Trillions of Dollars in U.S. Military Spending Is Unaccounted-For

Eric Zuesse

First, a tip of the hat to Carl Herman for his having linked on July 19th to Catherine Austin Fitts’ recent placing on her site key records from the U.S. Department of Defense regarding the astounding level of uninvestigated waste at the Pentagon. (Carl’s article is here: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/07/documentation-us-dept-defense-admitting-losing-6-5-trillion-65000-per-average-us-family-18-year-history-losing-trillions-01-illegal-rogue.html and it goes into many other issues as well.) Having looked at that, I will be focusing in more closely, on some of the shocking statements that are made in those documents, and on the role that the newsmedia should be playing in publicizing this scandal, and posing some questions as to why they’re not doing that, because this failure by the U.S. ‘news’ media is very perplexing to me:

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).

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America’s Invasion of Syria

Will it finally end now?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

The U.S. government has invaded and occupies Syria to overthrow its President, Bashar al-Assad and also to destroy ISIS, which is one of the jihadist organizations that are (like the U.S.) trying to defeat Syria’s government forces (Assad’s forces). The U.S. government has been supporting the ‘rebels’ (tens of thousands of imported foreign jihadists who aren’t ISIS but who are instead allied with or led by Al Qaeda) against the nation’s internationally recognized legal secular (non-religious) government.

The only two U.S. Senators who are at all disturbed that the U.S. has violated both U.S. law and international law by having our soldiers and weapons invade Syria, are the two libertarians, Rand Paul and Mike Lee. Even they — the Senate’s two libertarians — don’t care about America’s violation of international law by America’s invasion and occupation of Syria; even they care only about our government’s violation of the U.S. Constitution. Even they do not challenge America’s right to violate international law (which wasn’t even an issue in that Senate vote).

The other 98 U.S. Senators don’t object, at all, to the U.S. government’s invasion into, and occupation of, Syria; they don’t object to this government’s violation of international law, and they (the other 98) also don’t care about its violation of the U.S. Constitution.

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The Death Spiral of Financialization

The primary driver of our economy–financialization–is in a death spiral. Financialization substitutes expansion of interest, leverage and speculation for real-world expansion of goods, services and wages.

Financial “wealth” created by leveraging more debt on a base of real-world collateral that doesn’t actually produce more goods and services flows to the top of the wealth-power pyramid, driving the soaring wealth-income inequality we see everywhere in the global economy.

As this phantom wealth pours into assets such as stocks, bonds and real estate, it has pushed the value of these assets into the stratosphere, out of reach of the bottom 95% whose incomes have stagnated for the past 16 years.

The core problem with financialization is that it requires ever more extreme policies to keep it going. These policies are mutually reinforcing, meaning that the total impact becomes geometric rather than linear. Put another way, the fragility and instability generated by each new policy extreme reinforces the negative consequences of previous policies.

These extremes don’t just pile up like bricks–they fuel a parabolic rise in systemic leverage, debt, speculation, fragility, distortion and instability.

This accretive, mutually reinforcing, geometric rise in systemic fragility that is the unavoidable output of financialization is poorly understood, not just by laypeople but by the financial punditry and professional economists.
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Documentation of US Dept of Defense admitting ‘losing’ $6.5 trillion ($65,000 per average US family), with 18 year history of ‘losing’ trillions. Your .01% illegal rogue state government at ‘work’ until ‘We the People’ demand arrests for OBVIOUS crimes in war, looting, lying

Catherine Austin Fitts just published documentation of Department of Defense (DOD) official audit reports from 1998 that acknowledge “losing track” of $6.5 trillion, along with Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) admission of “losing” over $100 billion. This is euphemistically termed “unaccounted,” and literally means that DOD agrees they received these funds, agrees the funds are gone, and then claims to not have records of where the money went.

This is the work of Dr. Mark Skidmore and graduate students; Dr. Skidmore is the Director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development at Michigan State University and Professor and Morris Chair in State and Local Gov’t Finance and Policy. Catherine was managing director and member of the board of directors of the Wall Street investment bank Dillon, Read & Co. Inc., Assistant Secretary of Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner for HUD in the first Bush Administration, and president of Hamilton Securities Group, Inc. She has designed and closed over $25 billion of transactions and investments to-date, and has led investment strategy for $300 billion of financial assets and liabilities.

I wrote last year upon publication of DOD’s report. Of course, such “official” looting never happens with lawful accounting because records always show where the money goes. This would be like your bank agreeing they received a $65,000 deposit from you, agreeing the money was gone, and not refunding your account while claiming no further information of this “unaccountable,” “lost,” and “missing” money.
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Why 2017 Is Like 1969

A deeply polarizing new president, a disastrously misguided official narrativethat the political Establishment doggedly supports despite a damning lack of evidence, and an economy teetering on the edge of recession–and worse.

Sound familiar? Welcome to 1969 redux. The similarities between the crises unfolding in 1969 and the present-day crises are not just skin-deep–they’re systemic.

Consider the basic parallels.

1. Nixon was if anything more polarizing than Trump. If there was any politician Democrats loved to hate, it was Nixon. Yet Nixon won a close race against an Establishment Democrat, at least partly because he ran as a “peace candidate” and because he spoke to the Silent Majority who disagreed with the nation’s direction. The Silent Majority was mocked and ridiculed by the mainstream media as racist, close-minded deplorables.

2. The Democratic Party had become the Establishment bastion of war-mongering. The Democratic White House had been obscuring its devastating strategic and tactical miscalculations behind a slick PR campaign and a pervasive and often illegal program of suppressing dissenters and whistleblowers.

3. At the behest of the Establishment, an immense propaganda machinery had been running full-tilt to paper over foreign-policy failures and tragedies (including but not limited to the Vietnam War). In 2017, this immense propaganda machine is focused on discrediting the Trump presidency by unearthing or fabricating evidence of collusion with our default Bad Guy, Russia.
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Ethics of Not Ruining Everything

Today I listened to the audio book of Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationship With Animals by Lori Gruen while reading the hardcopy of From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel Dennett. As a result I have been better able to empathize with Dennett’s obsession with the uniqueness of human consciousness, and I have been better able to marvel at the complex precision of Gruen’s theorizing. But I don’t seem to be any better off than I was before when it comes to knowing how to persuade or otherwise mobilize people to stop humanity from wrecking this planet or harming various life forms on it. In that and other senses, both books read/listen to me like eternal introductions that never get around to the tofu of the matter.

In the end I don’t place an emphasis on thinking about human consciousness. Once we’ve established that humans’ brain power is neither a reason to value nor a reason to devalue non-human animals, and rejected silly dualist conceptions of it as non-physical, the one thing we can be certain of — pace Descartes — is that thinking about our thinking is self-indulgent. Of course our thinking is interestingly unique and interestingly engaged with an accumulating cultural collection of knowledge and habits and verbal language — though that uniqueness may be eroded by computers. But either we’re going to stop rendering the planet uninhabitable or we are not, and how our experience of apocalypse differs from chimpanzees’ experience of apocalypse gains my interest less than whether we can prevent the apocalypse.
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All 10 Most Popular Governors Are Republicans.

Implications for Presidential Politics.

Eric Zuesse

Morning Consult reported on July 18th, that the 11 U.S. state governors who have the highest approval-ratings in their state are:

1. Charlie Baker, MA, 71%

2. Larry Hogan, MD, 68%

3. Matt Mead, WY, 67%

4. Doug Burgum, ND, 66%

5. Dennis Daugaard, SD, 65%

6. Kay Ivey, AL, 64%

7. Brian Sandoval, NV, 62%

8. Phil Scott, VT, 62%

9. Gary Herbert, UT, 61%

10=11 (TIE): Bill Haslam, TN; & Asa Hutchinson, AR, both 60% approval (and both have 23% disapproval; so, they’re tied).

All 11 are Republican.

The 10 with the lowest approval ratings include 7 Republicans (Chris Christie, Sam Brownback, Mary Fallin, Rick Snyder, Scott Walker, Bruce Rauner, and Paul LePage). Two others are Democrats (Dan Malloy & Gina Raimando). One is independent (Bill Walker). Here they’re ranked, starting with the worst (the highest disapproval-rating):

1. Chris Christie, NJ, 69%

2. Sam Brownback, KS, 66%

3. Dan Malloy, CT, 64%

4. Mary Fallin, 55%, OK

5. Rick Snyder, MI, 52%

6. Scott Walker, WI, 51%

7. Bruce Rauner, IL, 49%

8. Paul LePage, ME, 48% (47% approve)

9. Bill Walker, AK, 48% (42% approve)

10. Gina Raimando, RI, 47%

Republicans include all 10 of the best, and 7 of the worst.

Democrats include none of the best, and two of the worst.

Wikipedia says, “There are currently 33 Republicans, 16 Democrats, and one independent serving as state governors.” On that basis, one would expect two-thirds of the worst-list to be Republicans, and 7 actually are, which, of course, fits that statistical (two-thirds) expectation. Also on the same basis, one would expect one-third of the best-list to be Democrats, but none actually are, which, of course, is extremely bad performance for Democrats.

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