Saturday, March 24, 2007

Where does the buck stop?

For the past 200 years congress has tried to get the "Department of Peace" established but it has been voted down.

Yesterdays blog in the morning after hearing the "Morning News" on NPR after hearing that Congress added a few conditions to Bush's money wants. (The blank check) I wrote the previous post.

Last night I listened to a lecture from a former CIA employee. A rather smart person and former "cold warier" as he said. He answered a lot but not all my questions about how much money goes to the "Military Industrial Complex." He says that every year they budget "$3/4 Trillion Dollars" and that's not to say how much is spent for the "Black Projects" which aren't seen by Congress or any over sight, which he clams is about 40% more then the $750,000,000,000.00 dollars.

The VA, Social Security, Social Services, "No Child Left Behind" are not part of the military bills but seem to be cut to pay for the military industrial complex. Bush has a pet project he's been pushing, The Missile Defense Project" which still doesn't work and will cost some where around $1,000,000,000,000.00 dollars and still won't work but it sounds good and suppose to scar other countries from trying to shoot any missiles at the United States. Sort of like the "Star Wars Project" from the Regan years where nothing worked, it was just talk.

Some of that extra money attached to the "supplemental funding bill" is to go to the Katrina victims which Bush dropped the ball on. So far only 4000 people have got any money to rebuild their homes. Meanwhile the situation in the South is getting worse. Contractors brought in illegal Mexicans to work and they seem to forget they needed to go back home after the work was done. Many of them are gang members and help in the body count in the cases of murder. One group is an international drug smuggling gang that they brought here to work and now they have a foot hold in the Southern States

1 comment:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

Your post has some excellent points. I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. Here's some additional data:

The U.S. Department of Defense, headquartered in the Pentagon, is one of the most massive organizations on the planet, with net annual operating costs of $635 billion, assets worth $1.3 trillion, liabilities of $1.9 trillion and more that 2.9 million military and civilian personnel as of fiscal year 2005.

It is difficult to convey the complexity of the way DOD works to someone who has not experienced it. This is a massive machine with so many departments and so much beaurocracy that no president, including Bush totally understands it.

Presidents, Congressmen, Cabinet Members and Appointees project a knowledgeable demeanor but they are spouting what they are told by career people who never go away and who train their replacements carefully. These are military and civil servants with enormous collective power, armed with the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Defense Industrial Security Manuals, compartmentalized classification structures and "Rice Bowls" which are never mixed.

Our society has slowly given this power structure its momentum which is constant and extraordinarily tough to bend. The cost to the average American is exhorbitant in terms of real dollars and bad decisions. Every major power structure member in the Pentagon's many Washington Offices and Field locations in the US and Overseas has a counterpart in Defense Industry Corporate America. That collective body has undergone major consolidation in the last 10 years.

What used to be a broad base of competitive firms is now a few huge monoliths, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Boeing and SAIC. If you would like to read how they control our government, please see:

Government oversight committees are carefully stroked. Sam Nunn and others who were around for years in military and policy oversight roles have been cajoled, given into on occasion but kept in the dark about the real status of things until it is too late to do anything but what the establishment wants. This still continues - with increasing high technology and potential for abuse.

Please examine the following link to testimony given by Franklin C. Spinney before Congress in 2002. It provides very specific information from a whistle blower who is still blowing his whistle (Look him up in your browser and you get lots of feedback) Frank spent the same amount of time as I did in the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) but in government quarters. His job in government was a similar role to mine in defense companies. Frank's emphasis in this testimony is on the money the machine costs us. It is compelling and it is noteworthy that he was still a staff analyst at the Pentagon when he gave this speech. I still can't figure out how he got his superior's permission to say such blunt things. He was extremely highly respected and is now retired.

The brick wall I often refer to is the Pentagon's own arrogance. It will implode by it's own volition, go broke, or so drastically let down the American people that it will fall in shambles. Rest assured the day of the implosion is coming. The machine is out of control.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting on this blog entitled, "Odyssey of Armaments"

On the same subject, you may also be interested in the following sites from the "Project On Government Oversight", observing it's 25th Anniversary and from "Defense In the National Interest", inspired by Franklin Spinney and contributed to by active/reserve, former, or retired military personnel.