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6. On September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld held a press conference to disclose that over $2,000,000,000,000 (2 Trillion) in Pentagon funds could not be accounted for.
Such a disclosure normally would have sparked a huge scandal. However, the commencement of the [9/11] attack on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon the following morning would assure that the story remained buried.
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> Top Air Force Official Dies in 'Apparent Suicide'

Master Of His Domain
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Posted: Oct 17 2007, 01:57 PM
Quote Post
Top Air Force Official Dies in 'Apparent Suicide' - Linked to Iran Attack?
NY Times, Pravda, Daily Kos
Wed, 17 Oct 2007 
Washington, D.C. - The second-highest ranking member of the Air Force's procurement office was found dead of an apparent suicide at his Virginia home Sunday, Air Force and police officials said today.

user posted image
©US Air Force
Charles D. Riechers

The official, Charles D. Riechers, 47, came under scrutiny by the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month after the Air Force arranged for him to be paid $13,400 a month by a private contractor, Commonwealth Research Institute, while he awaited review from the White House of his appointment as principal deputy assistant secretary for acquisition. He was appointed to the job in January.

The Washington Post reported on Oct. 1 that the contractor, Commonwealth Research, registered as a nonprofit organization in Johnstown, Pa., paid Mr. Riechers for two months as a senior technical adviser, though he did no work for the company.

"I really didn't do anything for C.R.I." Mr. Riechers told The Post. "I got a paycheck from them."

The Air Force has disputed The Post's portrayal of Mr. Riechers's role and said in a statement today that he was "employed in a scientific and engineering technical assistance capacity to the Air Force and made recommendations that were instrumental in engineering our acquisition transformation and continuing the Air Force's modernization of our aging fleet."

Specifically, the Air Force said that Mr. Riechers, a retired Air Force officer and master navigator, provided technical advice on several programs including converting commercial aircraft to military using and modernizing the C-130 transport plane. Loren Thompson, an expert on the military at The Lexington Institute said it was unclear whether Mr. Riechers's suicide had anything to do with the inquiry. However, he said that Mr. Riechers's death would cast a further shadow over the Pentagon's beleaguered procurement system.

Commonwealth Research and its parent company, Concurrent Technologies, have extensive contracts with the Pentagon, intelligence agencies and other Federal departments.

A year before Mr. Riechers's appointment, the Air Force was mired in scandal. The Pentagon canceled a $23 billion deal to lease 767 tankers from Boeing after the disclosure that a former Air Force procurement officer, Darleen Druyun, was found to have favored Boeing in contracts before being hired by the company.

At a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month, Senator Carl M. Levin of Michigan said far too many weapons acquisitions had been plagued by "cost increases, late deliveries to the war fighters and performance shortfalls."

Senator Levin added that 25 of the Pentagon's major defense acquisition programs had overruns of at least 50 percent. And he expressed concern about an "alarming lack of acquisition planning across the department."

"The root cause of these and other problems in the defense acquisition system is our failure to maintain an acquisition work force with the resources and skills needed to manage the department's acquisition system," Mr. Levin said. "The Pentagon and Justice Department are currently conducting criminal investigations into some $6 billion in contracts to supply essential supplies to American troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait."

In May, Mr. Riechers told the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association's Northern Virginia Chapter that restoring credibility to the Air Force was a priority for the Air Force. He said the Darleen Druyun scandal was an "aberration," that was not representative of the Air Force's acquisition system.

Mr. Reichers was a retired Air Force officer and master navigator specializing in electronic warfare, with 20 years of operational, acquisition and staff experience, according to the Air Force. He flew more than 1,900 flight hours, with 90 hours of combat and combat support time in B-52G and EC-130H aircraft.

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