Trillions of Dollars in U.S. Military Spending Is Unaccounted-For. Tax Payers’ Money is Missing

Trillions of Dollars in U.S. Military Spending Is Unaccounted-For. Tax Payers’ Money is Missing

By Eric Zuesse,

Now, and for many decades past, the American public has displayed far higher confidence and trust in “The Military” than in any other “Institution” (including than churches, schools, the Presidency, the police, courts — any). 

And yet — according to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Defense — many billions, and sometimes even trillions, of dollars, in the Department’s periodic financial reports, are not documented. What has happened to the taxpayers’ money is unknown — it’s missing (alleged to have been spent, but to payees unidentified). 

According to the DOD’s IG, this goes on year-after-year (yet without at all reducing Americans’ trust in “The Military”). Apparently, Americans, as a lot, are gluttons for punishment — or else our ’news’media haven’t sufficiently reported the “waste, fraud, and abuse” that “The Military” are doing to the American public. Either way, there is this extraordinarily high public confidence in the military ongoing year-after-year though the U.S. DOD continues to be the only unauditable federal Department, and expenditures amounting (over the years) into trillions of dollars remain unaccounted-for. But here will now be the American ‘news’media’s chance to call to the public’s attention this discrepancy between the military’s reality and the public’s perceptions of that reality, by publishing this documentation:

On July 14th, Catherine Austin Fitts posted to her website links to some of the key relevant federal documents. Her site is linked-to below, and some of the documents that refer to trillions of dollars unaccounted-for are also linked-to below, and are then quoted from, so that a reader can obtain a sense both of the enormity of the corruption, and also of the authoritativeness of the official statements that are being made here, regarding that corruption. 

I am using here the word “corruption” because whenever an official finding by a U.S. government agency is reporting trillions of dollars of taxpayer money that have been spent for purposes and recipients that are unknown, I call it “corruption,” on the basis that: regardless of whether or not the matter is intended or is instead sloppiness, even mere sloppiness is heinous if it ranges into trillions of dollars of taxpayer-money missing or wrongly spent. Even sloppiness of that magnitude, in the expenditure of taxpayer funds, reflects corruption, if it continues on for years, or especially (as it is shown to do here) for decades, and still has not been stopped.

In fact, the most recent such IG report makes clear (on page “7 of 74”) that 

“Army and Defense Finance and Accounting Service Indianapolis personnel did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in third quarter adjustments and $6.5 trillion in yearend adjustments made to Army General Fund data during FY 2015 financial statement compilation.” 

These “adjustments” had been made to prior unacceptable reports, but were still failing to explain where the money had gone. Here is the main site (solari, of Catherine Austin Fitts), and excerpts from the main documents, which excerpts are posted immediately below it:

***

https://solari.com/blog/dod-and-hud-missing-money-supporting-documentation/

DOD and HUD Missing Money: Supporting Documentation

Catherine Austin Fitts, News & Commentary on July 14, 2017 at 11:07 pm 

***

1. 2015 Semiannual Report to Congress

http://www.dodig.mil/pubs/documents/DODIG-2016-113.pdf

“We determined that 236, totaling $2 trillion, of the 263 third quarter JV adjustments in our sample, and 170, totaling $2.1 trillion, of the 194 yearend JV adjustments in our sample, were in fact unsupported.”

***

6. 2010 Testimony of the Deputy Inspector General, DOD

http://www.dodig.mil/IGInformation/IGInformationReleases/DoDIG_Testimony_Final%20(HOGR-20110923).pdf

“We found the Department’s review process included less than half of the fiscal year 2010 first quarter gross outlays.10 Comptroller officials stated that the $167.5 billion in outlays the Department did not examine for improper payments included internal and intragovernmental transfers. Those outlays were not subject to the OMB reporting requirements since the payments did not leave the Government. However, we later determined that Comptroller officials did not perform a reconciliation to determine whether these outlays were internal or intragovernmental transfers. A complete reconciliation is still needed to demonstrate that all outlays are being examined for overpayments and in order to accurately report the extent of the overpayments. Specifically, DoD did not review approximately $167.5 billion of the $303.7 billion in gross outlays for high dollar overpayments. Additionally, some overpayments that we or the Department identified were not reported, and the First Quarter FY 2010 High Dollar Overpayments Report did not include sufficient information about recoveries and corrective actions.”

“Unless DoD improves its methodology to review all its disbursements, it will continue to understate its estimate of overpayments and will likely miss opportunities to collect additional improper payments.”

“We are concerned with the accuracy and reliability of the Department’s estimation process. Without a reliable process to review all expenditures and identify the full extent of improper payments, the Department will not be able to improve internal controls aimed at reducing improper payments. 12 The Department’s financial management processes are not always adequate to prevent or detect improper payments. For example, in our recent audit of a contract supporting Broad Area Maritime Surveillance, we found DoD personnel did not validate that the contractor was entitled to $329.3 million it received as of January 12, 2010. These are costs paid to contractors that Defense Contract Audit Agency questioned because they do not comply with rules, regulations, laws and/or contract terms which meets the definition of an improper payment. These improper payments the audit agency identified are greater than the $1.3 billion of improper payments the Department identified during 2004 to 2010.”

***

https://solari.com/00archive/web/solarireports/2017/unsupported_adjustments/DOD/DODIG-2016-113.pdf

Inspector General U.S. Department of Defense Report No. DODIG-2016-113 JULY 26, 2016 Army General Fund Adjustments Not Adequately Documented or Supported.

“OASA(FM&C) and DFAS Indianapolis personnel did not adequately document or support adjustments made to AGF data during FY 2015 financial statement compilation. Specifically, OASA(FM&C) and DFAS Indianapolis personnel did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in JV adjustments for third quarter and $6.5 trillion in JV adjustments for yearend.17”

***

https://solari.com/00archive/web/solarireports/2017/unsupported_adjustments/DOD/00-167.pdf

STATEMENT OF ROBERT J. LIEBERMAN ASSISTANT INSPECTOR GENERAL DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE BEFORE THE TASK FORCE ON DEFENSE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE ON DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT Report No. D-2000-167 DELIVERED: July 20, 2000

“The audits of the FY 1999 DoD financial statements indicated that $7.6 trillion of accounting entries were made to compile them. This startling number is perhaps the most graphic available indicator of just how poor the existing systems are. The magnitude of the problem is further demonstrated by the fact that, of $5.8 trillion of those adjustments that we audited this year, $2.3 trillion were unsupported by reliable explanatory information and audit trails or were made to invalid general ledger accounts. About $602.7 billion of accounting entries were made to correct errors in feeder reports.”

***

IN CLOSING:

Here, from the list of the 100 largest, are the 20 largest recipients of U.S. federal government money:

http://www.bga-aeroweb.com/Top-100-Defense-Contractors-2015.html

1. Lockheed Martin Corp.

2. The Boeing Company

3. Raytheon Company

4. General Dynamics Corp.

5. Northrop Grumman Corp.

6. United Technologies Corp.

7. L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.

8. BAE Systems plc

9. Humana Inc.

10. Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.

11. Bechtel Group Inc.

12. Health Net Inc.

13. Unitedhealth Group Inc.

14. SAIC Inc.

15. General Atomic Technologies Corp.

16. McKesson Corp.

17. Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office

18. AmerisourceBergen Corp.

19. Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp.

20. United Launch Alliance L.L.C.

As is obvious, all or almost all of these firms are contractors to (recipients of money from) the U.S. Department of Defense; and they may reasonably be presumed to be benefiting significantly from some of the unaccounted-for payments from the U.S. DOD. However, if the money isn’t going to them, then where is it going? And why? And for what? Why is there no congressional investigation to answer these questions? And why are U.S. ‘news’media not publicizing this matter so as to force such investigations? Are payoffs involved — payoffs for silence? Why are none of the ‘news’media that have the resources to explore these questions, publishing their own investigations into it, since Congress won’t investigate? And, since the Inspector General’s reports into these matters have had no impact, why isn’t the focus finally shifting away from studying to find how much is missing, toward instead prosecuting the people who — at the very least — failed to do what they were being paid to do: keep track of every cent of taxpayers’ money? If doing that job is too dangerous, then shouldn’t the people who are tasked to do it be paid more, so as to cover their exceptionally high personal risk? Is all of this secrecy really necessary in order to keep “The Military” way on top as the most respected of all institutions in the United States — even after all of the harms that the U.S. military has actually caused in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc., destroying those countries and others? How much would the public’s respect for the military — the mass-killing institution — be brought down, if the truth about it were known? Would the mass-killing institution deserve to be the most respected institution even if it weren’t so corrupt?

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

The Reign of Propaganda. Unfettered Lies Turned into Self-evident Truths

The Reign of Propaganda. Unfettered Lies Turned into Self-evident Truths

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts,

If truth has a chance it is in a different country than America.

Masters of propaganda from its inventor, Jewish public relations expert Edward Louis James Bernays, to the Nazi Minister of Propaganda Paul Joseph Goebbels, agree that a lie can be turned into truth by constant repetition.

The more pure the lie, the more complete the success in turning it into The Truth. Lies partly based in fact or half-truths open themselves to factual challenge. For a propagandist the best lie is a lie unfettered by even a distant relationship to truth. Such a lie can be turned into such self-evident truth that no evidence is necessary. As Nikki Haley and Hillary Clinton put it:

“Evidence! We don’t need any stinking evidence. We know Russia hacked our election!

For the typical American, who doesn’t know anything, the confidence of the former Secretary of State and “rightful President of the USA” and the confidence of President Donald Trump’s own Ambassador to the United Nations are sufficient to convince them that the lie that Russia stole the US presidency for Trump is true. We all know it. Why? Because we have all heard it endlessly repeated for many months. As one acquaintance said:

“If it were false, surely the media would have exposed it.”

This insouciant naivete is characteristic of Western populations.

As Bernays and Goebbels knew, one good propagandist can control the opinion of the targeted group, whether it is a gender or a nation.

Initially for Benays the targeted group was American women. As a propagandist for an American tobacco company, “the father of spin” promoted female smoking as a sign of feminist independence. He called cigarettes “Torches of Freedom.” He also provided the propaganda that enabled the United Fruit Company to have the US Government overthrow the elected government of Guatemala in 1954.

Goebbels turned Germans into servants of the Third Reich, an accomplishment the neoconservatives have yet to attain in the United States, but they are still working at it.

The neoconservatives, the military/security complex, the Israel Lobby, and the US presstitutes have succeeded in blocking Trump from withdrawing from Syria and from normalizing relations with Russia. They have succeeded in this by using their fabrication, “Russia-gate,” to put President Trump in a box. If Trump now normalizes relations with Russia, it will be presented to the world by the presstitutes as proof that the Putin/Trump conspiracy against Western democracy is real. If Trump were to normalize relations, thereby removing “the threat” that justifies the power and profit of the military/security complex’s budget, he would likely be impeached as a traitor to the USA. Trump’s tweets would be overwhelmed by the onslaught of the presstitutes.

Americans, British, Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Indians, and everyone else need to understand that Washington’s hostility toward Russia is in the service of powerful interest groups. These interest groups are more powerful than the President of the US.

Israel and its design on the Middle East is one of these powerful interest groups. As Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said,

“No American president can stand up to Israel.”

The neoconservatives, who serve both the Zionist state of Israel and the US military/security complex, are another of the powerful interest groups that constrain the American government. That the neocons are firmly allied with Israel and the military/security complex increases their power and influence. President Eisenhower warned Americans in 1961 in his last public address to the American people that the power of the military/industrial complex made it a threat to American democracy:

Eisenhower’s warning was 56 years ago. With the President of the United States concerned about the military/industrial complex 56 years ago, try to imagine how much more this power is entrenched after the decades of the Cold War and “Soviet Threat.” The power of the military/security complex is the premier power in Washington.

Eisenhower’s speech is the best speech any American President has ever delivered. It is only 14 minutes and 4 seconds long; yet it covers everything. There is awareness that we can be victims of our own success. Whatever their public position, neoconservatives have no alternative but to hate President Eisenhower with a passion, because he compared the threat to America from the military/industrial complex to the threat from the Soviet Union.

Americans need to wise up, as do the Russians, Chinese, Europeans and everyone else over whom the neoconservatives intend to exercise hegemony regardless of the cost. The total budget of the US military/security complex has been estimated at $1.1 trillion, a figure that is 70% of Russia’s estimated 2017 GDP. It is larger than the GDP of Mexico and Turkey. It is 45% of the GDP of France or England, and 32% of the GDP of Germany. There are 195 countries in the world. Only 14 of them have A Gross Domestic Product larger than the budget of the US military/security complex.

Washington’s wars in the Middle East involve many interests, including mundane ones such as who controls pipeline locations and energy flows. It also involves Israel’s interests. Twice Israel has sent its army into southern Lebanon for the purpose of occupying and annexing the water resources of southern Lebanon, and twice the militia Hezbollah has defeated and driven out the Israeli army, the fighting capability of which is overrated. Hezbollah receives financial and military support from Syria and Iran. Using their neoconservative allies and the orchestrated-by- propaganda American hatred of Muslims, Israel intends to use the US military to put Syria and Iran in the same state of chaos as Iraq and Libya. If deprived of outside support, Hezbollah can finally be defeated by the Israeli army. With Syria and Iran in chaos, the Russophobic neoconservatives can send jihadism into the Russian Federation to break up the biggest constraint on US unilateralism.

If we consider the combined power of these interest groups—the US military/security complex with an annual budget greater than the GDP of most countries, the neoconservatives with their ideology of US world hegemony and alliance with both Democratic and Republican parties, and Israel which has the US government in its pocket and brags about it—how is it possible for President Trump to do as he said he would do and normalize relations with Russia and withdraw from the US interventions in the Middle East? The prospect of Trump succeeding is remote.

If the Russian government fails to understand that President Trump is not the one who is in charge, Russia will be destroyed along with America and the rest of the world.

Filmmaker With Links to Al-Qaeda Made CNN Syria Documentary, But Network Pretends He Doesn’t Exist

 Source

CNN has curiously diminished the role of a major contributor to its Peabody Award-winning documentary “Undercover in Syria,” ostensibly because that contributor is linked to the country’s al-Qaeda affiliate.

Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear spoke with Alternet’s Ben Norton about the documentary, where CNN sources its handlers, and how this speaks to the bigger issue of deep hypocrisy within the mainstream media concerning US foreign policy.

Norton co-wrote a recent article with Max Blumenthal entitled “CNN Hired Top al-Qaeda Propagandist for Award-Winning Syria Documentary and Wants to Cover Its Tracks,” which told the story of American “independent journalist” Bilal Abdul Kareem, who Norton says was able to gain access that proved deadly for other journalists because of his cozy relationship with terrorists.

“In summary, what’s going on is there’s an American who is very closely tied to al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, who has been accused by numerous sources of actually being a member Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, and has lived in Syria for several years,” Norton explained.

Kareem “has created a small media cult following but has significant impact when it comes to the issue of Syria because he is the only English-speaking Western journalist in al-Qaeda-held territory in Syria.”

Norton said that other journalists who have attempted to enter territory held by al-Qaeda have often ended up kidnapped or killed, and claimed to personally know a journalist who was kidnapped by the extremists and who told him that she heard about Kareem’s involvement with al-Qaeda being discussed casually while she was being held in Idlib, where Kareem was based.

“The crux of it is, this is someone who is closely linked to, if not an outright member of, al-Qaeda. He has denied it of course, but there are a lot of ties and circumstantial evidence” to suggest this connection, Norton said. He noted that a colleague of Kareem’s who helped Kareem with his On The Ground News outlet was stripped of his British citizenship for alleged connections to al-Qaeda.

Norton said that it’s “no surprise” that corporate media outlets like CNN would work with Kareem, as they “fawn” over Syrian opposition groups and say “nothing positive about the Syrian government and its allies.”

“There are certainly problems with the Syrian government,” Norton allowed, “but this is one-sided propaganda. This is not just that rebel perspective that CNN is propagating, it is the perspective of extremist groups in rebel-held territory.”

In a video posted to Twitter in June, Kareem complained that CNN had not fully acknowledged his contributions to the documentary, saying that the network “barely mentioned my name! I’m telling you, somehow CNN must have forgotten that I was the one that filmed it, I guess they forgot that.”

“CNN has essentially distanced itself from him,” Norton said. “It hasn’t completely ignored him, but he’s always mentioned as a mere footnote. He is almost never mentioned in any of the official statements or speeches about the documentary, even though as he said himself, he played a crucial role in creating it. He was the videographer, he was actually on the ground.”

Though it is CNN that has this time reaped the rewards of Kareem’s connections, Norton said that corporate media outlets of all political leanings behave similarly when addressing the US’ movements in Syria.

“They’ve all been just as irresponsible when it comes to this issue. When it comes to US foreign policy and other countries and non-state actors that are enemies of the US government, there is a media uniformity with which they are all presented, and Syria has been no exception.”

 

Kremlin derides new U.S. media buzz of ‘Russian meddling’ as bordering on TV soap opera

Source

TASS, July 12, 2017

MOSCOW – The Kremlin has nothing to do with the correspondence of the U.S. president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., his alleged meeting with Russian attorney Natalya Veselnitskaya and believes that this story is another spin in the ongoing soap opera, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

“This story has nothing much to feed off of,” Peskov said after being asked whether this story could stoke U.S. suspicions regarding Russia’s alleged interference in the most recent U.S. presidential election.

“This is just another spin to the plot and it appeared immediately after the bilateral meeting [between the Russian and U.S. presidents],” he said. “On the whole, it definitely looks like a long-running soap opera, which can compete with the most successful TV-series currently aired in the United States, however, there is no sense drawing us into such soap operas as we are not taking part or playing any roles in it.”

The New York Times daily published a story last week claiming that in June 2016, then presidential candidate Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign chairman Paul Manafort held a meeting with a Russian lawyer, who allegedly had connections to Russian authorities. According to the New York Times, some people linked to Russian ruling circles, as well as to a number of state companies, were among Natalya Veselnitskaya’s clients.

Peskov reiterated that the Kremlin “has absolutely nothing to do with this story, has never been in contact with this lawyer (Veselnitskaya) and, therefore, has nothing to say about it.”

The presidential spokesman dismissed as absurd allegations that Veselnitskaya reportedly acted on behalf of the Russian government during the meeting with Trump Jr. “How could a lawyer be possibly representing the Russian government at the official level?” Peskov said adding that an only exception is when a lawyer acts on behalf of the government in a court trial.

“But it was not about it [a court trial] in this given case, therefore such a statement on the issue is improper and absurd,” he said.

U.S. President Trump and his administration repeatedly denied allegations that Russian authorities meddled in last year’s US presidential election helping him to win the race. Moscow has also rebuffed such allegations on numerous occasions.

Related:
‘Wild & overblown’: Lavrov blasts media hype over Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer, RT.com, July 12, 2017

The biggest plot hole in #Russiagate is that nobody can even say what it is

Source

Donald Trump and son Donald Trump Jr.

After months and months of shrieking about Russian hackers, Kremlin bots, RT propaganda and urinating prostitutes, the dauntless crusaders for the Russiagate conspiracy theory are now crowing that they have at long last been vindicated by a new revelation that has nothing whatsoever to do with any of these things. Today’s Shocking Trump-Russia Revelation is that Donald Trump Jr. published his emails with a British tabloid reporter last year who claimed that the Russian government supported Trump over Clinton, and wanted to provide documents to the Trump campaign proving Clinton’s connections with the Kremlin.

Leaving aside the fact that no such documents ever surfaced, the fact that none of these manic Russiagaters seem to be remotely curious about their anointed queen’s Kremlin connections, the fact that it should surprise no one that Russia prefered Trump over the woman who wanted to set up a no-fly zone in an area where Russian military planes are conducting operations, the fact that the lawyer Trump Jr. met with is nowhere near the Kremlin power broker these people are pretending she is, and the fact that what Trump Jr. was doing is virtually identical to what the Clinton camp was doing at the exact same time — leaving all of that aside — the single biggest plot hole in this Trump-Russia collusion narrative is that nobody has ever painted a clear picture of what specifically said collusion is meant to have looked like. The fact that Trump Jr.’s emails don’t fit with any part of the preexisting Russiagate narrative, don’t confirm anything the Russiagaters have been saying about what happened, and never manifested in any actual released documents of Clinton-Russia connections doesn’t seem to bother these people at all.

For pointing out the consistent failure of these tireless Russia conspiracy theorists to provide a clear, non-debunked, fact-based argument for their collusion narrative with enough evidence to satisfy our mandatory skepticism in a post-“Saddam has WMDs” world, I get called a Kremlin agent, a Russian bot, and, most recently, a “denier”, the latter used with the same tone you’d reserve for a Holocaust denier.

But what exactly is it that I’m denying? Nobody has ever been able to tell me what this collusion thing even looks like. The fastest way to get a Russiagater to block you on social media is to demand a specific, concrete narrative describing what this collusion is supposed to have looked like so that you can tell them what kinds of proof you would need in order to believe that it happened.

Try it. Press them. What exactly is the specific accusation here? How specifically does Trump Jr.’s email correspondence prove what Russiagaters have been saying for the last nine months, for example? Or how did the hacking collusion happen? Why would Russian hackers need to “collude” with Trump at all in order to help kill the campaign of a candidate whose election they already wanted to avoid? Why wouldn’t they just do it on their own? You won’t get a straight answer. At best you’ll get some vague, amorphous gibberish about smoke and fire, but if you press them about what this vague Trumpy-Putiny-smoke-fire-something-nothing thing is supposed to have looked like, you’ll get, at best, an accusation of being a Kremlin agent.

For this reason, the Russiagate argument is completely devastated before it ever gets off the ground. In order for there to be a debate, both sides need to clearly define their position. I can clearly point to the lack of solid evidence needed in a post-Iraq invasion world, while Russiagaters are unable to even articulate what specifically their alleged collusion is supposed to have looked like. It’s impossible to argue against something if the other party refuses to even define what you’re meant to be arguing against. This bad thinking is the only thing that keeps this debate going in political discourse.

There is no clearly-defined fact-based picture of what specifically Trump-Russia collusion is meant to look like, and there never will be. Unlike Watergate, which began as an investigation into a concrete burglary and then followed a logical series of investigations into interconnected factors up to President Nixon, Russiagate is an investigation of a person. It began with people disliking Trump, and then trying to find a crime to get him out of the way. That’s all this is, and that’s all it ever will be. We will never, ever see any hard evidence proving that Trump colluded with the Russian government; we will never even see a consensus fact-based argument about how specifically it is supposed to have happened. We will only ever get this vague, gaseous, Trumpy-Putiny-smoke-fire-something-nothing thing, because as long as the Russiagaters keep refusing to make a solid argument, it can never be fully obliterated for the fallacious nonsense that it is.

Too Much Exceptionalism Hath Made the US Elites Mad

Source

 What kind of person really wants to see relations between the world’s biggest nuclear armed countries deteriorate? Who wants to see the situation between the US and Russia, which has become at least as dangerous as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, get even worse? Or to put it another way, who would not welcome a genuine dialogue between the leaders of these two great countries? The answer to these questions is of course those who have completely lost their ability to reason.

Given the unprecedented propaganda and irrational absurdities coming out of the US over the past year or so, not even the most optimistic of people could have had very high hopes for the Trump-Putin meeting at the G20 Summit on Friday. The toxic atmosphere in the US, plus the fact that Donald Trump seemed to have capitulated to the Deep State within weeks of his inauguration, meant that any real thawing in relations was highly unlikely.

Yet as it turned out, the meeting was far better than even the biggest pessimist could have imagined. Scheduled to speak for just 30 minutes — which itself was a bad joke, given the urgent need for the leaders of these two nations to have serious and constant communication — they actually went on for over two hours and apparently cordially discussed a broad range of issues.

For any normal person, this would be seen as A VERY GOOD THING. But of course there are many who regard it as A VERY BAD THING.

For instance, on the idea of forming a joint Cyber Security unit so that each country could have a guarantee that the other would not “hack” the others’ election, the plan was met with derision in the US. Senator Marco Rubio, for instance, suggested that such an initiative would be like partnering with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on chemical weapons.

This is a particularly funny retort for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Syrian government’s stockpile of chemical weapons was destroyed by a team of US Army civilians and contractors aboard a US vessel, the Cape Ray, in 2013-14. Secondly, the US still has a stockpile of around 3,000 tons of chemical weapons, despite being a signatory to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, which committed it to the destruction of their entire stockpile of chemical weapons within ten years. The complete destruction of the entire arsenal is now due to be completed around the year 2023. And thirdly, the country that leads the world in cyber-spying, monitoring, election interference and regime change by a wide margin is … none other than the country in which Mr Rubio is a senator. Let’s file his remarks in that fat ‘ole bin marked “Hypocrisy”.

Yet Mr Rubio’s remarks pale into insignificance to those uttered by Nikki Haley, the country’s second most important “diplomat”. Here’s what this “diplomat” had to say after her boss’s boss’s apparently cordial and constructive meeting with Mr Putin:

“We can’t trust Russia, and we won’t ever trust Russia. But you keep those that you don’t trust closer so that you can always keep an eye on them and keep them in check.”

Think about that. Let it sink in. After a period of the worst relations between the two countries since — well since ever — the US President finally got to sit down and talk to his Russian counterpart, and by all accounts it went well. Which would be a cause for any normal person to be thankful. And yet just hours after it finished, the US’s second highest “diplomat” blabs her mouth off that the US will never trust Russia! I shudder to think that when looking for a diplomat, Mr Trump saw Mrs Haley as the best person to represent his country.

It would be pointless to go through all the inanities uttered by the stenographers in the so-called free media. Suffice it to say that predictably, rather than welcoming the potential for a relaxation of tensions, they spent their time chiding Mr Trump for “being soft”, for apparently “being played”, and of Mr Putin “winning”. What is WRONG with these people? Why does everything have to be about winning and losing? Can they not envisage discussions where grown-up people discuss differences and try to work towards resolution without it being about ‘who comes out on top’? Apparently they cannot, for reasons I’ll come to in a moment.

And of course they continued to display the effects of the debilitating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder they’ve been suffering from for almost a year, which compels them to talk incessantly about “hacking” and “meddling”, but without ever asking a single challenging question, such as:

  • Did the 17 intelligence agencies really all agree with a high level of certainty that Russia hacked the election? (Answer: no)
  • Did the FBI actually examine the DNC servers? (Answer: no)
  • Who actually did examine the DNC servers (Crowdstrike) and do they have a reliable track record of such things? (Answer: no)
  • Was there any hard evidence presented of Russian hacking in the January 6th DIA report? (Answer: no)
  • Has the US ever interfered in the elections of other countries, including Russia’s? (Answer: yes — multiple times)

Words almost fail me. Faced with a choice between the two leaders striking up a rapport and finding some common ground, or the two of them squaring up to each other in a confrontation that would only increase tensions and push us closer to a potential nuclear confrontation, many (if not most) leading US politicians, plus their media lackeys, preferred the second option.

Last year, as the United States for the second time broke an agreement that they had signed with Russia to separate the so-called moderate rebels from groups like al-Nusra, the Russian Foreign Minister described the US administration using a word meaning “not agreement capable”. But it now looks far worse than that. It is not just that the US administration is “not capable” of agreement, it appears to be “not rational-thought capable”. Almost the entirety of Congress and the media seem to think that any détente between Mr Trump and Mr Putin, between the US and Russia, between the two biggest nuclear armed countries on the planet is tantamount to treason.

It is abundantly clear that the political and media elites in the United States are out of control. They have long since left the land of rationality, and have driven over the cliff where they are now floundering in the air of unreason before going splat on the rock of total insanity. They have so imbibed the heresy that the United States is “Exceptional” and “Indispensable” that they are now “not rational-thought capable”. They are incapable of conceiving of an agreement which does not either maintain or increase US hegemony. They are incapable of conceiving of talks with another country where their opposite numbers are treated as anything other than subservient. They are incapable of welcoming a thawing of relations between the leaders of two countries that have enough nuclear weapons to wipe out the lives of millions.

And because of their madness, they are driving the US and Russia towards confrontation. Don’t believe it? The Russians do. Here’s what one of their top generals, Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, said back in April:

“The [US] missile defense system considerably shifts the balance of offensive weapons, allowing the planning of a more efficient pre-emptive strike. Russian military experts believe that the US hopes to gain the capability to strike any region of the world, including Russia and China, with nuclear-tipped missiles with impunity.”

Do you understand what he’s saying and how serious this all is? Unless the leaders of these countries talk to each other, as equals, with a view to reaching tangible agreements, and without their own bureaucracies and media back at home doing all they can to prevent this from happening, then the Russians will continue to view US plans as heading inexorably towards having the capability to launch a pre-emptive strike, with any response neutralised. Only someone that has let the ideology of exceptionalism blind them to what this really means, could fail to welcome the baby steps towards détente that were seen in Hamburg.

In short, too much exceptionalism hath made the US elites mad. They must be stopped.

The Media Says the US Just Liberated Mosul: Here’s What Really Happened

Source

Published: July 11, 2017

Source: The Antimedia

 Image result for mosul

(ANTIMEDIA)  The mainstream media appears to be celebrating ISIS’ recent defeat in Mosul, albeit with some reservations. The media is largely using the word “liberation,” which indicates the people of Mosul have been freed from a monstrous force by a friendly, benevolent one.

In reality, the “liberation” of Mosul paints a dark, horrifying picture of America’s foreign policy when one realizes how ISIS took hold of Mosul in the first place. As Anti-Media in summarized in September of last year, the U.S. allowed ISIS to gain control of Mosul quite deliberately:

“In June 2014, ISIS crossed the Syrian border into Iraq, effortlessly taking the strategic oil-rich cities of Mosul and Baiji and almost making it as far as Baghdad. Amid the terror group’s frightening victory, they uploaded images and footage of drive-by-shootings, large-scale death marches, and mass graves (following the mass executions of Iraqi soldiers).

“ISIS militants claimed massive quantities of American military equipment, including entire truckloads of humvees, helicopters, tanks, and artillery as their own. This was no secret to Washington, or even the world, as the militants photographed and recorded themselves and publicly flaunted their activity on social media.”

Was there a good reason the American military sat on its hands despite knowing full well that this was going on? As Anti-Media explained further:

“What did the U.S. do in response? Nothing. In spite of all the American bases in Iraq and the government’s ability to perform all manner of illicit activity — including assassinating Muammar Gaddafi in Libya using a drone that was flown out of Sicily by a pilot who operated the vehicle from a naval base in Nevada‚ the U.S. couldn’t do anything to stop ISIS rapid advancements. Was there a problem preventing the U.S. military from conducting air strikes? Clearly not, as the U.S. had been launching drone strikes in Pakistan at around the same time ISIS advanced.”

The U.S. allowed ISIS to gain this significant portion of territory before moving into Iraq with an air war that was designed to pave the way for a segued operation into Syrian territory. The U.S. couldn’t justify an intervention into Syria without going into Iraq first, and this was quite clearly the underlying intention of this operation the whole time, as evidenced by the U.S.’ obsession with the Syrian conflict throughout both the Obama and Trump administrations.

Since the U.S. moved back into Iraq in 2014, the U.S. has dropped 84,000 bombs in Iraq and Syria up until the end of May 2017. As Counterpunch explains, this is nearly three times the number of bombs and missiles dropped on Iraq during  George W. Bush’s “Shock and Awe” campaign in 2003.

Monitoring group Airwars’ currently estimates that the minimum number of civilians killed by the U.S.-led coalition’s campaign in Iraq and Syria has reached roughly 4,354 since the operation began in 2014. The number is likely higher, but we will never know the exact total because up until a month ago, the U.S. only had two personnel investigating casualties in Iraq and Syria full time.

Under President Trump, the number of bombs being dropped increased rapidly after Trump gave complete control to the military generals on the ground to call in airstrikes with little oversight. One such air raid in Mosul saw close to 300 civilians die, and the fact that the strike had been called in by Iraqi forces on the ground demonstrates the immense amount of scope that Trump has delegated to call in airstrikes with little regard to international law and the principle of proportionality.

The battle for Mosul also drew in Iran-backed Shia militias, who have been known to terrorize Iraq’s Sunni population (including torturing civilians). No one doubts that ISIS is a brutal and abhorrent group, but the people who are supposedly “liberating” the local population — whether it’s the U.S. military, the Iraqi armed forces, or the various militia on the ground — appear to be no better.

Now that these Iran-backed militias have firmly planted themselves in Iraq, the U.S. is left with an ultimate dilemma of how to kick them out and counter Iran’s expanding influence. In all seriousness, the battle for Mosul is only paving the way for further occupation and laying the groundwork for America to pursue its regional ambitions in its never-ending quest to confront Iran.

According to the U.N., more than 742,000 Iraqis have fled the battle in Mosul, with approximately 10,000 new civilians fleeing every day. For a country that hates refugees, the U.S. certainly plays a significant role in creating an endless supply of them.

And for those civilians still trapped in the city, their lives will never be the same. As Airwars explains:

“According to city officials, as much as 80 per cent of West Mosul has been completely destroyed. Civilians still emerging from the battlefield are often bloodied and starving – traumatised by Iraqi and Coalition bombardments; and by atrocities commited [sic] by ISIS.

“According to reporters accompanying Iraqi forces, the stench of death is everywhere in the Old City – with civil defence officials reporting that as many as 4,000 bodies still remain unrecovered in the rubble. It is likely to be many months before the full death toll is known.”

That is quite the liberation. Even if Mosul really has been “liberated” by the U.S.-backed coalition, no one seems to be talking about the fact that ISIS was only able to conquer strategic areas like Mosul under the safety of the Obama administration’s policies. Leaked audio of former Secretary of State John Kerry when he was a senator confirmed the U.S. was watching ISIS grow, and in turn, the hoped this would bring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the negotiating table (you can listen to the full audio here).

You can’t target a group as an enemy in one location and view it as a useful proxy army in another. Indeed, ISIS was always a useful proxy force for the anti-Assad coalition, as Kerry admitted.

Essentially, the U.S. allowed ISIS to gain control of large swaths of Iraq and Syria so they could justify interventions in these war-ravaged nations.

As far as the people of Iraq are concerned, there is only one winner here: the military-industrial complex, which secured massive years-long contracts to make, supply, and drop over 84,000 bombs on a territory that never should have been in the hands of ISIS in the first place.

%d bloggers like this: