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Service members and other Pentagon employees used Defense Department credit cards for thousands of unauthorized transactions at casinos and strip clubs across the country, according to an audit released Tuesday by the Pentagon’s internal watchdog.
The report by the department’s Office of Inspector General found that misuse of the official credit cards was highest in the Air Force, followed by the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps, for the one-year period investigated, July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014.
The locations where Defense Department credit cards were used for personal transactions included the VIP Room of theSapphire Gentlemen’s Club and Vegas Showgirls in Las Vegas, Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in Baltimore, and Dreams Cabaret in El Paso, Texas.
“DOD cardholders improperly used their government travel charge card for personal use at casinos and adult entertainment establishments,” Michael J. Roark, assistant inspector general for contract management and payments, wrote in the report.
The head of the Defense Travel Management Office acknowledged the abuses, but protested that they represent a tiny fraction of overall use of the Pentagon’s travel credit cards.
“The report language applies a very broad stroke against all cardholders when, in reality, personal use of the Government Travel Charge Card is negligible when compared to the size and scope of the program,” Harvey W. Johnson, the office director, responded in a letter provided along with the report.
He noted that a total of $3.4 billion in legitimate expenses were charged to the cards in the same time period.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the report is its identification of over $2.2 million in charges for what it described as “official use” at casinos and adult establishments.
The finding suggests that Pentagon personnel are permitted in some circumstances to dine and drink or entertain at casinos and strip clubs.
The inspector general’s office found weak internal controls in Pentagon accounting systems and failures to report suspicious charges to the Defense Department by Citibank, which provides the travel cards. Several Pentagon financial agencies and Citibank agreed to implement stronger controls, such as using codes to ferret out casinos and strip clubs that use innocuous-sounding names to disguise the nature of their business.
The Pentagon also agreed to be on the lookout for red flags such as ATM cash withdrawals that exceed travel amounts allowed for meals and incidental expenses and multiple ATM withdrawal rejections.
In one example cited in the report, a petty officer first class with the Navy Special Warfare Group spent six times his allotted meal and incidental expense money while visiting four different adult establishments in El Paso, spending $1,116 during 17 days of travel.
After an appearance before a Disciplinary Review Board, that officer completed Travel Card 101 training, signed a new statement of understanding on how to use the cards and provided a training session to his peers.

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‘The U.S. Air Force is paying Mike Domitrz $2,222 an hour to teach airmen when it’s OK to kiss on a date.
Domitrz, a speaker who has published books on relationships and survivors of sexual assault, will present three sessions titled “May I Kiss You?” to airmen, according to a report today in The Washington Free Beacon.

In a contract awarded by Dyess Air Force Base, outside Abilene, Tex., the Air Force will pay Domritz’s company, the Data Safe Project, $10,000 for three 60 to 90 minute sessions — approximately $2,222.22 per hour if all three sessions run the full 90 minutes.’

Read more: Pentagon ‘Kiss’ Training Costs Over $2,000 Per Hour

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Hundreds of millions of dollars are missing in action in Afghanistan, and auditors are blaming the Pentagon’s flawed accounting practices for the problem.

A new report from the office of John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), revealed that there’s virtually no way to know what happened to a large chunk of money the Defense Department spent in Afghanistan before 2010.

The auditors said DOD handed over data only for $21 billion of the total $66 billion it spent rebuilding the war-torn country. But unlike most cases of missing money in Afghanistan (of which there are plenty), the auditors don’t blame this on corruption or waste—but rather on accounting issues.

The Commander’s Emergency Response Program, for example, is set up in such a way that it’s extremely difficult to monitor all of the money spent on the program’s projects. Under that program, commanders may spend money to respond to emergencies like floods and fires. Any expense below $500,000 isn’t treated as a traditional defense contract and doesn’t have to be recorded in the same way.

The Pentagon only had data for about 57 percent of the total $795 million spent by that program between the years 2002 and 2013.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/04/01/45-Billion-Tax-Dollars-Goes-Missing-Afghanistan

Related: $100 Billion in Aid Squandered in Afghanistan

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‘Israeli officials have asked the US Congress for an additional $317 million to be added to the proposed budget for the regime’s missile programs.

The funds requested by Israel are in addition to the $158 million the Pentagon proposed for the fiscal year that starts on October 1, the Jerusalem Post reported on Saturday.

According to a report published by Bloomberg on Friday, the funds are for Israeli David’s Sling and Arrow 3 missile systems.

“Israel’s latest lobbying on Capitol Hill, instead of through the White House and Pentagon, comes at a low point in political relations between the US and Israel over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress on March 3,” the report said.’

Read more: Israel asks US Congress for $317million more missile funding: Report

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‘The US Defense Department has decided to keep secret its massive spending in Afghanistan, according to Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

“[The Pentagon] is about to come and scrub our computers of the data,” Alex Bronstein-Moffl, SIGAR’s director of public affairs, told Fusion.

According to a report by SIGAR, the institution can no longer track how billions of American taxpayer dollars are being spent in Afghanistan.’

Read more: Pentagon to keep secret military spending in Afghanistan

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Pentagon Refuses to Release Unclassified 1987 Report about Israel’s Nuclear Program and Super Computers http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/pentagon-refuses-to-release-unclassified-1987-report-about-israels-nuclear-program-and-super-computers-150113?news=855360 

Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman A think tank researcher has been fighting with the Pentagon to get a 1987 report on Israel’s nuclear program and supercomputers released despite the fact that the document in question is not classified.

Grant Smith, founder of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc., first asked theDepartment of Defense (DoD) to release the report (“Critical Technology Issues in Israel and NATO Countries”) three years ago through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Last fall, after numerous delays by the DoD, Smith went to court to force the report’s disclosure.

Defense lawyers contend it was necessary for officials to ask Israel to review the report before complying with Smith’s request—an unusual move on the part of a U.S. agency involving an American FOIA issue.

Meanwhile, the judge hearing the FOIA case, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, has wondered why it has taken three years without a decision by the Pentagon.

“I’d like to know what is taking so long for a 386-page document. The document was located some time ago,” Chutkan said in November, according to Courthouse News Service. “I’ve reviewed my share of documents in my career. It should not take that long to review that document and decide what needs to be redacted.”

The report may contain details about an internal debate nearly 30 years ago among U.S. officials about whether Washington should authorize the sale of a Cray supercomputer to a coalition of Israeli universities. “The United States approved the sale of powerful computers that could boost Israel’s well-known but officially secret A-bomb and missile programs,” wrote the author of a 1995 Risk Report article about the Cray controversy that cited the Pentagon document. “A 1987 Pentagon-sponsored study found that Technion University, one of the schools in the network, was helping design Israel’s nuclear re-entry vehicle. U.S. officials say Technion’s physicists also worked in Israel’s secret weapon complex at Dimona.”

Smith’s effort “to get hold of the Pentagon report is set against the backdrop of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” wrote Janet McMahon at Courthouse News Service. “Israel has not signed the treaty. Iran, on the other hand, has signed the treaty.”

The current negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program is part of that backdrop. “The reason this would be seen as controversial is you have this real concerted push for Iran to come clean on its nuclear program and to relinquish its infrastructure,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies VP Jonathan Schanzer told the Washington Examiner. He said he saw “no reason” why the U.S. government would authorize the report’s release, but adding that if it was released, it would probably not affect the Pentagon’s publicly ambiguous stance regarding Israeli nuclear capabilities.

Smith has grown frustrated over the government’s stalling on the issue, saying: “So what we’ve seen most recently is that the government is now coming up with novel ways to try and delay this by talking about mandatory disclosure reviews. We don’t think it’s meaningful that their captive think tank may have signed NDAs. Perhaps they even have a sock puppet in the Pentagon that signs NDAs on their behalf. It would be the same from our perspective.”

 

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‘According to the group which identifies itself as Anonymous, the ISIS hack of the Pentagon’s Twitter accounts traces back to Maryland – home of the National Security Agency.

Twitter and YouTube accounts belonging to the U.S. military command that oversees operations in the Middle East were reportedly hacked by ISIS sympathizers earlier today, with messages being sent out for almost an hour before the accounts were temporarily shut down.

“American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back, ISIS,” the hackers posted on the U.S. Central Command Twitter feed.’

Read more: ISIS Hack of Pentagon Twitter Accounts Traced Back to Maryland

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Pentagon requests $1.2B for Iraqi army as investigation reveals Iraqi army paying at least 50,000 soldiers who don’t exist

30 Nov 2014 The Iraqi army has been paying salaries to at least 50,000 soldiers who don’t exist, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Sunday, an indication of the level of corruption that permeates an institution that the United States has spent billions equipping and arming. A preliminary investigation into “ghost soldiers” — whose salaries are being drawn but who are not in military service — revealed the tens of thousands of false names on Defense Ministry rolls, Abadi told parliament Sunday…The Pentagon has requested $1.2 billion to train and equip the Iraqi army next year. The United States spent more than $20 billion on the force from the 2003 invasion until U.S. troops withdrew at the end of 2011.

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SIGAR: Pentagon’s $700M – $800M economic development in Afghanistan ‘accomplished nothing’

18 Nov 2014 The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says he is investigating the Pentagon’s efforts to spark that country’s economic development, which cost between $700 million and $800 million and “accomplished nothing.” SIGAR’s chief, John Sopko, told reporters Tuesday, that the agency has opened an “in-depth review” into the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO), a Defense Department unit aimed at developing war zone mining, industrial development and fostering private investments…More broadly, Sopko faulted the US government’s economic development efforts in Afghanistan as “an abysmal failure,” saying it lacked a single leader, a clear strategy or accountability.

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More Than 600 Reported Chemical Exposure in Iraq, Pentagon Acknowledges

6 Nov 2014 More than 600 American service members since 2003 have reported to military medical staff members that they believe they were exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq, but the Pentagon failed to recognize the scope of the reported cases or offer adequate tracking and treatment to those who may have been injured, defense officials say. The Pentagon’s disclosure abruptly changed the scale and potential costs of the United States’ encounters with abandoned chemical weapons during the occupation of Iraq, episodes the military had for more than a decade kept from view. This previously untold chapter of the occupation became public after an investigation by The New York Times revealed last month that although troops did not find an active weapons of mass destruction program, they did encounter degraded chemical weapons from the 1980s [provided to Saddam Hussein by the CIA] that had been hidden in caches or used in makeshift bombs.

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The United States Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have struck a deal worth about $4 billion, sources say.

The contract signed for an eight batch of 43 F-35 fighter jets will lower the cost of the radar-evading warplanes by 3 percent, the sources stated on Thursday.

Lockheed Martin will undertake to build jets for both the US and its allies.

According to one of the sources, the US can reduce the cost of the Air Force model of the plane by approximately 4 percent. The cost includes the expenses for 17 of the total 43 aircraft.

After an engine on Air Force jet failed on June 23, the entire F-35 fleet was grounded for weeks and this slowed the negotiations between the two sides.

An official at the Martin corporation said on Tuesday that the company could reach a deal with the Pentagon which would encompass weapons program worth $399 billion.

“We are encouraged by progress taking place and look forward to an agreement in the near future,” said Lockheed spokesman Mike Rein.

In January, the White House gave the Pentagon its budget guidance for 2015 through 2019, calling for more military spending than Congress currently allows.

The fund would add to the $498 billion military base budget for 2015 which was agreed on in last year’s bipartisan budget deal.

The $498 billion budget includes $9 billion in relief from 2011 congressional budget caps, known as sequestration, which cuts the military spending by almost $50 billion in a decade.

 

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/25/383571/pentagon-to-buy-fighters-worth-4bn/

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‘In case you weren’t aware, the Pentagon is set to roll out a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. Personally, it’s hard to get excited about commemorating an event that led to the death of over 58,000 American soldiers and more than a million Vietnamese, particularly since much of it was the direct result of well documented lies and deception, such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

What’s worse, the Pentagon intends to rewrite history by whitewashing this period of civil unrest and government shame from American history. The propaganda is so blatant that it has resulted in many of the era’s most well known protestors and activists to come together in order to stop it.’

Read more: Propaganda 101 – How The Pentagon Is Trying To Rewrite Vietnam War History

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Virus ‘returning to sender?’

Ebola scare closes Pentagon entrance, keeps bus passengers quarantined for hours

17 Oct 2014 A woman who said she had recently returned from Africa vomited outside the Pentagon on Friday, prompting police to close a parking lot and entrance amid concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus. The incident occurred about 9:10 a.m., said Lt. Col. Tom Crosson, a Pentagon spokesman. The officers found the woman in the Pentagon’s south parking lot, and the Arlington County Fire Department was notified…UPDATE, 3:25 p.m.: A source familiar with the investigation told Checkpoint that the woman does not own a passport and it is not believed she left the United States. The source acknowledged the contradiction between that and the Pentagon’s previous statement that the woman told police she had recently traveled in Africa, but it is not believed that is the case.

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Pentagon sending 1,400 troops to Liberia

[See how this works? First, the U.S.-patented disease arrives–then comes the U.S. troops.]

DOD: 1,400 troops to deploy to Liberia to fight Ebola, starting in October 1 Oct 2014 Deployments of U.S. troops to ‘fight the Ebola outbreak’ in West Africa will accelerate this month when 1,400 soldiers are dispatched to Liberia, the Pentagon announced. The troops are expected to arrive in late October, joining nearly 200 Department of Defense personnel on the ground there, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Tuesday. Half of the soldiers are from the headquarters element of the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky., and will form the headquarters staff of a joint forces command led by Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky.

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