Pentagon,Washington. Massive amounts of money getting lost are no surprise in the USA, the day before 911 in 2001 over $2.3 trillion dollars went missing and then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld actually laughed about it. So it’s a new twist to learn in the latest fraud USA, that the Pentagon was actually over charging the US military for gas and using the profits to harm others on a global scale.
The Pentagon reportedly overcharged the armed forces about $6 billion dollars for fuel, using the windfall for its “other projects” in a practice officials defended as perfectly legal or so they thought, according to American news sources.
The Washington Post obtained documents showing the Defense Department was excessively charging the armed forces up to $1 additional per gallon or more, compared to what commercial airlines would pay for market rate jet fuel. Since 2010, the Pentagon has reaped a surplus worth billions by slapping a premium on fuel sales, breaking endless numbers of Federal statutes on fraud, RICO statutes, theft and embezzlement.
According to the publication, the fraud fund was used to fund expenses, including $450 million towards a prescription drug program for troops and families that was rife with fraud. In addition, around $80 million was diverted for training Syrian rebels, and $1.4 billion used to offset the additional costs of the war in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is preparing for a military buildup. President Trump has said that he will ask Congress to add $54 billion to next year’s defense budget, about a 10 percent spike over current spending, which do beg the question, if you have all this surplus, why do you need a raise in the amount for the budget?
Many senior leaders with the armed forces accused the Pentagon of intentionally overbilling the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine Corps for fuel and pocketing the difference to pay for other priorities, like providing arms to terrorists in Syria, Libya and Yemen. Or secret operations inside Ukraine’s Donbass conflict.
“We’ve been complaining about this,” Ray Mabus, who served as Navy secretary for eight years during the Obama administration, said in an interview. “But if we do it too loudly, oh man, they come back on us really hard.”
Nevertheless the Pentagon claims the higher charges were legal, noting Congress approved the tactic as a clear way to balance the Defense Department’s books. Still, the department has has been under FBI investigation for criminal accounting practices, after a Defense Department Inspector General’s investigation showed the Pentagon was stealing $125 million in “administrative costs” yearly.
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 dishonest accounting policy exemplifies the enormous scale and corruption of the American 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.