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FL Senator Bill Nelson: MacDill unit hid millions

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:37 PM
Original message
FL Senator Bill Nelson: MacDill unit hid millions
TAMPA - The Special Operations Command hid $20-million from Congress three years ago at the request of the Pentagon, Sen. Bill Nelson confirmed Tuesday as he demanded an investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Florida Democrat, who has monitored the case as a member of the committee, said the Pentagon, "with SOCom's complicity, created a slush fund from which to draw funds for purposes and in amounts that they intended to hide from the Congress and the people."

SOCom is based at MacDill Air Force Base and oversees the nation's secret commandos.

The Pentagon inspector general just completed a two-year investigation and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa did not file charges. A second case, involving $25-million in hidden funds at SOCom, was not mentioned in the Pentagon report.

Because the Pentagon has declined to release the report, Nelson's comments were the first to shed light on the findings of the investigation.

--snip

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/09/28/State/Nelson__MacDill...
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. Um, why isn't this explosive news? Isn't intentional concealment,...
,...of tens of millions of dollars for purposes of funnelling money in violation of congressional directive a federal crime (as in misuse of federal funds or fraud or embezzlement or something like that)?

I mean, damn, the DOD ordered the SOC to HIDE federal funds!!! That's, um, pretty friggin serious stuff there!!!
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Well, they did the same thing before the Iraq invasion
The Bush admin diverted hundreds of millions from Afghanistan and used it to 'prepare' for Iraq (long before it came up for a vote). In other words, they took a large chunk of the money meant for catching bin Laden in Afghanistan, and spent it trying to sell the war to Congress (and us).

Here's something from 2004 on that:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronic...
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. There's slush funds and then there's slush funds....
One kind of slush fund is illegally created and used for illegal purposes, like the slush fund created by the Committee to Re-Elect the President and released by Chuck Colson to fund the Watergate break-in.

(Yes, that Chuck Colson. Whippersnappers!)

The SOCOM slush fund is likely a different thing entirely. The United States is desperately lacking in human intelligence capability, so it has increasingly relied upon its special operations military capabilities to do what it has to do.

Unfortunately, the money appropriated to our special operations is far more public and traceable. It would be rather uncool if, say, the Chinese could just go on THOMAS and spot a Defense Appropriations earmark which says:

$30,000,000, for Special Operations Command insurgency training in Tibet

So they're hiding the money. And more specifically, they're hiding the money from Congress because Congress can't keep a secret for jack.

I realize that's a really oversimplified explanation, but I hope it serves its purpose.

That's not to say that the slush fund is legal, or even honorable. The Iran-Contra affair, for example, is an excellent example of the Executive branch defying the very letter of the law through creative slushing. Since this administration differs from that of Reagan only by the degree to which they are willing to flaunt the law (much, much more this time around), I suspect that's what Senator Nelson is sniffing.

But Senator Nelson could be wrong. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that the best way to kill terrorists and keep them on the run is by purchasing the loyalty of the people on the ground where the terrorists want to be. Part of what the spooks feel they have to do is grease a lot of palms to buy information and allegiance. That requires a large and untraceable source of cash--and it is Congress' job to make sure that the spooks get it, quitely.

If the Bush Administration were actually catching terrorists instead of creating them at an exponential rate, I'd feel better about it.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. I don't think there is any possibility that this is legit.
Or that this admistration is concerned about fighting terra-ists. Without the evil doers they themselves have no message.

More likely they are using the money to hire suicide bombers in Bahgdad. That gains them a lot if they don't get caught.
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. Because the D.C. local news station has a higher priority
link investigating WHY a local pit bull puppy is recovering from acid burns. Now I love all K9s BUT why must they slather on these stories to the detriment of revealing how the Republicans are trying to gut our government, horde and launder millions?!?
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Verve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Can this day get any worse for the Repugs?
We now know the real reason of Shrub's morning terror speech-DISTRACTION!
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
4. Another crucial excerpt:
--snip

Three years ago, according to documents obtained by the Times, SOCom "parked" - or hid - $20-million from Congress by inflating its 2002-2003 budget at the request of the Pentagon comptroller. Another $25-million was hidden in the SOCom budget the following year.

Special Operations officials divided the $20-million among six projects so the money would not attract attention.

They also instructed their budget analysts not to mention it during briefings with congressional aides.

The agreement was spelled out in an e-mail distributed by then-SOCom comptroller Elaine Kingston to colleagues on Feb. 11, 2002. The Pentagon initially wanted SOCom to hide $40-million, but Kingston refused.

In her e-mail, Kingston coached colleagues on how to account for the additional money and avoid attracting attention to it in congressional briefings.

--snip
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #4
23. It is not NICE to FOOL Congressional Armed Services Committees!!!
In short, the PENTAGON LIED TO CONGRESS.

It used to be all the Black Ops money went to NSA, not to commands within the Pentagon. This is really serious--I think the HASC ans SASC are gonna go ballistic.
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phiddle Donating Member (749 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
5. File this one under
"culture of corruption". (It's getting to be a long list, no?)
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. Wow, Nelson did something today?
I'm impressed.

Let's see if anything comes of it.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. When did Franks resign?
This was about the time that Cent Com was moved to I think Qatar?

Ok, just rambling.

Good for my senator.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Franks resigned May 23, 2003.
Rumsfeld Announces Franks' Resignation
Friday, 23 May 2003, 3:10 pm
Press Release: US Department of Defence

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0305/S00233.htm
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Lochloosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. Is my Senator seeing the light?
About time Bill...
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tonkatoy57 Donating Member (443 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
9. What were the "purposes...they intended to hide from the people"
Yeah, the parking of the money is bad enough, but I want to know what they were using the money for.

Death squads? Paying for those expensive rendition flights? New carpeting at the Officer's Club? Organ donors for Crashcart?

Really, if they were so intent on hiding the money it must have been for some seriously nasty stuff. But, hey, this spreading Freedom is messy work.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
11. A SLUSH FUND for Thugs and Hodlums
The same scum who murdered Allende
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
12. StPete Times reported this on September 28, 2003. Link.
--snip

The agreement between the Pentagon officials in Washington and Special Operations officials in Tampa is spelled out in an e-mail distributed by SoCom comptroller Elaine Kingston to colleagues on Feb. 11, 2002.

In the e-mail, Kingston wrote that she received a call from someone in the Pentagon comptroller's office. The caller, who is not identified in the e-mail, asked if the Special Operations Command could "park" $40-million of research and development money in its proposed budget for the 2003 fiscal year, which ends Tuesday.

"They needed an answer in 5 minutes," Kingston wrote. "The agency they had it parked with had a problem and couldn't do it."

Kingston wrote that "there was no way for us to park $40M." She wrote that she and Deborah Kiser, SoCom's investment appropriations budget chief, found six programs where they could add $20-million.

--snip

St. Pete Times, 9-28-03: Military stashes covert millions

http://www.sptimes.com/2003/09/28/Tampabay/Military_sta...


The article goes on to say that this e-mail mentioned improvements to missile warning systems on Special Operations aircraft, infrared equipment on helicopters and radar systems.


Also, what caught my attention was that toward the end of the article, it described in detail Rummy's special ops frenzy, and it seems that the implication is that this money may have gone to secretive special ops activity in 150+ countries. Certainly fits with the secretive, illegal activity from this bunch at the Pentagon.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
13. Secret commandos WTF?
Is that the best BushCo can do.

I thought for sure we would have Double Super Secret Commandos...

What a rip off
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whatelseisnew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
14. Open it up! n/t
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
16. Ever see the movie or read the book, "Seven days in May?"
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
17. Great paper, great Senator.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
18. God, I love it. It's the day of atonement!
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lumpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
21. kick
c
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AuntiBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
22. The United States of Corruption!
Is there no end to their lying, pack of thieving schemes? Good grief, the laundry list has reached the moon!
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:52 AM
Response to Original message
24. I'm betting they have all sorts of slush funds hidden away for their
black ops, payoff of mercenaries, and preparations for future wars.

This needs a full investigation. The Pentagon will of course stonewall.

Recommended.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
25. I dunno why, I just keep thinking of Iraq-Contra.
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 10:56 AM by bemildred
Rumsfield, Negroponte, arms for cash. Lord knows
they have enough shit to be desperate about. I wonder
if it's about Latin America, Paraguay and Bolivia?

There is the Pentagon evading oversight story too:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Many of the same players are with us again, and most
of them are way too stupid to have learned a thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Contra_Affair
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Opusnone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
26. Keep kicked!
Anyone get the feeling that our Dem leaders are quietly hoping for a little more help, loud voices and a solid shove from the people?
I for one have contacted Senator Nelson's office in the past on many issues (Arctic drilling, voter fraud, etc.) and will continue to do so to give him my support.
BTW Katherine "Cruella" Harris is trying a run against Bill in '06. To all Floridians here on DU, don't let it happen!
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