The Collapse of Rome: Washington’s $6.5 trillion Black Hole, by F. William Engdahl.
Students of history will find eerie but quite predictable parallels between the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 4th Century AD and the collapse of America’s global hegemony today. Not only has the choice of political so-called leaders become the near-exclusive province of big money patriarchs and their corporate interests. The choice of politicians voters are offered is worse than abysmal….
The US military “lost” $6.5 trillion…unaccounted for, built up over a couple of decades (the current US defense budget is about $700 billion annually).
[A] report has emerged that there is a staggering $6.5 trillion of US taxpayer dollars that cannot be properly accounted for by standard good accounting methods. That’s trillion, not million, not billion, but trillion.
The corruption is reported by in-house auditors:
This is no minor book-keeping bureaucratic snafu. It exposes the rampant corruption at the heart of the world’s largest military Leviathan, the Pentagon. The Pentagon report goes on to declare, “In addition, DFAS Indianapolis did not document or support why the Defense Departmental Reporting System-Budgetary, a budgetary reporting system, removed at least 16,513 of 1.3 million records during third quarter FY2015…the data used to prepare the FY2015 AGF third quarter and year-end financial statements were unreliable and lacked an adequate audit trail.”
Translated into plain English, the US Army … destroyed accounting documents, did not provide an audit trail for accountability of funds allocated by Congress, and made apparently arbitrary, unverifiable accounting year-end adjustments that made it look like the books balanced, adjustments of $6.5 trillion worth. In other words they not only cooked the books, they Dixie-fried them…
The US Fed and the Pentagon have never have submitted to an independent audit. They are the only two parts of the US governmental and corporate structure so exempt.
The day before September 11, 2001 then US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld announced, “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” The story vanished the next day in the panic of 911 events.
The corruption, falsification, probable fraud and embezzlement is so huge and so endemic that it will destroy any effort at transparency, buried under the cover of bureaucratic ineptitude.
This is yet another sign of the bureaucratic bloat and ineptitude of our elite:
It’s symptomatic of the rot of Washington and a nation that only a few decades ago held a tradition of honesty and integrity in public service.
Something like that has happened before:
It recalls the final days of the Roman Empire which collapsed during the Fourth Century AD not from foreign invasion, but from internal moral rot and corruption.
The roots of the decline and ultimate collapse of the Roman Empire, in its day also the world’s sole superpower, lay in the political decision by a ruling aristocracy, more accurately, an oligarchy of wealth, boring old patriarchs of that day, to extend the bounds of empire through wars of conquest and plunder of foreign lands. They did so to feed their private wealth and personal power, not to the greater good of the state.
The economic model of the Empire of Rome was based on the plunder of conquered territories. As the empire expanded, it installed remote military garrisons to maintain control and increasingly relied on foreign mercenaries to man those garrisons.
In the process of military expansionism the peasantry, the heart of the empire, became impoverished. Small farmers were bankrupted and forced to flee to Rome to attempt a living as proletarians, wage laborers. They had no voting rights or other citizen rights. In the eyes of the rich, they were simply the ‘mob’ that could be bought, manipulated, and directed to attack an opponent; they were the ‘demos,’ the masses, the public. Roman ‘democracy’ was all about mass manipulation in the service of empire.
The once independent farmers were forced to leave their farms, often for years, to fight foreign wars of conquest. The south of Italy was devastated as one result. Those with money were able to buy land as the only stable investment, becoming huge latifundistas or landowners. That led to the concentration of land in a few hands, and the land in turn was worked by slaves captured in wars of conquest. Small farmer-held farms were gradually replaced by those huge latifundia, bought for booty, and the gap between the rich and the poor increased. When the two brothers Gracchus tried in the second century AD to ease the growing gap between rich and the rest by introducing agriculture reforms that limited the powers of the wealthy Senators, they were assassinated by the men of wealth. …
Read it all for the parallels with the US today.
The revelation of a $6.5 trillion Army bookkeeping disaster is but a symptom. A Presidential race pitting Democrat Hillary Clinton against Republican Donald Trump is but a symptom. A nation that spends on wars everywhere in the world while ignoring its domestic infrastructure decay whose proper rehabilitation would cost an estimated $3.6 trillion, merely half of what the US Army cannot account for is, sadly, destined to collapse.