By David DeGraw, Changemaker.Media
For our War Profiteers series we did an extensive analysis of global battlefield operations; reading through hundreds of world news reports and U.S. government documents. As you will read below, what we have found is shocking. The fact that U.S. mainstream media doesn’t cover any of this is the most shocking part of all. The distance between reality and what is presented in the mainstream media has always been disturbing, but now it is ominously terrifying and a significant threat to National Security.
Read the first part of this series here.
C.I.A. Drones Are Unleashed and Bombing at a Record-Breaking Clip
Drone bombing operations became very controversial during the George W. Bush Administration due to the high innocent civilian causality rate (collateral damage). The international community was outraged, as Bush conducted 57 drone strikes, outside of the Afghanistan and Iraq war zones, in three countries: Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
As scandalous as that was, the Obama Administration, under the cover of a U.S. media blackout, conducted a stunning 563 drone strikes in those same three countries, with an outrageous innocent civilian death rate. According to the C.I.A.’s own documents, the people on the “kill list,” who were targeted for “death-by-drone,” accounted for only 2% of the deaths caused by the drone strikes.
Overall Bush & Obama Bombing Rates
George W. Bush was known as a “War President,” with the invasion of Afghanistan, the Shock & Awe campaign to start the Iraq War, and several other intense bombing campaigns throughout his presidency. Overall, he dropped an astonishing 70,000 bombs, in five countries.
As horrifying as that is to comprehend, over the course of Obama’s presidency, he dropped 100,000 bombs in seven countries. Obama out-bombed Bush by 30,000 bombs and 2 countries. Yet, somehow, he was given a Nobel Peace Prize.
Speaking of getting the Peace Prize for record-breaking bombing campaigns, 1973 Nobel winner Henry Kissinger, who was an adviser to Obama and Bush, and Ford and Nixon’s Secretary of State and National Security Advisor during the Vietnam War, made some incredible statements about Obama’s bombing campaigns in comparison to Nixon’s.
Kissinger said the Obama Administration has “hit more targets on a broader scale than the Nixon Administration ever did…. And I bet if one did an honest account, there were fewer civilian casualties in Cambodia than there have been from American drone attacks.”
Whether that is true or not is debatable. Just the fact that this comparison can even be made is highly disturbing.
Trump’s Overall Bombing Rate
As a declassified United States Air Forces Central Command Combined Air Operations Center report reveals, after the first full year of the Trump Administration, the overall bombing rate has skyrocketed.
Over the course of Bush’s presidency, he averaged 24 bombs dropped per day, 8750 per year.
Over the course of Obama’s presidency, he averaged 34 bombs dropped per day, 12,500 per year.
Over the course of Trump’s first year in office, he averaged 121 bombs dropped per day, for an annual total of 44,096.
That is 5 bombs dropped per hour – every hour of every day.
A bomb is dropped every 12 minutes.
Trump has more than tripled Obama’s outrageously scandalous bombing rate.
In fact, when you break the numbers down, it appears that Trump may have actually quadrupled Obama’s overall bombing rate.
144 Bombs Per Day
Trumps actual bombing total is most likely significantly more than 44,096. After news on the dramatic increase in bombings began to spread in September of 2017, the Trump Administration and the Pentagon became much more secretive over releasing battlefield information.
The officially released bombing numbers dropped dramatically over the last three months of 2017. The number of bombings officially reported during October, November and December fell to a combined total of 4686, which is an average of 51 bombs per day.
The total number of bombings officially reported for the 9 months prior was 39,410, for an average of 144 per day.
No matter what argument you try to make for the huge decrease in bombings following the news coverage, a sudden drop from 144 bombs per day to 51 is definitely suspicious, to say the least. When you look at the bombing patterns from the previous three years, October, November and December have been months with increased bombing activity.
To matters even worse, the civilian casualty rate has skyrocketed. According to a little-noticed Newsweek report, citing statistics from bombing and casualties monitoring group Airwars, it took Trump only seven months to kill more innocent civilians via drone bombings than Obama did over his entire eight-year presidency, and that is with increased secrecy concerning civilian causalities.
A significant reason why the number of bombings and civilian causalities are so much higher is due to a key policy change that Trump made once he came into office. During the Obama Administration, the C.I.A. would identify potential drone strike targets, and then the military would decide whether or not to conduct the strikes. As soon as Trump got into office, he quickly changed this policy and gave the C.I.A. a never-ending green light to conduct strikes on their own, whenever they want, without the need for any approval or oversight whatsoever.
This also makes keeping track of strikes and death rates much more difficult because the C.I.A. can conduct drone strikes covertly.
As journalist Whitney Webb summed it up:
“Trump’s drone assassination rate is now eight times that of Obama. Obama’s, in turn, was 10 times that of Bush, making Trump’s drone kill rate a whopping 80 times higher than that of Bush. In other words, Trump is on track to be a record-breaking war criminal….
Shockingly, more than 80 percent of those killed have never even been identified and the C.I.A.’s own documents have shown that they are not even aware of who they are killing — avoiding the issue of reporting civilian deaths simply by naming all those in the strike zone as enemy combatants.”
Bottom line, under Trump, the C.I.A. is killing thousands of innocent civilians via drone strikes alone.
Lockheed Hellfire Missile, Photo By Staff Sgt. Isaac Graham
When it comes to the overall bombing campaigns, a key driver is the incredible profits that they are generating for the weapons manufacturers who are building bombs and the weapons systems that are used to deploy them. The average overall cost for an airstrike is $2.5 million, according to a 2014 analysis by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
With over 200,000 bombs dropped since the “War on Terror” began, the bombing racket has become a very lucrative multi-billion-dollar annual business for weapons companies like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
In fact, as military news outlet Defense One reported, Lockheed has quadrupled their bomb production capacity:
“Bombs Away! Lockheed Expanding Missile Factories, Quadruples Bomb Production
‘We are seeing a lot of international demand for our product set,’ Frank St. John, Lockheed’s vice president of tactical missiles, said Tuesday. ‘That’s causing us to do a lot of work in international partnerships and co-production and we’re very excited about those opportunities.’
In particular, U.S. and allies are burning through their stocks of Lockheed’s Hellfire missile, the signature weapon of Predator and Reaper drones….
It also requires Pentagon funding…. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told the House Armed Services Committee, ‘We… need to invest more in munitions.’
NATO and Middle Eastern allies are also believed to want to buy these weapons, Roman Schweizer, an analyst with Guggenheim, said in a March 7 note to investors. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Jordan have all struck ISIS targets in Syria.”
The fact that we’ve gotten to a point where bomb-makers are publicly expressing their “excitement” over the need to “quadruple” the distribution of bombs shows you how sick our society has become. President Eisenhower’s warnings about the “disastrous rise of misplaced power” in a war-profiteering military-industrial complex have come to full fruition.
This obscene bombing racket is just the tip of the iceberg. Lockheed’s $1.4 Trillion F-35 boondoggle with ever-ballooning “cost overruns” and planes that still can’t fly has devolved into the Pentagon’s Titanic. Moving forward, we will have much more to report on this topic.
And it’s not just bombing campaigns and drone strikes that are escalating…
Ground Forces Are Unleashed and Firing at a Record-Breaking Clip
In addition to increased bombing campaigns, when it comes to ground forces, Trump has also given military commanders “total authorization” to “fire at will,” leading to a rise in civilian deaths by more than 200% compared with Obama’s last year in office.
For example, let’s look at battlefield operations in the city of Raqqa, Syria’s second largest city, an oil-rich region that is also an oil shipping port along the Euphrates River and their most fertile agricultural land.
In this one city, the Marines fired 38,000 rounds of artillery. The Marine Corps Times called it an “explosive revelation” that shed light on the “immense level of lethal force brought to Raqqa and northern Syria.”
To put this in context, during the entire invasion of Iraq, the Marines fired 34,000 rounds of artillery.
As the Marine Corps Times reported:
“Marines providing artillery support to U.S.-backed Syrian fighters in Raqqa fired so many consecutive rounds they burned out the barrels of two M777 155 mm howitzers.
The story was told directly to Army Sergeant Major John Wayne Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, by a Marine Corps battery commander…. ‘whether it was mortars, artillery, rockets, [High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems], Hellfires, armed drones, you name it,’ Troxell told reporters on Monday….
Much of Raqqa has been destroyed by the intense urban street to street battling and the thousands of air and artillery strikes….
The burnout of two M777 howitzers highlights the amount of artillery shells that rained down… ‘I’ve never heard of it ― normally your gun goes back to depot for full reset well before that happens,” a former Army artillery officer told Military Times on condition of anonymity. ‘That’s a shitload of rounds though.’”
Here are several photos of the devastation inflicted upon Syria’s second largest city – 80% of it is now uninhabitable:
“While you’re somewhere trading lives for oil as if the whole world were blind…”
~ Wide Awake
What makes the stakes even higher in this particular oil-rich region in north-east Syria is that these U.S. attacks are not only against the Syrian government, they are focused on Iranian and Russian interests.
In summing up several news sources from the region, Moon of Alabama reports:
“Local deals were made between the Syrian government side and locals Arabs holding the oil fields…. When the government aligned groups started to take over the field, as presumably agreed upon, the U.S. bombed them….
Two massive drone swarm attacks were directed against the Russian air-port in Hememim and its naval base in Tartus.
This week mortar rounds from east-Ghouta have hit the Russian trade mission in Damascus and severely damaged it.
A Russian aid-distribution point in Damascus was similarly attacked just while leaders of some Russian non-government organizations were visiting it. Over Idleb a Russian jet was shot down with a rare MANPADS.
All three [attacks] were beyond the material and intelligence capabilities of the [Syrian] ‘rebel’ forces….
The U.S. war against Syria and its allies continues with full force even while the U.S. pretends that no such war is happening at all.”
The incredible ground assault and bombing campaigns have been followed up by a series of Israeli Air Force strikes, which has every country in the region escalating their war efforts. The Syrian government, Iran and Russia-backed Private Military Contractors are gearing up for retaliatory attacks.
U.S. airstrikes have been killing a significant number of Russian Private Military Contractors. Not surprisingly, the Russian government officially denies knowing much about the ex-Russian soldiers who are now private contractors fighting throughout the region. As Reuters reported:
“Russian officials deny they deploy private military contractors in Syria… But according to people familiar with the deployment, Russia is using large numbers of the contractors in Syria because that allows Moscow to put more boots on the ground without risking regular soldiers whose deaths have to be accounted for.”
Russia is using the same trick that the U.S. has been using. Instead of sending in national troops, which exposes them to some level of accountability, they increasingly pay Global Private Military Contractors to do the fighting. When it comes to the U.S., we now have 3 Private Contractors for every 1 solider deployed in war zones. It costs taxpayers significantly more to pay contractors than it does our own troops, which is another major scandal, but not having to report on, take responsibility or have any accountability for what happens has made it a win-win for War Profiteers and their political supporters.
Along with the blatant war-profiteering, the petro-dollar has been a key driving force behind war throughout the region. Countries that do not give their oil to global corporations for minimal cost, and use the dollar as their currency in oil deals, are the countries that are targeted for “regime change.” Iraq and Libya are two major examples of that.
The Golan Heights Oil & Water War
Another pivotal flashpoint is Golan Heights, where tensions are running high over another vital Syrian natural resource, water.
While this report is being published, Israel and Iran are firing missiles at each other’s military positions in this region.
As Vox recently reported:
“Israel and Iran are getting closer to a full-blown war
Two unprecedented attacks on Wednesday night, one by Iran and the other by Israel, shows the perennial enemies’ shadow war is coming out into the light. That threatens to turn the growing conflict into a full-blown war in the Middle East….
‘This is an extremely dangerous situation’
Experts told me the Israel-Iran flare-up was years in the making. ‘The cross-border strikes by both sides in the past 24 hours represent a dangerous, but not unsurprising, escalation,’ says Shanna Kirschner, a Syria expert at Allegheny College.
Here’s why: Israel has struck Syria more than 100 times since the civil war started in 2011, in part because it’s worried about Tehran’s expanding military presence in the country.”
To get a deeper understanding of the history and geo-strategic significance of Golan Heights, here’s a report from journalist Whitney Webb:
Israel Preps for Syrian War with Golan Heights Oil and Water in its Sights
“… much more important to Israel’s ‘national security’ than the oft-stated ‘barrier’ advantage is the fact that the Golan Heights houses significant fresh-water resources. Under occupation, the Golan is one of three sources of fresh water to the Israeli state — and is the largest in size and most plentiful, as it comprises the mountain streams that feed Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) and the headwaters of the Jordan river. Currently, over a third of all the fresh water made available to Israelis originates in the Golan Heights.
Though fresh water is an especially important resource in the Middle East, it is now more important to Israel than ever before. Israel is in its fourth year of a drought so massive that a NASA study called it the worst drought in the region in nearly 900 years.
As a result, the water in the Golan Heights is essential to Israel and its attempts to expand.
This resource was a major motivating factor in Israel’s 1967 takeover and subsequent 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights. During that period, Israel expelled nearly all of the area’s original inhabitants and demolished their villages.
As Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported in 2010, more than 100,000 Syrians lost their homes and property as a result of the occupation. Israel has no intention of letting the Golan’s original inhabitants return, however. The area is currently home to some 20,000 settlers and a plan is currently underway to settle 100,000 more in the next several years in order to strengthen Israel’s claim to the area.
Though the abundant fresh water in the Golan Heights is of crucial importance to Israel, the Golan’s value grew sharply following the discovery of a major oil reserve in the area, estimated to contain ‘billions of barrels’ of crude oil that could turn Israel – which currently imports the vast majority of its fuel – into a net oil exporter.
Yet, because the Golan Heights are internationally recognized as being under occupation and not an official part of Israel, the commercial extraction and export of this vast oil reserve cannot go forward — until this status changes. As a result, only exploratory wells have been drilled, mostly by a division of Genie Energy Co., a U.S.-based oil company connected to well-known figures such as Rupert Murdoch, Jacob Rothschild, and Dick Cheney.”
The Mainstream Media’s Psychological Operations Against the American People
Given that all of this is happening in Syria, and throughout much of the Middle East and Northern Africa, what the mainstream media has been reporting to the American people is outrageously absurd propaganda.
The media blackout on the escalating worldwide “War on Terror” is even causing many Independent media outlets to be overly reactionary in their reporting, while reinforcing key aspects of the overall propaganda narrative.
For example, when the mainstream media propagated fake news on the Syrian government’s chemical attacks on their own people, which led to a series of televised airstrikes on Syria, the Independent press, for the most part, did a good job of questioning the false claims regarding the chemical attacks, but many of them echoed the televised airstrikes as a significant new development in the war.
The part of the narrative that the Independent media unwittingly reinforced was the general impression that these televised airstrikes were an escalation in the war, in response to the alleged chemical attacks. When in reality, these airstrikes are a very common occurrence, not just in Syria, but all over the world. The only difference this time, these strikes were actually covered by the mainstream press and televised.
The main point: Where is all the coverage of the 121 bombs that are dropped daily?
Even the chemical attacks in Syria have occurred on an ongoing basis. Several terrorist groups, which are funded by U.S. taxpayers — including al Qaeda and ISIS-affiliated groups — have been rebranded in mainstream media as Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and they have used chemical attacks against innocent Syrian civilians on multiple occasions.
Based on battlefield news reports, it appears these groups are launching chemical attacks against civilians and then they are trying to make it look like the Syrian government did it, in hopes of baiting the U.S. into giving them more weapons, military-support and millions of dollars more in funding.
Much of the dubious intelligence on the Syrian government’s alleged chemical attacks on their own citizens was provided by a “terrorist group” who depends on U.S. taxpayer money. The Al Nusra Front and their propaganda media outlet, known as the “White Helmets,” seem to have made up the story to get a new influx of U.S. taxpayer funding.
The U.S. is even listed on their website as a foreign financier. The White Helmets spokesman Abdulrahman Almawwas told Reuters that they wanted more money from the U.S.. As Reuters reported, “Almawwas said the group’s financing for 2018 from foreign governments had dropped to $12 million from $18 million a year earlier.”
In fact, many news reports have highlighted how U.S. taxpayers are funding the terrorists throughout the Middle East that our soldiers are currently fighting. After 16-years of war, anyone who has paid attention to wider strategy throughout the Middle East knows that the funding and arming of all sides — to keep the region destabilized, and the oil and war-funding flowing — is the primary strategic objective.
It is import to make this clear to the average hardworking American who does not have time to research and investigate what is happening and gets most of their news from war-profiteering corporate media outlets: this war is not being fought in defense of, or for the benefit of, the American people. It is being fought in defense of, and for the benefit of, Global War Profiteers, at the incredible expense of American taxpayers, U.S. soldiers and millions of innocent civilians.
Weapons manufacturers and Global Private Military Contractors are making trillions of dollars off U.S. taxpayers and looting the U.S. Treasury, as we are now trapped in a debt-death spiral. Meanwhile, Global corporations are looting natural resources worldwide, as our soldiers and millions of innocent civilians are killed.
As two-time U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor winner Major General Smedley Butler said:
“Out of war a few people make huge fortunes…. The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill?
This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations….
I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.”
The main point that every American citizen needs to understand:
We have much more in common with the people being bombed than we do with the people who are making billions of dollars off this war.
If we seriously Support The Troops, we need to end the war racket.
Homeland Security Alert: Attack on the United States Energy Supply
Speaking of “not in defense of the American people,” the Trump Administration is working on behalf of Global Energy companies to loot U.S. natural resources. And once again, it is all being done under the guise of “National Security.”
They are rolling out a nationwide National Security Strategy to extract our fossil fuel energy supply, at maximum extraction rates, which will contaminate land, water and air across the continental US. They also want to sell the energy supply at well below market value to Global oil companies.
They are reducing the already scandalously low royalty rates that we get in return for our Natural Resources. As Arizona Congressman Grijalva, the ranking member on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee put it:
“This isn’t about increasing taxpayer returns, it’s about looting public resources, opening up more of everything for drilling, charging the industry less, and pretending it’s all coming from outside experts.”
In addition to extracting untapped resources, they also want to get rid of 50% of the U.S. Strategic Oil Reserve, selling it off below market value, for less than the cost U.S. taxpayers already paid for it. As Reuters reported:
“The budget deal that the U.S. Congress reached… includes the sale of 100 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)… in underground caverns on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana.”
OilPrice.com summed it up the situation:
“Last year, in the draft budget for fiscal 2018, the Trump Administration proposed selling half of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve… The proposal, however, did not become law because of opposition from Republicans in Congress….
Opponents also said that the SPR was necessary in case of major storms or major unplanned outages in other oil-producing countries.
Another argument of lawmakers who opposed the plan to halve the SPR was that some of the crude oil in the emergency reserve was bought at higher oil prices, so oil from the SPR should be sold when prices increase more.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey last August, the U.S. tapped the SPR after the storm disrupted the petroleum industry in Texas and Louisiana, and led to motor fuel price spikes and shortages. A total of 5 million barrels of oil from the SPR was delivered to Gulf Coast refineries, helping to continue their processing operations and prevent further supply disruptions.”
Perhaps Citigroup will buy some of our emergency energy supply and then sell it to Puerto Rico for 10x cost, so they can continue their exploitation of the island. Yet another Structural Adjustment Policy that loots natural resources for private profit. This is what happens when paid-off politicians represent Global Private Military/Oil Contractors instead of the American people.
To be clear, this is a bi-partisan affair. Much more will be reported on this issue throughout this series.
As mentioned in the news report above, here’s a major reason why we should hold on to as much of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve as possible, and stop highly toxic new extraction projects:
Weather disasters cost U.S. taxpayers a record $306 billion in 2017.
As we have learned from first-hand experience throughout several recent extreme weather events, it is vital to have back-up energy supplies and implement wider-scale renewable energy projects. Getting rid of 50% of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, at a time of “extreme environmental volatility,” is putting our country at increased risk, not protecting it.
Much more to come on the Homeland Fossil Fuel Front and the urgent need for much wider-scale renewable energy projects… for now, here’s another Homeland Security Alert:
Information on 39,000 hazardous waste sites throughout the United States has just been made public for the first time.
Out the small portion of military spending that we can account for, $70 billion has been spent “to clean up sites its operations have contaminated with toxic waste and explosives. These sites exist in every state in the country. Some are located near schools, residential neighborhoods, rivers and lakes. A full map of these sites has never been made public – until now.”
You can enter your address here to see hazardous sites near you.
As ProPublica reports:
“We’ve been digging into a vast, $70 billion environmental cleanup program run by the U.S. Department of Defense that tracks tens of thousands of polluted sites across the United States. In some places, old missiles and munitions were left buried beneath school grounds. In others, former test sites for chemical weapons have been repurposed for day care centers and housing developments….
For nearly 45 years, the Pentagon kept its program — the Defense Environmental Restoration Program — out of the spotlight, and most of these sites have never been scrutinized by the public. However, the agency has meticulously tracked its own efforts, recording them in a detailed internal database. We were the first to see it, ever. Now we’re sharing it with you.
The dataset includes details on more than 39,000 unique sites across more than 5,000 present and former military locations in every U.S. state and territory. The sites are literally in almost everyone’s backyard. And so while a few of the most notorious cleanup spots may be well-known, the tools included here can help local news outlets, the public or anyone else dive deep into the details of hidden threats that have never before seen light….
The detail is extraordinary: Contaminants — and sometimes their concentrations in both soil and water — are listed. So is the amount of money spent over decades to deal with the problems, and the budget estimated into the future to finish it. You can find managers responsible for incremental decision-making, or plot the coordinates of specific sites used for dumping or chemical spills. There are even data fields filled with comments — the wisecracks of Pentagon staffers over the years characterizing the enormity or seriousness of their tasks. And much, much more.”
Much more to come on homeland pollution… for now, let’s end this part of the series by returning to the never-ending “War on Terror”…
The Never-Ending, Multi-Trillion-Dollar Racket In Afghanistan Escalates
Adding to the loss of oversight on airstrikes and ground fire, there are new National Security Classifications on vital metrics and information concerning the overall “War on Terror,” particularly on U.S. government reports coming out of Afghanistan. We will no longer be told about casualties. We will lose even more of the already very limited oversight on how our tax dollars and weapons are actually used, and we will not get any “performance assessments.”
Here’s how the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John F. Sopko summed it up to the Federation of American Scientists:
“’It is basically casualty, force strength, equipment, operational readiness, attrition figures, as well as performance assessments,’ said Mr. Sopko, the SIGAR.
‘Using the new [classification criteria], I would not be able to tell you in a public setting or the American people how their money is being spent,’ Mr. Sopko told Congress at a hearing last November.”
Keep in mind, the lack of oversight on how our tax money was being spent in Afghanistan prior to this increased secrecy was already an incredible scandal. For one of many examples, consider a 2015 Inspector General report on how the Pentagon lost $48 billion in taxpayer money:
“Congress has set aside $104 billion specifically to rebuild Afghanistan. Of that, $66 billion went to the Pentagon…. the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction asked the military to account for all that spending. It couldn’t.
According to a new report from SIGAR, the Pentagon only knows how it spent a third of its reconstruction budget.
That’s $45 billion dollars the military can’t track…. it’s cold comfort for taxpayers who will probably never know how the U.S. military spent that money in Afghanistan…. The Pentagon has a history of wasting billions in the country on bad projects, corrupt business partners and disreputable construction companies….
‘We have attempted to reconcile the identified discrepancy in the data provided and have been unsuccessful in accounting for this sizable gap with [the Pentagon],’ SIGAR added in the letter.
Then the watchdog asked for the records — all the records — a second time. But the Pentagon didn’t provide the information, and argued that pulling records for the unaccounted $45 billion wasn’t feasible….
According to the Pentagon, hiring people now to go through millions of old contracts from the past decade would require too much time and money.”
Yes, you heard that right… it “would require too much time and money” for the world’s most powerful military, surveillance and intelligence agencies to find out what happened to “$48 Billion in taxpayer money.”
Well, after all, to the Pentagon, $48 Billion in American taxpayer money is just a tiny drop in the bucket – a minor accounting tweak will make it go away.
Why would the Pentagon waste their time figuring out what happened to a mere $48 Billion in taxpayer money when it can’t even account for how it spent over $21 Trillion?
The corruption, waste, fraud and theft are beyond comprehension.
And if you think, after years of all of this known waste, fraud and theft of taxpayer money, that it has led to any improvement whatsoever in oversight, you should read all of the recent follow-up Department of Defense Inspector General reports.
The evidence is overwhelming. It is hard to figure out where to begin.
For instance, let’s just look at three recent reports featured in the U.S.-soldier community news publication Military Times:
“Report: Afghan forces lost $700 million in US ammo
‘Without consistent, timely, and accurate reporting from the ministries, CSTC-A [Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan] cannot account for all ammunition consumed by the ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces],’ the report reads.
The main mission of the CSTC-A is to train Afghan institutions on effective management, oversight functions and rule of law. The unit’s function is to train Afghan ministries on how to run cost effective and efficient management systems.
But, according to the recent IG report, the unit failed in its own oversight functions and further refused to enforce punishments on Afghan government organizations that failed to live up to commitments made to the U.S. government….
This appears to be a common theme in Afghanistan where corrupt ministries continue to plunder U.S. aid with near impunity….
John Sopko, the inspector general overseeing Afghan reconstruction, told a crowd at a think-tank event in Washington last week that conditions were so weak you could drive a Mack truck through them. He further called on U.S. officials to strengthen conditions-based aid.
The Afghan government has had difficulty managing the large quantities of arms and ammunition supplied to its security forces by the U.S. Large stockpiles of those supplies have gone unaccounted for in the past either through corruption or battlefield loss.
According to an assessment by a UN monitoring team, their findings ‘suggested that significant quantities of arms and ammunition from Afghan military stockpiles in fact remained unaccounted for,’ according to the report.
Large quantities of sophisticated foreign weaponry to include night vision devices, laser sights and optics have wound up in the hands of Taliban and ISIS fighters, according to the UN team report. Incidents ‘had reportedly grown and could no longer be explained solely by individual incidents of theft or battlefield capture,’ the UN assessment reads.
The U.S. has spent more than $70 billion dollars since 2002 rebuilding Afghan forces, Sopko told audience members last week, and is set to spend over $3.7 billion in the coming year on the fledgling force, according to a Defense Department budget request for Afghanistan.
The recent IG report highlights an endemic problem in Afghanistan, that much of the aid provided to rebuild Afghan forces largely goes unaccounted for, only to end up in the hands of enemy forces.”
As previously mentioned, there are many reports of U.S. taxpayer-funding and weapons ending up in the hands of the people our troops are fighting. It has become Stand Operating Procedure.
As the above report makes clear, and it cannot be reiterated enough, the people in charge of enforcing accountability are, in fact, teaching the Afghan government how to be corrupt.
You cannot make this stuff up. It is unbelievably absurd.
“The main mission of the CSTC-A is to train Afghan institutions on effective management, oversight functions and rule of law. The unit’s function is to train Afghan ministries on how to run cost effective and efficient management systems.
But, according to the recent IG report, the unit failed in its own oversight functions and further refused to enforce punishments on Afghan government organizations that failed to live up to commitments made to the U.S. government….
This appears to be a common theme in Afghanistan where corrupt ministries continue to plunder U.S. aid with near impunity….”
And here’s a new report from Military Times:
DoD IG: $3.1 billion in funding to Afghanistan improperly managed
U.S. officials did not effectively manage $3.1 billion of U.S. funds provided to the Afghan government, according to the Department of Defense Inspector General.
The report released Wednesday was the last in a series of DoD IG audits that identified ‘systemic challenges’ in how officials oversee funding to the government of Afghanistan for fuel, ammunition, vehicles, and other commodities….
In another revelation, the DoD IG noted that since 2005, U.S. officials ‘obtained approximately 95,000 vehicles for the ANDSF,’ however ‘officials did not have an accurate inventory of the vehicles.’
U.S. officials could not determine the types and quantities of vehicles transferred to Afghan forces, nor did they have controls in place to ensure that Afghan Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Defense officials consistently followed property accountability procedures.”
And for a little icing on the multi-trillion-dollar cake, here’s another recent report from Military Times:
“‘How in the world are taxpayers paying for Alfa Romeos and Bentleys?’
Senior Army leaders were questioned Thursday over $50 million in questionable costs billed to taxpayers — including seven luxury cars and roughly $400,000 salaries for significant others to serve as assistants — as part of a federal contract meant to train Afghan security forces….
The audit found taxpayers wound up paying for seven luxury cars, including Porsches, Alfa Romeos, a Bentley, an Aston Martin, and a Land Rover.”
Just another day in the multi-trillion-dollar U.S. taxpayer-funded war racket.
As American taxpayers, we are being blatantly played like fools, to say the least.
Instead of having leadership that stands up in defense of American taxpayers, we have fully corrupt paid-off shills vying to get a bigger cut of this obscene racket.
Meanwhile, the absolute death of journalism in this country in now proven beyond a shadow of doubt, as the mainstream media is exposed as pure propaganda.
For the few who dare to look, the emperor has no clothes.
To top it all off, not surprisingly, in Afghanistan there is still no end in sight, as the war escalates yet again. Other than covering up trillions of dollars in lost taxpayer money, a major overall escalation in bombings, ground combat and civilian causalities, they are also covering up the fact that local militants and warlords are rallying against the bombing onslaught and winning over the Afghan people’s hearts and minds due to the “indiscriminate brutality” of the bombings.
As NPR reported:
Watchdog Report Shows Gaps In Information About Afghanistan War
“The Pentagon continues to withhold facts such as the number of Afghan troops that have died and the number of the Afghan forces that have received training. This information was also not included in the report last quarter from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction — which was set up by Congress to audit U.S. spending in the country’s longest-running war.
Congress has authorized these Afghan forces to receive $4.9 billion this fiscal year, and has appropriated $120.8 billion for Afghanistan reconstruction…. [more to come on this issue]
Data compiled by SIGAR over the past two years shows a slow and steady drop in the amount of territory under Afghan government control. For example, the number of districts controlled or influenced by the government is 16 percent fewer than in November 2015, according to the report and the data provided separately by the Pentagon….
That’s despite a clear recent increase in U.S. and Coalition air strikes – although the total number of strikes was classified for the first time this quarter, according to the report.
At a House Armed Services Committee hearing, North Carolina Republican Walter Jones sarcastically expressed his frustration over the increased secrecy to Secretary of Defense James Mattis:
“We are now increasing the number of our troops in Afghanistan, and after 16 years, the American people have a right to know of their successes….
We’re not getting the kind of information that we need to get to know what successes we’re having.
And after 16 years, I do not think we’re having any successes.”
Speaking of not having success, over the last 16 years, according to U.S. State Department data, terror attacks have increased 6,500%.
Clearly, the “War on Terror” has nothing to do with fighting terrorism; when in reality, it is the driving force in an unprecedented increase in terrorism. This war has become an obscene front for Global corporations to rob natural resources and loot trillions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury.
It cannot be said enough.
The Pentagon Audit Is “Our Last Best Chance” To Avoid Exponential Collapse
How long are we going to allow this to continue?
Due to this war, we are already $21 Trillion in debt, with an additional $21 Trillion in unaccounted for spending. Who knows how much more is actually unaccounted for?
This is checkmate. We are trapped in a debt-death spiral. The death of the dollar is inevitable. It is coming soon, one way or the other. Seriously consider putting whatever wealth you have into another currency or real assets ASAP.
How many more U.S. soldiers will die, be maimed or psychologically traumatized for Global corporations’ record-breaking profits, as society collapses?
How many more American families will fall into poverty due to the fully-corrupt tax system, skyrocketing costs of living and cuts to social services?
As the government falsifies economic statistics, the mainstream press projects illusory prosperity to an increasingly destitute, depressed and desperate population.
Meanwhile, Global War Profiteers make off with trillions of American taxpayer dollars. We have no legit leadership. Our future has been set on fire, as we apathetically watch it burn. The more traumatizing global reality becomes, the more we indulge in our denial.
And let us be conscious of how the history books will remember us, as millions of innocent civilians are slaughtered in our name.
Every 12 minutes a U.S. taxpayer-funded bomb falls…
As a Common Dreams report on the stunning civilian death toll said:
“Numbers are numbing, especially numbers that rise into the millions. But please remember that each person killed represents someone’s loved one.”
If we are going to get out of this crisis, now is an absolutely critical strategic time to take bold action. The first ever full-scope audit of the Pentagon has just begun. With overwhelming evidence of unprecedented waste, fraud and theft, now is our chance to strike a blow into the heart of corruption. This may very well be “our last best chance” to avoid exponential collapse.
If we can raise public awareness and support on this issue, Senator Chuck Grassley, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will hold Congressional hearings on military spending that will blow the lid off trillions of dollars in fraud, which may finally end this obscene war racket.
We cannot overstate the strategic importance of pounding on this issue right now. To the small number of you reading this report, it is up to us. If we don’t make this issue a major priority right now, who will?
The mainstream media’s total blackout on coverage of the Pentagon Audit is the ultimate example of the absolute death of journalism in this country.
We have received support on this issue from veterans and active-duty soldiers, former and current Intelligence Community officials, accountants and economists, conservatives and liberals, cutting across the entire political spectrum.
People who understand what is happening with military spending, and care about the future of this country, agree on this issue. What is happening with military spending cannot be defended. The evidence is overwhelming!
If widespread strategic action is not implemented and acted upon, we should start seriously debating proposals and implementing new local governments that can act independently and peacefully defend local populations from illegitimate and tyrannical government activities that are designed to enrich Global Interests by exploiting hardworking Americans, poisoning our land and robbing our resources.
Make no mistake, on the precipice of the abyss, an evolutionary leap is required.
We must end the War Racket.
For the last word in this report, we’ll leave it to war reporter Andrew Dobbs:
“Retired U.S. Army colonel Andrew Bacevich has reinforced this insight with regard to U.S. wars in the Middle East in particular, saying ‘there is no strategy. None. Zilch. We’re on a multi-trillion-dollar bridge to nowhere.’
Eschewing strategy doesn’t make it merely difficult to win a war, it makes it impossible to determine if you have won or not, and therefore becomes a recipe for the sort of endless conflict the United States has become famous for….
Among Sun Tzu’s earliest principles is the flat statement that:
“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”
Of course, there are aspects of the United States military empire that even Sun Tzu didn’t anticipate. Prolonged war may not benefit any nation, but it certainly benefits the military contractors that profit from endless war and the financial interests making money off of incomprehensible levels of government debt.”
This report is the first of several in our Analysis of Battlefield Operations coverage. Moving forward this series will continue to cover the countries covered in this report and other global hotspots, such as: Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Yemen, Qatar, Pakistan, Kurdistan, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Ukraine, China, North Korea, Japan, India, Libya/Niger/North Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Philippines, Venezuela, Honduras, Mexico and Myanmar.
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War Profiteers Vs. The People of the United States
By David DeGraw, Changemaker.Media
Series Coverage Topics
I: War Profiteers & The Plunder of the U.S. Treasury
II: The Tactical Dismantling of American People’s Support Systems
III: Analysis of Global Battlefield Operations, World War News Round Up
IV: Analysis of Psychological Operations
V: Analysis of Economic Conditions
VI: Exit Strategies
Read Part 1 Opening Statement Here.
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