David Davis: We are losing Taliban battle

In an alarming dispatch from Afghanistan, the Conservative MP reveals the rampant corruption that has infected public life and threatens to destroy Nato’s hopes of bringing peace to this traumatised country


‘We need a new strategy,’ says Tory MP David Davis, on a factfinding mission to Afghanistan

It is time to face facts in Afghanistan: the situation is spiralling downwards, and if we do not change our approach, we face disaster. Violence is up in two-thirds of the country, narcotics are the main contributor to the economy, criminality is out of control and the government is weak, corrupt and incompetent. The international coalition is seen as a squabbling bunch of foreigners who have not delivered on their promises. Although the Taliban have nowhere near majority support, their standing is growing rapidly among some ordinary Afghans.

In Kabul, foreign delegations huddle behind concrete and barbed wire, often with the Afghans’ main roads shut. That causes jams throughout the city, exacerbated by convoys of armoured four-wheel drives loaded with bodyguards that push their way through the traffic. These vehicles carry warning signs telling ordinary Afghans that the occupants reserve the right to shoot anyone who comes within 50 metres. Afghans veer between resentment of the high-handed foreigners and fear of the Taliban, who appear to be inexorably seizing the provinces around the city.

In Britain’s area of responsibility, Helmand, the governor admits the Taliban control most of the province. While we were, properly, celebrating the delivery of the turbine to the Kajaki dam, we were being forced out of one of the richest poppy growing areas, and the Taliban fought their way to within 12km of Lashkar Gar, the provincial capital. Time after time, our soldiers win tactical victories, only to have the advantage lost because of a lack of coherent international strategy.

The regime we are defending is corrupt from top to bottom. While the President’s brother faces accusations of being a drug baron, some three-quarters of the Afghan National Police actively steal from the people. The irony is that Afghan expectations of government are traditionally low, and their faith in President Hamid Karzai was initially high.

Read moreDavid Davis: We are losing Taliban battle

Whistleblower: Oil watchdog agency ‘cult of corruption’

HONOLULU, Hawaii (CNN) — Bobby Maxwell kept a close eye on the oil industry for more than 20 years as a government auditor. But he said the federal agency he worked for is now a “cult of corruption” — a claim backed up by a recent government report.

Bobby Maxwell, a long-time auditor of the oil industry, says his former agency is corrupt "top to bottom."
Bobby Maxwell, a long-time auditor of the oil industry, says his former agency is corrupt “top to bottom.”

“I believe the management we were under was showing favoritism to the oil industry,” Maxwell told CNN.

Maxwell is referring to a tiny agency within the Department of the Interior called the Minerals Management Service, which manages the nation’s natural gas, oil and other mineral resources on federal lands.

A report, conducted by the Interior Department’s inspector general and released earlier this month, found that employees at the agency received improper gifts from energy industry officials and engaged with them in illegal drug use and inappropriate sexual relations. It looked at activities at the agency from 2003 through 2006.

Maxwell said the report doesn’t surprise him. The agency, he said, is corrupt “top to bottom.” Video Watch a failure to “protect America’s interests” »

“It sounds like they forgot they work for the government,” he said. “It’s disgusting. … There’s no excuse for that. Those people should not be working in those positions at all.

“They crossed a lot of lines that should never have been crossed,” he said. “They lost all objectivity.”

Maxwell was in charge of keeping track of the millions in royalty payments owed taxpayers by oil and gas companies who explored and found oil on U.S. government lands.

He estimates he and his team were responsible for saving the government close to $500 million in royalties, either underpaid or somehow skipped by oil and gas companies, over the years.

He received the Interior Department’s highest award in 2003 for his work. But not long afterward, his job was killed.

He believes it was retribution for his cracking down on Big Oil and blowing the whistle on what he believes was a “cult of corruption” within the agency. The Interior Department denies that, saying his job was reorganized as part of routine restructuring.

Just before he lost his job, he said, one of his superiors in Washington ordered him not to investigate why Shell Oil had raised its oil transportation costs. Maxwell said it jumped from 90 cents to $3 a barrel without adequate explanation. The government paid Shell to transport oil from offshore platforms.

When asked why a government worker would tell an auditor not to investigate, he said: “I believe it started from the top down,” he said.

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$13 Billion in Iraq Aid Wasted Or Stolen, Ex-Investigator Says


Salam Adhoob, former investigator for Iraq’s Commission on Public Integrity, at the Democratic Policy Committee hearing on waste and fraud in Iraq. (By Susan Walsh — Associated Press)

A former Iraqi official estimated yesterday that more than $13 billion meant for reconstruction projects in Iraq was wasted or stolen through elaborate fraud schemes.

Salam Adhoob, a former chief investigator for Iraq’s Commission on Public Integrity, told the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, an arm of the Democratic caucus, that an Iraqi auditing bureau “could not properly account for” the money.

While many of the projects audited “were not needed — and many were never built,” he said, “this very real fact remains: Billions of American dollars that paid for these projects are now gone.”

He said a report that went to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top Iraqi officials was never published because “nobody cares” about investigating such cases. Many investigators, he said, feared for their safety because 32 of his co-workers have been murdered.

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Report: Oil Agency Ran Amok, Interior Dept. Inquiry Finds Sex, Drugs, Corruption

Government officials in charge of collecting billions of dollars worth of royalties from oil and gas companies accepted gifts, steered contracts to favored clients and engaged in drug use and illicit sex with employees of the energy firms, federal investigators reported yesterday.

Investigators from the Interior Department’s inspector general’s office said more than a dozen employees, including the former director of the oil royalty program, took meals, ski trips, sports tickets and golf outings from industry representatives. The report alleges that the former director, Gregory W. Smith, also netted more than $30,000 from improper outside work.

Read moreReport: Oil Agency Ran Amok, Interior Dept. Inquiry Finds Sex, Drugs, Corruption

Who Wants To Be CEO of a Red, White and Blue Kakistocracy*?

*Kakistocracy is government by the very worst, least principled, and most incompetent people. You will be forgiven for thinking that the word, kakistocracy, perhaps derives from the word, “caca”, itself derived from the Latin, “cacare”. In fact, kakistocracy derives from the Greek, kakos, meaning “bad”.)

Read moreWho Wants To Be CEO of a Red, White and Blue Kakistocracy*?

Exposing Pentagon and CIA Corruption

Information for this article comes from long-time business, finance and political writer and analyst Bob Chapman who publishes the bi-weekly International Forecaster. It’s power-packed with key information and a valued source for this writer. He obtained voluminous material directly from its source. People need to know it. Read on.

SueAnn Arrigo is the source. She was a high-level CIA insider. Her title was Special Operations Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). She also established the Remote Viewing Defense protocols for the Pentagon in her capacity as Remote Viewing Advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). It earned her a two-star general rank in the military. She called it a “ploy” so the Pentagon could get more of her time and have her attend monthly Joint Chiefs of Staff meetings. Only high-level types are invited, and she was there from October 2003 to July 2004.

Part of her job involved intelligence gathering on Iraq and Afghanistan – until August 2004 when she refused to spread propaganda about a non-existant Iranian nuclear weapons program and left. She followed in the footsteps of others at CIA who resigned for reasons of conscience and became critics – most notably Ray McGovern, Ralph McGehee, and Phil Agee.

On May 16, 2008, Arrigo sent extensive government corruption and cover-up information to Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee – in 12 separate cases. This article covers four of them or about one-third of what Congress got. The 12 are explosive and revealing but just the tip of the iceberg:

— of government corruption and war profiteering;

— sweetheart deals and kickbacks;

— high-level types on the take;

— trillions of missing dollars;

— on September 10, 2001, Rumsfeld admitting “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions;”

— imagine the current amount;

— its corrosive effect on the nation; and people should

— demand accountability – who profits, who pays and what are the consequences of militarism gone mad.

SueAnn Arrigo offers a glimpse and at great personal risk. In August 2001, DCI George Tenet told her to assemble “a moving van full of Pentagon documents showing Defense Contractor kickbacks to Pentagon officials.” She did as instructed but not to expose corruption as she learned – to conceal it and in her judgment so CIA could divert defense business to Halliburton and “Carlyle-related contractors.” She stated: “The mood at the CIA and Pentagon was ‘war is coming’ because the Bush Family stands to make billions from it — so get ready.”

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China Red Cross Officials Suspected of Embezzling Donations for Quake Victims

Reporting a fake number on the purchase receipt is a well known phenomenon of the systematic corruption that exists within the Chinese communist regime. But now, citizens are raising concerns that the same thing seems to be happening to money donations meant to be spent solely on helping people reconstruct their homes after the devastating disaster.

Local medicine retailers are speaking out, saying that a supervising body should be present to make sure all donated resources are being correctly utilized.

“There were two Red Cross officers from the Zhongjiang district trying to buy $10,000 worth of medicine from our shop for the earth quake victims, but they wanted us to write down a number that is five times higher than the true price. We refused, but the neighboring medical retailers gave way to these officers,” said one medicine retailer in an interview with NTDTV.

A local resident from Sichuan province said that more people have realized how much the CCP’s corruption has cost people’s lives.

“They’re even going for the rescue donations and resources. There is no trust left for the CCP at all,” said the resident.

Due to the concern over the ineffective supervision of Red Cross organizations in China, a number of people in China either escort the donated resources themselves to the quake area or hand it over to reliable community organizations. This has been the route chosen by two of the three largest web companies in China to donate their money. To avoid corruption, they’re taking an alternative way without having any contact with the CCP.

A China resident from Guang Xi province said that the corruption is an unavoidable result under a dictatorship. “The government is using its overwhelming control to have power over everything. There is no boundary for the government to act so there is no limitation on any form of corruption in China.”

New Tang Dynasty Television
May 26, 2008

Source: The Epoch Times

Pentagon Expands Propaganda Reach With Foreign “News” Websites

The Pentagon is expanding “Information Operations” on the Internet with purposefully set up foreign news websites that are designed to look like independent media sources but in reality are nothing more than direct military propaganda.

USA Today reports:

“The Pentagon is setting up a global network of foreign-language news websites, including an Arabic site for Iraqis, and hiring local journalists to write current events stories and other content that promote U.S. interests and counter insurgent messages.”

The websites at http://www.balkantimes.com, http://www.magharebia.com and http://mawtani.com are three of the said Pentagon run operations aimed at people in the Balkans, North Africa and Iraq.

The front pages of the sites appear to be populated with regionalized news stories, but the disclaimers buried within the sites and accessible only via small links at the bottom of the pages reveal that all three are run by the US Department of Defense.

See screenshots below for the disclaimers (click to link through):

The Mawtani.com disclaimer is in Arabic. It reads:

“(Mawtani.com is) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense to support the resolution No. 1723 (of the) Security Council of the United Nations. (Mawtani.com) highlights and emphasizes the move towards greater regional stability through bilateral and multilateral cooperation … and the steps taken by governments towards stability in Iraq.”

Though Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England commented that the sites are “an essential part of (their) responsibility … to shape the security environment in their respective areas.”, other Pentagon spokesmen have claimed that the sites’ content is not intended as propaganda, but is “a counter to extremist propaganda … with truth.”

Michael Vickers, the assistant secretary of Defense in charge of special operations commented that the websites are designed to counter enemies on the internet who put out information that is not in keeping with the interests and goals of the U.S. military:

“It’s important to … engage these foreign audiences and inform,” Vickers said. “Our adversaries use the Internet to great advantage, so we have the responsibility of countering (their messages) with accurate, truthful information, and these websites are a good vehicle.”

Since when has the federal government and its war machine military been concerned with promoting the truth?

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