21st Century Wire says…
This has been a sacred cow in America for generations – no one dared challenge the men with stripes, or the corporations behind them. No one dared ask where all the money has disappeared to. No longer.
US taxpayers nearly caught this beast by the shirt tails in 2001, when then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was forced to admit in public that the Pentagon could no account for roughly $2.3 trillion – in one year alone. This amount was nearly equivalent to the entire US national deficit at the time.
The day on which he broke that bit of bad news just happened to be on Sept 10th, 2001, and that staggering admission was conveniently buried under a layer of WTC dust a day later.
As if that wasn’t enough, we now find out that the army somehow lost track of $5.8 billion in “supplies” between 2003 and 2011.
We’re waiting for the next Rumsfeld moment, when Chuck Hagel, or whoever the stooge de jour – will stand in front of the nation and announce that $6 trillion as been lost… somehow. When that day comes, look out for what’s coming next. History taught us that much.
Sure, there is theft and fraud which is ongoing in the US Dept of Defense – that’s a given considering the amount on money and paper work being shuffled each week. It would be easy enough to blame the military for the annual hemorrhaging and the black budgets, but the real blame lays squarely on the men in suits – the ones who sign the blank cheques and ask no questions.
Why are politicians and civil servants so eager to give away tax payer money and never ask for accounting in return? Obvious answer: your money always ends up in the pockets of military contractors – and the same cash is buying their careers in office.
The military industrial lobby, along with their banker friend behind the curtain, is no different than the mafia in terms of their ability to shake down the government for more contracts and who knows who’s actively working behind the scenes to start more wars – wars that shift product.
We’re left wondering why Rumsfeld didn’t keep any extra money aside to set design. You’d think that with all those trillions they’d be able to do better set dressing than this:
9/11: What’s with the ‘art house’ production budget? No plane wreckage, no bodies, nothing.
Breaking this week…
Pentagon guilty of billion-dollar accounting fraud, reveals Reuters investigation
A new report from Reuters has discovered widespread accounting fraud at the Pentagon, describing a budget of more than $8 trillion disappearing into a mess of corrupted data, erroneous reports, and unauditable ledgers.
Sources from the Department of Finance and Accounting describe the arduous process of squaring the Navy’s books with the US Treasury outlays, dealing with obviously inaccurate numbers or entries that were simply left blank. The data usually arrives just two days before deadline, and supervisors direct the office to enter false numbers — known as “plugs” — to square the accounts and conceal the agencies’ patchy bookkeeping. The result is fraudulent figures that can reach as high as a trillion dollars in a single year, simply to make the Pentagon books match the Treasury’s budget.
The report doesn’t allege any specific instances of fraud, but rather a widespread failure of accounting processes that have allowed for a staggering quantity of waste and misallocation of resources. “I don’t think they’re lying and cheating and stealing necessarily, but it’s not the right thing to do,” Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told Reuters.
In one example, the Army lost track of roughly $5.8 billion worth of supplies between 2003 and 2011. That figure is troubling partially because of the possibility for profiteering, but more so because of the equipment shortages reported by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan during those years. Those shortages were made significantly worse by what Reuters describes as “the Pentagon’s chronic failure to keep track of its money.”
The result has drawn widespread criticism from Congress and Pentagon leaders alike, but it’s unclear how close the agency is to solving the problem. In 1996, the Clinton administration mandated yearly audits on all federal agencies, but while every other agency has complied with the order, the Pentagon has yet to undergo a single audit, presumably because of the fraudulent figures that would be unearthed. It’s particularly ironic because, in the private sector, this kind of intentionally misleading book-keeping is a criminal offense. In 2011, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that Pentagon ledgers would be audit-ready in 2014, a full 18 years after federal law first required annual audits for all government departments. As a result of the report, Reuters concludes the Pentagon probably won’t meet the deadline, suggesting this waste may continue for years to come.
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