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Posts Tagged ‘United States Department of Defense’


“$8.5 TRILLION In Taxpayer Money Doled Out By Congress To The Pentagon Since 1996 … Has NEVER Been Accounted For”

We’ve repeatedly documented that military waste and fraud are the core problems with the U.S. economy.

For example, we’ve noted that we wouldn’t be in this crisis of hitting the debt ceiling in the first place if we hadn’t spent so much money on unnecessary wars … which are horrible for the economy.

But it goes far beyond actual fighting.  We could easily slash the military and security budget without reducing our national security.

For example, homeland security agencies wasted money on seminars like “Did Jesus Die for Klingons Too?” and training for a “zombie apocalypse” instead of actually focusing on anti-terror efforts.

Republican Senator Tom Coburn notes that the Department of Defense can reduce $67.9 billion over 10 years by eliminating the non-defense programs that have found their way into the budget for the Department of Defense.

BusinessWeek and Bloomberg point out that we could slash military spending without harming our national security. Indeed, we could slash boondoggles that even the generals don’t want.

BusinessWeek provides a list of cost-cutting measures which will not undermine national security. American Conservative does the same.

Moreover, we’ve shown that the military wastes and “loses” (cough) trillions of dollars.  See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

The former Secretary of Defense acknowledged in May 2012 that the DOD “is the only major federal agency that cannot pass an audit today.”  The Pentagon will not be ready for an audit for another five years, according to Panetta.

Reuters quantifies these numbers today:

The Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China’s economic output last year.

Bonus:

Bill Clinton On NSA Spying: “We Are On The Verge Of Having The Worst Of All Worlds: We’ll Have No Security And No Privacy”

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DOD undertakes massive inoculation effort

20 Oct 2013 The Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago had already administered 17,000 flu vaccines to active duty military, their dependents, veterans and its staff even before it held a walk-in flu clinic last Saturday. All active duty military are required to receive the flu vaccine, which is also offered free to their dependents, veterans and Department of Defense health care workers. A steady stream young and old visited the free clinic at Lovell, the first DOD medical center in the nation to offer care for active duty military, their dependents and also to veterans.

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Next round of Afghanistan deployments announced

24 Sep 2013 Almost 9,000 soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan this winter, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. The deploying soldiers represent six major Army units, including a corps headquarters, a division headquarters, three brigade combat teams and a combat aviation brigade. The BCTs will go as Security Force Assistance Brigades, which are smaller, tailored units designed to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces [to protect the CIA’s opium routes].

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The Pentagon, headquarters of the United State...

The Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, taken from an airplane in January 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pentagon admits to holding phony arrival ceremonies for soldiers’ remains

12 Oct 2013 The Department of Defense unit charged with recovering servicemembers’ remains abroad has been holding phony “arrival ceremonies” for seven years, with an honor guard carrying flag-draped coffins off of a cargo plane as though they held the remains returning that day from old battlefields. The Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday that no honored dead were in fact arriving, and that the planes used in the ceremonies often couldn’t even fly, and were towed into position. NBC News writes that the ceremonies have been known among some of the military and civilian staff at the base as The Big Lie.

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Active Military Drill in DC During Capitol Police Shooting

According to government sources a military drill was taking place at the same time as the police shooting at the capitol

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03: U.S. Capitol police respond to reports of shots fired at the U.S. Capitol. October 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. Capitol police locked down the facility during the incident. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 03: U.S. Capitol police respond to reports of shots fired at the U.S. Capitol. October 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. Capitol police locked down the facility during the incident. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By JG Vibes

Details are still emerging about the police shooting that left a mother dead after she drove through a restricted area near the US capitol building. [1]

At first the media reported that she was a terrorist who fired shots, but hours later we learned that the woman was in fact unarmed, and was shot through the car for failing to pull over for police.  There was also a 1 year old child in the car who luckily was not struck by a stray bullet.

To make matters even more suspicious, there was also a live military drill taking place during the incident.

According to Army.com “Emergency vehicles and first responders are once again in action in the National Capital Region and will be thru Oct. 3. They are participating in “Capital Shield 2014.” More than 38 participating agencies from DOD and Capital region response agencies will perform mock mass casualty rescues, Defense Support to civil agency technical rescues and law enforcement tactical responses. The goal of the exercise is to ensure government agencies at every level are prepared to coordinate action to protect the public in the event of an actual disaster in the National Capital Region.”[2]

Since the police shooting occurred today, the actual webpage for the capital shield drill has been taken down by whoever operates the site.[3]

This may only just be a drill as they are saying it is, but these drills are important to look out for, because all too often when something goes wrong, the government is coincidentally staging some sort of “training exercise” nearby.

 

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Pentagon Spent $5 Billion on Weapons on Eve of Shutdown

01 Oct 2013 The Pentagon pumped billions of dollars into contractors’ bank accounts on the eve of the U.S. government’s shutdown that saw 400,000 Defense Department employees furloughed. All told, the Pentagon awarded 94 contracts yesterday evening on its annual end-of-the-fiscal-year spending spree, spending more than five billion dollars on everything from robot submarines to Finnish hand grenades and a radar base mounted on an offshore oil platform. To put things in perspective, the Pentagon gave out only 14 contracts on September 3, the first workday of the month.

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Colonel Matthew Moten

Colonel Matthew Moten
The United States Military Academy has reprimanded and removed one of its officials after an investigation showed he sexually harassed women in his chain of command.

Colonel Matthew Moten, the head of West Point’s history department, had been accused of attempting to kiss and touch female subordinates and wives of subordinate officers, Army Times reported.

Following a two-month investigation into the case, Moten was formally reprimanded in August, and voluntarily resigned from his post without an honorary general’s star. Customarily, retiring department heads are given an honorary general’s star.

According to Lt. Col. Webster Wright, a spokesman for the US Army Military Academy at West Point, Moten does not face criminal charges, but his actions, as Wright said, were “misconduct.”

Wright said the investigation began after it transpired that Moten behaved inappropriately in the school’s sensing sessions and again during sexual assault and harassment response training.

His removal is the third one during recent months which is associated with misconduct at the academy.

According to a recent Defense Department, the number of sexual assaults occurred last year in the US military was 26,000, compared to 19,000 in fiscal year 2011.

Dean Henderson, an American author and columnist at Veterans Today, believes generals and people at the top in the US military are to blame for the rising sexual assault rate.

A new study has found that US failure to deal with sexual assaults in the military costs the country billions of dollars annually.

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Unhappy With U.S. Foreign Policy? Pentagon Says You Might Be A ‘High Threat’

Watch out for “Hema.”

A security training test created by a Defense Department agency warns federal workers that they should consider the hypothetical Indian-American woman a “high threat” because she frequently visits family abroad, has money troubles and “speaks openly of unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy.”

That slide, from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), is a startling demonstration of the Obama administration’s obsession with leakers and other “insider threats.” One goal of its broader “Insider Threat” program is to stop the next Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden from spilling classified or sensitive information.

But critics have charged that the Insider Threat program, as McClatchy first reported, treats leakers acting in the public interest as traitors — and may not even accomplish its goal of preventing classified leaks.

insider threat

DISA’s test, dubbed the “CyberAwareness Challenge,” was produced in October 2012, a month before the Obama administration finalized its Insider Threat policy. The slide about Hema is included in a section of the training about “insider threats,” which are defined by an accompanying guide as “threats from people who have access to the organization’s information systems and may cause loss of physical inventory, data, and other security risks.”

Both Hema’s travel abroad and her political dissatisfaction are treated as threat “indicators.” Versions of the training for Defense Department and other federal employees are unclassified and available for anyone to play online.

“Catch me if you can,” the training dares.

In a statement to The Huffington Post, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart said, “DISA was sensitive to any civil liberty concerns that might arise from any portion of the curriculum, which is why it coordinated with 26 federal agencies to ensure the maximum amount of input was received before going live.”

“When considering personnel for a position of trust that requires a security clearance, there are many potential indicators that must be considered when evaluating for insider threat concerns,” he explained. “The department takes these variables into consideration based on past examples of personnel who engaged in spying or treasonous acts.”

Several million people across the federal government have taken the training since it was released, Pickart said, and there has been only one complaint. He added that the next version of the security awareness training, to be released in October, is being updated so that its insider-threat test focuses more on behavior, “not personal characteristics or beliefs.”

Notably, the CyberAwareness Challenge is given to a wide range of federal employees whose roles have far less to do with security threats than that of a National Security Agency contractor like Snowden. The Department of Housing and Urban Development even requires its private business partners accessing a tenant rental assistance database to complete the training.

The Defense Department version of the “CyberAwareness Challenge” shows a healthy familiarity with Manning’s disclosures to WikiLeaks: In one training slide, the user is asked what to do when contacted by a reporter from “WikiSpills.”

Identifying “WikiSpills,” even hypothetically, as a legitimate journalist organization is quite different from how military prosecutors have approached the real WikiLeaks in the trial of Manning. There the military has suggested that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange took few steps to verify the leaks he received before publication and acted as a virtual co-conspirator with his source.

Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said the DISA training slide was “ignorant and clumsy.”

“The item ‘speaks openly of unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy’ simply does not belong on the list,” Aftergood wrote in an email to HuffPost. “It is not a threat indicator. It could apply to most members of Congress, if not to most Americans. By presenting the matter this way, the slide suggests that overt dissent is a security concern. That is an error.”

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Pentagon: Guantanamo tab $5.2 billion and counting

30 Jul 2013 New number-crunching by Democrats campaigning for Guantanamo’s closure says the Pentagon spends nearly a half-billion dollars a year – a whopping $2.7 million per prisoner – to operate its offshore prison complex in southeast Cuba. The figure is by far the largest per-prisoner cost ever calculated and apparently, for the first time, includes troop costs. The ostensibly temporary Pentagon prison has, since it opened in 2002, been staffed largely by troops trained up on their way to Guantanamo for rotations of nine months to a year. The cost for this year – $454.1 million to operate, staff and build at the prison complex – comes from a report by the Defense Department’s Office of the Comptroller.

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Pentagon Has No Idea What 108,000 Contractors in Afghanistan Are Doing

03 Jun 2013 The number of contractors working in Afghanistan now vastly outnumbers American troops stationed there, according to a Congressional Research Service report. CRS, along with the Government Accountability Office, also determined that the Pentagon is unable to properly document the work these contractors are doing. And the information DOD is receiving is often unreliable and inaccurate. According to CRS, there are now 108,000 private workers in Afghanistan, a workforce that dwarfs the 65,700 American troops still stationed there. That means there are 1.6 contractors for every American soldier in Afghanistan. This is an increase from last month, when The Fiscal Times reported that there were 1.4 contractors per American soldier.

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Sequester this: DOD Inspector General finds $900 million stockpile of Stryker parts

31 Mar 2013 The Army program charged with keeping thousands of eight-wheeled Strykers running over the past decade had its eye so much on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that it neglected to keep its books. It accumulated nearly $900 million worth of Stryker replacement parts – most of them in an Auburn warehouse – with much of the gear becoming outdated even as the military continued to order more equipment, according to a Defense Department Inspector General report released late last year.

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US Senate has formally inquired the Pentagon about how the Air Force could call off a software upgrade after spending USD 1 billion.

On Wednesday, Senators sent a letter demanding an explanation for the cancelation of upgrading Air Force logistics management program, after it was reported that it would cost another USD 1 billion to achieve one-quarter of the capabilities originally planned for the software.

“From what we know to date, this case appears to be one of the most egregious examples of mismanagement in recent memory,” it was addressed in the letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

The project was cancelled one month ago after spending six years trying to modernize the system without success.

This comes while if the project had continued, it would have been ready to use first after eight years.

The program was not written from scratch, instead the Computer Sciences Corporation was contracted to “configure, deploy and conduct training and change management activities” to an already commercialized software program from Oracle.

The plan was to have auditable financial books working by 2017; however, with the termination of the project the Air Force must continue to rely on systems dating back to the 1970s.

A lengthy report was published by the Institute for Defense Analyses in 2011, criticizing the Defense Department’s software initiatives, stating that the modernization of software systems had been a priority since 15 years ago, costing more than USD 5.8 billion up to 2009.

 

source

 

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Bin Laden was publicly declared dead by the Obama White House nearly a decade after his real death to save Obama’s presidency and bolster his foreign policy record.

the video here

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Via Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

High ranking generals and admirals earn their stars.  They earn their stripes.  Then, they earn their cash.  New research by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found 70% of the 108 three-and-four star generals and admirals who retired between 2009 and 2011 took jobs with defense contractor or consultants.  In at least a few cases, the retirees have continued to advise the Department of Defense while on the payroll of defense contractors, suggesting the Pentagon may not always be receiving unbiased counsel.

A Boston Globe investigation revealed the number of retired three-and-four star generals and admirals moving into lucrative defense industry jobs rose from less than 50% between 1994 and 1998 to a stratospheric 80% between 2004 and 2008.

– From Strategic Maneuvers: The Revolving Door from the Pentagon to the Private Sector, a report by CREW

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has just released a fantastic new report on the revolving door between the Pentagon and the private sector, which raises serious concerns not only about ethics and corruption within the defense sector, but also raises issues of national security if retired generals are merely acting as mercenaries once they retire.  Meanwhile, these are the folks we are supposed to allow to read all of our emails and communications without warrants??

When I first figured out the gigantic ponzi scheme, theft and fraud within the financial system, centered around the Federal Reserve system and the TBTF banks, as well as the revolving door between the SEC, Treasury Department, etc and Wall Street firms, I never imagined the same thing goes on in virtually every sector of our corrupt crony capitalist economy…including the military.

One of the prime examples of the dangers of this activity outlined in the report revolves around Lt. Gen. Robert Dail.  He retired from the Army in January 2009 and by March 2009 had become the president of Supreme Group USA.  Supreme Foodservice had been paid at least $6.8 billion to provide food to U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, but then the Pentagon accused it of overcharging by hundreds of millions of dollars.  Despite this, the contact was renewed during Lt. Gen. Dail’s time there and in June 2012, the company was actually awarded an additional $1.5 billion contract to ease the transition to a new vendor.

Absolutely incredible.  Other key findings in the report are:

continued here

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The Pentagon is hoping that new efforts to reach out to the private sector will help upgrade its military force to be better prepared to fight in the digital age.

The new program, dubbed Plan X, hopes to facilitate the development of new technologies that will allow the military to ‘dominate the cyber battlespace,’ while simultaneously implementing a clearer strategy for using cyberattacks.

Plan X has already received $110 million in funding for the next five years, which it hopes to dole out in military contracts to researchers around the country

While the U.S. government has already relied on cyberwarfare, this is one of the first moves to bring in the public. Much in the same way Lockheed Martin holds contracts with the military to build conventional weapons, the Pentagon is hoping that labs, universities and even computer-game programmers will work to develop new cyber technologies.

Though the Defense Department said that Plan X will not fund the development of cyberweapons, it will work to create tools to make existing ones more effective. Experts say this could range from taking out power grids to disabling a pacemaker in an enemy combatant.

‘If they can do it, it’s a really big deal,’ Herbert S. Lin, a cybersecurity expert with the National research Council told the Washington Post. ‘If they achieve it, they’re talking about being able to dominate the digital battlefield just like they do the traditional battlefield.’

One of the main priorities for Plan X is creating a comprehensive, visual map that would plot out the digital locations of tens of billions of computers around the world. They hope that such an asset will help the military identify and target hostile servers and networks that they could then disable.

They also hope to create a stronger operating system that will allow for quicker attacks, while also making computers at home less susceptible to foreign attacks. Officials told the Washington Post that they hope this new system will look like an armored truck when compared to the SUV that is existing computer operating systems.

Plan X also hopes to set guidelines on how and when to use cyberattacks. Already, the Pentagon is working to create a playbook of sorts that will identify a myriad of possible cyber options to address any number of military situations.

‘Planners may develop specific and unique ‘plays’ to assist in planning future missions,’ Plan X reads. ‘This concept is similar to a football playbook that contains specific plays developed for specific scenarios.’

They hope this will add structure to what is currently a rather murky area for the military.

Ultimately, they hope to have the technology and organizational capabilities to be able to carry out smaller, more precise attacks orchestrated by individual commanders in the field.

Dan Roelker, a Plan X program manager, told the the Washington Post that this will allow commanders to quickly and efficiently initiate cyberattacks that would benefit their larger mission as a whole.

The practical uses, though still far out, are incredible, says Daniel Kueh, an information warfare professor at National Defense University’s iCollege. Specifically, he explains how eliminating power grids can be much more effective and less detrimental than during the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Serbia and Iraq.

‘In all of those conflicts,’ he said, ‘we went after the other side’s electricity with bombs.’

But now, the military can be much more humane, taking out power only when necessary and then being able to quickly restore it, without having to build an entirely new grid.

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