Admiral Charged In Fat Leonard Navy Bribery Case

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

Admiral Charged in Fat Leonard Navy Bribery Case

The Justice Department has charged an admiral and eight other current and former Navy officials with corruption for allegedly taking bribes from a Singapore-based defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” in exchange for classified and internal Navy information.

Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, several Navy captains, a retired Marine colonel and an enlisted sailor are accused of accepting Cuban cigars, prostitutes and free hotel rooms from Leonard Glenn Francis, who also allegedly threw sex parties for U.S. sailors. The behavior described in the charges allegedly occurred between 2006 and 2014.

Francis, the former CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Navy of millions of dollars. The information he received from Navy officials allowed him to overcharge the government by $20 million.

“This is a fleecing and betrayal of the United States Navy in epic proportions, and it was allegedly carried out by the Navy’s highest-ranking officers,” said Alana Robinson, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California. “The alleged conduct amounts to a staggering degree of corruption by the most prominent leaders of the Seventh Fleet – the largest fleet in the U.S. Navy — actively worked together as a team to trade secrets for sex, serving the interests of a greedy foreign defense contractor, and not those of their own country.”

Eleven other Navy officials, including another admiral, have already been charged in the fraud and bribery investigation.

 

Image: Bruce Loveless
Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless poses in this undated photo. U.S. Navy

Trump Has Already Betrayed The Working Class: He Has Proven He Is A Fraud And A Con

(This Article Is Courtesy Of The Huffington Post)

Trump Has Already Betrayed The Working Class

Donald Trump has betrayed the American working class. He is a fraud and a con.

12/08/2016 01:58 pm ET | Updated 1 hour ago

DREW ANGERER VIA GETTY IMAGES

They voted for him in droves. In a remarkable political shift, the white working class who have seen their wages decline over decades thanks to shameless pandering to Wall Street and big business by both political parties, finally gave up on the Democrats and threw their lot in with billionaire businessman Donald Trump.

Some have tried to argue that the switch didn’t really have to do with economics but the numbers say otherwise. According to CNN exit polling, voters earning under $30K shifted towards Trump by 16 percent. Trump won 79 percent of those who said the economy was poor. Even Trump’s embrace of white nationalism is after all a form of economic protectionism. If you feel there’s a limited pie, then you’ve got a better shot at your slice if you don’t have to compete against those “other” people. With his pick for Labor Secretary though Trump revealed exactly what kind of President he’s going to be for those who had any doubts. Trump is not going to save the working class, he’s going to destroy it.

Meet your next Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder. He is the CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. He thinks to Make America Great Again, we need to pay workers less or ideally, give their jobs to robots. I’m not kidding. In an interview with Business Insider, Puzder explained that he thought getting the workers out of the restaurant biz would be a great thing because robots are:  “…always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

Oh human beings and their unreasonable desire to earn enough to live AND not be discriminated against. It’s all so inconvenient for corporate CEO’s like Puzder. We should just relegate these service jobs to the dustbin of history the way we already did with so-called “old economy” jobs. You know, the kind that actually allowed you to eat, buy a house, and pay the bills all at the same time. #MAGA.

By choosing Puzder for Labor Secretary, Trump has thrown his lot in with those who view workers as commodities to be used and discarded when they are inconvenient

 Now virtually no one aspires to a fast food job. Folks like Puzder who want to keep wages at their current level of roughly $18K per year like to pretend fast food jobs are just starter jobs for teenagers. I mean, these aren’t the sort of jobs that you are expected to raise a family on, right? Well, this is as much of a fantasy as the idea that Trump is a working class hero. Seventy percent of fast food workers are older than 20. The average age of a fast food worker is 29.

The reason for this is simple: low-paying service jobs are what our economy creates now even as middle class jobs decline. A majority of jobs lost during the Great Recession were middle-income jobs. A majority of those gained were low wage. Food service prep, cashier, and sales clerk are the three most common jobs in the country employing some 10 million plus American workers. If you automate those three jobs, what will replace them? Low-paying service work may not be ideal but it beats the heck out of no jobs at all. People who view the loss of these 10 million jobs as a great thing are the same type of people who drive through the derisively named “Rust Belt” and see “creative destruction” and “progress” instead of destroyed communities and destroyed lives.

Lest you think Puzder’s worker contempt is out of step with Trump’s supposed populism, Trump himself begs to differ. In a typically whiny and petty reaction to criticism, Trump tweeted this week that Carrier’s union workers themselves were responsible for the company deciding to ship jobs overseas.

He tweeted: “If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues.” Puzder shares Trump’s “blame the worker” mentality and has no sympathy for workers seeking to earn a higher wage. Speaking with Business Insider, he blamed his own push towards automation on wage growth.  In Puzder’s world, it’s not his fault if Hardee’s workers are replaced with robots even though as CEO of the company he is in fact the one making exactly that decision.

Of course, Trump’s working class hero schtick was always a complete sham.

 The fault really lies with all of those high on the hog living workers with their $18K per year incomes and the advocates who would outrageously push to make those wages higher. You will not be surprised to learn then that one of Puzder’s favorite pastimes is penning Wall Street Journal op-eds on why lifting the minimum wage would just be dreadful. Typical line: “Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?” Exactly. So why not get rid of the minimum wage altogether and pay Sally the 50 cents per hour that you apparently think she’s worth?

I’ll tell you why. Because once long ago, we decided as a nation that we valued our workers.  We believed that we would all prosper if American workers earned enough to buy the goods and services they produce. We decided that workers shouldn’t toil for 40 hours a week and still live in poverty. Visionaries like Henry Ford understood this, and FDR, and the labor leaders who fought to birth the great American middle class which used to be the envy of the world. You want to make America great again? Try connecting with that American past.

By choosing Puzder for Labor Secretary, Trump has thrown his lot in with those who view workers as commodities to be used and discarded when they are inconvenient or when those workers become a penny more costly than a touch screen computer. He has thrown his lot in with those who view a future of endless Gilded Age inequality as inevitable. By choosing Andy Puzder as Labor Secretary, Donald Trump has betrayed the American working class. He is a fraud and a con.

Of course, Trump’s working class hero schtick was always a complete sham. The man rails against companies shipping jobs overseas while he makes his own schlocky crap in Mexico and Bangladesh for God’s sake. He stiffs contractors. He buys his steel from China. He illegally busts unions at his gaudy casinos! It is time for those of us who actually care about workers and see them as human beings rather than an expense item on the balance sheet, to stop licking our wounds and start fighting for those who will suffer the most under President Trump.

Two Ex-Aides Of Governor Chris Christie Found Guilty Of Conspiracy And Wire Fraud

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

BREAKING NEWS
Two ex-aides to Gov. Chris Christie were found guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud in the George Washington Bridge scheme

Friday, November 4, 2016 11:35 AM EDT

A federal jury convicted two former aides to Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey over a bizarre scheme to close access lanes to the George Washington Bridge as punishment of a mayor for declining to endorse the governor’s re-election.
The two defendants, Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, were each charged with seven counts of conspiracy and wire fraud.

Kremlin Emails Hacked Prove President Putin Is A Liar, A Fraud And A Mass Murderer!

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

UKRAINE CRISIS
OCT 27 2016, 6:00 PM ET

Payback? Russia Gets Hacked, Revealing Putin Aide’s Secrets

Karma, it turns out, is a borscht.

A Ukrainian group calling itself Cyber Hunta has released more than a gigabyte of emails and other material from the office of one of Vladimir Putin’s top aides, Vladislav Surkov, that show Russia’s fingerprints all over the separatist movement in the Ukraine.

While the Kremlin has denied the relationship between Moscow and the separatists, the emails show in great detail how Russia controlled virtually every detail of the separatist effort in the Russian-speaking regions of the Ukraine, which has torn Ukraine apart and led to a Russian takeover of Crimea.

And unlike the reported Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee, the Ukrainian hack reached deep into the office of the Russian president.

“This is a serious hack,” said Maks Czuperski, head of the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council (DFRL), which has searched through the email dump and placed selected emails on-line.

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Flight MH-17 Shot Down by Russian Missile, Investigation Finds

“We have seen so much happen to the United States, other countries at the hands of Russia,” said Czuperski. “Not so much to Russia. It was only a question of time that some of the anonymous guys like Cyber Hunta would come to strike them back.”

A senior U.S. intelligence official said the U.S. “had no role” in the hack.

Surkov has been a close aide to Putin for more than a decade, serving as both deputy prime minister and Putin’s deputy chief of staff. The hacked emails date from 2014, a period during which Surkov was called the “gray cardinal” of the Kremlin, Putin’s behind-the-scenes aide responsible for managing Russia’s most crucial operations. He guided separatists not just in Ukraine, but in breakaway “republics” in Georgia as well.

It’s as if the Russians were able to hack the email of Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security director and close aide to President Obama.

Specifically, the anonymous Ukrainian hackers were able to download the Outlook email accounts of Surkov’s assistants, including a “Masha” and a Yevgenia,” according to the DFRL. Surkov himself apparently doesn’t use email. The files included “the inbox, outbox, drafts, deleted email, spam, etc.,” said Czuperski, noting 2,337 messages in total were dumped.

Emails from the Outlook accounts of Surkov’s assistants Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council

A senior U.S. official, asked if the material was authentic, told NBC News that there was “nothing to indicate otherwise.”

Hidden in the one gigabyte file are a variety of materials that provided evidence of Russian involvement at the highest levels in the war in the eastern Ukraine, which has taken the lives of 10,000 people, including the 298 passengers and crew of Malaysian Flight 17, shot down by a separatist missile in July 2014 over Ukraine.

There is a list of casualties in the Donbass region of Ukraine sent from a high-ranking separatist official, and a list of candidates for office in a sham election. One email notes that the individuals with asterisks next to their name were “checked by us” and are “especially recommended.” Days later, those same names were announced as having been “elected.”

There are expense reports and a proposal for a government press office in Donetsk, scene of some of the fiercest fighting — a three-person operation for separatist propaganda , with an editor, reporter and webmaster.

One U.S. official told NBC News that the material confirms much of what the U.S. believed was going on at the time, that the Kremlin was running the separatists at a micro-level. In fact, the official noted that Surkov’s name was the first on a list of Russians and Ukrainians placed under executive sanctions by President Obama in March 2014, citing his role in the separatist movement. The action froze his U.S. assets in the United States and banned him from entering the country. Similar sanctions were imposed by the European Union.

CIA planning cyber attack against Putin and Russian officials, NBC News reports 0:29

Czuperski said he believed that since Russian authorities realized they were dealing with a violation of international law, they wanted to keep the details in their emails close-hold. He said that while he believes there is likely more hacked material, and that it may prove politically sensitive, he doesn’t know that for sure, or whether “Cyber Hunta,” like WikiLeaks, will continually dump material.

“It’s all time and probability — how much effort you put in and how much effort the adversary puts in,” he said.

Bill And Hillary Clinton, President And Secretary Of For-Profit Scammers Of Non-Profit’s

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME) (How else could the Clinton’s go from a net worth of under 1 million dollars when Bill left office to over 300 million dollars by the time Hillary did 4 years as Secretary of State? I’m just saying…)(TRS)

A 2011 memo made public Wednesday by Wikileaks revealed new details of how former President Bill Clinton made tens of millions of dollars for himself and his wife, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, through an opaque, ethically messy amalgam of philanthropic, business and personal activities.

The memo was written by Bill Clinton’s longtime aide, Doug Band, and is among tens of thousands of emails apparently stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta, in what U.S. officials believe is part of a massive Russian-backed attempt to disrupt the U.S. election.

The Band memo came in response to an investigation undertaken by a law firm, Simpson Thatcher, into the activities of the Clinton Foundation at the behest of its board. The board was concerned that some of the activities undertaken by Band and others on behalf of the President could threaten the Foundation’s IRS status as a charity, according to Band’s memo. Chelsea Clinton had also reported concerns to Podesta and other Clinton adviser’s that Band and his recently launched consulting firm, Teneo, were using her father’s name without his knowledge to contact British lawmakers for clients, including Dow Chemical.

Clinton Defends Emails At Reporters Conference
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton spoke at a convention of black and Hispanic journalists in Washington Friday, answering several questions afterward.
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In the 12-page memo, Band describes how he and several colleagues spent much of the years after Bill Clinton’s presidency working to fund the Clinton Foundation, which has raised nearly $2 billion from individuals, corporations and governments for charities focusing on climate change, economic development, health, women and girls issues and other causes. Band claims in the memo that from 2006 to 2011, he and a colleague, Justin Cooper, raised $46 million for the Foundation through the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual networking conference that is one of the Foundation’s big sources of income.

But the Foundation work was just a part of what Bill Clinton did during his wife’s time as a Senator and Secretary of State, and it wasn’t always clear where the former president’s non-profit activities ended and his for-profit ones began. Five months before he wrote the memo, Band joined forces with a recently retired State Department envoy, Declan Kelly, to form Teneo, which Band said provided merchant and investment banking services, corporate restructuring, public relations and communications services and strategic advising services to 20 clients, including Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, UBS, Barclays and BHP Billiton, among others. Over that period, Band says in the memo, Teneo raised $8 million for the Clinton Foundation.

And Band was also organizing personal income directly for Clinton. Under the heading, “For-Profit Activity of President Clinton (i.e. Bill Clinton, Inc.),” Band wrote, “We have dedicated our selves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities—including speeches, books, and advisory service engagements… In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family—for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like. Neither Justin nor I are separately compensated for these activities (e.g., we do not receive a fee for, or percentage of, the more than $50 million in for-profit activity we have personally helped to secure for President Clinton to date or the $66 million in future contracts, should he choose to continue with those engagements).”

Band mentions four such “arrangements” without naming them. Bill Clinton was paid nearly $18 million to be “honorary chancellor” of a for-profit college, Laureate International Universities, according to reports and the family’s tax returns. A Dubai-based firm, GEMS Education, paid Bill Clinton more than $560,000 in 2015, according to the tax returns. Band also lists a variety of speaking fees, previously disclosed by the Clinton’s, including hundreds of thousands of dollars each from UBS, Ericsson, BHP and Barclays. In 2011 alone, according to the Clinton’s tax returns, Bill Clinton earned $13,454,000 in speaking fees.

No evidence has been found to support allegations of a quid pro quo of official acts by Hillary Clinton as senator or Secretary of State in exchange for the money received by the Clinton’s or the Clinton Foundation. However the messiness and opacity of the relationship between Clinton’s personal, business and philanthropic undertakings detailed in the memo raises new questions about Bill Clinton’s activity. In the email to which Band’s draft memo was attached, Band tells Podesta he has removed the “lasry section all together.” Marc Lasry is a hedge fund manager and Clinton donor who funded an unsuccessful investment vehicle launched by Chelsea Clinton’s husband Marc Mezvinsky.

Other questions arise in the penultimate paragraph of the memo, entitled “Other Matters.” Without providing details, Band writes that since the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency he and Cooper had served as the primary contact and point of management for President Clinton’s activities, including political, business and Foundation matters, speeches, books, and family/personal needs, including “securing in-kind private airplane travel, in-kind vacation stays, and supporting family business and personal needs.”

Calls and emails to Band, Teneo and the Clinton Foundation were not immediately returned. The Hillary Clinton campaign declined to confirm that the memo, or other emails released by Wikileaks, are in fact un-doctored documents stolen from Podesta’s personal email account. However a campaign spokesperson, Glen Caplin, tweeted on Wednesday that Wikileaks was advancing a “clear political agenda” by “dribbling out” Podesta’s emails. “If Podesta dump was about high-minded transparency @wikileaks would release all at once,” Carlin tweeted.

Podesta has said he is cooperating with the FBI in an investigation of the hack. The Clinton Foundation has said it will stop accepting foreign and corporate donations if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

Hillary Caught Lying About Emails To/From Director Of CIA And Secretary Of Defense!

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE INDEPENDENT JOURNAL REVIEW)

FBI Files Show a Whopping Number of Clinton-Petraeus Emails Missing From Records Hillary Sent to State Department (HILLARY FOR FEDERAL PRISON IN 2016! SHE IS NOT ONLY THE QUEEN OF HABITUAL LIARS AND A TOTAL FRAUD, SHE IS GUILTY OF MASS TREASON WHICH HAS CAUSED THE DEATHS OF MANY AMERICANS AND OUR ALLIES. YET, THESE FACTS DO NOT MATTER TO THE KINGS AND QUEENS OF THE AMERICAN MEDIA OUTLETS!) (TRS)

petraeus/hillary

Getty – Riccardo Savi, Ramin Talaie

According to newly released FBI investigative files, more than 1,000 emails between Hillary Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus were not among the 30,000 emails provided by the Clinton camp to the State Department at the department’s request in 2014.

moreover, as reported by Fox News Chief Intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge, Clinton directed Petraeus to correspond with her via her personal email address — the same address she used for government business during her tenure as Secretary of State.

As reported by Fox News Politics, a State Department employee discussed with the FBI how emails between Clinton and Petraeus were not among those provided to the bureau.

“CENTCOM records shows approximately 1,000 work-related emails between Clinton’s personal email and General David PETRAEUS, former Commander of CENTCOM and former Director of the CIA,” said the employee, whose name is redacted, according to the summary.

“Most of those 1,000 emails were not believed to be included in the 30,000 emails that IPS was reviewing. Out of the 30,000 emails, IPS only had a few emails from or related to PETRAEUS as well as a few related to Leon PANETTA, former Secretary of Defense.”

Clinton has claimed that she turned over all work-related emails to the State Department.

August 2015, Clinton declares “under penalty of perjury” that she turned over all work-related emails. .https://twitter.com/freddoso/status/779873999945805825 

That declaration has proved to be patently false on numerous occasions.

Image Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Image Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Petraeus pleaded guilty to mishandling classified material in April, 2015 and was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine as part of a plea agreement.

The former CIA director and highly decorated four-star general admitted to sharing classified information with his biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell. He avoided jail time because the information was never published nor released to the public.

Speaking of “released to the public,” emails recovered by the FBI and released last week appear to contradict Clinton’s recent sworn testimony about her private server.

Not Just The VA That Is A Fraud Against Combat Veterans: Its The DOD, Army Also?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS AND THE LOS ANGELES TIMES)

AMERICA

U.S. Soldiers Told To Repay Thousands In Signing Bonuses From Height Of War Effort

The Pentagon is seeking millions of dollars from nearly 10,000 current or former soldiers in the California National Guard, saying they didn’t deserve re-enlistment bonuses. Here, soldiers from the state’s Guard force are seen in 2010, resting during transport in northeastern Afghanistan.

Brennan Linsley/AP

In most cases, when an employer pays a signing bonus to attract new workers, that payment is understood to be essentially unrecoverable. But the Pentagon has a different understanding — and it’s ordering the California National Guard to claw back thousands of dollars paid to soldiers who reenlist to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And in many cases, an employer would also have a tough time arguing that decade-old lapses in its own oversight should trigger wage garnishment’s and tax liens against its workers. But again, this is the U.S. military, and its officials say the law requires them to reclaim the over payments.

That’s the gist of a report by The Los Angeles Times, which says nearly 10,000 soldiers are now scrambling to pay back signing bonuses that helped the Pentagon cope with the task of using an all-volunteer service to fight two prolonged international conflicts.

In addition to doling out cash for re-enlistment, the Pentagon offered student loan repayments. The incentives were seen as crucial to the military’s effort to keep its ranks flush, but auditors say that the rules should have limited the largest payments to certain skill areas — and that in the rush to staff the war effort, the bonuses were given out too liberally, the L.A. Times reports.

Responding to the newspaper’s story Sunday, the California National Guard points out that the repayments are part of a federal program run by the National Guard Bureau and the Department of the Army.

The state military service says:

“The California National Guard does not have the authority to unilaterally waive these debts. However, the California National Guard welcomes any law passed by Congress to waive these debts.

“Until that time, our priority is to advocate for our Soldiers through this difficult process.”

In its statement, the service adds that its adjutant-general, Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, created an assistance center that has helped some of its soldiers “retain $37 million dollars of original bonus payments.”

The problem of improper use of military troop-level incentives isn’t limited to California — but the state has emerged as a focal point because of two factors: the large size of its Guard force, and a history of over payments.

A scandal over the California Guard’s use of bonus money was first unearthed in 2010, when the Sacramento Bee reported that its incentive program had misspent as much as $100 million. The program’s one-time leader, former master sergeant Toni Jaffe, was later sentenced to 30 months in prison, after pleading guilty to making $15 million in false claims.

When it was first discovered, that scandal was deemed “war profiteering” and was said to have benefited Guard members who hadn’t logged any combat duty; high-ranking officers were mentioned. But in the years since, lower-ranking service members have complained about garnished checks and a prolonged review process, saying they’ve done nothing wrong.

With the work of 42 auditors who reviewed the California cases now complete, the repayments are back in the spotlight — and service members and veterans, as well as members of the public, have been venting their anger.

On the California Guard’s Facebook page, several people hijacked a post about training to comment on the bonus repayments, with one man writing, “The officials who screwed over our service members need to do the right thing and pay back the money. DISGUSTING.”

And after the Guard responded to the Times story today, a commentor criticized its stance, writing, “Meanwhile vets are suffering while one bureaucracy waits to ‘welcome’ another bureaucracy to take responsibility and force it to do the right thing. Pathetic.”

Revelations about fraud and mismanagement in the Pentagon’s retention program emerged after the program’s budget swelled between 2000 and 2008 — when the Defense Department went from spending $891 million for selective re-enlistment bonuses to spending $1.4 billion on them, according to a 2010 research paper by the RAND defense institute. By the end of that period, the military was also spending $625 million yearly to pay enlistment bonuses.

It’s not unusual for signing bonuses to have strings attached. But in the civilian world, conditions for repayment are often limited to cases where an employee spends less than a year in their new job. In the case of the California National Guard, soldiers who say they held up their end of the contract — serving the required three or six-year re-enlistment period — are being told to repay a key incentive.

One of them is Robert Richmond, who has begun an online petition that calls for the Army to “stop stealing back signing bonuses 10 years later.”

Richmond says he signed the contract in good faith, and in his petition, he describes a scenario that’s reminiscent of the recent Wells Fargo cross-selling scandal, saying that a lower-ranking figure has been punished for committing fraud that was motivated at least in part by a need to meet targets set by her superiors.

Richmond also appears in the L.A. Times story; here’s a sample from his petition:

“Like many other soldiers, I honorably completed my contract in 2012 and two years later they sent me a letter stating I had to pay the money back. Each contract has a different excuse. They stated the reason I was not eligible for the contract was because I had over 20 years of service at the time. I had originally signed up more than 20 years prior, but had breaks in service and only had 15 credible years of service, not 20. Although at the time, they informed me I was eligible for a bonus, now they are saying I was not.”

Like other veterans who are refusing to pay up, Richmond is now incurring interest on the repayment amount.

In its General Rules about the recovery of pay and bonuses, the Department of Defense states, “As a general rule, repayment will not be sought if the member’s inability to fulfill the eligibility requirements is due to circumstances determined reasonably beyond the member’s control.”

But after dozens of auditors reviewed its system that had paid soldiers bonuses without determining their eligibility, the California National Guard’s veterans started getting repayment notices.

“People like me just got screwed,” a 42-year-old veteran tells the Times.

That veteran, former Army captain Christopher Van Meter, fought in Iraq. He tells the newspaper he refinanced his mortgage to repay $25,000 in re-enlistment bonuses and $21,000 in student loan repayments.

Another veteran — former Army master sergeant Susan Haley, who served in Afghanistan and spent more than 25 years in the service — tells the newspaper that she’s now sending the Pentagon $650 each month to repay $20,500 in bonuses.

“I feel totally betrayed,” Haley says.

To put those dollar figures in perspective, we can look at the Army’s payment and retention policy — specifically, a summary of its Selective re-enlistment Bonus program that was laid out early in 2006:

“The objective of the SRB program is to increase the number of re-enlistment in critical MOS’s [Military Occupational Specialty] that do not have adequate retention levels to man the career force. Although Department of Defense policy permits SRB payments of up to $45,000.00, soldiers may be paid bonuses up to six times their monthly basic pay at discharge, times the number of years of additional obligated service, or $20,000.00, whichever is less.”

While some veterans are working to repay the money, others are filing appeals, engaging in what’s likely to be a prolonged fight against the service to which they once belonged. California Guard officials tell the Times that they’ve been helping veterans through the appeals process.

“We’d be more than happy to absolve these people of their debts,” Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, deputy commander of the California Guard, tells the Times. “We just can’t do it. We’d be breaking the law.”

One of the earliest reviews of the Army’s post-Iraq invasion bonus system came in 2007, when the Defense Department’s Inspector General examined the program called the re-enlistment, Reclassification, and Assignment System (RETAIN) . But at the time, the central issue wasn’t whether too much money was being paid, but rather whether the service was paying out bonuses quickly enough.

Should FBI Director James Comey Be Indited For Fraud Because Of His Clinton “Investigation?”

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK POST)

 (SHOULD BOTH THE DIRECTOR OF THE FBI AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BE INVESTIGATED FOR ILLEGAL ACTIONS CONCERNING THE “COZY” INVESTIGATIONS INTO HILLARY AND BILL CLINTON?)

FBI agents are ready to revolt over the cozy Clinton probe

Veteran FBI agents say FBI Director James Comey has permanently damaged the bureau’s reputation for uncompromising investigations with his “cowardly” whitewash of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information using an unauthorized private email server.

Feeling the heat from congressional critics, Comey last week argued that the case was investigated by career FBI agents, “So if I blew it, they blew it, too.”

But agents say Comey tied investigators’ hands by agreeing to unheard-of ground rules and other demands by the lawyers for Clinton and her aides that limited their investigation.

“In my 25 years with the bureau, I never had any ground rules in my interviews,” said retired agent Dennis V. Hughes, the first chief of the FBI’s computer investigations unit.

Instead of going to prosecutors and insisting on using grand jury leverage to compel testimony and seize evidence, Comey allowed immunity for several key witnesses, including potential targets.

The immunity agreements came with outrageous side deals, including preventing agents from searching for any documents on a Dell laptop owned by former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills generated after Jan. 31, 2015, when she communicated with the server administrator who destroyed subpoenaed emails.

Comey also agreed to have Mills’ laptop destroyed after the restricted search, denying Congress the chance to look at it and making the FBI an accomplice to the destruction of evidence.

Comey’s immunized witnesses nonetheless suffered chronic lapses in memory, made unsubstantiated claims of attorney-client privilege upon tougher questioning and at least two gave demonstrably false statements. And yet Comey indulged it all.

What’s more, Comey cut a deal to give Clinton a “voluntary” witness interview on a major holiday, and even let her ex-chief of staff sit in on the interview as a lawyer, even though she, too, was under investigation.

Clinton’s interview, the culmination of a yearlong investigation, lasted just 3½ hours. Despite some 40 bouts of amnesia, she wasn’t called back for questioning; and three days later, Comey cleared her of criminal wrongdoing.

“The FBI has politicized itself, and its reputation will suffer for a long time,” Hughes said. “I hold Director Comey responsible.”

Agreed retired FBI agent Michael M. Biasello: “Comey has singlehandedly ruined the reputation of the organization.”

The accommodations afforded Clinton and her aides are “unprecedented,” Biasello added, “which is another way of saying this outcome was by design.” He called Comey’s decision not to seek charges “cowardly.”

“Each month for 27 years, I received oral and computer admonishment concerning the proper protocol for handling top-secret and other classified material, and was informed of the harsh penalties, to include prosecution and incarceration,” for mishandling such material, he pointed out. “Had myself or my colleagues engaged in behavior of the magnitude of Hillary Clinton, as described by Comey, we would be serving time in Leavenworth.”

Former FBI official I.C. Smith knows a thing or two about Clinton corruption. After working at FBI headquarters as a section chief in the National Security Division, he retired as special agent in charge of the Little Rock, Ark., field office, where he investigated top Clinton fundraisers for public corruption and even Chinese espionage.

“FBI agents upset with Comey’s decision have every reason to feel that way,” Smith said. “Clearly there was a different standard applied to Clinton.”

“I have no doubt resourceful prosecutors and FBI agents could have come up with some charge that she would have been subject to prosecution,” the 25-year veteran added. “What she did is absolutely abhorrent for anyone who has access to classified information.”

Smith said Congress should subpoena the case’s agents to testify about the direction they received from Comey and their supervisors: “It would be interesting to see what the results would be if those involved with the investigation were questioned under oath.”

Comey made the 25 agents who worked on the case sign nondisclosure agreements. But others say morale has sunk inside the bureau.

“The director is giving the bureau a bad rap with all the gaps in the investigation,” one agent in the Washington field office said. “There’s a perception that the FBI has been politicized and let down the country.”

Comey has turned a once-proud institution known for its independence into one that bows to election pressure, hands out political immunity to candidates and effectively pardons their co-conspirators. He’s turned the FBI into the Federal Bureau of Immunity and lost the trust and respect of not only his agents but the country at large. He ought to step down.

 Paul Sperry, formerly Washington bureau chief for Investor’s Business Daily, is the author of “Infiltration.”
FILED UNDER OMEY

How Childish, Immature And Undeserving Of Any Office Is Governor Chris Christie Is?

(This article is courtesy of the New York Times)

Photo

Traffic approaching the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J., this month. The opening arguments started on Monday in the trial that stemmed from the closing of access lanes to the bridge in 2013.Credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey knew that his close associates were involved in a plan to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as it was happening and that the closings were intended to punish a local mayor for declining to support him, prosecutors said on Monday.

It was the first time Mr. Christie, a Republican, has been accused of knowing about the scheme as it unfolded.

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Gov. Chris Christie Credit Mel Evans/Associated Press

The prosecutors made the assertion during opening statements in the trial of two former Christie administration officials charged with closing the lanes in 2013 and then covering it up.

Mr. Christie has insisted that he had no knowledge of the plot to close the lanes, and said that he did not recall being told about the closings while they were happening.

Defense lawyers have also said that Mr. Christie knew. But the statement on Monday was striking in that it was prosecutors confirming that assertion.

Continue reading the main story

Is China’s Economic Policy A Copy Of Wal-Mart’s Economic Policy?

 

When I was in college a decade ago I learned that in the U.S. that Wal-Mart, (Sam’s Club) (Lowe’s) (Walton family) had one dollar out of every nine dollars going through their hands each year according to the GDP. This is great if you are a person that holds a whole bunch of Wal-Mart stock, or is it? That would depend on if you are a person who loves this country, or if you are a person whom does not. I learned back in the mid and late 1980’s that the Wal-Mart slogan of them only selling American made products was a total lie. Back then I drove a truck for a living and when trucks going into the docks of North New Jersey to pick up loads going to Wal-Mart Distribution Centers it was a normal thing that the material we were to pick up would be staged on the docks waiting to be put onto the trailers yet we would have to wait for several hours to get it loaded. The reason was that the dock employees first had to remove all of the stickers saying where the products originated, like China, and then put on stickers saying “made in the U.S.A..” In my opinion Wal-Mart grew the way it did through lies, deceptive marketing, and fraud.

 

I really liked radio commentator Paul Harvey a lot, I really liked listening to his stories, the only trouble I had with him was that he was very naive. He used to talk about how we couldn’t have a better neighbor than when your community got a Wal-Mart store in their town. We the people and the small business people of these towns knew better. When a Wal-Mart store moved into a town pretty much all of the small store and all of the ‘Mom and Pop’ store quickly got put out of business. When this happened then the town’s people pretty much ended up having to shop at that Wal-Mart store or travel long distances to places that didn’t yet have one. Do you remember how it used to be a normal thing for a new Wal-Mart store to be built across the street from a K-Mart store and how then most of those K-Mart stores went out of business? Wal-Mart did finally quit the lies about only buying made in America products as we the people learned that we were buying items laced with poisons, they didn’t have American companies to blame it on, they had to come clean to the public about where the products really came from. In most cases it was coming from China. This poison was in may things, like baby food, pet food, and the pain on children’s toys. Many other U.S. companies are guilty of these actions as it is they whom closed their factories here in the States and Canada so that they could reap higher profit margins by using the much cheaper labor markets in Asian countries like China. If you noticed when a company moved their factories to a cheap labor market when those products showed up on store shelves here in America the prices did not go down for the consumers. The game is all about profit margins.

 

As companies here in North America put our workers on the unemployment lines destroying our own country, China started to boom. Wal-Mart had multiple half a billion dollar cargo ships (made in China) built that are too large to go through either the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal. These ships were built to sail from China to the west coast ports of North America. For Wal-Mart it is a win-win situation as they do not have to pay other companies to haul their freight for them. Just like they are phasing out their own truck drivers and started contracts with the lowest bidders, it is about maximum profits, period. Folks, when we buy products that are made in China we are putting money into the Chinese coffers and raising our dept to them. How much longer will it be until the Chinese Government calls in the loan on the 13 trillion dollars we owe them? How much longer will the dollar be the world standard-bearer? How much longer until the world currency is China’s Yuan (Renminbi (RMB))? Have you ever went around your local stores and checked where the products were made? Is it any wonder that now the U.S.Congress is trying to pass a bill making it where the people aren’t even allowed to know where the meat they buy comes from? Wal-Mart years ago got rid of the grocery packers forcing the customers to load their own groceries. Then they started putting in self checkout isles for the purpose of getting rid of the register checker employees. Last evening on the news I heard where they are now going to be replacing almost all of their office people with computers and robotics. If you have no employees you have higher profits, not lower priced products!

It is no wonder to me that as the U.S. is declining and that China’s military power along with their Leaders arrogance is increasing. Yesterday in China at the G-20 conference did you see how disgracefully and how arrogantly our President and his personnel were treated by the Chinese Government and their Officials? President Obama and those with him were treated as enemies, not as trading partners or as friends or even as someone they hoped to have as a friend someday. Yesterday the Chinese Government, (and you know damn well that their President Mr. Xi Jinping okay-ed those actions, they treated our President and the people of our Country as though He (President Obama and Us) did not deserve any courteousness. Yesterday the Chinese Government basically took a piss in the face of our President and our Nation!

 

Folks, every time you or I buy an object here in the U.S. (OR ANY PLACE THAT IS NOT IN CHINA) we are putting bullets in their guns that they will use against the U.S. and against the rest of the world. For years their policy has been to make things for the foreign markets as cheaply as possible. The ideology is simple, play on the greed of the people and companies in the open world markets. This gives work and wages to their own people while taking jobs away from other countries, closing up their factories and their industrial center capabilities. This also takes tax revenues away from other Nations making it impossible for other countries to afford to buy or build weapon systems even for self-defense. Just like with Wal-Mart ideology of putting everyone else out of business so that they rule where people can buy any product and what that price it is allowed to be, China is using that same philosophy. Pretty soon China will enforce its domain over the South China Sea and they will give Taiwan the option of surrender or be blockaded from all outside trade and revenue. They will do this as Russia weakens NATO’s resolve to their west, just like Turkey (a NATO country) is dividing NATO via courting Russia, the EU, and the U.S. concerning the Kurdish people. How many fronts are the people of the U.S. willing to go to war with? Russia believes they can break NATO and China believes that the U.S. does not have the will to go to war with them. As China makes the U.S. weaker economically, they believe they make the will of our people to go to war weaker. Unfortunately I believe that these actions will come about in less than one decade. Wal-Mart has used China well, or, is it that China has used Wal-Mart well?

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truthtroubles.wordpress.com/ Just an average man who tries to do his best at being the kind of person the Bible tells us we are all suppose to be. Not perfect, never have been, don't expect anyone else to be perfect either. Always try to be very easy going type of a person if allowed to be.

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