Friday, April 13, 2007


That’s what usually causes the shit to hit the fan with regard to political crimes…when financial irregularities start to become impossible to cover up. The only thing I keep wondering is what took so fucking long…?

Selected highlights for your entertainment…

A damning report issued last month by the nonpartisan research arm of Congress says the Department of Defense continues to overstate its financial needs, by tens of billions of dollars, to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The agency also casts serious doubt on President Bush's statements that money to fund the war will dry up by the end of the month if his budgetary demands are not immediately met.

The 45-page report, "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11," prepared for Congress by the Congressional Research Service, warned lawmakers that before they release additional funds to the Pentagon for the Iraq war, they should first demand that Defense Department officials provide an accurate accounting of how the money is being spent.

Since 2001, the Pentagon has grossly mismanaged the $510 billion spent thus far on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; has used money earmarked for equipment upgrades to finance fighting on the battlefield, and has refused to provide Congress with a transparent accounting of the money it has spent and intends to spend, according to the CRS report.

…Exacerbating the issue is the fact that the Department of Defense "has periodically revised the figures shown for each operation in previous years, suggesting questions about the validity of its figures," the report says, adding that some of the department's supplemental requests for 2007 include "$2 billion from some unknown source."

Last July, David Walker, comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office, testified before the Congressional Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Affairs. He told lawmakers that a lack of actual costs, supporting documentation and routine reporting problems by the Pentagon with regard to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan "make it difficult to reliably know what the war is costing, to determine how appropriated funds are being spent, and to use historical data to predict future trends."

But the Defense Department "has not been willing to provide Congress" with the data it uses to predict its operating costs on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. As such, Congressional researchers have recommended in their report that Congress ask the Department of Defense Inspector General to audit the Pentagon in order to resolve these various gaps and discrepancies in cost data related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The report recommends that Congress should consider taking drastic measures to rein in the administration's out-of-control spending and draw on history for guidance.

…Furthermore, before agreeing to provide the Pentagon with additional funds for Iraq, lawmakers should insist that the Defense Department provide a detailed financial report on the reasons its costs for funding the war have more than doubled from last year.

…Documents turned over to Congress by the Defense Department to justify its financial needs in Iraq and the so-called global war on terror "have been sparse," and government agencies, including the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office, "have all found various discrepancies in DOD figures - including understating budget authority and obligations, mismatches between [budget authority] and obligations data, double-counting of some obligations, questionable figures, and a lack of information about basic factors that affect costs such as troop strength ..."

…The Department of Defense "has provided little rationale or explanation for its requirements or change in requirements for replacing war-worn equipment or extensive upgrades. In some cases, requirements do not appear to be strictly related to war needs," the report says.

Congressional researchers have warned Congress that the Defense Department's $1.9 billion supplemental request for "military construction" in its 2007 budget is twice as much as what it received in 2005 and may be controversial if approved by lawmakers, because it would indicate an "intent to set up permanent bases in Iraq and ... not clearly an emergency. "

To read the full story, click on this below…
Congressional Report: Gross Mismanagement of Iraq Funds

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