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The Jet that Ate the Pentagon: How Defense Corporations and Congress Team Up to Rob You Blind


February 6, 2014
Angela Keaton / Brave New Films & John Glaser / AntiWar.com

According to the Project on Government Oversight, "The US is going to spend $1.5 trillion on the F-35, and it still isn't meeting its goals. While military officials in the Pentagon are insisting on cutting superfluous weapons programs that are wasting billions of taxpayer dollars, Congress refuses to cut because the defense corporations that line their campaign pockets want the money to keep coming in.

http://antiwar.com/blog/2014/02/04/the-jet-that-ate-the-pentagon/

The Jet that Ate the Pentagon
Angela Keaton / Brave New Films



(February 4, 2014) -- According to the Project on Government Oversight, "The US is going to spend $1.5 trillion on the F-35, and it still isn't meeting its goals. Watch the video and find out how this happened." Several commentators including Winslow Wheeler and William Hartung discuss this flying monuments to government waste.



Defense Corporations and Congress, Teaming Up to Rob You Blind
John Glaser / AntiWar.com

(February 4, 2014) -- Again, military officials in the Pentagon are insisting on cutting superfluous weapons programs that are wasting billions of taxpayer dollars, but Congress refuses to cut because the defense corporations that line their campaign pockets want the money to keep coming in.

The Washington Post [1]:
The Army is pushing ahead on a path that could result in at least partial closure of the two US facilities producing these vehicles -- buoyed by a new study on the state of the combat vehicle industry due for release next month.

But its plans could be derailed by a Congress unwilling to yield and an industry with a powerful lobby. They argue that letting these lines idle or close would mean letting skills and technology honed over decades go to waste.

The Pentagon has "really made a turn in that they are now trying to solve million-dollar problems without billion-dollar solutions, but Congress keeps redirecting them," said Brett Lambert, who oversaw the Pentagon's industrial base policy until last year. "This is a zero-sum game. For every dollar the Pentagon spends on something we don't need ... it is a dollar we can't spend on something we do need."


One might be inclined to describe this as a problem; some kind of defect in the system. But this is not a glitch: this is how the system [2] works from [3] top to bottom [4].

This past summer, the armed services committees in both the House and Senate rejected Defense Department requests [5] to shutter military installations in the United States that the Pentagon says it doesn't want or need.

The infamous F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, to take another example, is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program in history. Military officials have told Congress for years to scrap it [6], but Congress tells them to screw off.

The US Air Force has a storage facility in Arizona where it keeps brand new aircraft, vehicles, and equipment worth tens of billions of dollars. They sit there in storage immediately after being delivered "because the military has no use for them [7]."

Veronique de Rugy, over at National Review, writes [8] that "it's not always Congress and the defense industry -- sometimes it's the White House that pushes back [9] against defense cuts that the Pentagon proposes."

In other words, politicians in Washington are serving their true constituents. Not the general electorate, but the Masters of War who "build the big guns" and "the death planes," but who also cozy up to politicians, cash in hand.



"Masters of War," Bob Dylan, 1963

FOOTNOTES
[1] The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-end-of-the-tank-the-army-says-it-doesnt-need-it-but-industry-wants-to-keep-building-it/2014/01/31/c11e5ee0-60f0-11e3-94ad-004fefa61ee6_story.html?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

[2] how the system: http://antiwar.com/blog/2014/01/28/defense-corporations-fib-job-loss-estimates-to-avoid-budget-cuts/

[3] works from: http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/12/13/the-parties-come-together-to-save-the-military-industrial-complex/

[4] top to bottom: http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/10/13/bloated-redundant-military-spending-in-an-era-of-shutdowns-and-tight-budgets/

[5] rejected Defense Department requests: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/panel-rejects-request-military-base-closings

[6] to scrap it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/27/AR2010052705614.html

[7] because the military has no use for them: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/10/07/new-air-force-planes-go-directly-to-boneyard.html

[8] writes: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/370230/us-army-we-dont-need-more-tanks-defense-contractors-well-be-judge-veronique-de-rugy

[9] pushes back: http://news.usni.org/2014/01/30/white-house-pushing-proposed-pentagon-carrier-cut

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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