To be fair, “hunks of metal” wouldn’t cut it; it’s so much easier to blow up boats when they’re carrying highly flammable liquids. And motors of some sort were indicated, “as both ships moved through the sea”. Presumably that tug wouldn’t have pulled the hulk fast enough for a true test. Still, the point stands; something cheaper could have gone out. In a world where the Department of the Interior will pay $112K for somebody to manage a Facebook page (What do they pay for somebody who actually has to code html?), you would think that $90K or so would buy a Secretary of Demolition-Grade Watercraft Procurement to search Craigslist and Ebay for suitable deals. (It’s only $90K because shopping is fun, and there are more opportunities for money on the side.)
But clearly, Mike is looking at the glass as half-empty here, like the mopey hopeless/changeless teabagger he is. Given that the Navy is that cavalier about “our” money, it’s rather surprising that they didn’t randomly tax some senatorial yacht out there. They could have blamed it on a UFO, and if there were casualties, well, dulce et decorum est and all that.