MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Pentagon’

Pentagon Spent $4.6 Million on Lobster Tail and Crab in One Month – Hit & Run : Reason.com

Posted by M. C. on March 15, 2019

Bureaucrats with lemonade stand mentalities spending your money.

Is anyone other than “Libertarian nut” Rand Paul squawking?

https://reason.com/blog/2019/03/08/pentagon-spent-46-million-on-lobster-tai

The federal government spends a disproportionate amount of its budget for outside contractors in the final month of the fiscal year, as agencies rush to blow through cash before it’s too late. Among the more noteworthy expenditures in 2018, according to the watchdog group Open the Books, was $4.6 million for lobster tail and crab.

Such use-it-or-lose-it spending stems from the fact that each federal agency is given a certain amount of money it can spend on outside contractors for the fiscal year. If the agency comes in under budget, Congress might decide to appropriate less money the following year.

Or as The Office‘s Oscar Martinez explains to Michael Scott in “The Surplus”: “Your mommy and daddy give you $10 to open up a lemonade stand, so you go out and you buy cups and you buy lemons and you buy sugar. And now you find out that it only cost you $9, so you have an extra dollar,” he explains. “So you can give that dollar back to mommy and daddy. But guess what: Next summer, and you ask them for money, they’re going to give you $9 because that’s what they think it cost to run the stand. So what you want to do is spend that dollar on something now, so that your parents think that it cost $10 to run the lemonade stand.”…

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How Trump Thwarted Calculated Israeli Effort to Keep U.S. in Syria | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on January 19, 2019

Will congress ever get from under the Likud’s thumb? Do they want to?

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-the-israeli-effort-to-keep-trump-in-syria-failed/

By GARETH PORTER

The Pentagon was not the only party pressing Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria last year. It turns out the Israeli government and its supporters in Washington were working very hard to get the Trump administration to use America’s military presence there to support an Israeli campaign of airstrikes aimed at threatening war with Iran.

The Israeli strategy was aimed at dividing Russia from Iran and thus putting pressure on Tehran to withdraw its military personnel from Syria. A campaign by a pro-Israel think tank actually succeeded in getting such a policy ready for Trump’s approval last fall—although it was not supported by some Pentagon officials.

The story of the Israel lobby’s latest attempt to capture American policy, recounted here for the first time, reveals just how far Israel was able to reach into the Trump administration before the president personally intervened… Read the rest of this entry »

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Mattis: One More General for the ‘Self Licking Ice Cream Cone’ | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on January 8, 2019

…just three years after he left the military—he was worth upwards of $10 million. In addition to his retirement pay, which was close to $15,000 a month at the time, he received $242,000 as a board member, plus as much as $1.2 million in stock options in General Dynamics, the Pentagon’s fourth largest contractor. 

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/mattis-one-more-general-for-the-self-licking-ice-cream-cone/

By KELLEY BEAUCAR VLAHOS

Before he became lionized as the “only adult in the room” capable of standing up to President Trump, General James Mattis was quite like any other brass scoping out a lucrative second career in the defense industry. And as with other military giants parlaying their four stars into a cushy boardroom chair or executive suite, he pushed and defended a sub-par product while on both sides of the revolving door. Unfortunately for everyone involved, that contract turned out to be an expensive fraud and a potential health hazard to the troops.

According to a recent report by the Project on Government Oversight, 25 generals, nine admirals, 43 lieutenant generals, and 23 vice admirals retired to become lobbyists, board members, executives, or consultants for the defense industry between 2008 and 2018. They are part of a much larger group of 380 high-ranking government officials and congressional staff who shifted into the industry in that time.

Back to Mattis. In 2012, while he was head of Central Command, the Marine General pressed the Army to procure and deploy blood testing equipment from a Silicon Valley company called Theranos. He communicated that he was having success with this effort directly to Theranos’s chief executive officer. Even though an Army health unit tried to terminate the contract due to it’s not meeting requirements, according to POGO, Mattis kept the pressure up. Luckily, it was never used on the battlefield. Read the rest of this entry »

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Secretary of Defense Jim Webb? | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on January 4, 2019

Likely our best chance to turn the War Department to a Defense Department.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/secretary-of-defense-jim-webb/

By CURT MILLS

The Democrat and scourge of foreign wars is drawing praise from many Trump supporters.

Jim Webb—the former Virginia senator, Ronald Reagan Navy secretary, and brief but memorable 2016 Democratic presidential candidate—addressed The American Conservative’s foreign policy conference in November 2016, immediately following Donald Trump’s shock White House victory.

He recalled what a friend and fellow Marine told him about Trump: “He said: ‘This guy Donald Trump. The Republicans hate him. The Democrats hate him. The media hates him. I think I found my guy.’”… Read the rest of this entry »

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Who Is Paying for the War in Yemen? – The Atlantic

Posted by M. C. on December 11, 2018

Is this really a surprise? The Saudis already spent a bundle taking down the World Trade Center.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/12/pentagon-refueling-controversy-saudi-led-war-yemen/577666/

 

President Donald Trump, who repeatedly complains that the United States is paying too much for the defense of its allies, has praised Saudi Arabia for ostensibly taking on Iran in the Yemen war. It turns out, however, that U.S. taxpayers have been footing the bill for a major part of the Saudi-led campaign, possibly to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

The revelation—detailed in a Defense Department letter obtained by The Atlantic—is likely to raise further ire among senators who have grown ever-more critical of Saudi conduct in the war, which has resulted in a growing number of civilian casualties, and U.S. support for it.

Since the start of the Saudi-led intervention, in March 2015, and up until last month, the United States provided mid-air refueling for Saudi-led coalition aircraft that then flew missions related to the Yemen campaign. Getting heavy U.S. tankers into the air and carrying out this job is enormously expensive. The recipient country is required by law to pay the costs, but that isn’t what happened here. In a mea culpa of sorts, the Pentagon’s November 27 letter states that while the Defense Department “believed” Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “had been charged for the fuel and refueling services, they in fact had not been charged adequately.” How inadequately, the Pentagon will not yet say; it is “currently calculating the correct charges,” the letter states…

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Wondering where your taxes go?

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Exclusive: The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed | The Nation

Posted by M. C. on November 28, 2018

https://www.thenation.com/article/pentagon-audit-budget-fraud/

By Dave Lindorff

How US military spending keeps rising even as the Pentagon flunks its audit.

On November 15, Ernst & Young and other private firms that were hired to audit the Pentagon announced that they could not complete the job. Congress had ordered an independent audit of the Department of Defense, the government’s largest single cost center—the Pentagon receives two of every three federal tax dollars collected—after the Pentagon failed for decades to audit itself. The firms concluded, however, that the DoD’s financial records were riddled with so many bookkeeping deficiencies, irregularities, and errors that a reliable audit was simply impossible.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan tried to put the best face on things, telling reporters, “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it.” Shanahan suggested that the DoD should get credit for attempting an audit…

Now, a Nation investigation has uncovered an explanation for the Pentagon’s foot-dragging: For decades, the DoD’s leaders and accountants have been perpetrating a gigantic, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the Congress Read the rest of this entry »

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Mattis Vows No Cut in Military Support for France in Mali | Military.com

Posted by M. C. on October 3, 2018

We do Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s dirty work in the Muddle East. So why not France’s in Africa?

The result seems to be the same…it just gets worse.

Your soldier son or daughter, fighting for a foreign government,  has somewhere else to die besides the ME.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/10/02/mattis-vows-no-cut-military-support-france-mali.html

Lolita C. Baldor

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday that the U.S. will not reduce its support for the French-led military operations against insurgents in Mali.

“We have no intention of cutting back one bit on that support,” said Mattis.

Speaking alongside Mattis at a press conference in Paris, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said the Pentagon chief reassured her that any changes in U.S. operations or forces in Africa would not affect support provided to France.

The Pentagon has been reevaluating its troop presence and operations in Africa after the ambush in Niger last year that killed four U.S. soldiers and four of their Niger counterparts. French forces were part of the rescue force that went to the aid of U.S. forces after the Niger attack…

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Yemen: Pentagon won’t check if US bombs killed kids in Yemen. CNN did. – Vox

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2018

To summarize: The Saudi-led coalition is using American-made weapons dropped from planes refueled by Americans to kill civilians — including children — and the Pentagon won’t look into it.

Why should the pentagram look into it when they already know. The US military directs the bombing.

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/20/17760322/yemen-children-bomb-bus-pentagon

By 

On August 9, the Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen carried out a horrific attack on a school bus, killing dozens of people, including 40 children.

When I asked the Pentagon if the United States — which supports the coalition’s effort by refueling its warplanes, providing intelligence help, and selling them explosives — made the bomb used in that attack, the answer was less than reassuring.

“We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the US sold to them,” Army Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesperson for US Central Command, told me. “We don’t have a lot of people on the ground.”…

Well, it turns out CNN launched an investigation of its own and reported last Friday that the bomb used in the attack did, in fact, come from the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

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Seymour Hersh and the Disappearing Iconoclast | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2018

Hersh’s 1974 expose on the CIA’s illegal spying on Americans helped spur one of the best congressional investigations of federal wrongdoing since World War II. 

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/seymour-hersh-and-the-disappearing-iconoclast/

By JAMES BOVARD

When people are comforted by government lies, trafficking the truth becomes hellishly difficult. Disclosing damning facts is especially tricky when editors en masse lose their spines. These are some of the takeaways from legendary Seymour Hersh’s riveting new memoir, Reporter.

Shortly before Hersh started covering the Pentagon for the Associated Press in 1965, Arthur Sylvester, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, berated a group of war correspondents in Saigon: “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid.” Hersh was astonished by the “stunningly sedate” Pentagon press room, which to him resembled “a high-end social club.”

Hersh never signed on to that stenographers’ pool. He was soon shocked to realize“the extent to which the men running the war would lie to protect their losing hand.” Hersh did heroic work in the late 1960s and early 1970s exposing the lies behind the Vietnam War. His New Yorker articles on the My Lai massacre scored a Pulitzer Prize and put atrocities in headlines where they remained till the war’s end…  Read the rest of this entry »

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Millions Flow to Pentagon’s Banned Contractors Via a Back Door | Bloomberg Government

Posted by M. C. on August 7, 2018

https://about.bgov.com/blog/millions-flow-pentagons-banned-contractors-via-back-door/

Same old story. Follow the money. Your (used to be) money.

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