When Congress considers Defense Authorization and Appropriation bills, we assume that all those involved in the process share the common goal of developing the most efficient military system possible for the United States. We also assume that Congress is provided with all the necessary information about the weapons systems under consideration, and that all the information provided is true. In fact, Pentagon officials, including generals, are not telling Congress "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Examining some of the conditions that discourage them from doing so and documenting cases in which the whole truth was not revealed can help us understand why the truth so often remains untold, and can guide us in proposing institutional changes designed to lessen the military's propensity to mislead.

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