I'm not that upset about the recent report of the Pentagon spending $998,000+ to send two 19-cent washers. Not upset at all.
Y'see, folks, there is a part of the Pentagon budget we do not see. These are the super-secret R&D programs, otherwise known as black projects. This was where HAVE BLUE/SENIOR TREND/the F-117 had its birth (as one of the more successful projects). Blackstar, which both I and my co-blogger have discussed, is another reported project.
Folks, the projects you read about in Aviation Leak have to get their funding from somewhere. At the same time, for someof these projects to be valauable, we need to keep them quiet. So, what's a good way to funnel the money for a design study for some black project that may or may not exist at DARPA/Groom Lake (say Project A56-7W) and at the same time NOT tell anyone the project exists?
You make it look like you got overcharged for something else. That way, when someone wonders where the cash went, you can explain. Meanwhile, folks walk away. If $500 million is a rounding error, then $1 million is what you lose in the couch cushions.
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.