$125 Billion in Pentagon Bureaucratic Waste Gets Buried: “All the crap is going to float to the surface and stink the place up.”

Pentagon Building showing smoke rising from the building after the 9/11 attack.(Photo: Public Domain)

Pentagon Building showing smoke rising from the building after the 9/11 attack. (Photo: Public Domain)

December 7, 2016

Written by Lorra B.

A project by the Pentagon to make their operation more efficient has backfired and instead exposed much more wasteful spending than expected.

According to The Washington Post, “The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget.”

A report was issued in Jan. 2015 outlining a five-year plan for the Defense Department to save a whopping $125 billion by eliminating “the bureaucracy through attrition and early retirements, curtailed high-priced contractors and made better use of information technology.”

According to the report, the Pentagon’s ‘back-office bureaucracy’ employed over 1 million people with 23 percent of the defense budget ($580 billion in total) going for back-office operations.

That means that there are just about as many people working in the Pentagon offices as there are active-duty troops serving our country.

Because the Pentagon feared they would endure more cuts instead of allocating more funds for the troops, the 77-page report was hushed and removed from it’s website.

A private-equity investor, Robert L. Stein, stated, “They’re all complaining that they don’t have any money. We proposed a way to save a ton of money.”

But the Pentagon suppressed the results.

Stein went on to say, “We’re going to be in peril because we’re spending dollars like it doesn’t matter.”

This all means that unless Congress and Trump can reach a spending deal agreement by October there will be an automatic cut over four years of $113 billion.

The Pentagon’s second highest ranking official, Deputy Defense Secretary, Robert O. Work, did not dispute the findings of bureaucratic waste, “But he dismissed the $125 billion savings proposal as “unrealistic” and said the business executives had failed to grasp basic obstacles to restructuring the public sector.”

Work went on to say, “There is this meme that we’re some bloated, giant organization. Although there is a little bit of truth in that. . . I think it vastly overstates what’s really going on.”

Does it?

The Pentagon, however, is taking some of the recommendations made by the report, but on a smaller scale. The plan is to save $30 billion by 2020.

Work stated, “We will never be as efficient as a commercial organization. We’re the largest bureaucracy in the world. There’s going to be some inherent inefficiencies in that.”

The data is being collected and analyzed as never before. Just what consequences will come of it is yet to be seen.

Former executive of Medco Health Solutions, Kenneth Klepper, summed the situation up nicely when he told Work, “You are about to turn on the light in a very dark room. All the crap is going to float to the surface and stink the place up.”


Written by Lorra B.

Due to Domestic Terror Threat, Military and Recruiters Can Carry Privately Owned Guns on Bases

Marines reportedly sacrificed themselves to protect fellow troops in  Chattanooga shooting.(Photo: Public Domain)

Marines reportedly sacrificed themselves to protect fellow troops in
Chattanooga shooting.(Photo: Public Domain)

November 22, 2016

Written by Lorra B.

A Defense Department directive was approved on Nov. 18 allowing U.S. military members to carry concealed handguns for protection at government facilities.

The directive was approved by Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work and is a blue print for the policy that allows “DoD personnel to carry firearms and employ deadly force while performing official duties,” reports Military.com.

The policy, however, allows “soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard personnel to carry privately owned firearms on DoD property, according to the document.”

As part of their job requirements, service members already are permitted to carry weapons but the new policy allows them to carry their personally owned guns.

According to the directive this move is “for personal protection not associated with the performance of official duties.”

Maj. Jamie Davis, a DoD spokesperson, stated, ““Commanders have always had that authority to arm recruiters. Some of the wording wasn’t very clear, so they’ve gone through and cleaned it up so it is very clear now that the commanders have that authority to use at their discretion.”

In order to qualify to carry a concealed weapon on DoD property the applicant must have a valid license to carry and be 21 years of age.

The document states, “Written permission will be valid for 90 days or as long as the DoD Component deems appropriate and will include information necessary to facilitate the carrying of the firearm on DoD property consistent with safety and security, such as the individual’s name, duration of the permission to carry, type of firearm, etc..”

Not everyone is happy about this new concealed carry policy. Arguing against the new policy, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley stating that during shootings such at the Nov. 5, 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, police were on the scene and had it secured in a very short time. Milley is not convinced that soldiers being armed would have stopped Nidal Hasan from killing 13 people and injuring 42.

Lawmakers, however, disagree and have questioned whether military members might have been able to stop Hasan, and other previous military shootings, had they been armed.

After an argument in April, 2014, Spc. Ivan Lopez-Lopez went on a killing spree at Fort Hood killing three soldiers and wounding 12 others.

July 16, 2015, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, killed four Marines and a sailor at two military bases in Chattanooga before being shot to death by police.

Any service member who is authorized to carry a privately-owned gun will “acknowledge they may be personally liable for the injuries, death, and property damage proximately caused by negligence in connection with the possession or use of privately owned firearms that are not within the scope of their federal employment,” the document states.

Perhaps loss of life will be kept to a minimum the next time a terrorist decides to open fire on DoD property.

Related Video:

Written by Lorra B.

California National Guard Said to Have Cheated Veterans Who Worked as Interpreters, Failed to Pay Promised Bonuses

US Army Oath conducted in field. (Photo: Public Domain)

US Army Oath conducted in field. (Photo: Public Domain)

November 14, 2016

Written by Lorra B.

The California National Guard finds itself in the news once again as those enlisted by them come forward with accusations of non-payment.

Last month the California National Guard was in the hot seat when the Pentagon demanded repayment of reenlistment bonuses they gave to almost 10,000 National Guard soldiers as incentive during the height of the Afghanistan and Iraq war 10 years ago.

Now, others are coming forward with accusations of more California National Guard wrongdoings.

In frantic need of interpreters to go with troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, the California National Guard also guaranteed enlistment bonuses to “dozens of Arabic, Dari and Pashto speakers” of up to $20,000 each, according to Tribune News Service. It was called the 09 Lima program.

The Pentagon was so desperate for interpreters in battle that they were utilized whether they were or were not qualified or even if they were in failing health. Now many are complaining of combat injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and that they can’t work.

As far as the interpreters are concerned, the Pentagon broke their commitments.

Khatchig Khatchadourian, an Arabic interpreter from Los Angeles, stated, “As far as I know, it’s only the interpreters who didn’t get paid. They think we’re stupid because we are immigrants.” The California Guard has not paid Khatchandourian the remaining $10,000 he says is owed him.

According to Col. Peter Cross, a spokesperson, there are 44 interpreters affected by this non-payment.

In an email Cross wrote, “The complexity arose in cases where neither the soldier nor the Guard could locate a copy of any agreement, although work was done by the soldier that likely would have given rise to a bonus payment.”

The Pentagon needed these interpreters in the field as soldiers so that they could not quit or refuse to go into dangerous situations like contractors could. “To meet that goal, the Pentagon in 2006 ramped up the 09 Lima program. It offered special bonuses, eased enlistment standards and even accelerated U.S. citizenship applications for immigrants who agreed to join the Army,” reports Tribune News Service.

Many who were promised bonus, however, were told they were no longer eligible because they had failed some aspect of required recruitment testing, such as the aptitude test or the physical fitness test. Yet, these soldiers were sent to war and performed their duties…they did their time.

The California National Guard and the Pentagon made promises to brave soldiers who put their lives on the line and then ripped then away. The country and the world are watching. If we have no integrity within our military where does this leave us as a country?

Related Video:

Written by Lorra B.

The U.S. Military Gets a Raise, Be it Ever So Small

The U.S. Military Gets a Raise (Photo: Public Domain)

The U.S. Military Gets a Raise (Photo: Public Domain)

September 2, 2016

By Lorra B.

President Obama has once again used his executive power to grant military and federal civilian employees a pay raise. The size of the pay raise he has deemed ‘unfortunate but necessary.’

In an August 31 letter to Congress, Obama set the military pay level at “0.5 percent below the expected increase in private sector wages, which would mark the fourth year in a row troops’ pay hikes failed to keep pace with their civilian peers,” according to Military Times.

Military service members will receive, according to this proposal, a monthly pay raise of 1.6 percent, just a bit over the 1.3 percent that was approved by Obama last fiscal year.

Just how much would this 1.6 percent pay increase affect our service members? For most enlisted troops it will mean a $400 yearly increase and for mid-career officers the raise could be as much as $1,500.

In the letter, Obama stated, “This decision is consistent with my fiscal year 2017 budget. It will not materially affect the federal government’s ability to attract and retain well-qualified members for the uniformed services.”

Representatives are still arguing over authorizations and defense monies. Lawmakers could still find opportunities to supersede Obama’s decision, though that seems unlikely.

Over the next five years this substandard pay raise could potentially save over $2.2 billion in an effort to “preserve funding for modernization and training priorities.”

Obama wrote, “I am strongly committed to supporting our uniformed service members, who have made such great contributions to our nation over more than a decade of war.  As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, however, we must maintain efforts to keep our nation on a sustainable fiscal course.”

“This effort requires tough choices, especially in light of budget constraints,” declared Obama.

The impact of low pay increases is far-reaching within our military communities and affect our troops at home and abroad. Troops should be able to keep their minds on their missions, not distracted by financial worries at home. The Pentagon, however, believes their harm would be greater if the money was not spent on protecting the troops with proper equipment and training.

The 1.6 percent pay raise will begin on January 1, though the debate on the issue is not over and will begin again later this week.

Related video:

Obama Vetoes Troops Pay Raises Over Guantanamo Bay Issues:


By Lorra B.

From Don’t Ask Don’t Tell To Full Disclosure – Transgenders In The Military

Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter

Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter

July 30, 2015

By Lorra B.

Our Military once allowed absolutely no homosexual individuals in the military. On February 28, 1994 and under the Clinton Administration, ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ was instituted and prohibited military discrimination or harassment of gay or bisexual soldiers until it was lifted in 2011On Monday the Pentagon will begin to take apart the ban on Transgenders in the military.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, there are over 15,000 transgender soldiers currently serving in the armed forces.

By early next year it is the intent of the Pentagon to have Transgender individuals serving openly and “end an ‘outdated’ regulation that harms the armed forces, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter on Monday,” according to The New York Times.

There will be much controversy over the military decision, both for and against. 

We The People writes about the below video, “The anchor on Young Turks puts his liberal thoughts out there to provide the reader with a great laugh. Can you imagine how he would have handled himself and his little sycophantic female had a real President, George W. Bush put this entire fiasco in play. Forgive me if I seem a bit obtuse, but what does the Supreme Court decision to allow the LGBT community to get married have to do with?”

One thing is clear, however. Whether you are for or against Transgender soldiers in the military, the move is being pushed forward, though not without it’s complications.

“How transgender troops will be housed, what uniforms they’ll be permitted to wear and what medical treatments they’ll be entitled to will be among the key issues for the Pentagon to resolve, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the discussions publicly,” according to USA Today.

This decision came after several weeks of talks at the Pentagon and involved several top military chiefs, Defense Department leaders and secretaries.

“We have transgender soldier, sailors, airmen and Marines — real, patriotic Americans — who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit,” stated Carter. “The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions.”

Carter is creating a working group given the task over a six month period to determine what impact the transgender ban will have on the military as a whole. Included will be training for the troops to ensure a ‘smooth transition.’

By Lorra B.

Are Members Of SEAL Team 6 And Their Families Being Put At Risk?

dJune 11, 2015

By Lorra B.

‘The Naval Special Warfare Development Group.’ That is the cover name that teams such as the Delta Force and Seal Team 6, which officially do not exist, operate under. Operations that are of the most danger or are considered too risky for conventional troops to undertake are performed by these classified top-secret teams. But are these teams being put in unnecessary risk?

The Special Warfare Development Group was formed when, during the Iraq war in 2006, an alarmed United States lacked the manpower to stop the Taliban who were regrouping in Afghanistan. This special Seal Team 6 was then sent on a plethora of missions that a regular unit would not have typically been part of. “Some of those operations resulted in civilians being killed, several former SEALs said in interviews,” according to The Washington Post.

Many of Seal Team 6’s developments have been recognized of late, but not by the Pentagon. Wisely, the Pentagon refuses to publicly acknowledge that name.

The details revealed in the Discovery Channel documentary “Secrets of Seal Team Six,” according to Don Mann, a former Navy Seal Team Leader, could still be a nightmare brewing. Mann stated, “There’s no way in the world they [bin Laden loyalists] wouldn’t want to target a seal Team 6 member’s family.”

“The documentary gives a disclaimer about the video, saying it won’t identify which of these men you see is part of Seal Team 6,” reports Mann. “Still, with all the information about the raid government leaders have given the media, [Mann] fears terrorists could put the pieces together.”

dTime reported that the SEALs members confirmed “between 2006 and 2008 …there were intense periods in which for weeks at a time their unit logged 10 to 15 kills on many nights, and sometimes up to 25.”

With great success SEALs have executed thousands of raids and untold kills. With those successes, however, come criticisms and concerns. Were the killings and civilian deaths excessive, some Afghans wanted to know?

Overseers for the SEALs have been limited. “Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees SEAL Team 6 missions, conducted its own inquiries into more than a half-dozen episodes, but seldom referred them to Navy investigators.”

The State Department’s former top legal adviser, Harold Hoh, was asked why civilian military overseers do not regularly monitor the Teams actions. “This is an area where Congress notoriously doesn’t want to know too much,” he said.

Whether you agree or not with the tactics of Seal Team 6, they have, since September 11, 2001, worked to keep every American safe in their beds by serving in thousands of missions in all parts of the world. They put themselves and their families on the back-burner while placing America and its citizens first.

dWhile The Command insists the SEALS are specially trained for complex and different situations, concerns about the SEAL’s kill’s and lack of overseers have been a hot topic for the media. Thankfully, however, so have their heroics as evidenced in the movie American Sniper.

The Command states that, “All allegations of misconduct are taken seriously. Substantiated findings are dealt with by military or law enforcement authorities. But an expert on national security law at Syracuse University cautions on the secret missions from view of the public stating, “If you’re unacknowledged on the battlefield, you’re not accountable.”

James Stavridis, a former Supreme allied Commander at NATO, has a different view. Stavridis expressed that the public knowledge of SEALs deployed to undeclared war zones would certainly not be in the best interest of America or the SEALs saying, “You certainly don’t want that out in public,” if you value what these ‘invisible warriors’ do. Indeed, if you value what they do then you should support them when they “do things that occasionally bend the rules of international law.”

Certainly one result of all the SEAL’s media attention is that it could come at a high risk. Media attention, good or bad, has put the SEAL’s and their families at jeopardy.

The New York Times, in ‘The Secret History of SEAL Team 6: Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines‘ gave up Seal Team operations and names of SEALs killed in action putting all SEALs and their families at risk.

Mann stated, “The people I think are compromised now are the active duty SEALs and their families.”

According to WTKR, there is definitely increased security for members of SEAL Team 6. With every book written, with every movie made, and with every interview granted, a SEAL is once again put in harms way.

By Lorra B.

Hat Tip to Jim Campbell

Pentagon report reveals US “created” ISIS as a “tool” to overthrow Syria’s President Assad

dMay 29, 2015

Follow The Money:

From the first sudden, and quite dramatic, appearance of the fanatical Islamic group known as ISIS which was largely unheard of until a year ago, on the world’s stage and which promptly replaced the worn out and tired al Qaeda as the world’s terrorist bogeyman, we suggested that the “straight to beheading YouTube clip” purpose behind the Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic Statewas a simple one: use the Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a political goal: depose of Syria’s president Assad, who for years has stood in the way of a critical Qatari natural gas pipeline, one which could dethrone Russia as Europe’s dominant – and belligerent – source of energy, reaching an interim climax with the unsuccessful Mediterranean Sea military build up of 2013, which nearly resulted in quasi-world war.

The narrative and the plotline were so transparent, even Russia saw right through them.Recall from September of last year:

If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus,LiveLeak reports that the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Clearly comprehending that Obama’s new strategy against ISIS in Syria is all about pushing the Qatar pipeline through (as was the impetus behind the 2013 intervention push), Russia is pushing back noting that the it is using ISIS as a pretext for bombing Syrian government forces and warning that “such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.”

But it’s one thing to speculate; it’s something entirely different to have hard proof.

And while speculation was rife that just like the CIA-funded al Qaeda had been used as a facade by the US to achieve its own geopolitical and national interests over the past two decades, so ISIS was nothing more than al Qaeda 2.0, there was no actual evidence of just this.

That may all have changed now when a declassified secret US government document obtained by the public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the “leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of the strategy, but described this outcome as a strategic opportunity to “isolate the Syrian regime.” 

And not just that: as we reported last week, now that ISIS is running around the middle east, cutting people’s heads of in 1080p quality and Hollywood-quality (perhaps literally) video, the US has a credible justification to sell billions worth of modern, sophisticated weapons in the region in order to “modernize” and “replenish” the weapons of such US allies as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iraq.

But that the US military-industrial complex is a winner every time war breaks out anywhere in the world (usually with the assistance of the CIA) is clear to everyone by now. What wasn’t clear is just how the US predetermined the current course of events in the middle east.

Now, thanks to the following declassified report, we have a far better understanding of not only how current events in the middle east came to be, but what America’s puppermaster role leading up to it all, was. 

Read it here: https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-west-saw-isis-as-strategic-asset-b99ad7a29092

More at Follow The Money

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

Obama’s Pentagon Caught In Mass Murder Of US Troops Coverup

(Screenshot Credit, Mad World News)

(Screenshot Credit, Mad World News)

April 24, 2015

Mad World News:

by Brandon Walker

On April 27, 2011, just months before the bungled Extortion 17 made headlines, America suffered a loss eerily similar to the Ft. Hood Massacre at the hands of an Afghanistan colonel overseas. New damning details are emerging on the incident that indicate the Pentagon swept major evidence under the rug. Investigative reports indicate that they not only hid details about the Afghanistan Air Force colonel that did it, but he was paid to kill our troops.

It was labeled one of the biggest “green on blue” attacks in the Afghanistan war. These attacks of Afghanistan insurgents and terrorists dressing in military uniform to kill US troops have been “trending,” according to the Pentagon. Despite our “allies” in Afghanistan being probed for drug running and other corruption, President Obama and his Pentagon has insisted on U.S. Soldiers training and working with troops that they can not trust. This has resulted in the mass murder of several of our military members.

On April 27, 2011, several U.S. troops paid the price for this. Afghanistan Colonel Ahmad Gul walked into the U.S. Air Force office area. He pulled out his gun and killed eight U.S. Air Force personnel and a U.S. Civilian contractor. The armed Afghanistan troops in the area did nothing to stop him and received no injuries. Some of those personnel had just arrived in country to investigate the corruption in the Afghanistan forces working beside our military.

The cover up of the incident by the Pentagon started almost immediately. The Criminal Investigations Division (CID) was not allowed on the scene for four days. Gul was found later with two bullet wounds to the chest. It was initially reported as a suicide, but the story changed as more details of how he was found leaked to the press.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the effect found in their own reports, the Pentagon claimed to find no conclusive evidence of Taliban involvement — even though the terror group immediately claimed credit for the attack. (PJ Media)

The Pentagon stated the investigation also could establish no link between the massacre and alleged abuses by the Afghan air force to transport drugs and weapons around the country. Multiple CENTCOM and Air Force investigations claimed to find no motive for the attack. The family begged for closure, and something didn’t sit right. Finally, at the end of 2014, a whistle blower came forward, believing it was a paid set up.

Six months later, it turns out the whistle blower was absolutely correct. While the US claimed there was no motive, a United Nations team tracked substantial payments to the killer and his family that were made days prior to the incident.

It all came down to following the money.

It shouldn’t come as a shock, but the Pentagon played their hand when they wrote a baffling report, giving the motive for the mass murder, then later stating there was no motive. The report has several witnesses all claiming the same thing, yet the official “reports” all determined Gul’s motives were “elusive”?

Witnesses told investigators that Gul became increasingly radical in his religious views in the years leading up to the shooting and was deeply angry at the U.S. invasion of his home country — even saying on more than one occasion that he “wanted to kill Americans” (Air Force Times)

Now, we have reports from the U.N., and a task force leader, who was investigating corruption, coming forward and stating that Gul was a paid hit man. It was determined that Gul received at least $50,000 from a used car lot in Afghanistan just prior to the killings. More payments followed, right up to his death. Someone was also paying off his gambling debts, which was thought to be in the hundreds of thousands.

“The use of used car dealerships throughout Afghanistan, Persian Gulf and their connections in Pakistan and Iran are widely known among Afghan and U.S. intelligence,” said the former senior Afghan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. (TheBlaze)

It’s not that all of the “green on blue” attacks stopped after they found Gul’s body either. They have escalated for the years since the cover up. In January of this year, three Americans and an Afghan military official were killed in another deadly shooting at the Kabul airport. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Muhajid said on Twitter that the attacker was an “infiltrator … from Laghman province working inside Kabul airport” and that “infiltrator was martyred by return fire.”

This month, 22-year-old John Dawson from the 101st Airborne was killed during an escort mission by “friendly fire.”

Since they have started looking into these killings, and the investigation led to the money trail on Gul, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Sally Stenton says that the Pentagon is either inept or lying. I don’t believe that our military leaders are that inept. This could very well be the same tactics that lead to the bungled Extortion 17 a few months after Gul killed our men at their desks. The Taliban has threatened even more attacks.

How many more cover ups and deaths of soldiers do we have to take before they either untie our military’s hands and let them do their jobs, or bring our boys and girls home?

(h/t: Freedom Outpost)

More at Mad World News

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

So, The Pentagon Misplaced $45 BILLION In Afghanistan Funds

(Screenshot Credit, Rare)

(Screenshot Credit, Rare)

April 3, 2015

Rare: An audit of the U.S. military’s spending in Afghanistan has revealed that a whopping $45 billion is unaccounted for.

This is zero percent surprising given the Pentagon’s track record on waste. Scott Shackford at Reasonably explains why this is just another reason we do not need to increase the military’s budget—especially without a full audit of the Pentagon:

Remember when we were informed in 2013 that America was giving literal bags full of cash to the office of then-Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai? It really shouldn’t be a surprise at this point that billions of dollars of Pentagon spending within Afghanistan prior to 2010 is unaccounted for. …

Now comes the news that we don’t even really know for certain what the Pentagon has done with $45 billion of $66 billion spent in Afghanistan prior to 2010. Why? Because until then the Pentagon was not required to account for it. The bureaucratic details that led to these circumstances is fleshed out here.

Of course, that “full audit of the Pentagon” part is going to be tricky to achieve. In fact, the audit which discovered the missing $45 billion can’t say much more than that because the Pentagon has not provided the information.

More at Rare

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

Defense Department Keeps Losing ‘Sensitive’ Explosives Gear, Then Finding It For Sale On Ebay

dMarch 27, 2015

TechDirt: from the Finders-v.-Keepers-comes-into-play-here,-but-with-international-ramifications dept

The Pentagon may not know where some very sensitive equipment has disappeared to, but a variety of private resellers seem to have some idea where it might be found. A leaked US Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) document obtained by The Intercept details the agency’s inability to keep track of its explosives-detecting equipment, bequeathed to it by the Defense Department’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).

While it did manage to track down some of its missing equipment at various equipment resellers (the document lists a variety of URLs, including ebay.com and craigslist.org), it still has no idea how much of it is still in the military’s possession.

In all, more than 32,000 pieces of equipment were issued. Some kits are still in use, making it difficult to compile a precise inventory of what was issued and what might be missing.

The March 2014 document asks for assistance in locating missing devices to prevent them from being used against the US and its allies. It also points out that the failure to keep tabs on this equipment is mostly internal.

These investigations also determined the loss and theft of advanced technologies intended to give US military personnel tactical advantage on the battlefield was due to poor accountability controls by many of the military units who were issued the gear.

The Intercept managed to track down two eBay listings for NCIS equipment — one from December of last year and an active listing for a CNVD-T Clip-On Night Vision Device Thermal System. For only $16,599, this equipment can be yours, if you don’t mind violating international arms trading regulations.

As is to be expected from a task force that is apparently unable to control its own inventory, JIEDDO isn’t a great steward of taxpayer funds.

JIEDDO has been heavily criticized over the years for expending large sums of money without attaining clear results. According to a 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office, JIEDDO had spent over $18 billion yet lacked an effective way to oversee its programs.

And as is so often the case when the government finds new ways to hand out military gear, those receiving the handouts seem alarmingly unconcerned with keeping close tabs on the equipment’s whereabouts. Last year, another Pentagon-related equipment dispersal program caught heat for its lousy inventory control systems. The 1033 program, which hands out military equipment and weapons to local law enforcement agencies, is decentralized and disorganized, leading to 184 law enforcement agencies losing their access to militarization toys for misplacing everything from several assault rifles to an entire Humvee.

So, the Department of Defense may do several things well, but ensuring sensitive/powerful military gear remains in its control — rather than in the hands of enemies or eBay users — isn’t one of them.

And, of course, the NCIS has refused to comment on the leaked document and has yet to make a bid it can neither confirm nor deny on its former property. If you’re so inclined, you can always contact the not-quite-redacted Steve Sheldon, Intelligence Specialist (NCIS Southwest Field Office) at (619) 556-1106 and inquire as to whether ~$17,000 is a fair price for a “like new” clip-on night vision scope.


 More at TechDirt
Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.