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Pentagon Can’t Account For 8.5 Trillion Taxpayer Dollars

November 19, 2013 by Sam Rolley 

Pentagon Can’t Account For 8.5 Trillion Taxpayer Dollars

A recent investigation has revealed that the Pentagon has failed to account for $8.5 trillion dollars of taxpayer money Congress has allocated toward the U.S. Department of Defense since 1996.

According to the report, out from Reuters, the Pentagon has routinely cooked its books by failing to supply a clear monthly account of the money spent for Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS).

Via Reuters:

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 manoeuvre 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. “A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate,” Woodford says. “We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.”

The data flooded in just two days before deadline. As the clock ticked down, Woodford says, staff were able to resolve a lot of the false entries through hurried calls and emails to Navy personnel, but many mystery numbers remained. 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.

The news agency revealed that for the fiscal year 2012, it is “impossible to determine” how much of the $565 billion Congress budgeted for the Pentagon was used for its intended purpose.

The report also reveals numerous examples of unnecessary military spending as well as about a half trillion dollars in unaudited contracts with private companies, meaning there is no way to tell whether goods and services were ever actually delivered to the Defense Department.

“The Pentagon can’t manage what it can’t measure, and Congress can’t effectively perform its constitutional oversight role if it doesn’t know how the Pentagon is spending taxpayer dollars,” Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said in an email response to Reuters. “Until the Pentagon produces a viable financial audit, it won’t be able to effectively prioritize its spending, and it will continue to violate the Constitution and put our national security at risk.”

Coburn and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have introduced bipartisan legislation to limit funding for new Pentagon programs and prohibit the purchase of new technology if the Defense Department is not ready for audits by 2017.

That the Pentagon is bad at tracking taxpayer money is nothing new. In fact, on the day before the terror attacks on 9/11 that lead to more than a decade of ramped up military spending, then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced, “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 Trillion dollars in transactions.”

Rumsfeld went on to say that America’s “adversary is closer to home, it’s the Pentagon bureaucracy.”

The next day, however, the Trade Centers fell and talk about wasteful military spending was forgotten.

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“It really can’t be called ‘Islamophobia’ -- the terrorists really do want to kill us all.”                                     
"I would have preferred a lot less discussion out of the White House,”
             Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
“The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden”
Giving Away the Entire INTEL Farm?
Rajjpuut has been saying this for eight days now, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld started saying it Sunday. It’s not a popular thought, but since it’s true it ought to be heard loud and clear . . . Barack Obama has adopted a very unprofessional, nay a very amateurish position with regard to the “treasure trove of intelligence” gathered from the Navy SEAL raid that killed Usama Bin Laden. Supposedly, this is the largest gathering of information ever made available to the U.S. intelligence community according to our loud-mouth National Security advisors . . . but even Senator John Kerry has said, "We need to shut up . . . “ in a statement while on the Face the Nation television program.
 IF Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush had sent in the SEALs on this successful raid, it’s highly likely that Bush would have acted far more discreet and professionally with the information. Mr. Obama does not believe we’re in a “War on Terror” and the simplest and wisest paths are therefore, seemingly beyond his ken, for example, the World War II dictum that “Loose lips sink ships.” Why was Barack Obama in such an all-fired hurry? Two reasons jump out at any intelligent observer: A) immediate political gain and B) a silly outreach to Muslims by showing them that Obama had been killed and now Obama would be buried in some semblance of Islamic respect. (Didn’t Mr. Obama once tell us that “terrorists are not Muslims” . . . if that’s true, why the rush to show that we’ll honor Bin Laden’s body like that of a practicing good Muslim?). Like Obama’s commandment to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), that one of his primary goals now was to reach out to the Islamic world** . . . Mr. Obama has certainly got his priorities on backwards again.
Mr. Poker-Face Barack is seemingly turning his cards up for all the world including our most deadly enemies to see and is abandoning even the most obvious sound advice from childhoold:  “That’s for me to know and you to find out . . .” Mr. Obama doesn’t seem to understand that great INTEL in the War on Terror (or should we call it “the War on man-caused disasters?”) is like being dealt two aces in Hold-em poker . . . something you don’t want your opponents to find out about or even suspect until it’s far too late.   And, by the way, Mr. Obama, the war is still going on and two aces don’t always win, and far too often lose . . . all in all for parts of nine days now we’ve seen the actions of a very naïve “leader” . . . and a very weird sort of Muslim^^ outreach.
ITEM: Under George W. Bush, we the American citizens probably still would not have found out that Usama Bin Laden was dead, and only about now, rumors would have started appearing on terrorist websites. The crucial eight or nine days of “surprise” might well have seen us successful capture and or kill several more terrorists in Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network and even capture one or more other “treasure troves” of actionable information and other key INTEL.
ITEM:   In sick contrast, about as soon as President Obama knew for sure that Bin Laden was dead, he was already writing speeches and planning to reveal the facts to America. Aiming, it seems for short-term political gain at the cost of long-term advantage in the War on Terror.
ITEM: We’ve had more information released about this raid then about all the thousands of successful CIA activities since 9/11 put together. Our methods and our threat to the Al Qaeda network have been greatly compromised.
ITEM: Some in the Democratic Party and the liberal-leaning lamesteam-mainstream media have suggested that this success has made Barack Obama invincible in the 2012 re-election campaign by taking away his opponents’ claim that he’s soft-on-terrorism. Rajjpuut would remind you that one success does not win a war (a War on Terrorism; nor an election campaign) and that when looked at intelligently, all of this well-publicized bravado has done little but to give aid and comfort to our enemies. 
ITEM: One liberal pundit, Susan Estrich, said, “. . . the one thing that conservatives cannot rant and rave about is what has been their most predictable refrain since the Cold War: national security. Of all the things President Obama has done to conservatives in America, this may be the cruelest. He has taken away their national security argument.”
She continued, “Democrats are supposed to be ‘weak’ on foreign policy, the kind of people who love to talk about the UN instead of unilateral action; of diplomacy, not airpower; of bringing the troops home, not sending more to serve abroad. It is because Democrats are supposed to be (and, some would say, often are) so many of those things that they end up wandering around tank factories wearing silly hats. It is because they don't want to be called any of those things that the party would jump to nominate a candidate with military experience, even if he had more experience opposing military positions than serving in them.
Rajjpuut couldn’t disagree more . . . everything Obama has done, other than ordering the raid itself (which was highly commendable), has marked him as an abject amateur. He obviously doesn’t understand that intelligence is far stronger when your enemies have no idea what you know rather than when you’re boasting about it day after day. He’s been given the strongest hand ever offered to an American President against terrorism and it’s fair to say he’s busily p_ssing it away. Bill Clinton and  George Bush would never have fallen into this stupid behavior.
ITEM: Since Mr. Obama’s Justice Department under Eric Holder is now investigating CIA members (for torture) and since it has banned water-boarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques (tying the CIA’s hands) the United States faces the War on Terror (which will surely not end with Usama Bin Laden’s death) greatly disarmed.
ITEM: Even about now, after the Al Qaeda network was beginning to broadcast rumors or even the fact that a raid upon Pakistan had allowed America to kill the “great Usama,” no one would yet, or ever, be told that we’d capture large numbers of cell phone #s; laptops; and an “intelligence trove equal to a small college library.” People captured in further raids brought about with INTEL from the Usama prime raid would have already allowed a deeper spreading of chaos into the Al Qaeda network.
ITEM: Usama and his wives would have been transported to a safe-house and debriefing would have begun immediately. Osama Bin Laden would be alive in our custody and under waterboarding and other enhanced intelligence techniques and he would be adding to the treasure trove of intel.
ITEM: Mr. Obama, it’s really NOT ‘Islamophobia’ when the terrorists really do want to kill us all. Rajjpuut would have preferred not to have known that Bin Laden was dead and that we killed him until it was no longer beneficial to our troops and our CIA to hide that fact.  After, say, seven or eight more high level Al Qaeda operatives were captured or killed seems at a minimum a nice duration for “secret-keeping” before showing the picture of the dead Bin Laden and revealing that a raid took place and he was killed . . . but you, Mr. Obama, kept the secret for the half an hour necessary to get a speech written when you got to use the word “I” twenty-four separate times. There is no “I” in common sense, Sir.
ITEM: Since last week, administration officials have held a series of briefings to go over virtually all the details of the raid, review the decade-long investigation that led to it and to disclose some information about the evidence seized from the compound. The White House last week indicated it would stop providing details about the raid itself -- officials have since kept their comments mostly to the subject of the evidence being analyzed by the CIA.  How much of this should be given freely to Al Qaeda? ZERO-ZILCH-NADA . . . Rumsfeld said,   "The more information that goes out about intelligence, the greater the risks to our people and the less likelihood we're going to be able to capture and/or kill some of the people who would result from the intelligence take here," Rumsfeld told Face the Nation,  "I would have preferred a lot less discussion out of the White House,” Rumsfeld emphasized. AMEN. 
Ya’all live long, strong and ornery,
**Obama made it clear to the nation and it was further revealed when NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in an interview with Al Jazeera, the Muslim newspaper, that his “foremost” mission as director of the space agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world. “(President Obama) wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering,” This while cancelling several space missions and the successful shuttle program . . . great priorities, Mr. President!
^^ While ignoring to mention the Egyptian uprisings (during the last three weeks) aimed against that nation’s 10% Coptic Christian population, Mr. Obama let it be known that the “Holy Quran” had been consulted as far as the treatment of the terrorist’s body as a whole aircraft carrier’s crew stood in dress uniform at attention during a ceremony for Usama Bin Laden conducted in English and Arabian before his body was allowed to slip into the ocean. Mr. Obama, your sensibilities to Islam are very insensitive to me.
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