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News :: Human Rights
Are you afraid of Bush?
by see material
10 Jan 2004
This article really put the essential truth in perspective...
BE AFRAID, THIS HOLIDAY SEASON - BE VERY AFRAID !
FOR ONLY IF WE ARE AFRAID CAN THEY CONTINUE TO CONTROL US
The "chatter" coming from that piece of shit named George Bush and the CIA, CNN, FOX, Homeland INSecurity and the other tentacles of the New World Order terrorists is unmistakable and means only one thing - That this Christmas, just the same as last Christmas, just the same as every Christmas to come, they want to assure that as families gather to forget about what a shitty world this place has become since that scumbag Bush and his murderous New World Order motherfuckers destroyed it, that they will continuously remind us day after day, week after week, month after month, forever and forever - to be afraid, BE VERY AFRAID, and focus on their game of terror instead of our families.
The cancer in the White House must be removed. George Bush must be removed.
They pulled this "CONTROL THROUGH FEAR" game on us last year and they will pull this shit every year, untill they are dead and gone. For as long as there is a breath of air in their lungs, they will terrorize and kill us to keep us under their control. This is all they have. For what Bush fears most is that we will get together with our families and have a moment of peace in our lives - without his fear control mechanisms hanging over our heads. Because once we do finally have peace with our families, then HE IS POWERLESS.
SO PEOPLE, UNLESS YOU FIGHT BACK YOU CAN EXPECT PERPETUAL FEAR BOMBS.
NEVERENDING FEAR AND TERROR. FAKE FEAR. AND REAL TERRROR.
UNLESS YOU MAKE A PERSONAL EFFORT TO PERSONALLY FIGHT GEORGE BUSH EACH AND EVERY DAY, YOU WILL DIE.
We must fight them with everything we have.
We must destroy their tentacles of fear and terror such as Fox and CNN, and MSNBC and each and every merchant who profits from terror.
The New World Order is about one thing thing only. It is a prostitution deal where you get to suck on their shaft and do you what your reward is for sucking so hard and long? You guessed it - you get to suck on it more and more and more. And then as payment for all your sucking you get the grand prize - More sucking.
Welcome to America - Welcome to Bushes NEW WORLD ORDER.
Where you obey every order, like an ant with a probe up your ass in some sick pavlovian experiment where they keep giving you jolts of electricity and you jump and you jump and you jump.
This is what will happen forever and ever and ever and ever. And there is only one solution. And you know what that is - the removal by any way possible of the scum at the top who is perpetrating this fear. Only by cutting the head off of the serpent can we kill this dangerous snake.
Bush is a cancer on the planet earth.
They are the merchants of fear. They must be eliminated.
Americans will be forced suck on their fear bombs until they kill us all or we kill them, which ever comes first. For as long as there is a breath of air left in these New World Order neo-con terrorists they will continue to destroy everything free and decent in the world today.
It is fear based mind control and nothing else. It is perpetrated by US based "Illuminati" terrorists, fronted by the Bush crime family, who absolutely positively perpetrated the attacks of 911. They have nothing but fear and terror for all Americans this Christmas and every Christmas and every day. Like last Christmas and last Easter they know that families will be together for the holiday season and there is only thing they want us to focus on. Their Fear Bombs. Their Terror Control Mechanisms.
The "Chatter coming in from the organs of the illuminati terrorists such as CNN and the CIA and Homeland Security can mean only one thing. That these controllers, these terrorists, despise each and every American family and they are laughing at us. They hate your guts and they want you dead.
TURN OFF THE CHATTER
WAKE UP THOSE NEXT TO YOU
IDENTIFY YOUR ENEMY CLEARLY
AND FIGHT THEM WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE
OR YOUR DEAD
Viewer Commentary: 103 comments
Yeah, listen to Bush. Raise the terror alerts, but advise everyone to keep on shopping and flying and and spending money etc. WHAT a crock of shit. George likes to have his cake and eat it too.
As soon as we all wake up to the fact that the powers supposedly protecting us from the terrorists REALLY ARE THE TERRORISTS, the planet will finally have a little hope. Til then, there's a lot of work to be done by those that are not asleep.
Posted by GREATWHITE @ 12/25/2003 07:43 PM EST
People are to controlled [including bush] to even know what to do. The influence behind all of this mess is the Devil himself. No one person without influence is as nasty and hate filled as the evil people today. People are attracted to love naturaly. Not this sick shit we see happening today.
A level of awareness exists beyond what 99% of the people on earth know. And yet everytime the creator tries to warn people of that awareness to whats about to happen...... BOOM!!!!they choose to slam the door to knowledge
TIME TO WAKE UP!!!!
The evil will be removed but in no way is it going to be done by a movement of humans.....only God can. no amount of preaching from the rooftops will ever move people to take down bush. Bush is just a damm puppet.
You have no idea how deaply extensive evil realy is........you just laugh at the idea and procede with your own "Remedy". Won't work! Will not work!
Jehovah will destroy Bush and the rest of evil in this world and make it a better place for everyone.
That is the real truth!!!
What else is there realy? NOTHING!!
This world will die without doubt unless Jehovah steps in.
It is in a downward spiral that cannot be stopped!
Posted by Informed @ 12/25/2003 08:02 PM EST
Organized religion is as much of a cancer as Bush is. Maybe more.
Posted by GREATWHITE @ 12/25/2003 08:31 PM EST
Reply to Informed's comment:
While I'm personally not 100% sure which religion (if any) to follow, it's undoubted that the New World Order is run by Satanists (if you have any doubt, look at the hidden image of Satan on the back of German national ID cards!).
Even if Satan doesn't exist at all, their pseudoreligion is an inherently dangerous and evil one, and they must be stopped.
While it's entirely possible they'll be stopped by a divine entity, let's not rely on that exclusively -- if a divine entity does intervene on our side, great! If not, well, acting by ourselves is the only way it can be done.
[Note: By "fighting them", I mean spreading the word about them, which is what they fear most. Killing their puppets might be satisfying to some, but won't solve the problem. I don't condone any form of terrorism, neither government-backed nor "real".]
Posted by Not Bush @ 12/25/2003 08:36 PM EST
CNN (Paula Zaun) is running an hour long brainwashing special to condition us to accept religion over personal empowerment. The show is an examination of so called FAITH in America.
A female radio show host was just interviewed. She talked about how useless positive thinking is and how useless personal empowerment and personal growth is and that only through god can all of our problems be solved.
I think you are right Vox. The only solution to the problem in America is to Nuke these motherfuckers who are brainwashing us. CNN must die!
Posted by The Truth @ 12/25/2003 09:02 PM EST
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all.
Ignore the fear bombs.
They are running scared.
You can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it.
We will prevail.
Back to the family...
Posted by sammy @ 12/25/2003 10:43 PM EST
"Our leaders would have us believe this is a guerilla war, fought by thousand of foreign terrorist-soldiers hidden on our soil. But this is not what is taking place, and it is time to do a reality check. American are rarely targets of international terrorism, and almost never on U.S. soil.
In the year 2000, your chance as an American of being killed in terrorist attack in the United States was exactly zero. In 2002, our chance of dying in a terrorist incident was, again, ZERO. And in 2003, as of this writing, the total number of people to die in the United States from acts of terror? Zero. Even in the tragic year of 2001, your chance as an American of dying in a act of terrorism in this country was 1 in 100,000,
In 2001, you had a greater chance of dying from the flu or pneumonia (1 in 4,500), from taking your own life (1 in 9,2000), being a homocide victim (1 in 14,000), or riding in a car (1 in 6,500). But no one freaked out over the possibility of being killed every time you drove your dangerous car to buy a heart-disease-inducing doughnut from a coughing teenager. The suicide rate alone means that YOU were a greater danger to yourself than any terrorist. All these cuases of death were far greater than the terrorism, but there were no laws passed, no countires bombed, no emergency expenditures of billions of dollars per month, no National Guard units dispatched, no orange alerts and no non-stop tickers scrolling details across the bottom of CNN to send us in a panic over them. There was no respone from the public but indifference and denial, or, at best, an acceptance that these tragedies were just part of life"
-Michael Moore, 'Dude, Where's My Country?', 2003, p96-97.
"Why has our government gone to such absurd lengths to convince us our lives are in danger? The answer is nothing short of their feverish desire to rule the world, first by controlling us, and then, in turn, getting us to support their efforts to dominate the rest of the planet. Sounds crazy, huh? It reads more like a movie script, doesn't it? But Bush/Cheney/Ashcroft/Wall street/Fortune 500 see thise post-September-11-America-in-fear as their moment-
a moment handed to them by fate, via the terrorists - to seize the reins and ram the USA down the throats of any people in the world who dare question who is number one...
They know that REAL Americans are not into dominating anyone, so they have to sell it to us in fancy packaging - and that package is FEAR."
-Michael Moore, 'Dude, Where's My Country?', 2003, p 101.
Posted by Ricardo @ 12/25/2003 10:47 PM EST
Yes George Bush must go,
1. 7 people elected him (supreme court)
2. He is up to his neck in complicity in the 911 "terrorist" stunt
3. The illegal invasion of Iraq
One only has to look at the history of the last 100 years to see just how dangerous men in postitions of power like him are, has anyone heard of the riechstag fire, it was hitlers little terror stunt to crack down on opponents of his party and to secure his grip on power, gee sounds like what bush did to get the patriot act passed. Now patriot act 2 has been passed who's going to be the next victim nation, syria, venezeula, iran maybe even oil rich nigeria. And like hitlers terrorists attacked us pretext for the invasion of poland in 1939 the world will know its bogus but no one nation will have the balls to stand up and say for fuck's sake this is bu(ll)shit and were taking you down. But like the american war of independence to rid america of british expolitation you must stand up and have a revolution that's exactly why americans have the right to bear arms so they can't be manipulated by the elite. As many of you here already know there are empty prison camps all over america waiting for the next stage of the "war of terror" when they round up the freedom lovers the protesters and the people who get whats going the time to revolt is now not when the terror alert goes code red and you can't leave your home. Stand up it worked for vietnam (took awhile though) its land of the free for all not just the wealthy elites who want to fuck it all up and realise their dreams of a new world order. Fingers crossed that dear old george wakes up after a hard night on cocaine and forgets to check his diary and walks straigh in to the next cia/mosaad terror stunt with any luck dickhead cheney will be tugging on his arm telling him to go the other.
Freedom isn't free it must be fought for.
A pissed of NZ'er
Posted by Seth @ 12/25/2003 11:17 PM EST
I do not see why Wesley Clark is not covered more on this page.
The putative new Great White (Male) Hope of the Democratic Party, General Wesley Clark, came of age politically when he was seduced by Richard Nixon, for whom he cast his first presidential vote. He later voted for Ronald Reagan (twice), and for Bush père. As recently as two years ago, Clark was appearing at Republican fund-raisers. In Arkansas, at the Pulaski County Republican Committee dinner on May 12, 2001, Clark said “that American involvement abroad helps prevent war and spreads the ideals of the United States.”
Military Waste and Fraud - $172 billion a year
When it comes to wasting money, the Pentagon has no peer. For one thing, there's the single question of scale. For fiscal year 1996, the Pentagon budget was $265 billion ($7 billion more than it requested). That's 5% of our gross national product, a larger percentage than in virtually any other industrialized nation.
In absolute dollars (not as a percentage of GNP), the Pentagon shells out 3 1/2 times more than the next largest military spender (Russia), 6 1/2 times more than Britain, 7 1/2 times more than France, 7 1/4 times more than Japan, 8 1/2 times more than Germany. Our military budget is bigger than the next nine largest military budgets combined, and sixteen times larger than the combined military budgets of all of our "regional adversaries"- Cuba, Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Libya. It accounts for 37% of all military spending on the planet (in comparison, our economy is only 22% of the world total).
As enormous as the Pentagon's budget is, there's more military spending buried elsewhere-in the Department of Energy's production of fuel for nuclear weapons, in the military portion of the NASA budget, in the VA, etc. By adding in these hidden military expenses, the Center for Defense Information (CDI), a Washington think tank run by retired generals and admirals, concluded that we spend a total of $327 billion a year on the military. (When it did similar computations independently, the War Resisters League came up with $329 billion.)
But that doesn't include what we have to pay for past Pentagon budgets. The CDI went back to 1941 and multiplied the military's percentage of each year's budget by the deficit for that year. Using that method, they figured that interest on past military spending cost us $167 billion in fiscal 1996. (The War Resisters League went all the way back to 1789 and came up with $291 billion.)
Since the CDI's estimates are lower, let's be conservative and use them. Adding them together gives us a figure for total military spending-past and present-of $494 billion a year ($9 1/2 billion a week, $1 1/3 billion a day.
Waste beyond your wildest dreams
But just the scale of the Pentagon's budget alone can't explain its prodigious ability to waste money. Another quality is required- world-class incompetence. There are so many examples of this that they tend to blur together, numbing the mind. Here are just a few:
According to a US Senate hearing, $13 billion the Pentagon handed out to weapons contractors between 1985 and 1995 was simply "lost." Another $15 billion remains unaccounted for because of "financial management troubles." That's $2B billion-right off the top-that has simply disappeared...
... According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, every single one of the top ten weapons contractors was convicted of or admitted to defrauding the government between 1980 and 1992. For example:
* Grumman paid the government $20 million to escape criminal liability for coercing subcontractors into making political contributions.
* Lockheed was convicted of paying millions in bribes to obtain classified planning documents.
* Northrop was fined $17 million for falsifying test data on its cruise missiles and fighter jets.
* Rockwell was fined $5.5 million for committing criminal fraud against the Air Force.
In another study, the Project on Government Oversight (PGO) searched public records from October 1989 to February 1994 and found-in just that 4~/~-year period-85 instances of fraud, waste and abuse in weapons contracting. For example:
Boeing, Grumman, Hughes, Raytheon and RCA pleaded guilty to illegal trafficking in classified documents and paid a total of almost $15 million in restitution, reimbursements, fines, etc.
* Hughes pleaded guilty to procurement fraud in one case, was convicted of it in a second case and, along with McDonnell Douglas and General Motors, settled out-of-court for a total of more than $1 million dollars in a third case.
* Teledyne paid $5 million in a civil settlement for false testing, plus $5 million for repairs.
* McDonnell Douglas settled for a total of more than $22 million in four "defective pricing" cases.
But General Electric was the champ. PGO lists fourteen cases, including a conviction for mail and procurement fraud that resulted in a criminal fine of $10 million and restitution of $2.2 million. In our own research, we found several other examples of GE crimes and civil violations:
* In 1961, GE pleaded guilty to price-fixing and paid a $372,500 fine.
* In 1977, it was convicted of price-fixing again.
* In 1979, it settled out-of-court when the State of Alabama sued it for dumping PCBs in a river.
* In 1981, it was convicted of setting up a $1.25 million slush fund to bribe Puerto Rican officials.
* In 1985, GE pleaded guilty to 108 counts of fraud on a Minuteman missile contract. In addition, the chief engineer of GE's space systems division was convicted of perjury, and GE paid a fine of a million dollars.
* In 1985, it pleaded guilty to falsifying time cards.
* In 1989, it paid the government $3.5 million to settle five civil lawsuits alleging contractor fraud at a jet-engine plant (which involved the alteration of 9,000 daily labor vouchers to inflate its Pentagon billings).
In 1990, GE was convicted of criminal fraud for cheating the Army on a contract for battlefield computers; it declined to appeal and paid $16 million in criminal and civil fines. ($11.7 million of this amount was to settle government complaints that it had padded its bids on 200 other military and space contracts-which comes to just $58,000 or so per contract.)
In 1993, GE sold its weapons division to Martin Marietta for $3 billion (retaining 23.5% of the stock and two seats on the board of directors).
The largest investigation of Pentagon fraud took place between 1986 and 1990. Called Operation Ill Wind, it began when Pentagon official John Marlowe was caught molesting little girls. He cut a deal to stay out of jail and, for the next few years, secretly recorded hundreds of conversations with weapons contractors.
There's no way of knowing how much the crimes Ill Wind looked into cost the taxpayers, but the investigation, which cost $20 million, brought in ten times that much in fines. According to Wall Street Journal reporter Andy Pasztor, "more than 90 companies and individuals were convicted of felonies... including eight of the military's fifteen largest suppliers....Boeing, GE and United Technologies pleaded guilty...Hughes, Unisys, Raytheon, Loral, Litton, Teledyne, Cubic, Hazeltine, Whittaker and LTV...admitted they violated the law."
Unisys signed the largest Pentagon fraud settlement in history: $190 million in fines, penalties and forgone profits (which means they weren't allowed to charge for cost overruns the way military contractors usually do).
Assistant Navy Secretary Melvyn Paisley was the central figure in the Ill Wind scandal and the highest-ranking person convicted (he was sentenced to four years in prison). He ran his office like a supermarket for weapons manufacturers, soaking up bribes, divvying up multibillion-dollar contracts and diverting work to a firm he secretly controlled with a partner.
Paisley may have been a bit more...flamboyant than most, but there was nothing terribly unusual about his approach. As of 1994, nearly 70 of the Pentagon's 100 largest suppliers were under investigation. Fines for that year totaled a record $1.2 billion.
That may sound like a lot, but it's less than 2% of the weapons industry's net income (which averaged $64 billion a year in 1994 and 1995). A billion or two in fines is hardly an incentive to end the corruption and waste in Pentagon contracting.
The black budget
Not all Pentagon waste is visible. Hidden within the military budget is a secret "black budget" that's not subject to any congressional oversight (toothless as that usually is). It includes money for the CIA (tucked away in the Air Force budget, it gets about 10% of the total) and for less well-known but better-funded "intelligence" organizations like the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
In 1995, several members of Congress tried to argue that, with the Cold War over, there was no harm in publishing the total amount of the intelligence black budget, without details on how it was spent. Even this modest proposal went down to defeat but, in the process, led to the absurd spectacle of legislators mentioning the figure-$28 billion for fiscal 1996-while arguing that it shouldn't be publicly disclosed.
John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists estimates that the 1996 black budget included an additional $3 billion or so in military "stealth" projects, for a total of about $31 billion-down from about $36 billion a year during the Reagan years. Pike attributes the decrease to a couple of projects that grew too huge to be hidden in the black budget.
One of the projects that "surfaced" into the public budget is the B-2 bomber. Originally projected to cost $550 million each, B-2's ended up costing $2.2 billion each-literally more than their weight in gold.
Another is MILSTAR, which is designed to ''fight and win a six-month nuclear war...long after the White House and the Pentagon are reduced to rubble." The Air Force has tried to kill this idiotic program four times since it emerged from the black budget, but Congress won't listen. MILSTAR has cost us between $8 and $12 billion so far, and could cost another $4.5 billion between 1996 and 2000.
Since the black budget is completely off the books, it encourages waste on a titanic scale. As one Pentagon employee put it: "In a black project, people don't worry about money. If you need money, you got it. If you screw up and need more, you got it. You're just pouring money into the thing until you get it right. The incentive isn't there to do it right the first time. Who's going to question it?" ...
Don't call it bribery
Why do our legislators put up with military waste and fraud? For the same reason they do anything. Defense PACs gave members of Congress $7.5 million in 1993 and 1994. And PAC money is just part of the story.
Of the $4.5 billion in unrequested weapons funding added to the Pentagon budget for fiscal 1996, 74% was spent in or near the home districts of representatives who sit on the House National Security Committee. Another $290 million was spent in or around Newt Gingrich's home district, Cobb County, Georgia. (Cobb gets more federal pork than any county except Arlington in Virginia, which is right next to Washington, and Brevard in Florida, where Cape Canaveral is located.)
Although the Pentagon insists that it doesn't need any more B-2 bombers, Norman Dicks (D-Washington) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) don't care. Dicks-who's one of the largest recipients of military PAC money in the House-received over $10,000 from nine major B-2 contractors in the four months just before the battle to resurrect B-2 funding. Stevens got $37,000 between 1989 and 1994, making him one of the top ten recipients of PAC contributions from B-2 contractors. (Isn't it amazing how little politicians cost?)
If PAC money isn't enough, military lobbyists can always argue jobs. It didn't hurt funding for the B-2 that spending for it was spread across 88% of all congressional districts and all but two states.
Liberal California Representative Maxine Waters defended her vote to continue B-2 funding by candidly admitting that it was one of the few ways she knew to bring federal jobs to her district. (Since her district is South-Central Los Angeles, you can understand her desperation.)
There's no conceivable need for Seawolf submarines (which cost $2.4 billion apiece)- except for the votes in Connecticut, where it's built, and in surrounding states. That's why liberal New England senators like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and George Mitchell supported it, as did Bill Clinton-who needed votes from those states-in his 1992 campaign.
Neither the Air Force nor the Navy wants any part of the V-22 Osprey assault plane, which the Bush administration tried in vain to kill. But it's supported by legislators in Texas and Pennsylvania-the two states that do the most contracting for it-and by Clinton, who...oh, you get the idea.
What about the jobs we'd lose? -- If new weapons systems are nothing more than make-work programs, they're really inefficient ones. A 1992 Congressional study estimated that shifting money from the Pentagon to state and local governments would create two jobs for every one it eliminates. Building weapons we don't need is so wasteful that the economy would probably be better off if we just paid people the same money to stay at home.
The Congressional Budget Office concluded that a billion dollars spent on successfully promoting arms exports creates 25,000 jobs, but if that same billion is spent on mass transit, it creates 30,000 jobs; on housing, 36,000 jobs; on education, 41,000 jobs; or on health care, 47,000 jobs.
Aside from the cost, using federal money to prop up military contractors creates a disincentive for them to convert to civilian products. Shifting Pentagon funds to urgently needed domestic uses would be good for both the US and the rest of the world. As President Eisenhower put it, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed."
Pentagon boosters argue that military spending has already been slashed too far, since more than 800,000 military-related jobs have disappeared since 1990. But many of these layoffs were in nonmilitary divisions of the companies, and more than half of them were caused by the economy contracting in a recession, not by smaller Pentagon budgets-especially since they've dropped off only slightly from their all-time high of $304 billion (adjusted for inflation) in 1989.
Just eight companies-McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, Martin Marietta, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Hughes-were responsible for half of all military contractors' layoffs in 1993. Only 15% of Boeing's layoffs and a third of McDonnell Douglas' were related to military production. After the firings, the stocks of these eight companies rose by 20% to 140%, and the salaries of their CEOs soared.
The revolving door
Another reason for Pentagon waste and fraud is the revolving door between military contractors and government personnel. Before he was Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger was a top executive at Bechtel, which does massive engineering projects for the Pentagon and foreign clients like Saudi Arabia. Before he was Secretary of State, George Shultz was president of Bechtel.
Before his days as a Navy felon, Melvyn Paisley worked for Boeing-as did his boss at the Pentagon, Navy Secretary John Lehman. Secretary of Defense William Perry and CIA Director John Deutch both did consulting work for Martin Marietta before they joined the Clinton administration. The list goes on and on.
Generals have an interest in keeping weapons contractors happy-at least if they want to sit on the boards of corporations after they retire. Contractors can use their connections at the Pentagon to find work there and, like Paisley, feed lucrative contracts to their friends in the private sector.
On both sides of the revolving door, militarists live in the lap of luxury. Nobody batted an eyelash when Paisley entertained contractors in staterooms on the Queen Elizabeth, nor is there ever much dismay when military aircraft are used, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars an hour, to fly politicians, lobbyists and weapons contractors on pleasure trips.
Still, personal perks don't cost us much compared to corporate perks. For example, when Lockheed and Martin Marietta merged to become Lockheed Martin, $92 million in bonuses-or "triggered compensation," as they prefer to call it-was handed out to top executives and members of the board. They expect the government to pick up $31 million of that.
John Deutch quietly reversed a 40-year ban on such compensation when he was at the Pentagon. The biggest bonus, $8.2 million, went to the new company's president, Norman Augustine, who Deutch and William Perry had done work for at Martin Marietta.
Both Deutch and Perry obtained waivers from an ethics regulation that prohibits Pentagon officials from dealing with people they formerly did business with untl a year has passed. (Up to 30,000 employees will lose their jobs as a result of this merger.)
Military contractors milk the government in other ways as well. It's common for the State Department to give foreign aid to brutal dictatorships like Indonesia and Guatemala, with the requirement that the money be used to buy US weapons. Each year this program results in the transfer of $5-7 billion from US taxpayers to US arms merchants (not to mention the murder of lots of innocent people in the countries involved).
The Pentagon has similar programs that not only provide subsidies to foreign countries to buy from US weapons suppliers but also help them negotiate the sale. In 1994, General Dynamics and Lockheed received a total of $1.9 billion in foreign military sales awards- 126,567% more than the $1.5 million they gave to candidates for federal offices in the
1994 elections. (As we've already remarked, politicians sure are a bargain.)
Thanks in large part to these Pentagon programs-on which we spend $5.4 billion a year, almost half our total foreign aid expenditure-the US is the largest arms supplier on earth, with 43% of the world trade. What's more, many of these loans are ultimately defaulted on or forgiven. Egypt, for example, was let off the hook for $7 billion in loans, as a reward for participating in the Gulf War...
How much military spending is waste?
Even if you accept the absurd two-war plan, lots of savings are still possible:
* We have more Trident missiles than we could ever use, and nobody to aim them at. But the Navy isn't happy with their old Tridents (currently funded at $787 million a year). They want to replace them with a newer version, even though both kinds of Tridents are likely to be eliminated under the next arms-control agreement, START lll.
* Although our 121 C-5 and 265 C-144 transport planes are perfectly adequate, the Pentagon wants to replace a bunch of them with 120 new C-17s, at a total cost of $45 billion.
The rationale for the F-22 fighter is especially weak. It was designed to achieve air superiority in the 1990s over the now-defunct Soviet Union. We already have 900 F-15s (which the GAO calls the best tactical aircraft in the world), and none of our real or potential enemies have more than a handful of planes that come anywhere close to matching its capabilities. That hasn't stopped the Pentagon from asking for 442 F-22s, at a total cost of $72 billion.
* Even a hawk like Barry Goldwater points out the waste involved in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines each having its own air force. Both the Marines and the Army have light infantry divisions, and the Navy and the Air Force aren't satisfied with the same kind of satellites and cruise missiles-each has to have its own kind.
* The Pentagon keeps 100,000 troops in Europe and 70,000 in Korea and Japan. We spend $80 billion a year on NATO, $59 billion a year in South Korea and $48 billion a year in the Persian Gulf. In all of these cases, the countries we're supposedly defending have militaries that are better-equipped and much better-funded than their enemies'.
* As we've mentioned above, even the Pentagon doesn't want any more B-2 bombers, V-22 Osprey assault planes or additional Star Wars funds. The Navy doesn't want the Seawolf submarine and admits it doesn't need another $3.5-billion nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. But try telling that to the companies that make those weapons, or to the politicians whose campaigns they fund.
By now it should be obvious that the "defense" budget isn't based on any rational calculation of what the defense of this country actually requires-it's based on what US arms manufacturers can get away with (almost anything, it turns out).
Attaching the word "defense" to this spending isn't just misleading-it's the complete opposite of the truth, since military waste and fraud make our country weaker, not stronger. The preposterously obese Pentagon budget is the single greatest threat there is to our national security.
It's not just wild-eyed radicals who feel this way:
* Lawrence Korb, a military planner under Reagan who's now with the Brookings Institution, says we could have the most overwhelmingly powerful military in the world for around $150 billion a year.
* In a report called Ending Overkill, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists laid out a detailed military budget that includes funding for a lot of programs we think are unnecessary (Star Wars, for example). Even so, its report calls for scaling down the military budget to $115 billion by the year 2000, and states that this would still give us a force "adequate to undertake six or eight Somalia-like operations at the same time, or to mount a force somewhat larger than the American part of Desert Storm."
* The Center for Defense Information (founded by retired generals and admirals) thinks we could get by quite nicely with about a million soldiers, instead of the 1.6 million we now have, and with a Pentagon budget of about $200 billion.
The average of those three estimates is $155 billion a year-quite a bit less than the $327 billion a year we actually spend. (And remember: that $327 billion doesn't include the $167 billion or more we lay out each year to service debt that's the result of past military programs. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do about that past debt-except to cut down on present military budgets, so the problem doesn't keep getting worse.)
Subtracting $155 billion from $327 billion gives us a figure for current military waste and fraud of $172 billion a year-almost $500 million a day-virtually all of which goes to large corporations and super-rich individuals. (Sure, some of it pays for ordinary people's salaries, but they'd also be earning money if they were doing something useful.) Half a billion dollars a day could buy a lot of medical care, or fill a lot of potholes, or...you name it. After all, it's your money.
Take the Rich Off Welfare
Posted by Danny T @ 12/25/2003 11:34 PM EST
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