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How $65,000 was stolen from each American

The Federal Government can’t account for $21 trillion, does anybody care?

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Here are key excerpts from the most concise, accurate, and clearest, news-reports about something that almost all U.S. news-media have been completely hiding (issuing no reports about, though the theft indisputably happened and grows each year) — a theft of $65,000 from each American.

Consequently, this composite news-report (which is herewith being submitted to all U.S. news-media) will likewise probably be hidden by them. But, the few news-media that have already reported on this very important matter are linked-to here, and deserve great praise for having done so, because the vast majority still haven’t yet reported on this important matter, at all.

On September 10, 2001, then Secretary of the Department of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that for the 1999 DOD budget, “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” The War On Waste [was the CBS News report about this, dated 10 September 2001]. The following day the US sustained the terrorist attacks that forever changed our world, and this startling revelation was largely forgotten, until recently.

When a discrepancy occurs in an account that cannot be traced, it is usual to make what is called an undocumentable adjustment, or journal voucher. This is similar to when your balance is off by ten dollars when you reconcile your checkbook, so you add or subtract that amount to make everything balance with the bank. In 1999 the amount the Pentagon adjusted was eight times the DOD budget for that year, and one third greater than the total 1999 United States federal budget.

By 2015 the amount reported by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) had increased to $6.5 trillion for the Army only. [The 31 July 2016 article,] Pentagon’s Sloppy Bookkeeping Means $6.5 Trillion Can’t Pass an Audit[, by] Dr. Mark Skidmore, Professor of Economics at Michigan State University, [indicated that he] thought this made no sense and suspected an error in media reporting.

Looking into this issue by using data published on the government’s own websites, he found that $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments have been reported by DOD and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the years 1998-2015. That’s $65,000 for every person in AmericaHas Our Government Spent $21 Trillion Of Our Money Without Telling Us?

Jim Minnery of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service traveled the country in 2002 looking for records on $300 million. “We know it’s gone. But we don’t know what they spent it on,” he said. He says higher-ups covered up the problem by writing it off, and he was reassigned.

According to a 2013 Reuters report [“Special Report: The Pentagon’s doctored ledgers conceal epic waste”], the Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a 1996 law [actually a 1992 law that took effect in 1996] that requires annual audits of all government departments.

The Pentagon has spent tens of billions of dollars to upgrade to new, more efficient technology in order to become audit-ready. But many of these new systems have failed, either unable to perform all the jobs they were meant to do or scrapped altogether.

That Reuters article says:

“Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts. Every month until she retired in 2011, she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s – a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies. And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. For those, Woodford and her colleagues were told by superiors to take ‘unsubstantiated change actions’ – in other words, enter false numbers, commonly called ‘plugs,’ to make the Navy’s totals match the Treasury’s.”

This is also standard operating procedure for the other defense branches. Difficulties included a massive backlog of audits meant to ensure that vendor contracts had been fulfilled.

In a December interview on USAWatchdog (Dr. Mark Skidmore – $21 Trillion Missing from US Federal Budget), an online news outlet run by former CNN and ABC News correspondent Greg Hunter, Dr. Skidmore said he frequently consults for local governments, and undocumentable adjustments, while common, are never more than one percent of the budget. In the case of the Army in 2015, the adjustment was over 50 times their budget for that year.

Of the missing $21 trillion he discovered, $11.5 trillion was for the Army, usually on the expenditure side. But in the 2016 OIG report for 2015, he found a single transfer from the Treasury to the Army of $800 billion when their budget was only $122 billion. The additional $688 billion had not been appropriated by Congress, and the Army doesn’t know what it was spent on.

Skidmore talked with OIG but could never make contact with anyone who had worked on the report. He also talked with the Congressional Budget Office and the General [actually “Government”] Accountability Office.

They said if there was a problem there would be Congressional hearings. Donald Rumsfeld did testify before Congress in 2005, but no substantive answers were forthcoming. 2.3 Trillion Dollars Missing from DOD Day before 911 2001 Rumsfeld LIES [A] short time later, Dr. Skidmore discovered that the online links to all the relevant documents he had researched had been disabled. Fortunately he had made copies and they are available at Solari.comDOD and HUD Missing Money: Supporting Documentation In his Watchdog interview he made a public appeal. “If you have a background in accounting or bookkeeping, please take a look at it. We need your help. Does this make any sense to you? The Federal Reserve is the fiscal agent for the Federal Government. I think if we wanted we could see the flow of resources through the Fed.”

After Dr. Skidmore made the document removals known, they were put back up online in a different location.
He further explains that:

“These reports are not at all transparent. It’ll say for example there are thousands of missing records. Not just missing but records appear to be erased. But there’s no indication of how much money would be associated with those records that we can’t see. Similarly the one report for the Army at 6.5 trillion dollars, it’ll say something like, there were 170 unsupported journal voucher adjustments that account for two billion dollars and then it stops. In my mind I’m thinking the next step would be to go into those 170. 170 doesn’t seem like that many to look into. Why don’t we go and look?”

“These government documents say we have inadequate computing systems that don’t talk to one another. That we have incompetence at some level. We have explanations of erased records and computing error and inadequate audit trails.”

Greg Hunter: “You’re not saying they’re incompetent.”

Mark Skidmore: “Yeah, I’m not saying that. That’s what they’re suggesting. In my experience with people within the Federal Government, that is not the case. They are not that stupid. They are very sharp. And many of them care about what’s going on and want to do a good job. That’s my personal experience. I’m sure that there is some level of people who aren’t as competent as they could be, but there are many competent people and typically those people are the ones who are appointed to positions of responsibility. But that’s what these reports say.”

Greg Hunter: “We lost 21 trillion and we’re just stupid. I mean that’s just what they’re saying.”

Mark Skidmore: “For me it’s like how can we have these kinds of adjustments and this massive amount of money? It doesn’t make sense to me. …

On 22 November 2013, McClatchy bannered “Pentagon’s bosses thwart accurate audit of DOD’s main accounting office”, and reported that the whistleblowing former Defense Finance and Accounting Service accountant, Jim “Minnery described a lucrative audit mill in which private certified public accounting firms make millions of dollars each year providing financial seals of approval that the Pentagon and other federal agencies then point to as proof that their congressionally approved funds are not mismanaged. ‘The reason the Defense Department gets these clean audits is because these firms that audit them want to do more business with the Pentagon,’ he said.” So: the higher-ups at the ‘Defense’ Department are the ones applying pressure to keep the Deparment’s books fraudulent, like they are.

Here are the gory details, the documentation of the dollar-amounts that have been faked (untraceable):

>And here are my analyses of what’s behind all this, and of whom the chief beneficiaries of these massive thefts from the public have been (my hypotheses, of what and who and how has caused this theft of $65,000 from each person in America):

“How the Military Controls America”

“Taxpayer-Funded Mercenaries Serving Both U.S. & Foreign Aristocracies”

To summarize the argument in my two articles: the U.S. military controls American foreign policies, in order to maximize sales-volumes for the corporations that really pay, in retirement, the bulk of the top-brass’s lifetime income; and so those generals — even while being paid by the Government; i.e., on the government-side of the revolving door between ‘public’ service and ‘the private sector’ — are actually mainly salespeople for those private firms, getting contracts for all those unnecessary weapons.

How else, for example, could the narrative that’s documented in the 2013 Reuters report, “Special Report: The Pentagon’s doctored ledgers conceal epic waste”, make sense? Those generals were doing what their arms-merchant masters needed to be done in order to puff-up American military spending to become now around half of the entire world’s military spending.

Here (click on this link) are the top 100 sellers to the U.S. military.

The top 5 U.S. military contractors (Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman) = 32.44% of the total military sales to the U.S. Government.

The top 10 = 40.74% of the total such sales.

So, in order starting at the very largest, here are the top 10 beneficiaries of this system: Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, United Technologies, BAE, L-3, Huntington Ingalls, Humana.

Adding in the next 10, adds only around another 6% to that nearly 33%, and they are, also in order: Bechtel, Unitedhealth, McKesson, Healthnet, Bell-Boeing, SAIC, AmerisourceBergen, Textron, Booz Allen, GE.

So: U.S. military purchases are highly concentrated in only the top 5 (Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman), which, collectively, sell around a third of all U.S. military purchases. The clout that these five gigantic firms have is about half as much as all of the others combined; and, since there are only 5 of them, they can coordinate amongst themselves much more easily than the dozens of those others can; so, these 5 firms (perhaps in conjunction with America’s big oil firms, and other big international extractive industries) probably effectively control the U.S. Government’s foreign policies (i.e., decide which countries will be invaded, what weapons will need to be purchased in order to do that, etc.).

Though the taxpayer-costs are costs to the public, the corporate-stock-value growth and dividends, etc., are private gains to the controlling owners. This system is called “capitalism.” And that is capitalism explained as “imperialism” — the international, instead of (as is more typical) as the domestic, economy. It’s international capitalism, instead of merely national capitalism. It is the aristocracies that profit from invasions and from military occupations. The biggest losers from this are the countries that become invaded and occupied — destroyed — by these aristocracies.

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Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:


To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

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It’s Back to the Iran-Contra Days Under Trump

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Wayne Madsen, via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Showing that he is adopting the neoconservative playbook every day he remains in office, Donald Trump handed the neocons a major win when he appointed Iran-contra scandal felon Elliott Abrams as his special envoy on Venezuela. Abrams pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information on the secret sale of US weapons for cash to help illegally supply weapons to the Nicaraguan right-wing contras, who were battling against the government of President Daniel Ortega. Abrams would have headed to a federal prison, but President George H. W. Bush, an unindicted co-conspirator in the scandal, issued pardons to Abrams and his five fellow conspirators – former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and former Central Intelligence Agency officials Alan Fiers, Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, and Clair George – on Christmas Eve 1991, during the final weeks of Bush’s lame duck administration.

Abrams escaped being charged with more serious crimes by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh because he cut a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors. Trump, who has made no secret of his disdain for cooperating federal witnesses, would have normally called Abrams a “rat,” a gangster term meaning informant. The man who helped engineer the pardons for Abrams and his five convicted friends was none other than Bush’s Attorney General, William Barr, who has just been sworn in as Trump’s Attorney General. Trump, who is always decrying the presence of the “deep state” that thwarts his very move, has become the chief guardian of that entity.

During a recent hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, newly-minted congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, reminded her colleagues and the world about the sordid background of Abrams.

Omar zeroed in on Abrams’s criminal history:

“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”

Abrams, as is the nature of neocons, refused to respond to Omar and cited her comments as “personal attacks.”

Abrams’s and his fellow criminals’ use of mercenaries and “death squads” to conduct secret wars in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala during the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s has made a re-entrance under Trump. Abrams was brought on board by neocons like National Security Adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to oversee a US military build-up in Colombia, said to be 5000 US troops, to support Venezuelan paramilitary and military efforts to topple President Nicolas Maduro. Abrams and Bolton are also believed to have retained the services of another unindicted conspirator in the Iran-contra affair, Michael Ledeen, a colleague of the disgraced and convicted former Trump National Security Adviser, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Ledeen and Flynn co-authored a book titled, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies.” The book contains nothing more than the standard neocon tripe one might expect from the likes of Ledeen.

An official investigation of the Iran-contra scandal by the late Republican Senator John Tower of Texas concluded that Abrams’s and Ledeen’s friend, Iranian-Jewish middleman Manucher Ghorbanifar, a long-time Mossad asset and well-known prevaricator, was extremely instrumental in establishing the back-channel arms deals with Iran. Ghorbanifar has long been on the CIA “burn list” as an untrustworthy charlatan, along with others in the Middle East of similar sketchy credentials, including the Iraq’s Ahmad Chalabi, Syria’s Farid “Frank” Ghadry, and Lebanon’s Samir “Sami” Geagea. These individuals, however, were warmly embraced by neocons like Abrams and his associates.

Abrams, whose links with Israeli intelligence has always been a point of consternation with US counter-intelligence officials, is part of an old cabal of right-wing anti-Soviet Democrats who coalesced around Senator Henry Jackson in the 1970s. Along with Abrams, this group of war hawks included Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Abram Shulsky, and Paul Wolfowitz. Later, this group would have its fingerprints on major US foreign policy debacles, ranging from Nicaragua and Grenada to Lebanon, Iraq, and Libya. Later, in December 2000, these neocons managed to convince president-elect George W. Bush of the need to “democratize” the Middle East. That policy would later bring not democracy but disaster to the Arab Middle East and North Africa.

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela. They have old scores to settle with Nicaraguan President Ortega. The initiation of “regime change” operations in Nicaragua, supported by the CIA and the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, have been ongoing for more than a year.

The Trump administration has already achieved a regime change victory of sorts in El Salvador. Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, who was expelled from the formerly-ruling left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) party and joined the right-wing GANA party, was recently elected president of El Salvador. Bukele has quickly re-aligned his country’s policies with those of the Trump administration. Bukele has referred to President Maduro of Venezuela as a “dictator.” He has also criticized the former FMLN government’s recognition of China and severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan. It will be interesting to see how a sycophant like Bukele will politically survive as Trump continues to call hapless asylum-seeking migrants from his country, who seek residency in the United States, “rapists, gang monsters, murderers, and drug smugglers.”

Another country heading for a US-installed “banana republic” dictator is Haiti. President Jovenal Moise has seen rioting in the streets of Port-au-Prince as the US State Department removed all “non-essential” personnel from the country. Moise, whose country has received $2 billion in oil relief from Venezuela, to help offset rising fuel prices, has continued to support the Maduro government. However, at the US-run and neo-colonial artifice, the Organization of American States (OAS), Moise’s envoys have been under tremendous pressure to cut ties with Venezuela and recognize the US puppet Juan Guaido as Venezuelan president. Moise’s refusal to do so resulted in armed gangs hitting the streets of Port-au-Prince demanding Moise’s resignation. It is the same neocon “regime change” playbook being used in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

There will be similar attempts to replace pro-Maduro governments in his remaining allies in the region. These include Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Abrams was also brought in as an adviser on Middle East policy in the George W. Bush administration. The carnage of Iraq is a stark testament to his record. In 2005, it was reported that two key Bush White House officials – Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams – gave a “wink and a nod” for the assassinations by Israeli-paid operatives of three key Lebanese political figures seeking a rapprochement with Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah – Member of Parliament Elie Hobeika, former Lebanese Communist Party chief George Hawi, and former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In 2008, a United Nations panel headed by former Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare later concluded Hariri was assassinated by a “criminal network” and not by either Syrian and Lebanese intelligence or Lebanese Hezbollah as proffered by Abrams and his friends in Washington.

Representative Omar was spot on in questioning why Abrams, whose name is as disgraced as his two fellow conspirators – Oliver North and John Poindexter – whose criminal convictions were overturned on appeal, is working for the Trump administration on Venezuela. The answer is that the neocons, who can sense, like raptors, Trump’s political weakness, have filled the vacuum left by top-level vacancies in the administration.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

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Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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