By F. William Engdahl and cross-posted from New Eastern Outlook
Students of history will find eerie but quite predictable parallels between the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 4th Century AD and the collapse of America’s global hegemony today. Not only has the choice of political so-called leaders become the near-exclusive province of big money patriarchs and their corporate interests. The choice of politicians voters are offered is worse than abysmal. As President Barack Obama tries every sneaky trick in the book to ram through a hugely unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade corporate scam, a report has emerged that there is a staggering $6.5 trillion of US taxpayer dollars that cannot be properly accounted for by standard good accounting methods. That’s trillion, not million, not billion, but trillion. That is almost 40% of the annual USA Gross Domestic Product. Missing in action…
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the agency that provides finance and accounting services for the Pentagon’s civilian and military members, has just revealed that it cannot provide adequate documentation for $6.5 trillion worth of “adjustments” to Army general fund transactions and data. According to a report released July 26 by the by the Inspector General of the US Department of Defense, US military budget practices are out of control. The report notes,
“The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management & Comptroller) (OASA[FM&C]) and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Indianapolis (DFAS Indianapolis) did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in third quarter journal voucher (JV) adjustments and $6.5 trillion in year-end JV adjustments made to AGF data during FY 2015 financial statement compilation. The unsupported JV adjustments occurred because OASA (FM&C) and DFAS Indianapolis did not prioritize correcting the system deficiencies that caused errors resulting in JV adjustments, and did not provide sufficient guidance for supporting system-generatedadjustments.” (emphasis added)
“Journal vouchers” provide serial numbers, transaction dates and the amount of the expenditure, not so complicated, or?
This is no minor book-keeping bureaucratic snafu. It exposes the rampant corruption at the heart of the world’s largest military Leviathan, the Pentagon. The Pentagon report goes on to declare, “In addition, DFAS Indianapolis did not document or support why the Defense Departmental Reporting System-Budgetary (DDRS-B), a budgetary reporting system, removed at least 16,513 of 1.3 million records during third quarter FY2015…the data used to prepare the FY2015 AGF third quarter and year-end financial statements were unreliable and lacked an adequate audit trail.” (emphasis added)
Translated into plain English, the US Army–and that’s only one branch of the US Armed Forces–destroyed accounting documents, did not provide an audit trail for accountability of funds allocated by Congress, and made apparently arbitrary, unverifiable accounting year-end adjustments that made it look like the books balanced, adjustments of $6.5 trillion worth. In other words they not only cooked the books, they Dixie-fried them, as in…trillion…trillion…trillion…
Interesting to know there are two mammoth institutions with government ties or government agencies which never have submitted to an independent audit. One is the privately-owned but Government linked and supposedly Congressionally monitored (hardly) Federal Reserve. The second institution never to have been audited is the Pentagon. Never.
The day before September 11, 2001 then US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld announced, “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” The story vanished the next day in the panic of 911 events.
Finally, under the pressures of exploding Federal Budget deficits, Congress demanded that the Army achieve “audit readiness,” for the first time ever, by Sept. 30, 2017. No one in Washington believes that will happen.
The corruption, falsification, probable fraud and embezzlement is so huge and so endemic that it will destroy any effort at transparency, buried under the cover of bureaucratic ineptitude. It’s symptomatic of the rot of Washington and a nation that only a few decades ago held a tradition of honesty and integrity in public service. If we want to give a name to a faceless bureaucracy responsible for accurate reporting of that unaccountable $6.5 trillion, his current name is Colonel (retired) Robert M. Speer, Assistant Secretary of the Army Financial Management and Comptroller, formerly with PwC, one of the mega accounting firms. Presumably he understands how to do basic accounting…