Billions of dollars designated to buy essential supplies for U.S. troops in the Middle East will instead finance controversial projects like an institute to honor a scandalous late senator who let his mistress drown in a car he recklessly drove off a bridge.
Indeed, $20 million in crucial defense money will be used to launch the Edward Kennedy Institute in Massachusetts. The money will come from a Pentagon account that largely pays for training, fuel and ammunition for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a news report published this week.
The shoddy Kennedy Institute deal is simply one of 778 such earmarks inserted by U.S. Senators in a defense spending bill loaded with questionable pet projects. In all, $2.6 billion were diverted to fund the deals that will largely benefit the financial supporters of the lawmakers, both Democrat and Republican, who recently passed the $636 billion measure.