Money with Zero Maturity


The Washington Post reports today that the two leading officials of the Counter Intelligence Field Agency (CIFA) resigned, apparently in the pork-cloud kicked up after fairly strong evidence (a guilty plea of attempted bribery is already involved) that CIFA may have provided counter intelligence contracts to subcontractor MZM, Inc. because of money and favors to Duke Cunningham from MZM’s President Mitchell Wade.

Reading about it, I am taken by an image of boys playing at adulthood, steeping themselves in a fantasy world of cloak-and-dagger counter-intelligence, and then gradually slipping their cloak and dagger habits to their own relationships with lawmakers, hunting after money without scruples in the narcissistic nooks of Congress.

According to Wikipedia, MZM means “money with zero maturity,” which is just how I think of pork – money that comes out of hasty, greedy process, tucked like a child playing hide and seek inside a bill — instead of the money that comes from the time-consuming but important adult work of transparent, open, deliberation.

Would we be safer if we knew the $1 billion spent by CIFA went to deserving contractors of counterintelligence? Would our own children have a better chance of growing to maturity in a world where clever greed didn’t reward so heavily?

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