Tag Archives | Military-Industrial Complex
It sounds like the plot of a John Hughes ’80s teen comedy. Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz were a pair of underachieving kids from Miami (interests: football, “whisky”, and “chilling with the boyz”) until, as part of the privatization effort, they somehow landed a $300 million contract from the Bush administration to provide ammunition for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.
Then things soured: greed pitted the friends against one another, all they could give the military were defective, Chinese-made munitions from Albania, and now Diveroli is in jail. Rolling Stone has the barely-believable saga:
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Reassured by the e-mail, Packouz got into his brand-new blue Audi A4 and headed home for the evening, windows open, the stereo blasting. At 25, he wasn’t exactly used to the pressures of being an international arms dealer. Only months earlier, he had been making his living as a massage therapist; his studies at the Educating Hands School of Massage had not included classes in military contracting or geopolitical brinkmanship.
Joe Rogan takes on the Military Industrial Complex and questions World Trade Center Building 7′s Immaculate Collapse.Thank you Joe Rogan! I hope you can convince many of the young warriors in MMA of the difference between Warriors and Soldiers. Soldiers do what they are told, Warriors make their own fate.
The columnists at MarketWatch must have misread the memo from Murdoch about being staunchly Republican and pro-business no matter the cost. Following Paul Farrell’s rant about the conspiracy of the super rich, now Brett Arends reminds us of Dwight Eisenhower’s warning of a military-industrial complex taking over the United States — and shows us that it’s already happened:
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Forget the posturing you’re going to hear tonight. Do you want to hear the real state of the union? Just ask Ike: President Dwight Eisenhower.
As fund manager Jeremy Grantham notes, it was 50 years ago this month that the old general delivered his famous farewell address to the nation after a lifetime of service that few will ever match.
Less well-remembered: His warning against hocking ourselves up to the eyeballs as the easy way out of any problem.
“We… must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow,” he said.
Once again, the year comes to a close with good news for the Blackwater corporation. From the New York Times:
Iraqis on Friday reacted with disbelief, anger and bitter resignation to news that criminal charges in the United States had been dismissed against Blackwater Worldwide security guards who opened fire on unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007.
The attack left 17 Iraqis dead and 27 wounded. Investigators concluded that the guards had indiscriminately fired on unarmed civilians in an unprovoked and unjustified assault.
Many Iraqis viewed the prosecution of the guards as a test case of American democratic principles…On Thursday, Judge Ricardo M. Urbina threw out manslaughter and weapons charges against five Blackwater guards because he said prosecutors had violated the men’s rights by building the case based on sworn statements that had been given by the guards under the promise of immunity.
USAToday asks some pertinent questions about the fuzzy line separating government and corporations in the military-industrial complex:
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In a marketplace awash in consulting firms that help defense companies sell to the Pentagon, the Durango Group has a unique advantage.
The Colorado-based firm has become a base of operations for retired officers who also are handsomely paid by the military for their advice. No other defense consulting firm employs more “senior mentors” than Durango. Of the 59 former officers who work for Durango, 15 also serve as mentors, a USA TODAY investigation found.
As Durango associates, the retired officers are paid to help private companies win and administer Pentagon contracts. As mentors, the retirees are paid by the military to help run war games, which also gives them access to classified strategies and weapons systems. Durango cites these mentoring assignments on its website as signs of its associates’ unique connections.
Along with their work for Durango and the military, these retired officers, mostly from the Air Force, are paid advisers, consultants and corporate directors on the boards of at least 20 companies, according to public records.