

    So better get it now and get it hid;
    A last-chance grab at all the graft that spurts
    From under troop-supporting’s toilet lid.

    They chant their Mammon mantra till it hurts
    To grease the skids for their corrupt cohort.
    Out from their flapping lips their lying blurts:

    “Support! support! support! support! support!”
    For sport, for sport, for sport, for sport, for sport.

    A “higher” father George the Worst consults,
    Like Jesus putting Joseph in his place:
    A put-down of his dad that got results,

    Like Mama causin’ Joe to lose his face
    By fornicatin’ with a larger dude
    Who knocked her up and left Joe in disgrace,

    The butt of village jokes both lame and rude.
    A scarlet Hebrew letter marks his shame;
    A cuckold branded for ineptitude

    Whose ingrate stepson chooses to defame
    The carpenter whose work earned him release
    From doing business in the earthly game.

    Like Zeus seducing peasant girls in Greece,
    Old Yahweh came on down and got a piece.

    Thus satisfied in his own mind, George plays
    With legendary myths about his birth.
    His limited attention span betrays

    No grasp of any knowledge of the earth.
    But with the Big Spook coaching him at night
    He feels no consciousness of any dearth.

    So anything, he figures, adds up right
    As long as “up in heaven” Daddy grins
    And says to disregard the nation’s plight;

    For nothing that George does can count as sins
    To those who never think a dumb thing odd.
    For all the lies and bullshit that he spins

    They genuflect and kowtow to a fraud
    Who swears that late at night he talks to GAWD.

    White elephants mean waste on scales so vast
    That few can comprehend the sunken cost
    Or summon any samples from the past

    To illustrate just how much we have lost.
    But like the busted gambler who can’t quit,
    Dame Clinton hopes the sun will melt the frost.

    And so into the wringer goes her tit,
    While Betty Boops and pampered poops cavort;
    Like flies about an open wound, they flit.

    In pain, the faces of our troops contort
    While she supports King George’s contract firms.
    Such rank ingratitude at their “support”!

    They only hope to finish out their terms,
    These asinine albino pachyderms.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2006-2010

  10. LBJ said that “waste is the biggest problem in government”.

    The MAIN reason for payoffs to corrupt foreign officials to ensure that U.S.
    CORPORATE interests in those countries is protected.

    And whoever said the U.S put a man on the moon obviously is ignorant of
    the evidence that the Apollo Moon landings never happened. Sorry to have
    to burst your illusion, but it was all an outragiously expensive propaganda hoax. Probably the largest corporate welfare scheme in modern history.


  11. War spending and tax cuts are as close to a stimulus package as the Administration is allowed to get, I liked the New Deal template better.

  12. The destruction of the white elephant facility will happen for public relations reasons. If the US government simply abandoned the building, the impoverished Afghans — like the Iraqis — would have it looted and stripped of anything valuable by sunrise the next day. Then someone would take a picture of the skeletal remains and this image would possibly make it back to the US where a few citizens might notice and complain. This would not make the US government — especially President Body-Count (or Peeping Tom) — happy. So, the additional costs of demolishing the place instead of just leaving it do have their bureaucratic rationale.

  13. nick/Indigo:

    I have wasted my vote so many times in the past when my candidate won. This candidate may lose but I wont be wasting my vote.

  14. Here we go again:

    Another Catastrophic Success

    With their tails tucked proudly ‘tween their legs
    Advancing towards the exit march the dregs
    Of empire, whose retreat this question begs:
    No promised omelet, just the broken eggs?

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2011

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