The US government has admitted that severe accusations it made against China were just a lot of hot air. The highest-ranking official in the US military has clarified that a Chinese balloon that crossed into US territory in February 2023 was not spying; it was likely blown off course by wind. CBS News published an interview this September with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, who stated, “The intelligence community, their assessment – and it’s a high-confidence assessment – [is] that there was no intelligence collection by that balloon”. Milley conceded that the large rubber object was probably pushed off track by powerful wind.
With nearly 10,000 people expected to take to the streets of New York City on September 17 for the March to End Fossil Fuels, the climate justice movement seems more organized than ever. But, there’s a big elephant in the room, and it has the Pentagon written all over it. The U.S. military is the world’s largest institutional oil consumer. It causes more greenhouse gas emissions than 140 nations combined and accounts for about one-third of America’s total fossil fuel consumption. The Department of Defense (DoD) also uses huge amounts of natural gas and coal, as well as nuclear power plants at its bases around the country.
During a recent discussion with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, touted her organization’s push to guarantee transparency for US taxpayer funds sent to Ukraine. “We are involved in funding efforts at ensuring judicial integrity, which is intrinsically important to building Ukraine’s democracy and its integration plans to get into Europe,” Power declared, adding USAID’s work in Ukraine was “also really important in terms of assuring the taxpayer, the American taxpayer, that they’re resources are well spent.”
Ken Klippenstein, an investigative journalist at The Intercept, has exposed how the Pentagon very quietly launched a new internal division, dubbed the “Influence and Perception Management Office” (IPMO), in March. Its existence is not strictly secret, although there has been no official announcement of its launch, let alone an explanation from Department of Defense (DoD) officials as to its raison d’être or modus operandi. Its budget likewise remains a mystery but purportedly runs into the “multimillions.” Pentagon financial documents from 2022 offer a laconic and largely impenetrable description of IPMO.
Once upon a time getting a college degree meant reading classic literature and philosophy, learning about history and politics, studying mathematics and science, learning new languages, and debating the great issues of the day in student forums. The billionaire class and Pentagon, however, do not want young people to think critically, or to be worldly and idealistic. They want the university to function as a breeding ground for creation of a docile, technically skilled workforce that they can control, and as a laboratory for the development of new weapons systems and testing ground for those weapons that can help them dominate the world.
Prepare yourself for a journey down a bizarre rabbit hole, by following the money trail between the Seneca Nation of Indians (SNI) and the United States Department of Defense/Intelligence Agencies. When a government investigator saw what you are about to read, he looked over at his partner and exclaimed “Why the Hell is an Indian Nation providing services to Defense contractors?!” According to their own websites, SNI was “Once a member of the Hodinöhsö:ni´ Confederacy,” meaning SNI is no longer a member of the Six Nations. In fact, they have not been part of the Confederacy since 1848. There is a difference between SNI, a corporation registered under State of New York law, and the Tonawanda Band Senecas, who remain traditional (and unruled by SNI).
The New York Times has reported “a significant breach of American intelligence in the effort to aid Ukraine” through the leak of classified documents which have been shared on social media. It correspondents cited “senior Biden administration officials” who apparently tipped the outlet off to the story. Documents circulating on Telegram which closely resemble those referred to by the Times are reproduced at the end of this article. The Times writes, “Military analysts said the documents appear to have been modified in certain parts from their original format, overstating American estimates of Ukrainian war dead and understating estimates of Russian troops killed.
RAND Corp is a government and industry financed large research institute. Founded shortly after the end of the second world war it mostly works for the Pentagon by developing policies and strategies. In April 2019 RAND published a report about Extending Russia. The report summary explained its purpose: As the 2018 National Defense Strategy recognized, the United States is currently locked in a great-power competition with Russia. This report seeks to define areas where the United States can compete to its own advantage. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from Western and Russian sources, this report examines Russia's economic, political, and military vulnerabilities and anxieties. It then analyzes potential policy options to exploit them — ideologically, economically, geopolitically, and militarily (including air and space, maritime, land, and multidomain options). RAND developed policy options in those four fields. It then evaluated their benefit, cost and risks as well as their likelihood of success.
The State Department on Wednesday approved a potential $180 million arms sale for Taiwan amid heightened tensions with China over US support for the island. The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the deal was for vehicle-launched Volcano anti-tank munition-laying systems and related equipment. The primary contractors for the deal are Northrop Grumman and Oshkosh Corporation. The State Department’s approval notifies Congress of the potential deal and begins a period during which lawmakers could attempt to block the sale. But the sale shouldn’t have any issues as there is virtually no opposition to arming Taiwan in Congress. The potential sale comes after President Biden signed the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes $10 billion in loans for Taiwan to buy US-made arms that will be disbursed over five years.
The Pentagon – the U.S. “Defense” Department – was just audited for the fifth time. And they just announced they failed for the fifth time. If that’s not accountability, I don’t know what is! When I say they “failed” their audit, I don’t mean they put a 9 instead of a 7 on one of the balance sheets, causing two soldiers to get accidentally left in Antarctica freezing their asses off. I mean, they really failed their audit. As The Hill put it, “The Defense Department has failed its fifth-ever audit, unable to account for more than half of its assets, but the—” Hold up. Hold up. Did ya catch that? They can’t account for over half their assets! This is the largest murder machine on the planet – nearly a trillion dollars spent every year – and they don’t know where half their shit is?! How is this not criminal?
Last week, the Department of Defense revealed that it had failed its fifth consecutive audit. “I would not say that we flunked,” said DoD Comptroller Mike McCord, although his office did note that the Pentagon only managed to account for 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets. “The process is important for us to do, and it is making us get better. It is not making us get better as fast as we want.” The news came as no surprise to Pentagon watchers. After all, the U.S. military has the distinction of being the only U.S. government agency to have never passed a comprehensive audit. But what did raise some eyebrows was the fact that DoD made almost no progress in this year’s bookkeeping: Of the 27 areas investigated, only seven earned a clean bill of financial health, which McCord described as “basically the same picture as last year.”
The Pentagon on Thursday released its 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS), which names China as the “most comprehensive and serious challenge to US national security strategy” even as the US is spending tens of billions on a proxy war with Russia. The NDS was first briefed to Congress back in March, and a short summary was released that said China was the top “threat” facing the US. The strategy names Russia as an “acute threat” but not as serious in the long term as China. “Unlike China, Russia can’t systemically challenge the United States over the long term. But Russian aggression does pose an immediate and sharp threat to our interests and values,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters. The strategy said China and Russia pose a greater threat to the US homeland than any terrorist groups.
A United States military whistleblower filed a series of complaints alleging the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is engaged in the warrantless purchase and use of Americans’ internet browsing data, which it obtained from a broker. “According to the whistleblower, NCIS is purchasing access to data, which includes netflow records and some communications content from Team Cymru,” Senator Ron Wyden shared in a letter to the offices of the inspector general for the Pentagon, Justice Department, and Homeland Security Department. The warrantless purchase of Americans’ data is not limited to the NCIS. Wyden’s office examined public contracting records and found Team Cymru was awarded data brokering contracts with US Cyber Command, the US Army, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the US Secret Service.