Members of the Pentagon are human, just like everyone else. Therefore, it should be no surprise that they enjoy a bit of adult fun now and then. After all, who doesn’t? However, Congress is investigating just how that adult fun– namely at strip clubs and casinos– was actually paid for, and especially if the American taxpayers wound up paying for these nights out when it was all said and done.
According to the Washington Post, the Defense Department is well aware that government credit cards were used at these establishments, which is fine, because the officials to whom these cards are issued pay for anything deemed “personal” themselves anyway. And, of course, strip clubs and casinos are definitely personal expenses. What is being investigated is whether or not the taxpayers paid the bills rather than the partying military men. The Pentagon is currently investigating “whether disciplinary actions have been taken in cases of personal use and if the misuse was reported to the appropriate security.”
There likely was some inappropriate use of these cards, though, because in just one instance, a government-issued card was used by sailor for the Navy for charges at Dreams Cabaret and Red Parrot Gentlemen’s Club, which are two adult establishments located in El Paso, Texas. The sailor was on a business trip, though, so it very well could be on the up-and-up.
So far, the Defense Department’s Inspector General has determined that more than $3 million at casinos and strip clubs in 2014; however, roughly $2 million of it was apparently “legitimate”. Even so, there has been talk of making the cards unusable at adult entertainment clubs, casinos, and the like. It is currently unclear as to whether any such move has been made on the part of the Defense Department.
The thing is, these are government officials. Stories come out week after week about people in high positions of power doing something crooked with money, sex, or both, and these charges definitely involve both. Now, as government officials, there likely are perfectly legitimate reasons for money to be spent in such places. However, considering the fact that so many of these people are dirty, lying swindlers, the Inspector General is right to investigate. After all, the last thing the taxpayers should be paying for is nights of fun for government officials who make way more than the average American could ever dream of making. Want to gamble and go to nudie clubs? Do it on your own dime, not that of the American people.
H/T Washington Post
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.