Freq Power Ethos: The More You Empower Others, The More Empowered You Become

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For the sake of transparency, in the spirit of full disclosure, to understand our motivation, this is our ethos over here…

FREQ POWER ETHOS

The More You Empower Others,
The More Empowered You Become.

Where science and religion converge and coalesce in consilience ~ the unity of knowledge ~ where quantum physics, spiritual wisdom and philosophies that have lasted through the ages all unite, merge into alignment & synergize:

ψ Φ
We are entangled wave~particles
living in mutualistic symbiosis.

The more you empower others, the more empowered you become.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

“What you do to the web of life, you do to yourself.”

“What injures the hive injures the bee.”

“The reciprocity principle.”

“As above, so below.”

“The Golden Rule.”

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Let’s create ~ empowering feedback loops ~ with the people around us, to get in alignment & synergy with our surrounding environment.

We all want to live in a healthy environment that gives our families the opportunity to fulfill their potential. That is the common ground that we all have here. We all want to thrive in a peaceful community.

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Freq Power manifests when you transcend cultural conditioning, align with your authentic self, discover your unique purpose and self-actualize in service to the greater good.

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Power Structures About To Be Rendered Obsolete ~ Buckminster Freq Power Remix

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~*~
A Transdimensional Communiqué from Buckminster Fuller

“A message for those living aboard Spaceship Earth,

Traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.

It is essential that anyone reading this know at the outset that the author is apolitical. I am convinced that humanity’s most fundamental survival problems could never be solved by politics.

Few realize that political action offers little solution to the world’s major problems.

Few understand that the elite have created political parties in order to prevent real change from ever taking place.

The political arena is merely the ‘sty’ in which two or more mutually hostile agencies, created by the same hidden hand, get the chance to pummel one another, and us in the process.

The world’s power structures have always ‘divided to conquer’ and have always ‘kept divided to keep conquered.’

As a consequence, the power structure has so divided humanity – not only into special function categories but into religious and language and color categories, into identity politics – that individual humans are now helplessly inarticulate in the face of the present crisis.

They consider their political representation to be completely corrupted, therefore, they feel almost utterly helpless.

We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think.

Think of it…

We are blessed with technology that would be indescribable to our forefathers. We have the wherewithal to feed everybody, clothe everybody, and give every human on Earth a chance.

At this time, after thousands of years of invention and discovery, real scarcity has at last been vanquished.

We are maintaining artificial scarcity because of sheer ignorance.

It is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a higher standard of living than any have ever known.

It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary.

War is obsolete.

We must stop burning up the house to keep the family warm.

We have all the technology needed to tap vast cosmic energies of the sun but greedy big business and money drunk government won’t allow it because they haven’t found a way to place a meter on the sun.

Technologically, we now have seven billion billionaires onboard Spaceship Earth who are entirely unaware of their good fortune.

Unbeknownst to them, their legacy is being held in probate by general ignorance, fear, and selfishness.

We are in the tragic-comic predicament of two crazed men dying of thirst, fighting over a teaspoon of water in the middle of a rainstorm. We cannot see the rainstorm because we are hypnotized by emergency-reflexes fixated on the teaspoon.

In short, humanity has already achieved, technically, the total success all Utopians ever dreamed of; our problems now are entirely due to wrong thinking.

There is no energy crisis, food crisis or environmental crisis.

This is only a crisis of ignorance.”

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Suing Google: Censoring Reports on the Silencing of Whistleblowers and Trillions of Unaccounted For Tax Dollars at the Pentagon

I am currently looking for legal representation to file a lawsuit against Google. I am also open to joining a class action lawsuit with others who have been censored by Google.

My latest report has been pulled from Google’s search results. If you search for the headline, you will see that my DeGraw.Media report is not listed in the results:

Pentagon: 95,613 Whistleblower Complaints, Trillions of Tax Dollars Unaccounted For

The few results returned are from websites that linked to my report.

This is the second report in a row that they have censored. The previous report was also pulled from their search results: 10 Mind-Blowing Pentagon Audit Reports All Americans Need to Know

However, after making noise about it on social media, that post was relisted. Perhaps if this case of censorship starts getting attention, they will relist the new report as well.

I can no longer afford to waste time, energy and money battling Google’s latest censorship moves against me.

I’ve been dealing with Google censoring my work since 2010, when I was reporting on trillions of dollars in fraud back then as well, that time it was fraud on Wall Street. Here’s one of several interviews that I did on Google’s censorship back then.

Previous reports that I’ve published on the Pentagon Audit were also censored on Google. However, the website that those reports were posted on, Changemaker.Media, was consistently hacked and I ended up having the IP address and url of that website hijacked from me.

Between hacking, censorship and suppression, it has become extremely difficult to make a living reporting online, to say the least.

Not “Fake News”

Given the intensity of the topics that I’m reporting on and the prevalence of fake news, I have been very careful to document sources and have been primarily focused on citing government reports. The Government Accountability Office and the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office are the two most frequently cited sources that I have used.

National Security Censorship?

Given that my reports are laying out the details on how trillions of our tax dollars have gone unaccounted for, and how a record number of whistleblowers have been systemically silenced and retaliated against at the Pentagon, it is possible that Google has received National Security-related requests to remove my reports. If that is the case, Google cannot be held legally responsible for their actions.

However, that would open up what I believe is the biggest underlying issue, which I will definitely need legal counsel for. It is this very issue of abusing “national security” privilege that has been a primary focus of my reporting.

As I’ve frequently cited in previous reports, Intelligence Community Inspector General investigators and whistleblowers have made it clear that corruption is running rampant under the guise of “National Security.” (See here and here.)

When it comes to corruption throughout military spending and the silencing of whistleblowers, Americans are in strong agreement. My reports have received support from people with opinions across the entire political spectrum. In fact, the diversity of supporters that I hear from is disorienting. One minute I am hearing from someone who is a diehard Trump supporter and the next minute I’m hearing from someone who is a hardcore Trump hater. One minute I am hearing from someone who has spent their career serving in the military and the next minute I’m hearing from a peace activist.

I firmly believe that we are quickly approaching a tipping point. If the American people were aware of the evidence that I’m providing in these censored reports, we can unite around these key fundamental issues of systemic “national security” state corruption.

I really don’t want to have to resort to lawsuits, but I’m backed into a corner now. I’ve been working hard to uncover the biggest corruption scandal in the history of this nation, and now I can’t even afford to support my family anymore.

Journalism is effectively dead in this country because “news” organizations aren’t allowed to report on “National Security” state corruption. The only serious investigative reporting on these issues is coming from a handful of independent journalists who are hacked, censored and suppressed online every step of the way.

How are the American people supposed to defend their families in a serious way when they aren’t even being informed on the underlying corruption that is taking place?

That’s the whole point, right?

Under the guise of “National Security,” American taxpayers are being held hostage, and no one is allowed to talk about it. Report on it, and Google will censor you. You will also be suppressed on social media and your website will consistently hacked until you can no longer make a living at reporting online.

I may have reached the end of my rope, the personal costs have become too extreme to just keep focused on reporting. It may be a losing battle, but I will not go quietly.

Please read and share these reports:

Pentagon Audit: Evidence Proving $21 Trillion Unaccounted For – Opening Statement

10 Mind-Blowing Pentagon Audit Reports All Americans Need to Know

Pentagon: 95,613 Whistleblower Complaints, Trillions of Tax Dollars Unaccounted For

You can also download all of my previous Pentagon Audit & Whistleblower-related reports — over 200 pages of evidence — for an amount of your choosing here.

If you can afford it, please subscribe in support of my reporting or make a one-time donation here.

Your support is absolutely critical at this point! Please donate here.

Pentagon: 95,613 Whistleblower Complaints, Trillions of Tax Dollars Unaccounted For

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According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, in fiscal years 2013 – 2018, the Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD IG) received 95,613 whistleblower complaints.  As trillions of tax dollars in military spending have gone unaccounted for, the DOD IG has been receiving an average of 15,936 complaints per year.

The overwhelming majority of those complaints are not investigated, and there is presently a record number of whistleblowers who have been retaliated against and silenced.

In the first three sections of this report, we will take an in-depth look into critical systemic breakdowns throughout the whistleblowing process.  In the last section, we will update you on the latest Pentagon audit findings and highlight their long track record of unaccountability concerning taxpayer money and assets.

In summation, as you will read throughout this report, the evidence is clear; the Pentagon systemically silences and retaliates against thousands of whistleblowers, while losing billions in weapons and trillions in tax dollars.

Corruption throughout military spending has significantly weakened combat readiness, while diverting trillions of tax dollars away from infrastructure and burying our nation in record-breaking debt.  As a top National Security priority, Congress must fulfill their Constitutional duty to begin wide-scale investigations into the epidemic of systemic corruption throughout the Pentagon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column][vc_column_text][toc]

Editor’s Note: This report is part of an investigative series on the trillions of dollars in unaccounted for military spending. You can download this report and the three previous reports — over 200-pages of evidence — in PDF format for an amount of your choosing. This work is 100% reader-funded.  Your support is vital. Download Reports Here.

Inspector Generals Overwhelmed By Whistleblower Complaints: “Department of Defense Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline, Please Hold”

The Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD IG) has a dedicated hotline for whistleblowers to “report violations of laws, rules, or regulations; mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; and serious security incidents.”

According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), in fiscal year 2018, the DOD Whistleblower Hotline received 12,470 complaints.

As shocking as that is, the hotline is one of several ways in which whistleblowers contact the DOD IG. Overall, they get an average of 15,936 complaints per year. In fiscal years 2013 – 2018, the DOD IG received 95,613 complaints.

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“A number of my colleagues and superiors told me that attempting to contact DOD IG as a whistleblower was futile, and they have been proven totally correct.

It is clear that DOD IG is either one of the most incompetent investigative agencies in the history of that profession, or is deliberately being obtuse.”
~ Kirk McGill, Senior Auditor at the Defense Contract Audit Agency, whistleblower on a $433 million contract.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column][vc_column_text]As the new GAO report stated, “In fiscal year 2018, [out of 12,470 complaints] the DOD Hotline referred 3,872 cases to other entities for inquiry, and it performed oversight of 945 completion reports from DOD components.”

The 3,872 case referrals to “other entities for inquiry” may sound like progress for those whistleblowers, but most of those referrals remain unresolved. For example, the Office of Special Council (OSC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) have been overwhelmed by a record number of whistleblower referrals and complaints, with a record-long case backlog where complaints sit for years without being resolved.

According to a 2018 GAO report on the crisis at the OSC:

“The backlog of whistleblower and prohibited personnel practices cases at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel nearly doubled… A sustained backlog puts OSC’s ability to fulfill its mission of protecting federal employees at risk. As OSC noted in its fiscal year 2017 Performance and Accountability Report, a longer backlog risks further delay for processing newly received cases.

Further, lengthy processing times delays attaining desired favorable actions and remedying wrongdoings. Without timely resolutions, whistleblowers may be discouraged from filing whistleblower disclosures.”

As critical as the problem at the OSC is, another vital whistleblower agency, the MSPB, currently has a record-long eight-year case backlog and has been effectively shutdown, as Government Executive reports:

“MSPB Likely to Remain Powerless….

MSPB lost its quorum in January 2017 – and with it, its ability to render decisions — resulting in the largest ever backlog of cases before the board.

Mark Robbins has been the lone remaining board member. He has been able to perform administrative and executive functions, but not act on any petitions for reviews of decisions made by regional administrative judges. Those judges have continued to issue rulings, more than 1,500 of which employees or agencies have appealed to the central board where they now sit in limbo.

Robbins has continued to weigh in on the appeals, but nothing can happen to them until a new member is confirmed….

Jim Eisenmann, who joined MSPB as its general counsel in 2010 before becoming its executive director, a position he held until September, said the situation at the agency is going to get worse. ‘The backlog keeps growing,’ Eisenmann said. ‘People keep waiting, including agencies.’

He added that MSPB employees themselves suffer from a lack of top political leadership…. Career attorneys will continue to prepare opinions for board members, but their work will stall at the top until a quorum is restored. ‘It’s bad all around,’ Eisenmann said.”

When it comes to the DOD IG’s “completion reports,” whistleblower case oversight and referrals to DOD component offices, evidence proves that scandalous corruption is standard operating procedure.

Even worse than being referred to an office that delays or ignores your complaint, the cases that the DOD IG refers to DOD component offices are often referrals back to the offices that the whistleblower is accusing of misconduct, which is a significant part of this crisis and has led to a record number of retaliations against whistleblowers.

The DOD IG has a well-proven track record of referring whistleblower complaint cases to the very people and offices who are being accused of corruption and crimes in those cases. As the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) reported, “whistleblowers felt the [DOD] IG needlessly exposed them to additional retaliation, and had they known the IG was going to refer their disclosures they would have chosen to withdraw their complaints.”

To get a more in-depth understanding of what whistleblowers are up against, in a rare case where a whistleblower was able to get justice for American taxpayers — after spending over two years battling against many retaliation attacks, which led to his demotion, involuntary transfer, unpaid suspension, character assassination and eventual resignation — Kirk McGill, who was a Senior Auditor for the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), summed up his nightmare in dealing with the DOD IG by saying:

“A number of my colleagues and superiors told me that attempting to contact DOD IG as a whistleblower was futile, and they have been proven totally correct. It is clear that DOD IG is either one of the most incompetent investigative agencies in the history of that profession, or is deliberately being obtuse.

As noted repeatedly… DOD IG was told in a disclosure that DCAA IRD [Internal Review Directorate] was compromised…. Yet, despite this fact, DOD IG continued to refer complaints to IRD as if nothing was wrong. In doing so, DOD IG handed the very people that were retaliating against me, related to the whistleblower disclosures, specific details of the allegations I was making against them.

Even Inspector Clouseau would recognize that something is wrong with this picture.”

After the DOD IG referred McGill’s case to the DCAA IRD, the DCAA IRD then engaged in a series of highly scandalous actions in attempts to discredit and silence McGill. They even falsely accused him of being a terrorist who wanted to blow up the Capitol Building, and they also made false accusations that he was mentally ill.

A Wikipedia page featuring information about McGill’s case was vandalized and derogatory comments smearing his reputation were added to the website. The IP address that made those “edits” to the Wikipedia entry came from internal DCAA servers. In addition to all of that, McGill’s social media accounts were hacked.

Keep in mind, this all happened to a Senior DOD Auditor for the Defense Contract Audit Agency who was vindicated after multiple Congressional hearings.

As a military spending auditor, in this case alone, McGill saved American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, and this is how the DOD IG and Defense Contract Audit Agency, who oversee trillions of tax dollars, tried to silence him.

It took McGill over 10,000 hours of work, two trips to Washington D.C. and incredible personal costs — while under constant intimidation and retaliation attacks, which ultimately led to him resigning — to eventually get justice for American taxpayers.

How many people in the military have the time or money needed to pull that off?

McGill’s heroic battle featured common obstacles that many DOD whistleblowers face. In a letter to Congress, McGill further highlighted the DOD IG’s systemic failure:

“DOD IG closed this allegation without discussing the matter with me directly in any way. It then either closed or referred every complaint (with two exceptions) right back to DCAA-IRD.

I do not believe that any faith can be placed in DOD IG if it passes the buck to the very people accused of the misconduct in question, putting them on notice of exactly what they are accused of, and who did the accusing.

Frankly, DOD IG’s conduct is, in and of itself, worthy of Congressional attention and possible action; no whistleblower with two brain cells to rub together would trust the DOD IG after this conduct, and that should seriously concern the Congress that relies on such whistleblowers to uncover Executive Branch misconduct.”

Not surprisingly, with the DOD IG working in partnership with agencies and officials who are being accused of corruption and crimes, there are now a record number of whistleblowers who have been retaliated against and silenced.

Here are several key findings from the GAO’s investigation into DOD whistleblower reprisal cases, which were also highlighted in my previous report:

“According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, over 1000 whistleblowers have been retaliated against and silenced at the Office of the Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD IG). Over a three-year period, the DOD IG closed 1094 whistleblower retaliation cases without investigating them. A stunning 91% of whistleblower reprisal complaints formally filed at the DOD IG are shutdown without any investigation.

On average, one whistleblower is retaliated against and silenced at the DOD IG every single day, 365 days a year. Over the time frame that the GAO investigated, DOD audits reported $6.87 trillion ($6,871,000,000,000) unaccounted for.

According to publicly available data from the DOD IG’s semi-annual reports to Congress, from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2016, they dismissed 86% of Military Reprisal cases, and found in favor of whistleblowers in only 0.9% of cases.

Citing that data, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) said the DOD IG ‘substantiated only 7 out of over 1,300 complaints received.’ Over that time frame, DOD audits reported $8.58 trillion ($8,582,000,000,000) unaccounted for.

When it comes to cases of retaliation against whistleblowers, the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) appears to have an even worse track record than the DOD IG. An internal review of 190 whistleblower reprisal cases from six national security agencies revealed that the IC IG ruled in favor of only one whistleblower.

The IC IG ‘ruled against 99% of intelligence community employees who claimed they were retaliated against for blowing the whistle.'”

To make matters even worse, during the GAO’s audit of reprisal investigations, as scandalous as their findings were, the DOD IG was caught manipulating case records to make their whistleblower reprisal track record look better than it actually is. As POGO reported, the DOD IG’s manipulation of case records “had a significant impact on the GAO’s findings.” Therefore, when it comes to whistleblower retaliation throughout the Pentagon, the crisis is even worse than the GAO’s report reveals.

In Congressional testimony, POGO said they have “also heard directly from whistleblowers within DOD IG who have expressed serious concerns about the integrity of the office’s processes and investigations, including pressure to back-fill whistleblower case files for the GAO’s review. It is extremely rare to have whistleblowers from an IG shop come forward, but in this case we have a number of them.”

In addition, the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) was also caught trying to cover-up their whistleblower reprisal records. The IC IG’s internal review of whistleblower reprisal cases was abruptly shutdown when then-acting head IC IG Wayne Stone, “sequestered the mountain of documents and data produced in the inspection, the product of three staff-years of work. The incident was never publicly disclosed by the office, and escaped mention in the unclassified version of the IC IG’s semiannual report to Congress.”

POGO obtained a leaked copy of the report, which they summarized by saying “the document produced by the Intelligence Community’s IG, which covers 17 U.S. spy agencies, found that many components are not following, ‘legally mandated… policies, procedures and standards…. Causing non-substantiation of reprisal claims, incomplete investigations, and for complaints not to be processed.’… As evidence, the document reports that the Intelligence Community IG substantiated ‘only one reprisal allegation’ during a six-year period… and that case took 742 days to complete – well beyond the 240-day limit prescribed in regulation.”

Here are two quotes from the IC IG’s internal review report that sum up the crisis:

“The deficiencies in reprisal protections policies, procedures, and standards in the evaluated agencies are causing a failure to provide reprisal protections for individuals making protected disclosures.”

“A complainant alleging reprisal for making a protected disclosure has a minimal chance to have a complaint processed and adjudicated in a timely and complete manner.”

To be clear, while corruption clearly plays a significant role in silencing whistleblowers, there are still ethical Inspector General investigators who do their best to protect whistleblowers and investigate corruption, as will be highlighted later in this report.  However, there are not nearly enough of them and they are completely overwhelmed by complaints.

A significant focus of the GAO report, as also previously highlighted in the crisis at the Office of Special Council and the Merit Systems Protection Board, is the DOD IG’s failure to handle whistleblower cases in a timely manner. The longer a whistleblower case takes to complete, the higher the likelihood of retaliation and the longer ongoing corruption continues, and in reprisal cases the time in which they are investigated and resolved is critical to preventing further reprisals and unjust disciplinary actions.

When the GAO questioned the DOD IG’s reprisal case dismissal rate and the lack of timely closure of cases, the DOD IG said that they couldn’t keep up with the number of reprisal complaints coming in: “DOD IG officials noted that the number of whistleblower reprisal cases increased from 1,013 to 2,002 (98 percent) over the past 5 years.”

However, in fiscal year 2018, the DOD IG only closed 73 reprisal case investigations.

As the GAO report also revealed, military service Inspector Generals have been overwhelmed by complaints as well:

“Military service IG officials provided several reasons for not meeting the internal and statutory timeliness goals for notifications, intake reviews, and investigations. Specifically, officials cited an increasing number of complaints; the increasing complexity of complaints, such as those that include multiple allegations and subjects; staffing challenges, such as training related to the rotation of military staff; and the use of reservists, who only work part-time.”

In defending its systemic failure to handle cases in a timely manner, the DOD IG also cited “the number of high-priority senior official cases concurrently open, and the increasing scope and complexity of investigations.”

As for the DOD IG’s overall handling of cases, including those charging Senior Officials of reprisal misconduct, the GAO reported:

“DOD IG did not meet internal or statutory timeliness goals related to the percentage or average days for senior official or reprisal investigations.

DOD IG closed 73 [reprisal] investigations in fiscal year 2018, including 13 senior official misconduct cases and 60 military, contractor, and civilian reprisal cases.

Overall, about 85 percent of all investigations did not meet the timeliness goal….

DOD IG similarly did not meet its investigation timeliness goals for senior official misconduct and reprisal investigations in fiscal year 2017.”

The DOD IG also rarely investigates whistleblower complaints against high-ranking civilian DOD officials. As the GAO reported, in fiscal years 2013 through 2017, “DOD IG closed 129 misconduct and reprisal cases… with complaints involving a civilian DOD Presidential appointee with Senate confirmation (PAS) subject. Of the 129 cases closed, DOD IG dismissed without investigation 125 cases and investigated the remaining four….”

In other words, when it comes to misconduct and reprisal cases against high-ranking civilian DOD officials, 97% of the cases are “dismissed without investigation.”

GAO Reveals Systemic Failure to Protect Whistleblower Confidentiality

The new GAO investigation revealed critical systemic breakdowns when it comes to protecting whistleblower identities and case confidentiality.  Given the overall state of corruption throughout Inspector General offices and the CIA’s unconstitutional “routine counterintelligence” surveillance of whistleblower communications, the breakdown in confidentiality and identity protections that the GAO investigations have uncovered amount to complete systemic failure, and emphatically demonstrate an overall disregard for protecting whistleblowers.

Here are highlights from the GAO investigation into the protection of whistleblower identities and case confidentiality:

“… between 2016 and 2018, employees in all of the IGs have been able to access sensitive whistleblower information without a need to know.

For example, DOD IG determined that numerous restricted whistleblower records in its document repository were accessible to DOD IG personnel without a need to know.

Similarly, the Air Force IG’s application did not restrict users from other DOD components from viewing Air Force IG case descriptions and complainant identities, while the Army IG’s application and the Naval IG’s system did not restrict personnel within those IGs from viewing allegations or investigations involving other personnel within those IGs.

Additionally, employees in Marine Corps IG offices were able to see whistleblower cases assigned to other IG offices without a need to know….

DOD IG Does Not Fully Restrict Employee Access to Sensitive Whistleblower Information

DOD IG’s Case Management System Does Not Include Some Controls to Restrict Internal Employee Access

… employees at the three DOD IG directorates that are principally responsible for handling whistleblower information are generally able to access sensitive whistleblower information belonging to other directorates in both the Defense Case Activity Tracking System (D-CATS) – DOD IG’s whistleblower case management system — and an associated document repository, that is not necessary to accomplish assigned tasks.

NIST Special Publication 800-53, Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations, states that organizations should employ the core security principle of least privilege, which allows only authorized access for users that is necessary to accomplish assigned tasks in accordance with organizational missions and business functions.

DOD IG employees in the DOD Hotline, senior official investigations directorate, and whistleblower reprisal investigations directorate are able to access whistleblower information belonging to other DOD IG directorates in both D-CATS and its associated document management repository because DOD IG has not developed sufficient system controls needed to restrict access across the three directorates.

For example, a DOD IG employee in either the senior officials or reprisal investigations directorates can access Hotline records in D-CATS that the employee does not have a need to access….”

As the GAO shockingly discovered, for the past seven years the DOD IG has been knowingly using a system that does not protect whistleblower confidentiality, and they have not prioritized fixing known critical problems:

“According to an August 2018 internal DOD IG memo, the lack of controls to restrict access to information across the three directorates has been known since the system was established in 2012….

… the incremental release schedule for D-CATSe [the new whistleblower case management system] has been delayed, and the IGs are not expected to fully transition to the new system until fiscal year 2021….

However, DOD IG does not plan to take other actions to address the lack of crossdirectorate controls before the advent of the enterprise system.

Additionally… it has not developed an assurance plan for testing controls, according to DOD IG officials, or fully defined the system requirements needed to implement these controls and ensure it has achieved least privilege both within and across the user IGs.

Without considering interim actions to address the lack of D-CATS cross-directorate access controls, DOD IG may be unable to sufficiently mitigate security risks while D-CATSe is developed. Also, without developing a plan with assurance controls for achieving least privilege in D-CATSe, DODIG may be unable to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive whistleblower information during its implementation.

DOD IG Has Identified Instances Involving Improper Employee IT Access Rights to Whistleblower Information

Separate from the lack of cross-directorate controls, DOD IG has identified multiple instances in which sensitive but unclassified whistleblower information in the DOD IG Administrative Investigations directorate whistleblower case management system and document repository was accessible to DOD IG personnel who did not have a need to know this information.

These instances involve DOD Hotline records that are specifically restricted to protect complainants requesting confidentiality, along with records belonging to DOD IG’s Office of Professional Responsibility — which handles internal DOD IG misconduct complaints….

DOD IG has determined that its user access issues are broadly attributable to system administration and application problems, including permission changes resulting from system updates….

However, DOD IG’s process does not include steps to test document repository permissions after case management system updates, which were determined by DOD IG to be the cause of some permission issues.

Without including such steps in its process, DOD IG lacks assurance that system permissions will align with business needs on an ongoing basis, and therefore may not be able to appropriately control user accounts to prevent unauthorized access by system users.

Sensitive Whistleblower Information Has Been Accessible to Military Service IG Employees without a Need to Know

The military service IGs’ case management systems and applications… do not fully restrict employee access to sensitive whistleblower information…. As previously discussed, NIST guidelines state that organizations should only provide authorized access to users which is necessary to accomplish assigned tasks in accordance with organizational missions and business functions….

Employee Access Issues Involving Military Service IG Information Systems and Applications

DOD IG found in its 2017 quality assurance review that the Air Force IG’s application allowed users from other DOD component IGs (such as the Defense Contract Audit Agency [IRD] IG) to view case descriptions and complainant identities for cases belonging to the Air Force IG, and that it did not restrict the system support contractor from viewing cases that involved its employees.

DOD IG found in its 2018 quality assurance review that the Army IG’s application did not restrict Army IG personnel without a need to know from accessing allegations involving Army IG personnel.

Marine Corps IG officials told us in August 2018 that employees in Marine Corps IG offices were able to see cases assigned to other Marine Corps IG offices without a need to know, and that the application contained other similar malfunctions, such as returning search results for a user other than the user performing the search, within the same IG office.

DOD IG found in its 2016 quality assurance review that the Naval IG’s system did not prevent Naval IG personnel from viewing investigations involving other internal Naval IG personnel, and that it did not adequately restrict employee access to senior official investigations.

At the time of our review, the military service IGs had not taken steps to fully address the identified access issues. Specifically, Air Force officials stated that they did not plan to address the application access issues because they did not have funding to continue developing their existing application prior to transitioning to D-CATSe, although they would explore whether solutions were possible within current fiscal constraints during the next system maintenance evaluation.

Similarly, Army IG officials stated that while the Army IG had resources to further develop its existing case management application, they had elected to not use those resources to remedy the identified access issue in light of the future arrival of D-CATSe.

In addition, Naval IG officials reported taking action to restrict senor official investigations, but did not provide information to us on actions taken to address DOD IG’s recommendation to restrict cases involving internal Naval IG personnel.

Finally, Marine Corps IG officials stated that access restrictions would be implemented as part of an application redesign scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018. However, these officials also noted that they have not identified the root of the access problem or developed a plan to ensure that needed access restrictions are implemented and functioning properly, raising questions as to whether the redesign will fully restrict access on a continuing basis.

As mentioned previously, the Marine Corps’ case management application is also exempt from testing under the DOD IT risk management process, and therefore is not subject to routine security assurance testing.

Federal Standards for Internal Control state that management should analyze and respond to risks, and evaluate and remediate internal control deficiencies on a timely basis, including those related to audit findings.

Further, NIST guidelines state that organizations should design and prioritize activities to mitigate security risks, and that alternative strategies, such as plans, may be needed when an organization cannot apply controls to adequately reduce or mitigate risk. These guidelines also encourage organizations to obtain assurance-related evidence on an ongoing basis in order to maintain the trustworthiness of information systems.

As previously discussed, D-CATSe is being implemented incrementally, with releases for the Naval IG and the Air Force and Army IGs not scheduled to occur until fiscal years 2020 and 2021, respectively.

By considering actions prior to the advent of D-CATSe, the Air Force, Army, and Naval IGs could mitigate existing risks to whistleblower confidentiality by reducing the potential for unauthorized employee access of whistleblower records….

Recognizing this potential, a senior DOD IG official noted concern regarding the possible extent of confidentiality violations stemming from these and the other access issues previously discussed in this report.

Additionally, DOD IG requested that the Defense Criminal Investigative Service investigate the April 2018 incident involving 946 case folders to determine who accessed the identified records.

[Note: To understand the overall scale of this breach, the 946 case folders that were improperly accessed are equivalent to every completion report that the DOD IG provided oversight to.]

Without steps to address these ongoing IT access issues, the potential for additional violations of whistleblower confidentiality will persist….

Specifically, without further steps — such as considering interim actions to mitigate the lack of cross-directorate access controls, developing a plan, along with the military service IGs for achieving least privilege in the future enterprise case management system, and enhancing the process for periodically validating user privileges — DOD IG may not be able to ensure that access controls in its existing and future case management systems align with business needs on an ongoing basis.

Similarly, without considering actions to further restrict IG employee access in existing IT, the Air Force, Army, and Naval IGs may be unable to mitigate ongoing risks to whistleblower confidentiality.

Finally, without a plan for ensuring that access restrictions in its redesigned case management system function properly, the Marine Corps IG may be unable to fully ensure whistleblower confidentiality.”

Despite the lack of whistleblower confidentiality system controls, the previously mentioned instances featuring 946 case folders being improperly accessed and the common occurrence of referring cases back to the office that retaliated against the whistleblower, in fiscal years 2013 – 2018, the DOD IG substantiated confidentiality violations only 8 times, which represented 0.01% of the 95,613 complaints they handled.

As the GAO report summarized:

“Specifically, DOD IG identified 8 substantiated violations of whistleblower confidentiality between fiscal years 2013 and 2018, representing approximately .01 percent of the 95,613 contacts handled by DOD IG during that timeframe, according to DOD IG officials.”

With the exception of the Army IG, which “identified 6 substantiated violations of whistleblower confidentiality between these years,” the military service IGs were even worse than the DOD IG. The Air Force, Naval, and Marine Corps IGs said they “were unaware of any substantiated incidences of confidentiality violations,” over that timeframe. They then admitted that they don’t even “track such incidents in their case management systems.”

When it comes to other vital whistleblower offices, such as the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) and the OSC, the systemic disregard for whistleblower confidentiality is apparent, as the GAO reported:

“Similarly, CIGIE Integrity Committee and Office of Special Counsel officials stated that they were unaware of and do not specifically track confidentiality violations, and we did not identify any confidentiality violations in the fiscal year 2013-2018 data they provided to us that involved DOD IG employees.

However, as a GAO survey revealed, even under obvious risk of retaliation, “DOD IG employees separately reported potential violations of whistleblower confidentiality.” When it comes to “the most common avoidable disclosure described by survey respondents,” which was defined as “distributing whistleblower materials to the wrong official or agency,” the GAO said, “Survey respondents reported that in such instances corrective action included recalling the complaint and deleting the erroneously sent record….”

As the GAO report also revealed, accessing confidential whistleblower files from outside of DOD IG offices is a known problem as well, and the DOD IG has not provided evidence that cases of improper access are investigated:

“However, information provided to us by DOD IG does not show that accessibility was limited in all instances to employees within one of those DOD IG offices.

Also, the ability of any employee to access records that were specifically restricted to protect complainant identities or internal records belonging to the Office of Professional Responsibility is problematic given the increased sensitivity of such records.

Further… DOD IG did not provide evidence that all cases of improper access were thoroughly investigated, as we state in our report, and the instances included in the report are examples and not inclusive of all instances of improper access identified by the DOD IG….”

As covered in the previous report, retaliation against DOD IG investigators who blow the whistle on other DOD IG investigators has become a significant part of this crisis as well.

Regarding the lack of protections for internal complaints by DOD IG employees against other DOD IG employees, which are reviewed by the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), the GAO reported:

“DOD IG guidance for protecting whistleblowers who report internal DOD IG misconduct does not specify key steps investigators should take to protect confidentiality, such as not identifying complainants during interviews with case subjects….

Some of the DOD IG employees we surveyed reported concern that DOD IG’s process for reporting employee misconduct and resolving internal complaints may not protect whistleblower confidentiality….

In addition, DOD IG’s Office of General Counsel does not have documented procedures for controlling access to cases involving designated DOD IG staff members subject to review by the CIGIE Integrity Committee….

Until DOD IG develops guidance that incorporates procedures to protect confidentiality and documents how to maintain whistleblower confidentiality throughout the CIGIE referral process, it will lack reasonable assurance that its process for investigating internal misconduct allegations can fully protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers….”

A common theme when it comes to the Pentagon’s conduct is the significant number of solutions that the GAO and the Office of the Inspector General have proposed to them that do not get implemented – as covered in the previous report, there are hundreds of egregious examples of unimplemented solutions.

In this latest example, when it comes to conducting reprisal investigations, the DOD IG has not implemented quality performance measures that the GAO has recommended, even though the DOD IG said they would.

“… we recommended in September 2017 that DOD IG develop quality performance measures and enhance then-existing timeliness measures to reflect key attributes of successful performance measures, and DOD IG concurred.

In November 2018, DOD IG officials stated that DOD IG is currently using the quality measures it had in place prior to fiscal year 2017….

As a result, we continue to believe that our 2017 recommendation is valid in that DOD IG’s performance measures should reflect key attributes of successful performance measures….”

After this most recent March 2019 investigation, the GAO is now making another 12 recommendations:

“Recommendations for Executive Action….

The DOD Inspector General should coordinate with the IGs of the military services to take additional actions to improve performance against unmet timeliness goals. This includes steps to improve performance of senior official misconduct investigations and military service reprisal intakes, and to resolve disagreement on notifications. (Recommendation 1)

The DOD Inspector General should issue formal guidance documenting procedures for protecting the confidentiality of whistleblowers throughout its internal misconduct investigation process. (Recommendation 2)

The Air Force Inspector General should establish procedures to fully reflect and implement DOD policy on the protection of whistleblower confidentiality. (Recommendation 3)

The Marine Corps Inspector General should establish procedures to fully reflect and implement DOD policy on the protection of whistleblower confidentiality. (Recommendation 4)

The Naval Inspector General should establish procedures to fully reflect and implement DOD policy on the protection of whistleblower confidentiality. (Recommendation 5)

The DOD Inspector General should consider interim actions as the whistleblower enterprise case management system is being developed to help ensure that access to sensitive whistleblower information in the current case management system and associated document repository is limited to information that is necessary to accomplish assigned tasks. (Recommendation 6)

The DOD Inspector General should coordinate with the IGs of the military services to develop a plan to fully restrict case access in the future whistleblower enterprise case management system so that user access is limited to information necessary to accomplish assigned tasks in accordance with organizational missions and business functions. (Recommendation 7)

The DOD Inspector General should enhance its process for periodically reviewing whistleblower case management system and document repository user privileges by including steps to ensure that such privileges remain valid after system updates, as appropriate. (Recommendation 8)

The Air Force Inspector General should consider interim actions as the whistleblower enterprise case management system is being developed to help ensure that access for users of existing applications is limited to information that is necessary to accomplish assigned tasks in accordance with organizational missions and business functions. (Recommendation 9)

The Army Inspector General should consider interim actions as the whistleblower enterprise case management system is being developed to help ensure that access for users of existing applications is limited to information that is necessary to accomplish assigned tasks in accordance with organizational missions and business functions. (Recommendation 10)

The Marine Corps Inspector General should develop a plan to ensure that its redesigned whistleblower case management application restricts user access to information based on what is needed to accomplish assigned tasks in accordance with organizational missions and business functions. (Recommendation 11)

The Naval Inspector General should consider interim actions as the whistleblower enterprise case management system is being developed to help ensure that access for users of existing applications is limited to information that is necessary to accomplish assigned tasks in accordance with organizational missions and business functions. (Recommendation 12).”

Under the Guise of National Security, Corruption Runs Amok, “There Is No Oversight”

Other than all the corruption throughout the DOD IG, Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) offices have been involved in many scandals. In addition to the previously cited IC IG whistleblower reprisal cases, the CIA, NSA and DIA Inspector Generals have all been caught up in wide-ranging whistleblower-related scandals.

As made clear by lead IC IG investigators, when it comes to covert operations and classified information, corruption is rampant and has now become a critical National Security vulnerability.

David Steele, a 40-year military and intelligence veteran who led an investigation unit at the Defense Intelligence Agency IG’s office, has called the overall situation an “intelligence community-wide vulnerability.”

After Steele blew the whistle on the head DIA IG for manipulating case records and shutting down investigations, he summed up the crisis by saying:

“There is no oversight. Inspector Generals are the good guys. What happens when your Inspector General is a bad guy?

The Inspector General is incapable of policing itself. Who’s watching the watchers?”

David Steele and Ron Foster, the former head of DIA IG investigations, were fired from the DIA IG without warning, and most of their co-workers have now left as well. As Foreign Policy reported: “Almost everyone who once worked for Steele in the Office of the Inspector General has fled the agency, or is looking to leave, an exodus he attributes to the toxic atmosphere created by the official in charge.”

Special Agents like Steele and Foster are part of a growing number of high-level IC IG investigators who are blowing the whistle on head IGs. Jonathan Kaplan, a 33-year veteran investigator at the CIA IG, is one of several whistleblowers to file complaints against Christopher Sharpley, the CIA’s former acting head IG and Trump’s nominee to be permanent head IG.

Special Agent Kaplan said he “was retaliated against because of his legally protected communications with the Senate and House Committees on Intelligence and with the Intelligence Community’s Office of the Inspector General.”

As POGO reported, “Kaplan says he had gone to the Committees and others with a concern that the CIA IG’s investigative and oversight capabilities were being compromised. Soon after, he said, retaliators including Sharpley placed false and derogatory information in his personal security file at the Agency, leading to the loss of his security clearance, rendering his continued CIA employment untenable.” (See below for more information on the CIA’s unconstitutional surveillance of congressional communications with whistleblowers.)

According to the POGO report, many CIA IG investigators have spoken out about the CIA IG’s corrupt actions, citing a “hostile work environment,” and “abruptly relieving certain managers and investigators of substantive investigative case work.”

A CIA IG employee complaint “cites actions featuring an element of ‘cruelty and malice’ by IG management as sweeping changes were imposed on a group of veteran investigators.”

Another complaint says, “The reorganization… is the latest in a series of intimidating and bullying tactics employed to move out current INV (investigation division) staff….'”

Complaints accuse “CIA IG management of ‘misuse of position, abuse of resources, including unnecessary use of IG subpoenas, corruption, waste of taxpayer funds, and more.”

As POGO makes clear, “These are the very elements that an IG is expected to prevent and protect the Agency against.”

A report from Pro Publica on CIA IG corruption also features several shocking revelations: “The CIA whistleblowers who suffered reprisal were trying to report some really serious criminal activity within the inspector general’s office — the fabrication of evidence in a criminal case where the people who did it were never punished,” said John Tye, an attorney for CIA IG whistleblowers.

“The situation within CIA OIG is a systemic mission failure that must be corrected,” said former CIA IG Special Agent Investigator and whistleblower Andrew Bakaj.

The NSA IG has had their share of scandals as well. For one example, former head NSA IG George Ellard — the man who said Edward Snowden could have gone through internal channels to blow the whistle — was fired for retaliating against a whistleblower who reported wasteful spending of taxpayer money.

However, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stepped in and shockingly reversed his termination. National Security analyst Patrick Eddington summed up the situation:

“The Pentagon offered no explanation as to why Mattis chose to overrule the IG External Review Panel and NSA’s current director, but the message is abundantly clear: if you work in Pentagon management and retaliate against a whistleblower, there’s a good chance you’ll keep your job. And if you are a prospective whistleblower, the message is equally clear: You blow the whistle at your own risk.”

To once again emphatically prove that point, and to make matters even worse, in another scandalous example of corruption run amok, Dan Meyer, the Intelligence Community IG’s Head of Whistleblowing and Source Protection, was abruptly fired last year under scandalous circumstances. As POGO reported, Meyer was “escorted out of the building while his office was ‘sealed off with crime-scene tape.'” The move was widely considered “retaliation against him for blowing the whistle… [on] ‘security infractions’ after raising concerns about a ‘systematic failure’ to implement whistleblower protections.”

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) said Meyer “was terminated in a process marked by procedural irregularities and serious conflicts of interest” while the IC IG’s acting leadership “demonstrated a lack of support for the critical whistleblower protection mission of the office.”

As Meyer’s case and the other high-level Inspector General whistleblower cases previously cited demonstrate, when head IG’s engage in corrupt activities, lead investigators are turning to congress for help.  However, even Congress, who has the Constitutional oversight responsibility in these matters, has been compromised, and has proven to be ineffective when it comes to supporting whistleblowers.

In shocking revelations recently revealed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, as “routine counterintelligence” surveillance, the CIA has been illegally and unconstitutionally spying on Congress in their investigations and communications with whistleblowers.

As Just Security reported:

“Thanks to information recently released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, we now have fresh, incontrovertible evidence that elements of the Intelligence Community (IC) have monitored the communications of employees or contractors seeking to report waste, fraud, abuse or potential criminal conduct by IC agencies – including communications to House and Senate committees charged with oversight of the IC….

Based on the available public evidence, we also know that nobody in the IC responsible for such domestic spying [on Congress and whistleblowers] has lost their job or faced a criminal referral to the Justice Department. The implications of this are multiple and chilling.”

As Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said, “The fact that the CIA… was reading congressional staff’s emails about Intelligence Community whistleblowers raises serious policy concerns, as well as potential constitutional separation-of-powers issues that must be discussed publicly.”

Dan Meyer and Jonathan Kaplan are both high-level officials who blew the whistle on systemic corruption throughout the Intelligence Community by going to Congress for help, and both of them were illegally and unconstitutionally spied on by the CIA.

In response to this urgent crisis, the bipartisan House of Representatives Whistleblower Protection Caucus, working with the IC IG’s fired Head of Whistleblowing and Source Protection Dan Meyer, has recently approved a new congressional Whistleblower office.  However, it has not been funded yet, and to prove how weak congress continues to be when it comes to protecting IC whistleblowers, the new House office will not protect whistleblowers who deal with classified information.

Here’s a report from Government Executive on the new congressional whistleblower office, featuring insightful quotes from Dan Meyer:

“House Creates New Whistleblower Ombudsman

By a 418-12 vote, the House on Thursday approved Title II of a larger resolution creating the position appointed by the chamber’s speaker and supervised by the House Administration Committee to ‘promulgate best practices for whistleblower intake for offices of the House.’ It will also ‘provide training for offices of the House on whistleblower intake, including establishing an effective reporting system for whistleblowers, maintaining whistleblower confidentiality, advising staff of relevant laws and policies, and protecting information provided by whistleblowers,’ the resolution said.

Creation of the office — still unfunded — was spearheaded by… the bipartisan House Whistleblower Protection Caucus who in 2013 set up a whistleblower hotline to ease the way for agency employees who wish to disclose wrongdoing without jeopardizing their careers….

The agencies whose employees can use the new House office — which does not require Senate or presidential approval — do not include those in the intelligence community, where whistleblower advocates have long complained about ‘gag orders.’

One specialist who helped plan the office was Dan Meyer, the previous whistleblower ombudsman for the intelligence community who fought unsuccessfully to keep his job in part addressing issues of communicating with Congress.

‘Congress cannot, now, protect its sources from reprisal by the executive branch,’ he told Government Executive on Monday.

The agency that investigates whistleblower complaints governmentwide, the Office of Special Counsel, is ‘under resourced and overwhelmed,’ said Meyer, now a partner at the Tully Rinckey law firm. And the Merit Systems Protection Board, which hears employee appeals and provides research on related issues, ‘has an eight-year-backlog. Inspectors general can make findings if the allegations are not about inspectors general, but they cannot provide a remedy.’

Hence, Meyer said, ‘This puts congressional sources in the bullseye, and the most effective tools Congress has in protecting its sources are authorization and appropriations bills’ that affect agencies that take action against whistleblowers.

The new office has value as ‘an educational resource,’ said Irvin McCullough, a national security analyst for the Government Accountability Project. But Intelligence Community members who wish to disclose wrongdoing continue to ‘run into problems’ because they are often required to deal first with their agency’s congressional affairs offices, where their message gets delayed. The result, McCullough said, ‘is that Congress’s oversight authority is limited.'”

When it comes to whistleblowers revealing corruption throughout classified programs and operations, getting a complaint acknowledged, let alone investigated, is extremely rare. As the GAO investigation summed it up:

“Cases including classified information constituted a small percentage of cases closed by DOD IG and the military service IGs in fiscal year 2017, with the percentage of those closed by DOD IG directorates — including the DOD Hotline and the whistleblower reprisal and senior official investigations — ranging from 0.2 percent to 0.5 percent, according to DOD IG officials.

Officials from each of the military service IGs reported closing no classified cases in fiscal year 2017….”

In addition to whistleblower communications being under survelliance by the CIA, as previously mentioned, people who work throughout the Intelligence Community work under highly controversial gag orders, which further limit their ability to effectively blow the whistle on corrupt and criminal activities.

As the evidence overwhelming demonstrates, under the guise of National Security, corruption is running amok. The chain of accountability has been effectively dismantled, leading to, as veteran IC IG investigator and whistleblower David Steele has said, a critical “intelligence community-wide vulnerability.”

Congress must begin wide-scale investigations into the epidemic of systemic corruption throughout the Pentagon. The ultimate responsibility for the trillions of tax dollars in military spending that have gone unaccounted for lies with Congress.

As National Security analyst Patrick Eddington summed it up:

“Why has Warner, ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee — who is clearly aware of the gravity of these issues — not prioritized them like he has the Russia investigation?

Why did Grassley dither for years in the Meyer case when he had a legal sledgehammer to cut off the salaries of out-of-control CIA bureaucrats spying on whistleblowers trying to convey their concerns to Congress?…

There’s a world of difference between the kind of feckless, press-cycle ‘oversight’ practiced by Grassley and Warner and the kind of accountability-driven action that should be the hallmark of the committees on which both serve.

Grassley, Warner, and their Senate and House colleagues have, thanks to the country’s founders, ample Article I power to aggressively protect IC whistleblowers and punish their bureaucrat retaliators. That they choose not to is precisely why the fraud, waste, corruption and criminal conduct in the IC continues apace.”

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The DOD Dominates GAO’s 2019 High-Risk List, For Past 25 Years DOD “Cannot Accurately Account For & Report On Its Spending or Assets”

The Government Accountability Office recently released their “2019 High-Risk List.” As usual, many DOD areas of operation were flagged as being “most vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse.”

Here is a list of the most egregious DOD-related offenders:

DOD Financial Management
DOD Weapon Systems Acquisition
DOD Business Systems Modernization
DOD Support Infrastructure Management
DOD Approach to Business Transformation
Government-wide Personnel Security Clearance Process
Ensuring the Cybersecurity of the Nation
Strengthening Department of Homeland Security Management Functions
Ensuring the Effective Protection of Technologies Critical to U.S. National Security Interests
VA Acquisition Management
DOE’s Contract Management for the National Nuclear Security Administration
DOD Contract Management
Managing Risks and Improving VA Health Care
Management of Federal Oil and Gas Resources
Transforming EPA’s Processes for Assessing and Controlling Toxic Chemicals

If you are wondering how trillions of tax dollars can go unaccounted for, consider this GAO 2019 High-Risk statement, which is very similar to previous statements that have been featured in every High-Risk report since 1995:

“DOD’s financial management continues to face long-standing issues — including its decentralized environment; cultural resistance to change; lack of skilled financial management staff; ineffective processes, systems, and controls; incomplete corrective action plans; and the need for more effective monitoring and reporting.

DOD financial management was first added to our High-Risk List in 1995.

DOD remains one of the few federal entities that cannot accurately account for and report on its spending or assets.

DOD’s discretionary spending makes up about half of the federal government’s discretionary spending, and its assets represent more than 70 percent of the federal government’s physical assets….

According to DOD Office of Inspector General (OIG) ineffective information technology systems’ controls hinder DOD’s ability to produce accurate, timely, and reliable financial information.

DOD’s auditors issued more than 1,100 systems-related findings and recommendations during the fiscal year 2018 financial statement audit and the DOD OIG has reported multiple material financial systems that do not comply with federal systems requirements.

These weaknesses pose a significant risk to DOD operations and could, for example, result in payments and collections being lost, stolen, or duplicated.

They may also open the department up to other cyber threats across different networks and systems….”

As previously reported, “solutions to known problems which can save tens of billions of dollars annually have not been implemented.”

The Federal News Network reported on two of the 15 DOD-related High-Risk areas:

“The [High Risk] list, released Wednesday, states efforts to shore up problems with DoD weapons systems acquisition remain ‘unchanged’ since GAO’s last high-risk list in 2017. GAO made the same assessment of the Pentagon’s contract management issues, though with a few positive caveats.

The two items on the high-risk list account for almost $2 trillion in taxpayer funds — about $1.66 trillion in investments of 86 major weapons systems and $300 billion in annual contracted services for the Pentagon. Both of the items have been on GAO’s high-risk list since the early 1990s….

DoD demonstrated progress was lackluster in the past two years.  ‘DoD programs continue to not fully implement knowledge-based acquisition practices, which increases the risk of undesirable cost and schedule outcomes,’ the report states.

The military still has not implemented leading practices and lessons to make greater use of existing financial awards for good performance…. Additionally, DoD has not identified a plan with specific goals or performance measures to implement across its acquisition portfolio to achieve better results….

DoD faces many of the same problems with contract management. Even with congressional changes and authorities, the Pentagon’s improvements are lacking…. DoD still has not implemented ways to improve its acquisition workforce, service acquisitions or operational contract support.

‘Over the years since we added this area to our high-risk list, we have made numerous recommendations related to these high-risk issues, 18 of which were made since the last high-risk update in February 2017,’ the report states. ‘As of November 2018, 41 recommendations related to this high-risk area are open.’

While DoD increased its acquisition leadership and bettered training, there is still no framework for the acquisition workforce that identifies key times frames, metrics or projected budgetary requirements associated with key goals or strategic priorities.

DoD still has not developed plans to use an annual inventory of contracted services for workforce and budget decisions, which is statutorily required, and the department still needs to develop metrics to track progress associated with shaping the future of the acquisition workforce….”

In another recent government report, the DOD IG summed up 2018 Pentagon audit findings:

“As described in this report, the audits identified many deficiencies in DoD financial management and reporting — 20 overall material weaknesses and more than 2,400 notices of findings and recommendations, including weak information technology controls, insufficient controls to ensure the accuracy and completeness of property, and incomplete universes of financial transactions.

It is critical for the DoD to implement corrective action plans and to monitor the implementation of those corrective actions….

In addition, DoD Components had 37 instances of non-compliance with laws and regulations…. Similar to material weaknesses, many of the instances of non-compliance with laws and regulations are similar between Components. For example, most Components did not fully comply with the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act of 1982 or the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996….

On November 15, 2018, the DoD OIG issued a disclaimer of opinion on the FY 2018 Agency Wide Basic Financial Statements, meaning an overall opinion could not be expressed on the financial statements under audit. After compiling over 2,400 DoD Component NFRs and 129 DoD Component material weakness, the DoD OIG identified 20 Agency Wide material weaknesses….

In addition to these material weaknesses, the DoD OIG identified five instances of non compliance with laws and regulations across the DoD. Specifically, the DoD did not comply with the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act of 1982, the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996, the Antideficiency Act, the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014, and the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996….

Significant DoD Material Weaknesses

As noted… the DoD OIG identified 20 Agency Wide material weaknesses during the FY 2018 audit. DoD management is responsible for prioritizing the findings and corrective action plans to address these material weaknesses. Most of these weaknesses affect most of the DoD Components. Each can hinder the DoD’s efforts to improve its business processes and achieve auditable financial statements and are critically important to correct.

In our judgment, six material weaknesses stand out as most significant.

1. Financial Management Systems and Information Technology (IT)
2. Universe of Transactions
3. Inventory
4. Property, Plant, and Equipment (PP&E)
5. Fund Balance with Treasury
6. Financial Statement Compilation….”

As noted repeatedly, these critical material weaknesses and non-compliance with laws and regulations have been known for years, yet have never been corrected.

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants highlighted the 20 “material weaknesses” that the auditors detected:

“* Multiple material financial management systems that did not comply with federal requirements, and did not implement internal controls over their IT environment to sufficiently deter fraud, waste and abuse, which prevent the DoD from collecting and reporting accurate financial information.

* Inability to validate the completeness of the ‘universe of transactions underlying their financial statements,’ which meant they could not perform reconciliations with financial statement line items, which in turn inhibited the auditors’ ability to detect errors.

* Lack of process for properly compiling statements into the Agency-Wide Basic Financial Statements.

* Ineffective processes and controls for reconciling their fund balance with Treasury.

* Lack of proper controls to record, report, test or reconcile transactions that should be labeled as accounts receivable.

* Lack of ability to report Operating Materials and Supplies in accordance with standards, as the systems did not maintain historical cost data and did not implement a process to accurately value all opening balances.

* Lack of systems and controls to properly provide assurance over the existence, completeness and valuation of inventory and related property recorded in the financial statements, as well as lack of policies and procedures to manage to account for inventory held by other parts of the DoD as well as government contractors.

* Inability to record general property, plant and equipment at acquisition or historical cost, substantiate the existence and completeness of its assets, and assign or determine the value for all real property and general equipment assets.

* Lack of policies and procedures to confirm the existence of government property in possession of contractors.

* Unsupported accounts payable balances as well as a lack of financial management system capabilities to properly record accounts payable transactions.

* Lack of policies and procedures to substantiate and value the DoD’s environmental and disposal liabilities.

* Failure to justify why the DoD was “unable to determine” the change of a negative outcome for legal actions against it, as standards require for accounting for legal contingencies.

* Lack of historical data in at least six agencies that support beginning balances on financial statements or give the ability to reconcile those beginning balances to closing balances at the end of the reporting period.

* $175 billion worth of unsupported journal vouchers, as well as journal vouchers posted before management could perform adequate reviews.

* Lack of ability to accurately identify, provide supporting documentation, or fully reconcile intragovernmental transactions among certain parts of the DoD.

* Failure on the part of three reporting entities to accumulate cost information and record transactions in compliance with GAAP for Statement of Net Cost.

* Because of the above item, three agencies that were unable to perform the required reconciliation with the budget.

* Failure to accurately determine total budgetary resources available during the period, and status of those resources within three of the reporting entities.

* Lack of sufficient entity-level controls to establish an internal control system that will produce reliable financial reporting.

* Lack of effective oversight and monitoring for material weaknesses.”

Beyond the trillions of taxpayer dollars that have gone unaccounted for, to begin to understand how bad operational oversight of DOD assets has been, consider these two instances cited in the GAO High Risk report:

“For example, according to a DOD official, during an initial audit, the Army found 39 Blackhawk helicopters that had not been recorded in the property system. [$819 million in value]

Similarly, the Air Force identified 478 buildings and structures at 12 installations that were not in the real property systems….”

While the GAO did give credit to the DOD for locating 39 Blackhawk helicopters and 478 buildings that had been unaccounted for, they concluded their report by saying:

“That said, hundreds of the same problems were identified again in the fiscal year 2018 audits, and hundreds of the same recommendations were re-issued.”

“Hundreds of the Same Problems”

In addition to the unaccounted for DOD assets that the GAO highlighted, the DOD IG has recently revealed several more stunning examples.  As the Federal News Network reported:

“According to DoD’s auditors, property accountability issues are still among the most serious problems preventing it from passing an audit. In the first year of the full-scope examination, auditors issued more than 170 separate findings and recommendations detailing the military services shortcomings in tracking their inventory and real estate.”

Other than the 478 buildings and structures that were unaccounted for, “Instances of bad or missing data about entire warehouses worth of parts came up more than once.” At Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, it was recently discovered that $53 million in “a stockpile of missile motors was erroneously listed as unserviceable even though they were in perfectly good condition.” The Navy also found an unaccounted for warehouse that had $26 million worth of parts.

At air bases in Japan, it was discovered that “14,000 munitions worth $2.2 billion” were unaccounted for.

Another recent DOD IG audit found that an estimated “3.45 million pieces” of F-35 weapons program equipment “worth an estimated $2.1 billion” are not accounted for.

Another common theme is accounted for assets that actually don’t exist. For example, “Entire facilities that had been demolished years ago, but are still listed as active on the military’s property books.”

“‘We’ve gone out and said, ‘Give us a list of a certain asset and how many you have and where they’re located.’ And when we go, we either find that they have more than they thought, or the ones on their lists don’t exist,’ said Carmen Malone, the deputy assistant inspector general for audit.

‘If you have something in your inventory records that actually can’t be used, you’re not going to order something, because you think you already have it. From an inventory standpoint, that is a big deal.’ Malone said one of the reasons the IG considers the property issue so serious is that it has a direct bearing on military readiness….”

Not being able to account for billions of dollars in equipment and weapons obviously has a major impact on military readiness.

This is clearly a significant National Security issue, yet it has been a known critical issue for years and minimal corrective actions have been taken. In many key areas, known problems have become worse.

As shocking as these recent findings are, they are just the tip of the iceberg. As you will see, they’re just the latest examples in a long-established, well-proven track record of systemic failure to account for trillions in taxpayer dollars and assets.

Perhaps most shocking of all, despite being an overall issue featuring hundreds of front page-worthy news stories, Reuters has been the only major media company to seriously investigate this crisis, and their reporting was done back in 2013. The critical problems that they uncovered then still exist, and many of them are more severe now.

To get a further understanding the overall inventory tracking crisis, here are excerpts from the Reuters investigation into the Pentagon’s stunning lack of “inventory controls:”

“TOO MUCH STUFF

The practical impact of the Pentagon’s accounting dysfunction is evident at the Defense Logistics Agency [DLA], which buys, stores and ships much of the Defense Department’s supplies.… It has way too much stuff. ‘We have about $14 billion of inventory for lots of reasons, and probably half of that is excess to what we need,’ Navy Vice Admiral Mark Harnitchek, the director of the DLA, said…

And the DLA keeps buying more of what it already has too much of…. the DLA and the military services had $733 million worth of supplies and equipment on order that was already stocked in excess amounts on warehouse shelves. That figure was up 21% from $609 million a year earlier….

Consider the ‘vehicular control arm,’ part of the front suspension on the military’s ubiquitous High Mobility Multipurpose Vehicles, or Humvees… the DLA had 15,000 of the parts in stock, equal to a 14-year supply…. And yet… the agency bought 7,437 more of them – at prices considerably higher than it paid for the thousands sitting on its shelves.

The DLA was making the new purchases as demand plunged by nearly half… The inspector general’s report said the DLA’s buyers hadn’t checked current inventory when they signed a contract to acquire more.

Just outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the DLA operates its Eastern Distribution Center, the Defense Department’s biggest storage facility. In one of its warehouses, millions of small replacement parts for military equipment and other supplies are stored in hundreds of thousands of breadbox-size bins, stacked floor to ceiling on metal shelves in the 1.7 million-square-foot building.

Sonya Gish, director of the DLA’s process and planning directorate, works at the complex. She says no system tracks whether newly received items are put in the correct bins, and she confirmed that because of the vast quantities of material stored, comprehensive inventories are impossible…. Gish also says the distribution center does not attempt to track or estimate losses from employee theft.

The Pentagon in 2004 ordered the entire Defense Department to adopt a modern labeling system that would allow all the military branches to see quickly and accurately what supplies are on hand at the DLA and each of the services. To date, the DLA has ignored the directive to use the system…

More than one-third of the weapons and munitions the Joint Munitions Commandstores at Letterkenny and its other depots are obsolete, according to Stephen Abney, command spokesman. Keeping all those useless bullets, explosives, missiles, rifles, rocket launchers and other munitions costs tens of millions of dollars a year.

The munitions sit, year after year, because in the short term, ‘it’s cheaper for the military to store it than to get rid of it,’ said Keith Byers, Letterkenny’s ammunition manager. ‘What’s counterproductive is that what you’re looking at is stocks that are going to be destroyed eventually anyway.’…

To access ammunition and other inventory still in use, depot staff often must move old explosives, much of which is stored in flimsy, thin-slatted crates.

‘Continuing to store unneeded ammunition creates potential safety, security and environmental concerns,’ Brigadier General Gustave Perna said…. The cost and danger of storing old munitions ‘frustrates me as a taxpayer,’ he said….

Joint Munitions Command scrapped a computer system that kept track of inventory and automatically generated required shipping documents. It was replaced with one that Pike says doesn’t do either.

His staff now must guess how much inventory and space Letterkenny has. The Army built at additional cost a second system to create shipping documents and an interface between the two systems. ‘We’re having problems with the interface,’ Pike says….”

Six years later, the problems at the DLA still have not been solved. In fact, the DLA recently spent over $2 billion on yet another faulty accounting system. When a 2018 audit of the DLA was attempted, it failed spectacularly.  As Politico reported:

“Ernst & Young found that the Defense Logistics Agency failed to properly document more than $800 million in construction projects, just one of a series of examples where it lacks a paper trail for millions of dollars….

Across the board, its financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums [$40 billion-a-year in taxpayer money] it’s responsible for, the firm warned in its initial audit… as the auditors found, the agency often has little solid evidence for where much of that money is going.”

The $2 billion spent on the DLA’s latest failed accounting system is a reoccuring theme throughout most Pentagon agencies.  In total, 15 Pentagon agencies failed their 2018 audit.  When it comes to “fixing” Pentagon accounting systems, there is, once again, a well-established pattern of creating very expensive new systems, which end up costing billions of tax dollars more, yet still don’t fix existing problems, and they often end up making the problem even worse.  As the Reuters investigation pointed out:

“COSTLY REPAIRS

Media reports of Defense Department waste tend to focus on outrageous line items: $604 toilet seats for the Navy, $7,600 coffee makers for the Air Force. These headline-grabbing outliers amount to little next to the billions the Pentagon has spent on repeated efforts to fix its bookkeeping, with little to show for it.

The Air Force’s Expeditionary Combat Support System was intended to provide for the first time a single system to oversee transportation, supplies, maintenance and acquisitions, replacing scores of costly legacy systems. Work got under way in 2005. Delays and costs mounted… the Air Force conducted a test run. The data that poured out was mostly gibberish. The Air Force killed the project.

The system ‘has cost $1.03 billion… and has not yielded any significant military capability,’ the Air Force said….

Fixing the system would cost an additional $1.1 billion, it said, and even then, it would do only about a quarter of the tasks originally intended, and not until 2020….

[In addition] more than $1 billion was wasted when the Pentagon in 2010 ditched the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System, launched in 2003 as a single, department-wide pay and personnel system that would eliminate pay errors. Interagency squabbles and demands for thousands of changes eventually sank it.

The Air Force’s Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System was supposed to take over the Air Force’s basic accounting functions in 2010. To date, $466 million has been spent on DEAMS, with a projected total cost of $1.77 billion to build and operate it, an Air Force spokeswoman said. The system lacks ‘critical functional capabilities,’ and its ‘data lacks validity and reliability,’ according to a… Defense Department inspector general report….

In 2000, the Navy began work on four separate projects to handle finances, supplies, maintenance of equipment and contracting. Instead, the systems took on overlapping duties that each performed in different ways, using different formats for the same data. Five years later, the GAO said: ‘These efforts were failures.… $1 billion was largely wasted.’

Now in use, the Navy ERP relies on data fed to it from 44 old systems it was meant to replace. ‘Navy officials spent $870 million… and still did not correct’ the system’s inability to account for $416 billion in equipment, the Pentagon inspector general said in a July 2013 report.

… the Center for Strategic and International Studies said that while the Defense Department was spending ‘in excess of $10 billion per year on business systems modernization and maintenance, overall the result is close to business as usual.'”

Now, six years after that report, “business as usual” continues apace. National Security analyst Winslow T. Wheeler summed up the ongoing accounting crisis at the Pentagon by saying:

“There is no sense of urgency in the Pentagon to do anything about it.  Indeed, in the 1990s, we were promised the accountability problem would be solved by 1997. In the early 2000s, we were promised it would be solved by 2007; then by 2016; then by 2017….

The question must be asked: if nothing has been done by the Pentagon to end the accountability problem after more than 20 years of promises, is top management simply incompetent, or is this the intended result of obfuscation to avert accountability?

A spending system that effectively audits its weapon programs and offices would also be one that systemically uncovers incompetent and crooked managers, false promises and those who made them.

It would also necessarily reveal reasons to dramatically alter, if not cease, funding for some programs, which of course would make lots of people in industry, Congress, and the executive branch unhappy.

The current system and its out of control finances mortally harm our defenses, defraud taxpayers, and bloat the Pentagon and federal budgets.

Any reform that fails to address this most fundamental problem is merely another doomed attempt that will only serve to perpetuate a system that thrives on falsehoods and deception….

It is as if the accountability and appropriations clauses of the U.S. Constitution were just window dressing, behind which this mind-numbing malfeasance thrives.”

Another major problem briefly highlighted in the Reuters investigation — concerning trillions of tax dollars in Pentagon contracts — has also become worse since they reported on it. Here’s what Reuters reported:

“Over the past 10 years, the Defense Department has signed contracts for the provision of more than $3 trillion in goods and services. How much of that money is wasted in overpayments to contractors, or was never spent and never remitted to the Treasury, is a mystery.

That’s because of a massive backlog of ‘closeouts’ – audits meant to ensure that a contract was fulfilled and the money ended up in the right place….

It’s the Defense Contract Audit Agency that handles closeouts for department-wide contracts that pay the company or individual for expenses incurred. At the end of fiscal 2011, the agency’s backlog totaled 24,722 contracts worth $573.3 billion, according to DCAA figures. Some of them date as far back as 1996.

The individual military services close out their own contracts, and the backlogs have piled up there, too. The Army’s backlog was 450,000 contracts, the GAO said in a December 2012 report.

‘This backlog represents hundreds of billions of dollars in unsettled costs,’ the GAO report said.

Timely closeouts also reduce the government’s financial risk by avoiding interest on late payments to contractors. To trim its backlog, the DCAA last year raised to $250 million from $15 million the threshold value at which a contract is automatically audited… hundreds of thousands of contracts that would eventually have been audited now won’t be.

‘Having billions of dollars of open, unaudited contracts stretching back to the 1990s is clearly unacceptable, and places taxpayer dollars at risk of misuse and mismanagement,’ Senator Thomas Carper, a Delaware Democrat and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in an email response to questions.…

Spotty monitoring of contracts is one reason Pentagon personnel and contractors are able to siphon off taxpayer dollars through fraud and theft – amounting to billions of dollars in losses, according to numerous GAO reports….”

Once again, since the Reuters report, the critical problems with unaudited Pentagon contracts have become worse. A recent Army investigation into the corrupt handling of contracts recommend that the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), who oversees $5 trillion worth of contracts, no longer be able to issue contracts. As POGO reported:

“The Pentagon relies on the obscure Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) to negotiate and administer $5 trillion in contracts across the Defense Department as an average of $455 million in taxpayer dollars are paid out each day to contractors.

How well that agency does its job directly affects both how wisely taxpayer dollars are spent and whether our troops get what they need when they need it. Yet the cascading series of major, systemic failures within the agency, which has nearly 12,000 employees and an annual budget of roughly $1.5 billion, led an independent investigator from the Army to go so far as to recommend that it be prohibited from awarding its own contracts in the future.”

As the evidence clearly proves, the critical problems reported on by Reuters in 2013 are more relevant now than ever; with hundreds of severe issues still unresolved. In future reports from this series, I will continue to document many more shocking examples of unaccounted for taxpayer dollars and assets, including weapons. From our nuclear facilities to multi-billion-dollar weapons programs, fraud, waste and corruption are rampant.

As previously revealed, over $20 trillion in unaccounted for spending has been reported by the DOD IG.  The more you look into military spending, the crazier it gets. The Pentagon is an abyss with layer after layer of unfolding corruption. As former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once made clear, the Pentagon is an unaccountable black hole where tax dollars disappear by the trillions. The impact that this has on our overall quality of life and standard of living cannot be overstated.

The evidence is clear; corruption throughout military spending has significantly weakened combat readiness, while diverting trillions of tax dollars away from critical infrastructure and burying our nation in record-breaking debt.  As a top National Security priority, Congress must fulfill their Constitutional duty to begin wide-scale investigations into the epidemic of systemic corruption throughout the Pentagon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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10 Mind-Blowing Pentagon Audit Reports All Americans Need to Know

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Based on these U.S. government reports, as a top National Security priority, Congress must fulfill their Constitutional duty to begin wide-scale investigations into the epidemic of systemic corruption throughout the Pentagon.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1549769459199{padding-top: 20px !important;background-color: #f2f2f2 !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]REPORT SUMMARY:

While trillions of dollars in military spending have gone unaccounted for, a record number of Pentagon whistleblowers have been retaliated against and silenced. As you will read throughout this report, the chain of accountability has been effectively dismantled. Department of Defense and Intelligence Community Inspector Generals have been caught covering-up whistleblower reprisal cases and shutting down investigations.

Prominent government insiders are speaking out. Many vital Inspector General positions have been vacated under scandalous circumstances. To make matters even worse, the C.I.A. was caught illegally and unconstitutionally surveilling Congress to interfere with whistleblower communications and investigations.

Meanwhile, political bribery and revolving door corruption have reached all-time highs.  Since the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) first began reporting what is now over $21 trillion in unaccounted for spending, 12,727 government officials have gone through the revolving door with Global Military companies.  In the latest example, after spending 30-years at Boeing, Patrick Shanahan recently took over as acting Defense Secretary and is now in charge of military spending.

Not surprisingly, the Pentagon has missed their deadline and is yet to brief Congress on their failed first-ever full-scope audit. As an initial audit found, “financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums [of tax money] it’s responsible for.” Thus far, the only significant change to come out of the audit: Pentagon accounting fraud has now been “legalized.”

According to people who spent their careers working for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the books are cooked as Standard Operating Procedure. There are thousands of accounting and financing operations throughout the Pentagon. No one even knows how many there are, let alone how much money is being spent.

Numerous government investigations, audits and reports have revealed many critical, wide-ranging accounting problems, which have been known for years, yet have never been fixed. There are hundreds of unimplemented solutions, which could save U.S. taxpayers tens of billions of dollars annually.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550277165249{padding-top: 45px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text][toc][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550276915110{border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]

KEY FINDINGS:

Editor’s Note: This report is part of an investigative series on the trillions of dollars in unaccounted for military spending. If you have not researched this issue yet, here’s a collection of evidence, including 26 Inspector General audits, government reports and extensive background information: Pentagon Audit: Evidence Proving $21 Trillion Unaccounted For – Opening Statement.

#1) Record Number of Whistleblowers Retaliated Against & Silenced, As Trillions of Dollars Unaccounted For

When it comes to reporting corruption, potential whistleblowers know that the chain of accountability has been effectively dismantled. Investigations clearly prove that the process established under PPD-19 (‘Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information’ directive) is failing.

As PEN America reported, “Today the structural integrity of these ‘internal channels’ appears increasingly shaky…. [Whistleblowers] face three abysmal choices: use the internal channels and risk career suicide, go to the media and face potential jail time, or stay silent in the face of waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to our democracy.”

Even with such tremendous risk involved, a record numbers of whistleblowers have still attempted to come forward using the proper internal channels, only to be retaliated against and silenced.

• According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, over 1000 whistleblowers have been retaliated against and silenced at the Office of the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG). Over a three-year period, the DoD IG closed 1094 whistleblower retaliation cases without investigating them. A stunning 91% of whistleblower reprisal complaints formally filed at the DoD IG are shutdown without any investigation. [source onetwothree]

• On average, one whistleblower is retaliated against and silenced at the DoD IG every single day, 365 days a year. Over the time frame that the GAO investigated, DoD audits reported $6.87 trillion ($6,871,000,000,000) unaccounted for. [source four]

• According to publicly available data from the DoD IG’s semi-annual reports to Congress, from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2016, they dismissed 86% of Military Reprisal cases, and found in favor of whistleblowers in only 0.9% of cases. Citing that data, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) said the DoD IG “substantiated only 7 out of over 1,300 complaints received.” Over that time frame, DoD audits reported $8.58 trillion ($8,582,000,000,000) unaccounted for. [source fivesix]

• The GAO report also reveals that the majority of whistleblower complaints came from Army personnel, over a time frame when DoD audits reported $6.5 trillion unaccounted for within the Army General Fund. As the GAO report states: “Among these [whistleblower complaints], civilians and contractors or subcontractors affiliated with the Army made the highest number of complaints, with 304….” A Congressional Investigation Committee should reopen these cases, which were shutdown without any investigation. [source seveneight][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550262233023{padding-top: 20px !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]

#2) Department of Defense Inspector General Caught Covering Up Corruption, Altering Audit Reports

• As scandalous as the GAO’s findings were, the DoD IG was caught manipulating case records to cover-up their whistleblower reprisal track record, which “had a significant impact on the GAO’s findings.” Therefore, the situation for whistleblowers at the DoD IG is even worse than the GAO’s report revealed. [source nine]

• Former assistant DoD IG John Crane, who was also retaliated against and fired under scandalous circumstances, has said, “key officials retaliated against whistleblowers, destroyed permanent records and altered audits under political pressure.” [source ten]

• In Congressional Testimony, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) said they have “also heard directly from whistleblowers within DoD IG who have expressed serious concerns about the integrity of the office’s processes and investigations, including pressure to back-fill whistleblower case files for the GAO’s review. It is extremely rare to have whistleblowers from an IG shop come forward, but in this case we have a number of them.” [source eleven]

• POGO also found instances where the DoD IG sent whistleblower reprisal cases to offices where the likelihood of retaliation was high: “whistleblowers felt the IG needlessly exposed them to additional retaliation, and had they known the IG was going to refer their disclosures they would have chosen to withdraw their complaints.” [source twelve]

POGO’s Recommendations to Congress:

• “Investigate and consider for removal any senior officials found to have illegally destroyed evidence in whistleblower or other case files, improperly instructed employees to back-fill cases, or otherwise interfered with the independence and integrity of investigations;”…. [source thirteen]

• “Request a GAO or outside IG audit of the DoD IG’s reprisal investigations to ensure that investigators’ decisions to dismiss, investigate, and substantiate reprisals are proper and based on the legal requirements for examining any evidence presented;”…. [source fourteen]

• In Conclusion: “Whistleblowers who report concerns that affect our national security must be lauded, not shunned or, worse, harmed. And the law must protect them. The perceived and real failures of the DoD IG to act as a check on violations of law should be of grave concern.” [source fifteen][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550262233023{padding-top: 20px !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]

#3) Intelligence Community Whistleblowers Retaliated Against, Cover-Up Attempts Reported, Key Officials Wrongfully Fired, ‘Honest Inspectors Flee,’ Prominent Insiders Speak Out, ‘There Is No Oversight’

• When it comes to cases of retaliation against whistleblowers, the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) appears to have an even worse track record than the DoD IG. An internal review of 190 whistleblower reprisal cases from six national security agencies revealed that the IC IG ruled in favor of only one whistleblower. The IC IG “ruled against 99% of intelligence community employees who claimed they were retaliated against for blowing the whistle.” [source sixteen]

• As the internal review was nearing completion, it was abruptly shutdown when the new acting head IC IG Wayne Stone, “sequestered the mountain of documents and data produced in the inspection, the product of three staff-years of work. The incident was never publicly disclosed by the office, and escaped mention in the unclassified version of the IC IG’s semiannual report to Congress.” [source seventeen]

• POGO got a leaked copy of an inspection report, which summarized the situation by saying, “A complainant alleging reprisal for making a protected disclosure has a minimal chance to have a complaint processed and adjudicated in a timely and complete manner.” ‘Its conclusion is stark:’ “The deficiencies in reprisal protections policies, procedures, and standards in the evaluated agencies are causing a failure to provide reprisal protections for individuals making protected disclosures.” [source eighteen]

• Overall, “the document produced by the Intelligence Community’s IG, which covers 17 U.S. spy agencies, found that many components are not following, ‘legally mandated… policies, procedures and standards…. Causing non-substantiation of reprisal claims, incomplete investigations, and for complaints not to be processed.'” [source nineteen]

• “As evidence, the document reports that the Intelligence Community IG substantiated ‘only one reprisal allegation’ during a six-year period stretching from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2016, and that case took 742 days to complete – well beyond the 240-day limit prescribed in regulation.” [source twenty]

• To make matters even worse, Dan Meyer, the Head of Whistleblowing and Source Protection at the IC IG was abruptly fired last year under scandalous circumstances. He was “escorted out of the building while his office was ‘sealed off with crime-scene tape.'” The move was widely considered “retaliation against him for blowing the whistle… [on] ‘security infractions’ after raising concerns about a ‘systematic failure’ to implement whistleblower protections.” [source twenty one]

• Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) said Meyer “was terminated in a process marked by procedural irregularities and serious conflicts of interest” while the IC IG’s acting leadership “demonstrated a lack of support for the critical whistleblower protection mission of the office.” [source twenty two]

• At the DIA Inspector General’s Office (DIA IG), Ron Foster, former head of investigations, and David Steele, a 40-year military and intelligence veteran, blew the whistle on Kristi Waschull, the head DIA IG. They reported that she repeatedly asked them to lie and change “investigative reports about problems and crimes within the agency.” They also reported that she limited “the flow of published reports,” and “retaliated against them and several colleagues.” [source twenty three]

• Foster, Steele and a staff director were fired from the DIA IG without warning, and most of their co-workers have now left as well, as Foreign Policy reported: “Almost everyone who once worked for Steele in the Office of the Inspector General has fled the agency, or is looking to leave, an exodus he attributes to the toxic atmosphere created by the official in charge.… ‘There is no oversight,’ Steele continued. Whistleblower protection laws ‘assume the [Inspector Generals] are the good guys. What happens when your Inspector General is a bad guy?'” [source twenty four]

• The DIA IG hasn’t published “the results of any new investigations, and if the systemic issues remain unaddressed or ignored by the agency, it could lead to an intelligence community-wide ‘vulnerability,’ Steele told FP…. ‘The Inspector General is incapable of policing itself,’ he said. ‘Who’s watching the watchers?'” [source twenty five]

• Former NSA Inspector General George Ellard was fired for retaliating against a whistleblower who reported wasteful spending of taxpayer money. However, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stepped in and shockingly reversed his termination. “The Pentagon offered no explanation as to why Mattis chose to overrule the IG External Review Panel and NSA’s current director, but the message is abundantly clear: If you work in Pentagon management and retaliate against a whistleblower, there’s a good chance you’ll keep your job….” [source twenty six]

• “Unfortunately, the Ellard case is not unique within the Pentagon. And as a series of these cases demonstrate, when the internal watchdog function breaks down at the Defense Department, not only are taxpayers ripped off, but intelligence failures costing the lives of thousands of Americans can result.” [source twenty seven][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550262233023{padding-top: 20px !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]

#4) C.I.A. Caught Illegally, Unconstitutionally Spying on Congress, Using National Security Classification to Cover-Up Corruption, Routinely Retaliating Against Investigators & Whistleblowers

• The CIA has been illegally, unconstitutionally spying on Congress in their investigations and communications with whistleblowers, according to a new partially declassified report: “Thanks to information recently released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, we now have fresh, incontrovertible evidence that elements of the Intelligence Community (IC) have monitored the communications of employees or contractors seeking to report waste, fraud, abuse or potential criminal conduct by IC agencies – including communications to House and Senate committees charged with oversight of the IC.” [source twenty-eighttwenty-ninethirty]

• “Based on the available public evidence, we also know that nobody in the IC responsible for such domestic spying [on Congress and whistleblowers] has lost their job or faced a criminal referral to the Justice Department. The implications of this are multiple and chilling.” [source thirty-one]

• “The fact that the CIA… was reading congressional staff’s emails about Intelligence Community whistleblowers raises serious policy concerns, as well as potential constitutional separation-of-powers issues that must be discussed publicly.” – Senator Grassley [source thirty-two]

• Jonathan Kaplan, a 33-year veteran investigator at the CIA IG is one of several whistleblowers to file complaints against Christopher Sharpley, the CIA’s former acting head IG and Trump’s nominee to be permanent head IG. Kaplan said “he was retaliated against because of his legally protected communications with the Senate and House Committees on Intelligence and with the Intelligence Community’s Office of the Inspector General.” [source thirty-three]

• “Kaplan says he had gone to the Committees and others with a concern that the CIA IG’s investigative and oversight capabilities were being compromised. Soon after, he said, retaliators including Sharpley placed false and derogatory information in his personal security file at the Agency, leading to the loss of his security clearance, rendering his continued CIA employment untenable. ‘Mr. Sharpley condoned retaliatory actions against CIA employees including me, indicating that ethical and professional standards are not being met,’ Kaplan said.” [source thirty-four]

• Sharpley is “named in at least three open whistleblower retaliation cases.” He first sparked controversy when he “deleted the agency’s only copy of a controversial Senate report documenting the CIA’s history of using interrogation techniques involving torture.” As The Hill reported, “both the electronic copy and a hard disk were destroyed.” [source thirty-fivethirty-six]

• In an interesting coincidence, the CIA was also caught illegally spying on Congress and violating the Constitution when Congress was creating that very same Torture Report. As Senator Mark Udall summed it up, “The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate intelligence committee computers. This grave misconduct is not only illegal, but it violates the US constitution’s requirement of separation of powers. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences.” [source thirty-seven]

• Many IC IG investigators have spoken out about Sharpley’s corrupt actions. “Roughly ten or more complaints were brought to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission unit inside the CIA to consider evidence of workplace violations…” A few “memos cite a ‘hostile work environment,’ and ‘abruptly relieving certain managers and investigators of substantive investigative case work.'” [source thirty-eight]

• A CIA employee memo “cites actions featuring an element of ‘cruelty and malice’ by IG management as sweeping changes were imposed on a group of veteran investigators.” Another memo says, “The reorganization… is the latest in a series of intimidating and bullying tactics employed to move out current INV (investigation division) staff….'” [source thirty-nine]

• “One member of the INV staff told POGO that Sharpley was the office ‘enforcer.’ Another memo describes an occasion when Sharpley and a colleague summarily disbanded an INV unit – as its four senior staffers were told to join a newly-created group to investigate leaks. ‘There is only one problem,’ the memo goes on to say, ‘this OIG has no ongoing leak investigations. So, these senior special agents and managers hardly have any meaningful reasons to show up to work, except for preserving their spaces until they are graciously ushered out the door by Buckley and/or Sharpley.'” [source forty]

• Another “memo accuses CIA IG management of ‘misuse of position, abuse of resources, including unnecessary use of IG subpoenas, corruption, waste of taxpayer funds, and more. These are the very elements that an IG is expected to prevent and protect the Agency against.'” “In that context, Sharpley’s alleged acts of retaliation form part of a broader pattern plaguing America’s spy agencies….” [source forty-one]

• A Pro Publica report on Sharpley misleading Congress at his nomination hearing features several shocking quotes: “The CIA whistleblowers who suffered reprisal were trying to report some really serious criminal activity within the inspector general’s office — the fabrication of evidence in a criminal case where the people who did it were never punished,” said John Tye, an attorney for CIA IG whistleblowers. “The situation within CIA OIG is a systemic mission failure that must be corrected,” said former CIA IG Special Agent Investigator turned whistleblower Andrew Bakaj. [source forty-two]

• As Patrick Eddington from the Cato Institute summed it up: “Why has Warner, ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee — who is clearly aware of the gravity of these issues — not prioritized them like he has the Russia investigation? Why did Grassley dither for years in the Meyer case when he had a legal sledgehammer to cut off the salaries of out-of-control CIA bureaucrats spying on whistleblowers trying to convey their concerns to Congress?” [source forty-three]

• “There’s a world of difference between the kind of feckless, press-cycle ‘oversight’ practiced by Grassley and Warner and the kind of accountability-driven action that should be the hallmark of the committees on which both serve. Grassley, Warner, and their Senate and House colleagues have, thanks to the country’s founders, ample Article I power to aggressively protect IC whistleblowers and punish their bureaucrat retaliators. That they choose not to is precisely why the fraud, waste, corruption and criminal conduct in the IC continues apace.” [source forty-four][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550262233023{padding-top: 20px !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]

#5) First-Ever Full-Scope Audit Failed, No Congressional Briefing, Accounting Fraud “Legalized”

• In December 2018, the Pentagon failed its first-ever full-scope audit, “a massive effort that was continually put off since it was first called for in a 1990 law.” They have now fallen behind schedule in fixing issues raised by the audit. “According to its most recent published timeline for completing the audit, the department was due to brief Congress on the findings and the status of its corrective action plan in January 2019. That briefing has not happened.” [source forty-five]

• Based on the limited information that was released, 16 Pentagon agencies failed their audits. The audits found “glaring shortcomings in the Department’s management of its IT systems” and overall “the Department did not have the necessary tracking systems to fully keep tabs on money flowing in and out.” (see also section 6 for more critical accounting problems) [source forty-six]

• A report summarizing Ernst & Young’s initial Defense Logistics audit said: “Across the board, its financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums [of tax money] it’s responsible for, the firm warned in its initial audit… as the auditors found, the agency often has little solid evidence for where much of that money is going.” [source forty-seven]

• According to people who spent their careers working for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the books are cooked as Standard Operating Procedure, there are thousands of transaction per month without any supporting documentation and money is spent without Congressional allocation. [source forty-eight]

• Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was a driving force behind the audit. He has suddenly resigned and his new replacement is Patrick Shannahan, who spent 30-years working for Boeing, the Pentagon’s second largest beneficiary of our tax dollars. Having Shannahan in charge of military spending and ongoing audits is an egregious conflict of interest. It is therefore not surprising that the audit has been delayed and deprioritized. * (more on revolving door corruption below) [source forty-nine]

• As The Washington Post reported: “The [audit] effort is complicated by a leadership transition at the highest levels of the Pentagon. The first audit was spearheaded by David Norquist, an accountant and longtime official who serves as comptroller and Chief Financial Officer. But after Shanahan was elevated, Norquist is now performing the duties of the Deputy Defense Secretary. Lawmakers said they are concerned that Norquist’s dual roles could draw his attention away from audit activities as the Pentagon functions without a permanent secretary. A Defense Department official speaking on the condition of anonymity… said Norquist is ‘still driving the audit’ even as he takes on new duties.” In addition, John Gibson, the Pentagon’s first-ever Chief Management Officer, who was specifically focused on finding missing money, abruptly resigned in September. The Wall Street Journal reported that he was “relieved of his duties” by Defense Secretary Mattis for “lack of performance.” [source fifty]

Accounting Fraud Legalized

• Thus far, the only significant change to come out of the Pentagon Audit was the scandalous new accounting “law” SFFAS 56, which legalizes accounting fraud by allowing unaccounted for money to be classified and redacted from public budget reports. In fact, the most recent DoD IG audit report — from the series of reports that were revealing trillions in unaccounted for spending — had all the accounting numbers redacted. [source fifty-onefifty-two]

• The Intelligence Community, led by the CIA, in fear of being held accountable for the first time ever, was able to get this shocking wavier inserted into government accounting practices. SFFAS 56 now gives them wide-ranging legal cover to conceal how much money they are actually spending. [source fifty-three]

• As the DoD IG reported: “The guidance appears to allow entities to misrepresent their public financial statements…. This conflicts with the AICPA requirement that an auditor assess whether an entity’s financial statements can be considered a fair representation of its use of Federal resources….” [source fifty-four]

• In a report featured in Forbes, Laurence Kotlikoff and Mark Skidmore summed up the situation: “Several months after beginning the [Pentagon] audit, the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) posted a new document, which recommended that the government be allowed to misstate and move funds in order to hide expenditures if it is deemed necessary for national security purposes…. Also troubling is the fact that Standard 56 can include publicly traded corporations with significant funding and/or federal government control.” [source fifty-five]

• “With the change in accounting guidelines, which is a full departure from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), only a few people with high level security clearances have the authority to determine what is deemed to be an issue of national security and these same people will now be allowed to restate financial statements in order to conceal actual expenditures without any disclosure. No one but those few people would know that such modifications were made, thus making evaluation of government financial statements impossible. From this point forward, the federal government will keep two sets of books, one modified (and useless) book for the public and one true book that is hidden.” [source fifty-six]

• “The FASAB recommendation effectively institutionalizes opacity in federal financial reporting. Up till now, many aspects of federal finances have been non-transparent because the government has failed to comply with existing financial reporting laws. However, at least citizens had the laws working in their favor. Now citizens have no recourse; opacity is now the law of the land, controlled by executive branch authority and policy. Accounting rules are often thought of as boring and unimportant. In this case, it’s not the case. The new FASAB ruling has enormous and highly dangerous implications for our nation.” [source fifty-seven]

• “Seventeen years after 9/11 and we still can’t get out from under the ‘it’s for national security, don’t worry about it’ rubber-stamping of too much data and information that shouldn’t, and otherwise wouldn’t, qualify as needing to be classified,” says Mackenzie Eaglen, a defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. [source fifty-eight]

• As several prominent senators have repeatedly said, information is often classified to cover-up corruption. Senator Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Senator Wyden (D- Ore.), who is on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, have consistently expressed deep concerns over how information is often classified to cover-up corruption. Grassley and Wyden are senior Senators who have been in pivotal positions to know about classified matters for an extended period of time. [source fifty-nine][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550262233023{padding-top: 20px !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]

#6) Fixable Pentagon Accounting Problems Ignored, Well-Proven, Long-Established Systemic Failure to Address Known Critical Issues

• As a Reuters investigation revealed: “A review of multiple reports from oversight agencies in recent years shows that the Pentagon also has systematically ignored warnings about its accounting practices. ‘These types of adjustments, made without supporting documentation… mask much larger problems in the original accounting data,’ the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said. Plugs also are symptomatic of one very large problem: the Pentagon’s chronic failure to keep track of its money – how much it has, how much it pays out and how much is wasted or stolen.” [source sixty]

• As Reuters summed it up, “an organization that fields the most sophisticated technology in the world to fight wars and spy on enemies has come to rely on an accounting system of antiquated, error-prone computers… these thousands of duplicative and inefficient systems cost billions of dollars to staff and maintain… efforts to replace these systems with better ones have ended in costly failures… it all adds up to billions of taxpayer dollars a year in losses to mismanagement, theft and fraud.” [source sixty-one]

• Two previous Defense Secretaries have publicly acknowledged shocking fraud throughout military spending: Donald Rumsfeld summed up the Pentagon as a “black hole” where “tax dollars disappear by the trillions” and called the accounting problems “terrifying”; Robert Gates said he couldn’t even “get answers to questions such as ‘how much money are you spending?’,” let alone what it was being spent on. Gates summed up the crisis by saying that there are “unaccountable fiefdoms” operating throughout the Pentagon. [source sixty-twosixty-three]

• No one knows how many secret financing and accounting systems there are.  In an interview with Reuters, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England said, “There are thousands and thousands of systems. I’m not sure anybody knows how many systems there are.” The Pentagon once estimated that there were 2200 of them. However, a little-noticed 2012 report by the Defense Business Board estimated that there at least 5000. [source sixty-foursixty-five]

• Subcommittee Chairman on Federal Spending Oversight Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) recently expressed his frustration with the Pentagon’s accounting crisis by saying: “The department charged with carrying out our greatest Constitutional responsibility has set the lowest possible standard for accountability.” [source sixty-six]

• William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, summed up the accountability crisis at the Pentagon by saying: “Call it irony or call it symptomatic of the department’s way of life, but an analysis by the Project on Government Oversight notes the Pentagon has so far spent roughly $6 billion on ‘fixing’ the audit problem — with no solution in sight. If anything, the Defense Department’s accounting practices have been getting worse.” [source sixty-seven]

While the Pentagon has been able to ignore the law requiring full-scope department-wide audits, the DoD IG has conducted audits of military spending where corruption has been detected, as we have seen in the reports on trillions of dollars in unaccounted spending year after year. Here are a few highlights summarizing DoD IG Audit Findings:

• “The financial management systems DOD has put in place to control and monitor the money flow don’t facilitate but actually ‘prevent DOD from collecting and reporting financial information that is accurate, reliable, and timely;'”

• “DOD managers do not know how much money is in their accounts at the Treasury, or when they spend more than Congress appropriates to them, nor does DOD ‘record, report, collect, and reconcile’ funds received from other agencies or the public;”

• “DOD tracks neither buyer nor seller amounts when conducting transactions with other agencies;”

• “DOD frequently enters ‘unsupported’ (i.e. imaginary) amounts in its books and uses those figures to make the books balance;”

• “DOD does not know who owes it money, nor how much. ‘Audit trails’ are not kept ‘in sufficient detail,’ which means no one can track the money;”

• “DOD’s ‘Internal Controls,’ intended to track the money, are inoperative. Thus, DOD cost reports and financial statements are inaccurate, and the size, even the direction (in plus or minus values), of the errors cannot be identified;”

• “DOD does not observe many of the laws that govern all this.” [source sixty-eight]

As Winslow Wheeler, who worked on national security issues for the U.S. Senate and Government Accountability Office, summed it up:

“If you have a system that does not accurately know what its spending history is, and does not know what it is now (and does not care to redress the matter), how can you expect it to make a competent, honest estimate of future costs?

It is self-evident that an operation that tolerates inaccurate, unverifiable data cannot be soundly managed; it exempts itself from any reasonable standard of efficiency….

It is as if the accountability and appropriations clauses of the U.S. Constitution were just window dressing, behind which this mind-numbing malfeasance thrives.

Technically, this is a violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, a statute carrying felony sanctions of fines and imprisonment.” [source sixty-nine]

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#7) Many Critical Cyber Vulnerabilities Ignored at Pentagon & U.S. Treasury, An Open Invitation For Criminals Worldwide

• The Treasury Department’s financial reporting system has significant security gaps that “leave the door open for online bad actors to tamper with the government’s spending data.” The Government Accountability Office discovered “eight different flaws in the system used by the department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service to check the accuracy of the annual financial reports it publishes for every government agency.” [source seventy]

• These security gaps, in addition to “unresolved issues GAO previously identified within the bureau… ‘increase the risk of unauthorized access to, modification of, or disclosure of sensitive data and programs and disruption of critical operations.'” [source seventy-one]

• “The Fiscal Service Bureau is responsible for keeping tabs on the government’s debt and monitoring agencies’ revenue, spending, obligations and other fiscal behavior…. auditors said future inaccuracies could go undetected.” [source seventy-two]

• “Of the eight flaws revealed in the audit, four could be exploited to illegally access and change financial data and resources, three could potentially allow for unauthorized changes to hardware and software security, and one involved the bureau’s risk management system… they collectively represent ‘a significant deficiency’ in the bureau’s internal controls, GAO said….” [source seventy-three]

• “Investigators also found the bureau had yet to fully correct 15 different deficiencies GAO identified in previous audits, including some the bureau said had already been addressed.” [source seventy-four]

• A DoD IG audit recently reported that “the Pentagon had yet to correct 266 cyber vulnerabilities highlighted in numerous watchdog reports between July 2017 and June 2018. Some of the issues were identified long ago — two dated back to 2008.” [source seventy-five]

• “Auditors specifically found many shortcomings related to cyber governance, or the policies and practices that help officials monitor risk. ‘Without proper governance, the DoD cannot ensure that it effectively identifies and manages cybersecurity risk as it continues to face a growing variety of cyber threats…’ the IG wrote in the annual report on the Pentagon’s cyber posture.” [source seventy-six]

• “In the redacted report, auditors detailed a myriad of issues that had gone unaddressed over the previous year. The department, for instance, has not yet taken steps to comply with the cybersecurity framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.” [source seventy-seven]

• “Auditors also reiterated the need to put in place more controls to limit user access and monitor activity across Pentagon networks. The IG published a separate report detailing how inadequate controls left billions of dollars in annual payments potentially vulnerable to bad actors.” [source seventy-eight]

• The astounding lack of accountability and oversight concerning military spending and the hundreds of “cyber vulnerabilities” that remain unfixed year after year amount to an open invitation for every criminal element worldwide. Clearly, global intelligence agencies, military contractors and hackers have ample opportunity to exploit this system.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550262233023{padding-top: 20px !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]

#8) Known Solutions – That Can Save Tens of Billions of Tax Dollars Annually – Not Implemented, As Key Gov Accountability Offices Drastically Underfunded & Understaffed

• Solutions to known problems that could save U.S. taxpayers at least $87 billion have not been implemented. “Congress is increasingly trying to force federal departments, especially the Pentagon, to quit disregarding audit recommendations on how to get more bang for billions of dollars in taxpayer bucks.” Agencies have “not implemented more than 15,000 proposals from their inspectors general that could save $87 billion – some 38 percent of that money at the Pentagon.” [source seventy-nine]

• “The Defense Department has more unheeded audit recommendations than any other agency, according to the Government Accountability Office. The Pentagon has failed to implement more than half the 1,122 recommendations that GAO has put forth to improve defense programs since fiscal 2014…. ‘It’s unacceptable that federal agencies ignore thousands of recommendations on how to become more efficient and save taxpayer dollars,” Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C….” [source eighty]

• In addition to the GAO recommendations, “For the second year in a row, the Defense Department’s inspector general has released what it calls a ‘compendium’ of open recommendations. The document… details all of the recommendations the DOD IG has issued to the Pentagon that have been awaiting management attention for at least a year, [it] now includes 1,558 separate matters, up from 1,298 in the 2017 version. Fifty-six have been open for at least five years; seven have been open for eight years or more….” [source eighty-one]

• “The DoD OIG reported a number of open and unimplemented recommendations that appear straightforward and easy to implement, yet… have remained outstanding for years. For instance, in 2010, the DoD OIG issued a report concerning the Air Force’s time and materials contracts…. The OIG reported… this unimplemented recommendation represents a potential cost savings of over $24 million. Although the DoD OIG made the recommendation nearly six years ago, [it] has remained unimplemented and the cost savings for taxpayers remains unrealized.” [source eighty-two see page 21]

• The Pentagon is also a significant offender when it comes to improper payments, another large-scale government-wide scandal, which accounted for $144 billion in misspending in just one fiscal year, FY 2016. “A major portion of wasteful government spending is a broad category known as ‘improper payments,’ which are payments made in the wrong amount (including both overpayments and underpayments), to the wrong people, or for the wrong reason. An estimate from fiscal year 2016 showed $144 billion in misspending that year – an all-time high. These improper payments result from insufficient financial accountability, and divert dollars from where they are needed.” [source eighty-three]

• Even with all this incredible corruption being uncovered, the work of Inspector Generals, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Congressional Investigations Committees have been significantly undermined in many ways. They are drastically underfunded and understaffed. “Too often, the IGs suffer from inadequate or inconsistent budgets. Resource constraints can directly affect the ability of IGs to conduct effective and consistent oversight…. Congress needs to recognize the importance of proportionally funding IG oversight.” [source eighty-four]

• Due to the record-breaking corruption presently taking place, the return on investment (ROI) when it comes to funding accountability mechanisms within our government is outstanding. It is has been proven to be the best bang for our buck that we can get. Yet, this is where big cuts in funding are occurring. For an effective budgeting metric, in fiscal year 2017, the GAO uncovered over $73.9 billion in fraud and wasteful spending. For every $1 they get, they give a return of $128 dollars. [source eighty-five]

• Meanwhile, where the most corruption is taking place, where we get the least bang for our buck, that’s where funding is increasing – namely, in DoD agencies where huge sums of taxpayer money have gone unaccounted for. With budget management like that, it is no wonder we have an all-time record-breaking national debt of over $21 trillion, not to mention the additional $21 trillion in unaccounted for military spending. [source eighty-six]

• Another significant issue undermining Inspector Generals is the lack of congressionally approved leadership. “POGO firmly believes that the effectiveness of an IG office can be diminished when that office does not have permanent leadership, especially when the vacancy exists for an extended period of time, as many of the current vacancies have.” There are presently 12 vacancies in head IG positions. [source eighty-seveneighty-eight]

• “Permanent IGs undergo significant review — especially the IGs that require Senate confirmation — before taking their position. That vetting process helps instill confidence among Congress, agency officials, whistleblowers, and the public that the office of the IG is truly independent, and that its investigations and audits are accurate and credible. In addition, a permanent IG has the ability to set a long-term strategic plan for the office, including establishing investigative and audit priorities.” [source eighty-nine]

• “An acting official… is known by all OIG staff to be temporary, which one former IG has argued ‘can have a debilitating effect on [an] OIG, particularly over a lengthy period.’… Addressing the DoD IG’s deep cultural problems — all of which predate Principal Deputy IG Fine — requires permanent leadership.” [source ninety]

• The last confirmed head DoD IG resigned shortly before an audit report revealed $6.5 trillion was unaccounted for in one fiscal year, FY 2015. Since that audit, the DoD IG office has not had a congressionally approved Inspector General, that position has been unfilled since January 2016. In addition, the CIA has not had a congressionally approved IG since 2015. [source ninety-oneninety-two][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550262233023{padding-top: 20px !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]

#9) Since 1998, $21 Trillion Unaccounted For, $2.6 Billion in Bribes and 12,727 Government Officials Through Global Military Revolving Door

• Since 1998, the Office of the Inspector General has reported over $21 trillion in unaccounted for money. Over this same timeframe, Global Military companies have spent at least $2.6 billion in known campaign contributions and lobbying activity. Beyond this shocking amount of money spent influencing politicians, the revolving door — between Global Military companies and government officials — has been a significant source of scandalously corrupt behavior. Since 1998, a stunning 12,727 government officials have gone through the revolving door with Global Military companies. [source ninety-threeninety-fourninety-five]

• As shocking as those political corruption statistics are, given the loosening of campaign finance laws regarding “dark money” and PACs, and numerous military-intelligence-related shell companies and aligned interests, it is impossible to account for all the money they have spent influencing legislation and the actual overall number of government officials who have gone through the revolving door to companies that benefit from the Pentagon’s lack of accountability. [source ninety-six][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550262233023{padding-top: 20px !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]

#10) Classifying Corruption: Under the Guise of National Security, U.S. Treasury Looted & Constitution Rendered Null & Void

• Other than the corruptly implemented “legalized bribery” schemes referenced above, after an extensive analysis, it is evident that the National Security Act, and corresponding agencies and laws derived therefrom – with the power of secrecy that it provides – has been the primary enabler of the greatest theft of taxpayer wealth in history. [source ninety-seven]

• The National Security Act set several precedents that have severely undermined the U.S. Constitution. The National Security Act created the “National Military Establishment,” the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency, thereby codifying institutional secrecy. [source ninety-eight]

• Corresponding laws, such as the State Secrets Privilege, Classified Information Procedures Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the PATRIOT Act, the Totten Rule, The Espionage Act and the recent Executive Order 13526, which defines rules for the classification of information, have all played a pivotal role in concealing unprecedented criminal activity. [source ninety-nine][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row thb_divider_position=”bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1550262233023{padding-top: 20px !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text animation=”animation fade-in”]

CONCLUSION

Based on the extensive evidence provided throughout this series of reports, it is evident that we are obligated to confront an extremely disturbing reality: under the guise of National Security, an outrageously corrupt culture of unaccountable War Profiteering has taken over the United States government. The U.S. Treasury is being looted and the Constitution has been effectively rendered null and void.

The fact that these issues have not been covered in the mainstream media, the subject of significant congressional investigations, and a primary focus of political representatives calls into serious question the integrity and legitimacy of all leadership and responsible parties.

In light of the information contained within this investigative series, a Congressional Investigation Committee needs to take immediate action. As a top National Security priority, Congress must urgently begin wide-scale investigations into the epidemic of systemic corruption throughout the Pentagon.

* Consider sending this report to your congressional representatives. Please help spread the word & share it widely. SHARE HERE

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SOURCES

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Whistleblowers: The New ‘Insider Threat’

Source: Just Security, Cato Institute

Thanks to information recently released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, we now have fresh, incontrovertible evidence that elements of the Intelligence Community (IC) have monitored the communications of employees or contractors seeking to report waste, fraud, abuse or potential criminal conduct by IC agencies—including communications to House and Senate committees charged with oversight of the IC.

And based on the available public evidence, we also know that nobody in the IC responsible for such domestic spying has lost their job or faced a criminal referral to the Justice Department. The implications of this are multiple and chilling, but first, some background.

On November 1, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a press release announcing that the CIA had monitored communications between whistleblowers and congressional staff in 2014. Grassley said it took him more than four years to get the incidents declassified—itself a statement about the anemic state of congressional oversight of the IC.

The targets of the monitoring included IC whistleblowers and Dan Meyer, the person in the office of the IC Inspector General (IC IG) charged with taking their complaints and trying to shield them from retaliation. His title at the time was executive director of whistleblowing and source protection. Apparently, Meyer’s communications with congressional investigators were also monitored….

In his March 28 notification to HPSCI and SSCI leadership, [then-IC IG Charles] McCullough admitted he was ‘concerned about the potential compromise to whistleblower confidentiality and the consequent ‘chilling effect’ that the present CI monitoring system might have on Intelligence Community whistleblowing.’ But he did not ask the Intelligence Committees to provide any additional legislative protection for such communications. Interestingly, there was already a law on the books that likely made the monitoring illegal….

Grassley clearly knew about the notifications for years, which raises the question: Why didn’t he use this section of the law to go after the CIA officials responsible for what appears to be illegal monitoring of Meyer’s communications with Congress? Why didn’t he call out McCullough for ignoring the law itself?

IC officials have been gunning for Meyer for years. In late 2017, Meyer was placed on administrative leave “with no explanation.” When that became public earlier this year, Grassley told GovExec.com that if Meyer was facing retaliation for communicating with Congress, it would be “unacceptable.” But Grassley appears to have accepted it. Meyer was officially fired by the IC IG in March 2018, just months after he filed his own whistleblower complaint.

Grassley is hardly the only member of Congress to take a less-than-aggressive approach to Meyer’s case, specifically, and the threats to IC whistleblowers more generally.

As Jenna McLaughlin reported earlier this year, Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Grassley asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct “a far-reaching review” of IC whistleblower protections. Yet just months before the Senate quartet made the request to GAO, the agency published a damning assessment of the state of the Defense Department’s IG office—the very office where Meyer had worked—and been retaliated against—years earlier.

GAO found that between fiscal years 2013 and 2015, the DoD IG closed without investigation 1,094 of 1,197 whistleblower complaints it received—a whopping 91 percent of them. In commenting on GAO’s findings, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) noted that the report raised “questions about whether the office can fairly and appropriately handle those who come forward with allegations of misconduct.”

That’s something of an understatement, given what I’ve found in my own investigation of how the DoD IG has handled previous IC (specifically NSA) whistleblower complaints.

Why has Warner, ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee—who is clearly aware of the gravity of these issues—not prioritized them like he has the Russia investigation? Why did Grassley dither for years in the Meyer case when he had a legal sledgehammer to cut off the salaries of out-of-control CIA bureaucrats spying on whistleblowers trying to convey their concerns to Congress?

As Loch Johnson, a former senior staffer on the Church Committee, told me years ago, “There’s no substitute for member engagement.” I worked for an engaged House member, so I knew what Johnson meant—introducing and pushing for passage of legislation, getting agency or department heads on record in writing about problems and their optimal solutions, and in the Senate, using the power to hold up nominations to force key executive branch documents out into the open. But there’s a world of difference between the kind of feckless, press-cycle “oversight” practiced by Grassley and Warner and the kind of accountability-driven action that should be the hallmark of the committees on which both serve.

Grassley, Warner, and their Senate and House colleagues have, thanks to the country’s founders, ample Article I power to aggressively protect IC whistleblowers and punish their bureaucrat retaliators. That they choose not to is precisely why the fraud, waste, corruption and criminal conduct in the IC continues apace.”

~ Patrick G. Eddington was a congressional senior policy advisor for over 10 years. He is a Policy Analyst in Homeland Security and Civil Liberties at the Cato Institute. Prior to his career on Capitol Hill, he served as a military imagery analyst at the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center for almost nine years. He received numerous accolades for his analytical work, including letters of commendation from the Joint Special Operations Command, the Joint Warfare Analysis Center and the CIA’s Office of Military Affairs.

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Watchdog Finds Majority of Pentagon Whistleblowers Out of Luck

Source: Center for Defense Information, citing GAO report

While DoD IG appears to be the place Department of Defense whistleblowers who experience retaliation should go, DoD IG declines to pursue the vast majority of the complaints they receive….

From fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2015 DoD IG dismissed without investigation 91 percent of the civilian, contractor, and subcontractor complaints it received. The GAO found a number of significant weaknesses in DoD IG’s processes for declining cases. Interviewing complainants is key and a best practice, since most whistleblowers never thought they would become whistleblowers and consequently don’t know the standards and evidence necessary to show they have a potential reprisal case. Yet, the GAO found DoD IG declined 63 percent of the cases for which they are the primary investigative body (which GAO refers to as “nondiscretionary”) without interviewing the whistleblower. Moreover, a quarter of the declined cases the GAO reviewed “were declined for reasons inconsistent with DODIG guidance and the reasons DODIG officials told us may warrant a case being declined.”

The number of cases declined by DoD IG has been an ongoing concern for the Project On Government Oversight, and raises questions about whether there is effective and fair enforcement of whistleblower protections….

There remain concerns about the independence of reprisal investigations. A 2015 GAO report found DoD IG’s military reprisal investigations did not have an adequate process for monitoring potential conflicts of interest, which meant DoD IG could not ensure decisions regarding the independence of investigations was appropriate. GAO found similar weaknesses for the IG’s civilian investigations. In addition to a lack of process, 8 of the 28 investigators and supervisory investigators GAO interviewed raised concerns about bias in investigations. “Investigators stated examples of perceived bias that, if true, indicate a climate that may not be consistently favorable to independent and objective investigations,” the GAO wrote.

Incomplete case files also remain an issue, raising questions about both the accuracy and completeness of reprisal investigations. DoD IG’s internal policy requires case files be complete upon closure. The 2015 GAO report found key documents were uploaded after the IG closed the case in 77 percent of cases completed in fiscal year 2013. POGO obtained emails that showed the case management system was such a mess investigators had to “stand down” to fix the records, further delaying other investigative work. There has been improvement, but GAO still found that half of the fully investigated case files had documents uploaded more than 30 days after the case was closed, with the average change occurring 228 days after closure.

The report also highlights one of the challenges of whistleblowers seeking to raise allegations anonymously. Many whistleblowers who choose to report waste, fraud, or abuse anonymously do so because they fear they may be retaliated against if they report allegations under their own name. In the case of DoD IG, some whistleblowers have also raised concerns that the office would reveal their identity to their managers and subject them to additional retaliation.

Finally, the GAO had concerns about DoD IG’s ability to oversee the reprisal investigations conducted by intelligence component IGs…. Despite requirements for component IGs to provide timely notification to DoD IG of every reprisal allegation they receive, GAO found the NSA IG and DIA IG only reported investigations they were pursuing, and in several cases the notification was provided months after an investigation had been initiated. The shortfalls identified by the GAO thus far have actually made some of the intelligence component IGs consider reducing their reporting on reprisals to DoD IG.

Skeptics of whistleblowers, including some DoD IG officials, claim most whistleblower allegations are about personal problems. GAO’s review of the disclosures received by DoD IG found yet again this was not the case, and that 72 percent of the cases closed alleged a violation of law, rule, or regulation.

Whistleblowers go to IGs expecting them to be honest brokers of the law, particularly for laws designed to protect sources who advance their investigations. Unfortunately this report doesn’t give them much confidence their allegations about waste, fraud, and abuse will ever receive due consideration.

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Congressional Testimony on Oversight of Department of Defense Inspector General’s Military Whistleblower Reprisal Investigations

Source: Congressional testimony from POGO’s Mandy Smithberger

POGO has also heard directly from whistleblowers within DoD IG who have expressed serious concerns about the integrity of the office’s processes and investigations, including pressure to back-fill whistleblower case files for the GAO’s review. It is extremely rare to have whistleblowers from an IG shop come forward, but in this case we have a number of them.

Concerns raised by individual whistleblowers are also echoed in OPM Survey data, which showed that 26.5 percent of DoD IG employees surveyed responded that they did not feel they could “disclose a suspected violation of any law, rule, or regulation without fear of reprisal.” Forty-five percent of DoD IG employees also disagreed that their senior leadership maintains high standards of honesty and integrity….

Alleged retaliation by DoD IG’s General Counsel against the agency’s former Assistant Inspector General and the former Director of Whistleblowing and Transparency only raises additional concerns about the perilous environment for whistleblowers. We believe this reflects deep cultural problems that must be remedied in order for whistleblowers to believe this office should be trusted as willing and able to protect whistleblowers and to hold accountable those who illegally retaliate against them.

POGO raised concerns about the integrity of military reprisal investigations, timeliness, toxic culture, and transparency in a letter to Principal Deputy IG Glenn Fine in March….

Ensuring the fairness of military reprisal investigations is particularly important because military whistleblowers still have a higher burden of proof to show illegal retaliation than other federal whistleblowers….

Fixing these deep cultural problems will require more than the tweaks to policies and training sessions the DoD IG has instituted thus far. It must include changes in leadership in the offices of General Counsel and Administrative Investigations….

POGO is concerned because the DoD IG has dismissed without full investigation 86 percent of the military cases it has received since pledging to make reforms in 2011.  The IG’s rate of dismissal is particularly striking because it is more than double that of Service IGs, who many consider to be less independent. For purposes of comparison, during the same time period the DoD IG dismissed an even higher percentage of civilian and contractor reprisal cases, substantiating only 7 out of over 1,300 complaints received.

And for another comparison, the DoD IG’s investigative rates for civilian reprisals are about half of what we have seen for federal employee whistleblowers at the Office of Special Counsel.  The DoD IG’s low investigation and substantiation rates create the appearance that the office is focused on closing, rather than investigating, the cases it receives….

Failing to talk to whistleblowers may also be contributing to whistleblowers feeling betrayed by the DoD IG. POGO has found several instances in which the DoD IG referred whistleblower disclosures back to entities that are not sufficiently independent to conduct the investigation. In some of those instances whistleblowers felt the IG needlessly exposed them to additional retaliation, and had they known the IG was going to refer their disclosures they would have chosen to withdraw their complaints. …

A 2011 Internal Review Team report questioned substantiation rates, disagreeing with the DoD IG’s own decisions in 47 percent of the cases they reviewed. In those instances in which the DoD IG declined to investigate, the reviewers disagreed 68 percent of the time….

Misconduct within the DoD IG [‘systemic practice of improperly interfering with and undermining investigations’]

One of the major issues raised by the GAO review was problems with the DoD IG’s case management system. Specifically, the GAO found that the IG uploaded key case documents after it had closed the case in 77 percent of cases closed in fiscal year 2013, and altered case variables for 83 percent of cases closed in fiscal year 2014. Case variables that were changed after the fact included information used to evaluate timeliness of investigations and investigative outcomes, including “changes to the date the service member filed the complaint and the organization that conducted the investigation, as well as the result code, which indicates whether the case was fully investigated.”

Case files were such a mess that IG management instructed investigators to “stand down” on other work in September 2013 in order to add additional records to closed cases in the case management system. Emails shared with POGO said personnel could also apply for overtime to work on or amend the information in their own and others’ old cases.

Internal instructions by DoD IG management to staff that were shared with POGO provide evidence of efforts to improperly influence the GAO’s findings, including advising staff to add information to files that were specifically within the scope of the GAO’s review.

Management’s instructions raise serious concerns about those DoD IG officials and the cases processed by the Administrative and Whistleblower Reprisal Investigations teams, since changing these records likely had a significant impact on the GAO’s findings.

We are concerned that the DoD IG has only seen this as a compliance exercise and does not understand the gravity of trying to mislead GAO investigators.

Since sending our letter, additional whistleblower allegations that IG General Counsel Henry Shelley improperly destroyed files in a whistleblower case have been referred to the DoD IG by the Office of Special Counsel for investigation.

Principal Deputy IG Fine in turn referred the allegations to the Department of Justice Inspector General for an independent investigation, and we applaud him for doing so. But we are troubled because this is only the latest allegation of many that Shelley engages in a systemic practice of improperly interfering with and undermining personnel investigations….

The Problem of Acting Inspector Generals

POGO views IGs as an essential component of a well-functioning federal government, and over the past few years we have undertaken a number of efforts to study and improve the IG system. One of those efforts is to draw attention to the large number of IG offices that are operating without permanent leadership.  POGO firmly believes that the effectiveness of an IG office can be diminished when that office does not have permanent leadership, especially when the vacancy exists for an extended period of time, as many of the current vacancies have.

In addition, a permanent IG has the ability to set a long-term strategic plan for the office, including setting investigative and audit priorities. An acting official, on the other hand, is known by all OIG staff to be temporary, which one former IG has argued “can have a debilitating effect on [an] OIG, particularly over a lengthy period.”

While the DoD IG does not hold the record for the longest vacancy, we believe that filling this position should be a priority for the next administration. Addressing the DoD IG’s deep cultural problems—all of which predate Principal Deputy IG Fine—requires permanent leadership….

[Congressional Investigation] Recommendations

The DoD IG should:

Investigate and consider for removal any senior officials found to have illegally destroyed evidence in whistleblower or other case files, improperly instructed employees to back-fill cases, or otherwise interfered with the independence and integrity of investigations;
….
Request a GAO or outside IG audit of the DoD IG’s reprisal investigations to ensure that investigators’ decisions to dismiss, investigate, and substantiate reprisal are proper and based on the legal requirements for examining any evidence presented;
….

Conclusion

Whistleblowers who report concerns that affect our national security must be lauded, not shunned or, worse, harmed. And the law must protect them. The perceived and real failures of the DoD IG to act as a check on violations of law should be of grave concern.

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GAO Whistleblower Protection Report: Opportunities Exist for DOD to Improve Reprisal Investigations

WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION
Opportunities Exist for DOD to Improve the Timeliness and Quality of Civilian and Contractor Reprisal Investigations

United States Government Accountability Office
Report to Congressional Requesters

Source: GAO-17-506 PDF

[We conducted this performance audit from February 2016 to September 2017 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards… we obtained data on all civilian and contractor whistleblower reprisal cases closed by DODIG and appropriated-fund DOD civilian cases closed by the Office of Special Counsel from October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2015, and on all DODIG cases open as of September 2016. We selected data from this period because they constituted the most complete and recent data available in DODIG’s and the Office of Special Counsel’s case-management systems during the time we were doing our analysis.]

Whistleblowers play an important role in safeguarding the federal government against waste, fraud, and abuse, and their willingness to come forward can contribute to improvements in government operations.  However, whistleblowers also risk reprisal, such as demotion, reassignment, and firing. Congress and the former administration had established a statutory and policy framework to protect whistleblowers from reprisal for disclosing information concerning, among other things, fraud, waste, and abuse to designated persons such as an inspector general (IG).

Under this framework and its implementing directives, the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DODIG) is responsible for investigating and overseeing the investigation of complaints alleging reprisal against certain DOD civilian employees and for conducting investigations of complaints alleging reprisal against DOD contractor employees. Specifically, DODIG is the primary investigative authority for reprisal complaints involving Department of Defense (DOD) civilian non-appropriated-fund instrumentality (NAFI) employees, and DOD contractor, subcontractor, grantee and subgrantee employees.

DODIG may also investigate, on a discretionary basis, reprisal complaints it receives from DOD civilian appropriated-fund employees.  Finally, DODIG is responsible for investigating reprisal complaints involving DOD civilian employees under the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS), overseeing the investigation of such complaints by the defense intelligence components, and investigating reprisal complaints involving actions affecting DOD civilian and contractor employees’ access to classified information.

In recent years, members of Congress have expressed concerns regarding the timeliness and integrity of DODIG’s reprisal investigations, along with its interpretation of statutory protections for contractor employees, among other things.  In February 2012 and May 2015, we reported that DOD faced challenges in overseeing the military services’ whistleblower reprisal investigations and made 18 recommendations to help improve the timeliness of military servicemembers’ whistleblower reprisal investigations and to improve investigation and oversight processes, among other things.

For example, we reported that DODIG was not consistently or accurately recording key dates to track the length of investigations, did not report the timeliness of its investigations to Congress, and had outdated guidance about the investigation process….

You asked us to examine DODIG’s conduct and oversight of whistleblower reprisal investigations involving DOD civilian and contractor employees. This report examines the extent to which DODIG has: (1) met and taken steps to achieve key timeliness goals for civilian and contractor whistleblower reprisal investigations; (2) established processes to ensure that civilian and contractor whistleblower reprisal cases are handled independently and thoroughly; (3) conducted oversight of civilian reprisal cases handled by the defense intelligence components; and (4) developed performance measures to assess the timeliness and quality of its investigations.

For the first objective, we obtained data on all civilian and contractor whistleblower reprisal cases closed by DODIG and appropriated-fund DOD civilian cases closed by the Office of Special Counsel from October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2015, and on all DODIG cases open as of September 2016. We selected data from this period because they constituted the most complete and recent data available in DODIG’s and the Office of Special Counsel’s case-management systems during the time we were doing our analysis. Using these data, we calculated the timeliness of DODIG and Office of Special Counsel cases in relation to time frames prescribed by statute and internal DOD goals, and assessed other characteristics including case type and rates of substantiation.

We assessed the reliability of DODIG and Office of Special Counsel data by administering questionnaires, interviewing cognizant officials, and reviewing system documentation and quality-assurance procedures. For DODIG data, we also compared electronic data to fiscal year 2015 casefile documentation and conducted internal checks….

DODIG Generally Did Not Meet Timeliness Goals between Fiscal Years 2013 and 2015 and Has Not Collected Key Workload Data or Reported Regularly to Congress….

In Fiscal Years 2013–2015, DODIG Generally Did Not Meet Statutory and Internal Goals for Civilian and Contractor Reprisal Cases….

DODIG Does Not Regularly Report to Congress on the Timeliness of Civilian and Contractor Whistleblower Reprisal Cases….

When Declining Cases for Review, DODIG Does Not  Always Follow Its Intake Process….

DODIG’s Case files Were Missing Some Key Documentation

Our review of case files closed by DODIG in fiscal year 2015 found that some documentation was consistently present, but that some other key documentation or data were missing or were not uploaded to DODIG’s case-file system in a timely manner. This documentation and these data are needed to demonstrate compliance with or execution of investigative, quality-assurance, and internal controls processes, including the internal controls checklist — which we found did not include checks for some key documentation and required investigative events. Further, our interviews with the 24 investigators from investigative teams showed that some steps required to help ensure thoroughness during the investigative process are not routinely followed….

Approximately 48 percent of the cases that were fully investigated included documents that were modified or were newly uploaded at least 30 days after case closure. These changes related to documents such as the final report of investigation, closure letters, evidence of legal review, the investigative plan, congressional correspondence, and interview transcripts….

DODIG’s internal policy required that case files be complete upon case closure and the most recent change occurred on average 228 days (median 148 days) after case closure, far exceeding the internal policy and the prior practice of completing internal controls checklists on a quarterly basis….

Two out of three fully investigated cases with congressional inquiries were missing correspondence to the Member of Congress providing a summary of the findings, as required by DODIG’s 2012 investigations manual….

Approximately 81 percent of the 413 testimony transcripts and voice recordings we reviewed did not address one or more points of the standard read-in/read-out process. This process consists of a series of questions and statements at the beginning and end of each interview intended to ensure that all witnesses are treated equally and that they are afforded the proper notifications of authorities and due process….

16 of the 24 investigators stated that the pre-subject-interview roundtables occur infrequently or not at all, and 19 of the 24 investigators stated that post-subject-interview roundtables occur infrequently or not at all….

DODIG officials acknowledged, that DODIG’s internal controls checklist does not capture the full range of key case-file documentation and required investigative events, including documentation of (1) an intake worksheet, (2) required roundtable discussions, and (3) the program analyst for quality assurance review.97 Without a checklist that captures the full range of key case-file documentation and data associated with required investigative steps, DODIG will be limited in its ability to ensure compliance with CIGIE standards related to thoroughness and adequacy of case-file documentation, as well as the currency, accuracy, and completeness of data maintained in its case-management system….

DODIG and the defense intelligence components have not fully addressed requirements related to DODIG’s review of all DCIPS employee allegations, determinations, and investigations handled by the component IGs. DOD Directive-Type Memorandum 13-008—which implements Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19)—requires that DODIG provide oversight of reprisal allegations involving DCIPS employees that are handled by the defense intelligence component IGs, and that the component IGs correspondingly furnish information to DODIG….

DODIG has not established processes with the defense intelligence component IGs—such as standard operating procedures—to ensure that the components provide the allegation notifications, determinations to not investigate, and investigations prescribed by Directive-Type Memorandum 13-008. As the principal advisor for DOD IGs, DODIG is to assist the defense IGs—including the IGs of the defense intelligence components—by coordinating and clarifying DOD policy, issuing implementing instructions, and resolving conflicting or inconsistent IG policy involving defense IG duties, responsibilities, and functions.

Without a process to fully implement the requirements of Directive-Type Memorandum 13-008 that includes (1) receiving notification of all allegations received by the defense intelligence component IGs, (2) reviewing their determinations to not investigate allegations, and (3) reviewing all investigations that they conduct, DODIG and the defense intelligence components will continue to not fully adhere to the prescribed roles related to the oversight of component determinations and investigations, as defined in agency directives….

DODIG’s Timeliness Performance… Lacks Measures to Assess the Quality of Investigations and Oversight Reviews….

DODIG does not have performance measures to assess the quality of its investigations and oversight reviews for fiscal year 2017 and beyond. Prior to fiscal year 2017, DODIG had developed several different timeliness and quality performance measures, but these measures were inconsistently documented and reported….

DODIG did not provide baselines for its fiscal year 2017 whistleblower reprisal timeliness performance measures, and it has not consistently reported on all of its past timeliness performance measures, as discussed below, thus inhibiting baseline and trend analysis….

DODIG’s fiscal year 2017 timeliness measures… do not address the unit’s priority of conducting thorough investigations that adhere to CIGIE standards….

DODIG’s fiscal year 2017 timeliness measures are focused on the agency’s priority to improve the timeliness of its reprisal investigations and oversight reviews, and do not address the quality of investigations. Without addressing the government-wide priority of quality, an overemphasis on timeliness could undermine quality. In addition, DODIG’s suite of timeliness measures does not address the efficiency or cost of service associated with investigations and oversight reviews.

Although DODIG has not developed performance measures for fiscal year 2017 to specifically assess the quality of its reprisal investigations and oversight reviews, DODIG officials stated in April 2017 that they were in the process of doing so.  Prior to fiscal year 2017, DODIG had developed several performance measures to assess both the timeliness and quality of its reprisal investigations, but the evaluation of these measures was inconsistently documented and reported, and some measures changed over time….

Maintaining a timely, independent, and thorough process for investigating whistleblower reprisal complaints is essential to executing DODIG’s mission…. However, without regularly reporting on the timeliness of all civilian and contractor investigations, decision makers’ ability to effectively oversee the whistleblower reprisal program is limited. DODIG also does not have key workload data that would enable it to more fully assess its personnel requirements in support of its planned steps to improve timeliness….

Enhancements are also needed for existing processes designed to help ensure the independence and thoroughness of DODIG’s investigations. By documenting investigators’ recusals and conflicts of interest—and evaluating these and other threats in the aggregate—DODIG will have increased institutional awareness of threats such as bias, thereby better enabling it to fully evaluate such threats.

Also, by establishing and clearly communicating a declination policy for nondiscretionary cases, DODIG will have better assurance that these complainants are afforded the same due process as those whose cases are routed through the intake process.

Additionally, developing an internal controls checklist that captures the full range of key case-file documentation and data associated with required investigative steps will help DODIG ensure compliance with CIGIE standards related to the thoroughness and adequacy of case-file documentation.

Moreover, it will be better positioned to withstand scrutiny by outside authorities, and address concerns expressed by members of Congress regarding the integrity of its investigations.

Another area in which DODIG’s process can be improved is in its oversight of cases involving DCIPS employees that are handled by the defense intelligence component IGs. While DODIG is reviewing investigations conducted by some of the defense intelligence component IGs, it has not established processes with the defense intelligence component IGs that fully address requirements to receive notification of all allegations involving DCIPS employees that are received by the components, review component determinations to not investigate allegations, and review all the investigations the components conduct.

Without a process for doing so, DODIG and the defense intelligence components are unable to fulfill their prescribed roles related to the oversight of component determinations and investigations. Moreover, without fully executing its oversight responsibilities, DODIG cannot achieve its vision of being the model whistleblower-protection program in the federal government.

Finally, given… the anticipated increase in cases — it is important that there be a reliable means by which to gauge progress in the timeliness and quality of both investigations and oversight reviews…. DODIG has not developed measures for quality for fiscal year 2017 and beyond….

Recommendations for Executive Action

We are making the following seven recommendations to the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DODIG):

· The DOD Inspector General should assess the feasibility of collecting additional workload data, such as the amount of direct and indirect labor hours associated with each case, and including such data in future personnel requirements assessments, as appropriate. (Recommendation 1)

· The DOD Inspector General should report regularly to Congress on the timeliness of civilian and contractor investigations, including those contractor and subcontractor cases exceeding the 180-day timeliness requirement. (Recommendation 2)

· The DOD Inspector General should implement a process to document employee recusals and impairments to independence and incorporate such information into an aggregate-level evaluation of threats to DODIG’s independence. (Recommendation 3)

· The DOD Inspector General should establish and clearly communicate a declination policy for nondiscretionary cases in the AI Investigations Manual or other guidance, and align this policy with the intake policy. (Recommendation 4)

· The DOD Inspector General should revise the existing internal controls checklist to include all key case-file documentation and required investigative events. (Recommendation 5)

· The DOD Inspector General should work in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, and the inspectors general of the defense intelligence components to establish a process to fully implement the requirements of DirectiveType Memorandum 13-008 so that DODIG (1) receives notifications of all allegations received by the components, (2) reviews all component determinations to not investigate allegations, and (3) reviews all investigations conducted by the components. (Recommendation 6)

· The DOD Inspector General should develop quality performance measures and enhance existing timeliness performance measures to reflect key attributes of successful performance measures. At minimum, these measures should be clear, quantifiable, and objective, and they should include a baseline assessment of current performance. (Recommendation 7)

Case Dispositions for Complaints Closed in Fiscal Year 2013 through Fiscal Year 2015

The majority of civilian and contractor and subcontractor complaints closed by DODIG in fiscal year 2013 through fiscal year 2015 — 1,094 of 1,197, or about 91 percent — were closed without investigation, while 103, or about 9 percent, were fully investigated….

Our analysis of data from DODIG’s case-management system showed that the overall number of declined cases — those that do not go through the intake process — as a proportion of total closed civilian and contractor cases rose from fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2015….

Whistleblower Reprisal Complaints Received by DODIG in Fiscal Year 2013 through Fiscal Year 2015

In fiscal years 2013 through 2015, DODIG received a total of 1,208 complaints from appropriated-fund civilians; NAFI civilians; contractors, subcontractors, grantees, and subgrantees; and DCIPS employees or employees with eligibility for access to classified information alleging whistleblower reprisal….

Of the 1,208 complaints, 758, or 63 percent, were filed by civilians and contractors or subcontractors affiliated with the military services. Among these, civilians and contractors or subcontractors affiliated with the Army made the highest number of complaints, with 304; the Air Force had 219; the Navy had 189; and the Marine Corps had 46. Defense agencies had another 203, and the rest were spread across the combatant commands, joint commands, and other entities.

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Nowhere To Turn: The Weak State of ‘Internal Channels’ For Intelligence Community Whistleblowers

Source: PEN America

Intelligence community employees who consider blowing the whistle face three abysmal choices: use the internal channels and risk career suicide, go to the media and face potential jail time, or stay silent in the face of waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to our democracy….

Today the structural integrity of these “internal channels” appears increasingly shaky. A prime example is that of the PPD-19 or “Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information” directive….

Recent developments show that the process established under PPD-19 is failing to protect intelligence community whistleblowers. A 2017 draft report by the IC IG’s office reviewed 190 whistleblower reprisal complaints in 6 national security agencies and revealed that the agencies found in favor of only 1 whistleblower. In other words, the government ruled against 99% of intelligence community employees who claimed they were retaliated against for blowing the whistle.

The Project on Government Oversight obtained a leaked copy of a memo used to draft this report, which stated that many parts of the intelligence community are failing to follow “policies, procedures and standards. . . . Causing non-substantiation of reprisal claims, incomplete investigations, and for complaints not to be processed.” The author concludes, “These deficiencies are significantly undermining the intent of PPD-19 and strongly suggest that there has been no impact by PPD-19 to protect whistleblowers in the evaluated agencies.”….

Under Trump, the CIA responded that PPD-19 is not a statute and therefore whistleblowers have no right to challenge the agency’s failure to enforce it. The judge agreed and dismissed the case, leaving Pars vulnerable. Pars was subsequently terminated.

Ongoing turmoil in the Intelligence Community Whistleblowing & Source Protection (ICW&SP) directorate may also be jeopardizing protections for national security whistleblowers. In 2013 the directorate was created to help promote whistleblowing as an internal function. Former whistleblower Dan Meyer was appointed as ICW&SP’s executive director, a selection that was praised by civil society groups. But in November 2017, Meyer was placed on administrative leave and escorted from his office. In March, Meyer was fired for undisclosed reasons in a process that was—in the words of two U.S. senators—“marked by procedural irregularities and serious conflicts of interest.”

There are concerns about other national security inspector generals’ offices as well. President Trump’s nominee for the CIA inspector general has at least three open whistleblower retaliation cases against him. The NSA’s Inspector General, George Ellard, was actually fired for retaliating against a subordinate who reported wasteful spending, before the Department of Defense stepped in to reverse Ellard’s termination.

In this atmosphere, is it any wonder that some intelligence community whistleblowers feel unsupported by the government when they report wrongdoing, and therefore consider going to the press? To correct this, Congress should pass a law that protects national security whistleblowers from retaliation, as an unenforceable presidential policy directive is not sufficient. Until then, politicians cannot, in good faith, claim that national security whistleblowers should use internal channels rather than going to the media, as those channels are apparently insufficient to protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

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Fired Pentagon Whistleblower Goes Public in Attack on IG’s Office

Source: Gov Exec

John Crane, 60, who spent 25 years in government before he was fired as an assistant Defense Department inspector general in 2013, went public with a series of accusations that key officials in the watchdog’s office retaliated against whistleblowers, destroyed permanent records and altered audits under political pressure.

He has filed those charges with the Office of Special Counsel, which so far has referred one to the Justice Department for detailed investigation, though others may soon follow….

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U.S. Intelligence Shuts Down Damning Report on Whistleblower Retaliation

Source: The Daily Beast

A top watchdog investigated 190 cases of alleged retaliation against whistleblowers — and found that intelligence bureaucrats only once ruled in favor of the whistleblower.

The nation’s top intelligence watchdog put the brakes on a report last year that uncovered whistleblower reprisal issues within America’s spy agencies, The Daily Beast has learned. The move concealed a finding that the agencies—including the CIA and the NSA—were failing to protect intelligence workers who report waste, fraud, abuse, or criminality up the chain of command.

The investigators looked into 190 cases of alleged reprisal in six agencies, and uncovered a shocking pattern. In only one case out of the 190 did the agencies find in favor of the whistleblower — and that case took 742 days to complete. Other cases remained open longer. One complaint from 2010 was still waiting for a ruling.

But the framework was remarkably consistent: Over and over and over again, intelligence inspectors ruled that the agency was in the right, and the whistleblowers were almost always wrong.

The report was near completion following a six-month-long inspection run out of the Intelligence Community Inspector General office. It was aborted in April by the new acting head of the office, Wayne Stone…. Stone also sequestered the mountain of documents and data produced in the inspection, the product of three staff-years of work. The incident was never publicly disclosed by the office, and escaped mention in the unclassified version of the IC IG’s semiannual report to Congress….

The affair casts serious doubt on the intelligence agencies’ fundamental pact with the rank and file: that workers who properly report perceived wrongdoing through approved channels won’t lose their job or, worse, their security clearance, as a result. It also adds another layer of controversy to the Intelligence Community Inspector General office, already under fire for cuts to its whistleblower protection program and the unexpected sacking of the program’s executive director in December. In a confirmation hearing last month, Trump’s pick to head the watchdog agency acknowledged the apparent chaos in the office….

Stone shut down the whistleblowing inspection just days after taking over for Charles McCullough III, who’d served as the intelligence community inspector general from the day the office was founded in 2010 until his retirement in March of last year.”…

The inspectors general at the six agencies had received 190 allegations of reprisal from 2010 through 2016, according to unclassified memoranda from the inspection seen by The Daily Beast. Less than half, 61 complaints, had been investigated, and of those 57 were ruled unsubstantiated.

The NSA had received 56 of the retaliation complaints and investigated 12; the CIA got 62, investigated 13 and shunted 21 to other offices, primarily Equal Employment Opportunity. The Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA, received 50 complaints, and investigated 19. In the entire batch of 190 cases, only once did an OIG find in favor of the whistleblower. That was in a DIA case that took 742 days to complete. Other cases remained open longer. One complaint from 2010 was still waiting for a ruling….

Beyond the numbers, the inspectors found endless obstacles to effective whistleblower protection in the spy agencies, according to documents from the prove. There was no clear standard for conducting reprisal investigations; even the standard of proof — probable cause? preponderance of the evidence? — was murky to the OIGs. The investigation manuals at most agencies gave retaliation probes only cursory attention….

In March the inspection moved into the final stage and the team was preparing the official report, earmarked for Donald Trump’s newly confirmed director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats. Copies would have gone to all the intelligence IGs, as well, according to Johnson, and probably to Congress. A public release was also on the table.

Instead, it went nowhere….

Though the whistleblower report never appeared, last October the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight got ahold of a leaked copy of one of the inspection memos. They quoted from it in an article. “A complainant alleging reprisal for making a protected disclosure has a minimal chance to have a complaint processed and adjudicated in a timely and complete manner.”

Calling the language “stark,” Dianne Feinstein brought up the memo the next day in a tense exchange at the Senate confirmation hearing for Christopher Sharpley, the acting CIA inspector general and Trump’s pick for the permanent position.

“I would ask that you provide a copy of that document to our office, the Intelligence Committee’s office,” she told Sharpley.

“Senator, I am unfamiliar with that document,” said Sharpley, seemingly taken aback. “I am not aware of its contents… The IC IG did not make me aware of it as acting IG at CIA. This is the first I’m hearing of this particular program.”

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Key Intel Whistleblower Official Fired as Spy Agencies Face Oversight Crisis

Source: POGO

The lead staffer dedicated to protecting Intelligence Community employees who internally report misconduct was terminated earlier this month, despite protests from Senators and the whistleblower advocacy community, Government Executive reported last week.

The firing of Dan Meyer, who led the Whistleblowing and Source Protection Program at the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General, or IC IG, may have wide repercussions. He was forced out of the pivotal job at a time when whistleblowers may already be wary of trusting that their jobs will be safe due to allegations of misconduct involving the handling of whistleblower complaints by inspectors general in other intelligence agencies. It’s now not clear who, if anyone, is doing his job….

In fact, Meyer even lodged his own complaint at one point, alleging he was punished for disclosing misconduct earlier in his career while working at the Defense Department Office of Inspector General.

By last fall, trouble was brewing for Meyer again. He was essentially banned from actually doing his job, Foreign Policy reported in October:

“Meyer, whose job is to talk to intelligence community whistleblowers, can no longer talk to whistleblowers. He has been barred from communicating with whistleblowers, the main responsibility of his job as the executive director for intelligence community whistleblowing and source protection. He is currently working on an instructional pamphlet for whistleblowers, and he will have no duties to perform after he’s completed that work.

He can also no longer brief the agencies or the congressional committees on his work as he’s done in the past, send out his whistleblower newsletter, or conduct outreach. And he has no deputy or staff.”

Then in November, Meyer was suspended and escorted out of the building while his office was “sealed off with crime-scene tape,” according to Government Executive.

Meyer maintains this was retaliation against him for blowing the whistle again. In a January statement, Meyer said that he had received a poor performance review and was accused of “security infractions” after raising concerns about a “systematic failure” to implement whistleblower protections….

His position was left without key protections against retaliation because he remained categorized as a probationary employee due to an error by the previous management of the office, Meyer told POGO. “No whistleblowing advocate managing a program with integrity can serve in such a status, especially if it handles internal and external allegations against senior officials,” he said.

In a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats—whose office houses the Intelligence Community Inspector General—earlier this month, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) stated that Meyer “was terminated in a process marked by procedural irregularities and serious conflicts of interest” while the agency’s acting leadership “demonstrated a lack of support for the critical whistleblower protection mission of the office.”…

The gap left by Meyer’s ouster is particularly troubling because whistleblower retaliation concerns are so pervasive in the U.S. intelligence community that they even have infected the offices that are supposed to be a safe haven for those who report abuse.

In 2016, POGO first reported that the National Security Agency’s then-Inspector General, George Ellard, was placed on leave after a review panel composed of three inspectors general determined he had retaliated against a whistleblower. (Another review found Ellard did not retaliate; he still works at NSA in a different role.) In another case, the acting CIA Inspector General appears to have misled Congress about pending reprisals claims against him in his own confirmation hearing; news of those claims was initially reported by POGO. The Inspector General Office at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the military’s primary spy shop, is also reportedly in chaos….

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Grassley Wins Declassification of CIA Documents on Monitoring Whistleblowers

Source: Gov Exec

After a four-and-a-half year wait, one of the Senate’s key whistleblower advocates succeeded in arranging the declassification of documents he says show that the CIA inappropriately monitored congressional staff correspondence with whistleblowers.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Thursday released a pair of “congressional notifications” from 2014 just delivered to him by newly installed inspector general for the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson.

To trained eyes, the notifications and an accompanying, limited-distribution report show that “during the Obama administration, the Central Intelligence Agency obtained congressional communications about pending and developing whistleblower complaints,” said Grassley. His years-long pursuit of the documents dovetails with his more recent interest in obtaining disclosures of more documents pertaining to the termination of Dan Meyer, who for years was the ombudsman for the Intelligence Community.

One of the documents, written by then-IC Inspector General Chuck McCullough, expressed concern that the CIA’s role creates “a chilling effect” on whistleblower disclosures….

“The information contained in the two [congressional notifications] raises serious policy implications as well as potential constitutional separation-of-powers issues,” Grassley said in a release.

“The CNs do not appear to contain any information about sources or methods, and there is a strong public interest in their content. I do not believe they need to be classified at all and they should be released in their entirety. Even if the IC IG disagrees, and believes some portion of the information does need to remain classified, it is still obligated to conduct a line-by-line analysis as part of the declassification review process and segregate all information that can be released.”

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CIA Inspector General Nominee Has Three Open Whistleblower Retaliation Cases Implicating Him

Source: POGO

One of the whistleblowers who has complained about Sharpley is Jonathan Kaplan, a recently retired 33-year veteran investigator at the Agency. He alleges that he was retaliated against by Sharpley and others because of his legally protected communications with the Senate and House Committees on Intelligence and with the Intelligence Community’s Office of the Inspector General.

Kaplan says he had gone to the Committees and others with a concern that the CIA IG’s investigative and oversight capabilities were being compromised. Soon after, he said, retaliators including Sharpley placed false and derogatory information in his personal security file at the Agency, leading to the loss of his security clearance, rendering his continued CIA employment untenable. “From my personal observation and experience, Mr. Sharpley condoned retaliatory actions against CIA employees including me, indicating that ethical and professional standards are not being met,” Kaplan said.

In that context, Sharpley’s alleged acts of retaliation form part of a broader pattern plaguing America’s spy agencies, a pattern cited in a document obtained by POGO that was also supplied to Congress.

The document dated February 2017, appears on the official letterhead of the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community and details what it describes as serious flaws in procedures used to investigate retaliation cases across the Intelligence Community. Bearing the title, “Evaluation of Reprisal Protections Pertaining to Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information,” it is unclassified. The author’s name is redacted.

Its conclusion is stark: “The deficiencies in reprisal protections policies, procedures, and standards in the evaluated agencies are causing a failure to provide reprisal protections for individuals making protected disclosures.” In the context of the document, “protected disclosures” refer to legally sanctioned revelations of alleged wrongdoing by intelligence employees to their superiors or others in the government designated to receive the information.

The document states that, “A complainant alleging reprisal for making a protected disclosure has a minimal chance to have a complaint processed and adjudicated in a timely and complete manner….”

In response to damaging leaks, then-President Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), parts of which were enacted into law, establishing procedures under which whistleblowers could report waste, fraud, and abuse without fear of retaliation.

But the document produced by the Intelligence Community’s IG, which covers 17 U.S. spy agencies, found that many components are not following, “legally mandated … policies, procedures and standards…. Causing non-substantiation of reprisal claims, incomplete investigations, and for complaints not to be processed.” The document says “these deficiencies are significantly undermining the intent of PPD-19 and strongly suggest that there has been no impact by PPD-19 to protect whistleblowers in the evaluated agencies.”

As evidence, the document reports that the Intelligence Community IG substantiated “only one reprisal allegation” during a six-year period stretching from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2016, and that case took 742 days to complete—well beyond the 240-day limit prescribed in regulation. The document does not mention the substantiated retaliation case against Ellard, the NSA IG, whose termination was subsequently overturned.

Turmoil In CIA Investigations

Sharpley’s alleged acts of retaliation appear to spring from a little-known period when an investigation unit of the CIA’s Office of Inspector General was experiencing unusual turmoil.

According to a series of memoranda and other records obtained by POGO, including some documents previously posted by the website GovernmentAttic.org, the conflict began following then-President Obama’s appointment of David Buckley, a former Congressional staffer, as CIA Inspector General in 2010. Buckley recruited Sharpley as his deputy, and the pair executed wide-ranging personnel and management changes in the office’s investigation division, then staffed with more than 30 people. Among other things, the changes were designed to introduce criminal investigation techniques in which many staff were untrained.

One employee’s memo from October 2012 cites actions featuring an element of “cruelty and malice” by IG management as sweeping changes were imposed on a group of veteran investigators, many of whom were over 40, a fact that later led to charges of age discrimination. Beyond that, some memos cite a “hostile work environment,” and “abruptly relieving certain managers and investigators of substantive investigative case work.” At another point, the memo says, “The reorganization … is the latest in a series of intimidating and bullying tactics employed to move out current INV (investigation division) staff members and make room for new hires.”

One member of the INV staff told POGO that Sharpley was the office “enforcer.” Another memo describes an occasion when Sharpley and a colleague summarily disbanded an INV unit —as its four senior staffers were told to join a newly-created group to investigate leaks. “There is only one problem,” the memo goes on to say, “this OIG has no ongoing leak investigations. So, these senior special agents and managers hardly have any meaningful reasons to show up to work, except for preserving their spaces until they are graciously ushered out the door by Buckley and/or Sharpley.”

At another point, the memo accuses CIA IG management of “misuse of position, abuse of resources, including unnecessary use of IG subpoenas, corruption, waste of taxpayer funds, and more. These are the very elements than an IG is expected to prevent and protect the Agency against.”

Buckley and his management team, including Sharpley, were well aware of their employees’ discontent. Roughly ten or more complaints were brought to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission unit inside the CIA to consider evidence of workplace violations, but did not return findings that supported the claims. In 2014, Buckley and Sharpley referred some of the matters to the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE)—a federal government-wide group comprised of all Inspectors General created by law. It declined to look into the matter, but brought in an outside examiner to do a report. That report found only minor deficiencies.

However, some of these same matters involving Sharpley, POGO has been told, are still being reviewed by the Intelligence Community IG as part of still-open retaliation complaints against him. One case involving Sharpley is slated to be reviewed by an administrative judge of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Underscoring the stakes, Senator Angus King (I-ME) said in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last year that the inspector general is “one of the most important positions in government, particularly in the intelligence agencies, which don’t have the oversight that other more public agencies do.”

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Administration’s Nominee for CIA Watchdog Allegedly Misled Congress

Source: Pro Publica

“The documents from Bakaj and Kaplan reveal a conflict between the CIA inspector general’s office and the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General. Established in 2010, the latter considers appeals of decisions made by the inspector general offices of the various intelligence agencies and coordinates broad investigations.

Both men, who were special agents/investigators at the CIA inspector general’s office, say their supervisors retaliated against them after they cooperated with inquiries into the office in 2014. Kaplan provided information about withholding of material evidence in a criminal case and was interviewed by staffers for congressional oversight committees, according to his complaint.

Bakaj, who is also an attorney and specialized in whistleblower reprisal investigations, wrote in his complaint that he spoke with an investigator from the intelligence community’s inspector general about improper whistleblower investigations at the CIA. He also wrote that he was instrumental in directing and protecting people coming forward with information about misconduct in the same case in which Kaplan cooperated.

“The CIA whistleblowers who suffered reprisal were trying to report some really serious criminal activity within the inspector general’s office — the fabrication of evidence in a criminal case where the people who did it were never punished,” said John Tye, an attorney who represents both men and is a founder of the nonprofit Whistleblower Aid law firm.

As a CIA official, Bakaj had authored the CIA’s rules of whistleblower protection and reprisal investigation in 2013 and 2014. Those rules say, among other things, that senior management can’t change the security clearance of employees because they assist in investigations. In his case, he contends, those policies weren’t followed.

Less than a month after he cooperated with the investigation, his security clearance was suspended and he was placed on administrative leave. He left the agency about a year later.

Bakaj wrote in his complaints that he was told the reason for his punishment was that he had mishandled classified information when he cooperated with the intelligence community inquiry and that he had misused computers by searching his department’s database for terms related to the inquiry.

Senior officials told him there was a “war” between the CIA’s inspector general and the intelligence community inspector general, and that CIA IG staff were “prohibited from cooperating” with the broader agency, Bakaj wrote.

“The situation within CIA OIG is a systemic mission failure that must be corrected,” he wrote.

Like Bakaj, Kaplan alleges he ultimately lost his security clearance after searching for terms in a computer system. He conducted the search in order to facilitate a meeting with the House Intelligence Committee staff about misconduct at the CIA inspector general’s office, he wrote.

Bakaj’s matter was referred to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general’s office because intelligence investigators had a conflict of interest. The CIA IG’s office had originally reviewed his complaint against itself and sent Bakaj a brief letter saying it had determined the matter “did not satisfy the requirements for a whistleblower retaliation claim,” but he appealed that decision to the intelligence community IG. DHS did not respond to a request for comment about the complaint.

Rob Johnson, former deputy inspector general of the intelligence community who left the office this part March, said it was highly unusual for an inspector general to review a complaint against its own office. “An IG shouldn’t be investigating themselves,” he said. He added that the intelligence community inspector general’s office had encountered pushback from other intelligence IGs soon after it was formed in 2010….

Kaplan said he was “deeply concerned” about Sharpley’s nomination and that the office under his direction was “toxic, oppressive and totally dysfunctional.”

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CIA Watchdog ‘Accidentally Destroyed’ Copy of ‘Torture Report’

Source: The Hill

The CIA’s inspector general has accidentally deleted its only copy of a controversial Senate report about the agency’s history of brutal interrogation techniques, opening a new front in the long battle over the document….

But at some point last summer, both the electronic copy and a hard disk were destroyed, the watchdog told Congress.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the driving force behind the 2014 report, sent letters to the CIA and Justice Department on Friday confirming that the spy agency’s inspector general “has misplaced and/or accidentally destroyed” its copy of the report….

Still, the episode is a humiliating one for the CIA inspector general and has inflamed human rights advocates hoping to make the report public. Cori Crider, a director with the international rights group Reprieve, called it “stunning,” and suggested that it is part of a broader effort to erase the practices from history.

“One worries that no one is minding the store,” Crider said in a statement. The Senate report on so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation, has been at the center of a years-long battle on the Intelligence Committee….

The Justice Department has told agencies not to open the report’s file, presumably to prevent it from coming under the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, which does not apply to documents of Congress. Last week, a federal appeals court panel blocked an effort to reveal the full 6,700-page report under the open records law, claiming that it “always has been a congressional document.”…

But Feinstein — the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee — is pushing for the CIA inspector general to obtain a new copy of the report to replace the one that disappeared.

“Your prompt response will allay my concern that this was more than an ‘accident,’” Feinstein told CIA Director John Brennan in Friday’s letter. “The CIA IG should have a copy of the full study because the report includes extensive information directly related to the IG’s ongoing oversight of the CIA.””

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CIA Affirms It Spied on Senate Panel

Source: NY Times

“The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate intelligence committee computers. This grave misconduct is not only illegal, but it violates the US constitution’s requirement of separation of powers. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences.” – Senator Mark Udall

An internal investigation by the C.I.A. has found that its officers penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its damning report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program.

The report by the agency’s inspector general also found that C.I.A. officers read the emails of the Senate investigators and sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information, according to a summary of findings made public on Thursday. One official with knowledge of the report’s conclusions said the investigation also discovered that the officers created a false online identity to gain access on more than one occasion to computers used by the committee staff.

The inspector general’s account of how the C.I.A. secretly monitored a congressional committee charged with supervising its activities touched off angry criticism from members of the Senate and amounted to vindication for Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s Democratic chairwoman, who excoriated the C.I.A. in March when the agency’s monitoring of committee investigators became public….

The C.I.A. officials penetrated the computer network when they came to suspect that the committee’s staff had gained unauthorized access to an internal C.I.A. review of the detention program that the spy agency never intended to give to Congress. A C.I.A. lawyer then referred the agency’s suspicions to the Justice Department to determine whether the committee staff broke the law when it obtained that document. The inspector general report said that there was no “factual basis” for this referral, which the Justice Department has declined to investigate, because the lawyer had been provided inaccurate information. The report said that the three information technology officers “demonstrated a lack of candor about their activities” during interviews with the inspector general.

The dispute brought relations between the spy agency and lawmakers to a new low, as the two sides traded a host of accusations — from computer hacking to violating constitutional principles of separation of powers….

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, called the C.I.A.’s actions “appalling.” Senator Angus King of Maine, an independent, said that the spy agency’s actions violated both the spirit and the letter of the constitutional separation of powers.

As he put it: “How do we do our oversight if we can’t believe what is being represented to us in our committee?”

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CIA’s ‘Surveillance State’ is Operating Against Us All

Source: The Hill

Maybe you once thought the CIA wasn’t supposed to spy on Americans here in the United States.

That concept is so yesteryear…. The latest outrage is found in newly declassified documents from 2014. They reveal the CIA not only intercepted emails of U.S. citizens but they were emails of the most sensitive kind — written to Congress and involving whistleblowers reporting alleged wrongdoing within the Intelligence Community.

The disclosures, kept secret until now, are two letters of “congressional notification” from the Intelligence Community inspector general at the time, Charles McCullough. He stated that during “routine counterintelligence monitoring of government computer systems,” the CIA collected emails between congressional staff and the CIA’s head of whistleblowing and source protection.

McCullough added that he was concerned about the CIA’s “potential compromise to whistleblower confidentiality and the consequent ‘chilling effect’ that the present [counterintelligence] monitoring system might have on Intelligence Community whistleblowing.”

“Most of these emails concerned pending and developing whistleblower complaints,” McCullough stated….

The only reason we know any of this now is thanks to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), whose staffers were among those spied on. Grassley says it took four years for him to get the shocking “congressional notifications” declassified so they could be made public. First, Grassley says, Clapper and Brennan dragged their feet, blocking their release. Their successors in the Trump administration were no more responsive. Only when Grassley recently appealed to current Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who was sworn in on May 17, was the material finally declassified.

“The fact that the CIA under the Obama administration was reading congressional staff’s emails about Intelligence Community whistleblowers raises serious policy concerns, as well as potential constitutional separation-of-powers issues that must be discussed publicly,” wrote Grassley in a statement.

Legal or not, there was a time when this news would have so shocked our sensibilities — and would have been considered so antithetical to our Constitution by so many — that it would have prompted a swift, national outcry.

But today, we’ve grown numb. Outrage has been replaced by a cynical, “Who’s surprised about that?” or the persistent belief that “Nothing’s really going to be done about it,”… in part to keep them — and us — from learning about and digging into an even bigger scandal: our Intelligence Community increasingly spying on its own citizens, journalists, members of Congress and political enemies for the better part of two decades, if not longer.

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A Crisis of Leadership at the Military Intelligence Agency’s Watchdog Office

Source: Foreign Policy

Since two whistleblowers stepped forward two years ago, morale at the Defense Intelligence Agency Office of the Inspector General has plummeted.

Sitting in the lobby of a hotel near the Pentagon’s intelligence agency headquarters, David Steele, a nearly 40-year military and intelligence veteran, took out a list of the members of the unit he once led and highlighted name after name until it was nearly all bright yellow.

They were the names of people who’ve left their jobs at the Defense Intelligence Agency, or who have been trying to find new ones in the last two years. Almost everyone who once worked for Steele in the Office of the Inspector General has fled the agency, or is looking to leave, an exodus he attributes to the toxic atmosphere created by the official in charge.

“They’re all fleeing like rats,” Ron Foster, former head of investigations at the intelligence agency’s Inspector General’s Office, told Foreign Policy during the same interview. Foster, also a longtime military and intelligence employee, with experience in the FBI, said investigations and law enforcement are his bread and butter. He brought to the meeting a carefully wrapped stack of gold medals in wooden frames, awards he’s received for outstanding service.

Both Steele and Foster said Kristi Waschull, the inspector general of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a former manager at the human resources department at the DIA, repeatedly asked him and his team to soften language in inspection and investigative reports about problems and crimes within the agency, lied, stanched the flow of published reports, and retaliated against them and several colleagues when they challenged her ability to conduct independent investigations of agency management.

Waschull did not respond directly to a request for comment….

Steele and Foster can’t discuss some of the details of their investigations and inspections, because that information is classified. But they were cleared to discuss the broad strokes of their ongoing saga.

Foster and Steele were fired, or involuntarily reassigned, along with the staff director on the same day with no warning, according to descriptions and emails provided to FP. Now, Waschull’s employees live in perpetual fear that if they cross her, they could be next, Steele and Foster said, after having spoken with a number of current and former employees.

Waschull has come up with different reasons, like career opportunity and poor performance, for why she forced Steele and Foster out. They have meticulously documented her allegations and why she is wrong, they said.

Yet their complaints have languished for over two years now, and in the meantime, no one is policing the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“There is no oversight,” Steele continued. Whistleblower protection laws “assume the [inspectors general] are the good guys. What happens when your inspector general is a bad guy?”….

They ultimately escalated the disclosures to the Department of Defense Inspector General, where it has stalled, and the Intelligence Community Inspector General, which is responsible for acting as an objective third party in cases of potential retaliation across the intelligence community.  Some of the disclosures have made it to Congress.

While the Intelligence Community Inspector General was originally responsive to Steele, that office has gone through its own turmoil in recent months. The official in charge of whistleblowing at that office, Dan Meyer, has since been suspended pending investigation, as FP previously reported.

“Ever since they neutered Dan Meyer, the program is ineffective,” Steele said.

The DIA Inspector General’s Office, while declining to elaborate on privileged personnel information and matters still under review, told FP the issue was resolved last year, when employee complaints were referred to a body known as the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency….

However, according to Foster and Steele, the council did not investigate the matter because it said it did not have jurisdiction over intelligence retaliation complaints, and the council never actually spoke to Foster or Steele.

“How are you going to close [the investigation] by talking to the subject and no one else? Where’s the report?” Foster told FP….

In 2016, the agency didn’t publish the results of any new investigations, and if the systemic issues remain unaddressed or ignored by the agency, it could lead to an intelligence community-wide “vulnerability,” Steele told FP.

The inspector general serves a critical role, Steele argues. “We’re the consciousness of the agency, we’re independent,” he said. “We have no dog in this fight.”

As the office stands now, however, it’s not performing that role effectively.

“The inspector general is incapable of policing itself,” he said. “Who’s watching the watchers?”

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Why is Mattis Declaring War on Whistleblowers?

Source: American Conservative

Is Secretary of Defense James Mattis creating a hostile workplace for Defense Department whistleblowers? Or is he simply carrying on an anti-whistleblower organizational tradition at the Pentagon that stretches back decades? An examination of recent events and the historical record suggests it’s both, and the implications for taxpayers and American national security are stark.

As the Project on Government Oversight first reported in December 2016, a three-member interagency Inspector General External Review Panel concluded in May 2016 that the then-Inspector General of the National Security Agency (NSA), George Ellard, had, according to POGO, “himself had previously retaliated against an NSA whistleblower[.]” This apparently occurred during the very same period that Ellard had claimed that “Snowden could have come to me.” The panel that reviewed Ellard’s case recommended he be fired, a decision affirmed by NSA Director Mike Rogers.

But there was a catch: the Secretary of Defense had the final word on Ellard’s fate. Outgoing Obama administration Defense Secretary Ash Carter, apparently indifferent to the magnitude of the Ellard case, left office without making a decision.

In the months after Donald Trump became president, rumors swirled inside Washington that Ellard had, in fact, escaped termination. One source, who requested anonymity, reported that Ellard had been seen recently on the NSA campus at Ft. Meade, Maryland. That report, it turns out, was accurate….

The Pentagon offered no explanation as to why Mattis chose to overrule the IG External Review Panel and NSA’s current director, but the message is abundantly clear: If you work in Pentagon management and retaliate against a whistleblower, there’s a good chance you’ll keep your job. And if you are a prospective whistleblower, the message is equally clear: You blow the whistle at your own risk.

Unfortunately, the Ellard case is not unique within the Pentagon. And as a series of these cases demonstrate, when the internal watchdog function breaks down at the Defense Department, not only are taxpayers ripped off, but intelligence failures costing the lives of thousands of Americans can result….

The IG report also noted that Hayden had ignored multiple internal reviews that showed THINTHREAD superior to his moribund TRAILBLAZER, and that he delayed deployment of THINTHREAD to multiple NSA collection sites, in violation of Congressional direction to do so (p. 4). Hayden’s mismanagement of NSA and insubordination with Congress cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and arguably the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11.

Sadly, the misconduct of Pentagon officials didn’t end with the publication of that DoD IG report over a decade ago…. In 2016, OSC concluded that DoD IG officials engaged in evidence destruction during Drake’s trial….

As the foregoing post-9/11 history of the Pentagon demonstrates, Ellard’s misconduct is just the latest example of the culture of corruption at NSA that Ellard’s nominated replacement, Robert Storch, will have to end if NSA employees are to believe that fraud or criminal complaints can be reported without fear of retaliation.

At Storch’s all-too-brief confirmation hearing last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee, he was not asked about the status of Drake’s case or the misconduct of his predecessor — amazing omissions by one of NSA’s chief Congressional oversight bodies. Unless Congress invests the time to thoroughly investigate, in open session, these past episodes of whistleblower retaliation and programmatic misconduct, we risk still more of the same — more taxpayer money squandered, and more Americans needlessly killed in avoidable intelligence failures.

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Holding U.S. Treasurys? Beware: Uncle Sam Can’t Account For $21 Trillion

Source: Forbes, Laurence Kotlikoff & Mark Skidmore

Several months after beginning the [Pentagon] audit, the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) posted a new document, which recommended that the government be allowed to misstate and move funds in order to hide expenditures if it is deemed necessary for national security purposes….

Also troubling is the fact that Standard 56 can include publicly traded corporations with significant funding and/or federal government control.

With the change in accounting guidelines, which is a full departure from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), only a few people with high level security clearances have the authority to determine what is deemed to be an issue of national security and these same people will now be allowed to restate financial statements in order to conceal actual expenditures without any disclosure.

No one but those few people would know that such modifications were made, thus making evaluation of government financial statements impossible.

From this point forward, the federal government will keep two sets of books, one modified (and useless) book for the public and one true book that is hidden.

The FASAB recommendation effectively institutionalizes opacity in federal financial reporting. Up till now, many aspects of federal finances have been non-transparent because the government has failed to comply with existing financial reporting laws.

However, at least citizens had the laws working in their favor. Now citizens have no recourse; opacity is now the law of the land, controlled by executive branch authority and policy.

Accounting rules are often thought of as boring and unimportant. In this case, it’s not the case. The new FASAB ruling has enormous and highly dangerous implications for our nation.”

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The Pentagon’s New Stealth Bookkeeping

Pulitzer-prize winning National Security Analyst Mark Thompson didn’t pull any punches in this report for the Project On Government Oversight and the Center for Defense Information:

Source: POGO

Cleaner Financial Books Apparently Require Some Dirtier Numbers

The Defense Department’s finances have been an unauditable black hole for decades. But as the military has struggled mightily in recent years to remove the cobwebs and fog from its books, it has run into another problem: where to hide its work on classified programs?

Not to fear: where there’s a will, there’s a waiver.

That’s why the Pentagon (and CIA) have asked the U.S. government’s accounting overlords to let them fudge their costs in the name of national security. Think of it as the latest in fiscal transparency: while the U.S. military struggles to make its accounts finally auditable, it needs new nooks and crannies to mask spending. Only U.S. national-security apparatchiks would plead for future budget secrecy to justify past budget sloppiness.

And they have received… approval for the change from the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB), which sets the so-called “generally accepted accounting principles” for federal bean-counters. Government accountants may “modify” spending levels, the accounting agency says, and allow spending “to be excluded from one reporting entity and consolidated into another reporting entity” to keep work on classified programs secret….

The push for better bookkeeping leavened with lying wasn’t unanimous. The Pentagon Inspector General warned the change would represent a “major shift” in federal fiscal management while doing little to “effectively protect classified information.” The change “jeopardizes the financial statements’ usefulness and provides financial managers with an arbitrary method of reporting accounting information,” the IG said in its filing opposing the new math. “We do not agree that incorporating summary-level dollar amounts in the overall statements will necessarily result in the release of classified information.”

Outside experts agreed. Gordon Adams, who oversaw national-security spending at OMB during the Clinton Administration, says the change represents a new kind of “duck and cover,” the Cold War exercise where schoolchildren would crawl under their desks to avoid nuclear fallout. “The goal is to duck the need for public reporting by concealing—covering—the numbers somewhere else,” Adams says. “They don’t provide details or examples, probably because that would give the game away, but the goal is to conceal the classified data by hiding it in plain sight in some other number.”

Congressional budget veterans find the proposal unsettling, especially given what they say is the weaker oversight lawmakers now give to national-security spending. “Lots of CIA spending used to be hidden in the Pentagon budget, and it’s still there — but we can’t find it anymore,” says one Capitol Hill budget hawk who has spent decades spelunking military spending. Speaking anonymously, he fears the proposed accounting tweak will give the Pentagon free rein to use its so-called “unsupported adjustments” — known colloquially as “plugged figures” — that have long been used to mask Pentagon spending, dubious and otherwise.

U.S. defense and intelligence agencies have long argued that revealing too much budgetary information can harm national security. They secretly spent more than $50 billion on their “black budget” in 2013, according to a tally intelligence contractor Edward Snowden provided to the Washington Post. But the Pentagon also hides spending on well-publicized programs like its fledgling B-21 bomber….

“Seventeen years after 9/11 and we still can’t get out from under the ‘it’s for national security, don’t worry about it’ rubber-stamping of too much data and information that shouldn’t, and otherwise wouldn’t, qualify as needing to be classified,” says Mackenzie Eaglen, a defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. “The problem with this rubber-stamping is regular folks like us can’t get to the core, or raw, data to better question or shine light on the final decision. We can only pooh-pooh the outcome weakly.”

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Massive Pentagon Agency Lost Track of Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

Source: Politico, citing Ernst & Young audit

A damning outside review finds that the Defense Logistics Agency has lost track of where it spent the money.

Ernst & Young found that the Defense Logistics Agency failed to properly document more than $800 million in construction projects, just one of a series of examples where it lacks a paper trail for millions of dollars in property and equipment. Across the board, its financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums [of tax money] it’s responsible for, the firm warned in its initial audit of the massive Pentagon purchasing agent.

The audit raises new questions about whether the Defense Department can responsibly manage its $700 billion annual budget — let alone the additional billions that Trump plans to propose this month. The department has never undergone a full audit despite a congressional mandate — and to some lawmakers, the messy state of the Defense Logistics Agency’s books indicates one may never even be possible.

“If you can’t follow the money, you aren’t going to be able to do an audit,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican and senior member of the Budget and Finance committees, who has pushed successive administrations to clean up the Pentagon’s notoriously wasteful and disorganized accounting system.

The $40 billion-a-year logistics agency is a test case in how unachievable that task may be. The DLA serves as the Walmart of the military, with 25,000 employees who process roughly 100,000 orders a day on behalf of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and a host of other federal agencies — for everything from poultry to pharmaceuticals, precious metals and aircraft parts.

But as the auditors found, the agency often has little solid evidence for where much of that money is going. That bodes ill for ever getting a handle on spending at the Defense Department as a whole, which has a combined $2.2 trillion in assets.

In one part of the audit, completed in mid-December, Ernst & Young found that misstatements in the agency’s books totaled at least $465 million for construction projects it financed for the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies. For construction projects designated as still “in progress,” meanwhile, it didn’t have sufficient documentation — or any documentation at all — for another $384 million worth of spending.

The agency also couldn’t produce supporting evidence for many items that are documented in some form — including records for $100 million worth of assets in the computer systems that conduct the agency’s day-to-day business.

“The documentation, such as the evidence demonstrating that the asset was tested and accepted, is not retained or available,” it said.

The report, which covers the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016, also found that $46 million in computer assets were “inappropriately recorded” as belonging to the Defense Logistics Agency. It also warned that the agency cannot reconcile balances from its general ledger with the Treasury Department.

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Response to First Full Pentagon Audit Delayed Amid Staff Shake-Up

Source: Washington Post

The Defense Department had planned to brief Congress on the results of its department-wide financial audit in January 2019. Instead, it asked for more time.

Last year the Pentagon completed its first department-wide financial audit, a massive effort that was continually put off since it was first called for in a 1990 law. Whether it becomes an annual tradition remains to be seen; the department has already missed a January 2019 deadline to brief Congress on the status of reform efforts related to its first audit, and it faces a November 2019 deadline to complete the next one.

The effort is complicated by a leadership transition at the highest levels of the Pentagon. The first audit was spearheaded by David Norquist, an accountant and longtime official who serves as comptroller and chief financial officer. But after Shanahan was elevated, Norquist is now performing the duties of the deputy defense secretary.

Lawmakers said they are concerned that Norquist’s dual roles could draw his attention away from audit activities as the Pentagon functions without a permanent secretary. A Defense Department official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal staffing issues said Norquist is ‘still driving the audit’ even as he takes on new duties…

On the whole, the Pentagon received a failing grade: Only five [out of 21] Defense Department agencies received clean opinions. It found glaring shortcomings in the Department’s management of its IT systems, possibly making military information systems vulnerable to hackers. And it found that the Department did not have the necessary tracking systems to fully keep tabs on money flowing in and out….

The department has fallen behind its schedule for fixing issues raised by the last audit. According to its most recent published timeline for completing the audit, the department was due to brief Congress on the findings and the status of its corrective action plan in January 2019. That briefing has not happened….

Watchdog groups questioned whether audit activities are still on track.

‘I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this isn’t a delay tactic to try to put this off indefinitely,’ said Dan Grazier, a former Marine Corps captain who is a military fellow at the Project On Government Oversight, a watchdog group. ‘Time will only tell based on the past performance of the Pentagon trying to avoid this process.’”

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Our Man From Boeing

Source: Center for Defense Information

Has the Arms Industry Captured Trump’s Pentagon?

The way personnel spin through Washington’s infamous revolving door between the Pentagon and the arms industry is nothing new. That door, however, is moving ever faster with the appointment of Patrick Shanahan, who spent 30 years at Boeing, the Pentagon’s second largest contractor….

No secretary of defense in recent memory has had such a long career in the arms industry and so little experience in government or the military. For most of that career, in fact, his main focus was winning defense contracts for Boeing, not crafting effective defense policies. While the Pentagon should be focused on protecting the country, the arms industry operates in the pursuit of profit, even when that means selling weapons systems to countries working against American national security interests….

Shanahan’s new role raises questions about whether what is in the best interest of Boeing—bigger defense budgets and giant contracts for unaffordable and ineffective weaponry or aircraft—is what’s in the best interest of the public….

There is already evidence, however, that he will do anything but refrain from overseeing, and so promoting, his old firm. Take Boeing’s F-15X, for example. Against the wishes of the Air Force, the Pentagon decided to invest at least $1.2 billion in that fighter aircraft, an upgraded version of the Boeing F-15C/D, which had been supplanted by Lockheed Martin’s questionable new F-35. There have been reports that Shanahan has already trashed Lockheed, Boeing’s top competitor, in discussions inside the Pentagon. According to Bloomberg News, the decision to invest in the F-15X was due, in part at least, to “prodding” from him, when he was still deputy secretary of defense….

In addition, Shanahan will be developing policies and programs sure to directly affect that company’s bottom line. Among them, he’ll be setting the DoD’s priorities when it comes to addressing perceived threats. His initial message on his first day as acting secretary, for instance, was summarized as “China, China, China.” ….

“I think anybody that gives out these big contracts should never ever, during their lifetime, be allowed to work for a defense company, for a company that makes that product.”THEN-CANDIDATE DONALD TRUMP…

He’s advocated, for example, giving the Space Development Agency, the body that will be charged with developing military space assets, authority “on steroids” to shove ever more contracts out the door. As a producer of military satellites, Boeing is a major potential beneficiary of just such a development.

Then there’s missile defense, another new presidential favorite. Shanahan presided over Boeing’s missile defense division at a time when one of the systems being developed was the Airborne Laser, meant to zap launched nuclear missiles with lasers installed on Boeing 747 aircraft. The project, a dismal failure, was cancelled after more than $5 billion in taxpayer funds had been sunk into it. The Pentagon’s latest “Star Wars”-style anti-missile technology, whose development was just announced by President Trump, calls for a major investment in an equally impractical set of technologies at a price that Joseph Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund suggests could reach $1 trillion in the decades to come.

Among Boeing’s current missile-defense programs is the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System, an array of land-based interceptor missiles that has already failed the majority of its tests. It’s unlikely that it will ever function effectively in a situation in which incoming warheads would be accompanied by large numbers of decoys. The Congressional Budget Office has identified the cancellation of the program as one obvious decision that could save significant sums. But what chance is there that Shanahan would support such a decision, given all those years in which he advocated for that missile-defense system at Boeing?…

Or take nuclear policy. His former company is one of two finalists to build a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)…. ICBMs are the most dangerous and unnecessary leg of the U.S. nuclear triad….  Even some of their supporters have questioned the need for a brand-new ICBM when older ones could be upgraded. Nuclear hawks might eventually be persuaded to adopt such a position, too, since the cost of the Pentagon’s across-the-board $1.5 trillion “modernization” of the U.S. nuclear arsenal (including the production of new nuclear bombers, missiles, and warheads) will otherwise begin to impinge on department priorities elsewhere. But how likely is Shanahan to seriously entertain even such modest critiques when they threaten to eliminate a huge potential payday for Boeing?

Finally, there is the issue of U.S. support for the brutal war launched by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Yemen nearly four years ago. Boeing’s combat planes, bombs, and attack helicopters have played a central role in that conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of civilians, while a Saudi blockade of the country has put millions more at risk of famine. In addition, Boeing continues to benefit from a $480 million contract to service the F-15s it has supplied to the Royal Saudi Air Force.

Here, President Trump is firmly in that company’s corner. “Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon… I don’t wanna hurt jobs,” he told 60 Minutes. “I don’t wanna lose an order like that [from the Saudi government].” Before his resignation, Secretary of Defense James Mattis was regularly called upon to comment on the Saudi war and help craft U.S. policy towards both that country and the UAE. Where will Shanahan stand on a war significantly fueled by the products of his former company?

There is, in fact, a grim precedent for Shanahan’s present situation. The Intercept and the Wall Street Journal have both reported that State Department Acting Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Charles Faulkner, a former lobbyist for Raytheon, advocated giving Saudi Arabia a clean bill of health on its efforts to avoid hitting civilians in its air strikes in Yemen, lest Raytheon lose a lucrative bomb deal. So much for draining the swamp.

The Revolving Door Spins Both Ways

Shanahan and Faulkner are far from the only former defense executives or lobbyists to populate the Trump administration. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson is a former lobbyist for Lockheed Martin. Ellen Lord, who heads procurement at the Pentagon, worked at Textron, a producer of bombs and military helicopters. Secretary of the Army Mark Esper — rumored as a possible replacement for Shanahan as secretary of defense — was once a top lobbyist at Raytheon. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood was a senior vice president at Lockheed Martin. And the latest addition to the club is Charles Kupperman, who has been tapped as deputy national security advisor. His career includes stints at both Boeing and Lockheed Martin. (His claim to fame: asserting that the United States could win a nuclear war.)

All of the above, including Patrick Shanahan, spun through that famed revolving door into government posts, but so many former DoD officials and top-level military officers have long spun in the opposite direction. In 1969, for example, Wisconsin Democratic Senator William Proxmire, a legendary Pentagon watchdog, was already describing the problem this way:

“The easy movement of high-ranking military officers into jobs with major defense contractors and the reverse movement of top executives in major defense contractors into high Pentagon jobs is solid evidence of the military-industrial complex in operation.

It is a real threat to the public interest because it increases the chances of abuse…. How hard a bargain will officers involved in procurement planning or specifications drive when they are one or two years from retirement and have the example to look at of over 2,000 fellow officers doing well on the outside after retirement?”

Or, as a 1983 internal Air Force memo, put it, “If a colonel or a general stands up and makes a fuss about high cost and poor quality, no nice man will come to see him when he retires.”

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump appeared to recognize the obvious problem of the revolving door and proposed a five-point ethics reform plan to slow it down, if not shut it down entirely. Unfortunately, the ethics executive order he put in place once in office fell wildly short of his campaign ambitions, leaving that revolving door spinning madly. A new report from the Project On Government Oversight has documented 645 cases in 2018 alone in which former government officials held jobs at the top 20 Pentagon contractors. The leader among them? You probably won’t be surprised to learn that it’s Boeing, with 84 such hires.

Retired Vice Admiral Jeffrey Wieringa, who led the Pentagon’s arms sales office, is a case in point. In that role, he helped promote sales of U.S. weaponry globally. Perhaps as a result, he “earned” himself a position as president for global services and support at Boeing less than a year after he retired. He’s far from alone. Retired Rear Admiral Donald Gaddis, a program officer for Navy air systems, also joined the company, as did retired Air Force Major General Jack Catton, Jr., who served as the director of requirements for the Air Combat Command before moving to Boeing. Retired Vice Admiral Mark Harnitchek, the former head of the Defense Logistics Agency, charged with managing $35 billion in goods and services across the DoD annually, similarly became a vice president at Boeing.

Candidate Donald Trump saw the revolving door between government and industry as a problem. “I think anybody that gives out these big contracts should never ever, during their lifetime, be allowed to work for a defense company, for a company that makes that product,” he said. As the continuing flow of officials through it suggests, however, as president, he’s done anything but drain that swamp….

Under current law, lobbying restrictions on such former officials can be circumvented if they label themselves “consultants” or “business development executives.” Similarly, former Pentagon officials can go to work for an arms maker they once awarded a contract to as long as they’re hired by a different division of that company. In addition, while Congress requires that the Pentagon track whoever’s moving through that revolving door, the database that does so is both incomplete and not available for public viewing.

Candidate Trump was onto something. However, rather than curbing the blatant conflicts inherent in the revolving door — the ultimate symbol of the military-industrial complex in action — President Trump is actually accelerating them. America is indeed great again, if you happen to be one of those lucky enough to be moving back and forth between plum jobs in the Pentagon and the weapons industry.

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Security Gaps Could Let Hackers Edit Government Spending Data, Watchdog Says

Source: NextGov, citing GAO report

A number of security gaps in the Treasury Department’s financial reporting system could leave the door open for online bad actors to tamper with the government’s spending data, a congressional watchdog found.

The Government Accountability Office uncovered eight different flaws in the system used by the department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service to check the accuracy of the annual financial reports it publishes for every government agency.

The new flaws, when combined with a handful of unresolved issues GAO previously identified within the bureau, could “increase the risk of unauthorized access to, modification of, or disclosure of sensitive data and programs and disruption of critical operations,” investigators wrote in a report published Tuesday.

The Fiscal Service Bureau is responsible for keeping tabs on the government’s debt and monitoring agencies’ revenue, spending, obligations and other fiscal behavior…. auditors said future inaccuracies could go undetected.

Of the eight flaws revealed in the audit, four could be exploited to illegally access and change financial data and resources, three could potentially allow for unauthorized changes to hardware and software security, and one involved the bureau’s risk management system. While no one glitch amounted to a major threat on its own, they collectively represent “a significant deficiency” in the bureau’s internal controls, GAO said.

Investigators also found the bureau had yet to fully correct 15 different deficiencies GAO identified in previous audits, including some the bureau said had already been addressed. The watchdog gave 10 recommendations for fixing new and existing issues in a separate report that was not made public.”

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The Pentagon Has More than 250 Cyber Gaps in Its Networks, Watchdog Says

Source: NextGov, citing DoD IG report

The Defense Department has a lot of work to do to remedy some years-old cyber issues.

More than 250 cybersecurity vulnerabilities, some more than a decade old, remain unaddressed in the Defense Department’s networks, according to an internal watchdog….

The Defense Department Inspector General found the Pentagon had yet to correct 266 cyber vulnerabilities highlighted in numerous watchdog reports between July 2017 and June 2018. Some of the issues were identified long ago — two dated back to 2008 — but the majority were only discovered in the last year, which auditors acknowledge had given the agency little time to fix them.

Most of the vulnerabilities revolved around the agency’s approach to identifying potential gaps in its cyber posture and proactively defending against those threats. Auditors specifically found many shortcomings related to cyber governance, or the policies and practices that help officials monitor risk.

“Without proper governance, the DoD cannot ensure that it effectively identifies and manages cybersecurity risk as it continues to face a growing variety of cyber threats from adversaries, such as offensive cyberspace operations used to disrupt, degrade, or destroy targeted information systems,” the IG wrote in the annual report on the Pentagon’s cyber posture.

In the redacted report, auditors detailed a myriad of issues that had gone unaddressed over the previous year.

The department, for instance, has not yet taken steps to comply with the cybersecurity framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology….

Auditors also reiterated the need to put in place more controls to limit user access and monitor activity across Pentagon networks. The IG on Tuesday published a separate report detailing how inadequate controls left billions of dollars in annual payments potentially vulnerable to bad actors.”

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Congress Fed Up With DOD, Other Agencies Disregarding Audits

Source: Roll Call, citing GAO report

Departments have not implemented proposals that could save $87 billion…

Congress is increasingly trying to force federal departments, especially the Pentagon, to quit disregarding audit recommendations on how to get more bang for billions of dollars in taxpayer bucks.

Across the government, departments and agencies had not implemented more than 15,000 proposals from their inspectors general that could save $87 billion — some 38 percent of that money at the Pentagon, according to a 2016 report from two Senate committees, Judiciary and Homeland Security.

Two years later, it turns out, the Defense Department still leads the way in shelving auditors’ ideas.

The Defense Department has more unheeded audit recommendations than any other agency, according to the Government Accountability Office. The Pentagon has failed to implement more than half the 1,122 recommendations that GAO has put forth to improve defense programs since fiscal 2014, the auditors told the Armed Services Committees in a report this week….

“It’s unacceptable that federal agencies ignore thousands of recommendations on how to become more efficient and save taxpayer dollars,” Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., told CQ in a statement….

The GAO’s report said that 595 of the 1,122 recommendations for defense programs issued since fiscal 2014 were not implemented, or just over half of them.

That was at least a slight improvement over the previous year, GAO said.

The GAO considered 68 of these recommendations to be “priority” proposals. Yet nearly half of even those more important solutions were also unimplemented.”

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Pentagon IG Highlights More Than 1,500 Open Recommendations, Some Dating Back a Decade

Source: Federal News Network, citing DoD IG report

“For the second year in a row, the Defense Department’s inspector general has released what it calls a ‘compendium’ of open recommendations.

The document, which details of all the recommendations the DOD IG has issued to the Pentagon that have been awaiting management attention for at least a year, now includes 1,558 separate matters, up from 1,298 in the 2017 version. Fifty-six have been open for at least five years; seven have been open for eight years or more….

This year’s version singles out 33 recommendations that the IG says could save the department $2.3 billion if DoD implemented each of them.”

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Congress Taking Aim at Waste and Fraud

Source: POGO

A major portion of wasteful government spending is a broad category known as “improper payments,” which are payments made in the wrong amount (including both overpayments and underpayments), to the wrong people, or for the wrong reason. An estimate from fiscal year 2016 showed $144 billion in misspending that year—an all-time high.

These improper payments result from insufficient financial accountability, and divert dollars from where they are needed….

Also, the Pentagon admitted that, in fiscal year 2016, it made more than $100 million in overpayments to commercial vendors, and more than $400 million in overpayments when reimbursing individuals for travel costs. [A DoD IG audit of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Commercial Pay Program for FY 2017 found $958 million in improper payments.]

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The Watchdogs After Forty Years: Recommendations for Our Nation’s Federal Inspectors General

Source: POGO

One of the most glaring problems that needs to be addressed is IG vacancies. Some IG positions remain vacant for years. Our recommendations emphasize the importance of the President and Congress making it a priority to fill these positions. Both must be committed to nominating and vetting qualified candidates who are willing and able to address the nation’s major issues.

Too often, the IGs suffer from inadequate or inconsistent budgets. Resource constraints can directly affect the ability of IGs to conduct effective and consistent oversight…. Congress needs to recognize the importance of proportionally funding IG oversight.

Read Full PDF Report Here

View Inspector General Vacancy Tracker

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Special Report: Behind the Pentagon’s Doctored Ledgers, a Running Tally of Epic Waste

Source: Reuters

In this series, Reuters will delve into how an organization that fields the most sophisticated technology in the world to fight wars and spy on enemies has come to rely on an accounting system of antiquated, error-prone computers; how these thousands of duplicative and inefficient systems cost billions of dollars to staff and maintain; how efforts to replace these systems with better ones have ended in costly failures; and how it all adds up to billions of taxpayer dollars a year in losses to mismanagement, theft and fraud.

Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts….

[S]he says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s – a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies.

And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from.

“A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate,” Woodford says. “We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.”…

For those, Woodford and her colleagues were told by superiors to take “unsubstantiated change actions” – in other words, enter false numbers, commonly called “plugs,” to make the Navy’s totals match the Treasury’s.

Jeff Yokel, who spent 17 years in senior positions in DFAS’s Cleveland office before retiring in 2009, says supervisors were required to approve every “plug” – thousands a month. “If the amounts didn’t balance, Treasury would hit it back to you,” he says.

After the monthly reports were sent to the Treasury, the accountants continued to seek accurate information to correct the entries. In some instances, they succeeded. In others, they didn’t, and the unresolved numbers stood on the books.

STANDARD PROCEDURE

At the DFAS offices that handle accounting for the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defense agencies, fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure, Reuters has found. And plugging isn’t confined to DFAS. Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information.

A review of multiple reports from oversight agencies in recent years shows that the Pentagon also has systematically ignored warnings about its accounting practices. “These types of adjustments, made without supporting documentation … can mask much larger problems in the original accounting data,” the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said in a December 2011 report.

Plugs also are symptomatic of one very large problem: the Pentagon’s chronic failure to keep track of its money – how much it has, how much it pays out and how much is wasted or stolen.

This is the second installment in a series in which Reuters delves into the Defense Department’s inability to account for itself. The first article examined how the Pentagon’s record-keeping dysfunction results in widespread pay errors that inflict financial hardship on soldiers and sap morale. This account is based on interviews with scores of current and former Defense Department officials, as well as Reuters analyses of Pentagon logistics practices, bookkeeping methods, court cases and reports by federal agencies.

As the use of plugs indicates, pay errors are only a small part of the sums that annually disappear into the vast bureaucracy that manages more than half of all annual government outlays approved by Congress….

In its investigation, Reuters has found that the Pentagon is largely incapable of keeping track of its vast stores of weapons, ammunition and other supplies; thus it continues to spend money on new supplies it doesn’t need and on storing others long out of date. It has amassed a backlog of more than half a trillion dollars in unaudited contracts with outside vendors; how much of that money paid for actual goods and services delivered isn’t known. And it repeatedly falls prey to fraud and theft that can go undiscovered for years, often eventually detected by external law enforcement agencies.

The consequences aren’t only financial; bad bookkeeping can affect the nation’s defense…. The main reason is rooted in the Pentagon’s continuing reliance on a tangle of thousands of disparate, obsolete, largely incompatible accounting and business-management systems….

“AMALGAM OF FIEFDOMS”

No one can even agree on how many of these accounting and business systems are in use. The Pentagon itself puts the number at 2,200 spread throughout the military services and other defense agencies. A January 2012 report by a task force of the Defense Business Board, an advisory group of business leaders appointed by the secretary of defense, put the number at around 5,000.

“There are thousands and thousands of systems,” former Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England said in an interview. “I’m not sure anybody knows how many systems there are.”

In a May 2011 speech, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates described the Pentagon’s business operations as “an amalgam of fiefdoms without centralized mechanisms to allocate resources, track expenditures, and measure results. … My staff and I learned that it was nearly impossible to get accurate information and answers to questions such as ‘How much money did you spend’ and ‘How many people do you have?’”

The Pentagon has spent tens of billions of dollars to upgrade to new, more efficient technology in order to become audit-ready. But many of these new systems have failed, either unable to perform all the jobs they were meant to do or scrapped altogether – only adding to the waste they were meant to stop.

Mired in a mess largely of its own making, the Pentagon is left to make do with old technology and plugs – lots of them…. However, a source with knowledge of the Pentagon’s accounting processes said that because the report and others like it aren’t audited, they may conceal large amounts of additional plugs and other accounting problems….

“The Pentagon can’t manage what it can’t measure, and Congress can’t effectively perform its constitutional oversight role if it doesn’t know how the Pentagon is spending taxpayer dollars,” Coburn said in an email response to questions. “Until the Pentagon produces a viable financial audit, it won’t be able to effectively prioritize its spending, and it will continue to violate the Constitution and put our national security at risk.”

“We have about $14 billion of inventory for lots of reasons, and probably half of that is excess to what we need,” Navy Vice Admiral Mark Harnitchek, the director of the DLA, said at an August 7, 2013, meeting with aviation industry executives, as reported on the agency’s web site.

And the DLA keeps buying more of what it already has too much of. A document the Pentagon supplied to Congress shows that as of September 30, 2012, the DLA and the military services had $733 million worth of supplies and equipment on order that was already stocked in excess amounts on warehouse shelves. That figure was up 21% from $609 million a year earlier….

The Air Force’s Expeditionary Combat Support System was intended to provide for the first time a single system to oversee transportation, supplies, maintenance and acquisitions, replacing scores of costly legacy systems…. The system “has cost $1.03 billion … and has not yielded any significant military capability,” the Air Force said…. Fixing the system would cost an additional $1.1 billion, it said, and even then, it would do only about a quarter of the tasks originally intended, and not until 2020….

The Air Force’s Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System was supposed to take over the Air Force’s basic accounting functions in 2010. To date, $466 million has been spent on DEAMS, with a projected total cost of $1.77 billion to build and operate it, an Air Force spokeswoman said. The system lacks “critical functional capabilities,” and its “data lacks validity and reliability,”…

In 2000, the Navy began work on four separate projects to handle finances, supplies, maintenance of equipment and contracting…. GAO said: “These efforts were failures…. $1 billion was largely wasted.”…

Now in use, the Navy ERP relies on data fed to it from 44 old systems it was meant to replace. “Navy officials spent $870 million … and still did not correct” the system’s inability to account for $416 billion in equipment, the Pentagon inspector general said….

[T]he Center for Strategic and International Studies said that while the Defense Department was spending “in excess of $10 billion per year on business systems modernization and maintenance, (o)verall the result is close to business as usual.” Defense Secretary Gates shut it down….

Over the past 10 years, the Defense Department has signed contracts for the provision of more than $3 trillion in goods and services. How much of that money is wasted in overpayments to contractors, or was never spent and never remitted to the Treasury, is a mystery. That’s because of a massive backlog of “closeouts” – audits meant to ensure that a contract was fulfilled and the money ended up in the right place….

At the end of fiscal 2011, the agency’s backlog totaled 24,722 contracts worth $573.3 billion, according to DCAA figures. Some of them date as far back as 1996. The individual military services close out their own contracts, and the backlogs have piled up there, too. The Army’s backlog was 450,000 contracts…. The Navy and Air Force did not have estimates of their backlogs.

“This backlog represents hundreds of billions of dollars in unsettled costs,” the GAO report said. Timely closeouts also reduce the government’s financial risk by avoiding interest on late payments to contractors.

To trim its backlog, the DCAA last year raised to $250 million from $15 million the threshold value at which a contract is automatically audited…. Still, hundreds of thousands of contracts that would eventually have been audited now won’t be.

“Having billions of dollars of open, unaudited contracts stretching back to the 1990s is clearly unacceptable, and places taxpayer dollars at risk of misuse and mismanagement,” Senator Thomas Carper, a Delaware Democrat and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in an email response to questions. “We must make sure that the Department of Defense is actively assessing risks and making sure that contractors who fall underneath the threshold remain accountable for their work.”

Spotty monitoring of contracts is one reason Pentagon personnel and contractors are able to siphon off taxpayer dollars through fraud and theft – amounting to billions of dollars in losses, according to numerous GAO reports. In many cases, Reuters found, the perpetrators were caught only after outside law-enforcement agencies stumbled onto them, or outsiders brought them to the attention of prosecutors….

In its 2007 audit-readiness plan, the Defense Department called on DFAS to eliminate plugs by June 2008. That hasn’t happened.

In its financial report for 2012, the Army said each month it “adjusts its Fund Balance With Treasury to agree with the U.S. Treasury accounts.” In its 2012 annual report, the Defense Logistics Agency said it does the same. “On a monthly basis, DLA’s (Fund Balance With Treasury) is adjusted to agree with the U.S. Treasury accounts.”

The Navy, in a footnote in its 2012 financial report, “acknowledges that it has a material internal control weakness in that it does not reconcile its” numbers with the Treasury’s. The footnote said the Navy inserts inaccurate numbers in its monthly reports so that they agree with the Treasury’s….

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Shocking Quotes From High-Ranking Government Officials on Unaccounted For Military Spending

Here’s the first round of shocking quotes. I will keep adding quotes to this post as I go through my previous reports. To be notified of updates, please join my email list.

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Defense Secretaries Sound the Alarm

This first quote was an important admission from Robert Gates, as Defense Secretary during the second-term of the Bush Administration and first-term of the Obama Administration, it was his responsibility to sign off on Pentagon spending. This is also why Gates’ Secretary of Defense predecessor Donald Rumsfeld, in his now infamous speech at the Pentagon on September 10, 2001, said it was time to “declare war” on Pentagon waste for not being able to account for $2.3 trillion.

Here’s a little-known speech on Pentagon accounting that Robert Gates gave on May 2011 at the American Enterprise Institute:

“My staff and I learned that it was nearly impossible to get accurate information and answers to questions such as ‘how much money did you spend’ and ‘how many people do you have?’….

The efficiencies project also showed that the current apparatus for managing people and money across the DoD enterprise is woefully inadequate.

The agencies, field activities, joint headquarters, and support staff functions of the department operate as a semi-feudal system – an amalgam of fiefdoms without centralized mechanisms to allocate resources, track expenditures, and measure results relative to the department’s overall priorities.”

Reuters was one of a handful of news outlets to report on Gates’ shocking comments. They also got additional mind-blowing quotes from former Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England. He spoke about the financing and accounting operations throughout the Pentagon that lack oversight:

“No one can even agree on how many of these accounting and business systems are in use. The Pentagon itself puts the number at 2,200 spread throughout the military services and other defense agencies.”

“A January 2012 report by a task force of the Defense Business Board, an advisory group of business leaders appointed by the secretary of defense, put the number at around 5,000.”

“There are thousands and thousands of systems,” former Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England said in an interview. “I’m not sure anybody knows how many systems there are.”

Given what we know now, Donald Rumsfeld’s September 10, 2001 speech at the Pentagon is of historical significance. Here are excerpts from that speech:

“The topic today is an adversary that poses a threat, a serious threat, to the security of the United States of America.

This adversary is one of the world’s last bastions of central planning. It governs by dictating five-year plans. From a single capital, it attempts to impose its demands across time zones, continents, oceans and beyond.

With brutal consistency, it stifles free thought and crushes new ideas. It disrupts the defense of the United States and places the lives of men and women in uniform at risk.

Perhaps this adversary sounds like the former Soviet Union, but that enemy is gone: our foes are more subtle and implacable today. You may think I’m describing one of the last decrepit dictators of the world. But their day, too, is almost past, and they cannot match the strength and size of this adversary.

The adversary is closer to home. It’s the Pentagon bureaucracy.

In this building… money disappears into duplicative duties and bloated bureaucracy…. An average American family works an entire year to generate $6,000 in income taxes. Here we spill many times that amount every hour by duplication and by inattention.

That’s wrong. It’s wrong because national defense depends on public trust, and trust, in turn, hinges on respect for the hardworking people of America and the tax dollars they earn….

According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.

We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it’s stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible…

Why is DOD one of the last organizations around that still cuts its own checks? …

There’s a myth, sort of a legend, that money enters this building and disappears, like a bright light into a black hole, never to be seen again.

In truth, there is a real person at the other end of every dollar, a real person who’s in charge of every domain, and that means that there will be real consequences from, and real resistance to, fundamental change….

And let there be no mistake, it is a matter of life and death. Our job is defending America, and if we cannot change the way we do business, then we cannot do our job well, and we must.

So today we declare war on bureaucracy….

I’ve read that there are those who will oppose our every effort to save taxpayers’ money…. Well, fine, if there’s to be a struggle, so be it….

It’s about respect for taxpayers’ dollars. A cab driver in New York City ought to be able to feel confident that we care about those dollars.

It’s about professionalism, and it’s also about our respect for ourselves, about how we feel about seeing GAO reports describing waste and mismanagement and money down a rat hole.”

Of course, the day after that speech was 9/11. In a very interesting coincidence, the part of the Pentagon that got hit was where accounting offices were. 34 Pentagon accountants were killed that day. Here’s how it was summed up in the “Official U.S. Government Historical Office” report:

“Of the Managerial Accounting Division’s 12 members present, only 3 survived. For these three the fireball and partial collapse of a wall almost proved their undoing; not one escaped without injury. All told, 34 of the 40 members of the Program and Budget and Managerial Accounting Divisions present that morning perished.”

The only report in the mainstream media that I could find, which followed up on Rumsfeld’s September 10th speech, was from CBS News. This brief report featured shocking quotes from three Pentagon insiders who were in a position to know what was happening.

The War On Waste

On Sept. 10, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared war. Not on foreign terrorists, “the adversary’s closer to home. It’s the Pentagon bureaucracy,” he said.

He said money wasted by the military poses a serious threat. “In fact, it could be said it’s a matter of life and death,” he said.

Rumsfeld promised change but the next day – Sept. 11– the world changed and in the rush to fund the war on terrorism, the war on waste seems to have been forgotten.

Just last week President Bush announced, “my 2003 budget calls for more than $48 billion in new defense spending.”

More money for the Pentagon, CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports, while its own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends.

“According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions,” Rumsfeld admitted.

$2.3 trillion — that’s $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America.

To understand how the Pentagon can lose track of trillions, consider the case of one military accountant who tried to find out what happened to a mere $300 million.

“We know it’s gone. But we don’t know what they spent it on,” said Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

Minnery, a former Marine turned whistle-blower, is risking his job by speaking out for the first time about the millions he noticed were missing from one defense agency’s balance sheets. Minnery tried to follow the money trail, even crisscrossing the country looking for records.

“The director looked at me and said ‘Why do you care about this stuff?’ It took me aback, you know? My supervisor asking me why I care about doing a good job,” said Minnery.

He was reassigned and says officials then covered up the problem by just writing it off. “They have to cover it up,” he said. “That’s where the corruption comes in. They have to cover up the fact that they can’t do the job.”

The Pentagon’s Inspector General “partially substantiated” several of Minnery’s allegations but could not prove officials tried “to manipulate the financial statements.” Twenty years ago, Department of Defense Analyst Franklin C. [Chuck] Spinney made headlines exposing what he calls the “accounting games.” He’s still there, and although he does not speak for the Pentagon, he believes the problem has gotten worse.

“Those numbers are pie in the sky. The books are cooked routinely year after year,” he said.

Another critic of Pentagon waste, Retired Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, commanded the Navy’s 2nd Fleet the first time Donald Rumsfeld served as Defense Secretary, in 1976. In his opinion, “With good financial oversight we could find $48 billion in loose change in that building, without having to hit the taxpayers.”

Here’s the TV version of this report:

Department of Defense Military Spending Analyst Chuck Spinney

Chuck Spinney was a former Air Force Lieutenant and longtime military analyst for the Pentagon who specialized in military spending. Spinney has given legendary reports on military spending to Congress. He was called “the conscience of the Pentagon” by current Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

If you want a solid introduction to this mind-blowing issue, watch this video report from PBS with Bill Moyers. It is from 2003, and the issue has become significantly worse since then, but it gives an excellent overview.

I also featured this short excerpt from the above interview:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has many shocking quotes about Pentagon accounting. Here are a few:

“Unfortunately, when it comes to accountability and fiscal responsibility, the DoD has continually dropped the ball. The agency also makes congressional oversight efforts difficult.”

“Oversight of the DoD requires a dogged agency Inspector General to get to the bottom of problems and properly detail them for congressional review. Time and again, DoD investigators have been unable to conduct aggressive, hard-hitting audits and investigations, making oversight efforts arduous and change nearly impossible.

“Despite these challenges and with no consideration to the political party in the White House, I’ve detailed the egregious misuse of taxpayer dollars at the DoD, sought answers from leadership at the Pentagon and investigated the ongoing failures of the Department’s accounting systems.”

“Every year, Americans pay their federal taxes. The United States government collects trillions of dollars for the purpose of funding essential functions, including national security efforts. When unelected bureaucrats misuse, mismanage and misallocate taxpayer funds, it not only takes resources away from vital government functions, it continually weakens citizens’ faith and trust in their government.”

“As representatives of the people, members of Congress need to double down on their oversight efforts to give American citizens confidence that their government either plays by the rules or is held accountable. To succeed as a nation, we need to get back to a government by and for the people, rather than a government by the bureaucrats and for the connected insiders.”

“I’ll continue pushing for answers at the DoD and any federal agency that must be held accountable for waste, fraud and abuse. As long as I serve as a senator from Iowa, I will conduct robust and conscientious oversight to weed out government misconduct and help restore Americans’ faith in our Republic.”

“American humorist Mark Twain once wrote ‘truth is stranger than fiction.’ Unfortunately, the bookkeeping mess at the Department of Defense (DoD) is no laughing matter.”

“Why is the Pentagon able to acquire the most advanced military systems in the world, but fails to install a world class accounting system that’s able to win a war on wasteful spending?”

“The broken data collection system prevents the Pentagon from being audit-ready. And yet, tens of millions of dollars are squandered for incomplete audits and tens of billions of dollars are spent every year to fix the accounting system.”

“I’m working with other lawmakers on the Senate Budget Committee to have the Government Accountability Office investigate why billions and billions have been spent to modernize DoD accounting systems in the last quarter century with nothing to show for it.”

“Flushing out wasteful spending reveals systemic fiscal mismanagement that flushes precious tax dollars down the drain. The ability to plunge waste from the Pentagon’s spending pipeline is clogged up by antiquated accounting systems and disrespect for taxpayer money”

“30 years after the overpriced toilet seat took flight, I’ve discovered that sticker shock for toilet parts in the sky has gained higher altitude. Instead of spending $640 for a toilet seat, the Air Force recently listed $10,000 for a toilet seat lid.”

“Through 6 presidencies and a dozen Secretaries of Defense, wasteful spending runs rampant at the Pentagon. Every defense dollar lost to waste, fraud and abuse weakens military readiness.”

“As an outspoken supporter for whistleblowers, I’ve also worked to empower the brave souls who come forward to report wrongdoing so that they understand their rights.”

“Congress also requires each Inspector General to have a ‘whistleblower ombudsman’ who works on their behalf to make sure they understand laws that protect them from retaliation for reporting waste, fraud and abuse.”

“Congress wrote and passed a new law to say we meant what we said the first time: Inspector Generals are entitled to ‘all records’ to conduct their work.”

Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Whistleblowers

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) — referenced in EXHIBIT A: Inspector General Report #1 — is the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. It is the world’s largest finance and accounting operation.


United States Department of Defense – Defense Finance and Accounting Service Special Agent Badge

Other than the high-profile case from DFAS employee Jim Minnery featured above, Reuters published incredible statements from two longtime DFAS workers. As the Reuters Investigation revealed, Linda Woodford, while working at DFAS, “spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts.”

“Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. Woodford says, ‘We didn’t have the detail… for a lot of it.’”

“Woodford and her colleagues were told by superiors to take ‘unsubstantiated change actions’ – in other words, enter false numbers, commonly called ‘plugs,’ to make the totals match the Treasury’s.”

“Jeff Yokel, who spent 17 years in senior positions in DFAS’s Cleveland office before retiring, says supervisors were required to approve every ‘plug’ – thousands a month.

DoD Standard Operating Procedure: Accounting Fraud, Reuters Report:

“At the DFAS offices that handle accounting for the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defense agencies, fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure, Reuters has found.

And plugging isn’t confined to DFAS. Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information.

A review of multiple reports from oversight agencies in recent years shows that the Pentagon also has systematically ignored warnings about its accounting practices.

‘These types of adjustments, made without supporting documentation… mask much larger problems in the original accounting data,’ the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said.

Plugs also are symptomatic of one very large problem: the Pentagon’s chronic failure to keep track of its money – how much it has, how much it pays out and how much is wasted or stolen.”

Congressional Statements on Accounting Crisis at the Pentagon

These quotes were featured in my recent post: Pentagon Audit: Evidence Proving $21 Trillion Unaccounted For – Opening Statement

As Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said in a recent speech on the United States Senate floor:

A monster is lurking in the weeds. And nobody wants to talk about it…. They are red flag accounting issues listed in DoD reports for years…. 26-years of hard-core foot-dragging shows that internal resistance to auditing the books runs deep.”

Former Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who sponsored the Audit the Pentagon Act of 2012, one of many failed and/or ignored attempts to bring accountability, summed up the situation by saying:

“The Pentagon can’t manage what it can’t measure, and Congress can’t effectively perform its Constitutional oversight role if it doesn’t know how the Pentagon is spending taxpayer dollars.

Until the Pentagon produces a viable financial audit, it won’t be able to effectively prioritize its spending, and it will continue to violate the Constitution and put our National Security at risk.”

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who is on the Senate Intelligence Committee and a sponsor of the most recent Audit the Pentagon Act of 2015, recently stated:

“The Senate voted to increase military spending…. I was one of only eight members of the Senate who voted ‘No’ on this bill. Why? One of the reasons was because we don’t know where this money goes since the Pentagon has never had an audit.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) didn’t pull any punches either:

“It is disgraceful that Congress has poured trillions upon trillions of taxpayer dollars into an agency that refuses even the most basic measure of accountability.”

Subcommittee Chairman on Federal Spending Oversight Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) recently expressed his frustration with the Pentagon’s accounting crisis by saying:

“The department charged with carrying out our greatest constitutional responsibility has set the lowest possible standard for accountability.”

* There are many more quotes that I still have to pull into this post. Please join my email list below to be notified of updates. Most of these quotes were featured in my investigative series: Global War Profiteers Vs. The People of the United States. You can get that full report here:

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Pentagon Audit: Evidence Proving $21 Trillion Unaccounted For – Opening Statement

Editor’s Note: This post features a collection of evidence proving that trillions of our tax dollars are unaccounted for and the U.S. Constitution is being violated. The following is an adapted excerpt from David DeGraw’s investigative series: Global War Profiteers Vs. The People of the United States. You can download the full 88-page report in PDF format for an amount of your choosing here.

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OPENING STATEMENT

According to United States government documents, since 1998, the Office of the Inspector General has reported $21 Trillion in unaccounted for money.

As unbelievable and absurd as that sounds, the actual total of unaccounted for money at the Pentagon is most likely significantly more than $21 trillion.

Researchers are unable to get data for every year of military spending, many Pentagon agencies do not have any publicly available records, hundreds of thousands of transactions have been erased, and an estimated millions of transactions do not have any traceable record.

As you will see in detail throughout this series of reports, not only have trillions of taxpayer dollars been knowingly dumped into a shockingly unaccountable black hole, Congress is not even sure how much money has been appropriated and given out in the first place.

United States government officials who work for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have been reporting on this stunning issue for years.

The fact that this mind-blowing amount of missing tax money has not been a lightning rod for mainstream media coverage, congressional investigations, and a lead issue for all political representatives, particularly those who claim to care about our skyrocketing national debt, calls into serious question the integrity and legitimacy of all leadership and responsible parties.

Beyond the outright disregard for the rule of law and lack of consequences for ignoring an annual audit legal requirement, the Pentagon is also flagrantly in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 specifically states:

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

Judiciary-Committee-1

“Condemnation without investigation
is the height of ignorance.”

~ Albert Einstein

Documentary Evidence

EXHIBIT A: 26 Inspector General Reports Revealing $21 Trillion Unaccounted For

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG) is an independent agency that provides oversight of DoD programs and operations.

“The office’s mission is to promote integrity, accountability, and improvement of Department of Defense personnel, programs and operations to support the Department’s mission and serve the public interest.”

The Inspector General “combats fraud, waste and abuse in the Department of Defense by conducting audits, investigations and evaluations.”

IG Report 1 of 26:
$6.5 Trillion Unaccounted For, Army General Fund

DOD-IG-Report-1

* See below for a complete archive of Inspector General reports.

EXHIBIT B: DFAS Statements, Accounting Fraud as DoD Standard Operating Procedure

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) — referenced in EXHIBIT A Inspector General Report #1 — is the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. It is the world’s largest finance and accounting operation.

As a Reuters Investigation revealed, Linda Woodford, while working at DFAS, “spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts.”

“Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. Woodford says, ‘We didn’t have the detail… for a lot of it.’”

“Woodford and her colleagues were told by superiors to take ‘unsubstantiated change actions’ – in other words, enter false numbers, commonly called ‘plugs,’ to make the totals match the Treasury’s.”

“Jeff Yokel, who spent 17 years in senior positions in DFAS’s Cleveland office before retiring, says supervisors were required to approve every ‘plug’ – thousands a month.”

US-Special-Agent-DOD-DFAS-1080
United States Department of Defense – Defense Finance and Accounting Service Special Agent Badge

DoD Standard Operating Procedure

“At the DFAS offices that handle accounting for the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defense agencies, fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure, Reuters has found.

And plugging isn’t confined to DFAS. Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information.

A review of multiple reports from oversight agencies in recent years shows that the Pentagon also has systematically ignored warnings about its accounting practices.

‘These types of adjustments, made without supporting documentation… mask much larger problems in the original accounting data,’ the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said.

Plugs also are symptomatic of one very large problem: the Pentagon’s chronic failure to keep track of its money – how much it has, how much it pays out and how much is wasted or stolen.”

Deputy Marshals Teen Shot

Here’s a short video excerpt from PBS featuring a Bill Moyers interview with Chuck Spinney, a former Air Force Lieutenant and longtime Pentagon analyst specializing in military spending. Spinney has given legendary reports on military spending to Congress and was called “the conscience of the Pentagon” by Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley.

EXHIBIT C: Congressional Statements on Accounting Crisis at the Pentagon

As Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said in a recent speech on the United States Senate floor:“A monster is lurking in the weeds. And nobody wants to talk about it…. They are red flag accounting issues listed in DoD reports for years…. 26-years of hard-core foot-dragging shows that internal resistance to auditing the books runs deep.”

Former Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who sponsored the Audit the Pentagon Act of 2012, one of many failed and/or ignored attempts to bring accountability, summed up the situation by saying:“The Pentagon can’t manage what it can’t measure, and Congress can’t effectively perform its Constitutional oversight role if it doesn’t know how the Pentagon is spending taxpayer dollars.

Until the Pentagon produces a viable financial audit, it won’t be able to effectively prioritize its spending, and it will continue to violate the Constitution and put our National Security at risk.”

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee and a sponsor of the most recent Audit the Pentagon Act of 2015, recently stated:

“The Senate voted to increase military spending…. I was one of only eight members of the Senate who voted ‘No’ on this bill. Why? One of the reasons was because we don’t know where this money goes since the Pentagon has never had an audit.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) didn’t pull any punches either:

“It is disgraceful that Congress has poured trillions upon trillions of taxpayer dollars into an agency that refuses even the most basic measure of accountability.”

Subcommittee Chairman on Federal Spending Oversight Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) recently expressed his frustration with the Pentagon’s accounting crisis by saying:

“The department charged with carrying out our greatest constitutional responsibility has set the lowest possible standard for accountability.”

EXHIBIT D: Summary of DoD Office of the Inspector General Audits of Financial Management

These highlights from the DoD Inspector General “Summary of DoD Office of the Inspector General Audits of Financial Management” are excerpted from The Pentagon Labyrinth, 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It. It was written by, “10 Pentagon Insiders, Retired Military Officers and Specialists With Over 400 Years of Defense Experience.”

The section featured here is from Essay #8, Decoding the Defense Budget: The Ultimate in Cooked Numbers, by Winslow T. Wheeler:

• The financial management systems DOD has put in place to control and monitor the money flow don’t facilitate but actually “prevent DOD from collecting and reporting financial information… that is accurate, reliable, and timely.” (p. 4)

• DOD frequently enters “unsupported” (i.e. imaginary) amounts in its books (p. 13) and uses those figures to make the books balance. (p. 14)

• Inventory records are not reviewed and adjusted; unreliable and inaccurate data are used to report inventories, and purchases are made based on those distorted inventory reports. (p. 7)

• DOD managers do not know how much money is in their accounts at the Treasury, or when they spend more than Congress appropriates to them. (p. 5)18

• Nor does DOD “record, report, collect, and reconcile” funds received from other agencies or the public (p. 6),

• DOD tracks neither buyer nor seller amounts when conducting transactions with other agencies. (p. 12)

• “The cost and depreciation of the DOD general property, plant, and equipment are not reliably reported….” (p. 8);

• “… the value of DOD property and material in the possession of contractors is not reliably reported.” (p. 9)

• DOD does not know who owes it money, nor how much. (p. 10.)

It gets worse; overall:

• “audit trails” are not kept “in sufficient detail,” which means no one can track the money;

• DOD’s “Internal Controls,” intended to track the money, are inoperative. Thus, DOD cost reports and financial statements are inaccurate, and the size, even the direction (in plus or minus values), of the errors cannot be identified, and

• DOD does not observe many of the laws that govern all this.

It is as if the accountability and appropriations clauses of the U.S. Constitution were just window dressing, behind which this mind-numbing malfeasance thrives. Technically, this is a violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, a statute carrying felony sanctions of fines and imprisonment.

Congress and the Pentagon annually report and hold hearings on DOD’s lack of financial accountability and sometimes enact new laws, but many of the new laws simply permit the Pentagon to ignore the previous ones; others are eyewash.

If you have a system that does not accurately know what its spending history is, and does not know what it is now (and does not care to redress the matter), how can you expect it to make a competent, honest estimate of future costs?

It is self-evident that an operation that tolerates inaccurate, unverifiable data cannot be soundly managed; it exempts itself from any reasonable standard of efficiency.

Recall, also that the errors in cost, schedule and performance that result are not random: actual costs always turn out to be much higher than, sometimes even multiples of, early estimates; the schedule is always optimistic, and the performance is always inflated.

The Pentagon, defense industry and their congressional operatives want – need – to increase the money flow into the system to pretend to improve it.

Supported by a psychology of excessive secrecy, generated fear and the ideological belief that there is no alternative to high cost, high complexity weapons, higher budgets are easier to justify, especially if no one can sort out how the Pentagon actually spends its money.

The key to the DOD spending problem is to initiate financial accountability. No failed system can be understood or fixed if it cannot be accurately measured.

And yet, there is no sense of urgency in the Pentagon to do anything about it.

Indeed, in the 1990s, we were promised the accountability problem would be solved by 1997. In the early 2000s, we were promised it would be solved by 2007; then by 2016; then by 2017….

The question must be asked: if nothing has been done by the Pentagon to end the accountability problem after more than 20 years of promises, is top management simply incompetent, or is this the intended result of obfuscation to avert accountability?

A spending system that effectively audits its weapon programs and offices would also be one that systemically uncovers incompetent and crooked managers, false promises and those who made them.

It would also necessarily reveal reasons to dramatically alter, if not cease, funding for some programs, which of course would make lots of people in industry, Congress, and the executive branch unhappy.

The current system and its out of control finances mortally harm our defenses, defraud taxpayers, and bloat the Pentagon and federal budgets.

Any reform that fails to address this most fundamental problem is merely another doomed attempt that will only serve to perpetuate a system that thrives on falsehoods and deception.

William Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, summed up the accountability crisis at the Pentagon by saying:

“Call it irony or call it symptomatic of the department’s way of life, but an analysis by the Project on Government Oversight notes the Pentagon has so far spent roughly $6 billion on ‘fixing’ the audit problem — with no solution in sight.

If anything, the Defense Department’s accounting practices have been getting worse.”

pentagon-lab
Decoding the Defense Budget: The Ultimate in Cooked Numbers, by Winslow T. Wheeler. Full Report PDF Here

It is all coming to a head now. After decades of “hard-core foot-dragging” and “internal resistance” the first ever “full scope audit” of the Pentagon has recently begun, and while the government’s Chief Financial Officer David Norquist’s plan has flaws, the initial findings are further evidence of widespread malfeasance.

For example, in preparation for the audit the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which buys and distributes military supplies, recently spent over $2 billion on a faulty accounting system. As Politico reported:

“Ernst & Young found that the Defense Logistics Agency failed to properly document more than $800 million in construction projects, just one of a series of examples where it lacks a paper trail for millions of dollars….

Across the board, its financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums it’s responsible for, the firm warned in its initial audit… as the auditors found, the agency often has little solid evidence for where much of that money is going.”

As you will read throughout this series, the problems at the DLA are emblematic of widespread systemic problems throughout many Pentagon agencies. There are consistent reoccurring themes: billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on accounting, tracking and IT systems that cost significantly more than originally quoted, take longer to implement, and rarely ever work properly.

William Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, summed up the accountability crisis at the Pentagon by saying:

“The Department of Defense can’t tell us how much equipment it has purchased, how often it has been overcharged, or even how many contractors it employs.

Call it irony or call it symptomatic of the department’s way of life, but an analysis by the Project on Government Oversight notes the Pentagon has so far spent roughly $6 billion on ‘fixing’ the audit problem — with no solution in sight.

If anything, the Defense Department’s accounting practices have been getting worse.”

As Reuters summed it up, “an organization that fields the most sophisticated technology in the world to fight wars and spy on enemies has come to rely on an accounting system of antiquated, error-prone computers… these thousands of duplicative and inefficient systems cost billions of dollars to staff and maintain… efforts to replace these systems with better ones have ended in costly failures… it all adds up to billions of taxpayer dollars a year in losses to mismanagement, theft and fraud.”

As the Defense Logistics audit reveals, and as you will see in this series, not only are our tax dollars not being accounted for, the Pentagon cannot adequately track weapons, ammunition and supplies stored in military facilities within the United States, let alone the weapons that are stored in over 1000 military bases worldwide, with troops in 177 countries.

The Pentagon cannot even track where tens of thousands of troops are stationed, let alone all the Global Private Military Contractors who now outnumber U.S. troops three-to-one in war zones around the world.

In fact, as evidence clearly demonstrates, our weapons are routinely “lost” in war zones and have consistently ended up in the hands of the people our troops are fighting.

Despite all the “Support the Troops” rhetoric, evidence shows that the Pentagon has frequently failed to properly pay soldiers, and provide basic benefits and adequate healthcare. As you will see, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has been plagued by scandal after scandal; from billions of dollars wasted on failed IT projects and contractor self-dealing, to patient neglect and unsanitary conditions.

Even high profile U.S. Veteran fundraising campaigns have failed to deliver donations, stealing millions of dollars from the veterans who need it most.

Perhaps most terrifying of all, our Nuclear Weapons lack adequate oversight and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has been besieged by scandalous corruption.

After an extensive analysis of Pentagon procedures, the outrageous level of corruption, staggering incompetency, outright fraud and obscene theft are beyond comprehension.

As you will see in detail throughout this series, the systemic and chronic wasteful spending that we can account for costs U.S. taxpayers tens of billions of dollars annually.

When you understand how the money that is accounted for has been spent, you will be shocked and horrified.

After understanding that, you can make some obvious educated estimates on what has been happening to the unaccounted for, untraceable and unauthorized “tax” money.

Global War Profiteers Vs. The People of the United States

Global War Profiteers
Vs.
The People of the United States

“We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence… by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”
~ President Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address

Under the guise of National Security, Global War Profiteers have looted trillions of taxpayer dollars from the U.S. Treasury and have destabilized much of the world by increasing terrorism 6500% since the “War on Terror” began, while paying off politicians and erecting an unprecedented global surveillance network.

Due to the National Security State’s control of mainstream media companies and their systematic suppression of whistleblowers, independent journalists and alternative media outlets, the overwhelming majority of the American population is unaware of how dangerously corrupt our government has become.

While civilian angst among most demographics has been dramatically rising, the American People are tragically misinformed.

We are trapped in a vicious cycle; increased military spending, with inadequate oversight, leads to billions of our annual taxpayer dollars being given directly to the people who profit off of war, terrorism and societal destabilization in general – as evidence clearly demonstrates.

The negative feedback loop then spirals; as terrorism and societal destabilization become more widespread, corrupt and/or shortsighted politicians then appropriate even more tax dollars for the military, with even less oversight, which leads to more funding, weapons and harmful technologies falling into the hands of terrorists, oppressive governments and predatory global corporations, as repressive technology and lethal weapons exponentially proliferate worldwide.

The astounding lack of oversight concerning military spending is an open invitation for every criminal element.

As a consequence to all of this military spending, Global Private Military Companies have now become more powerful than the nation-state governments that fund them.

In the United States, Global Private Military Companies dominate both political parties and most of the government agencies that were created to protect the American People against predatory Global Interests.

The People of the United States are now under attack and occupied by Global War Profiteers.

Our political system has become fatally corrupted. Both political parties now blatantly serve Global War Profiteers at the expense of hardworking Americans.

Through scientific analysis we can now prove that our government is rigged against the American People by Global Interests.

The mainstream media system is now run by Global War Profiteering Psychological Operations experts who systematically divide and conquer the American people with identity politics and Russian hysteria, while promoting war and increases in military spending, as if they are the answer to security, when every serious metric demonstrates that war, increases in military spending and the resulting government debt are primary drivers of societal destabilization, corruption, criminal activity, terrorism, violence and the spread of exploitation in general.

The distance between reality and what is presented in the U.S. mainstream media has always been disturbing, but it is now ominously terrifying and a significant immediate threat to the American People’s Security, and sanity.

“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.”
~ The Politics of Experience

Given the death of journalism, and how hard people have to work to keep up with the rising cost of living, Americans don’t have the time or psychological bandwidth needed to research, reflect and expand their perspective wide enough to make wise decisions.

This is the vicious cycle that has ensnared us, as our government spirals toward destruction.

Moving forward, I will present vital information and evidence in hopes that the American People can comprehend the urgency of the moment and research these issues further for themselves, so they can begin to defend their families in a serious and responsible manner.

congressional-cash-1

Archive of Inspector General Reports Revealing $21 Trillion Unaccounted For

This archive has been compiled by Dr. Mark Skidmore & Catherine Austin Fitts at Solari.com.

2015 ~ $6.5 trillion See Page #1

2015 ~ $90.2 billion See Page #8

2015 ~ $278.5 billion See Page #4

2014 ~ $1.9 billion See Page #5

2012 ~ $1.6 trillion See Page #4

2012 ~ $110.9 billion See Page #91

2011 ~ $14.6 billion See Page #100

2010 ~ $874.8 billion See Page #4

2009 ~ $1.4 trillion See Page #8

2009 ~ $311.3 billion See Page #88

2008 ~ $595.8 billion See Page #91

2007 ~ $1.1 trillion See Page #5

2006 ~ $270.1 billion See Page #107

2005 ~ $248.5 billion See Page #140, #141

2004 ~ $258.1 billion See Page #125

2003 ~ $268.3 billion See Page #191

2002 ~ $500.1 billion See Page #232

2000 ~ $361.5 billion See Page #168

2000 ~ $161.6 billion See Page #4

2000 ~ $1.1 trillion See Page #1 & See Page #147

2000 ~ $320 billion See Page #147

1999 ~ $59.6 billion See Page #4

1999 ~ $2.3 trillion See Page #9

1998 ~ $880 billion See Page #1

1998 ~ $17.6 billion See Page #4

1998 ~ $1.7 trillion See Page #5

Further Reading

This Opening Statement was an adapted excerpt from an investigative series that David DeGraw originally published on the Changemaker.Media website. That website has been under attack from hackers and is no longer available. We hope to get the full series of reports back online soon. You can download the full 88-page report in PDF format for an amount of your choosing here.

Global War Profiteers Vs. The People of the United States, Full Report PDF Download

The only two establishment media companies to cover this issue have been Forbes and a series of articles from Reuters.

Has Our Government Spent $21 Trillion Of Our Money Without Telling Us? (Forbes)

U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds (Reuters)

Special Report: The Pentagon’s doctored ledgers conceal epic waste (Reuters)

Special Report: How the Pentagon’s payroll quagmire traps America’s soldiers (Reuters)

Senators urge Pentagon to end systematic faking of its accounts (Reuters)

Special Report: Defense auditor approved flawed Marine Corps books (Reuters)

Unaccountable: The high cost of the Pentagon’s bad bookkeeping (Reuters)

The Pentagon Can’t Account for $21 Trillion (That’s Not a Typo) (TruthDig)

Decoding the Defense Budget: The Ultimate in Cooked Numbers (Center for Defense Information)

Interview Summing Up Pentagon Audit & $21 Trillion In Missing Money

Max Keiser & Stacy Herbert Interview David DeGraw

You can subscribe to David’s new YouTube channel here.

Dedication & Thanks

bonus-march

Thank you to all the Constitutional Patriots throughout our government who have been supportive of this work. With your help we can effectively unite and defend the American People on this vital issue.

We cannot sit silently as trillions of our tax dollars go unaccounted for.

“Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.”
~ Albert Einstein

DOWNLOAD FULL 88-PAGE REPORT

degraw-media-global-war-profiteers-v-the-USA-cover

You can download the full 88-page Global War Profiteers Vs. The People of the United States report in PDF format for an amount of your choosing here:

Choose Your Amount…

Or make a one-time donation here…

Over 1000 Whistleblowers Silenced, Time to Unleash Inspector Generals ~ Podcast #2

Inspector Generals are the American people’s key weapon in fighting back against corruption. In partnership with the Government Accountability Office, they just released a report revealing that a stunning 1197 whistleblower complaints were filed at the Department of Defense Inspector General office.

Podcast #2: Over 1000 Whistleblowers Silenced, Time to Unleash Inspector Generals

Full Transcript:

Time to Unleash Inspector Generals

When it comes to fixing systemic government corruption, when it comes to fighting back against corruption, there is a very powerful accountability mechanism built into the United States government that is being completely ignored, and this will show you how corrupt both parties are and how corrupted the mainstream media has become. There is a very powerful accountability mechanism built into the core functioning of the United States government that no one talks about.

Every agency within the United States government has their very own Inspector General. Every agency and department within the United States Government has their very own independent Inspector General.

Inspector Generals exist to combat corruption, that is their mandate. It is their job to detect and investigate fraud, to detect and investigate abuses of power, unethical actions and corrupt activity. It is their job to detect and investigate corruption within the particular agency that they specialize in.

Inspector Generals have full power, full legal authority to investigate corruption in every government agency, in every department. Every document that every government agency has, everything every agency does, every move that an agency makes, the Inspector General of that agency has full legal authority to know about it and investigate it. This is it people. This is our access point. This is how we can effectively combat systemic government corruption.

Inspector Generals are a lynchpin accountability mechanism that we can use to take our government back from the corrupt, and it is a way that 99.99% of Americans can agree on.

As our government has grown in corruption, Inspector Generals have had their budgets and staffs cut drastically. Surprise, surprise, anyone who engages in corruption, anywhere in our government, absolutely does not want an Inspector General around, so corrupt politicians have cut their budgets and many key head Inspector General positions have not been filled.

You can tell how corrupt our mainstream media system is to, you can see the absolute death of real journalism in this country when it comes to the lack of coverage on all the vital work that Inspector Generals do. The mainstream media has had a blackout on most of the work that Inspector Generals have been doing. Inspector Generals have been calling out billions upon billions of dollars in fraud throughout our tax system, billions upon billions of tax dollars are lost to fraud every year. Inspector Generals have been exposing outrageous corruption in report after report, but the mainstream media totally ignores them. There are so many examples of this, which I will be covering in detail throughout this series.

Inspector Generals even provide solutions. When they see waste, when they see how fraud is happening, or when they see loopholes in policy that lead to corruption, when they see abuse of power, they investigate it and provide solutions. However, our politicians are so corrupt, they often don’t implement the solutions. It’s outrageous. We have fixes, solutions on the books, solutions that can literally save us billions upon billions of tax dollars every single year, yet they aren’t implemented.

Trillions of tax dollars are flying out the door. It’s the wild, wild west on steroids. It’s a gold rush, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. It’s the plunder of the U.S. Treasury, for real. It’s Peak Corruption.

The bottom line though, if we can shine a light on the work that Inspector Generals are doing, we can deploy this vital lynchpin governmental accountability mechanism and throw a serious wrench into the gears of corruption. This is our backdoor, this is the American people’s backdoor into combating corruption.

With elections, the electoral door has been significantly rigged shut; campaign finance, dark money, gerrymandering, rigged primaries, Super Delegates, closed debates, privately controlled voting machines, various forms of voter suppression, and on and on and on. We are being very effectively locked out of the electoral process, the electoral door. Well, as it turns out, there is a backdoor for us, a lynchpin accountability mechanism that we need to focus on.

Inspector Generals are the American people’s key weapon in taking on the predatory Global Interests that have taken control of both political parties. This is why the mainstream media ignores their work. This is why corrupt politicians and corrupt government officials are cutting Inspector General’s budgets and stopping them from filling pivotal leadership positions.

The global power elite are trying to lock us out of the electoral process, so Inspector Generals are the American people’s backdoor into combating corruption.

You know the so-called “Deep State,” this permanent shadow government that seems to be controlling everything in secrecy, these unelected, unaccountable imperial interests who operate in secrecy. Well, guess what, the “Deep State” shadow government really doesn’t want Inspector Generals around. Vital Inspector General positions within “deep state” agencies haven’t been filled. Their Inspector Generals have been mysteriously fired. All sorts of highly suspect activities around Department of Defense Inspector Generals have been going on, and it is no surprise as to why.

You see, Inspector Generals have full legal authority to know everything that these secretive agencies have been doing. Hmm… interesting. Just like the NSA has a backdoor into our private lives, well, as it turns out, we have a backdoor into theirs as well. Shh… you are not supposed to know about it, shh… no one is supposed to talk about it, shh…

Independent Inspector Generals, this is where the action is at people.

The $20 trillion, trillion, with a “t,” the $20 trillion in unaccounted for so-called “military” spending that I have been reporting on, that info comes from the Department of Defense Inspector General. Now, here’s a little-known fact on that, a little-known detail. Since the Department of Defense Inspector General reported $6.5 trillion in unaccounted for military spending in one year, you heard that right, the Department of Defense Inspector General reported $6.5 trillion in unaccounted for military spending in one year. Since then, since that report, the Department of Defense has not had a head Inspector General. Since the Department of Defense Inspector General reported $6.5 trillion in unaccounted for military spending in one year, there has not been a head Inspector General at the Department of Defense.

Hmm… interesting how that works. And, to make matters even worse, the Head of Whistleblowing and Source Protection at the Department of Defense’s Inspector General office was abruptly, scandalously fired. What do you know? Funny how that works. I will have much more to say about this in a minute.

Let me first stress, we need to highlight the work Inspector Generals. The work they have already done, investigations that they are doing, and what they need to do. We need to make sure they remain independent and that they get proper funding and staffing. We need to make sure that all the key head positions are filled by independent people, as they are legally required to be. We need to make sure that investigations are taking place. We need to make sure that solutions are being implemented.

Inspector Generals need to become a primary political focus, a primary political narrative. When the government is overrun in systemic corruption, Inspector Generals are of critical, paramount importance.

And this is something that most all Americans can agree to and get behind. 99.99% of America does not want a corrupt government. 99.99% of America doesn’t want to have their tax dollars stolen, and Inspector Generals exist to combat corruption, to make sure that tax dollars are appropriated correctly, that’s what they do, combating corruption is their mandate, to combat corruption and abuse of power.

As I was said in the previous podcast, the only dividing line that matters right now is between those who are in on the corruption and those who are not, and 99.99% of the population is not in on the corruption.

Ok, that being said, now let’s get further into this right now; let’s drive home the point; in partnership with the Office of the Inspector General, we also need to highlight the work of the Government Accountability Office. The Government Accountability Office has been putting out report after report on shocking corruption. The Government Accountability Office primarily examines how taxpayer dollars are spent, but they also serve a vital watchdog role when it comes to overall corruption.

For example number 1 of many, in the past year alone, the Government Accountability Office has uncovered over $70 billion in wasteful spending. In the past year alone, the Government Accountability Office has uncovered over $70 billion in wasteful spending, in one fiscal year. Meanwhile, they are tragically underfunded as well. For every $1 spent on the Government Accountability Office, they save us $130 dollars in fraud and waste. And this is the budget that gets cut? For every $1 they get, they give us $130 dollars. Yeah, let’s cut their funding. Can you say Peak Corruption? With budget management like that, it is no wonder we have an all-time record-breaking national debt of over $21 trillion.

And, the same thing can be said for the Office of the Inspector General’s gutted budget, and also Congressional Investigation Committees having their funding slashed. The ROI, the Return On Investment when it comes to funding accountability mechanisms within our government is outstanding, it is the best bang for our buck that we can get. And yet, this is where big cuts in funding are occurring. Meanwhile, where the most corruption is taking place, where we get the least bang for our buck, that’s where funding is increasing. Can you say Peak Corruption? Peak Corruption people. It’s Global Imperial plunder.

Let’s keep driving this point home. To understand how the Government Accountability Office and the Office of the Inspector General can team up to be the American People’s Wonder Twins when it comes to combating corruption, and to further understand how budget cuts to Inspector Generals are destroying their ability to investigate known corruption, here’s another recent example of mind-blowing corruption that they recently revealed, here is some more surreal corruption for you. Put your seatbelt on for this one.

Over 1000 Whistleblowers Silenced

The Government Accountability Office just released a report revealing that a stunning 1197 whistleblower complaints were filed at the Department of Defense Inspector General office over a three-year period. That is 1197 whistleblower complaints formally filed in only three years. On average, that is more than one whistleblower stepping forward every single day, 365 days a year. That is more than one whistleblower complaint being formally filed at the Department of Defense Inspector General office every single day, 365 days a year, just at the Pentagon. This isn’t throughout the entire government, this is just at the Pentagon, just at the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office.

But wait, the story gets much crazier the more you look into it. Guess how many of these whistleblower complaints were not followed up on or investigated at all, guess how many of the 1197 whistleblower complaints were mysteriously closed without any investigation at all?

1094.

1094 whistleblower complaints that were filed, formally, officially filed at the Department of Defense Inspector General office were never looked into or investigated at all. They were immediately shutdown and silenced. Please think this through, that’s over 1000 whistleblowers recently stepping forward, in just the Pentagon, that were completely ignored, silenced. 1094 whistleblower complaints that were never followed up on or investigated. That is 91% of the whistleblower complaints that were filed at the Pentagon. 91% of whistleblower complaints that are formally filed at the Department of Defense Inspector General office are never investigated.

This means that one very brave whistleblower steps forward every single day, 365 a year, and they are completely ignored. It’s mind-blowing, and this is the norm. The unthinkable has become normalized. It’s surreal corruption.

Now, it is vital that you understand the full context here. There are a couple more significant layers to this, to say the least. Let me start by giving some more context on the act of blowing the whistle in the first place: you have to understand, within the military, the Pentagon and Intel Community, people are very reluctant to file whistleblower complaints. They know the odds are that they are going to be retaliated against. There are many cases of retaliation. Retaliation has become a huge scandal, retaliation has become an epidemic. It’s the norm now.

For whistleblowers the odds are that they are going to be demoted, they will probably be reassigned to awful assignments as punishment, at best. They may be dishonorably discharged. Their reputation will be smeared. There are solid odds that their career will be over. They may even lose their ability to make a living at all, which has happened in cases.

There is tremendous risk in filing a whistleblower complaint, especially when you work in the Pentagon, so most people don’t do it to begin with. The percentage of people who see corruption and then actually go and file a formal complaint with the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office, that percentage is tiny, a tiny fraction to begin with. Yet, we still get more than one brave and incredibly courageous whistleblower stepping forward every single day, 365 days a year, and they are completely ignored. Every single day a whistleblower is silenced, every single day 365 days a year a whistleblower is silenced.

What is happening, what is happening here?

But wait, but wait… there’s much more that needs to be said, to make matters even worse, as I briefly mentioned before, the head of Whistleblowing and Source Protection at the Department of Defense Inspector General office was abruptly fired last year under scandalous circumstances, plus, as I said before, key positions in the DoD and Intel Community Inspector General’s office haven’t been filled, and, of course, potential whistleblowers know all about this, so it takes a lot, to say the least, it is a huge risk to formally file a whistleblower complaint.

And on top of all this, yes, it gets even worse, this is surreal corruption people, on top of all this now, potential whistleblowers know that the CIA is illegally, unconstitutionally surveilling Congress when Congress talks to whistleblowers. Yes, you heard that correct, so much for Constitutional checks and balances, the CIA is surveilling Congress when they talk to whistleblowers, which, oh by the way, is a major violation of the U.S. Constitution.

So, bottom line, most people who are seeing corruption are not blowing the whistle. Yet, we’ve had over 1000 courageous whistleblowers step forward who were ignored and silenced.

Can you say Peak Corruption?

So, to give context on this part of the scandal, the handful of whistleblowers who manage to get their cases investigated, what happens with the select few who don’t get immediately shutdown and silenced, the few who strategically maneuver through the cracks?

Well, recently Senator Grassley, Senator Grassley is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is the Senate Judiciary Committee now. You know, as a side note here, when you have trillions of dollars in unaccounted for military spending, you go to the Senate Judiciary Committee for justice, that’s the way the Constitutional checks & balances work.

So, in this latest example, you had whistleblowers going to the Senate in hopes of bringing some very rare accountability, but it turned out that they were being illegally surveilled by the CIA. The CIA was surveilling congressional staff interactions with whistleblowers, so the CIA was able to stay one step ahead and manipulate the process, and they ended up effectively countering and shutting down the Congressional investigations into those whistleblower complaints, and these were the few whistleblower complaints that were actually investigated and followed up on to begin with.

These were the few that slipped though the cracks and actually got partially looked into. And even worse, the CIA was able to classify the fact that they were even caught spying on Congress, and, oh by the way, that is a major violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Congress is supposed to hold the CIA accountable, that’s their job, that is a major check and balance, and the CIA is caught spying on Congress. That’s a major violation of the Constitution, and this latest example is certainly not the first time that the CIA was caught illegally spying on Congress. For another example, when Congress was trying to investigate the CIA’s torture program, the CIA was caught spying on Congress then as well. Whoops, we don’t need those checks and balances now, do we? There is no need for checks and balances in the land of Global Imperial Rule, is there?

For more context now, this is how absurd it is: Senator Grassley, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary, he had to fight hard for 4 years just to get this information on the CIA’s illegal surveillance of congressional staff interactions with whistleblowers declassified. This has been going on for at least 4 years now.

This is how torched the Constitution is now: the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary had to fight hard for 4 years to get this scandalous information partially declassified, which he finally just did recently, so this is just the latest example of highly illegal, highly corrupt, highly unconstitutional activity.

By the way, another quick side note right now, which I’ll get more into in the future, this Constitution destroying power, the ability to use National Security Secrecy to cover up corruption, illegal activity, and to silence whistleblowers, this is the Global Imperial Elite’s trump card. They engage in highly corrupt activity and then they can just cover it up by waving the wand of National Security. It’s the ultimate get out of jail free card.

And we can see it in action here. The fact that it took four years for the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary to be able to publicly say they were illegally, unconstitutionally being spied on, that is stunning. Four years for the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary to be able to say that the Constitution was violated in a fundamental way, that’s stunning.

And even in this egregious case where the CIA completely torched the Constitution, even in this case, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee after four years of battling was only able to get limited information on this issue declassified. Even after all that, the information that was finally declassified had parts redacted, which Senator Grassley said was completely unnecessary to have any of it redacted. Senator Grassley is a senior Republican. Then you have Senator Wyden, a Senior Democrat, who is on the Senate Intel committee, Wyden has said that information is classified to cover up corruption routinely, as standard operating procedure.

This is senior Republican leadership and senior Democratic leadership, people who are in a position to know what is going on, they are the ones saying this. They are in agreement, saying information is being classified to cover up outrageous corruption.

Then, you even had Senator Chuck Schumer go on national television, for a very rare moment of deep truth from Schumer, Schumer went on national television to warn President Trump that he can’t hold the Intel Community accountable because, and I quote now, “they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” That was a direct quote, said on national television. Do you grasp the absurdity of this?

You had the leader of the Democratic Party, a Senator, warn the President, saying that they can’t hold the Intel Community accountable because they have too many ways to get back at you. Game, set and match people, checkmate, the Constitution has been officially torched.

This isn’t me saying these things, this is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a senior Republican Senator, and a Senior Democratic Senator on the Intel Committee, and the leader of the Democratic party in the Senate, warning the Republican President on national television. They are all saying that you cannot hold the intel community accountable.

I’ll get more into the dynamics of all this in a bit, how the Intel Community and private military contractors effectively shut down anyone who can hold them accountable, there is much more to say about all this. There are clear-cut examples.

Back to the original point here, so potential whistleblowers know about all this, they see firsthand how the chain of accountability is being dismantled and surveilled, and still we had over 1000 whistleblowers step forward, and no one even looked into their complaints or investigated them at all, they were just ignored. Over 1000 whistleblowers were silenced. It is beyond absurd corruption. It is surreal corruption, Peak Corruption is the technical term.

Think about it this way for a minute: over 1000 whistleblowers silenced, over 1000 whistleblowers stepping forward is HUGE NEWS, and has anyone in the mainstream media covered any of this at all? Have you heard any politicians talking about this?

This is a recent report from the Government Accountability Office in partnership with the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office. They are the primary accountability mechanisms built into the core functioning of our government. They are the ones reporting all of this! Hello! Is anyone out there?

Over 1000 whistleblower complaints ignored, over 1000 whistleblowers silenced, just as trillions of dollars are reported unaccounted for by the Department of Defense Inspector General, and none of this is worthy of any news coverage?

Can you say Global Imperial rule? It’s Global Imperial plunder.

This is Peak Corruption people, Surreal Corruption. Salvador Dali could not capture the surreal corruption that is presently unfolding. It is mind-melting corruption hidden in plain sight, in broad daylight. It is mind-melting corruption hidden in surreal sight.

Look, here’s the bottom line, here’s the urgent message for the American People, this is what the American People need to understand: between the Government Accountability Office, Inspector Generals and Congressional investigations committees, we can very effectively combat corruption and global imperial plunder. And, not surprisingly, all three of these key areas, all three of these absolutely vital accountability mechanisms have had their budgets gutted.

It’s no surprise that corruption is on the rise when these vital accountability mechanisms have been neglected and largely ignored. I’m going to get into detail on all this throughout this series. We’re just getting started here.

Are we starting to understand the importance and the power of Inspector Generals?

Inspector Generals are the Avengers for the American people. I know that sounds silly, but I’m trying to put this into a frame of reference so people can understand how powerful and important Inspector Generals are. This is our pivotal access point. Inspectors Generals are our backdoor into effectively combating corruption. Inspector Generals are our Jedi force. We need to use the force. We need to use this IG force. No joke. We need to shine a light on Inspector Generals. We need to illuminate the dark side. We need to illuminate the shadows, The Shadows That Be. We need to shine a light on Inspector Generals so they can shine a light on the deep dark recesses of the corruption that is absolutely destroying our future.

The Power Of Surveillance Technology

Before jumping into the next topic, I want to dive deeper into the role of surveillance technology. This is another major reason why we need to put a huge spotlight on the work of Inspector Generals.

As we’ve begun to touch on in the first podcast of this series, when it comes to global private military contractors and global intelligence agencies with surveillance technology now, it’s real easy for them to manipulate, silence and control people. This is commonplace now, politicians all over the world, politicians all throughout the United States, they’re targeted and on lockdown now. Anyone in a position of power who can affect the Global Imperial Elite’s power in any way, anyone who can hold them accountable in any way is targeted.

The primary point here: the power of surveillance technology is vastly underestimated when it comes to how real power operates.

Since the days of J. Edgar Hoover, keeping “Control Files” on politicians and political adversaries has been the norm. Now, with unprecedented surveillance powers, global intelligence agencies, Global Private Military contractors and anyone with enough money have the power to know everything about any “targeted individuals,” and thanks to Big Data analytics and Artificial Intelligence algorithms they can do it with increasing effectiveness on entire populations now.

I’ve been fighting off hackers, censorship and many forms of suppression for a long time. With modern surveillance tech, the attacks are much more sophisticated now. You know, with modern surveillance tech, what most people don’t realize or think through, surveillance tech is getting so widespread now, anyone with enough money or skill, anyone evil enough can invade every aspect of your personal life and latch on to the slightest personal vulnerability.

Just think about it for a minute, everything you do on your cell phone, every text message, phone call, everything you do online, on your laptop, desktop, every email, every personal message, every like, comment, every move you make is accessible now, every credit card transaction, every website visited, every online search, even if you write in a diary or personal journal that is on your phone or computer, every move you make is accessible now, and the slightest vulnerability can be manipulated and exploited. Think about it. Think it through.

If you exchange angry text messages with a spouse or a co-worker, if you have personal issues that you are dealing with involving family members, any vulnerability at all can be used against you, in not so subtle ways, and in very subtle ways as well. Any vulnerability whatsoever can be manipulated, provoked and exaggerated.

And here’s the kicker, even if you don’t have a single skeleton in your closet, even if you live like a saint, even if you are the most transparent, open and honest person, they can plant things and make things up. They can make it look like you are doing things that you aren’t actually doing; from sending messages from your phone or messages from any of your accounts, to deep fakes now. They can even make videos now of you doing things that in reality is not you. They can make videos now of you doing things that you have not done that are indistinguishable from reality. These are called deep fake videos. You may have heard of these or have seen some online, but the ones you see online are not as good as the ones major private military and global intel agencies can create, if they are evil enough to do it.

Most of the time you don’t even need to go that far though. When you know every personal detail about someone, you can very effectively undermine their personal life in subtle ways, in many ways. You can cause all sorts of personal drama for them. You can easily undermine and tear apart families. It has become disturbingly, shockingly easy to do it, if your evil enough to do it. This is a quickly growing industry now. If you’re evil enough to do it, it can be done to anyone.

Look, I don’t want to get too deep into this aspect right now. I probably already have. People tend to think you are crazy when you get deep into this. Bottom line though, they can manipulate you in so many ways. All they need is one little data point, one little vulnerability, and they can rip into your personal life with tactical precision. It is real easy to smear people’s reputations, to spread false information, and to blackmail people. It is real easy to silence people, that’s the main point. With modern surveillance tech, it is real easy to manipulate, control and silence people.

What people don’t realize or think through is that this technology and the ability to invade every aspect of your personal life, the technology to do it now is so widespread. People think about surveillance tech and they think it is just the N.S.A. who can spy on them and invade their privacy, but the ability to do it now is very widespread, many intel agencies, private military companies, black market hackers are doing it. It is a booming, thriving industry now.

Anyone who doesn’t like anything that you are doing, or anyone who just wants to make money off of blackmailing people, anyone with enough money or skill, anyone who is evil enough to do it can completely invade every aspect of your life. It’s to the point now, where everyone has to live knowing that everything they do, in the privacy of their own home, everything you do is essentially public information, and privacy is effectively dead. The 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution has been rendered null and void when it comes to modern surveillance tech. Modern surveillance tech has obliterated antiquated privacy laws. And the American people are defenseless to this now.

So this is what happens to investigative journalists who attempt to hold the powerful accountable. This is why journalism is dead in the United States, and this is another significant reason why our politicians have been reduced to being servants of the Global Imperial Elite.

Every significant politician has all sorts of surveillance on them, multi-layers, from intelligence agencies, private military contractors, political opponents, opposition party operatives and powerful global corporations who are affected by possible government policies and regulations. When it comes to real power, everyone is on lockdown now. Step out of line, try to bring accountability and you better be prepared to have your world turned upside-down. This is why corruption is now running wild, running amok. For global power players it’s now the Wild, Wild West, a gold rush courtesy of the American taxpayer.

Just think about what we discussed before, Senator Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic Party, you had the leader of the Democratic Party, a sitting Senator go on national television and warn President Trump that he can’t take on the Intel Community because “they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

It is also vital to point out that many intelligence agencies and Global Private Military contractors also frequently use shell companies to deploy similar tactics on behalf of their wealthy cliental against any adversaries, whether it is political opponents, business rivals, whistleblowers, journalists or activists, as we will be discussing in detail throughout this series.

You have many private military companies who do this, and they often use temporary shell corporations, that are opened and then shutdown, to cover their tracks. It’s commonplace, much more so than people realize, even large corporations in general are doing this now. When it comes to the upper echelon of power, most outsource it to private military contractors who use shell companies.

You have military and Intel Community people now who fly through the revolving door with the latest surveillance tech into private military companies, who then use and improve upon that tech, and then the tech is deployed through shell, front companies to silence political adversaries. This is how real power operates now.

To further understand the point I’m trying to make here, for a revealing publicly known example, you can look at the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal, when they got millions of Facebook users personal info for the 2016 presidential election. The Facebook data scandal was only one small piece to a much bigger puzzle. The investigations into that scandal struck right to the root of this overall surveillance problem.

Cambridge Analytica was a front company for Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL). SCL is deeply intertwined with British Intel, MI6, SIS and the CIA as well. They’re a very powerful private military company who has a long track record of “manipulating” elections. They have “manipulated” more than two hundred elections. And they brag about it, they say they have “conducted behavioral change programs in over 60 countries.” “Behavioral change,” yep, that’s what they do alright.

Anyhow, during the investigations into Cambridge Analytica, their CEO and a top executive, who also worked for SCL, were recorded on video speaking in a very matter-of-fact casual way about how they use surveillance tech to spy on people running for office and spy on politicians who are in office already, how they spy on them to dig up any dirt on them, so they can blackmail them, or bribe them to do whatever they want them to do, or to get them to do whatever their clients want them to do.

And, as they talked about on video, if they can’t dig up any dirt, they discussed how they try to entrap politicians using honey-pot traps, which means they use prostitutes to entrap politicians. They casually talked about how using sexy Ukrainian women to entrap politicians around the world is a very effective way to do it.

Then they said, if they can’t get any dirt on someone, if they can’t even bribe or entrap them, then they just make up information to smear that politician’s credibility and undermine their personal life. They openly bragged about putting out fake news online, and how effective they are at spreading that false information online, and through the mainstream media.

They have gotten many people “elected” using these methods, throughout the US and all over the world. In more than 200 elections, they brag. And SCL is definitely not the only private military contractor or intel company to do this. This is just one example; a publicly revealing look into how real power operates. When you look into this case, you can clearly see how these surveillance technologies are used to control governments now.

Here’s another quick example, we have a situation now, where all throughout Washington D.C., you have stingrays set up now, all around the capitol, stingrays monitor conversations that politicians have, and that’s just another current publicly known example.

With surveillance tech now, anyone in a position of power, anyone who can defend the American people’s interests against the Global Imperial Elite is targeted. So whether you are a politician or an investigator of any kind, whether you’re on a Congressional Investigation Committee, a law enforcement investigator, an Inspector General, or an investigative journalist, you will be targeted and very effectively undermined before you can hold the Global Imperial Elite accountable.

Anyone who is in any way a threat to powerful interests is now targeted. That’s the way it works, so that’s why you get the leader of the Democratic Party, a sitting Senator going on national television to warn the president that you can’t hold the Intel Community accountable, you can’t hold the Global Imperial Elite accountable. It’s a Global Imperial empire now; a global oligarchy has been enthroned. It’s a global centralizing force. They have conquered the 3rd world and the 2nd, the developing world, and now they are conquering the 1st world. This is what’s happening.

In “The Unaccountable System of War Profiteering,” which I outlined in the report I put out that got me hacked and censored online, I reported on all this in detail, as concisely as possible. If I can get that back up online, you can read about all the details with direct source links and deep background information, the evidence that people need to understand how all this works and plays out.

Beyond the underestimated use and power of surveillance tech, I also pointed out how the system of corruptly implemented legalized bribery has been playing out. When it comes to trillions of dollars of unaccounted for so-called “military” spending, you can see how the governmental mechanisms of corruption operate. Based on publicly available information, global military companies have spent at least $2.5 billion through lobbying and campaign finance since 1996, when the Pentagon was first supposed to be audited.

Over that same timeframe, there have also been over 12,000 government officials who have openly cashed-out to global military companies and have gone through the revolving door over that short timeframe. That is an absurd level of blatant corruption: 12,000 government officials who have gone through the revolving door and have openly cashed-out to global military companies, in just this short period of time. 12,000, that is an absurd level of blatant corruption, and this is just publicly known info; publicly known revolving door information, and publicly known campaign contributions and lobbying activity from known military companies.

There are all sorts of backroom, behind closed doors action, bribing, dark money. You have all these front companies for military and Intel companies, shell companies, and then you have PACs and lobby groups that are fronts for military and Intel companies, so the problem is much worse than what we publicly know here. But what we publicly know is absurd enough; at this point, we don’t need any more info to know the score. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. The emperor has no clothes. The emperor is naked, for all who are brave enough to look and see.

So with legalized political bribery, you get what we have now, corruptly implemented laws, corruptly implemented campaign finance, lobbying and revolving door laws, mixed with surveillance technology and National Security secrecy. All this has streamlined the rigging processes, the mechanisms of corruption have been solidified. So, bottom line, the Global Imperial Elite have very effectively torched the U.S. Constitution and usurped the sovereignty of the American people.

So these are several fundamental dynamics, several aspects of how trillions of our tax dollars have gone unaccounted for; how our government has been rigged against American taxpayers, making it even easier for the Global Imperial Elite to control our systems of governance and loot trillions of our tax dollars. There is much more that needs to be said, just going over fundamental dynamics now, laying the foundation here.

You know, the historically accurate term, the technical term for what is happening now is called “Legalized Plunder.” Legalized Plunder is historically the point in which governmental corruption becomes the norm, when corruption reaches a terminal stage, when the policy and lawmaking process is itself rigged, and the law itself is used as a weapon of oppression. So you get corruptly implemented laws that legalize corrupt behavior, which is what we have now. It’s technically called “Legalized Plunder,” that’s the historically accurate term.

I’ll get deeper into that in the future podcasts. I don’t want to get too far off the primary topics of this podcast here…

Being that we did just jump ahead a bit into Cambridge Analytica scandal and surveillance tech, let me just jump a bit deeper into Psychological Operations now.

So the Cambridge Analytica scandal also exposed the inner workings of how propaganda and present-day Psychological Operations, PSYOPS now work as well. Cambridge Analytica used social media data, Facebook data, credit card data, online searches, emails, texts, online browsing data. They use these Big Data analytics, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence algorithms to craft very specific, targeted messaging based on what each individual person does, what each individual person likes and doesn’t like. They know your every desire and every fear.

This is no dystopian conspiracy theory, this is a well-proven reality. Cambridge Analytica’s CEO talked about all this in incredible, shocking, mind-blowing detail. He said that they have Psycho-Metrics, personality models and personal profiles on every adult in the United States, and that they have an astounding 5,000 data points on each individual in the United States. This is the latest evolution in propaganda, PR, psychological operations, PSYOPS that are part of the Full Spectrum Dominance deployed against us, deployed against the American People.

It is called Psycho-Metrics now, they have thousands of data points, highly detailed personality profiles on everyone. PSYOPS experts, intelligence agencies, large advertising companies, PR firms and private military contractors use machine learning, AI algorithms to create very detailed profiles on every American, so they know exactly how to manipulate us.

Cambridge Analytica’s CEO talked about all this in detail, they bragged about it actually. And there are many companies that have this data as well, Cambridge Analytica was one company of many who do this now. Cambridge Analytica is definitely not the only company to use everything you do online, on your phone or your credit card against you, to deceive you into supporting things you otherwise wouldn’t support.

You know, there is so much that really needs to be said and laid out on this very important topic. Let me just say this now, in a significant way, our computers and mobile devices are an externalization and extension of our minds. And our cell phones are now deeply infiltrated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithmic bots and PSYOPS agents who manipulate your personal information. Make no mistake, they can, as Cambridge Analytica’s Director said, they can “drop the bucket further down the well” of your consciousness then you realize, and they may indeed know your “hopes and fears” better than you do.

If you think that is an exaggeration, or some futuristic dystopian conspiracy theory, it’s time to wake up, we are not in Kansas anymore people. Psycho-Metrics, Big Data and Social Psychology. Throughout this series, we will go deep into how PSYOPS experts very effectively manipulate and control people, and how they control public opinion in general. I’ve spent significant time analyzing PSYOPS and propaganda dynamics.

Ah, it’s such a big issue that needs a deep dive… in the overall context of this recording, the point that should be made more clearly right now, the American people have been conditioned to be incredibly naïve when it comes to power politics and how power operates globally. When your country emerges as the world’s number one superpower, when your country amasses more power than any nation in the history of civilization, you can be assured that every power-addicted force on the planet will seek to co-opt and control all government agencies and governmental processes, our economic processes, our military, our Intel and National Security apparatus, our communication and information systems, even our voting systems are seriously compromised.

America has been co-opted and is being extracted across the board. Becoming the world’s preeminent Super Power put a major target on the back of the American people, and we are just beginning to feel the consequences and blowback from that now. Every government agency that was created to protect the American People against predatory Global Interests is now being run by the predatory Global Interests that they are supposed to be protecting us from.

This is a fundamental understanding that every American needs grasp; this will be a main theme throughout this series: every government agency that was created to protect the American People against predatory Global Interests is now being run by the predatory Global Interests that they are supposed to be protecting us from.

I have many examples of this that I will be getting into. The systematic tactical dismantling of the American People’s support systems has been shocking. Predatory Global Interests, the Global Imperial Elite are systematically dismantling, tactically dismantling the American People’s support systems with shocking precision. If defense wins championships, the American people are in serious trouble.

From what I can see, the primary problem is that the American people are so heavily propagandized. We are saturated in divide & conquer propaganda. The mainstream media is a divide & conquer distraction machine.

Imperial Divide & Conquer: Checkers Vs Full Spectrum Dominance

The American people are conditioned to play checkers: Republicans vs Democrats, liberals vs conservatives. Meanwhile, the Global Imperial Elite are playing Full Spectrum Dominance. Americans are fighting amongst each other. They are fighting over Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. They are playing checkers. Meanwhile, the Global Imperial Elite are controlling both political parties. They own the mainstream media, large online companies and big banks. They control the Intel apparatus, the National Security State. This what I mean by Full Spectrum Dominance, it is a military strategy, and again, it is Imperialism 101.

You divide the local population, you saturate the local population in divide & conquer propaganda and make them fight amongst each other, while you rob their natural resources and national wealth, while you rig the systems of governance and turn the national economic system against the local population, while you buy up and control their media and information systems and loot their tax dollars. This is exactly what the Global Imperialists have done throughout the 3rd world, the 2nd, developing world, and now it is happening throughout the 1st world, throughout Europe and the U.S., it is happening now.

The global centralizing force, the imperial seed has blossomed and come full circle, the global imperial centralizing force. In the past, the forces of imperialism had some sense of loyalty to their local nation states. However, now the Imperial Elite have become truly global, they don’t have any loyalty to any one nation-state anymore. The Global Imperial Elite are now fully independent of any nation states. At this point in the game, the whole world is ripe for exploitation, even the 1st world nations, like EU nations, western nations, and the United States is the number one target now.

It’s no surprise that the U.S. is now the world’s top oil & gas producer. Our country is being raped & pillaged; our country’s natural resources are being looted. Our country is being looted and polluted in unprecedented fashion now. They can’t extract and loot our natural resources fast enough now. Our natural resource extraction rates have skyrocketed to all-time highs now, and they are polluting our land in unprecedented fashion in the process. Water supplies are being contaminated all over the country. It is a smash and grab imperial heist, straight up. We are leading the world in energy exports now by a significant margin, do the math: 2 + 2 = imperial heist.

Even our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is being sold off now. That is our emergency supply, and they want to get rid of half of it as quickly as possible, right when we need it most. It’s a joke. The global imperial elite are seizing control our energy supply, it’s an imperial heist.

It’s sad… Americans don’t have any serious leadership. We don’t have any legit, capable leadership, when it comes to real power. Our politicians are either in on rackets that extract wealth and resources, or they are out to lunch and/or conveniently inept, some are scared of surveillance tech, some are blackmailed, bribed. However you want to view it, there’s no serious leadership in this country anymore. There is no serious strategic defense against predatory Global Interests. As we discussed, every government agency designed to protect us against predatory global interests is now run by the predatory interests that they are supposed to be protecting us from. The American People are defenseless.

The divide and conquer and all the divisive rhetoric that is being spewed all throughout the mainstream media and large online companies, this is exactly how they destabilized the Middle East to rob those countries. They used media and communication systems to flood local populations with Divide & Conquer Psychological Operations that stoked sectarian conflicts and tribalism. They pitted Sunnis Vs Shiites; they stoked tribalism, regional identity politics, while they armed local populations. This is how Imperial Forces destabilized the region. So while local regional conflicts brew and spread throughout the Middle East, the Global Imperialists rob their resources and wealth and bury these local populations in debt. This is the way imperialism works, and this is exactly what is happening throughout the United States now, it is blatant.

And look at who has to pay for the oppression and robbing of Middle East resources, the global imperialists get the resources and American taxpayer’s foot the bill. The War on Terror is a front for global imperialists who are looting the planet. Middle East populations pay the price with their lives, American soldiers pay the price with shattered minds, PTSD and record-breaking suicide rates, and American taxpayers foot the bill and get buried in trillions of dollars of debt. Two-time Congressional Medal of Honor winner Major General Butler summed it up well, “War Is A Racket,” a global imperial racket now.

The War on Terror is a front for a global imperial racket, and we are all just beginning to pay the price, the bill is just starting to come due. The War on Terror has been a breeding ground for evil, and this evil breeding ground has been brewing and growing for over 17 years now. Trillions in wealth and resources have been looted. Over a million people have been killed, not to mention all the suicides and PTSD, shattered bodies and shattered minds, as the never-ending war rages on, as the global imperial racket rages on.

And, as I covered in my war reports, they are dropping bombs at a record-breaking pace now. On average, 121 bombs are dropped daily. Just think about that fact, the last time stats were publicly available, they were dropping an average of 121 bombs a day, every single day, 365 days a year. Over 44,000 bombs dropped in one year. Talk about mind-blowing. We live in surreal times. The unthinkable has become normalized.

Just look at how divisive things are now throughout the U.S., Republican vs Democrat, liberal vs conservative, white vs black, cops vs inner city Americans, women vs men, identity politics of every kind is everywhere, and it’s all stoked by divide and conquer PSYOPS. And I don’t mean to dismiss identity politics in any way. There is definitely racism and sexism in many different ways. I’ve reported on institutional racism, classism, sexism… that’s the thing, right? In a society overrun with corruption, the overwhelming majority of the population is going to feel oppressed to varying degrees, and rightfully so. In a society overrun with corruption, the overwhelming majority of the population will feel very frustrated and taken advantage of, and rightfully so. People will feel like the government and economy are rigged against them, because it is.

Most demographics throughout the American population have very legitimate complaints and well-justified angst, absolutely. So I don’t mean to downplay identity politics. When your government is systemically corrupt, the population will become an intensely emotional powder keg, and this makes it even easier to manipulate them and stoke divide and conquer propaganda. This is the vicious cycle of imperialism.

So from this perspective, identity politics, like tribal politics throughout the Middle East, it is stoked, exacerbated and driven by divide & conquer propaganda. Divide & conquer PSYOPS, psychological operations, which is part of Full Spectrum Dominance.

From a Psychological Operations perspective, identity politics are designed to silo off segments of the population into the smallest possible demographics, to keep them fighting amongst each other, while imperial forces rob and exploit the targeted nation or region.

So at its core, identity politics, or the stoking of “wedge issues,” that is textbook Divide & Conquer PSYOPS. Straight up Psychological Operations that are a key strategic piece of Full Spectrum Dominance.

The mainstream media throughout the U.S. and large online companies are all dominated by Divide & Conquer PSYOPS. I know that sounds extreme to say, right, it sounds like some kind of conspiracy theory, and I understand why people may just dismiss this without looking into it, but it is very easy to see once you understand the fundamentals of how power operates globally. Once you understand how power operates on a global scale, from a global perspective, once you understand how imperialism works, it’s easy to see.

That’s the thing, the average hardworking American doesn’t have the time it takes to investigate, research and analyze power dynamics on a global scale, and the mainstream media keeps the focus on such a limited spectrum of thought, such a narrow range of understanding.

People need to get a wider-view, a deeper understanding. They need to expand their awareness globally, and sharpen their focus to the top of the global power pyramid. The mainstream media keeps everyone focused on the bottom of the pyramid. It takes time to get a wider, deeper perspective. It takes significant time, time hard-working Americans simply don’t have. There is no way someone who works full-time and has a family to take care of, there is no way they are going to have the time, energy or the psychological bandwidth that is necessary to get that in-depth view of complex global power dynamics.

And that is exactly where you can see that journalism is dead in the United States, and how the mainstream media is divide and conquer 101. You get all this heated debate among a narrow liberal vs conservative spectrum, you get this very limited range of debate between Republican and Democratic talking points, which covers a tiny narrow range of the issue. Meanwhile, all the wider-context is left out of the debate, and all that wider-context that is left out, that is where all the systemic corruption is taking place. That’s where the global imperial plunder is happening. The wider context that is left out, that is where the real action is at; that is where the systemic corruption is at; that’s where the real power is at.

The biggest bias in the mainstream media is revealed in what they chose NOT to cover. You can see the bias in the mainstream media by what they chose to cover, and what they chose not to cover. More importantly, you can see the bias in what they chose not to cover, right?

Don’t primarily look for the bias in the issue that they are covering, look for the bias in the decisions on what they are choosing to cover in the first place. Right? Most people think, ok, this issue that they are covering, are they covering it with a liberal or conservative slant? Most people think in terms of playing checkers. But the real, most important bias is revealed in everything they are NOT covering. The real, most important bias is revealed in what they are choosing to leave out and not cover at all.

The mainstream media is bullshit on repetition and censorship by omission. You can see it for yourself; just think about an issue that you know a lot about and look at how they cover it, or if they even really cover it at all. The more you understand about an issue, when you get into the fundamental dynamics of it, into the deeper root causes of why these issues are happening to begin with, you’ll see that the mainstream media doesn’t even cover it.

The mainstream media is now a vast propaganda system that is fundamentally designed to distract, misinform, divide and confuse the American people. The mainstream media is a divide and conquer distraction machine.

When it comes to the core fundamental issues of systemic corruption, which are the underlying dynamics of the major problems confronting the American people today, when it comes to how real power operates, that is never discussed in the mainstream media, and if it is mentioned at all, it is mentioned in passing. And if anything that truly affects real power is mentioned in the mainstream media, it is time to quickly cut to commercial, and the person who mentioned it is either fired or never invited back as a guest.

You are only allowed into the mainstream media if you uphold the Republican vs Democrat, liberal vs conservative dynamic. If you go beyond that, into the deeper dynamics of systemic corruption, which both parties are up to their eyes in, including the companies who own the large media companies as well, if you can effectively pierce through that divide and conquer Republican vs Democrat limited spectrum of thought, you are not allowed into the mainstream media, that is the way it works.

I mean, it is so blatant now, it is like watching a cartoon, right? Sane people, people who have a basic understanding of how power operates globally, they don’t watch the news on TV anymore, it is a joke, and most of talk show radio is even worse than TV news. Talk show radio is cartoonish divide and conquer propaganda as well.

It is so sad though, because many people still get their information from TV and radio, and I definitely don’t blame people who get all worked up after listening to TV and radio propaganda. I understand why it is happening.

For years, for about seven years, I worked with Danny Schechter, the News Dissector, as he was known. R.I.P. Danny. Danny was a very well-credentialed TV news journalist. As a TV news producer he won Emmy Awards. He worked at ABC News, 20/20, he was part of the start-up team at CNN. He had all sorts of mainstream media journalism cred. He was also a Niemen Journalism fellow at Harvard, he taught at Columbia Journalism School. Anyhow, he ended up leaving his job in mainstream TV media once all the news companies were getting bought up and were being consolidated into larger global corporations. He was deep inside the mainstream media machine and he saw firsthand how journalism was being systematically destroyed, so he quit and wrote a book about the inner workings of the mainstream TV news, and he called the book, “The More You Watch, The Less You Know,” and wow, ain’t that the truth. He summed it up 8 words, “The More You Watch, The Less You Know.”

If you watch mainstream media, if you pay attention to mainstream news narratives, to what they are covering, you get further and further removed from reality. “The more you watch, the less you know.” TV and radio news is designed to dumb you down and make you confused. It is designed to distract you and make you all fearful and emotionally worked up, to short-circuit your neo-cortex, your critical thinking skills and to fire up your reptilian brain, to get you fighting amongst people that you should be aligning with.

Anyone who follows the narratives set by the mainstream media is lost. So even most of the so-called independent media is just reinforcing mainstream media narratives. Underfunded, understaffed independent and non-profit news organizations focus most of their efforts on trying to give slightly more context to issues that the mainstream media is covering. So they end up reinforcing narratives created by the mainstream media. Everyone pays attention to Trump’s latest tweets, identity politics, the border wall, Russia, Russia, Russia, Trump, Trump, Trump. These are all important, but they are symptoms of a corrupt system. Mainstream media narratives, at best, they focus on symptoms of the corrupt system, and they always ignore the corrupt system that produces these symptoms. They keep the focus on the bottom of the power pyramid. They keep the focus on the symptoms of the corrupted system, not on the core fundamentals of the system that is causing the problems.

Most everything the mainstream media focuses on is a colossal distraction. There’s an old insightful quote that I updated once, from famous French sociologist Gabriel Tarde. In the late 1800s, he said that newspapers set off “the conversations of individuals, even those who do not read papers but who, talking to those who do, are forced to follow the groove of their borrowed thoughts.” And he then concludes by saying that “One pen suffices to set off a thousand tongues.” Right, he was summing up the power of the pen back then. Well, if one pen sets off a thousand tongues, one TV sets off millions of minds. And that’s so true.

Also, now that I brought up my old friend Danny Schechter, one of the first projects I worked on with Danny was a documentary called “W.M.D.: Weapons of Mass Deception,” which was about how the TV “news” media became a propaganda system during the run-up to the Iraq War. Before the invasion even began, before the Shock & Awe bombing campaign even started, we interviewed weapons inspectors who were monitoring weapons inside Iraq. They showed us their reports saying that Iraq didn’t have any Weapons of Mass Destruction. Keep in mind, this was before the Shock & Awe campaign even started. Before the invasion even began.

We reported on the false intel on Iraq’s alleged involvement in 9/11, before the invasion even began. This was all known before the war started, but the mainstream media ignored all this vital information. We knew that Ahmed Chalabi, the so-called Iraqi dissident who provided false WMD intel and false intel linking Saddam to 9/11 and al Qaeda, it turned out that Chalabi was actually on SAIC’s payroll. SAIC is an incredibly powerful global private military contractor. Then we watched as Baghdad fell and the new Iraqi government was then run by SAIC. Literally, once Baghdad fell SAIC took over the country, literally. They even made Ahmed Chalabi the Iraqi Oil Minister, it was such blatant imperialism. The guy who provided all the false intel to wrongfully justify the invasion, yeah that guy, he was put in charge of Iraq’s oil supply, he became the Iraqi Oil Minister. I mean, you couldn’t even make this stuff up. It’s a cheesy over-the-top movie plot. It was such blatant imperialism.

Anyhow, SAIC set up the Iraqi Media Network, what became Iraq’s mainstream media system, and they began to stoke sectarian and tribal conflicts, while they helped deploy divide & conquer PSYOPS to create and exacerbate sectarian conflicts, tribal conflicts throughout the region. The Iraqi Police Forces were armed, and then they fired those police officers, leaving them with no job prospects or ability to support their families. This was right after they gave them all sorts of weapons. Ah, what does 2+2 =?

The plan all along was to create civil wars throughout the region. The plan was to create terrorist groups so they could destabilize the region, creating groups like ISIS was the exact plan, and it is still paying off for them to this day, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. It’s a never-ending racket, the never-ending war racket robbing trillions from the U.S. Treasury.

Paul Bremer, he was installed as the Iraqi Viceroy, and he did everything he could to destabilize the Iraqi population, all with SAIC’s help. They stoked tribal and sectarian conflicts; it was barbaric imperialism 101. It was a horrifyingly grotesque display of barbaric imperial greed. And U.S. taxpayers are still pouring billions upon billions annually into this imperial heist. It’s the gift that just keeps giving.

I don’t want to get too deep into Iraq right now, covering all of that in such detail was a horrible experience, seriously traumatizing, such a grotesque display of barbaric imperial greed. I don’t want to get into it.

I’m digressing a bit here anyway… bottom line though, and this is what scares me, what happened throughout Iraq and the Middle East is very similar to what is beginning to unfold here in the United States now. It is unfolding on a much more incremental scale here though. You can look at Iraq and destabilization of Middle Eastern nations as experimental operations, where they honed their skills for what is being incrementally, tactically deployed throughout the U.S. and Europe now. I don’t want to sound overly conspiratorial, I don’t think it is one group with some master plan or anything like that. It is not so simple and black and white like that, at all, but I do think it is a fundamental dynamic of the overall global centralizing imperial system.

The imperial seed is blossoming, coming full circle. It’s a self-perpetuating global centralizing force that has taken on a life of its own, a momentum of its own. I’ll get into what I mean by a self-perpetuating global centralizing force and the imperial seed blossoming throughout this series, I’ll spend significant time on that.

For now, let’s just look at all the similar dynamics unfolding here in the U.S. that happened throughout Iraq and the Middle East. What happened there is very similar to what is happening here in the United States now.

We are flooded in all this divide and conquer propaganda, in tribal, identity politics. The U.S. is also flooded with guns and weapons now, throughout the civilian population, and they have militarized police forces all throughout the U.S. now as well. At this point, here in the U.S., they can’t even produce bullets fast enough to keep up with demand now. People are stockpiling weapons all over the country. And don’t get me wrong here, I’m not anti- 2nd Amendment rights; I understand how tyrannical governments can get, as we’ve been discussing. It’s just that this strategy, it’s a power play that we’ve seen clearly before.

Flood the local population with weapons, militarize the police, then stoke divide & conquer propaganda, identity politics, wedge issues, and while the population fights with each other, global imperial forces rob their resources and wealth, and bury the population in debt.

Debt is a key part. And look, we now have all-time record-breaking debt, across the board. National debt is at an all-time high now, and it just keeps skyrocketing, exponentially now. State debt is at an all-time high now. household debt is at an all-time high now, and personal debt is also at an all-time high right now. Our overall debt is skyrocketing now.

It is an Imperial Debt Death Spiral. Debt is the imperialists’ ultimate weapon, an effective and efficient weapon. So debt and divide and conquer propaganda are the imperialists 1, 2 punch.

I mean, just do a serious analysis our present overall situation. It’s not very surprising that the U.S. is now the world’s top oil and gas producer. In 2018, petroleum production increased by 1.3 million barrels per day… by 1.3 million barrels per day.

Quite the smash and grab imperial heist. And Congress has now decided to sell off 290 million barrels of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Given the strategic importance of keeping our energy reserve supplies after recent extreme weather events, after major storms caused us to use more of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve recently, it is shocking that they would now decide to cut our Strategic Petroleum Reserve in half now. That is leaving us wide open and exposed for when new disasters strike. It’s imperial plunder.

As we discussed before, our natural resources are being looted for pennies on the dollar at record-breaking extraction rates. It’s such a smash and grab heist, our land is being polluted in the process, in unprecedented fashion. Water supplies are being contaminated in communities across the entire country. I’ll go into detail on all of this. It’s a free-for-all smash and grab heist across the entire government, an all-out imperial heist.

The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management, the agencies who oversee our natural resources, they are being run by people who worked with companies that are currently looting our natural resources for pennies on the dollar. Corruption is running amok. It is happening across the board. The revolving door is spinning between predatory Global Interests and every sector of our government that is supposed to protect us against those predatory Global interests.

It’s not very surprising that tax dollars are being looted by the trillions, throughout our entire tax system now. It’s not very surprising that national and state debt has skyrocketed to all-time record-breaking levels, as have household and personal debt. It’s not very surprising that the government and economic systems are rigged. It’s not very surprising that identity politics and all sorts of divisive rhetoric are being spewed throughout the mainstream media. It’s not very surprising that guns are flooding our streets as police forces are militarized.

2+2 = what? Basic math. We’ve seen this tyrannical power play many times before.

So back to what I was saying was the primary problem. This is all happening because the journalistic societal guidance systems throughout the US have been decapitated. The journalistic societal guidance systems that are supposed to inform and warn the American people about all of this have been destroyed. They have been systematically, systemically undermined. Journalism is dead throughout the U.S.. The journalistic societal guidance systems throughout the US have been decapitated.

Getting back to the original point, if you are an average American worker, you don’t have the time it takes to understand the wider-societal power dynamics. If you are working full-time, taking care of your family, there is no way that you have the time it takes, the energy and psychological bandwidth left over after working and taking care of a family. After a long day, it not like you are going to investigate and research complex issues and analyze wider-societal power dynamics, on a global scale. It is not going to happen, so this is where real journalism is supposed to step in to fill the void, to serve this critical societal function, to be a vital societal guidance system.

Real journalism provides vital information to people so they can make wise decisions that affect their lives and largely determine their fate, their family’s future. So with this vital societal guidance system dismantled, people are easily manipulated by propagandists, by psychological operations experts, by PR firms, by Democratic and Republican talking points that are repetitiously reinforced throughout the mainstream media and large online companies, and by Artificial Intelligence algorithms now, which are incredibly effective with specifically tailored messaging based on an individual basis now.

The AI Algo Bots are no joke. They edit your reality in real-time. They are Orwellian Thought Police on steroids. It sounds crazy, and it is crazy, but it’s true. The AI Algo Bots will make you think exactly what powerful interests want you to think, with incredible precision now. They know exactly how you think, what you like and don’t like. As Cambridge Analytica’s Director said, they can “drop the bucket further down the well” of your consciousness then you realize, and they may indeed know your “hopes and fears” better than you do.

For now, I just want to make it clear to people that real journalism is dead in this country. Journalists, real investigative journalism is hard work, very time consuming, and it is a high wire act. Powerful people, powerful interests do not like people reporting on their corrupt activities, obviously. But doing it independently now, you don’t have the backing of any large news organization, you are forced to do it without resources and any significant backing.

I’ve fought hard, a 20-year ever-evolving battle to get this far, this is no joke. It’s a high wire act, a high stress, high risk, high wire act, and it doesn’t pay well at all. It is an enormous risk, and in the grand scheme of things you’re this little gnat, a gadfly. I don’t know how I’ve made it this far. It’s an ever-evolving battle.

Based on everything that I can see, the American People are defenseless at this point. We are exposed, our defenses, our support systems have been systematically dismantled. Where is the legit leadership? Where is the effective leadership? I just don’t see it.

People who understand power well enough, who care about the overall well-being of the American people, those people, those voices are being systematically wiped out, snuffed out. People who put the overall wellbeing of the American people before cashing-out to the Global Imperial Elite, they are in short supply. They are a shrinking demographic within the government as well.

When you go beyond the Republican vs Democrat dynamic and focus on the fundamentals of corruption, when you defend the American People against predatory Global Interests, you are kept out of the mainstream media, you get hacked, you get censored and suppressed online, they undermine your ability to make a living at doing investigative reporting.

The main point here, journalists who can report on systemic corruption in a way that can overcome divide and conquer narratives and unite the American people, journalists who can report on systemic corruption in a way that unites Americans are kept out of the mainstream media and they are targeted for hacking, online censorship and many forms of suppression.

Journalists who can report on systemic corruption in a way that unites Americans and informs them on the fundamentals of real power are targeted and the primary objective is to make it impossible for them to make a living at doing that reporting. That is the bottom line; make it impossible for investigative journalists to make a living.

Honestly, at this point, there is no way you can just work part-time and do a serious investigation into power, and get people to actually notice it. People are bombarded by so much bullshit. There is so much noise. Real investigative journalism is incredibly hard work, time consuming, high-pressure work. At this point it is too risky, too costly. It takes a heroic effort just to do it over the short-run, the sustainability that is needed is just not there anymore. The support systems have been dismantled.

So the Journalistic Guidance Systems have been destroyed, and now the American people are lost out to sea.

We did have this brief window of opportunity with the Internet. Journalists who had a deeper understanding of systemic corruption, and could cut through the divide and conquer narratives were able to thrive online for a while, but now the Iron Curtain is coming down online.

Voices who can cut through the divide and conquer narratives are being hacked, censored and suppressed on a much wider scale and in much more sophisticated ways now.

I mean, at the most basic level, now if you can cut through Republican Vs Democrat divide and conquer narratives they smear you as being a Russian bot of some kind, or something like that. That whole Prop or Not PSYOP was the beginning of the end for independent online journalism.

I do think the biggest reason why I’m hacked and censored online is because I focus on systemic corruption in a way that unites people. The supporters I have, the people who support my work are people with opinions across the political spectrum, across many demographics. Systemic corruption has gotten so bad now, most demographics are feeling the negative impacts in various ways.

No one wants to have their tax dollars stolen. No one wants to have their water supply contaminated. No one wants to eat toxic food. No one wants to pay twice as much for healthcare than any other nation pays.

The corrupt global imperial elite interests who are robbing our tax dollars and our nation’s wealth, they don’t care what your political perspective or ideological viewpoint is. It’s not like they are only stealing tax dollars and wealth from liberals and not conservatives. It’s not like they distinguish between looting the wealth of conservatives or liberals, the old or the young, women or men. Global Imperialists don’t discriminate in any way, they will rob anyone and everyone.

All right, look, I’ll wrap this 2nd session, 2nd podcast up right now. I know these first few sessions are very long, long-form, probably too long for everyone’s ever-shorting attention spans. I’m trying to lay a solid foundation of understanding here before I get into shorter, more issue-specific, topic-oriented, news style podcasts. You know, we need to flesh out wider-context, and that takes time. I’ll get better at being more concise.

To accurately articulate what is presently unfolding, as concisely as possible, in a way that a large number of people can understand it, that’s where the action is at, that’s the primary objective here.

I know we have covered a lot of negative, dark issues here in this podcast. As I’ve said throughout the first podcast, we are going to do a lot of shadow work here. We are going to illuminate the shadow, illuminate the dark side. We are going to shine a light on The Shadows That Be.

As Carl Jung advised, we need to make the darkness consciousness, so we can adequately confront our collective shadow and evolve in a holistically healthy, sustainable way. So we can transcend the old corrupted global centralizing paradigm, so we can shed that old skin and enter a new paradigm of prosperity, freedom, health and abundance.

I’m making these recordings now because I believe that once people can understand the fundamental dynamics of systemic corruption, once a critical mass knows where to focus their attention, focus their efforts, we can fix this. The hour is late, no doubt, but once people can understand the fundamental dynamics of it, we can create the change that we need.

We can absolutely fix this! We now understand the fundamental dynamics of it in such detail. We know what’s happening. We know how it is happening. We know how to fix it. For all the major problems we face, there are now viable solutions. That is what I’m going to be laying out here in this series for you. I wouldn’t be doing this right now if I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Despite all the systemic corruption and the challenges that we face, there is much to be positive about.

We need to empower and shine a bright light on Inspector Generals, that is a key strategic imperative right now. Please consider focusing your political efforts on Inspector Generals and systemic corruption. This is a critical, vital strategic step.

Let’s shine a bright light on Inspector Generals. Let’s get investigations into systemic corruption kicked into full-gear. Let’s support and encourage whistleblowers so they can help us expose all this systemic corruption that is quickly closing in on us.

We can fix this, but the hour is late for optimistic outcomes.

Who hears me? Does anyone hear me? Is this thing on? Is this thing on?

Mic check… this is on… turn it up… turn it up!

Ok, let’s take a break for a bit and then I’ll unleash for another hour or so to close out Day 1 with 3 podcasts loaded up in the arsenal here.

Ah… wait, I should probably request that people listening to this become paying subscribers or donate some money now at this point. As I’ve been expressing here, I’m fighting a very serious ever-evolving battle over here. The only way I can sustain this effort is from getting some fuel and support directly from you, the very wise people who care about what I’m reporting on here. So if you appreciate the work, please show some love and support by subscribing, in any amount that you feel inspired to contribute.

If you are tapped in enough to be listening to this right now, if you can hear my voice, please consider subscribing in support of this effort. I am 100% independent over here, as you can tell.

I am a believer in positive feedback loops. The more you empower others, the more empowered you become. That’s the driving ethos over here. Let’s get a positive feedback loop going here…

Ok, thanks for listening. I’ll be back for round 3 soon. We’re just getting started. We can fix this people. We will fix this. The future is bright. Obstacles and adversity fuel our potential.

You can download the audio in mp3 format here.

 

Overcoming Divide and Conquer Propaganda to Unite the American People, Podcast #1

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated… obstacles and adversity fuel our potential. Here’s my first audio podcast… 2 hours to get things started, so much vital info to share while on the trail of our missing trillions…

Podcast #1: Obstacles & Adversity Fuel Our Potential

You can download the audio in mp3 format here.

Full Transcript:

Last time people heard from me, I was reporting on trillions of dollars in unaccounted for tax money. That is trillions, with a “t,” trillions of unaccounted for tax dollars. Trillions in unaccounted for “military” spending, so-called “military” spending.

Trillions unaccounted for… no matter how many times I say that, it just always sounds so absurd to say that, “Trillions of unaccounted for tax dollars.” How can that possibly be, right?

It’s surreal corruption. $1 trillion is $1000 billion.

To accurately report on government corruption, to accurately report on systemic corruption, to report on the corruption of our tax system, not just wasted, stolen and unaccounted for tax dollars when it comes to so-called “military” spending, it’s across our entire tax system, as I will cover in detail, most every government agency is now completely overrun with corruption, and the corruption has gotten so bad, if you accurately report on it, you are going to sound like a crazy person.

It’s surreal corruption.

However corrupt you think the government is, when you really dig into it, it’s much worse than you can imagine. New shocking details come to light all the time. The unthinkable has become normalized. I have hundreds of detailed examples, literally, hundreds of examples of shocking, mind-blowing corruption.

I’m going to get into deep detail on all of this. There are definite trends, reoccurring themes, and fundamental dynamics involved. I will break it all down and lay it out for you.

We’ve gathered so much evidence. It is hard to know where to begin with all of this. Billions lost here, billions lost there. It all adds up quickly. It’s real hard to know where to begin. We should probably start with a basic example.

Here’s the latest example that I was just reading, I was just reading a new Inspector General report from the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration Inspector General, the SSA IG, the Social Security Administration Inspector General just revealed that billions of dollars, that is billions, with a “b” now, billions of tax dollars have been lost to Social Security fraud over the past year, and this is nothing new. Billions of tax dollars are lost to fraud within Social Security every year now.

Now, this is just one example of many, just the latest example. So, in this most recent Inspector General report it says “at least”, “at least $10 billion” was lost to fraud last year. That’s “at least $10 billion” lost to fraud in just the past year, in one agency, and it happens every year, in many agencies, it happens across our entire tax system, across the board, and “at least $10 billion” in one agency, in one year, is just a drop in the bucket compared to what is going on in so-called “military” spending. It’s surreal corruption. It’s mind melting…

I mean, the $20+ trillion in unaccounted for military spending, so-called “military” spending, that information comes directly from the Department of Defense’s own Inspector General reports. There was one example, one annual report, in one annual Department of Defense Inspector General report there was $6.5 trillion, with a “t,” $6.5 trillion in unaccounted for military spending. $6.5 trillion in unaccounted for military spending in one year.

Do you see what I mean by surreal corruption? It’s beyond imagination. How can that be possible, right?

So one of the challenges that we keep running into: to accurately report now on systemic government corruption, if you accurately report on it, you are going to sound like a crazy person. You can read quotes verbatim from government Inspector Generals and people will think you are crazy. They won’t take you seriously, that’s how surreal the corruption has become.

This is a significant part of what I’ve been doing. I read government Inspector General reports and then I investigate and research what they are reporting on. I flesh out the context behind Inspector General’s publicly available report summaries. You know, what actual journalists would do, if there were any real investigative journalists left in this country.

Excuse me, I’m shaking things up over here. I’m drinking a protein shake. I’m going to need some energy here. We are going for a deep dive here.

So when it comes to the trillions in unaccounted for military spending, it’s not like these are just accounting errors, there are many corresponding instances of outrageous fraud and corruption all over the place that corroborate and substantiate them. We have hundreds of examples that we will go through. It’s hard to know where to begin.

We already have people who worked in the Pentagon, who worked at the Department of Defense Finance and Accounting Service who say the books are cooked as standard operating procedure. People who spent their careers working at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service say there are “plugs,” thousands of plugs, thousands of transactions, per month, with no supporting documentation. Thousands of transactions per month with no supporting documentation.

People who spent their careers working at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service said money is spent all the time without Congressional appropriations, money that Congress has not allocated. I mean, we have direct violations of the U.S. Constitution, colossal, blatant violations of the Constitution here. What more needs to be said to get some serious accountability, some serious investigations going here, some legit accountability?

It’s surreal corruption. The more you look into military spending, the crazier it gets.

We’ve even had Defense Secretaries, Defense Secretaries are in charge of military spending, we have had multiple Defense Secretaries publicly admit that they have no idea what is happening with military spending; that there are hundreds of financing operations throughout the Pentagon that lack oversight. They don’t even know how many financing operations there are. Did you get that?

There are hundreds of financing operations throughout the Pentagon that lack oversight. Robert Gates, when he was Defense Secretary, Gates said that there were unaccountable Fiefdoms operating throughout the Pentagon. Unaccountable Fiefdoms, those are Gates’ words, he said that publicly, at the American Enterprise Institute, but the mainstream media and both political parties just ignored him.

It’s all so absurd. Gates said he couldn’t even get answers to how much money was being spent; let alone what it was being spent on. Do you understand the absurdity of that? The Defense Secretary can’t get answers on how much money is even being spent in the first place.

Looks like there is a back door into the U.S. Treasury here, a wide-open back door into the U.S. Treasury, don’t you think? Do you think?

Please, think… think it through… please think it through.

And then, of course, we had Donald Rumsfeld, when he was Defense Secretary, he said in a speech at the Pentagon, he called the Pentagon a black hole where U.S. tax dollars disappear by the trillions. Did you hear that? A Defense Secretary called the Pentagon a black hole where U.S. tax dollars disappear by the trillions.

These are Defense Secretaries and Department of Defense Inspector Generals reporting this. And still, there are no serious investigations into what has been happening to trillions in taxpayer wealth. Year after year trillions of dollars are disappearing, and it just keeps getting worse. Department of Defense Inspector Generals have reported over $20 trillion is unaccounted for now, and they are ignored. It’s surreal corruption.

People don’t understand the impact that this has on their lives, will have on their lives, the inevitable consequences of all this. It’s horrifying. Our future has been set on fire. Our near-future.

The scale of the corruption is too large for the average person to comprehend.

I have so much to say about all this, but the point we want to make now, the point we want to make up front, from the beginning, one of the challenges that we keep running into: to accurately report on systemic corruption now, if you accurately report on it, you are going to sound like a crazy person. People don’t take you seriously.

To accurately report on corruption now, you will sound like an Onion article. It’s surreal corruption. Truth is much stranger than fiction these days. Right? Reality is much stranger than fiction. Real news is much stranger than fake news. Real news is much more surreal than fake news. It’s no wonder that people are confused, and don’t know what to believe anymore. We are confronted by surreal corruption.

And, again, to be clear, it is not just in military spending. It’s happening throughout the entire tax system now. The cancer of corruption is now malignant and it’s spreading rapidly.

So, anyhow, I read these Inspector General reports, whether it is from the Department of Defense Inspector General or the Intelligence Community Inspector General or the Social Security Administration Inspector General or the Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General, every single government agency has their own Inspector General whose job it is to detect and investigate corruption. So they produce report after report of mind-blowing corruption, and no one really pays attention to them. The mainstream media ignores them, most politicians completely ignore them as well. This is where you can clearly see how real journalism is absolutely dead in this country, and how utterly corrupt both political parties are.

Government Inspector Generals reveal trillions of dollars worth of shocking fraud and mind-boggling waste, and the mainstream media and both political parties just ignore them. It’s so absurd.

These are government Inspector Generals. Inspector Generals are an absolutely vital accountability mechanism built into the core functioning of our government, and they are being ignored.

Our government is fundamentally systemically corrupted. The chain of accountability is no longer functioning. It’s an all-out smash and grab imperial heist, a global imperial heist. The American people are defenseless.

We will go into deep detail on all of this, the evidence is there, if you have the patience and attention span to go through it. We have done our homework. There is no defending what is going on. They can’t defend it, that’s why they stay silent and try to cover-up and classify everything, and that’s why they do what they can to silence people who talk about it, and to suppress and censor people, and to hack people.

They can’t defend it, that’s why we are supersaturated in divide and conquer propaganda. That’s why the mainstream media is now a divide and conquer distraction machine spewing divisive rhetoric 24/7. The mainstream media is now a divide and conquer distraction machine. We’ll prove this as well, we understand the fundamental dynamics of the mainstream propaganda system very well here. Bottom line, it is imperial divide and conquer 101. Unleash divide and conquer PSYOPS, make the local population fight amongst themselves while you rob everyone blind and bury the nation in debt. Divide and conquer imperialism 101.

Ah, I don’t want to get too deep too fast. We need to be disciplined in our approach. We’ve done our homework. We need to be as disciplined as possible. I can’t get all worked up and move to fast. We need to be as methodical as possible, so we can effectively overcome divide and conquer propaganda to unite and defend the American people against predatory global imperial interests who are looting this country and setting our future on fire.

Ah… let me chill and refocus for a minute here… I’m moving too fast… One step at a time. People need context and detail first. We need to lay a solid foundation first, flesh it out, make the case clearly, in a way where the average person will understand it, in a way where the average person can relate to it. That’s the mission here. Got to be strategic. One step at a time. Layer by layer.

So… just for a vibe check, for a general overview, this is the general reoccurring theme; this is the general feeling you get over and over when you start digging into surreal systemic corruption… You see corruption in a particular government agency, and you think, “Oh my God, this is incredible corruption,” then you think, “Wait, c’mon, this couldn’t possibly be right, right?” So you start digging into it and it just keeps getting worse. You just keep peeling back layer after layer after layer of unfolding corruption, exponential corruption. It just keeps getting worse.

You fall down the rabbit hole of surreal corruption, and you go through the looking glass, and the looking glass turns into this kaleidoscopic funhouse mirror, it’s a clown mirror of corruption, surreal corruption blurs out, spirals out, expanding as it unfolds around you, in surreal Fibonacci spiraling oscillations.

I mean, look, I don’t want to sound all silly here. I don’t mean to make light of it. This no joke folks, no joke at all, but this is what we’re up against here… surreal corruption.

Now let me be more precise, let me focus in more now, let me be more technical in my reference here. This is what I mean by surreal corruption. Before diving deep, before diving too deep into the deep waters of military spending, before diving into the abyss, let’s just take this latest example that I started with, the $10 Billion that disappeared from Social Security this year. It’s not the best example, but it will make the general point. Let’s at least start with that basic example before we get into the more egregious, shockingly unbelievable examples, keep it basic.

The Social Security issue will give you a general overview, a basic idea, you can begin to see some common themes that keep reoccurring and get a lay of the land here, a lay of the surreal landscape that is spiraling, unfolding around us…

So, $10 billion lost to fraud in Social Security in just one year, right? Now, you think to yourself, “Oh, c’mon that can’t be, $10 billion lost to fraud, in one year. How can that be possible?” Right? So then, you look into it and you find out, “Oh, this is actually at least $10 billion,” as it turns out the $10 billion is not even a complete view into the overall fraud, in just Social Security, in just one year. So it’s actually more than $10 billion. “Well, wow… How much more?” Well, to be honest with you, no one is sure exactly how much more. “What? Whoa.”

Then, you find out that this happens every year, “Wait! What? c‘mon, we’re losing billions to Social Security fraud every single year, year after year? That’s unbelievable!” Right?

But wait, it gets even worse, it’s like a bad infomercial, right, “But wait, there is even more.” So you then see that this problem has been known about for years, and even worse, then you find out that solutions to the problem have been known for years as well, but they’ve never been implemented. Solutions are known, but they don’t get implemented. “Whaaaat?” This is a common reoccurring theme. Solutions are known, but they don’t get implemented.

Then you think, “C’mon, that can’t be right, right? I mean, c’mon, they’ve had a solution to the problem, but the solution was never implemented, and now they just keep losing ‘at least $10 billion tax dollars a year to fraud,’ and their not fixing it, you’ve gotta to be kidding me. C’mon, that can’t be real. That can’t be happening. Am I getting punked here? Is there a hidden camera somewhere?”

Then, as you’re digging even deeper into it, peeling back the layers, looking further into that particular instance of corruption, at that particular situation, as you’re beginning to fall down the rabbit hole of surreal corruption, peeling back the layers, it just keeps getting worse. Then you find out, that not only are we losing billions to Social Security fraud every year, and not only do we have solutions to the problem that aren’t being implemented, then you find out, in addition to all of that, “Oh, wait a second, oh no.” It turns out that $3 Trillion, there it is again, trillions, with a “t” now, $3 Trillion from the Social Security Trust Fund, $3 trillion from the Social Security Trust Fund that we now need to pay retiring Baby Boomers back, yeah, well, as it turns out that money has already been spent elsewhere. “What the? WTF?”

Now, try to keep context here, $1 trillion is $1000 billion, so $3 trillion is $3000 billion…

So $3 trillion that people, $3000 billion that workers paid into the Social Security Trust Fund, that we now need to pay back to retiring Baby Boomers now, $3 trillion that we now need is gone. “Whaaaaat? How can that be?”

Then, as everything around you begins to blur out into a surreal landscape, then you say, “But, but, wait, wait… where did that $3 trillion go?” Then this white bunny in a top hat, hops up to you, comes bouncing up to you and says, “He, he, he.. we don’t know where that $3 trillion went. He, he, he…”

I mean, this is reality now. I mean, the bunny in the top hat was a silly joke, but the rest of it is legit. 100% legit. Somehow… sadly… as hard as it is to believe, as hard as it is to believe… to accurately report on systemic corruption now, if you accurately report on it, you are going to sound like a crazy person.

So, to sum up this one of many examples that we’ll be exploring, to sum up this one of many government agencies that corruption has run amok upon, to sum up a reoccurring theme, to sum up the new normal: we are losing “at least $10 billion a year to Social Security fraud, year after year, and people have known how to solve the problem, but the solutions don’t get implemented, and on top of that, politicians have already taken $3 Trillion from the Social Security Trust Fund, that we now need, and spent it elsewhere, on God knows what. Who knows? Whoops. Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Shh.. Politicians have already taken $3000 billion from the Social Security Trust Fund, that we now need to pay people back with, now that Baby Boomers are retiring en masse, now that Baby Boomers are retiring by the millions.

“Ut oh, we have to pay people back now? But we already spent their money, ut oh.” Shh… “Where did it all go?” Shh… I don’t know. “Who knows?”

And we’re losing an additional $10 billion per year to fraud. So you see, as it turns out, that $10 billion is just the icing on the surreally corrupt cake.

Is your mind melting yet?

This is only one small piece to the surreally corrupt puzzle.

And, oh by the way, overall, when it comes to our national debt, we have already have spent more than $21 Trillion over budget. Ah, we are already $21 Trillion in debt, and that’s not even accounting for an additional, what, what is it? Another $21 trillion or so in so-called “military” spending that is unaccounted for. So you can see, in the grand scheme, what’s another $3 Trillion to throw into the surreal fire. Ah, it’s all good. No worries.

So, you see, in this context, in this overall situation, after all, at least $10 billion lost to fraud in one year, in one agency, ho hum. We’re dealing with tens of trillions now, so $10 billion, please, we can’t be bothered fixing that. That’s just another drop in the bucket. That’s just a minor rounding error in the surreally cooked books. It’s just another day in the surreally corrupt land of the free, just yet another mind blowing Inspector General report, what else is new?

There are so many examples, it gets worse than this, much worse. We are just easing in here. There is so much more to cover. The Social Security Inspector General report is just the latest example that I just read, just yet another Inspector General report to throw into the surreal fire.

The whole thing is beyond imagination. It’s surreal corruption. That’s the only way I can honestly, accurately articulate it: surreal corruption.

Our tax dollars have been disappearing by the Trillions, with a “t,” disappearing by the trillions through mind blowing fraud and mind-boggling waste. It is happening in many agencies, there are examples that are much more egregious than “at least $10 billion” tax dollars disappearing this year from just Social Security. At least $10 billion in Social Security fraud this year, that is just the tiny tip of the iceberg compared to what is going on in… lets say, so-called “military” spending.

Our tax dollars have been disappearing by the Trillions, with a “t.” I mean, again, 1$ Trillion is $1000 billion, right, do you get that? Can you comprehend that?

It is difficult to seriously wrap your mind around numbers this big. $1 Trillion is $1000 billion.

We need to let that simmer and sink in for a while. This is context that we really need to get in our mind from the beginning here. Please think it through for a while… $1 Trillion is $1000 billion.

Write that down, print it out… hang it up on the wall. Say it 5 times before you go to bed, and 5 times when you get up in the morning. $1 Trillion is $1000 billion.

Seriously, please, let that simmer for a while… put it in your mental crock-pot. Let that slow cook for a while. Think it over, every time you drive over potholes that are too expensive to fix. $1 Trillion is $1000 billion.

People can’t comprehend corruption on this scale; that’s the problem, that’s what we’re up against here. There is no frame of reference that the average person can relate to when you deal with this much money. People don’t understand the impact, the huge impact, that this will have on our future, on our lives, on our daily existence, the huge impact on our overall quality of life.

People don’t get it. We are talking tens of trillions of dollars here people. $1 Trillion is $1000 billion.

Our future has been looted. Our future has been set on fire. Rome is in flames, it’s been torched, looted, plundered, raped and pillaged. Rome is in ruins.

It’s like mafia accountants and corrupt economists got together and got all jacked up on coke and steroids and concocted some wickedly evil mad scientist science experiment, some surreal mathematical extraction formula, some quantitative voodoo derivative of some sort that sent our tax dollars through the chopshop. Our tax dollars sliced and diced times E = MC2 off into the infinite surreally corrupt future.

I mean, ah… it is hard to put all this surreal corruption into a frame of reference that people can grasp. It is hard to do it without sounding like a crazy person. Right? I know, I sound crazy now, again, I know. It’s not easy to maintain sanity in this kind of surreal landscape. It melts your mind. We’re melting minds already, and we’re just getting warmed up, literally, this is just a warm up recording. Truth is so much stranger than fiction. Real news is much more surreal than fake news.

It’s all so absurd. It’s a Banana Republic on steroids. It’s straight up Global Imperial plunder. The U.S. treasury is being looted in unprecedented fashion. It is Global Imperial plunder that is beyond imagination.

We have details, so many details, so many examples, there is so much evidence. It is happening in broad daylight. It is hidden in plain sight. Or more accurately, it is hidden in surreal sight.
It’s surreal corruption. Salvador Dali could not capture the corruption that is unfolding right now. It is happening across our entire tax system, across most every agency of our government.

I’ve been doing the best I can not to get overwhelmed by it, to be as disciplined as possible, to be as methodical as possible, so I can accurately articulate it as concisely as possible, in a way that a large number of people can understand it. To accurately articulate it as concisely as possible, in a way that a large number of people can understand it, that’s what needs to be done, that’s where the action is at. To accurately articulate it as concisely as possible, so a large number of people can understand it.

I mean, if the government is rigged, if the legal system is rigged, I think it’s time we just take all this evidence all the way to the court of public opinion. By any communication means necessary. By any communication medium possible. What do you think? What do you say?

Say something people. Speak up, the hour is late for optimistic outcomes.

You know, this is what I now realize, this is why I’m making these recordings now, once people can understand the fundamental dynamics of systemic corruption, once a critical mass knows where to focus their attention, focus their efforts, we can fix this. The hour is late, no doubt, but once people can understand the fundamental dynamics of it, we can create the change that we need.

We can absolutely fix it! We now understand the fundamental dynamics of it in such detail. We know what’s happening. We know how it is happening. This is what I’m going to lay out in this series.

I have been investigating, researching, analyzing and reporting on systemic corruption for over 20 years now. I’m getting old. For over 20 years now, I have watched closely as corruption incrementally increases year-over-year, election cycle over election cycle, presidential administration after presidential administration, corruption just keeps trending upward, tick, tick, tick, up it goes, consistently, incrementally, tick, tick, tick, and now we have hit that exponential curve, we have technically entered Peak Corruption.

I’ll flesh out what I mean by Peak Corruption throughout this new series. Yes, have I mentioned that, this new series, which we are doing right here, right now. We’re just getting warmed up, right here, right now.

Welcome aboard the Magical Mystery Tour, on the trail of our missing trillions, much, much more to come. You can consider this episode 1, much, much more to come… providing that I can actually get this vital information out. Providing that I can actually get this vital info out.

As many of you know, last you heard from me, while I was reporting on our missing trillions, my website kept getting hacked. Last you heard from me, ha, it’s been months since you last heard from me. I’ve been M.I.A. for a while, forced into exile, yet again. I’ve been M.I.A. for months now… well, I’m happy to report that the rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated… perhaps. I even believed those rumors for a while. Well, the jury is still out on those rumors actually, we’re deliberating here… demise or rise, what shall it be? We shall soon see… ha, ha…

Anyhow, last you heard from me, while I was reporting on our missing trillions, as many of you know, my website kept getting hacked. I couldn’t keep it online. I was being censored and suppressed. The whole thing turned into a very costly, time consuming, energy sucking, outrageously stressful situation, to say the least. It turned into an absolute life-consuming nightmare. My entire life got turned upside down for a while, to be bluntly honest with you. I nearly lost everything, literally.

I’ve fought some serious battles in the past. When you spend your life investigating systemic corruption, you come up against some really powerful interests, but this time I had to fight as hard as I’ve ever fought, harder than I ever thought I could possibly fight, just to get back here, to this point, with you, right here, right now, with you.

Be Here Now. Be Here Now.

I’m a little battle weary, battle-tested though. I’ve had to take on a Stoic approach, an Amor Fati mindset that says, obstacles and adversity… fuel your potential. That’s become a mantra of sorts for me, that’s the mindset we need here… obstacles and adversity fuel your potential.

So, to make long story short, I don’t want to bore you with my personal drama here. Perhaps it will be a boring documentary someday, when I’m not here anymore, that no one watches. No, no… I ain’t goin out like that, ain’t going out like that.

Anyhow, as it turns out, obstacles and adversity do indeed fuel your potential. I now have people helping me to fend off hackers and censorship. I am very grateful for them… very grateful!

There are still some good people in our government, believe it or not, people who truly care about the overall wellbeing of the American people. They are definitely a shrinking demographic within our government. I am very grateful for them though, very grateful for people that I would call, in general, Constitutional Patriots, that’s what I would call them, in general. Constitutional Patriots are definitely a shrinking demographic within our government. I’ll go into further detail on what exactly I mean by that as well throughout this series.

For right now, I’ll just say this, this is the biggest, most pivotal divide across our government right now; on one hand, there is a shrinking demographic of people who truly care about the overall wellbeing of the American people, and on the other hand, there is a growing demographic, a large number of people who are in our government, who are there just so they can cash-out to the Global Power Elite, to the Global Imperial Elite.

There are a large number of people in our government who are there just so they can enrich themselves. People who are in our government just so they can cash-out to the Global Power Elite, to enrich themselves at the expense of the American People, to enrich themselves at the expense of the American taxpayer.

However, and I want to be clear about this, there are people who still truly put the overall wellbeing of the American people before cashing-out to Global Interests. And those people, who put the interests of Americans first and foremost, those good people, at least the diverse cross-section of those people that I’ve had interaction with, those people much more often than not, they consistently bring up the Constitution. I find that, people who care about the greater good, those people consistently bring up the Constitution. And I’ve come to think of them, to see them as Constitutional Patriots, and some of them openly consider themselves to be that.

Overall though, many of them, to a person, they consistently, in their own way, they bring up the need to enforce the Constitution, and when you look at the most harmful overall corruption that is occurring, enforcing the Constitution is a vital piece to solving it.

So that’s the big, pivotal divide in our government right now, and it has nothing to do with Republicans vs Democrats. At this point in the process, when the government is fundamentally, systemically corrupted, the Republican vs Democrat dynamic is secondary, a distant second, at this point. I will explain what I mean by that in detail, I don’t want to trigger anyone here. I know how heated the partisanship is these days. We are all saturated in divisive rhetoric these days. We are supersaturated in divide and conquer propaganda.

As I briefly mentioned before, divide and conquer propaganda is something that I will be focusing on. A main theme throughout this series, a main theme here will be overcoming divide and conquer propaganda to unite the American People.

My ability to overcome divide and conquer propaganda to unite the American People, my ability to do that is the biggest reason why I’ve had success, and it is also a major reason why I’ve been continually hacked and suppressed as well.

By focusing on systemic corruption, because corruption has become so bad, by focusing on systemic corruption I have supporters with opinions across the entire political spectrum. I have just as many conservative supporters as I have liberal supporters. I have just as many libertarian supporters as progressive supporters. I have supporters who are lifelong Military and Intelligence Community Officers and I have supporters who are Peace Activists. I have supporters who are Grandparents and Great Grandparents, and I have supporters who are in high school and college. I have supporters who are religious, faith-based and spiritual, and I have supporters who are atheists. I have supporters with opinions across the political spectrum, across every demographic, from all walks of life. Corruption has become so bad, every demographic is now impacted by it.

At this point, and here’s a main point, at this point, the most pivotal dividing line is between those who are in on the corruption, and those who are not… and 99.99% of the population is not in on the corruption. This is what I’ll be proving to you, demonstrating for you.

When the government is overrun in corruption, everyone feels taken advantage of, to varying degrees, and rightfully so. There is a plenty of well-justified angst to go around. No one wants to have their tax dollars stolen or wasted. No one. No one wants to have their water supply contaminated. No one wants to breathe toxic air. No one wants to have a toxic food supply that makes us bloated and sick. No one wants to pay twice as much for healthcare than any other country pays. No one wants a rigged government.

Most people don’t want a rigged economy and a rigged stock market. Most people want a fair playing field. One set of rules for everyone, right? That is a bedrock American principal. One set of rules for everyone, right? Can we agree on that?

That’s our common ground here people, and it’s exactly what we need right now. One set of rules for everyone. Accountability. That is a bedrock American principal: accountability. The checks and balances built into the Constitution. One set of rules for everyone.

Let me say this again, because it’s a point that I will emphatically prove to you throughout this series: at this point, the most pivotal dividing line right now is between those who are in on the corruption and those who are not… and 99.99% of the population is not in on the corruption. This is something that I will lay out for you in deep detail.

We need to overcome all this divide and conquer madness.

Here’s where we are coming from. Here’s the baseline, common ground we are all coming from and aiming toward: we all want to live in a safe community, in a healthy environment that gives our families the opportunity to fulfill our potential, whatever it may be. That is the baseline, the common ground we all have here. We all want a safe, healthy community that gives our families the ability to live peaceful and healthy lives.

That’s the perspective that I’m coming from here. I am not an ideologue. I am not partisan in any way. My track record backs that up. If you aren’t familiar with my work through the years, as you will see and hear throughout this series, the proof is in the pudding.

I work hard to avoid groupthink and confirmation bias, which is not an easy thing to do, at all. It takes eternal vigilance. Confirmation bias and groupthink are always a lurking threat. It takes serious psychological bandwidth to defend against, to disciple yourself against confirmation bias and groupthink. Any serious independent, critical thinking individual knows that. The second you get a little lazy in your thinking, confirmation bias and groupthink will kick in and take over.

I think groupthink is the last refuge of the beaten mind. Groupthink and partisanship are two sides of the same coin. Groupthink and partisanship are the left and right hemispheres of the same beaten mind. And I’ve always appreciated the wisdom from the American Transcendentalists, from people like Thoreau and Emerson, wisdom that says, ‘A political party is designed to save people from the vexation of thought.’ Ain’t that the truth.

You don’t want to outsource your thoughts to either one of these political parties. That’s for damn sure. It’s not your GrandDaddy’s Republicans and it’s not your Mommy’s Democrats. That’s for sure. These political parties have been co-opted and bought out by Global Imperial Forces, straight up, no joke. The second you outsource your thoughts to partisanship or groupthink, it is all a downward spiral from there.

You need to be an eternally vigilant truth warrior to battle against groupthink. Get a little lazy in your thinking, if you don’t do your homework, if you don’t stay sharp, you will quickly devolve into a groupthinking robot, into a divide and conquer bot. You’ll turn into an unwitting groupthinking Imperial Storm Trooper, a useful idiot hell-bent on your own demise.

One thing that I’ve realized, beyond a shadow of doubt, when it comes to systemic corruption, both political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats are up to their eyes in systemic corruption, as I will point out throughout this series. When it comes to systemic corruption, it is a bi-partisan affair.

Once you understand the fundamental dynamics of systemic corruption, you’ll see how the narrow range of debate between Republican talking points and Democratic talking points is juvenile. It’s absurd. It’s amateur hour, at best. TV and radio “news” have become cartoonish. It’s Romper Room propaganda. It’s a national embarrassment, as are both political parties.

The primary problem is that the mainstream media is a divide and conquer distraction machine. Everyone is all caught up in mainstream divide and conquer narratives. Lost out to sea, in dicey divisive waters. People are saturated in Republican vs Democratic talking points. It’s all a distraction.

There is shallow, divisive rhetoric being spewed all over the place, left and right. It’s got everyone all hyped up, everyone is all worked up, fired up, pissed off, emotionally-driven divisive rhetoric is short-circuiting the neo-cortex. It’s the relentless over-stimulation of the reptilian brain complex, short-circuiting critical thought, atrophy of the critical faculties. The amputation of critical thinking skills via relentless repetitive divisive rhetoric.

The narrow limited spectrum of thinkable thought that is Republican Vs Democratic talking points has contracted everyone’s awareness. They have contracted consciousness into consciousness concentration camps, groupthinking nonsense narratives.

Everyone is all caught up in divide and conquer narratives. That’s what we need to get past, urgently. All this divide and conquer nonsense is destroying us. We are super-saturated in shallow, divisive rhetoric. We need to get passed all this divide and conquer propaganda.

When your country is under attack, when your country is being systematically, systemically destroyed, fighting amongst each other is not the way to go people. When your country is being systematically, systemically destroyed, fighting amongst each other is not the way to go.

It is imperial divide and conquer plunder. Imperial divide and conquer 101 people. Check yourself. Check for yourself.

That’s the thing about truth, the more you look into it, the brighter it gets. You just have to point people in the general direction of truth, just point to the general vicinity, and then aware people will take it from there. Once deeper truth is accurately articulated, nature will take its course. Truth resonates, naturally. Don’t underestimate the power of truth. The light of truth, truth shines brighter the more you look into it.

Discovering it first though, digging deep below all the bullshit and uncovering the truth is the hardest part, but once you uncover the truth, the Holy Grail, if it is seriously the truth, you just have to speak the truth, and if it is the real deal, it will grow louder and louder.

Truth stands hand in hand all over the world, and one shock of recognition runs the whole circle round. Truth resonates. Truth naturally resonates. The truth can handle the pressure. It can handle scrutiny. As a wise person once said, “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”

Now, of course, you have to uncover it first though. You have to dig deep to dig it up, lots of heavy lifting, for sure. But once you can accurately articulate the truth, one shock of recognition runs the whole circle round. Truth resonates. Truth naturally resonates.

So, that being said, a main theme here is overcoming divide and conquer propaganda to unite and defend the American People against predatory Global Interests, Global Imperial Interests, that’s where the real action is at.

Overcoming divide and conquer propaganda to unite and defend the American People against predatory Global Interests. Overcoming divide and conquer propaganda to unite and defend the American People against predatory Global Imperial Interests, that’s where the real action is at.

The old global imperial centralizing force that is consolidating power, wealth and resources into fewer and fewer hands, which makes the masses dependent upon this large corrupted centralized system for the basic necessities of life, for ever-increasing debt.

Here’s some basic imperial mathematics for you: 2 + 2 = ever-increasing debt. Debt is the imperial global centralizing system’s key weapon. Debt is the sword, and divide and conquer propaganda is the shield. Imperialism 101: Make the local population fight amongst themselves while you rob the nation blind and bury everyone in debt… ever-increasing debt.

It is an age-old oppressive tactic. It is an age-old tale to tell. Come gather around people, from whenever you roam, and admit that the debt around you has grown. You better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone.

All right… we’re getting carried away, let’s not get lost out to sea.

Where were we? Oh yes, debt. An age-old tale to tell. An age-old oppressive tactic.

Do you recall the biblical wisdom, in the Book of Proverbs, that says, “the borrower is slave to the lender.” That age-old imperial strategy: make the local population fight amongst themselves while you rob the nation blind and bury everyone in debt.

And, oh, what’s that we see, a deep direct correlation to present reality… we presently have all-time record-breaking national debt, and all-time record-breaking state debt, and all-time record-breaking household debt, and all-time record-breaking personal debt.

All-time record-breaking debt across the board. What do you know? Go figure.

Welcome to the Imperial Debt Death Spiral. History repeats itself, coiling off into the future…

That’s the thing about age-old wisdom. That’s the thing about the truth. Don’t underestimate the power of the truth. Truth resonates, once spoken, once accurately articulated, Logos. Speaking truth to power, or more precisely, speaking truth is power. Boom… Truth Bomb.

“Allegiance to the truth, that is the guidepost, that is the way through.”

These are divisive dicey debt-filled waters, but “the fundamental rule when operating in chaos is to tell the truth.” Truth is your guidepost. Truth is your sword and shield. Speak the Truth. Accurately articulate what is presently unfolding as concisely as possible. Truth stands hand in hand all over the world, and one shock of recognition runs the whole circle round. Truth resonates. Truth naturally resonates.

Don’t underestimate the power of the truth, people. As Thomas Jefferson once advised, “Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of the body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”

Once a critical mass understands how power operates, on a global scale, once a critical mass understands the fundamental dynamics of the power that surrounds us, in its latest guise, in its latest disguise, once a critical mass can see through its mask, the global imperial centralizing jig is up.

The Iron Law of Oligarchy Dominance Hierarchy is a skin that we will shed. The metamorphosis is already underway. Calling all imaginal cells… Who hears me?

On the precipice of the abyss, an evolutionary leap is required. Let’s positive feedback loop our way into the new paradigm.

Ha, all right, I’m having a little fun with this now. We’re getting all sorts of carried away. We don’t want to get too carried away too quickly here. I was getting caught up in everything. We need to lay a solid foundation first. Discipline David, discipline. We need to be methodical here, as methodical as possible. We need to do the deep digging and heavy lifting to set up a solid foundation of understanding, a well of wisdom that we can dip into.

We will spend significant time exposing and dissecting divide and conquer narratives that are repetitiously forced down our throats. Divide and conquer narratives that are repetitiously forced upon our consciousness.

It’s repetition that influences most. It’s what Madison Ave marketers, advertisers, PR experts, it’s what propagandists have known all along: if you just keep up the exposure rate, people will be influenced. Repetition, it’s all about repetition, subconscious programming, repetition, it’s all about repetition, propaganda 101.

Throughout this series, we are going to be able to see through divide and conquer narratives with ease. We are going to be able to see through them in vivid detail. We will dismantle the illusion pixel by pixel. The disintegration of the illusion. The illusion will disintegrate before our eyes. The degradation of the illusion. We are going to pixelate the illusion. We will break it down in vivid detail, bit by bit, piece by piece, brick by brick, pixel by pixel.

It’s time for some higher resolution reality, higher definition. We will render a higher resolution navigation system. That’s what we need, a high resolution GPS that can help us navigate the power dynamics that surround us.

Ultimately, what we’re doing here… I want to provide you with a clear map of the power dynamics at play, the power dynamics surrounding us, a vivid map of the overall terrain. We’ll survey the battlefield, we’ll survey the scene, we’ll survey the playing field.

I want to provide you with a navigation system, a detailed, high resolution navigation system of the fundamental power dynamics that surround us. A navigation system, a map of how power operates around us, so you can find your own way through it. So you can find your own way out, your own way to freedom, your own way to health, success and abundance.

This is where the political becomes personal. You can consider this a survival guide, a field manual to the power dynamics surrounding us, so you can survive, self-actualize and thrive.

Ultimately, this is about empowering you toward self-actualization. This is about empowering mass transformation via self-actualization. Empowering mass transformation via self-actualization. Self-actualization, that’s the way out, that’s the way to freedom.

Once we can get an in-depth understanding of the fundamental power dynamics at play, we can then develop, hone and apply our own unique skills, in our own chosen way, to overcome and transcend the present crisis.

At this stage of evolution, at this phase in the process, there is now an ecosystem of transformation that anyone can tap into and flow with it. There is now an ecosystem of transformation, an ecosystem of self-actualization that we can come into alignment and synergy with, which I will be fleshing out for you throughout this series.

For all the major problems we are confronted by, for all the unprecedented crises we are facing, there are viable solutions. This is the main point: for all the major problems we face, there are viable solutions, multiple solutions, at this point, for every major problem.

The blessing in disguise right now: corruption has gotten so bad, the challenges we face, governmental and economic challenges, environmental and health challenges, societal and cultural challenges, at this point, the challenges we face are so apparent and so blatant that we now have an in-depth understanding of them. That’s the blessing in disguise.

We now have a deep understanding of the fundamental core dynamics that are driving the major problems that we are confronted by. We have a deep understanding of the underlying root causes and there are now viable solutions. That’s what I’m going to be laying out in detail here with you.

And to be clear, this isn’t about telling people that there is only one particular way to live, or saying that these are the list of the exact things that you have to do. This isn’t about that. This is a chose your own adventure. This is a chose your own solution adventure.

How about that? This is a chose your own solution adventure.

We are going to do a lot of shadow work here. By shadow work I mean diving deep into systemic corruption and societal problems. We are going to go deep into our collective shadow. Now, keep in mind, as a very wise person once said, “It is always darkest just before the dawn.”

We are going to do a lot of shadow work here, but the motivation and reason why I’m doing this is because I am optimistic about the future. I want to make that clear up front.

We are going to make the darkness conscious so we can effectively transcend it. “The unseen enemy is always the most fearsome.” Right? We need to make the darkness conscious. We need to illuminate the obstacles, illuminate the shadows. We need to illuminate The Shadows That Be to effectively transcend them.

Despite all the corruption and the serious problems we face, despite all the battles I’ve been fighting, I wouldn’t be doing this right now if I didn’t think that there was light at the end of the tunnel. There is much to be positive about. There is a bright future to look forward to and much to be grateful for.

I want to make this clear from the beginning right now. Despite all the challenges and obstacles that I had to battle through, and will continue to battle through, I consider myself to be a hardcore optimist who sees many fixable problems.

Once a critical mass knows where to focus their attention, they will be naturally inspired to focus their efforts, and we’ll change the game. We can fix it. We can create the change we need. That is what I truly believe. That is why I’m doing this recording right now, with you.

I’m considering this podcast as a basic introduction, an intro episode. I’m going to pre-record the first few episodes before anything is posted online. They’ll be long-form, long-format episodes like this one, and then moving forward on a consistent basis I will do shorter more time sensitive, news-based episodes, more topic, issue-specific episodes on what is presently unfolding, on the latest developments.

For now though, I want to lay the groundwork and cover the vital fundamentals first, step by step, pixel by pixel. I’m pre-recording these first few hours, so I can make sure to lay the foundation that needs to be set. We need to do the heavy lifting to set up a solid foundation of understanding, to put the conceptual framework in place. And from this base, we can then effectively confront challenges and obstacles as they unfold around us.

Having a microphone in my face and being on camera is definitely outside of my comfort zone. I’m used to working behind the scenes, investigating, researching, analyzing and writing reports on systemic corruption and how power operates. I always avoided interviews as much as possible, and now I got all this going on. When your life gets turned upside down, staying in your comfort zone isn’t exactly an option now, is it?

Yeah… that’s the thing… look, I am a little gun-shy right now, after everything I’ve been through. I’m battle weary. Every time I begin to put out information I end up getting hacked, my life gets turned upside down, and I get all sorts of censorship and suppression online. My ability to make a living doing investigative journalism becomes real difficult, real fast, to say the least.

That’s why I’m pre-recording these first few hours before anything gets posted. Even with the help that I have now, which I am very grateful for, even with the help that I have now, I just don’t know how long this going to last, to be honest with you. This is an ever-evolving battle, no doubt.

So I have to do everything I can to put out vital information, by any communication means necessary. I’m decentralizing myself now, as much as possible, across many sites, servers, platforms and networks. I’m going to be kicking out vital info by every communication medium possible… audio, video, images, text, podcasts, as best as I can.

I am grateful for the help that I now have, and I’m grateful for any help that I can get. If you are one of the people who are tapped in enough to be listening to this right now, support of any kind is greatly appreciated. Whatever you feel inspired to do is much appreciated because, look, the Iron Curtain is coming down online now.

The Algorithmic Curtain is descending over the Internet now. The Artificial Intelligence, the AI algorithmic bots are no joke. They are editing reality in real-time. The AI Algo Bots are Thought Police on steroids. This is beyond Orwellian now, seriously. The Algorithmic Curtain is descending upon our news feeds as we speak. They are editing reality in real-time. The Algorithmic Curtain is descending upon our conscious awareness as we speak.

AI Algo Bots are jamming our frequency. No joke. Do you see, ha, do you see what I mean? When you accurately articulate what is presently unfolding, you will sound like a crazy person. The AI Algo Bots, c’mon now, these are seriously surreal times.

Can you hear Paul Revere’s horse galloping? Did you get Paul Revere’s notification? Ding, ding… The AI Algo Bots are coming… Ding, ding… The AI Algo Bots are coming… ha, oh man, surreal times people, surreal times.

The globally corrupt imperial elite are in control of your social media feeds and Google search results. AI Algo Bots and PSYOPS have infiltrated the entire Internet. Technically, it’s called Full Spectrum Dominance. That’s a real thing, an actual military strategy. Full Spectrum Dominance is no joke at all.

AI Algo Bots have infiltrated your mind. Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean that you’re crazy. No joke. They harvest your personal information, your personal data, your online thought-prints. They harvest every move you make with shocking precision and effectiveness. They can do it to entire populations now.

With Big Data Analytics, AI algorithms and machine learning there are many companies who have very advanced and detailed data points, in-depth personality profiles on everyone, on everything you do. It’s called Psycho-Metrics, for real, Psycho-Metrics, that’s what they call it. In-depth personality profiles, so they know exactly how to manipulate you. I know it sounds crazy, because it is crazy.

The more you look into military spending the crazier it gets. Big Data companies, global intelligence agencies and private military contractors have thousands of data points on every American, literally, highly in-depth personality profiles with thousands of data points on every American, on everyone. I’ll cover this topic in detail throughout this series as well.

It’s shocking, it’s horrifying, the 4th Amendment has been shredded. The 4th Amendment has been rendered null and void. Modern surveillance tech has obliterated antiquated privacy laws. It’s horrifying. Especially, especially if you are someone that the Global Power Elite think can affect their power.

If you’re an investigative journalist who focuses on systemic corruption in a way that can unite the American people, if you can do that, you are targeted for all sorts of hacking, and with modern surveillance technology it is too easy for powerful people to shut people up, shut people down, to turn people’s lives upside down, it’s far too easy these days.

The power of surveillance technology is vastly underestimated when it comes to how real power operates today, I’ll tell you that.

The use of surveillance technology as a tool of control is commonplace now. Politicians all over the world, politicians all throughout the United States in particular, they’re on lockdown now. The use of surveillance technology to manipulate, undermine and control people is much more widespread now and much more commonplace now than people realize.

Whether you are a politician, even a law enforcement investigator, an Inspector General, a whistleblower, an activist or a journalist, if you can truly affect the power of the Global Power Elite, you are targeted and very effectively and efficiently undermined and neutralized.

If you are an investigative journalist who can focus on systemic corruption in a way that can pierce through the divide and conquer propaganda, if you can focus on systemic corruption in a way that can overcome divide and conquer partisanship and unite people across the political spectrum, the Global Power Elite will target you and turn your life upside down pretty easily, and the ultimate goal is to limit your ability to make a living at doing that investigative journalism.

This is what I’ve learned the hard way. You can consider this the AI Algo Bot Blues. Ha… I mean, I’m trying to make light of a dark difficult situation here people.

If you can do real legit journalism, in a way that informs people on the fundamentals of systemic corruption, informs people in a way that unites them instead of dividing them, if you can do that, the Global Imperial Elite will target you and turn your life upside down, and the ultimate goal is to limit your ability to make a living at doing that journalism. That’s the key objective. Make it impossible for anyone to do real full-time investigative journalism on systemic corruption. The ultimate goal is to limit your ability to make a living at doing serious investigative journalism.

That’s what happens, so that’s what we’re up against here. This is why journalism is dead throughout the United States. And, in the grand scheme of things, I’m just a little gnat. I’m a little gnat… a gadfly, at best, ha ha… a gadfly in the old Socratic sense I suppose.

So, I’m pre-recording this series to make sure that I can say vital things that need to be said… as the AI Algo Bots are closing in. I’m running for the fences… I’m running for the fences here people.

There is just a ton of vital information that we have to share. And to be clear, all this vital information is publicly available information. This is really important for me to make this distinction and point this out up front. I do not in anyway deal with classified information.

I have no desire to even see classified information. I avoid it like the plague. You know, basically, classified information is entrapment at this point.

I mean, the classification of information is a major issue. The classification of information has become a pivotal weak spot for the American People. The Constitution torching ability to wave the wand of National Security to cover up corruption, that is devastating to the American People right now. As we know from people like the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Grassley has said, and Senator Wyden on the Senate Intelligence Committee, you know people who have an understanding of the information that gets classified, they have consistently said that info is classified to cover up corruption. That’s basically what it is all about, at this point, that’s a major, huge issue. And I’ll be covering this issue, in detail, with publicly available info. We don’t need any classified info to report on it in an effective way.

Between FOIA, the Freedom Of Information Act, which just keeps getting weaker, by the way, but between FOIA, and Senators getting info declassified, and all the publicly available government reports, Inspector General Reports, Government Accountability Office reports, and then connecting dots from news reports, we have all the proof that we need to prove that the U.S. Constitution is being violated, often.

The U.S. Constitution is being destroyed, it’s being torched, the checks and balances, the accountability mechanisms, the chain of accountability has been completely dismantled. And we know exactly how it is being done. We know the weak points. We know the loopholes well. We can describe the process in detail so people can understand it, and at this point, we don’t need any classified info to do it.

So, my main point right now, bottom line, I don’t deal in any kind of classified information. It’s just too dangerous to begin with and at this point it is unnecessary. It’s an entrapment play. At this point in the game, there is more than enough publicly available information to understand the real score.

There is more than enough publicly available information to flesh out the inner workings of the global power dynamics that are at play around us right now. There is more than enough publicly available information to lay out how trillions of tax dollars have gone unaccounted for. There is more than enough publicly available information to demonstrate outrageous abuses of power.

At this point in the game, at this point in the process, we just need people to understand the publicly available info first and foremost. Once they understand the publicly available info, the rest will take care of itself. We have more than enough evidence.

So, I want to make that 100% clear, up front: all publicly available information here.

If you know how to connect the dots, you can flesh out the whole Global Imperial power structure, and how it operates, you can flesh it out efficiently and effectively, and you could be the judge of how well I’m going to do that, because with these recordings I’ve done, I lay it all out, as concisely as I can, so people can understand the underlying systemic corruption in a way that will unite people.

Again, at this point, the most pivotal dividing line is between those who are in on the corruption, and those who are not… and 99.99% of the population is not in on the corruption.

My hope is that I can do this in a way where a large enough number people can vividly understand it, so we can effectively unite and create the change that we need. If we can accurately articulate it, in a way that a large number of people can understand, we can create the change that we need.

Look, I’m running for the fences here. We’ve got to reach that critical mass tipping point. We need to drop a Truth Bomb into the heart of the Death Star. We need to drop a Truth Bomb onto the shadow of the Global Imperial Centralizing dark side. We need to confront our collective shadow. We need to make the darkness conscious, illuminate the dark places. So we can transcend the shadow, so we can shed this skin.

I do have some reservations about proceeding with all this. You really are a gnat compared to the powerful forces operating around us, operating around the world. At this point, I’ve traveled too far down the road to turn back now. I’ve passed the point of no return long ago. The boats have been burnt long ago, and I’m at this point now, even if I wanted to walk away my conscience won’t let me, really, to be honest with you. Every time I try to retreat, every time I get hacked, every time my life gets turned upside down, when it becomes too difficult to make a living doing journalism, every time that happens, I have to retreat, I must retreat at those points, when it’s really bad.

So I retreat, and when I do, no matter what, somehow, someway, I still end up spending all my time investigating and researching systemic corruption and how power operates. Even when I’m not publishing online, even when I can’t publish online, I retreat into and refocus on more investigation and research. I just always keep sharpening the sword. This centripetal force has a life of its own now, it has a momentum beyond me.

I’m at a point now, where I can’t sleep at night. When you have so much vital information and you don’t proactively, consistently share it, it weighs on your conscience, it tears you apart. I get a divided soul. It weighs on your conscious heavily. You can’t live with a divided soul.

It’s that old Albert Einstein quote that haunts me. Einstein said, “Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” That old Einstein haunts me. His words echo throughout my mind, “Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” If you have vital info that you know can help people, you got to share it, you got to release it. Just let it go and fearlessly flow…

We are confronted by unprecedented crises now, across the board, crisis after crisis, they just keep getting worse. Meanwhile, there are viable solutions. We have the solutions. We can fix things. We can significantly improve everyone’s quality of life. It is time for innovations, existing innovations, which are being stifled, it is time for these innovations to be unleashed so they can reach a critical mass tipping point as efficiently as possible.

We have a global centralizing system that is enforcing scarcity in areas where there no longer needs to be scarcity. We have a global centralizing system that is systematically, systemically burying everyone in debt. A global centralizing system that is consolidating wealth and resources to make the masses dependent on it for ever-increasing debt.

How many people have to be unnecessarily exploited and unnecessarily impoverished? How many people have to live lives of exploitation and spend their lives toiling in debt slavery before the existing innovations and viable solutions to our major problems can reach a critical mass tipping point?

How many people have to die unnecessarily before known innovations can reach a critical mass?
That’s the question, that’s the challenge, that is the task upon us here. And when you understand the fundamental dynamics in such detail, you have to share that info, you got to just share that wisdom, even if you know it is going to be a difficult and an incredibly challenging road.

“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” I feel a profound sense of responsibility. I really do.

It is very hard for people to acknowledge and comprehend the level of corruption and collapse that is closing in on us, let alone to inspire people to effectively confront it. There is so much corruption and shortsighted suicidal greed, it’s overwhelming. It’s hard to focus on one thing.

To even acknowledge it, to truly acknowledge it causes you to question your reality in a deeply disturbing way, in a way that most people can’t handle or tolerate. To truly acknowledge it causes you to deeply question your reality in a deeply disturbing way.

The more traumatizing wider reality becomes, the more people indulge in their denial. People prefer comforting lies to disturbing truths. People prefer convenient, comforting lies to difficult, challenging truths.

This is how “good” people end up on the wrong side of history. Never underestimate people’s ability to block out the evil that is growing around us.

“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.”

Ultimately, at the end of the day, it is our responsibility to solve these problems. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. It is our responsibility to solve these problems. Like it or not. There is no avoiding the consequences, the frontlines are everywhere.

To not take bold action now is a grotesque abdication of responsibility, responsibility to our nation, responsibility to our families, responsibility to our own future, and quite frankly, our responsibility to the future of life on this planet.

“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.”

It is all the unnecessary suffering; that’s what tears you apart. There is so much unnecessary suffering throughout the world. There is so much unnecessary exploitation, unnecessary death, unnecessary debt, unnecessary stress and anxiety. You know, people live under constant stress and anxiety these days, unnecessary stress and anxiety. It is such a waste of human potential. No wonder suicide rates and depression rates have skyrocketed, as well as addiction, prescription medication rates, it all correlates to all-time record-breaking debt.

There is so much unnecessary suffering throughout the world. With modern technology, with modern wealth, with present overall wealth and current technology, we can dramatically improve everyone’s quality of life.

There are three things that people vastly underestimate… once you get a deep understanding of these three things, it’s a game-changer, it’s a consciousness-expanding paradigm shift.

Here are three things that people vastly underestimate…

1) How much wealth there presently is; which we’ll be getting deep into, all three of these things that people vastly underestimate will be major areas of focus throughout this series.

1) How much wealth there presently is;
2) What is possible with modern technology;
3) How psychologically conditioned we are.

This is going to sound extreme: people vastly underestimate how psychologically conditioned, how mentally enslaved, how propagandized we all are. People vastly underestimate how psychologically manipulated we all are.

Most people can’t even imagine other ways of living. Most people can’t even imagine what is presently possible.

I’ll be going real deep into psychological conditioning. People vastly underestimate how psychologically conditioned we all are, from the cradle to the grave, Skinner Box bred in a token economy. I’ll be going real deep into all this.

“To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill.” Sun Tzu said that in The Art of War.

Propaganda and psychological operations. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.

We are going to construct a Psychological Underground Railroad. That’s what we are going to do. It’s a revolution of consciousness. It’s an evolution of consciousness, that’s what it is. An evolution of consciousness, that’s what’s happening.

The enlightened individual is the path to freedom. The enlightened individual is the path to unity… as the paradoxical nature of it all reveals itself. An evolution of consciousness, that’s what’s happening.

At the end of the day, we are all entangled particles living in mutualistic symbiosis. We are entangled particles living in mutualistic symbiosis. Therefore, the more you empower others, the more empowered you become. What you do to the web of life, you do to yourself. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. Positive feedback loops.

This where science, religion and philosophies that have lasted through the ages all coalesce and converge into alignment: we are entangled particles living in mutualistic symbiosis. Therefore, the more you empower others, the more empowered you become. Positive feedback loops. What you do to the web of life, you do to yourself. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

The enlightened individual is the path to unity. Time for an evolution of consciousness. Mass transformation via self-actualization. Emancipate yourself. Time for a Do It Yourself, a D.I.Y. decentralized uprising. None but ourselves. That’s all we need. None but ourselves.

I’m getting a little worked up again. It’s true though. I’ll lay it all out for your skeptical mind. Much more to be said, of course. We’ll be diving deeply into all three of these topics throughout this series, all significant areas that are vastly underestimated…

1) How much wealth there is;
2) What is possible with modern technology; (It is easier to fish than it’s ever been. I think one of the distinguishing characteristics, a distinction between the old paradigm and the new paradigm: the old paradigm wants you to become dependent on centralized systems, they want to give you fish; the new paradigm empowers you to be self-sufficient when it comes to the basic necessities of life. The new paradigm gives you the tools to fish. It makes you independent of the old paradigm. So that old wisdom about teaching people to fish instead of giving them fish, that’s perfect for the distinction between the old paradigm and the new paradigm. And what is possible with modern technology now, it makes fishing easier than ever, and teaching people to fish is easier than ever. Because of modern technology it is easier than ever to teach people to fish and to give them the tools so they can effectively fish. So the 2nd underestimated thing is what is possible with modern technology. It’s all about empowering self-actualization, self-determination, self-reliance, self-sufficiency. We don’t need that old corrupted centralizing system anymore. We can become self-sufficient for the basic necessities of life at a very micro-community level. I’m going to go deep into detail on all that.)
3) How psychologically conditioned we are.

Once you understand any of those three topics, it is a consciousness-expanding paradigm shift.

Having such a deep understanding of this, having such a deep understanding of how this is all playing out, it weighs on my conscious, heavily. It seriously does, it weighs on my conscious big time. It drives everything I do.

“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.”

At this point, if I’m not doing everything I can to get vital info out, I can’t sleep at night, can’t live with myself if I’m not sharing all this info, my conscious won’t let me do anything else right now.

You know… I do have hesitations though, some fear. I’m battle weary. Look, I am battle weary, that is for sure, but it’s like, you have to speak up, at this point, you have to act, you have to do what you can do. It’s like… you know that wisdom from the Gospel of Thomas, that wise quote that says:

“If you do not bring forth what is within you,
what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

That’s so true. As above, so below, and the flip side of that wise quote is:

“If you bring forth what is within you,
what you bring forth will save you.”

There is some hardcore optimism for you. “Don’t die with your music still inside you.”

So, yeah, I do have hesitations though, admittedly, there is some fear lurking in the shadows, The Shadows That Be. I’m battle weary, but battle-tested too, full of hard-fought battle-tested wisdom. I’ve been deep into the cave that most fear to enter. I’ve taken a long walk through the valley of the shadow of death. They say to “fear no evil,” ha, yeah, easier said than done, watch out for PTSD, right, that’s for sure… “As Above, So Below,” you know?

They say to “fear no evil,” ha, yeah. It’s like a wise warrior once said, “Everyone’s got a plan, until they get punched in the face.”

“It’s not how hard you can hit, it’s how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.” Right? A little Rocky wisdom hits hard. “Life will beat you to your knees if you let.” That’s the truth of it. “It’s how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.” We need to keep moving forward.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” MLK sad that. We need to keep moving forward. That’s the essence of life. Obstacles and adversity fuel our potential.

“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.”

I do feel an intense sense of obligation and duty to do this. I seriously do. My whole life has led to this, one way or the other. “Don’t die with your music still inside you.”

Life is a brief burst of infinite possibility. We are all stars in the cosmic movie. Choose your role wisely. It’s a Hero’s Journey. Time to slay the dragon. Be aware… “As Above, So Below.”

I am a hardcore optimist who sees many fixable problems. I do believe that there is a bright future to build toward, but, alas, the hour is late for optimistic outcomes.

The inevitable confrontation with the collective Shadow is upon us. The inevitable confrontation with our collective unconscious. The Shadow beckons. The cave we fear to enter holds the elixir that we seek. The archetypes are all there, made manifest. The archetypes are in alignment. The archetypal resonance is profound.

In Carl Jung’s work — I’ve learned to love Carl Jung, I’ll reference him often — I have found that his work correlates very well with how power operates, globally. Profound examples of “As Above, So Below” insights, spine-tingling examples, hair-raising. So Jung says that you cannot evolve in a holistically healthy and sustainable way “until the shadow is adequately confronted.”

At this stage of evolution, at this phase of existence, we are now in a Jungian confrontation with our collective shadow. In many ways, it is a confrontation with our collective unconscious.

The old pre-existing Dominance Hierarchy, what I call the Oligarchy Dominance Hierarchy, is an old, outdated paradigm, an old paradigm that has now outlived its usefulness. It is now a shadow that needs to be adequately confronted. It is a skin that must be shed, in an evolutionary sense. I’ll describe all this much further throughout this series.

As Jung said, to become enlightened, to holistically evolve, we need to make “the darkness conscious.” We need to “illuminate the shadow.” We need to “adequately confront the shadow.” Unfortunately, based on what I’ve been able to decipher, it appears Jung was right, “As Above, So Below.”

It is a Carl Jung-esque night sea journey. It’s the maelstrom. On the precipice of the abyss, an evolutionary leap is required. Fear not though, fear not: “The Abyss appears dangerous only to those afraid to test their inner depths.” The abyss is only the end for those who are frightened to reach down into their inner depths and give their best.

Doing the best you can in challenging times is the ultimate evolutionary life force. Do the best you can do. Persevere in service to the greater good. If you have an unbreakable faith, you will eventually experience a breakthrough. An unbreakable faith will lead to a breakthrough.

This is where that Amor Fati mindset comes in. Where those insightful Stoic philosophies emerge as actionable wisdom. Obstacles and adversity fuel our potential. The battle against an obstacle propels us to a new level of functioning. The extent of the battle determines the extent of the growth. We must learn to see the obstacle as a tool propelling growth. The obstacle is a catalyst. The obstacle is an evolutionary catalyst.

The obstacle is a prerequisite to our evolution. The obstacle is an evolutionary catalyst. That’s the attitude to take, that’s hardcore optimism right there: the obstacle is an evolutionary catalyst. That’s the attitude that we need to transcend this crisis.

These Stoic philosophies tie into Carl Jung’s confrontation with the shadow as well. We can’t be holistically healthy, in a sustainable way, until the shadow is adequately confronted. We can’t just ignore our collective shadow, as we have been doing. It needs to be acknowledged, it needs to be exposed to the light and adequately dealt with.

Here is another “As Above, So Below” insight from Jung, “Only when we realize that part of ourselves which we have not hitherto seen or preferred not to see can we proceed to question and find the sources from which it feeds and the basis on which it rests.” That timely, deep wisdom, derived from the depths of depth psychology was also discovered by another prominent psychologist Ronald Laing. Laing sums up this point, and our present overall crisis in the brilliant and aptly titled book, “The Politics of Experience,” I love that title, “The Politics of Experience” indeed. In “The Politics of Experience” Laing says:

“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.”

Indeed, ‘The cave we fear to enter holds the treasure we seek,’ as Joseph Campbell summed up the myths of the ages and the Hero’s Journey. “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” “As Above, So Below.” It’s always in that shadow, that thing that you fear the most, that thing that you would prefer to ignore, that blind spot that holds us back. We must illuminate the shadows, expose them to light, and once adequately confronted, we can then transcend them and evolve into a bright future of unprecedented abundance.

As Carl Jung put it, “The shadow, when it is realized, is the source of renewal.”

Right, the obstacle propels us to new levels of functioning. The obstacle, the shadow once realized, it becomes an evolutionary catalyst. “The shadow, when it is realized, is the source of renewal.” That was Carl Jung’s deep insight, from the depths of depth psychology. From the depths of the deep unconscious, from Jung’s exploration into the deep collective unconscious, he returned with this wisdom, “The shadow, when it is realized, is the source of renewal.”

The archetypes are all there, made manifest. They are in alignment. The archetypal resonance is profound. It’s a Hero’s Journey. It’s time to slay the dragon. The cave we fear to enter holds the elixir that we seek.

Obstacles and adversity fuel our potential. That’s the mindset we need. That’s the mindset we need as we begin to embark on our Hero’s Journey deep into The Shadows That Be.

So much vital info, a wealth of wisdom to share… It’s time to slay the dragon. Piece by piece, bit by bit, brick by brick, pixel by pixel. Dismantling of the illusion, shedding a skin, shifting a paradigm… “just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending it turned into a butterfly.”

Obstacles and adversity fuel our potential. That’s the mindset we need.

I need to get into a flow… so much vital info, a wealth of wisdom to share… just it let go and flow… just let go and fearlessly flow… so much vital info, a wealth of wisdom to share… don’t overthink it… don’t overthink it, just let go and fearlessly flow… speak the truth. Transparently flow, genuinely flow, with sincerity… authentically… just be yourself… so much vital info, a wealth of wisdom to share… battle-tested wisdom… just speak the truth, just let go and fearlessly flow…

It’s a Hero’s Journey. Time to slay the dragon.

My mission is to accurately articulate what is presently unfolding… as concisely as possible… so a large number of people can understand it…

My mission, as a journalist, and as a person trying to understand the world around us, my mission as a person trying to successfully navigate the world around us, to navigate the power dynamics that swirl around us, my mission is to accurately articulate what is presently unfolding… as concisely as possible… so we can understand it, so we can then take that info and apply it to our own life and get tangible results, positive, empowering, life-enhancing results, that’s where the action is at, where the magic is at.

Chaos Magick… to dive deeply into the swirling chaos that surrounds us and to extract deeper meaning out of it. To accurately articulate what is presently unfolding… it takes eternal vigilance to get up on that wave, to ride the ever-evolving cutting-edge of viable truth in search of useful, actionable wisdom, that’s where the action is at, where the magic is at.

To dive deeply into the ever-evolving swirling chaos that surrounds us and extract useful, actionable wisdom out of it, to translate deeper truth back to you, so you can then apply it to your own life, so it can give you a better understanding of your own situation, so you can more effectively deal with your own issues, so it can empower you and help you to navigate the power dynamics that swirl around us. So we can positively affect them to get life-enhancing results, so we can live meaningful and fulfilling lives, that’s where the action is at.

That old wisdom from Thomas Jefferson, which propelled me down this path to the present moment, to what we’re doing here, right now: “Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of the body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”

Right, that’s Carl Jung too, “expose the shadow to light.” Right? Perhaps, if we can accurately articulate the collective shadow as concisely as possible, in a way that a large number of people can understand it. Perhaps then, we can make tyranny and oppressions vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.

We can make tyranny and oppressions vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of a new paradigm. Perhaps then, we can transcend this crisis non-violently without societal upheaval and without violent conflicts, without mass casualties. Perhaps then, we can transcend it and evolve into a new paradigm.

That’s it, yes, let’ do this… an evolution in consciousness. Yes, let’ do this… a paradigm shifting expansion of consciousness.

Let’s dive deeply into the swirling chaos that sounds us… “The fundamental rule when operating in chaos is to tell the ‘truth.; Allegiance to the ‘truth,’ that is the guidepost, that is the way through… ‘Truth’ is our sword & shield.” Let’s slay the dragon. It’s a Hero’s Journey.

Just transparently flow, so much vital info, a wealth of wisdom to share, serious hard-fought battle-tested wisdom, just let it go and fearlessly flow… just let it go and flow…

Be Here Now… where the magic is at… be present… be in the moment… be present… where the magic is at… Be Here Now… got to seize the moment… Be Here Now… got to seize the moment…

Carpe diem.  Carpe diem.