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Largest Theft in History: Pentagon Lost $21 Trillion in the Name of "National Security"


June 3, 2018
RT News

The first-ever audit of the Pentagon (which is taking 2,400 auditors to do the job) is trying to determine what happened to $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments. Evidence suggests the Pentagon has misplaced more money than the GDP of the whole of the United Kingdom! In the latest instance of negligent bookkeeping at the Pentagon, its Defense Logistics Agency has failed to account for more than $800mn intended for construction projects and has spent more than $5.6 trillion on wars since 9/11.

https://www.rt.com/usa/426643-lee-camp-pentagon-theft/

$21 Trillion Lost: Largest Theft in History
Buried Under Guise of US National Security

Lee Camp / RT News



(May 14, 2018) -- Comedian Lee Camp on his show Redacted Tonight recalls the first-ever audit of the Pentagon, which is taking 2,400 auditors to do the job, trying to understand where $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments went.

In his show, Camp recalled that a couple of years ago professor Mark Skidmore of Michigan State University heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former Assistant Secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, say that the Department of Defense Inspector General had found $6.5 trillion worth of unaccounted for spending by the Army in 2015.

Skidmore, being an economics professor, thought "she meant $6.5 billion and not $6.5 trillion", because "trillion would mean the Pentagon misplaced more money than the Gross Domestic Product of the whole of the United Kingdom" (UK's GDP $2.62 trillion), Camp said. "So he looked into the Inspector General's report and he found something interesting: it was 6.5 trillion dollars!"

Skidmore and Catherine Austin Fitts did more digging and conducted a search of government websites. They found similar reports dating back to 1998. These documents indicate $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments that had been reported for the DoD and Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998 -2015.

"If you make 40,000 USD a year, how long would it take you to make one trillion dollars? It would take you 25 million years, which sounds like a long time, but once you get past the ten million mark, it really flies by," Camp noted.

As Forbes magazine pointed out, after Mark Skidmore began inquiring about the report, the Office of the Inspector General's webpage was mysteriously taken down.

Given that the entire army budget in fiscal year 2015 was $122 billion, unsupported adjustments were 54 times the level of spending authorized by Congress, the magazine said. The Inspector General report indicated that unsupported adjustments were the result of the Defense Department's "failure to correct system deficiencies".

Lee Camp noted that mainstream media didn't pay due attention to the story which he describes as "the largest theft in history covered up under the guise of national security."



Pentagon Logistics Agency Lost Track of $800 Million
RT News

(February 6, 2018) -- In the latest instance of negligent bookkeeping at the Pentagon, its Defense Logistics Agency has failed to account for more than $800mn intended for construction projects, Politico has revealed citing an audit by Ernst & Young.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) does not have the proper paperwork to account for at least $465 million it allegedly spent on construction projects completed in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2016, an Ernst & Young audit discovered. Furthermore, the agency lacks sufficient documentation for another $384 million spent on construction that is still "in progress."

In addition, Ernst & Young said that computer equipment assets worth some $46 million were "inappropriately recorded"as belonging to DLA, with the agency unable to produce documentation for another $100 million in computer systems. "We cannot determine the effect of the lack of sufficient appropriate audit evidence on DLA's financial statements as a whole," the report concludes, according to Politico.

The audit raises concerns about the oversight of the Pentagon's spending, as Trump is pushing to increase the US defense budget to $716 billion for 2019.

The agency, with a budget of roughly $40 billion per year has vowed to address the deficiencies highlighted by the audit. However, keeping track of some 25,000 DLA employees who oversee millions of orders from all US armed services units across the globe could prove to be a challenging task.

"The key is to use auditor feedback to focus our remediation efforts and corrective action plans and maximize the value from the audits. That's what we're doing now," the DLA said in a statement.

"The initial audit has provided us with a valuable independent view of our current financial operations," Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams, the director of the agency, said of the findings. "We are committed to resolving the material weaknesses and strengthening internal controls around DLA's operations."


Pentagon Logistics Agency Lost Track of $800 Million
RT News

(February 6, 2018) -- In the latest instance of negligent bookkeeping at the Pentagon, its Defense Logistics Agency has failed to account for more than $800mn intended for construction projects, Politico has revealed citing an audit by Ernst & Young.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) does not have the proper paperwork to account for at least $465 million it allegedly spent on construction projects completed in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2016, an Ernst & Young audit discovered. Furthermore, the agency lacks sufficient documentation for another $384 million spent on construction that is still "in progress."

In addition, Ernst & Young said that computer equipment assets worth some $46 million were "inappropriately recorded"as belonging to DLA, with the agency unable to produce documentation for another $100 million in computer systems. "We cannot determine the effect of the lack of sufficient appropriate audit evidence on DLA's financial statements as a whole," the report concludes, according to Politico.

The audit raises concerns about the oversight of the Pentagon's spending, as Trump is pushing to increase the US defense budget to $716 billion for 2019.

The agency, with a budget of roughly $40 billion per year has vowed to address the deficiencies highlighted by the audit. However, keeping track of some 25,000 DLA employees who oversee millions of orders from all US armed services units across the globe could prove to be a challenging task.

"The key is to use auditor feedback to focus our remediation efforts and corrective action plans and maximize the value from the audits. That's what we're doing now," the DLA said in a statement.

"The initial audit has provided us with a valuable independent view of our current financial operations," Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams, the director of the agency, said of the findings. "We are committed to resolving the material weaknesses and strengthening internal controls around DLA's operations."


US Spent $5.6 Trillion on Wars since 9/11 – Study
RT News

(November 8, 2017) -- Washington has expended a whopping $5.6 trillion on wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan since 2001, according to a new study. That figure is more than three times what the Pentagon has claimed in official estimates.

Research from the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University found that as of late September, the US wars combined with "additional spending on Homeland Security and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs" had totaled more than $4.3 trillion since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. That number surged to $5.6 trillion once likely costs were added for fiscal year 2018, along with estimated future spending on veterans.

The study noted that its figure is drastically different from the $1.52 trillion which the Pentagon claims the wars have cost US taxpayers between fiscal years 2001 and 2018. That number was given in an earlier Pentagon report titled 'Estimated Cost to Each Taxpayer for the Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.'

The Watson Institute claims to have used a "more comprehensive estimate" of the global 'War on Terror,' citing a total approximate cost of $23,386 per US taxpayer. "The difference between this Costs of War Project estimate and other estimates is that it includes not only Pentagon/Department of Defense military spending, but other war-related costs, including war-related spending by the State Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security," says the report.

The extra cost considerations include expenses such as providing long-term medical care for veterans. Such expenditures are important to include when dealing with the estimated cost of wars, according to study author Neta Crawford.

"War costs are more than what we spend in any one year on what's called the pointy end of the spear," she told the Wall Street Journal. "There are all these other costs behind the spear, and there are consequences of using it, that we need to include." Crawford noted that the US government wasn't trying to be deceptive, but that its calculations do not include the "real costs" of war.

Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island), who is hosting a panel of speakers on the topic on Wednesday, said the research is "very important because it describes and quantifies the costs beyond just the narrow bounds of the Department of Defense,"the Journal reported. Reed also noted that the costs of war include borrowing cash to pay for them.

"Even if we stopped [the wars] today, we would add $7.9 trillion to the national debt," Reed said. The study seems to support that statement, noting that the accumulated interest on the money borrowed could add an additional $8 trillion to the national debt over the next several decades.

"By 2056, a conservative estimate is that interest costs will be about $8 trillion unless the US changes the way that it pays for the wars. Although it is unlikely, Congress could decide to increase taxes or sell large numbers of war bonds rather than continue to pay for the wars through borrowing," the study states.

As for the costs of specific wars, the study notes that the "two largest categories of expenses have been for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." It says that "spending for these wars peaked, respectively, in 2008 and 2011."

However, the study did not break down costs for each of the war zones in detail, noting the difficulty of doing so. Hurdles in coming up with such an analysis included the fact that the Department of Veterans Affairs does not track injuries by war zone, but by time of service.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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