Sunday, April 10, 2005


By Jack Random

When the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq failed to account for nine billion dollars in occupation expenditures, it was a little surprising how flippantly the White House discarded the matter. Like Kenny Boy Lay of Enron fame, the administrative warlords could not be bothered with details of accountability.

While the Bush administration does not consider nine billion dollars trivial when it comes to slashing social services, revelations regarding black budgets and “unsupported accounting entries” within various departments of government make it apparent that the individuals profiting from this accounting scheme consider nine billion little more than chump change.

The revelations begin with an estimated $40 billion in “black box” expenditures for intelligence (estimated by the Intelligence Resource Program). Given the most recent published budget of 26.7 billion in 1998, the estimate seems conservative in the post 911 environment. The current numbers are protected from public knowledge or congressional review with a rationale that the mere hint of an official sum would alert the world to our intentions – as if the world is not already alerted.

Forty billion dollars is roughly $150 for every man, woman and child in America yet, to the unknown overlords of secret wealth, it is the acorn of a mighty oak. Add to the total another 59.6 billion in unaccounted expenditures revealed in a partial audit of the Housing and Urban Development budget for the year 1999. Why the audit was left incomplete and uninvestigated by our fearless congressional leaders is left to the imagination.

Sixty billion dollars is a drop of water in an ocean of wealth and unworthy of investigation by a congress that finds more than enough time to stage public hearings on the burning issue of steroids in major league baseball (not to mention a 24-hour debate on the fate of an unfortunate woman in Florida).

A running total of one hundred billion dollars siphoned from public funds and shielded from public purview, is like a parking ticket to the apostles of holy capital.

Consider the official report of David Steensma, Acting Assistant Inspector General for auditing the Defense Department: $1.1 trillion (a trillion American = 1 followed by 12 zeroes) in “unsupported entries” for the fiscal year 2000.

Now we are talking real money, the kind of money that can topple governments, tip the balance of power, trigger recessions/depressions, and cripple a global economy, but even that is not the pinnacle of this mystifying story.

Catherine Austin Fitts, Assistant Secretary of Housing (HUD) under the first Bush administration, has estimated that four trillion dollars has been siphoned from government coffers by black budget operators whose identities are protected and whose operations will never be subject to government or public review.

As the Ayatollah Sistani might ask: What kind of a democracy is this?

According to Fitts (, whose academic, governmental and business credentials are impressive, this process of semi-official siphoning of taxpayer money began in the 1940’s when our government first granted secrecy to intelligence operations. It was secured under Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s when private corporations were contracted for government accounting. It was cemented in the aftermath of 911 by legislation erecting an impenetrable shroud around intelligence and their notorious secret operations.

Her observations and analysis lead to the inevitable conclusion that our economy is a house of cards, that it is largely founded on securities fraud and the relentless exploitation of the world’s resources, including our own.

One cannot help but wonder what will happen when the exploited nations of the world no longer believe in the false promise of a shared prosperity that does not exist – a theme soon to be promulgated by neoconservative icon Paul Wolfowitz at the head of the World Bank. One cannot help but wonder what will happen when it all comes crashing down.

America is like the addict whose addiction has advanced beyond redemption. We know it has gone too far. We know it has gone on too long yet we are powerless to alter the course.

Catherine Austin Fitts’ solution to the problem involves lifting the veil of secrecy and reversing the centralization of wealth. Economy should be controlled and accounted for at the local level. Her central point of advocacy is that we should vote with our money.

While I certainly agree, it is not enough. The magnitude of the problems we face as a nation can only begin to be addressed with a complete turnover of government personnel. As fictional character, Tony Soprano, might say: They’re all on the take. We cannot hope to avert disaster if we continue to rely on politicians whose best virtue is pandering to the issues of the day while the real problems of the nation go unattended.

The solution is to vote not only with our money but also with our brains when it comes to Election Day. Vote independent and third party. Vote Libertarian and Green. Vote against the corrupted machine (two parties controlled by the same interests). Refuse to believe it is beyond hope. Take the Independence Day Pledge: I will not vote for Democrats or Republicans. I will not contribute to their causes or candidates. I will vote my conscience every time.

In the year 2000, I published a work of fiction postulating the existence of a nefarious organization whose wealth and power was derived from securities fraud. Behind a veil of official secrecy, the organization was omnipotent and omnipresent, inviting small and independent businesses to either join or face extinction. Through extortion, fraud and bribery, they prospered at the expense of the poor and middle class.

When it all comes tumbling down and the truth is exposed for all to see, naked reality may be darker and stranger than fiction.



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