Bernie Sanders is taking on the military industrial complex with new legislation that would require audits of the Pentagon on a regular basis – and the Pentagon will have to return billions each year if they continue to fail those audits. This legislation should have been passed decades ago, and with the Pentagon budget approaching ONE TRILLION DOLLARS a year, we need accountability now. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Bernie Sanders has taken on the military industrial complex with new legislation that would require audits of the Pentagon on a regular basis. And the Pentagon will have to return billions of dollars for what they have completely wasted. They’ve lost it. It’s been fraud. Government contractors are stealing from ’em. Government contractors are marking up what they’re selling by 4000%. And Bernie Sanders says, what the hell? We left 2 billion dollars worth of military equipment in Afghanistan. That’s the low end of it. We have, we’re unable to account, the government says we’re unable to account for $1.5 trillion. Okay. And Bernie says, you know, shouldn’t we look at this?

Farron Cousins: It is, I mean, it’s laughable because it’s just so extreme, the fraud and corruption taking place. And of course it always comes down to Bernie Sanders gotta be the one to go out there and do it for us. Along with Ed Markey. Ed Markey is a good guy.

Mike Papantonio: Markey is very good on this issue.

Farron Cousins: He is. Also a name we might wanna start throwing out a little more for other things.

Mike Papantonio: Good point.

Farron Cousins: But Bernie Sanders points out the fact that, listen, the Pentagon itself has failed their last five audits in a row. They’re telling us every year, yeah, you gave us $800 billion, $900 billion. We know where like $400 billion of it went. But that other $400, pfft, that’s.

Mike Papantonio: Literally, that is what you just said is exactly what they had to admit. We don’t know three, what is it, $3.5 trillion? We don’t know where 60% of that went. Okay. Right now, every day we’re seeing stories about Ukraine. I mean, the graft and the fraud in Ukraine. But we just keep writing checks and sending them money. And, you know, at the same time, I thought this was interesting, I dunno if you followed this story. Zelensky has called off democratic elections indefinitely. Okay. Did you know that?

Farron Cousins: I hadn’t seen that.

Mike Papantonio: Yes. He’s called off democratic elections indefinitely. Now, I can see in a war zone, it’s tough to have an election, but you don’t call ’em off indefinitely. So we’re trying to pump up democracy by sending him this money. The money’s disappearing. The generals are saying, we don’t even know where the hell the money’s going. We saw it in Afghanistan, in Iraq. Good lord. I mean, the money we left in Iraq based on a lie that Cheney and Bush and Democrats and Republicans started. Right?

Farron Cousins: And we’re not just talking about, oh, it was allocated in a budget. We’re talking about, remember the pallets of cash?

Mike Papantonio: Yes. Yes.

Farron Cousins: Actual money dropped out of the airplane and nobody knows. We don’t know where any of the cash went.

Mike Papantonio: That was like, was it the number 5 billion? It was something really crazy.

Farron Cousins: It was in the billions, definitely.

Mike Papantonio: It was in the billions where we flew in the cash. They had pictures of it. They had stacks of bills and cash and they’re driving them off in trucks. They said, we asked, where is it? Nobody knows.

Farron Cousins: We’re just the delivery guys. Whatever happens once we drop it off, that’s on you.

Mike Papantonio: So we have an infrastructure in America falling apart. We’re sending money all over the world. The Pentagon doesn’t know where it is. The only people making money on this really are the contractors. Right? People building weapons and people who are governmental contractors that are selling us toilet seats, ashtrays, weapons, coffee makers with a 4000% increase.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And, you know, we’re also within a year or two of watching that Pentagon budget because what is the latest one, $886 billion?

Mike Papantonio: It’s almost $900 billion. Well, actually the argument is it’s $900 billion because they have all this hidden.

Farron Cousins: And they throw a lot more on right before it passes. But we’re a year or two away of it being a trillion dollars a year. And military spending already accounts for more than 50% of total US spending. We spend more on this Pentagon that is wasting and and losing it to fraud than we do on every other program combined in this country.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. And we got people who can’t get medical care. People who are struggling to eat. We have bridges falling apart. We have roadways falling apart. We have a president, again, ready to tip over, but still talks about what he’s done for the infrastructure. No, he hasn’t. There’s been nothing done. But what has been done for the military is $900 billion that we’re giving them. And even they admit, we don’t know, this is their words, we don’t know where 60% of it went. Scares the bejesus outta me.

Farron Cousins: Yes.

Mike Papantonio: Thanks for joining me, Farron.

Farron Cousins: Thank you.

Mike Papantonio: That’s off for this week, but all these segments are gonna be available throughout the next week. And make sure you follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer where we tell you the stories every week that corporate media won’t tell you. They can’t tell it because their advertisers don’t allow ’em to do it or their political connections are so strong Republican or Democrat that they can’t go out and tell the rest of the story. We’ll see you next time.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.