Congressmen being investigated by House Ethics Committee for Kickback Fraud – W.P.


Congress cartoon 1 - search IDIt is all coming together now.  We just passed the largest defense bill in terms of real dollars in the history of the world.  We are not engaged in a declared war against a national enemy.  This should not have happened.  Now we can see why it happened.  Is it fraud and kickback money to Congressmen?

There is a stunning article in the Washington Post this morning explaining what just happened.

Seven congressional members of the House Appropriations SubCommittee on Defense that controls defense spending have been the subject of investigation by the House Ethics Committee.  They have been suspected of steering federal defense funds toward PMA Group, a defense lobbying firm.  That firm is under investigation by the FBI for fraud. The story is here.  Now it is all becoming clearer.  We are screwed!


Here is a quote from the article:

"Together, the seven legislators have personally steered more than $200 million in earmarks to clients of the PMA Group in the past two years, and received more than $6.2 million in campaign contributions from PMA and its clients in the past decade, according to an analysis by Congressional Quarterly and Taxpayers for Common Sense.

The Post reviewed earmark and campaign records and found that the seven had each supported funding for PMA clients and also received donations. Young has recently received very little from PMA.

Under some political pressure, the House ethics committee disclosed in June that it had an ongoing investigation into this matter. The move came days after the FBI subpoenaed Visclosky’s office for records relating to PMA and as other House members called for the ethics committee to act. The committee did not disclose the members it was scrutinizing then, and the specific details of the OCE’s work have not been publicly known.

While lawmakers received generous contributions, PMA used its growing influence with the panel over the past decade to become one of the top 10 lobby shops in Washington and took in $114 million in lobbying fees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group."

Let me make this very clear. This is why your children and grand children will struggle the rest of their lives to have a standard of living that is anywhere near as close as your parents had. 

Public monies taken out of the General Revenue Fund are being misappropriated into the ever growing defense budget year after year in order to turn a few thousand super wealthy people into mega wealthy people. That would be the captains of the war industries and energy cartels. And this is being facilitated by Congressmen and women who are receiving graft to allow such legal theivery to take place.   

Your children’s future and that of your grand children is literally being stolen from them.  As an American veteran, how do you feel about that?

In another related article, over thirty Congressmen and staffers are being investigated for similar influence selling to the defense industry, allegedly for kickbacks.  That report from the Post is here.

The report was placed on a public access computer inadverdently by a low level staffer in Congress and was found.  It was delivered to the Washington Post.  Here is a quote from that article:

"House ethics investigators have been scrutinizing the activities of more than 30 lawmakers and several aides in inquiries about issues including defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, according to a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July.

The report appears to have been inadvertently placed on a publicly accessible computer network, and it was provided to The Washington Post by a source not connected to the congressional investigations. The committee said Thursday night that the document was released by a low-level staffer.

The ethics committee is one of the most secretive panels in Congress, and its members and staff members sign oaths not to disclose any activities related to its past or present investigations. Watchdog groups have accused the committee of not actively pursuing inquiries; the newly disclosed document indicates the panel is conducting far more investigations than it had revealed. "

Now it is becoming clearer and clearer.  These people are waging war, authorizing war on our money where there needs to be no war because defense industry mafiosi have bought them off.

This is war for profit.  These young people died so that a few dozen Congressmen and Congresswoman could get rich from defense contract kickbacks.  The war industry captains made money  by the boatloads only because they bought off Congress.  Land of the free and home of the brave?  Hardly.

So what do we do about this never ending rape of American working class youth being sent to their deaths by war industry giants with the help of Congress?  Are we going to continue to do nothing?

These allegedly  treasonous criminals need to be in prison if they are found guilty of sending young Americans to their deaths in a series of unnecessary wars so that they could recieve money in kickbacks.  Period.

This is outrageous, not because it happened, but because it slipped out inadvertently because of a clerical mistake.  Otherwise, none of us would know anything about this.  Now we know.  Are we going to do anything as American veterans?

This is how our government works.  How do you feel about that?

In yet a third related article, government auditors have found that a particular defense contractor doing business in Iraq routinely overbilled the government for vehicle parts.  We are talking about millions of dollars routinely flowing to that company by fraud.  This is not an isolated incident.  The article is here.

Here is an excerpt:

"The contractor, Aecom Government Services, charged $237 for a vehicle side mirror that was supposed to cost $14.88, according to the report. The company also submitted invoices to the U.S. military in Iraq seeking reimbursements of $196.50 for a bag of 10 washers that was supposed to cost $1.22, $10 for a fuse that should have cost 45 cents and $210 for an inner tube that was supposed to cost $24.09.

Aecom officials disputed the allegations, telling auditors that the overcharging was the result of "billing errors" that "occurred early in the contract," according to the report, scheduled for release Friday. The company said that "cumulative adjustments were made."

Paul J. Gennaro, a senior vice president of Aecom, said Thursday that the company had "self-identified and corrected" the issues, "making an immediate repayment over two years ago — to the client’s satisfaction."

Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general, said in the report that the findings point to larger issues with government contracts issued for work in Iraq. Preliminary audits of 22,000 Defense Department transactions involving about $10.7 billion have identified not just overpayments by the government, but also duplicate payments, as well as payments to fictitious vendors and addresses.

The preliminary findings have prompted a decision to examine all financial transactions related to the major U.S. programs in Iraq — spending that totaled $35.2 billion as of Sept. 30, 2008. The report said particular attention will be paid to programs "that afford easy access to cash," such as the military’s $3.6 billion Commander’s Emergency Response Program. "

In this article we find that the Muslims of Chechnya in the sphere of the Russian Federation are now in full fledged revolt against the Russian Government.  Things have gone from bad to worse.  The Russians have treated these people like insurgent rebels and the Muslims have responded in kind.  This is not good and does not bode well for us in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the area near Pakistan.

In this article, the FBI is trying to determine if a radical Detroit group of thugs are radicals with intent to overthrow the U.S. government or simply criminals who happen to have some sort of loose connection to Islam.  It is not often easy to determine apparently.

I will end my daily perusal of the Post by stating that we all really need to get more involved in our government if we are going to claim to be informed veterans and involved citizens.  Look what happens when this information is held close to the vest by the government investigative committees!  We would never have known about the defense fraud stuff if he it had not shown up by mistake on a public computer.

What future are our children and grand children going to have if their future is being sold to defense contractors for fraud money by dozens of Congressmen at a time?  What future do any of us have?

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)




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