Fools and their money

Downtime’s mum was fond of saying, with pointed emphasis, “A fool and their money are soon parted”.
Which makes one wonder about defence force officials on both sides of the Atlantic. First there’s the long-suppressed news (see elsewhere in this column) that computer expert Dennis Montgomery allegedly took the CIA, the US Air Force and even Dubya Bush for a $20m ride with tales of his software that could identify coded terrorist messages in Al Jazeera broadcasts, identify terrorists from flying drones, and pick up the noise of hostile submarines.
Elsewhere in the New York Times story was the gem that a Pentagon study had discovered that it paid $285bn over three years to 120 contractors it later sued for fraud or wrongdoing.
Not that the UK is much better. The National Audit Office discovered MOD cock-ups in just the 15 biggest projects cost taxpayers an extra £3.3bn last year.
Downtime is now wondering that, consonant with the effect of government’s spending cuts on the MOD’s capacity to project force at a distance, it can interest the MOD in a slightly used boomerang. The eBay auction ends at 18.00. Current price is £2.30, but interest is sure to pick up once the MOD hears of it.

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