War Profiteers

War Profiteering a definition

You Can Be a Patriot Or a Profiteer... But You Can't Be Both by Robert Greenwald, Huffington Post, 4/27/2012. "The closest analogy in our time would be the Committee on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, which found that up to $60 billion (as of September 2011) was lost to waste and fraud in military contracting in those conflicts."

The War Industry: Bad Job Creators, Bad Bosses, Bad Stewards of Tax Dollars by Robert Greenwald, Huffington Post, 9/14/11. "These contractors will undoubtedly try to obscure the fact that every $1 billion of military spending costs anywhere between 3,200 and 11,700 jobs or more when compared to other ways of spending the money."

War profiteering: a cancer upon America, by End the Lie. "This sub-set is the 0.01%, the executives that take in astounding sums of money, leverage tens of millions in lobbying money to control our so-called representatives all to the detriment of the American people, the American economy, and the world at large.

"They profit at the expense of the American taxpayer, off the lives of American soldiers, and from death and destruction around the globe.

"These are not entrepreneurs who struck it rich giving us a product or service that we need, they are getting rich while manipulating the American political system and the fear of the American people while perpetuating endless, unnecessary and unethical wars.

"This one hundredth of one percent includes the war profiteers, the CEOs of military contractors that are paid even more than CEOs of financial institutions like JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

10 companies profiting the most from war by Samuel Weigley, USA Today, March 10, 2013. "These companies have benefited tremendously from the growth in military spending in the U.S., which by far has the largest military budget in the world."

The 10 Most Brazen War Profiteers by Charlie Cray, Alternet, Sep. 4, 2006. "Halliburton has become synonymous with war profiteering, but there are lots of other greedy fingers in the pie. We name names on 10 of the worst."

Military Industrial Complex definition.

Military Industrial Complex Speech by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961 "Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad...

"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Big money behind war: the military-industrial complex: More than 50 years after President Eisenhower's warning, Americans find themselves in perpetual war. by Jonathan Turley. El Jazeera, Jan. 11, 2014. "The new military-industrial complex is fuelled by a conveniently ambiguous and unseen enemy: the terrorist. Former President George W Bush and his aides insisted on calling counter-terrorism efforts a "war". This concerted effort by leaders like former Vice President Dick Cheney (himself the former CEO of defence-contractor Halliburton) was not some empty rhetorical exercise. Not only would a war maximise the inherent powers of the president, but it would maximise the budgets for military and homeland agencies."

America's secret army: how the 'war on terror' created a new industry: Since 9/11, US intelligence numbers have gone through the roof – and the budget is three times as high by Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, July 19, 2010. "A new survey of the intelligence network created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks estimates that some 854,000 people have been given high-level clearance...

"In addition to the army of individuals, it has identified some 1,271 government bodies and 1,931 private contractors working on counter-terrorism... a gigantic proliferation of agencies and spending unparalleled in US history....

"Not only is the system huge and massively expensive, it is also highly inefficient and unwieldy, the Post believes. The official US intelligence budget now stands at $75bn, almost three times its size at 9/11, with 263 new bodies dedicated to rooting out violent extremism... Much of the work is overlapping. " Top Secret America: A Washington Post Investigation by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. The Washington Post, July 19, 2010. (The research for this series of articles took two years). "The government has built a national security and intelligence system so big, so complex and so hard to manage, no one really knows if it's fulfilling its most important purpose: keeping its citizens safe."

“I don’t want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster.” (President Franklin D. Roosevelt, May 22, 1940.)

“Worse than traitors in arms are the men who pretend loyalty to the flag, feast and fatten on the misfortunes of the Nation while patriotic blood is crimsoning the plains of the South and their countrymen mouldering the dust.” (President Abraham Lincoln)

“There is such a thirst for gain [among military suppliers]... ;that it is enough to make one curse their own Species, for possessing so little virtue and patriotism.” (President George Washington)

"While the Bush Administration calls for the immediate disbanding of what it has labeled "private" and "illegal" militias in Lebanon and Iraq, it is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into its own global private mercenary army tasked with protecting US officials and institutions overseas. The secretive program, which spans at least twenty-seven countries, has been an incredible jackpot for one heavily Republican-connected firm in particular: Blackwater USA. Government records recently obtained by The Nation reveal that the Bush Administration has paid Blackwater more than $320 million since June 2004 to provide "diplomatic security" services globally. The massive contract is the largest known to have been awarded to Blackwater to date and reveals how the Administration has elevated a once-fledgling security firm into a major profiteer in the "war on terror"...

"Blackwater's higly lucrative "diplomatic security" contract was officially awarded under the State Department's little-known Worldwide Personnel Protective Service (WPPS) program, described in State Department documents as a government initiative to protect US officials as well as "certain foreign government high level officials whenever the need arises"

"A heavily redacted 2005 government audit of Blackwater's WPPS contract proposal, obtained by The Nation, reveals that Blackwater included profit in its overhead and its total costs, which would result "not only in a duplication of profit but a pyramiding of profit since in effect Blackwater is applying profit to profit." The audit also found that the company tried to inflate its profits by representing different Blackwater divisions as wholly separate companies...

""This underscores the need for Congress to exercise real oversight on the runaway use of secret companies that have strong connections to the Bush Administration, for clandestine services all over the world," says Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky, a leading Congressional critic of private military companies.

""This whole business of security is just insidious," says former Assistant Defense Secretary Philip Coyle, who worked at the Pentagon from 1994 to 2001. "The costs keep going up, and there is no end in sight to what you can spend. What happens is you keep raising the threat levels to require more actions and more contracts to overcome these imaginary threats. It's an endless spiral"...

"While the WPPS program and the broader use of private security contractors is not new, it has escalaated dramatically under the Bush Administration. According to the most recent Government Accountability Office report, some 48,000 private soldiers, working for 181 private military firms, are deployed in Iraq alone" ("Mercenary Jackpot." The Nation, Aug 28: 6).

"The high yields Naylor gets from his monoculture fields couldn't happen without added nitrates. The chemical fertilizer industry was born from left-over ammonium nitrate, used in making explosives, the government had after World War II...

"Modern warfare and industrial agriculature are entwined...

""Today, it takes between seven and ten calories of fossil fuel energy to deliver one calorie of food energy to an American plate." We've traded free energy from the sun for pricey petroleum.

"Big Ag thrives precisely because so many of these costs are hidden, especially environmental ones. Chemical runoff from farms contaminates our water tables. Excess nitrogen in our watersheds has created huge dead zones in the Northwest and the Gulf of Mexico. Our public health system faces epidemics of diabetes, childhood obesity, and heart disease, all related to our diet" (Elizabeth DiNovella. "Think Globally, Eat Locally." The Progressive, Nov. 2006: 41-44).

Colby Glass, MLIS