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Sat, 18 Sep 2021
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Shocking report exposes how US defense contractors have wasted trillions through fraud and corruption

US troops
© Getty Images/John Moore
American soldiers in the Zabul province of Afghanistan.
The newly released 'Profits of War' report from Brown University has revealed in staggering detail the full extent of the corruption unleashed by Washington's profligate defense spending during the 20-year War on Terror.

It notes that since the start of the intervention in Afghanistan in October 2001, Pentagon spending has totaled $14 trillion, with the US war budget increasing between 2002 and 2003 by more than the entire military spending of any other country. Between one-third and one-half of that total was pocketed by defense firms, which provided logistics and reconstruction, private security services and weapons - along the way, these contractors habitually engaged in "questionable or corrupt business practices," including fraud, abuse, price-gouging and profiteering.

Wartime conditions meant standard contract processes were circumvented - bidders, bids, and subsequent delivery weren't subject to significant oversight, so fleecing the Pentagon was extremely easy, particularly for well-connected companies with government ties.

No Entry

Putin, self-isolating, says 'dozens' in his inner circle diagnosed with COVID-19

Putin
© Kremlin/Tass
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he expects to remain in self-isolation for several days after dozens of members of his inner circle tested positive for COVID-19.

Speaking via a video conference with leaders of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) who had gathered in Dushanbe for a summit on September 16, Putin said he wished "he could shake hands and embrace" the other leaders as he originally intended before being forced to self-isolate.

Putin said:
"You know, unfortunately, I had to cancel my trip to Dushanbe at the last moment, and I am sorry about that. But that is because, as you know, the coronavirus was discovered not just in one or two people, but in several dozens of people in [my] closest circle. So now I have to stay in self-isolation for several days."
It was previously unclear how big the outbreak was and how long Putin would remain isolated.

Briefcase

Durham reportedly seeking indictment against Clinton campaign lawyer who gave FBI Russia dirt

Durham/Sussmann
© Unknown/C-Span
Special Counsel John Durham • Cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann
Special counsel John Durham reportedly is seeking a grand jury indictment against Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer at a Democratic-allied law firm that represented Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

According to the New York Times, the charge is said to be related to an alleged false statement to the FBI about a client's identity when Sussmann pushed now-debunked claims about secret communications between Russia's Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Durham "has told the Justice Department that he will ask a grand jury to indict a prominent cybersecurity lawyer on a charge of making a false statement to the FBI," the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing "people familiar with the matter."

Prior testimony and documents show Sussmann, who worked at Perkins Coie, delivered allegations about the Alfa server to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in fall 2016. Baker has told investigators Sussman told him his approach was not on behalf of any client. But Sussmann told Congress he made the approach on behalf of a computer security client.

The newspaper said Durham's team has obtained records showing Sussmann billed work on the Alfa Bank matter to the Clinton campaign, the newspaper said.

Attention

Retired Army colonel breaks down how bad Milley's actions really were

Milley
© AP/Alex Brandon
Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley
Retired Army Colonel Douglas McGregor appeared with Tucker Carlson last night to talk about the bombshell information about Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley. McGregor was formerly senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Donald Trump.

As we previously reported, according to information in a new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Milley spoke with his counterpart in China and assured him that he would tell him if we were going to attack them. Milley did not tell the president about this contact with the Chinese.

On top of that, as we reported, he allegedly interfered in the ability of the president to solely dictate military/nuclear action by telling senior military officials that no action should be taken without him being involved.

This all came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke to Milley and other senior military leaders and demanded that he do something about President Donald Trump. She was told at the time that would amount to a military coup. We reported that back on Jan. 9.

But then, according to Woodward and Costa, Milley acted on it, basically subverting the chain of command at the behest of Pelosi, basically carrying out a coup.

McGregor detailed to Tucker Carlson how wrong this all was:


Comment: It is clear General Milley was not in service to his President, but to the Democratic hierarchy. Given his career should soon be vaporizing, perhaps there is a vacancy to fill on MSNBC.




Oil Well

Scores of US Vessels with 'stolen Syrian oil' leave Arab republic for Iraq

Big rigs
© AFP 2021/Delil Souleiman
Big rig oil transporters
Earlier this year, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby argued that the US military presence in north-eastern Syria is aimed at ensuring the "enduring defeat" of Daesh terrorists, and that Washington is not involved in exploiting the region's oil resources. A convoy of 70 US vehicles, including tankers loaded with "stolen Syrian oil", have made their way out of north-eastern Syria into Iraq via the al-Waleed border crossing, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) has reported.The Syrian government does not have any control over the al-Waleed border crossing and therefore deems it illegal.
"SANA cited unnamed sources as saying that the convoy included trucks carrying several cannons and military vehicles belonging to the US forces."
Friday's incident is the latest in a series of instances of the illegal smuggling of Syrian oil by the US and its Kurdish allies that have reported Syrian media over the past several months.

Last month, SANA claimed that an 80-vehicle convoy from the al-Jazeera region had been taken out of the country, again using the al-Waleed crossing. Before that, 25 more oil carriers were spotted driving through the border crossing into Iraq.

Comment: "Move along...nothing to see."


Blackbox

Haiti PM Ariel Henry replaces justice minister after sacking prosecutor who wanted to charge him for assassination of Moise

Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry
© Matias Delacroix/The Associated Press / File
Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry, pictured, has replaced the country's justice minister as the country's political crisis grows
The reshuffle comes as attention turned to phone calls Henry made to suspect in President Jovenel Moise assassination.

Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry has replaced the country's justice minister, days after firing a chief public prosecutor who had called for Henry to be charged in connection with the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise.

The latest fractures in a deepening political crisis in the Caribbean nation also included the resignation of the secretary-general of Haiti's Council of Ministers, Renald Luberice, who said in a letter on Wednesday he could not remain under the direction of a prime minister who "does not intend to cooperate with justice, seeking, on the contrary, by all means, to obstruct it".

Comment: The Haiti hit has the stench of Deep State regime change operation all over it.


Eye 1

Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft: Waging a domestic War on Terror™ and making billions in the process

Amazon Facebook Google  Microsoft
A new report has laid bare the relationship between Silicon Valley and the American state, and the trillions of dollars they have made since 9/11.

The War on Terror was a veritable feeding frenzy for defense contractors, with the sector profiting to the collective tune of trillions. However, it wasn't the only industry cashing in - as a new report produced by three US campaign groups reveals, "household names in tech like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have respectively reaped billions from selling tech to the war machine."

In all, 86% of government contracts awarded to Amazon and 77% to Google to date are said to have been related to the War on Terror. That income played a pivotal role in transforming these organizations from small start-ups, literally operating from basements, into global behemoths. What's more, the crosshairs of this effort have now been turned inward, with everything from databases to drones repurposed for domestic use.

Ambulance

Short-sighted: France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay

protest nurse forced vaccinaton
© Jeff Pachoud AFP/File
Many nurses have been reluctant to get vaccinated over safety or efficacy concerns
Thousands of health workers across France have been suspended without pay for failing to get vaccinated against Covid-19 ahead of a deadline this week, Health Minister Olivier Veran said Thursday.

"Some 3,000 suspensions were notified yesterday to employees at health centres and clinics who have not yet been vaccinated," Veran told RTL radio.

He added that "several dozens" had turned in their resignations rather than sign up for the jabs.

That compares with 2.7 million health workers overall, Veran said, adding that "continued healthcare is assured".

Comment: So how easily does the French health system think it's going to be to replace these highly-specialized staff members? Then they will cry "the system is overwhelmed", without a thought to the idiocy of the move in the first place. This is pandering to their financial masters.

Some have noticed the glaring contradiction, valid regardless of the country:






Russian Flag

Russia demands answers from US ambassador over 'election interference,' as Moscow says it has proof of 'serious' sabotage efforts

lavrov
© Sputnik
Russian officials are waiting for an answer after presenting the American ambassador with a dossier on purported examples of US attempts to interfere in the country's upcoming elections, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the top diplomat claimed that the evidence was compelling, and had been presented to Ambassador John Sullivan, who was summoned for a meeting on Friday. "The evidence was given to him," Lavrov said. "It is quite serious, really. We are still waiting for an answer from our American colleagues why this is happening."

The charges, he said, relate to the refusal of US tech companies to block access to prohibited content. Last week, Russia's digital watchdog, Roskomnadzor, issued a sternly worded warning to companies like Apple and Google, as well as VPN service providers Cloudflare and Cisco, in which it said the firms were violating the country's election laws.

Snakes in Suits

The Banality of (Financial) Evil

cultural revolution
The financialized American economy and State are now totally dependent on a steady flow of lies and propaganda for their very survival. Were the truth told, the status quo would collapse in a putrid heap.

Go ahead and be evil, because everyone else is evil, too, because being evil serves everyone's interests far better than maintaining integrity, for integrity will cost you more than you can afford.

In other words, lying, fraud, embezzlement, misrepresentation of risk, material misrepresentation of facts, half-truths, the replacement of statements of fact with propaganda and spin: these are not the work of a scattered handful of sociopaths: they represent the very essence and heart of America's economic status quo.

Hannah Arendt coined the phrase the banality of evil to capture the essence of the Nazi regime in Germany: doing evil wasn't abnormal, it was normal. Doing evil wasn't an outlier of sociopaths, it was the everyday "job" of millions of people, and not just Nazi Party members.

Not naming evil is the key to normalizing evil. Evil must first and foremost be derealized (a key concept in the Survival+ critique), detached from our realization and awareness by naming it something innocuous.

Here is a telling excerpt from the book Triumph of the Market:
Normalization of the unthinkable comes easily when money, status, power, and jobs are at stake.... Intellectuals will be dredged up to justify their (actions). The rationalizations are hoary with age: government knows best, ours is a strictly defensive effort, or, if it wasn't me somebody else would do it. There is also the retreat to ignorance, real, cultivated, or feigned.