By now Bernard Madoff is old news and relegated to his prison cell. At the time he ran the largest ponzi scheme in financial history.
Not any longer.
Aug 06 2010
I can think of no better way to emphasize the current theft of our nations treasury at the expense of its youth than to use the words of Major General Smedley Butler in November 1935.
Never Ending War
We are not suppose to win, we are not suppose to lose …. We have always been at war with East Asia. This post is going to largely stand on its own from the research I have turned up.
WASHINGTON, Nov 2, 2009 (Reuters) – The U.S. government does not know exactly how many contractors it employs in Afghanistan, a U.S. commission said on Monday, raising basic questions about oversight of wartime operations.
Contractors in Afghanistan outnumber U.S. troops there and scandals involving misconduct by employees of private firms on the U.S. payroll in Afghanistan and Iraq have prompted calls by Congress for greater accountability.
[..]A traditional manual count by the U.S. military’s Central Command turned up nearly 74,000 U.S. Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan as of June 30 — more than twice the number shown in another survey by the Pentagon.
A more recent count from July 2010
[..]The Department of Defense has more contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan than it has uniformed military personnel, another newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service reminds us.
“The Department of Defense increasingly relies upon contractors to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in a DOD workforce that has 19% more contractor personnel (207,600) than uniformed personnel (175,000),” said the CRS report
At 57% of total Defense Department workforce, the number of contractors represents “the highest recorded percentage of contractors used by DOD in any conflict in the history of the United States,” the study concludes.
Its the same Old Story (no date)
Currently in Afghanistan, there are 121,000 U.S. contractors and 68,000 U.S. troops. As a result of the coming surge, another 30,000 troops and 56,000 contractors are expected. But U.S. lawmakers are afraid that the mistakes that plagued military contracting in Iraq will be repeated in Afghanistan. Will the shadow armies be required to protect the Afghan civilian population? What are the chances that military contractors could cause major damage to America’s mission in Afghanistan? Will the Obama administration be able to prevent the waste, fraud and abuse seen in Iraq?
[..]Recently the CIA announced that it had stopped using Blackwater (now known as Xe Services) to conduct raids and other special operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but some press reports say Xe Services are still at the center of a secret program in Karachi, Pakistan, where they plan assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda members, among other operations.
Jun 12 2009
The well respected teacher, broker Jim Sinclair has been mentoring investors since 1977. Mr. Sinclair is a level headed, cautious investor void of the alarmist mentality. So when he says “Take the money and Run” you might want to pay attention.
[..]You know that information that comes to me has been reliable. You also know that the entire purpose of all of working here at JSMineset has been to get you through this safely. You also know that if we had not been here hundreds of thousands of people now holding gold would not be.
So please pay attention to the following.
I have heard rumors for some time, but today it was confirmed to me, that the Canadian mint’s present problems are not unique and that other depositories (vaults) have had an army of auditors descend on them in the last two weeks. Some of these depositories have names so famous that it would scare the hell out of you. The repercussions would be drastic if they turn out to be troubled.
I suggest to you now that you take delivery of all gold held in vaults and depositories on your behalf, but this time even from the most prestigious.
What made Mr Sinclair issue this statement? In April a “discrepancy” in the Canadian Mints books turned up.
External auditors are investigating a discrepancy between the mint’s 2008 financial accounting of its precious metals holdings and the physical stockpile at the plant on Sussex Drive in Ottawa.
The mystery raises possibilities from sloppy bookkeeping to a gold heist.
Officials with the commercial Crown corporation are saying little and refuse to confirm the amount and value of the unaccounted for gold, silver and palladium.
“An unprecedented demand in gold in 2008 has led to an unreconciled difference between the mint’s financial statements and the physical count of precious metals. There’s a difference there that we’re looking into,” Christine Aquino, mint spokeswoman, said in a prepared statement Tuesday in response to questions from the Ottawa Citizen.
“We’re taking this very seriously. We’re conducting a thorough review and we’re expected to have that completed within the month. (It) includes the analysis of precious metal by-products and financial data. We’ve allocated all necessary resources to this review.”
She stressed police have not been called into what mint officials consider an internal matter. She would not say whether the gold and other metals in question were part of the refinery and bullion operation or one of the mint’s three other business lines: producing Canadian circulating coins, designing and producing coinage for foreign countries, and numismatics.
“We’re looking at many different angles right now,” she said.
That was April. Well low and behold it is now June and the
Mint’s conclusion? Call in the Mounties!
OTTAWA – On government orders, the Royal Canadian Mint has called for a criminal probe into as much as $20 million in unaccounted-for gold and precious metals at its Sussex Drive headquarters.
The looming police investigation comes eight months after the Crown corporation first learned it had lost track of the riches last October. The Citizen revealed the mystery last week.
The call for a police investigation is the third effort to determine whether theft or an accounting error is behind an “unreconciled difference” between the mint’s 2008 financial records and its physical stockpile of gold and other precious metals.
An internal “precious metals reconciliation” project was initiated by the mint last fall. In March, with that reckoning apparently no nearer to finding answers, an external audit was commissioned.
Security at these facilities is unsurpassed. So where did it go? This will continue to play out in the coming weeks. What is interesting (and yet alarming) is … it doesn’t appear to be an isolated incident, at least according to Jim Sinclair.
Jun 10 2009
The shear amount of information uncovered is staggering. Hopefully it will keep your interest.
Let me warm up here with a couple of interesting quotes.
“Gold was not selected arbitrarily by governments to be the monetary standard. Gold had developed for many centuries on the free market as the best money; as the commodity providing the most stable and desirable monetary medium.”
Murray N. Rothbard
Why Gold and Why Now?
“If you don’t trust gold, do you trust the logic of taking a beautiful pine tree, worth about $4,000 – $5,000, cutting it up, turning it into pulp and then paper, putting some ink on it and then calling it one billion dollars?”
Kenneth J. Gerbino
Ever wonder why banks and governments like a paper currency system? Why they fully embraced the Keynesian theory of deficit spending?
“Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the ‘hidden’ confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights.”
That one is a classic considering the source.
Mar 25 2009
A black hole gravitationally sucks in everything that comes near it, and nothing can return from the other side of the event horizon once sucked in.
Banks lending money is one of the major, if not THE major way they produce revenue and profit. In any business, when sales are down you do everything you can do to increase sales revenue – or you go bust – UNLESS you can produce revenue another way.
Yet the real message coming through is that the
banks BANKERS seem to have decided that they do not want to increase revenue in any other way than simply taking it from taxpayers instead of lending to generate revenue.
This leads me to suspect that they have no intention of returning to providing the “product” they have always provided to generate revenue, but instead have decided to simply and openly steal it, and that the current economic crisis is not something the government is trying to correct but is instead actively a partner in intentionally manufacturing.
With government help. With Geithner’s help. With the presidents help.
We have a big problem. The problem is not the economic crisis.
What is “government”?
“Very simply, it is an agency of coercion. Of course, there are other agencies of coercion — such as the Mafia. So to be more precise, government is the agency of coercion that has flags in front of its offices.”
Thomas Ferguson is an American political scientist and author who studies and writes on politics and economics, often within an historical perspective. He is a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He obtained his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is also a contributing editor for The Nation.
Today Ferguson talks with Real News CEO Paul Jay about the banking crisis and the black hole at the center of the crisis, the Obama administrations response so far to it, and about something he thinks really needs to be done that is not being done.
Feb 07 2009
When a $230 Billion multi-national corporation mugs one of the little guys – is it even a crime in this day and age? Not if you ask the multi-national corporation it ain’t. The corporate gangsters at Microsoft seem to think that their immensity grants them impunity.
Oct 02 2008
A ditty has occupied my head incessantly, continuously, importantly, for 2 days now, ever since Valtin mentioned something about watching it all come down from the vantage point aboard a boat, with single malt, in his essay, about how we are being force-fed shit, which also mentioned Berthold Brecht. I’ve not been able to think of hardly anything else, except for Edger and Magic. Pirate Jenny stomps out of Dreigrossenoper and into my head with the certainty of the stileto-staccato stride of Ahab. I think it is my salvation.
And for that reason, I must say…follow me below the fold…
Jul 12 2008
The likely outcome of the Bush-led Republican raid on America astonishes me. As America’s national nightmare approaches the eight-year mark, the Bush administration is apparently going to escape unpunished. They are going to skate scot-free. They have brazenly committed major crimes against the people of the United States, not to mention the terrible things they have done to much of the rest of the world…and these bastards are going to skate scot-free.