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D.C. Corruption is Skyrocketing

Joe Biden has several successes he can brag about when he leaves office. One is being the most successful POTUS in my lifetime to consistently misrepresent facts in EVERY statement issued, press conference held, and speech given.

Wait: don’t scream, “You’re nothing but a hardcore conservative, Dan! You wouldn’t like anything he says or does.” You don’t need to use my measuring stick for graft and corruption. The Washington Post has a running record of Pinnochios handed to Sleepy Joe since he began his campaign and continuing daily in his presidency.

One thing is clear, though. Biden didn’t invent corruption; he did not create the process of telling lies or “paraphrasing” information to fit one’s political narrative. All Joe did was perfect that process during his 47 years in Washington. But there’s plenty to go around: far TOO much to try and report in one sitting. Today, we’ll discuss “some” of the military corruption in the world of dollars and cents. Here are two examples of some really egregious corruption cases regarding our military.

The Biggest Corruption Case Ever in Federal Contracting

Even before he competed for his first government job, the key witness in the largest bribery case in federal contracting history said an associate warned him that he’d have to “pay to play,” according to a recent jailhouse letter. Alex Cho said he began work as a contractor because he thought doing business with the U.S. government would be an honest way to make a living — a notion he quickly abandoned. “In planning to get into this field, I actually thought I would be getting away from dishonesty,” Cho told U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in a lengthy letter from the D.C. Jail — his first public remarks on the historic $30 million corruption scam that has resulted in 20 guilty pleas.

For years, the ringleader, Army Corps program manager Kerry Khan, extracted millions of dollars in kickbacks from corrupt contractors. But Cho said Khan also made other “absurd demands.” “As I told agents, he asked me on numerous occasions to drive 45 minutes, including at night, from my home in Ashburn to his [home in] Alexandria … to unclog his toilet, fix his A/C, and even to replace his light bulbs.”

Khan is serving a 19-year prison sentence. Sentencing papers filed on Cho’s behalf refer to him as “the key cooperator” in the “most successful bribery case” that federal prosecutors in Washington have ever handled. However, the case has received scant attention in Congress.

Cho wore an undercover wire for months in hopes of getting a favorable sentencing recommendation. But after a falling out with prosecutors, the U.S. attorney’s office is seeking eight years in prison for Cho. He was supposed to have been sentenced this week, but the hearing was postponed. In sentencing papers, Cho’s previous lawyer argued that prosecutors had promised Cho that they’d intercede on his behalf with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on deportation proceedings. But prosecutors countered in court papers that things changed after Cho tipped off an associate during the investigation that he was wearing an undercover recording device. In his letter, Cho seemed to acknowledge his slim chances of remaining in the United States.

“I wish I had been a perfect cooperator,” he wrote. “I think that the FBI would have sponsored me for citizenship, but now that is gone.” Still, he added, he didn’t regret cooperating in the investigation.

Investigators had little idea about the bribery scheme until they interviewed Cho on an unrelated case. The scheme, headed by Khan and another Army Corps official, Michael Alexander, was impossible to detect because bribes were built into contracts as inflated overhead. Corrupt companies paid out the money to Khan in kickbacks.

In his letter, Cho said he got his start in government contracting in 2002 after he lost his job selling used computer equipment. Within nine years of founding the now-defunct company, Nova Datacom LLC, the business posted about $20 million in contract revenues. But the costs of paying millions in bribes caused Nova Datacom to lose money on some contracts, he added.

“The contracts came in, but so did the demands for more bribes,” Cho recounted. “When I tried to stop paying bribes, Kerry Khan told me it was too late for me to get out.”

While most of the corruption involved kickbacks at the Army Corps of Engineers, the investigation also uncovered a related scheme involving Army contracts in Korea. Last month, the former chief executive of a Virginia-based company that holds defense and intelligence agency contracts pleaded guilty to paying bribes to a former Army contracting official, In Seon Lim, who was sentenced to four years in prison in October. Intelligent Decisions Inc. also agreed to pay a $300,000 fine to resolve charges for golf outings, meals, and a Lexus to Lim. In a statement, the company has said it has new leadership, the violations happened five years ago, and officials cooperated in the investigation.

Military Contractors Raked in $4.4 Trillion Since 9/11

According to a new study from the Center for International Policy, the Pentagon has spent some $14.1 trillion over the last 20 years, at least $4.4 trillion of which has gone to military contractors. The Center for International Policy released the research (pdf) in conjunction with The Costs of War Institute on Sept. 13, noting that many studies have outlined the financial costs associated with the wars since 9/11—but little work has been done on documenting the beneficiaries of that spending.

The research author, Center for International Policy director William Hartung, said that five main companies have collected the lion’s share of the $4.4 trillion: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman. Those companies have collected 25 to 33 percent of all Pentagon contracts over the last two decades, according to Hartung.

“From FY 2001 to FY 2020, these five firms alone split over $2.1 trillion in Pentagon contracts (in 2021 dollars),” Hartung wrote. “To put these figures in perspective, the $75 billion in Pentagon contracts received by Lockheed Martin in FY 2020 is well over one and one-half times the entire budget for the State Department and Agency for International Development for that year, which totaled $44 billion.”

Hartung said that some of the corporate profits derived from the wars had been seen as legitimate, but other profits resulted from waste, fraud, or abuse. Hartung recounted one of the most notorious examples of war profiteering: Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root’s involvement with numerous projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Halliburton’s involvement in the wars was controversial because Dick Cheney served as the company’s chief executive until he became vice president in 2001. Cheney also owned Halliburton stock worth $46 million, and he received $162,000 in deferred compensation from the company as late as 2002, according to Hartung, citing congressional testimony from that time.

“Cheney’s journey from the government to Halliburton and back was a classic case of the revolving door between the Pentagon and the defense industry, with all the real and potential conflicts-of-interest that entails,” Hartung said. “Halliburton’s performance was another major source of criticism, as it was found to be dramatically overcharging for basic services and doing faulty work that put U.S. troops at risk,” he added. But while Halliburton may be one of the most prominent cases of war profiteering, it is far from the only one, Hartung said.

Other examples cited by the Center for International Policy researcher include a U.S.-appointed economic task force that spent $43 million on a gas station that was never used, another $150 million on lavish living quarters for U.S. economic advisers and $3 million for patrol boats in landlocked Afghanistan—also never used.

Along with the major firms, relatively smaller contractors also benefited from what Hartung described as the “chaotic atmosphere” that prevailed in the early days of the war. A company called Custer Battles, for instance, had a contract to guard the Baghdad airport and collect old Iraqi currency so it could be destroyed. Hartung said Custer Battles received the contract because it underbid its competitors, even though it has no experience in airport security.

Citing an Army inspection of their operations, Hartung said Custer Battles hired security guards with no prior training, hired no translators who spoke Arabic, and acquired no security dogs to detect explosives. According to Hartung, Custer Battles was eventually barred from government contracting and fined $10,000, but that was far less than what the company earned from its contract.

Hartung highlighted numerous other examples of contractor abuse over the last 20 years, warning that many of the same companies are gearing up for potential conflict with China.

“The China threat argument has been utilized to justify the quest for a 350-ship Navy—up from about 300 ships currently; major Air Force purchases like a new bomber and the F-35 combat aircraft; the Pentagon’s $1.5 trillion, three-decades-long proposed nuclear weapons upgrade plan; the Space Force, a new branch of the armed forces; major expenditures on missile defense systems; and large new investments in cyber technologies and tactics (offensive and defensive), unmanned systems, hypersonic weapons, and artificial intelligence,” he said. “Many of these initiatives were well along before China became the primary preoccupation of U.S. military planners, but the ‘China card’ has become the argument of choice to consolidate political support for these expenditures.”

Hartung said his Center for International Policy has proposed a “more realistic approach” to the challenges posed by China and Russia—relying more on allies, pursuing diplomatic solutions to actual and potential nuclear proliferation, and cutting excess bureaucracy, including reducing the Pentagon’s employment of more than 600,000 private contract personnel. This could save some $1.2 trillion over the next decade, according to Hartung.

“Given the immense financial and human costs of America’s post-9/11 wars—and the negative security consequences generated by many of these conflicts—adopting a new, less militarized foreign policy should be a central goal of the public and policymakers alike,” he said.

“Recent developments, like the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, are steps in the right direction, but much more needs to be done to achieve a policy that prioritizes diplomacy over war.”

Summary

What’s sad about this is that it has existed in U.S. Government for decades and decades. It involves trillions of taxpayer dollars and has very little if any, oversight. And it is purposely hidden by numerous elected government officials who are complicit in hiding it from taxpayers.

“Why would our elected officials hide this corruption and wasteful spending if they are not part of these ‘deals?'” That has a simple answer, and it explains why almost every elected official in D.C. who does NOT enter office a wealthy person almost always LEAVES office filthy rich. The hiding of the wrongdoing of others (or simply not saying anything about it) leaves the opportunities for their personal involvement in such wide open, if and when they are approached by the situation that “works” for them.

Do you know what hurts the most about this? We hear these stories fairly regularly. But today, especially, it cuts to the bone: we’re about to have close to 5 trillion dollars and tax increases crammed down our throats to fund a “fake” infrastructure bill in tandem with what’s called a “social infrastructure bill,” which contains NOTHING of substance. But, combined, that contains hundreds of billions of giveaways, pork, and “brother-in-law” deals. And you and I will pay for it.

There’s no real fix for any of this. There WOULD be a fix if our lawmakers would decline to allow these to happen. Joe Biden certainly will not stop it. He’s made involvement in these types of schemes an everyday event for the Biden Family Syndicate.

And remember this: he’s the President of the United States. Others in Washington take their cue from him.

P.S.

Who knows if we’ll ever know the contents of the “goodie bags” that Hunter Biden has brought home for “The Big Guy?” What we DO know is there are plenty of them! I believe the witnesses that have come forward with facts and evidence far more than I believe the stories that Hunter Biden spins. I’ve seen a few of Hunter’s laptop pictures and videos. I can only imagine what the Biden Family Syndicate has been involved in.

Do you think those sorts of things are still happening?

To Download Today’s (Friday, Sept. 17, 2021) “TNN Live!” show, click on this link: 

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