The Environmental Protection Agency is not protecting underground drinking water supplies from oilfield contamination and in several instances has allowed companies actually to dump wastewater into aquifers, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) says in a new report.
The report blasts the EPA for its oversight in California, where, since 2014, the state has allowed oil companies to violate safe-drinking water laws. An AP analysis in 2015 found that California had handed out 2,000 permits giving oil companies permission to dump wastewater into federally protected drinking water. The tragedy impacted at least 11 aquifers.
– Pentagon Has No Idea What 108,000 Contractors Are Doing (Fiscal Times, June 3, 2013):
The number of contractors working in Afghanistan now vastly outnumbers American troops stationed there, according to a Congressional Research Service report. CRS, along with the Government Accountability Office, also determined that the Pentagon is unable to properly document the work these contractors are doing. And the information DOD is receiving is often unreliable and inaccurate.
According to CRS, there are now 108,000 private workers in Afghanistan, a workforce that dwarfs the 65,700 American troops still stationed there. That means there are 1.6 contractors for every American soldier in Afghanistan. This is an increase from last month, when The Fiscal Times reported that there were 1.4 contractors per American soldier.
Given the size of the private forces, it’s not surprising that CRS found that in recent years, the Defense Department spent more than any other agency to support contractor work.
– Fed’s Once-Secret Data Released to Public (Bloomberg, Dec. 23, 2011):
Bloomberg News today released spreadsheets showing daily borrowing totals for 407 banks and companies that tapped Federal Reserve emergency programs during the 2007 to 2009 financial crisis. It’s the first time such data have been publicly available in this form.
To download a zip file of the spreadsheets, go to http://bit.ly/Bloomberg-Fed-Data. For an explanation of the files, see the one labeled “1a Fed Data Roadmap.”
The day-by-day, bank-by-bank numbers, culled from about 50,000 transactions the U.S. central bank made through seven facilities, formed the basis of a series of Bloomberg News articles this year about the largest financial bailout in history.
“Scholars can now examine the data and continue the analysis of the Fed’s crisis management,” said Allan H. Meltzer, a professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the author of three books on the history of the U.S. central bank.
– Have You Heard About The 16 Trillion Dollar Bailout The Federal Reserve Handed To The Too Big To Fail Banks? (The Econonomic collapse, Dec. 2, 2011):
What you are about to read should absolutely astound you. During the last financial crisis, the Federal Reserve secretly conducted the biggest bailout in the history of the world, and the Fed fought in court for several years to keep it a secret. Do you remember the TARP bailout? The American people were absolutely outraged that the federal government spent 700 billion dollars bailing out the “too big to fail” banks. Well, that bailout was pocket change compared to what the Federal Reserve did. As you will see documented below, the Federal Reserve actually handed more than 16 trillion dollars in nearly interest-free money to the “too big to fail” banks between 2007 and 2010. So have you heard about this on the nightly news? Probably not. Lately Bloomberg has been reporting on some of this, but even they are not giving people the whole picture. The American people need to be told about this 16 trillion dollar bailout, because it is a perfect example of why the Federal Reserve needs to be shut down. The Federal Reserve has been actively picking “winners” and “losers” in the financial system, and it turns out that the “friends” of the Fed always get bailed out and always end up among the “winners”. This is not how a free market system is supposed to work.
According to the limited GAO audit of the Federal Reserve that was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the grand total of all the secret bailouts conducted by the Federal Reserve during the last financial crisis comes to a whopping $16.1 trillion.
– The Veil of Secrecy at the Fed Has Been Lifted, Now It’s Time for Change (Huffington Post, Nov. 2, 2011):
As a result of the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street, the American people have experienced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs, homes, life savings, and ability to send their kids to college. Small businesses have been unable to get the credit they need to expand their businesses, and credit is still extremely tight. Wages as a share of national income are now at the lowest level since the Great Depression, and the number of Americans living in poverty is at an all-time high.
Meanwhile, when small-business owners were being turned down for loans at private banks and millions of Americans were being kicked out of their homes, the Federal Reserve provided the largest taxpayer-financed bailout in the history of the world to Wall Street and too-big-to-fail institutions, with virtually no strings attached.
Over two years ago, I asked Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, a few simple questions that I thought the American people had a right to know: Who got money through the Fed bailout? How much did they receive? What were the terms of this assistance?
Incredibly, the chairman of the Fed refused to answer these fundamental questions about how trillions of taxpayer dollars were being spent.
– The U.S. Is Unable To Account For 36k Pounds Of Its Own Weapons Grade Uranium And Plutonium (Business Insider, Sep. 15, 2011):
Under special nuclear cooperation agreements, the United States sent 38,580 pounds of enriched uranium and plutonium to more than two-dozen foreign agencies and is unable to account for 36,000 pounds of the material.
The Government Accountability Office report says these 27 cooperation agreements, set up to facilitate cross border research, have no accountability and the U.S. has no way to enforce control.
Because there is no reporting process in place, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been visiting nuclear storage sites overseas when permitted, but has not regularly visited countries with the greatest risk of proliferation.
From the visits conducted through 1994 to 2010 U.S. teams learned countries met international security guidelines only 50 percent of the time.
Trying to pin down the missing 36,000 pounds of material the NRC and the Department of Energy (DOE) have made inventory agreements with five U.S. partners, but the other 22 have refused.
The DOE has tried to bring back much of the material to the states, but aside from failing to definitively find it, the agency is limited by its own Global Threat Reduction Initiative which won’t allow it.
The congressional audit would examine the Fed’s emergency aid program and disclose previously secret recipients of bailout money.
Reporting from Washington The Senate voted 96 to 0 on Tuesday to authorize a congressional audit of the secretive Federal Reserve Board’s emergency aid program and full disclosure of who got the money, a plan that could reveal more details about government help for embattled investment firm Goldman Sachs.
Under the plan, Congress’ Government Accountability Office would conduct a top-to-bottom audit of all the Federal Reserve’s emergency activities since the economic crisis began in December 2007. The Fed also would have to post on its website all recipients of money from the more than $2 trillion in emergency aid that’s been disbursed since then.
The GAO also would look into whether the financial deals involved conflicts of interest. It’s common for members of the board of directors of the powerful Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for example, also to be executives or directors of banks that got government bailout money.
(NaturalNews) The US government has issued a new report that recommends blocking access to popular websites during a pandemic outbreak in order to preserve internet bandwidth for investors, day traders and securities clearing house operations. The concern is that a pandemic would cause too many people to stay at home and download YouTube videos and porn, hogging all the internet bandwidth and blocking throughput for investment activities, thereby causing a stock market meltdown.
This isn’t an April Fool’s joke. It’s all based on a public report issued by the Government Accounting Office (GAO), available from their website at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d108.pdf
In this article, I’m going to explain how a pandemic outbreak could theoretically bring down Wall Street. But to get to that, you’ll first need to find out what the GAO said in its curious report (see below). Parts of this article are presented as satire, but the underlying facts quoted here are all true and verifiable (links are provided to all sources).
This report in question is entitled, “GAO Report to Congressional Requesters, INFLUENZA PANDEMIC” and includes this subtitle: Key Securities Market Participants Are Making Progress, but Agencies Could Do More to Address Potential Internet Congestion and Encourage Readiness.
As the report explains:
In a severe pandemic, governments may close schools, shut down public transportation systems, and ban public gatherings such as concerts or sporting events. In such scenarios, many more people than usual may be at home during the day, and Internet use in residential neighborhoods could increase significantly as a result of people seeking news, entertainment, or social contact from home computers. Concerns have been raised that this additional traffic could lead to congestion on the Internet that would significantly affect businesses in local neighborhoods, such as small doctors’ offices or business employees attempting to telework by connecting to their employers’ enterprise networks.
Can Hulu, Twitter and porn destroy Wall Street?
FILE — In a Jan. 29, 2009 file photo reflections are seen in the sign on the global headquarters of AstraZeneca in London. The Food and Drug Administration has allowed drugs for cancer and other diseases to stay on the market even when follow-up studies showed they didn’t extend patients’ lives, say congressional investigators. The FDA approved AstraZeneca’s lung cancer drug Iressa in 2003 based on early results showing it reduced the size of tumors. But later studies showed the drug did not significantly extend patient lives. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth/file)
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has allowed drugs for cancer and other diseases to stay on the market even when follow-up studies showed they didn’t extend patients’ lives, say congressional investigators.
A report due out Monday from the Government Accountability Office also shows that the FDA has never pulled a drug off the market due to a lack of required follow-up about its actual benefits — even when such information is more than a decade overdue.
When pressed about that policy, agency officials said they have no plans to get more aggressive.
The GAO says the FDA should do more to track whether drugs approved based on preliminary results actually have lived up to their promise.
An Audit Would Expose The Fed As A Massive Fraud Perpetrated On This Country
Last week I was very pleased that the Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, HR 1207. The bill has 295 cosponsors and there is also strong support for the companion bill in the Senate. This hearing was a major step forward in getting the bill passed.
I was pleased that the hearing was well-attended, especially considering that it was held on a Friday at nine o’clock in the morning! I have been talking about the immense, unchecked power of the Federal Reserve for many years, while the attention of Congress was always on other things. It was gratifying to see my colleagues asking probing questions and demonstrating genuine concern about this important issue as well.
The witness testifying in favor of HR 1207 made some very strong points, which was no surprise considering the bill is simply common sense. It was also no surprise that the witness testifying against the bill had no good arguments as to why a full audit should not be conducted promptly. He attempted to make the case that the fed is already sufficiently accountable to Congress and that the current auditing policy is adequate. The fact is that the Fed comes to Congress and talks about only what it wants to talk about, and the GAO audits only what the current laws allow to be audited. The really important things however, are off limits. There are no convincing arguments that it is in the best interests of the American people for anything the Fed does to be off limits.
It has been argued that full disclosure of details of funding facilities like TALF and PDCF that enabled massive bailouts of Wall Street would damage the financial position of those firms and destabilize the economy. In other words, if the American people knew how rotten the books were at those banks and how terribly they messed up, they would never willingly invest in them, and they would fail. Failure is not an option for friends of the Fed. Therefore, the funds must be stolen from the people in the dark of night. This is not how a free country works. This is not how free markets work. That is crony corporatism and instead of being a force for economic stabilization, it totally undermines it.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D. is the Francis Walsingham Fellow at The American Conservative Defense Alliance (www.ACDAlliance.org) and a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer.
Philip Giraldi was the foreign policy advisor to Ron Paul during his last presidential run.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz predicted in 2003 that the cost of the Iraq war would be covered by Iraqi oil revenue, which would also pay for reconstruction. The Iraq war has in fact cost the United States more than $900 billion, including more than $145 billion US and Iraqi dollars for rebuilding and local contracting to support US forces. Six years of reconstruction has been a failure, with most projects unfinished or so poorly built that they have been abandoned. Water and electricity has not been restored to the level enjoyed under Saddam Hussein. Even those inclined to look on the bright side acknowledge that at least $13 billion has been lost to fraud, theft, and waste. Most would put the number much higher, possibly as much as $125 billion if one includes both American and Iraqi money.
Just as the United States is winding down its reconstruction of Iraq, the largest nation building project in history, President Obama wants to do the same for Afghanistan only do it better and bigger. Before he gets in too deep, he should listen to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) which is sounding alarm bells over concerns that the White House is not sharing with it plans for the reconstruction. GAO envisions massive multi-billion dollar shortfalls bringing projects crippled by corruption and waste grinding to a halt. Government auditors note that more than $5 billion in reconstruction funds already cannot be accounted for in Afghanistan.
And by the way, Keynesianism (Deficit spending) is outdated and poison for the economy.
I am repeating myself here but people need to know that all of this is done by design, planned by the elite and executed by their puppets like Obama, Bernanke, Bush, Clinton, Greenspan, Geithner etc.
“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. … This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.” – Alan Greenspan
Those criminals are looting the taxpayer all of the time. No bailout and no stimulus package was ever benefiting the people in the US, but it is the taxpayer that has to pay for it all. The government and the Fed are intentionally destroying the dollar and the economy. The US is totally broke.
– JIM ROGERS WAS RIGHT (05/06/09):
“There is a very good chance that America will default on its government debt sometimes during this administration.”
“And there is an extremely good chance that the currency will be very debased and weakened a lot during this presidency.”
Now this genius (Obama) comes along and says: ‘We are doing more of the same’!”
“It’s not going to work.”
The Government Accountability Office, in a report released Wednesday, finds that the $787 billion stimulus package is being used to “cushion” state budgets, prevent teacher layoffs, make more Medicaid payments and head off other fiscal problems.
A person fills out an application for a summer job funded by stimulus money in Forth Worth, Texas, on June 10. (Reuters Photo)
Cash-strapped states have used federal stimulus dollars to close short-term budget gaps and avert major tax increases but generally have not directed the money toward long-term expansion, according to a new report.
The report released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, found that the $787 billion stimulus package is being used to “cushion” state budgets, prevent teacher layoffs, make more Medicaid payments and head off other fiscal problems.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 10 percent of the Recovery Act funds have been released so far, with about half of the money expected to be spent by October 2010. That dispersed money is being used to prioritize short-term projects and needs over more ambitious goals, the GAO report states.
For example, the GAO said about half the money set aside for road and bridge repairs is being used to repave highways, rather than build new infrastructure. And state officials aren’t steering the money toward counties that need jobs the most, auditors found.
Taxpayers have also recently complained that the federal government has wasted money by advertising stimulus-funded construction projects with road signs which costs between $500 and $1,200 to produce.
Rep. Ron Paul so far has won 245 co-sponsors to a bill that would require a full-fledged audit of the Federal Reserve by the end of 2010.
Rep. Ron Paul, shown here speaking to the American Conservative Union last February, is winning supporters to a new bill. (Reuters Photo)
All of a sudden, Congress is paying close attention to Ron Paul.
The feisty congressman from Texas, whose insurgent “Ron Paul Revolution” presidential campaign rankled Republican leaders last year, now has the GOP House leadership on his side — backing a measure that generated paltry support when he first introduced it 26 years ago.
Paul, as of Tuesday, has won 245 co-sponsors to a bill that would require a full-fledged audit of the Federal Reserve by the end of 2010.
– Ben Bernanke is a Total Failure Unsuited for Role as Fed Chairman
– Ben Bernanke warns on auditing the Federal Reserve
– Ron Paul: The Obama administration gives a tremendous amount of more power to the Federal Reserve, the very institution that created our problem (6/18/09)
Paul attracted just 18 co-sponsors when he authored a similar bill, which died, in 1983. While the impact Fed policies have on inflation is once again a concern, fears about loose monetary policy and excessive federal spending appear even more widespread in 2009.
“In the past, I never got much support, but I think it’s the financial crisis obviously that’s drawing so much attention to it, and people want to know more about the Federal Reserve,” Paul told FOXNews.com.
With the Federal Reserve holding interest rates at rock-bottom levels, pumping trillions into the economy and now poised to have new powers to oversee the financial system under President Obama’s proposed regulatory overhaul, Paul said lawmakers want transparency.
“If they give them a lot more power and there’s no more transparency, that’ll be a disaster,” he said.
Undercover inspectors manage to buy high-grade gear including nuclear triggers and evade export bans
The US is a virtual supermarket for terrorists and foreign governments seeking high-end military technology, including components that can be used to build nuclear weapons and equip militants fighting US and British troops, the American government has found.
Over the past year, government investigators posing as private buyers purchased military-grade body armour, technology to stabilise and steer guided missiles, a device that can be used to detonate nuclear weapons, and other munitions through legal means in the US. They evaded export controls and posted dummy versions of the gear to countries known as trans-shipment points for terrorist groups and foreign governments seeking arms and weapons components.
The investigation shows lax sales restrictions and export controls could allow terrorists and hostile foreign governments to buy equipment to use against US and British troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries, US officials say. Foreign governments and terrorist groups have sought to purchase military technology from the US, according to officials, and in 2008 more than 145 people were charged with violating export control laws, with 43% of those attempting illegally to ship gear to Iran and China.
The private US companies that provided the equipment – in some cases from government surplus – said they were not required to check buyers’ backgrounds or obtain government licences for the sales. The US commerce department found that the companies selling the equipment had not violated any laws or regulations. The problem, investigators said, was that sensitive military equipment barred from export was often legal to sell within the US, with little restriction, and buyers need only establish a plausible front company.
Inquiry cites loss of files and key staff as reason for $69m repair delay
PLANS TO refurbish Trident nuclear weapons had to be put on hold because US scientists forgot how to manufacture a component of the warhead, a US congressional investigation has revealed.
The US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) “lost knowledge” of how to make a mysterious but very hazardous material codenamed Fogbank. As a result, the warhead refurbishment programme was put back by at least a year, and racked up an extra $69 million.
According to some critics, the delay could cause major problems for the UK Trident programme, which is very closely tied to the US programme and uses much of the same technology. The US and the UK are trying to refurbish the ageing W76 warheads that tip Trident missiles in order to prolong their life, and ensure they are safe and reliable. This apparently requires that the Fogbank in the warheads is replaced.
– KBR wins Pentagon contract despite criminal probe of deaths
– Halliburton accused of supplying rotten food to U.S. forces
– KBR, Partner in Iraq Contract Sued in Human Trafficking Case
– US Troops in Iraq talk about Halliburton & KBR (Flashback)
U.S. soldiers secure the area next to a damaged U.S. mine resistant, ambush protected vehicle (MRAP), after a roadside bomb explosion during an operation in the area of Al-leg, some 40 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq. The Army is updating its manual for the electronic battlefield — a move aimed at protecting soldiers against roadside bombs and other nontraditional warfare used by increasingly sophisticated insurgents. (AP)
WASHINGTON – Companies that defrauded the United States and jeopardized American lives received new government work despite rulings designed to stop them from receiving federal contracts, government investigators report.
Payments went to a company whose president tried to sell nuclear bomb parts to North Korea, a company that jeopardized lives on the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, and a seller of body armor that the Air Force said was defective.
The companies were on a government database of 70,000 individuals and businesses suspended or barred by various U.S. agencies from receiving government contract work.
In case you still think that the government is ‘just’ stupid:
Donald Rumsfeld: Pentagon Cannot Account For 2,3 TRILLION Dollars (CBS News)
Nobody can be that stupid.
The government did the same mistake in Iraq before:
“The report is reminiscent of an August 2007 study, also by the GAO, which found the US military could not account for some 190,000 rifles and pistols given to security services in Iraq.”
– Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts On The U.S. Leadership: “They Are Criminals”; The Potential Here Is Far Worse Than The Great Depression
|The Pentagon admits that there are failures tracking weaponry|
The US military has failed to keep track of thousands of weapons shipped to Afghanistan, leaving them vulnerable to being lost or stolen, a report says.
The report has been compiled by congressional auditors, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).
It found that, in the four years up to June 2008, the US military failed to keep complete records on some 222,000 weapons entering the country.
The report will be discussed in the US House of Representatives on Thursday.
It states that weapons supplied by the US to the Afghan military “are at serious risk of theft or loss”.
The report says:
- US military officials failed to keep proper records on about 87,000 rifles, pistols, mortars and other weapons sent to Afghanistan between December 2004 and June 2008 – about a third of all the weapons sent
- There was a similar lack of management of a further 135,000 light weapons donated to Afghan forces via the US military by 21 countries
- The military failed even to record the serial numbers of some 46,000 weapons, making it impossible to confirm receipt of weapons or identify any which had fallen into the hands of militants
- The serial numbers of 41,000 weapons were recorded, but US military officials still had no idea where they were
“Citigroup – which has received $25 billion from the bailout fund, plus $300 billion in government guarantees – has set up 427 tax haven subsidiaries to do business: 91 in Luxembourg, 90 in the Cayman Islands and 35 in the British Virgin Islands. Other havens include Switzerland, Hong Kong, Panama and Mauritius.”
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just issued a report showing that most of the nation’s largest public companies and government contractors rely on offshore subsidiaries to do business and cut their tax bills. Some of these same firms – including big banks and insurers – have already received tens of billions in taxpayer money from the federal bailout fund.
Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, American International Group, American Express have set up hundreds of tax-haven subsidiaries, the report states. All have taken billions from the bailout fund. Pepsi and Caterpillar, both of which have received billions in tax dollars from being major government contractors, also shelter revenue in offshore subsidiaries, The Washington Post says.
WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security will proceed with the first phase of a controversial satellite-surveillance program, even though an independent review found the department hasn’t yet ensured the program will comply with privacy laws.
Congress provided partial funding for the program in a little-debated $634 billion spending measure that will fund the government until early March. For the past year, the Bush administration had been fighting Democratic lawmakers over the spy program, known as the National Applications Office.
Report says most corporations pay no federal income taxes; lawmakers blame loopholes
WASHINGTON (AP) – Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress.
The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.
Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO’s estimate.
The basic infrastructure all of us depend on every day – including aviation, highway, public transit and rail – is falling apart and needs a proper flushing, if we could find a public water system that worked properly.
That pretty much sums up a depressing report issued today by the congressional watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office today on the state of the US infrastructure. Not only are the problems large, but some of the solutions, such as increased taxes, vehicle usage fees, airline passenger levies as well as adding tolls on highways are as controversial and they would be painful.
And then there are the problems. “For example, demand has outpaced the capacity of our nation’s surface transportation and aviation systems, resulting in decreased performance and reliability. Furthermore, as we recently reported, federal surface transportation programs are not effectively addressing key challenges, such as congestion, because the federal goals and roles are unclear, many programs lack links to performance or needs, and the programs often do not employ the best tools and approaches. In addition, water utilities are facing pressure to upgrade the nation’s aging and deteriorating water infrastructure to improve security, serve growing demands, and meet new regulatory requirements.
Given these types of challenges and the federal government’s fiscal outlook, it is clear that the federal government cannot continue with business as usual, ” the GAO said.
Cost Overruns Hit $295 Billion
Government auditors issued a scathing review yesterday of dozens of the Pentagon’s biggest weapons systems, saying ships, aircraft and satellites are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.
The Government Accountability Office found that 95 major systems have exceeded their original budgets by a total of $295 billion, bringing their total cost to $1.6 trillion, and are delivered almost two years late on average. In addition, none of the systems that the GAO looked at had met all of the standards for best management practices during their development stages.
The Navy expects the costs of its first two Littoral Combat Ships to exceed their combined budget of $472 million by more than 100 percent. (Lockheed Martin Via Associated Press)
Auditors said the Defense Department showed few signs of improvement since the GAO began issuing its annual assessments of selected weapons systems six years ago. “It’s not getting any better by any means,” said Michael Sullivan, director of the GAO’s acquisition and sourcing team. “It’s taking longer and costing more.”