At the Pentagon, overpriced fuel sparks allegations – and denials – of a slush fund

(An additional 80 million dollars to “train” “rebels” in Syria. All off the books slush fund money with no accountability. 6 billion in all during the ObamaGod days. Not the 2.3 trillion that went “missing’ the day before 9/11, but still, a lot of damn unaccounted for money. What “rebel” activity did that 80 million pay for? Was it all in Syria or was some spent… I don’t know… in France perhaps?)

by Craig Witlock from Stars and Stripes (originally from the Washington Post)

The Pentagon has generated almost $6 billion over the past seven years by charging the armed forces excessive prices for fuel and has used the money – called the “bishop’s fund” by some critics – to bolster mismanaged or underfunded military programs, documents show.

Since 2015, the Defense Department has tapped surpluses from its fuel accounts for $80 million to train Syrian rebels, $450 million to shore up a prescription-drug program riddled with fraud and $1.4 billion to cover unanticipated expenses from the war in Afghanistan, according to military accounting records.

The Pentagon has amassed the extra cash by billing the armed forces for fuel at rates often much higher – sometimes $1 per gallon or more – than what commercial airlines paid for jetfuel on the open market.

Under a bureaucracy that dates to World War II, the Defense Department purchases all of its fuel centrally and then resells it at a fixed price to the Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps and other customers, who pay for it out of their own budgets. The system is intended to reduce duplication and promote efficiency.

The Defense Department is the largest single consumer of fuel in the world. Each year, it buys about100 million barrels, or 4.2 billion gallons, of refined petroleum for its aircraft, warships, tanks and other machines.

The practice of exploiting fuel revenue to plug unrelated gaps in the defense budget has escalated in recent years, prompting allegations – and official denials – that the accounts are being used as a slush fund.

Pentagon officials defended the arrangement. Congress has routinely approved their requests to skim off the fuel-purchasing accounts as a straightforward way to balance the Defense Department’s books. Lawmakers, however, are increasingly questioning the budgeting methods that have enabled the Pentagon to accumulate large windfalls from fuel sales in the first place.

The obscure accounting policy exemplifies the enormous scale and complexity of the U.S. military’s business operations, and how waste and inefficiency in the defense bureaucracy can dwarf what Washington spends on other parts of the federal government.

In recent months, for example, the Pentagon has struggled to explain to Congress why it buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste, including sky-high salaries for legions of defense contractors…

[read more here]

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A Brief Note on the Seth Rich / Kim Dotcom Story : Is He Just Looking for Political Asylum?

by Scott Creighton

When the Seth Rich/Rod Wheeler story broke, I covered it but I also made mention of the fact that the timing was quite suspect (right as a new fake leak came out about Trump) as was the source.

Rod Wheeler has a less-than stellar background when it comes to news items having once gone on Fox News to alert their viewers that 150 lesbian gangs were raging through D.C. with pink handguns, kidnapping and raping your children in hopes it would turn them gay.

Needless too say, I don’t put a great deal of stock in his journalism.

But, if it is the case that the Metro Police and the FBI confiscated a laptop they have not returned, that is an issue that must be resolved. The fact that Rod never claimed to see these emails himself is also troubling to me just as the New York Times making claims about James Comey memos they have never seen is also troubling. To me, it’s hard to take either claim seriously.

Far too many so-called “alternative” journalists are out there attacking the Wheeler claim and anyone who reports on it. They call them “charlatans” because CNN supposedly has an email from Rod Wheeler… which of course, CNN isn’t making public.

I covered the story briefly when it first broke and have left it alone ever since and I did that for a number of reasons, but primarily because of what I just wrote. Wheeler’s history and the fact that he claims to have “sources” and has never seen the emails he reported on as fact. Way too many variables in that for me to take seriously… but again… those who condemn this story while for those reasons while reporting on the validity of the Comey farce are worse than hypocrites… and I am talking to you Young Turks and especially you Michael Tracy… you should damn well know better.

Turns out Rod Wheeler was paid for his contract by another Fox News personality. Some republican business guy who does reports for their business channel (though he now claims he didn’t pay him)

And, as it turns out, the family’s spokesperson who initially denied the Wheeler story, is a DNC public relations contractor who has worked with various candidates of theirs for years. And on top of that, his original denial was worded in such a way as too say “even if there were emails between Seth and Wikileaks, that doesn’t prove anything and they could be fakes”

That led me to believe someone figured there certainly could be some surfacing in the future… which led me to believe that someone was worried the laptop may actually exist.

Why does the family of a random murder victim need a spokesperson in the first place and why did they just happen to pick a spin doctor associated with the DNC?

Why did a republican businessman hire a hack like Rod Wheeler to “investigate” Seth’s death and why the curious timing of this “news” release?

It all seems very contrived to me.

And speaking of contrived…

Now Kim Dotcom has thrown his hat in the ring saying he knew Seth Rich and has evidence that will prove Seth was in contact with Wikileaks. CNN is currently attacking Dotcom while the purveyors of Rod Wheeler’s “breaking news” are trumpeting this latest development as if it’s some kind of huge deal.

It looks to me like Kim Dotcom is looking to make himself the next Jillian Assange. He’s probably shopping embassies in New Zealand right now hoping one of them will offer him asylum since he is supposedly in possession of some kind of “leak”. What he probably wants is protection from extradition to the U.S. to face charges and he figures he can try this move to see if it works.

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