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Author: TriSec    Date: 08/21/2018 09:57:25

Good Morning.

Making America Great has many iterations. As you're probably aware, most of the suppliers to the United States military are required to manufacture here in those same United States. It makes sense; made in the USA for the USA. There's going to be corruption, as there always is....but maybe you could be a little less obvious?

The former head of the leading boot making company of the U.S. military was recently sentenced to federal prison for fraud after a scheme in which he imported Chinese-made boots labeled with “USA” to pass off as American-made.

Vincent Lee Ferguson, 66, of Knoxville, Tennessee, was sentenced to more than three years in prison for the contract fraud earlier this month.

The former president and chief executive officer will join his Wellco Enterprises, Inc. co-workers, former Senior Vice President of Sales Matthew Lee Ferguson, 41, and former Director of Marketing and Communications, Kerry Joseph Ferguson, 36, who were sentenced in June to six months in prison, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Under the Berry Amendment, U.S. military uniform items must be manufactured in the United States. The company has been the lead boot supplier for the Department of Defense for more than 70 years.

Between 2006 and 2012 alone, DoD paid more than $138 million for combat boots.

Ferguson and his executive team’s Chinese import scheme began as early as December 2008 and lasted through August 2012, a time in which they sold more than $8.1 million worth of the fraudulent boots, according to the release.

Two shipments of fraudulent “USA” boots were seized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection. On each pair, Ferguson and his team had the manufacturer tear away “Made in China” tags prior to shipment.

“Falsely selling our military millions of dollars of combat boots by saying they were ‘Made in the USA’ when they are actually Chinese-knockoffs not only defrauds the government, but also defrauds the American soldier,” said Defense Criminal Investigative Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer. “Our soldiers rely on their equipment, from their guns to their boots, to protect this country, and counterfeit products could fail at a moment when they need them the most.”

Changing gears, remember Iraq? Once the centerpiece of this humble blog, as the actual combat recedes further into the distance, we seem to talk about it less and less. But that doesn't mean we ever truly left. Once again, we're reminded that we'll be in Iraq at least as long as West Germany or South Korea.

The U.S. advisers now in Iraq will stay “as long as needed” to ensure the Islamic State does not regain strength and to assist in Iraq stabilization efforts, a top spokesman for the U.S. and coalition effort said Sunday.

U.S. advisers now assist Iraqi security forces in cleaning up the remaining remnants of ISIS in Iraq, particularly in Anbar province were small pockets of the organization are still targeting local infrastructure.

The U.S. and coalition forces are also involved in stabilization efforts, including assisting in the resettlement of formerly displaced Iraqi civilians and in using the military’s vast logistics and planning resources to help get civil infrastructure up and running again in cities devastated by their former ISIS occupants.

Army Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said during a news conference in Abu Dhabi that those efforts would continue and the stabilization was “one of the reasons we’ll maintain a presence,” Reuters reported.

On Monday, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning reiterated those comments, saying the 5,200 service members the U.S. reports it has in Iraq, and the 2,000 in Syria will remain unchanged. The Pentagon does not report publicly how many troops it actually accounts for in either country, saying that to do so would put troops at risk.

“The coalitions presence is designed to meet our partner’s support requirement. We have what we need and we’ll take forces out of theater when the job is done,” Manning told reporters at the Pentagon Monday.

And finally today, let's revisit that silly parade that Mr. Trump wanted. When it was cancelled, he blamed cost overruns on the democrats in Washington, DC - claiming the security and infrastructure costs were 'grossly inflated'. Funny thing, it appears the Pentagon never gave him any cost estimates and he probably pulled that information out of his ass, like everything else.

President Donald Trump put the kibosh on a military parade and fly-bys down Pennsylvania Avenue on Veterans Day before he got an official cost estimate from the military, the Pentagon said Monday.

Early estimates for the planned parade put the expected cost at around $12 million, but the Associated Press reported last week that new calculations put the total at $92 million, more than six times the original figure. Within a day, Trump announced the event was off, citing "ridiculously high" prices demanded by local Washington, D.C. politicians to hold the parade Nov. 10 or 11.

However, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters Monday that the Defense Department had never supplied Trump with an official estimate of total parade costs.

"Any figure that was cited was predecisional," Army Col. Rob Manning said. "The planning committee for the parade had not reached a point where they had briefed the senior leadership in the department."

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who scoffed at reports of a $92 million price tag when asked about the matter during a trip to Colombia, was among those who had not been briefed, Manning said.

In addition, he said, "the president was not briefed by any member of the Department of Defense on any costs associated with the parade."

In the case of a "national special security event," such as a military parade in Washington, D.C., the planning would be done by the Joint Force Headquarters for the Capital Region, which reports to U.S. Northern Command, Manning said.

The Joint Force Headquarters had not yet arrived at a cost estimate, and "I cannot tell you why" the president canceled the parade, Manning said. "For anything else beyond that, as far as the president's thought process, I have to refer you to the White House."

It's getting harder and harder to watch this administration at 'work' without picturing something like this going on in the Oval Office.


37 comments (Latest Comment: 08/21/2018 20:43:16 by livingonli)
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