Massive Pentagon Waste, Fraud and Grand Theft

30 Nov

Nov22

By Stephen Lendman
SteveLendmanBlog
November 21, 2013

Longstanding Pentagon operations reflect a black hole of unaccountability. Reuters published a two-part report. In July, it discussed the Defense Department’s “payroll quagmire.”

It’s bureaucracy is stifling. It’s “unyielding,” said Reuters. Active duty and retired military personnel are routinely cheated. Pay errors are widespread.

Correcting “or just explaining them can test even the most persistent soldiers.” Weeks or months pass without resolution.

Some personnel are cheated on pay. Others are penalized for overpayments. Their earnings are “drastically cut” unfairly. Precise figures are impossible to calculate.

At issue is “the Defense Department’s jury-rigged network of mostly incompatible computer systems for payroll and accounting, many of them decades old, long obsolete, and unable to communicate with each other,” said Reuters.

“The Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) still uses a half-century-old computer language that is largely unable to communicate with the equally outmoded personnel management systems employed by each of the military services.”

A December 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed unaccountable accounting. No way exists to assure correct amounts are paid. Errors can’t be tracked.

Pentagon accounting reflects epic failure. Nothing is done “to keep track of its money,” said Reuters.
US law requires annual audits of all federal agencies. The Pentagon alone never complied. It’s accounting is in too disarray to do so. It remains unaccountable.

In May 2012, then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said:

“DOD, I’m sorry to say, is the only major federal agency that cannot pass an audit today.”

It bears repeating. It’s a black hole of unaccountability. It literally wastes trillions of dollars.

It uses about 2,200 error-prone computer systems. Billions of dollars are spent operating them. They manage finances, human resources, logistics, property, and weapons acquisitions. According to former Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England:

“There are thousands and thousands of systems. I’m not sure anybody knows how many there are” or how many are in use.

The Pentagon is the world’s largest property owner. It has more than 5,000 sites in 41 countries.

It’s the world’s largest polluter. It’s exempt from environmental regulations and wildlife treaties.

It poisons the earth. Its desecration is virtually unreported. It’s responsible for genocide and ecocide.

It’s destroying the planet’s ability to sustain life. It spends trillions of dollars doing so.

On November 18, Reuters headlined ”Behind the Pentagon’s doctored ledgers, a running tally of epic waste.”

Since 1996, DOD was never held accountable for $8.5 trillion. On September 10, 2001, then Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said:

“According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” At issue is massive waste, fraud and abuse.

Sweetheart deals, bribes and kickbacks are commonplace. So is routine over-billing. Unaccountability is standard practice.

Jeff St. Clair’s book titled “Grand Theft Pentagon: Tales of Corruption and Profiteering in the War on Terror” exposed massive corruption and warprofiteering.

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