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Posts Tagged ‘Boeing’

The Rutherford Institute :: Guns for Hire: No, the Government Shouldn’t Be Using the Military to Police the Globe | By John W. Whitehead |

Posted by M. C. on October 9, 2019

In fact, the U.S. government has spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earns in a year.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/guns_for_hire_no_the_government_shouldnt_be_using_the_military_to_police_the_globe

By John W. Whitehead

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes… known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” — James Madison

Eventually, all military empires fall and fail by spreading themselves too thin and spending themselves to death.

It happened in Rome.

It’s happening again.

At the height of its power, even the mighty Roman Empire could not stare down a collapsing economy and a burgeoning military. Prolonged periods of war and false economic prosperity largely led to its demise. As historian Chalmers Johnson predicts:

The fate of previous democratic empires suggests that such a conflict is unsustainable and will be resolved in one of two ways. Rome attempted to keep its empire and lost its democracy. Britain chose to remain democratic and in the process let go its empire. Intentionally or not, the people of the United States already are well embarked upon the course of non-democratic empire.

The American Empire—with its endless wars waged by U.S. military servicepeople who have been reduced to little more than guns for hire: outsourced, stretched too thin, and deployed to far-flung places to police the globe—is approaching a breaking point.

War has become a huge money-making venture, and America, with its vast military empire and its incestuous relationship with a host of international defense contractors, is one of its best buyers and sellers. In fact, as Reuters reports, “[President] Trump has gone further than any of his predecessors to act as a salesman for the U.S. defense industry.”

Under Trump’s leadership, the U.S. military is dropping a bomb every 12 minutes.

This follows on the heels of President Obama, the so-called antiwar candidate and Nobel Peace Prize winner who waged war longer than any American president and whose targeted-drone killings resulted in at least 1.3 million lives lost to the U.S.-led war on terror.

Most recently, the Trump Administration signaled its willingness to put the lives of American troops on the line in order to guard Saudi Arabia’s oil resources. Roughly 200 American troops will join the 500 troops already stationed in Saudi Arabia. That’s in addition to the 60,000 U.S. troops that have been deployed throughout the Middle East for decades.

As The Washington Post points out, “The United States is now the world’s largest producer — and its reliance on Saudi imports has dropped dramatically, including by 50 percent in the past two years alone.”

So if we’re not protecting the oil for ourselves, whose interests are we protecting?

The military industrial complex is calling the shots, of course, and profit is its primary objective.

The military-industrial complex is also the world’s largest employer.

America has long had a penchant for endless wars that empty our national coffers while fattening those of the military industrial complex.

Aided and abetted by the U.S government, the American military-industrial complex has erected an empire unsurpassed in history in its breadth and scope, one dedicated to conducting perpetual warfare throughout the earth.

Although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world’s population, America boasts almost 50% of the world’s total military expenditure, spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined. Indeed, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety.

Unfortunately, this level of war-mongering doesn’t come cheap to the taxpayers who are forced to foot the bill.

Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $32 million per hour.

In fact, the U.S. government has spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earns in a year…

War is not cheap, but it becomes outrageously costly when you factor in government incompetence, fraud, and greedy contractors.

For example, a leading accounting firm concluded that one of the Pentagon’s largest agencies “can’t account for hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending.”

Unfortunately, the outlook isn’t much better for the spending that can be tracked.

Consider that the government lost more than $160 billion to waste and fraud by the military and defense contractors. With paid contractors often outnumbering enlisted combat troops, the American war effort dubbed as the “coalition of the willing” has quickly evolved into the “coalition of the billing,” with American taxpayers forced to cough up billions of dollars for cash bribes, luxury bases, a highway to nowhere, faulty equipment, salaries for so-called “ghost soldiers,” and overpriced anything and everything associated with the war effort, including a $640 toilet seat and a $7600 coffee pot.

A government audit found that defense contractor Boeing has been massively overcharging taxpayers for mundane parts, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in overspending. As the report noted, the American taxpayer paid:

$71 for a metal pin that should cost just 4 cents; $644.75 for a small gear smaller than a dime that sells for $12.51: more than a 5,100 percent increase in price. $1,678.61 for another tiny part, also smaller than a dime, that could have been bought within DoD for $7.71: a 21,000 percent increase. $71.01 for a straight, thin metal pin that DoD had on hand, unused by the tens of thousands, for 4 cents: an increase of over 177,000 percent.

That price gouging has become an accepted form of corruption within the American military empire is a sad statement on how little control “we the people” have over our runaway government…

The government is destabilizing the economy, destroying the national infrastructure through neglect and a lack of resources, and turning taxpayer dollars into blood money with its endless wars, drone strikes and mounting death tolls.

This is exactly the scenario Eisenhower warned against when he cautioned the citizenry not to let the profit-driven war machine endanger our liberties or democratic processes:

“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 are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

We failed to heed Eisenhower’s warning.

The illicit merger of the armaments industry and the government that Eisenhower warned against has come to represent perhaps the greatest threat to the nation today…

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When Israel bombed disabled Palestinians | The Electronic Intifada

Posted by M. C. on July 17, 2019

Tolerance is not Israel’s strong point. Ask a Christian.

The U.S. Department of State reveals in its 2012 Report on International Religious Freedom regarding Israel and the Occupied Territories that while “the country’s laws and policies provide for religious freedom and the government generally respected religious freedom in practice,” that attitude among Jews toward missionary activities and conversations were negative.

“Most Jews opposed missionary activity directed at Jews, and some were hostile to Jewish converts to Christianity,” according to the State Department’s report. “Messianic Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses were harassed regularly by Yad L’Achim and Lev L’Achim, Jewish religious organizations opposed to missionary activity.”

https://electronicintifada.net/content/when-israel-bombed-disabled-palestinians/27876

Sarah Algherbawi

Nasser al-Buhaisi had just graduated from college.

The 22-year-old obtained a degree in religious law from Gaza’s Al-Azhar University during June. One day later, he died.

Al-Buhaisi had been paralyzed due to a road accident in 2006. He had studied hard despite being in intensive care.

His determination made me reflect on the situation facing people with disabilities in Gaza. The situation is never easy but becomes far more difficult when Israel attacks vital services – as it did a few months ago.

In the early evening of 5 May, Israel bombed the Zoroub building in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city. The General Union of Disabled Palestinians was based on one floor of the building.

Approximately 50 people were told to evacuate that floor before the bombing occurred.

Bassam Abu Obaid was the last one from the union to quit the building. “I was finishing off some woodwork and didn’t want to leave,” he said.

Soon after he left, the building was attacked by Israel, using guided bombs made by the Chicago firm Boeing. Although all the people using the services run by the General Union of Disabled Palestinians had made it out safely, three others were killed in the building.

“Killed twice”

The destruction made Abu Obaid recall last year when an Israeli sniper shot him as he took part in Gaza’s Great March of Return.

“It felt like I had been killed twice,” he said. “I had a life there [in the Zoroub building].”

Abu Obaid had one of his legs amputated from the knee down as a result of the injury inflicted on him by an Israeli sniper. A doctor told him that Israel had used an exploding bullet and “committed a war crime,” he said.

Making matters worse, Abu Obaid was denied permission to travel for treatment in Israel. As an alternative, he went to Egypt, where the amputation was carried out…

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Ten Great Challenges Facing the Church in 2014 ...

 

 

 

 

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From Boeing to E-Ring: Shanahan is Industry’s Man at the Pentagon | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on May 15, 2019

“My impression is right now everyone in the armed services, at the top, are like pigs at the trough and their goal is to scarf up every dollar they can get their hands on in Washington because this might be their last hurrah,”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/from-boeing-to-e-ring-shanahan-is-industrys-man-at-the-pentagon/

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

WASHINGTON — John McCain is looking down on Washington and he is definitely not smiling.

The late senator had very little in common with the anti-interventionist principles of this magazine, but in the brighter moments of his 35-year career in Congress, he was the Senate’s most vociferous watchdog of Pentagon waste and contractor malfeasance. His grilling of military brass in this area was legendary, and his willingness to dress down an E-Ring four star or civilian executive in front of the C-Span cameras makes today’s congressional slobbering before the military high-hats look pathetic, and sad.

That’s why he would be all the more crushed to see how the Blob is apparently prepared to confirm a recent senior executive at Boeing—the second largest contractor in the entire federal government—to the role of secretary of defense. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who McCain, suffering at the time from brain cancer, suggested might be the fox guarding the henhouse, has been idling in the interim SecDef role since James Mattis just before Christmas. Now that a Pentagon Inspector General’s report has quietly cleared him of charges that he was putting his thumb on the scales for billions of dollars of new work for Boeing, President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he will officially nominate Shanahan for the role of Pentagon chief, starting the clock on Senate confirmation.

This has raised the hackles of defense reformers who always saw Shanahan’s presence at the DoD as the highest form of contempt: even by Washington standards, they see this as is a bald display of industry influence on the levers of power and, ultimately, U.S. national security policy.

“Having promised to change nothing, to simply extend the massive spending policies initiated by Mattis, Mr. Shanahan is sure to be confirmed,” charged retired U.S. Army colonel and defense analyst Douglas Macgregor in an interview with TAC. “Keeping the money flowing without interruption is the sine qua non for success in the Senate Armed Services Committee.”

Critics point out that Shanahan has never been anything but a company man. His only experience in military and defense issues was as a program executive of contracts that sink billions of American taxpayer dollars each year into bloated weapons systems and increase shareholder value.

“Shanahan has zero government experience. He’s a defense corporation guy; his track record as deputy secretary is appallingly pro-MIC [military industrial complex],” Pierre Sprey, longtime military watchdog and defense analyst, told TAC.

Armed with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, Shanahan went straight to Boeing in 1986. After overseeing Boeing’s military rotorcraft (Apache, Chinook, and Osprey helicopters) and missile defense programs, he went onto the commercial side in 2007, where he was known as “Mr. Fix It” for saving the company’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft program. (More recently, he was forced to dodge any connection to 737 Max planes, which were falling out of the sky before a worldwide grounding.)…

So what we see here is an evolution of the MIC, what many call the “self-licking ice cream cone,” says Sprey. In earlier times, the secretaries had military or government experience and their cultivation of industry influence in the Pentagon was more sotto voce. “Over time, though, you can see more and more egregious military industrial complex shills, just some politicians and defense technocrats.” Shanahan is the first to go from a defense industry giant straight into the DoD’s center of power.

“My impression is right now everyone in the armed services, at the top, are like pigs at the trough and their goal is to scarf up every dollar they can get their hands on in Washington because this might be their last hurrah,” said Doug Macgregor. “And Shanahan is going all out for them.”

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profiteering

War Is A Racket

 

 

 

 

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Trump Nominates ‘Embodiment of the Military-Industrial Complex’ Patrick Shanahan to Lead Pentagon

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2019

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/10/trump-nominates-embodiment-military-industrial-complex-patrick-shanahan-lead

The White House announced Thursday that President Donald Trump will nominate acting Defense Secretary and former Boeing executive as Pentagon chief. (Photo: United States Air Force)

In a move critics warned could further deepen the ties between the sprawling and immensely profitable private weapons industry and the U.S. government, the White House announced Thursday that President Donald Trump will nominate former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan to head the Pentagon.

“Conflict of interest? Boeing is already the second-largest recipient of private contracts from the U.S. military.”
—National Priorities Project

Shanahan has been serving as acting secretary of defense since the departure of former Pentagon chief Jim Mattis in January.

“When Patrick Shanahan was selected by Trump for a Pentagon post,” The Nation‘s John Nichols tweeted Thursday in response to Shanahan’s nomination, “the Seattle Times wrote: ‘Shanahan, 54, has no military or political experience. He is, however, familiar with defense procurement from the business side.’ Very, very familiar.”

In a column last year, Nichols described Shanahan—who worked at Boeing for 31 years before becoming Trump’s deputy defense secretary—as “the embodiment of the military-industrial complex.”

“His main claim to fame in the deputy post was his ardent advocacy for Trump’s ‘space force’ scheme,” Nichols wrote. “So what experience does Shanahan have? He is, literally and figuratively, the embodiment of the military-industrial complex about which former President Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans at the close of his presidency in 1961.”

As NBC reported, Trump’s decision to nominate Shanahan—who must be confirmed by the Senate—comes “just weeks after the Pentagon’s internal watchdog cleared the longtime former Boeing executive of allegations he provided his old employer… with preferential treatment. Shanahan was accused of pushing Boeing fighter jets on the Air Force and Marines.”

The National Priorities Project (NPP) highlighted Shanahan’s potential conflicts of interest in a series of tweets following news of his nomination.

“Patrick Shanahan, former Boeing executive, is poised to keep running the Pentagon as Defense Secretary with President Trump’s nomination,” NPP wrote. “Conflict of interest? Boeing is already the second-largest recipient of private contracts from the U.S. military.”

“Last year, the average taxpayer paid $102 for contracts with Boeing, ” the group noted, “compared to just $40 for public housing and homeless assistance.”

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How F-35 Fighters Will Siphon An Extra Trillion Dollars From Taxpayers – The National Memo – Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Posted by M. C. on May 2, 2019

https://www.nationalmemo.com/how-f-35-fighters-will-siphon-an-extra-trillion-dollars-from-taxpayers/

When you buy a new car, you aren’t required to go back to the dealership for oil changes, but our nation’s taxpayers are stuck with billions of dollars in bills to maintain pricey weapons systems and aircraft from politically connected firms like Lockheed Martin and Boeing after they sell them to the government.

These “sustainment costs” for the next generation of F-35 fighter jets, already the world’s most expensive weapons program, are expected to top $1 trillion over the life of the program.

“Contractors want the government to accept whatever costs or prices they offer with little review or recourse for overpricing, regardless of contract type or the level of competition involved,” said J. David Cox, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Cox was criticizing a recent government report that recommends ways to ease regulations on contractors to make it easier for our country’s military to compete with China and Russia in modernizing weapons.

“Nothing could be farther from the truth,” Cox wrote in his letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. “If these changes were implemented, they would compound the effects of previous misguided ‘reforms’ and result in large unnecessary costs.”

Will Roper, the assistant secretary of acquisition, technology and logistics for the Air Force, wants to get away from the sustainment model. He suggested paying a license fee or royalties to contractors.

The Air Force could make contracts for upgrades and repairs part of a bidding process and use software that allows different companies to design add-ons for it.

Contractors are pushing back.

“I’m more convinced than ever that would be a mistake,” said Tim Matthews, a retired rear admiral and vice president of F-35 sustainment for Lockheed Martin.

In 2016, Lockheed Martin employed 55 former Defense Department officials as board members or lobbyists, according to a report by Project on Government Oversight.

Boeing, whose KC-46 tanker aircraft were temporarily rejected by the Air Force because of trash and tools left inside, has even more former Defense Department officials on its payroll – 84 in 2016. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan spent 31 years at Boeing…

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F-35 helmet costs $400,000 — 4 times that of predecessor

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/10/26/f-35-helmet-costs-400000-4-times-predecessor/74650574/

 

 

 

 

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Boeing names ex-US envoy Nikki Haley to board of directors

Posted by M. C. on February 27, 2019

Top Washington warmonger golden parachutes into Boeing. The Pentagram remains in charge.

Remember when Boeing wanted to build a non-union plant in Haley’s S Carolina?

https://thedefensepost.com/2019/02/26/boeing-names-nikki-haley-board/

Boeing on Tuesday, February 26 named Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to its board of directors.

Haley, who left the United Nations post and President Donald Trump’s administration at the end of 2018, previously served as governor of South Carolina, a southern state where Boeing has a significant manufacturing campus.

She praised Boeing as “a cutting edge industry leader” that “also understands the importance of teamwork and building community through its network of suppliers in all 50 states and around the world,” according to a statement released by the company.

Boeing’s 12-member board currently has four women. Shareholders will vote on Haley’s nomination on April 29.

The aerospace giant is weighing the launch of a new medium-sized aircraft to accompany its current fleet, which includes the twin-aisle 787 Dreamliner that is partly built in South Carolina.

Boeing garnered about 60 percent of its 2018 revenues from commercial aircraft with almost 25 percent from defense and space and the remainder from global services…

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profiteering

War Is A Racket

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Air Force Accepts Flawed Boeing Tanker in a $44 Billion Program – Bloomberg

Posted by M. C. on January 11, 2019

Those tests will determine whether the aircraft is effective for combat and can be maintained.

Would be nice to know before we paid for them.

Boeing already has absorbed almost $4 billion in cost overruns on the KC-46.

How are we absorbing.

The bright side is Boeing has a way to go to catch with McDonnell Douglas and the F 35 interms of $ and delay.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-10/air-force-accepts-flawed-boeing-tanker-in-a-44-billion-program

By 

The U.S. Air Force has accepted the first delivery of Boeing Co.’s long-delayed aerial refueling tanker despite flaws that remain to be fixed, the service said Thursday.

The first eight of 179 planned KC-46 aerial tankers in the $44 billion program will be accepted from now through February. That’s more than two years late — and it may take as long as four more years to upgrade the troubled camera system used in refueling operations.

The Air Force is withholding as much as $28 million from the final payment on each aircraft as a financial hook to ensure Boeing makes the necessary improvements.

“We have identified, and Boeing has agreed to fix at its expense, deficiencies discovered in developmental testing of the remote vision system,” Captain Hope Cronin, an Air Force spokeswoman, said in a statement.

The Pentagon’s approval of the Air Force’s plan to accept the flawed planes was caught up in turmoil at the top of the Defense Department. The decision was waiting on the desk of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis when he announced his plan to resign by the end of February…

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Millions Flow to Pentagon’s Banned Contractors Via a Back Door | Bloomberg Government

Posted by M. C. on August 7, 2018

https://about.bgov.com/blog/millions-flow-pentagons-banned-contractors-via-back-door/

Same old story. Follow the money. Your (used to be) money.

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George F. Will: Who will protect Americans from the protectors? | New Hampshire

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2017

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20170212/OPINION02/170219827/0/NEWS21

The American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis notes that parts come from South Korea, Japan, Italy, Taiwan, Germany and the United States. Components of Boeing airliners’ wings come from Japan, South Korea and Australia; horizontal stabilizers and center fuselages from Italy; cargo access doors from Sweden; passenger entry doors from France; landing gear doors from Canada; engines and landing gear from Britain.

Navarro’s “unwinding and repatriating” is, to say no more, part of an improbable project: making America greater by making Apple, Boeing and many other corporations much less efficient and less competitive.

This is where I part company with tariff and protectionism advocates like Pat Buchanan (who is otherwise pretty much right on). American companies source world wide. Tariffs raise prices and put a ball and chain on competitiveness. Not to mention foreign retaliation. Expect your cost of living to go up.

It is the consumer that dictates how the market does, not companies. If no one buys, your company is toast. Consumers don’t care about where it’s made or whether it is union made.

It is all about price. Don’t believe me? Go to Walmart.

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