Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June, 2016, Part 1, Political Class Insanity: A Pentagon European Slush Fund, IRS Still Trampling the First Amendment and Loosy Goosy With Nuclear Codes

It is the beginning of another month which means it is time again to review the latest political class insanity from the American political class. Each month it takes us multiple posts to cover the wasteful spending, incompetent government organizations and employees, government programs that usually make a problem worse than resolving it, inane and idiotic politician comments, etc. In fact, last month we set a record, needing ten full posts to cover it all.

To review past posts on this insanity and idiocy, just click on the first few posts in each month listed to the right of this page. After reviewing just a handful of these insanity posts we think you will agree that we are currently being served by the worst set of American politicians ever to hold office in our entire history.

It looks like our politicians have been especially insane over the past month or so let’s get started with the latest insanity from today’s American politicians:

1) Identity theft and hackers are a constant problem today for anyone that uses a computer, smartphone, or tablet. That is why we are constantly being told to change our passwords frequently and use offbeat combinations of letters and numbers to make it more difficult for someone to access our computer related tools. Sound advice that everyone should follow that has anything worthwhile protecting on their electronic devices.

And when we are talking about nuclear weapons, you would think and hope it is especially important to use difficult to break launch codes and passwords to make sure that no one of ill repute gets access to our nuclear weapons. But as we have constantly shown in this blog, having hope that the Federal government does anything right and logical is often a bad strategy. 

According to Karl Smallwood, writing for the Gizmodo website several years ago, for 20 years, the nuclear launch codes of U.S. Minuteman nuclear rocket silos was 00000000. No letters, no caps and lowercase, no mixing up of the sequences, just one long string of 0s.

According to the National Security Action Memorandum 160 that John F. Kennedy signed way back in 1962, each nuclear weapon was supposed to have a Permissive Action Link (PAL) which ensured that every nuke could only be launched with the right code from the right authority. The PAL system was supposedly so secure that it was described as being “about as complex as performing a tonsillectomy while entering the patient from the wrong end.” If true, that is certainly a secure system.

But that assumes that the PAL is actually installed. Twenty years after Kennedy issued his memorandum, only half of the U.S, nuclear weapons in Europe had had PAL installed. And even though they were installed, most were not activated until 1977. The other half were still protected by simple mechanical locks. 

The nuclear silos in the U.S. had had PAL installed but the military had reset the codes back to 00000000 after installation. This gave the Pentagon a way to fire missiles without waiting for launch codes from the President, an obvious Constitutional disconnect bordering on treason. Under this arrangement, just four people acting in unison could easily launch a nuclear missile despite the PAL system being installed. That’s right, a conspiracy of as little of four people could have ignited World War III before the President even knew what was going on. 

Makes you wonder what other major screw ups are going on in all facets of the Federal government if it could not even get this one critical piece of security to work. 

2) Let’s stay with the Pentagon and screw ups. We have reported a number of times that the Defense Department’s budgetary processes are so screwed up that not even trained auditors within and outside of the Federal government have been able to figure out where and how taxpayer money is spent once it is assigned to the Defense Department. All we know is that the American taxpayer shells out a whopping $600 billion a year with little or no tracking of where that money ends up.

This point was recently driven home by a short May 26, 2016 article on the Against Crony Capitalism website. Congressman Mick Mulvaney apparently has come across a Pentagon slush fund that no one knew about that was operating over in Europe. His reaction to this revelation: “There is no indication of how [Overseas Contingency Operations] money is being spent. There is no limitation on when it is spent other than we have to spend it in 5 years, and there is no indication on where it is going to be spent other than it has to be outside the United States. That is it. It is hard for me to imagine of a less accountable, less transparent way for us to spend money in this country.” Another example of government out of control and in the process of politicians losing control, the wasting of vast sums of taxpayer wealth.

3) Obviously, if the U.S. Federal government was functioning as it should, efficiently, effectively,and fairly, there would be very little for me to write about. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for freedom, that is not the case. 

The following story illustrates how government today has become an enemy of freedom and liberty. Cleta Mitchell, an attorney for conservative causes, was being interviewed on CSPAN. She was discussing the need to abolish the IRS since it was not only inefficient but it had trampled on the First Amendment rights of many Americans who simply have a difference of opinion from Obama. 

During the course of the interview, CSPAN opened up the telephone lines when a caller, claiming to be an IRS employee, made the following threat to Ms. Mitchell: “You can bet every dollar you’ve got, I’m gonna go after you.” The alleged IRS caller went on to say that he would “go after” and “target” Ms. Mitchell and all and any conservative group that she would represent. Additionally, the clerk claimed that when he looks at a Tax Free Status application, he reviews the group’s website and discriminates against them if he personally disagrees with what the views and opinions of the group applying for tax free status.

Pathetic suppression of rights by a government employee. A lowly IRS employee has no right or power to usurp the Constitution, as Ms. Mitchell so clearly stated: “As a government employee, he works for us and it’s not his right nor is it permissible to say ‘I don’t like that group so I’m going to punish them’ which is viewpoint discrimination and is unconstitutional….A government employee is not supposed to superimpose his beliefs, or his concern about his job, over those of a citizen who has a First Amendment right to express that opinion.”

Not only is this outrageous but it verifies that Obama was again a liar when he originally claimed that the IRS harassment of conservative and tea party groups was because of some out of control IRS employees in Cleveland. The harassment and abridgement of free speech appears to be more widespread than Cleveland if this caller is to be believed. 

The IRS and this individual employee should be sued for Constitutional violations. The full power of the government should be used to protect rights, not trample them, a concept that is often a foreign idea to the Obama administration.

First day of this month’s political class insanity reveals that Pentagon budgeting and spending is still out of control, we have been living with a major Constitutional disconnect when the military decided it knew best when to launch nuclear weapons, and the IRS may still be looking for ways to deny First Amendment rights to anyone or any organization that dare to oppose Obama’s agenda and actions. 

Never underestimate the ways that the American political class can screw up our tax dollars, our safety, and our freedoms. More insanity to come in the next several days.

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