Saturday, May 26, 2007

RE: RE: what would you do with 456 BILLION dollars?????????????

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ♥ Angel ♥ ™ ~For Truth~
Date: May 25, 2007 7:44 PM

I just subscribed and what a great idea.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Jef-V
Date: May 25, 2007 7:41 PM

talk about putting things into perpective!!!!!


----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Americans Are Brainwashed
Date: May 25, 2007 2:48 AM


Before I continue with this bulletin let me just say that I'm sick of watching my hard work get swallowed by the sea of bulletins. I've decided I'm going to buy a domain, host my current blogs on a server, and continue posting these bulletins on MySpace in their rightful place - as BLOGS! That said, subscribe to my blog! ;)

What would YOU buy with $456 billion?

Here's a neat project put together by the Boston Globe. Feel free to reply, either to me or to them.

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RE: RE: Inside Scoop On Why Rosie O'Donnell Left The View

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ♥ Angel ♥ ™ ~For Truth~
Date: May 25, 2007 7:25 PM

Thanks: Leo/FightNWO-Resisting World Government

..> ..>

Inside Scoop On Why Rosie O'Donnell Left The View

Neo-Con producer's effort to discredit O'Donnell before host exited ABC show

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Friday, May 25, 2007

UPDATE: Following our earlier article, ABC have now confirmed that Rosie has left The View with immediate effect.

RELATED: O'Donnell quits U.S. talk show early after spat

Management and sources close to Rosie O'Donnell tell us that the host of The View is incensed with what seems to be a deliberate campaign to discredit her before she exits the show and that Rosie may cut short her contract and leave early next week.

The show was again in the headlines this week following O'Donnell's blazing row with Neo-Con Stepford Wife Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

Prominent 9/11 truth activists William Rodriguez and the Loose Change crew were set to feature on the ABC broadcast as guests yesterday, but the entire show was cancelled in favor of carrying a Rose Garden Bush speech.

We are told that ABC always knew Rosie wasn't going to host the show yesterday but misleadingly failed to alter the schedule stating that the 9/11 truth representatives were set to feature.

Now we understand that there is a deliberate effort on behalf of the show's Neo-Con producer to drag Rosie's reputation through the mud in the final weeks of her hosting appearances.

This is an orchestrated attempt to discredit O'Donnell and make other TV networks think twice about handing her a new show.

O'Donnell is deeply incensed by this move and is considering walking out on the show early next week. She is meeting today with ABC chiefs in an attempt to resolve the matter but could be gone within days.

O'Donnell has consistently sparked controversy for being the lone voice on daytime television in speaking out against the war in Iraq and questioning the official story behind 9/11.

We also understand that Rosie is seeking another forum to go fully public on 9/11 and present more evidence that directly contradicts the government's version of events.

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RE: Hannity & Colmes: Guest Wishes For Bat To Go After Rosie

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Leo/FightNWO-Resisting World Government
Date: May 25, 2007 7:27 PM

Hannity & Colmes Guest Wishes
For Bat To Go After Rosie “Like A Human Piñata”


Friday May 25, 2007 

Hannity & Colmes hosted the self-aggrandizing loudmouth, Curtis Sliwa
for yet another discussion about Rosie O’Donnell last night (5/24/07).
The show continued to ignore the Alberto Gonzales scandal and Monica Goodling’s
significant testimony before Congress the day before. But last night,
the show devoted an entire segment to “the day after” the
tiff between Rosie O’Donnell and Elizabeth Hasselbeck. That big
news had received a double segment as the top story the night before.
Sliwa, who made his name by heading a civilian anti-crime force during
the 1970’s, nevertheless enthusiastically yearned for a baseball
bat to go after Rosie O’Donell “like a human piñata.”
With video.

Chalk Sliwa up as another FOX News pundit with an unrevealed skeleton
in his closet. In Sliwa’s case, it’s the admission that he
lied about six episodes of derring-do in order to garner publicity for
his organization. As the 12/14/92 edition of People Weekly reported,

It was the sort of thing that seemed to happen a lot to Curtis Sliwa,
the headline-grabbing leader of New York City's red-bereted Guardian Angels.
As he told the story 12 years ago, he was patrolling a subway station
late one night with his band of volunteer peacekeepers. Three men approached,
detectives with the New York City Transit Police. They said a Guardian
Angel working in another subway station had been seriously hurt and rushed
to a hospital. Sliwa said he had gone with the men -- but they didn't
take him to the hospital. Instead, he said, they drove him to a beach
40 miles away and dumped him with a warning: If the Guardian Angels didn't
quit patrolling the subways, they would kill him.

The incident was front-page news in New York City in October 1980. The
only problem, says Sliwa, 38, is that the story was a lie. There was no
injured Angel, no detectives, no kidnapping, no death threat. He made
everything up, he admits, simply to get publicity for the Guardian Angels,
a quasi-military civilian security force he formed in 1979 to patrol the
city's streets and subways. "Everyone was against us," he says.
"The Mayor, the cops, even the public. We just needed some good attention."

Sliwa, now 53, continues to wear the Guardian Angels signature red beret
(rumored to hide his baldness) and jacket like a former jock parading
around in a high school football jersey. His rude, crude remarks were
not just accepted, they seemed to be welcome.

It was pretty clear that Sliwa had planned his “joke” about
wanting to attack Rosie in advance. First, he worked into the discussion
that she likes to hang upside down “like a bat.” Then, pantomiming
beating her with a club, he added, “and I only wish I had that bat
to take at her like a human piñata.” The other guest, Ellis
Henican, laughed loudly.

Sliwa added with hammy gestures, “She’s a bully girl.”

Alan Colmes said, “You just said you want to hit her with a bat
and SHE’S a bully?”

Obviously relishing the spotlight, Sliwa went on to compare her to Jabba
The Hutt.

Sean Hannity didn’t mind a bit that Sliwa had just advocated physical
harm to someone on the air. He continued to vilify Rosie. “She is
mean, she is nasty, she’s a bully and she’s also ignorant
on the facts,” Hannity, the pot, said. He went on to attack her
for saying “The terrorists are mothers and fathers, too.”
Let’s see, which is worse, saying that terrorists are mothers and
fathers or advocating attacking someone with a baseball bat? Obviously,
for Hannity, it’s the former.

Hannity continued with Hanctimonious outrage. “Her statement here
is that 655,000 Iraqi civilians have died, which is a lie, number one.”
In fact, that’s not a lie. It may be incorrect but that is the figure
that the respected British medical journal The Lancet arrived at last

Sliwa offered another of what seemed like a premeditated bon mot. “Given
the choice between President George W. Bush – like him or not like
him – it seems she would favor President – I think you got
his name right – I’m in the mood for Jihad, there in Iran.”
Sliwa was so pleased with his humor, he repeated it.

Sliwa continued, “Now you can criticize our president. But if you
notice, there’s a certain venom (his voice rose dramatically and
his hands gestured theatrically) that pores from her lips. The sarcasm
drips from her lips.”

Hannity pointed his bullyboy pen and shouted at Henican, “When
do you stand up and say enough is enough from this bully and this ignoramus?”
Sliwa nodded his head emphatically.

I so wished that Henican had said the obvious: Why didn't Hannity stand
up and say enough is enough when his own guest advocated violence against
someone else? But, like most of the Democratic guests on the show, Henican
didn’t seem to mind that a woman was being demeaned and abused (if
not actually threatened) because she had been outspoken with an opinion
Hannity and company didn’t like.

As the segment ended, Colmes at least worked in an attempt to address
that point. “Just because you don’t support the president’s
policies (doesn’t) mean you support Saddam Hussein or Osama bin
Laden,” he said.

I figure that’s about as far as he can go as a host. What’s
the guest’s excuse?

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RE: RE: got scalar?!?

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ♥ Angel ♥ ™ ~For Truth~
Date: May 25, 2007 7:29 PM

Thanks: Sinchi Runa (enemy of tyrannical regimes)

gee-zus fukin christ.... pardon my loss of civility.

one who knows scalar waves...

google scalar wars...

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Earth Harmonics
Date: May 25, 2007 7:12 PM

Here are a couple images of the orginal tower Tesla built for wireless energy transmission
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And here is the "clock tower" in Baghdad

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

These are structures that line up exactly with the clock tower

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
..the one in the middle is a stadium

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
and the right one is the tomb of the unknown soldier.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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RE: Find Ron Paul Supporters and Ron Paul 2008 Meetups near you…


RE: RE: Rosie has been silenced from her Veiw!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ♥ Angel ♥ ™ ~For Truth~
Date: May 25, 2007 6:16 PM

From: Shame On U.S.
Date: May 25, 2007 6:01 PM

Too bad the loose change segment never happened!:(

Rosie Fights Last Fight on 'The View'
By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer
46 minutes ago

NEW YORK - Rosie O'Donnell has fought her last fight at "The View." ABC said Friday she asked for, and received, an early exit from her contract at the daytime chatfest following her angry confrontation with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Wednesday. She was due to leave in mid-June.

It ended a colorful eight-month tenure for O'Donnell that lifted the show's ratings but no doubt caused heartburn for show creator Barbara Walters. O'Donnell feuded with Donald Trump and frequently had snippy exchanges with the more conservative Hasselbeck.

O'Donnell said last month she would be leaving because she could not agree to a new contract with ABC executives.

"Rosie contributed to one of our most exciting and successful years at `The View,'" Walters said. "I am most appreciative. Our close and affectionate relationship will not change."

In a statement, O'Donnell said that "it's been an amazing year and I love all three women."

No one was feeling the love on Wednesday, when the argument with Hasselbeck began over O'Donnell's statement last week about the war: "655,000 Iraqi civilians have died. Who are the terrorists?"

Talk show critics accused O'Donnell of calling U.S. troops terrorists. She called Hasselbeck "cowardly" for not saying anything in response to the critics.

"Do not call me a coward, because No. 1, I sit here every single day, open my heart and tell people what I believe," Hasselbeck retorted, and their riveting exchange continued despite failed attempts by their co-hosts to cut to a commercial.

According to a New York Post report, O'Donnell's chief writer, Janette Barber, was allegedly led out of the building on Wednesday after she was caught drawing mustaches on photographs of Hasselbeck in "The View" studios. ABC executives didn't return repeated calls for questions on the incident Friday.

On Thursday O'Donnell had asked for a day off to celebrate her partner's birthday. "The View" aired a taped show on Friday.

On her Web site, O'Donnell posted a scrapbooklike video on Friday with pictures and news clippings of her tenure at "The View." Cyndi Lauper's "Sisters of Babylon" played in the background.

A day earlier, she posted messages on her Web site indicating she might not be back.

"When painting there is a point u must step away from the canvas as the work is done," she wrote. "Any more would take away."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RE: Ron Paul: Elements of Government May Stage False Flag Event

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Leo/FightNWO-Resisting World Government
Date: May 25, 2007 6:23 PM

(Click here) Digg This Article!!!)

Ron Paul Says Elements of Government May Stage False Flag as Pretext to Attack Iran

Prison Planet | May 25, 2007
Steve Watson

When Ron Paul told a packed TV studio and the watching world that "They attack us because we attack them over there" he was making an extremely cogent and informed point about US foreign policy on more than one level.

Though it is clear Ron Paul was undermining the fallacy the American people have been sold in the shape of the "war on terror", Paul was also repeating an assertion he has made many times before that the agenda of those in the White House now is a systematic continuation of aggression abroad as well as an exploitation of its fallout in order to push for total authoritarian global control.

While the media has attempted to spin his words and acuse him of saying Americans are to blame for being hated, Paul was actually making it clear that it is the policy of the US government that is to blame and that has continued to stimulate hatred, sometimes even for its own gain.

In his famed Neoconned speech a few years ago for example, Paul outlined the fact that the self-proclaimed neo-conservatives are not conservative and there is nothing new about the disgraceful philosophy to which they adhere. Their philosophy of endless war and big government really finds its roots in Machiavelli's obsession with the “greatness of the state” along with Trotsky's belief in “permanent revolution.”

Paul has warned of a new world order based on this philosophy many times. ..>

In an Interview with the Alex Jones show last year Paul sternly warned listeners of a push towards an authoritarian global government:

"Who do we have at the UN? Bolton, the arch Neo-Con warmonger and actually what they've done is taken the Neo-Con position on intervening on the internal affairs of other nations and regime change and they've institutionalized that in the United Nations, now the UN is in the business of regime change."

"I think the goal is one world government - we have not only the U.N. - we have the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, then we have all the subsidiaries like NAFTA and hemispheric governments, highways coming in."

Most recently at a campaign stop in Austin Paul repeated this warning :

Ron Paul responded, "The first President Bush said the New World Order was in tune-- and that's what they were working for. The U.N. is part of that government. They're working right now very significantly towards a North American Union. That's why there's a lot of people in Washington right now who don't care too much about our borders. They have a philosophical belief that national sovereignty is not important. It's also the reason I've made the very strong suggestion the U.S. need not be in the U.N. for national security reasons."

Taken in this context, Paul's warnings on foreign policy become a lot clearer. The Cabal that has seized control of America and subverted the constitutional values of the country by consistently launching preemptive military activity abroad, overtly and covertly, has an agenda to seize control of all nations across the globe in the same manner.

Though Rudy Guiliani and an audience of Fox news goons seemingly found it "absurd" that people do not like being waged war upon, both the vaunted 9/11 Commission Report and the CIA admit that American. foreign policy has endangered the U.S.

"The 9-11 Commission report detailed how bin Laden had, in 1996, issued "his self-styled fatwa calling on Muslims to drive American soldiers out of Saudi Arabia" and identified that declaration and another in 1998 as part of "a long series" of statements objecting to U.S. military interventions in his native Saudi Arabia in particular and the Middle East in general. Statements from bin Laden and those associated with him prior to 9-11 consistently expressed anger with the U.S. military presence on the Arabian Peninsula, U.S. aggression against the Iraqi people and U.S. support of Israel," reported the Nation .

At a National Press Club conference held yesterday entitled "Educating Rudy Guiliani on American foreign policy" Ron Paul defended his position.

In answer to those who have challenged his patriotism he quoted Paul Wolfowitz, asserting that in a previous speech the arch neocon essentially confirmed exactly what Ron Paul is saying about US foreign policy:

"There are a lot of things that are different now (after 9/11), one thing that has gone almost unnoticed but is huge is that by complete mutual agreement between the United States and the Saudi governments, we can now remove almost all our forces from Saudi Arabia."

Wolfowitz was acknowledging the fact that American forces in the middle east were fomenting Islamic tensions and fostering extremism.

Michael Scheuer, the former head of the Bin Laden unit at the CIA, backed up Ron Paul and asserted that it is absurd to believe that the "war on terror" has anything to do with a preservation of freedom or the way of life of the American people.

He stated that it is solely fueled by a consistent aggressive American foreign policy in the middle east and points out that there is no Presidential candidate other than Ron Paul who has even addressed the issue.

He then outlined six primers that he believes have led the US and the world into the precarious position it now faces:

  • The ability to control the price of oil
  • Unqualified support for Israel
  • Presence on the Arabian Peninsula
  • Military presence in Muslim countries
  • Support for governments that are viewed across the world as oppressing Muslims - Russia in Chechnya, india in Kashmir
  • Fifty year plus support of Arab police states and Tyrannies

It is clear however that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon know exactly what the reaction and fallout will be to and from their actions and is all too willing to use this to its own advantage to further its foreign agenda, rather than wasting their time analysing where it has come from.

Documents such as P2OG , which outlined a vast operational program of actually inciting extremism in order to widen the unrest and justify a more aggressive foreign policy have proven this.

The long policy of funding, equipping and training whichever militant groups it sees fit in any given country for furthering its own goals abroad is also a clear indication that the war on terror is nothing other than a meal ticket to these people.

Ron Paul has also stated that he fears the controlling cabal may even stage false flag events in order to further an aggressive foreign policy and achieve neocon goals outlined by the Project for the New American century's Rebuilding America's Defenses document_

Most recently Paul stated that he fears a staged incident may be used to provoke air strikes on Iran as numerous factors collide to heighten expectations that America may soon be embroiled in its third war in six years.

Writing in his syndicated weekly column earlier this year, the representative of Texas' 14th district warned of "a contrived Gulf of Tonkin-type incident (that) may occur to gain popular support for an attack on Iran."

The August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, where US warships were apparently attacked by North Vietnamese PT Boats, was cited by President Johnson as a legitimate provocation mandating U.S. escalation in Vietnam, yet Tonkin was a staged charade that never took place. Declassified LBJ presidential tapes discuss how to spin the non-event to escalate it as justification for air strikes and the NSA faked intelligence data to make it appear as if two US ships had been lost.

Make no mistake about it Ron Paul has given America a clear warning about a new world order he stands firmly in opposition to. The people of America still have a choice and that choice should emphatically be Ron Paul.

(Click here) Digg This Article!!!)

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RE: NH Patriot stands up to fraudulent IRS, stand-off looms

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: El*A*Kwents- Does this look like Freedom?
Date: May 26, 2007 1:12 PM

By Margot Sanger-Katz
Monitor staff
January 22. 2007 8:00AM

Ed Brown parted ways with his wife last week when he decided not to join her for the conclusion of their federal tax evasion trial. But after barricading himself in his fortified Plainfield home and refusing to surrender to authorities, Brown has amassed a new and growing group of friends who support his decision to stand up to government authority.

Since Brown and his wife were convicted last week, his case has captured the attention of a variety of fringe groups, including Gandhi-admiring protesters who have limited their involvement to building bonfires and waving signs and armed militia members anxious for confrontation. Some appreciate Brown's stand against the federal income tax, some his pointed criticism of the federal courts, and others his willingness to die for his cause. Whatever their reasons, they've all congregated at the sprawling fortress Brown calls home, turning it into a libertarian carnival with an uncertain ending.

"Everybody has their own place on that spectrum," said Dave Ridley of Keene, who has spent several days in Plainfield and positions himself on the nonviolent end. Ridley said he owns a gun but locks it up at home before going to Brown's. "Of course, any group of libertarians has a thousand different opinions."

When news of Brown's decision began circulating on talk radio shows and militia-oriented blogs earlier this week, journalists at the Brown homestead outnumbered supporters. As Brown declared that Plainfield might become another Waco, three strangers huddled in his heated garage and emphasized that they had no interest in shooting anyone.

But as word has spread and the weekend freed many from workday obligations, the number of those camping at the Brown home has swelled. Estimates were difficult to obtain because supporters were spread throughout the house, sleeping in shifts. And some, Brown said, were hidden outside. But several visitors estimated that the number fluctuated between 15 and 30 this weekend.

That group includes one woman who drove an hour to Plainfield and brought Brown a bottle of ginger ale, a carload of young libertarians from Keene and the New York leader of a national anti-tax organization with thousands of members.
Brown said he's been moved by the number and enthusiasm of the supporters he's met since deciding to hole up at home.

"This situation is exploding so fast in this nation and internationally that the Illuminati around the world are becoming very aware," Brown said, referring to a rumored secret society that he believes has infiltrated the highest levels of the world's governments.

Brown and his wife, Elaine, were convicted Thursday of 20 felonies related to the couple's refusal to pay income taxes since 1996. They will be sentenced in April. Elaine Brown, who is cooperating with authorities, has been prohibited from returning to the house. On Friday, the court unsealed a bench warrant for Ed Brown's arrest.

Brown said he's prepared to wait as long as it takes. His home, with its solar panels and private well, was designed to function "off the grid." Brown said he has enough food to last several months, and those provisions are replenished daily as supporters come and go, bringing snacks and takeout dinners with them.

Despite the threat of looming violence, Brown's kitchen was abuzz with activity yesterday afternoon. Young children built forts from the kindling stacked beside his woodstove. Activists shared newsletters on how to avoid paying property taxes and why it's a bad idea to register to vote. Men munched on Doritos, and women poured their children glasses of orange juice. Rob Jacobs of Allenstown prepared to be sworn into the Constitution Rangers of the Continental Congress of 1777, a group charged with holding law enforcement officials accountable to the Constitution.

Over the course of the week, Brown has said repeatedly that he would rather die than submit to federal jurisdiction and that he's readying himself for an armed standoff when the marshals come to arrest him.

But U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier has said his office has no intention of beginning a violent confrontation. Monier said that his officers have been communicating regularly with Brown in hopes of reaching a peaceful resolution.

Several friends and bloggers have been calling for a bloody conclusion to the situation. William Miller, a friend and fellow Constitution Ranger, sent an e-mail last weekend demanding the hanging of the federal judge and prosecutor who worked on Brown's case - and the martyrdom of Brown himself.

"Ed Brown, my friend and mentor, for patriotic reasons, is now worth more to me, and to what I stand for, dead, than alive," Miller wrote.

Brown said that Miller has clarified his position with the marshals and that he does not personally endorse any violence toward court officials. But Miller is not the only Brown supporter making violent proclamations. The Liberty Guard of New America, a militia group, has also called for the murder of the judge.

Supporters at Brown's home said the only violence they anticipated was defensive, but several said that they see a shootout as an inevitability.

"There's been violence throughout our history, and it's sometimes what it takes to right the wrongs." said Bernie Bastian, a close friend of Brown who has been at his side since the trial ended. "It's a shame that men can't right the wrongs without resorting to it."

Other visitors said they were visiting Brown to lend moral support but did not plan to participate in any gun battle. Tim and Marylisa Logsdon spent the weekend at the house with their three young children. Tim Logsdon said he did not feel he was putting his family in any danger.

"The building is pretty secure," he said. "And the feds have promised that they won't raid."

Brown said he was ambivalent about the prospect of violence. He'd prefer a peaceful resolution, he said, but feels that there are few options available to him.

"I would like to see this whole thing go away," he said. "But now's the time it's continuing to build."

------ End of article


----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Scruffy: Enemy Combatant
Date: Jan 22, 2007 10:39 AM

RE: Ed Brown and the standoff- Please Repost!
----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Joe
Date: Jan 22, 2007 10:34 AM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Matt
Date: Jan 21, 2007 4:43 PM

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Ed Brown lost in federal court his battle "tax evasion" case. Now, he goes for sentencing this April where they'll take him to jail.



The Feds now are expected to go to his home and serve a warrant and attempt to take him to jail.


As you see in the picture above, Ed has reinforced his home into a ginormous fortress. He has blocked incoming access on his private road to his house. We all expect this to be a standoff like Waco . . but hopefully it won't go there.

Peacefully, this cannot be resolved and Ed knows that. Ed is more than likely knowing that if he's going down, he's going down in a serious battle.

After doing research, Ed is very educated about our crooked government and has seen Alex Jones films and Aaron Russo's Freedom to Fascism. Keep in mind here that Ed has not broken any Federal laws. He is simply protecting his and OUR rights.

We have to support Ed in this battle against the tyrants!

Do what you can, Email Ed . . Call Ed . . . do whatever it takes! So far, only 10 people have came to stand with Ed . . . . We need more people out there . . . . If you can do it, than please call Ed and let him know.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Forward this video to 9:40

Ed & Elaine Brown
401 Center of Town Road
Plainfield, New Hampshire

Please contact the Sheriff's office in every way that you can at:
Michael L. Prozzo, Jr.
Sullivan County Sheriff's Office
14 Main St.
P.O. Box 27
Newport, NH 03773
PH 603.863.4200
FAX 603.863.0012
call 603-863-4200 for the local police station, too.

Please write the Judge at:
Judge McAuliffe,
55 Pleasant
Concord, NH

Contact Elected Officials In Ed Brown's District

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RE: RE: The REAL Cause Of The War On Terror

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: El*A*Kwents- Does this look like Freedom?
Date: May 26, 2007 1:12 PM

RE: The REAL Cause Of The War On Terror

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Jennifer
Date: Jan 23, 2007 10:19 AM

The REAL Cause Of The War On Terror

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The Man Common
Date: Jan 23, 2007 6:52 AM

The Living Reality of Military-Economic Fascism

By Robert Higgs

Go To Original

"The business of buying weapons that takes place in the Pentagon is a corrupt business — ethically and morally corrupt from top to bottom. The process is dominated by advocacy, with few, if any, checks and balances. Most people in power like this system of doing business and do not want it changed." – Colonel James G. Burton (1993, 232)

In countries such as the United States, whose economies are commonly, though inaccurately, described as "capitalist" or "free-market," war and preparation for war systematically corrupt both parties to the state-private transactions by which the government obtains the bulk of its military goods and services.

On one side, business interests seek to bend the state's decisions in their favor by corrupting official decision-makers with outright and de facto bribes. The former include cash, gifts in kind, loans, entertainment, transportation, lodging, prostitutes' services, inside information about personal investment opportunities, overly generous speaking fees, and promises of future employment or "consulting" patronage for officials or their family members, whereas the latter include campaign contributions (sometimes legal, sometimes illegal), sponsorship of political fund-raising events, and donations to charities or other causes favored by the relevant government officials.

Reports of this sort of corruption appear from time to time in the press under the rubric of "military scandal" (see, for example, Biddle 1985, Wines 1989, Hinds 1992, "National Briefing" 2003, Pasztor and Karp 2004, Colarusso 2004, Calbreath and Kammer 2005, Wood 2005, Babcock 2006, Ross 2006, and "Defense Contractor Guilty in Bribe Case" 2006). On the other, much more important side, the state corrupts business people by effectively turning them into co-conspirators in and beneficiaries of its most fundamental activity — plundering the general public.

Participants in the military-industrial-congressional complex (MICC) are routinely blamed for "mismanagement," not infrequently they are accused of "waste, fraud, and abuse," and from time to time a few of them are indicted for criminal offenses (Higgs 1988, 1990, xx-xxiii, 2004; Fitzgerald 1989; Kovacic 1990a, 1990b).

All of these unsavory actions, however, are typically viewed as aberrations — misfeasances to be rectified or malfeasances to be punished while retaining the basic system of state-private cooperation in the production of military goods and services (for an explicit example of the "aberration" claim, see Fitzgerald 1989, 197–98). I maintain, in contrast, that these offenses and even more serious ones are not simply unfortunate blemishes on a basically sound arrangement, but superficial expressions of a thoroughgoing, intrinsic rottenness in the entire setup.

It is regrettable in any event for people to suffer under the weight of a state and its military apparatus, but the present arrangement — a system of military-economic fascism as instantiated in the United States by the MICC — is worse than full-fledged military-economic socialism. In the latter, the people are oppressed, because they are taxed, conscripted, and regimented, but they are not co-opted and corrupted by joining forces with their rapacious rulers; a clear line separates them from the predators on the "dark side."

With military-economic fascism, however, the line becomes blurred, and a substantial number of people actively hop back and forth across it: advisory committees, such as the Defense Science Board and the Defense Policy Board and university administrators meet regularly with Pentagon officials (see Borger 2003 for a report of an especially remarkable meeting), and the revolving door spins furiously — according to a September 2002 report, "[t]hirty-two major Bush appointees are former executives, consultants, or major shareholders of top weapons contractors" (Ciarrocca 2002, 2; see also Hamburger 2003, Doward 2003, Stubbing 1986, 90, 96, and Kotz 1988, 230), and a much greater number cross the line at lower levels.

Moreover, military-economic fascism, by empowering and enriching wealthy, intelligent, and influential members of the public, removes them from the ranks of potential opponents and resisters of the state and thereby helps to perpetuate the state's existence and its intrinsic class exploitation of people outside the state. Thus, military-economic fascism simultaneously strengthens the state and weakens civil society, even as it creates the illusion of a vibrant private sector patriotically engaged in supplying goods and services to the heroic military establishment (the Boeing Company's slickly produced television ads, among others, splendidly illustrate this propagandistically encouraged illusion).

Garden-variety Military-Economic Corruption of Government Officials

We need not dwell long on the logic of garden-variety military-economic corruption. As pots of honey attract flies, so pots of money attract thieves and con men. No organization has more money at its disposal than the US government, which attracts thieves and con men at least in full proportion to its control of wealth. Unscrupulous private parties who desire to gain a slice of the government's booty converge on the morally dismal swamp known as Washington, DC, and take whatever actions they expect will divert a portion of the loot into their own hands. Anyone who expects honor among thieves will be sorely disappointed by the details of these sordid activities.

Although headlines alone cannot convey the resplendently lurid details, they can suggest the varieties of putrid sloughs that drain into the swamp:

  • Audit Cites Pentagon Contractors [for widespread abuse of overhead charges]
  • Ex-Unisys Official Admits Paying Bribes to Get Pentagon Contracts
  • Top Republican on a House Panel Is Charged With Accepting Bribes
  • Ex-Pentagon Officials Sentenced [for taking monetary bribes and accepting prostitutes' services from contractors]
  • Northrop Papers Indicate Coverup: Documents from '80s Show Accounting Irregularities Were Hidden from Pentagon
  • Revolving Door Leads to Jail: Former Acquisition Official Convicted of Steering Business to Boeing for Personal Gain
  • Contractor "Knew How to Grease the Wheels": ADCS Founder Spent Years Cultivating Political Contacts
  • Graft Lurks within Pentagon's "Black Budget": Top-secret Items Escape Oversight
  • Contractor Pleads Guilty to Corruption: Probe Extends Beyond Bribes to Congressman
  • From Cash to Yachts: Congressman's Bribe Menu; Court Documents Show Randall "Duke" Cunningham Set Bribery Rates
  • Defense Contractor Guilty in Bribe Case

(Sources for these headlines appear, respectively, in the citations given in the third paragraph of this article.) Anyone who cares to accumulate all such news articles may look forward to full employment for the rest of his life.

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"No organization has more money at its disposal than the US government, which attracts thieves and con men at least in full proportion to its control of wealth."

Yet, notwithstanding the many culprits who are caught in the act, one must realistically assume that a far greater number get away scot-free. As Ernest Fitzgerald, an extraordinarily knowledgeable authority with extensive personal experience, has observed, the entire system of military procurement is pervaded by dishonesty: "Government officials, from the majestic office of the president to the lowest, sleaziest procurement office, lie routinely and with impunity in defense of the system," and "the combination of loose procurement rules and government acquiescence in rip-offs leaves many a crook untouched" (1989, 312, 290).

Among the instructive cases now making their way through the justice system are several related to recently convicted congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham, a war hero and longtime titan of the MICC who currently resides in a federal penitentiary. Chief among the persons under continuing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation is Brent Wilkes, a DC high-flyer who is alleged to have been involved tangentially in events leading to the recent sacking of former congressman and Director of Central Intelligence Porter Goss. According to a May 7, 2006, report in the New York Daily News, ongoing FBI and CIA investigations of Kyle (Dusty) Foggo, formerly the third-ranking official at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who resigned in May 2006 amid a swirl of allegations,

have focused on the Watergate poker parties thrown by defense contractor Brent Wilkes, a high-school buddy of Foggo's, that were attended by disgraced former Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham and other lawmakers.

Foggo has claimed he went to the parties "just for poker" amid allegations that Wilkes, a top GOP fund-raiser and a member of the $100,000 "Pioneers" of Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, provided prostitutes, limos and hotel suites to Cunningham.

Cunningham is serving an eight-year sentence after pleading to taking $2.4 million in bribes to steer defense contracts to cronies.

Wilkes hosted regular parties for 15 years at the Watergate and Westin Grand Hotels for lawmakers and lobbyists. Intelligence sources said Goss has denied attending the parties as CIA director, but that left open whether he may have attended as a Republican congressman from Florida who was head of the House Intelligence Committee. (Sisk 2006)

In your mind, multiply this squalid little scenario by one thousand, and you will begin to gain a vision of what goes on in the MICC's higher reaches. Evidently, the daily routine there is not all wailing and gnashing of teeth over how to defend the country against Osama bin Laden and his horde of murderous maniacs — our country's leaders require frequent periods of rest and recreation. If this sort of fun and games at taxpayer expense is your idea of responsible government, then you ought to answer "yes" when the pollster calls to ask whether you favor an increase in the defense budget. Our government is clearly at work — at work making chumps out of its loyal subjects and laughing at these rubes all the way to the bank.

Legal Corruption of Government Officials

The truly big bucks, of course, need not be compromised in the least by this sweaty species of fraud and workaday corruption (Kovacic 1990a,89–90, 103 n197; 1990b, 118, 130 n94–101). Just as someone who kills one person is a murderer, whereas someone who kills a million persons is a statesman, so the government officials who steer hundreds of billions of dollars, perhaps without violating any law or regulation, to the Star Wars contractors and the producers of other big-ticket weapon systems account for the bulk of the swag laundered through the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. (Lest the latter organization be overlooked, see the enormously revealing account by Bennett 2006.)

I am not saying that this huge component of the MICC is squeaky clean — far from it — but only that the corruption in this area, in dollar terms, falls mainly under the heading of legal theft, or at least in the gray area (Stubbing 1986, 407). As a Lockheed employee once wrote to Fitzgerald, "the government doesn't really need this stuff. It's just the best way to get rich quick. If they really needed all these nuclear bombs and killer satellites, they wouldn't run this place the way they do" (qtd. in Fitzgerald 1989, 313; see also Meyer 2002). I personally recall Fitzgerald's saying to me twenty years ago at Lafayette College, "A defense contract is just a license to steal."

Absence of Proper Accounting Invites Theft

Indeed, Fitzgerald appeared as a witness at Senator Chuck Grassley's September 1998 hearings titled "License to Steal: Administrative Oversight of Financial Control Failures at the Department of Defense." At those hearings, Grassley released two new audit reports prepared by the General Accounting Office and another report prepared by his staff in cooperation with the Air Force Office of Financial Management. According to Grassley's September 21, 1998, press release, "These reports consistently show that sloppy accounting procedures and ineffective or nonexistent internal controls leave DoD's accounts vulnerable to theft and abuse. Failure by the DoD to exercise proper accounting procedures has resulted in fraud and mismanagement of the taxpayers' money."

Although this sort of complaint has become an annual ritual, dutifully reported in the press, the Pentagon has never managed to put its accounts into a form that can even be audited. Like Dick Cheney, who chose not to fight in the Vietnam War, the military brass seems to have had other priorities, even though for more than a decade the Defense Department has invariably stood in violation of the 1994 federal statute that requires every government department to make a financial audit (Higgs 2005, 55–61).

..> ..>
"If this sort of fun and games at taxpayer expense is your idea of responsible government, then you ought to answer yes when the pollster calls to ask whether you favor an increase in the defense budget."

Testifying before a congressional committee on August 3, 2006, Thomas F. Gimble, the department's acting inspector general, emphasized "financial management problems that are long standing, pervasive, and deeply rooted in virtually all operations."

Expanding on this general observation with specific reference to the fiscal year 2005 agency-wide principal financial statements, he stated: "We issued a disclaimer of opinion for the statements because numerous deficiencies continue to exist related to the quality of data, adequacy of reporting systems, and reliability of internal controls."

Of the nine organizational components "required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prepare and obtain an audit opinion on their FY 2005 financial statements," only one received an unqualified opinion and one a qualified opinion. "All the others, including the agency-wide financial statements, received a disclaimer of opinion, as they have every year in the past…. The weaknesses that affect the auditability of the financial statements also impact other DoD programs and operations and contribute to waste, mismanagement, and inefficient use of DoD resources. These weaknesses affect the safeguarding of assets and proper use of funds and impair the prevention and identification of fraud, waste, and abuse" (US Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General 2006, 1–2, emphasis added).

In Iraq since the US invasion in 2003, billions of dollars have simply disappeared without leaving a trace ("Audit: US Lost Track" 2005, Krane 2006). Surely they did not all evaporate in the hot desert sun. The accounts at Homeland Security are in equally horrible condition (Bennett 2006, 110–11).

No one knows how much money or specific property is missing from the military and homeland-security departments or where the missing assets have gone. If a public corporation kept its accounts this atrociously, the Securities and Exchange Commission would shut it down overnight. Government officials, however, need not worry about obedience to the laws they make to assure their credulous subjects that everything is hunky-dory inside the walls. When they are of a mind, they simply flout those laws with impunity.

PAC Contributions to Politicians and Their Parties Are Bribes

Political action committees (PACs) evolved and eventually obtained legal validation as vehicles for making lawful bribes to candidates for federal offices and to their political parties. Candidates now count on them for a large share of their campaign funds, and everyone over eleven years of age with an IQ above 70 understands that these contributions are made with an understanding that they will elicit a quid pro quo from the recipients who win the elections.

Military-economic interests have not been timid about forming PACs and transferring huge sums of money through them to the candidates. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, "defense" PACs transferred more than $70 million to candidates and parties in the election cycles from 1990 to 2006. Individuals and soft-money contributors (before soft-money contributions were outlawed after the 2002 elections) in the "defense" sector added more than $37 million, bringing the total to nearly $108 million (the figures are available here).

No one knows how much was added by illegal and hence unrecorded contributions made by military interests, but the addition might well have been substantial, if we may judge by the many accounts of individual instances of such contributions that have been brought to light over the years.

Figure 1 shows the amounts transferred during the past nine election cycles.

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..> ..>

Figure 1. Contributions by "Defense" Interests in Federal Elections, 1990–2006

Source: Center for Responsive Politics

Note: Soft money contributions (defined as those that do not explicitly urge voters to cast their ballots for specific candidates) after the 2002 elections were banned by the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act.

Methodology: The numbers are based on contributions of $200 or more from PACs and individuals to federal candidates and from PAC, soft money and individual donors to political parties, as reported to the Federal Election Commission. Although election cycles are shown in the chart as 1996, 1998, 2000, etc., they actually represent two-year periods. For example, the 2002 election cycle runs from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2002.

One may deny, of course, that PAC contributions constitute a form of corruption, inasmuch as they are legal within the statutorily specified limits, but such a denial would elevate form over substance. Both the givers and the receivers understand these payments in exactly the same way that they understand illegal forms of bribery, even though they never admit this understanding in public — political decorum must be served, if only to protect the children.

How Government Corrupts Business

A brief review of the history of US military contracting helps to clarify my claim that military-economic transactions tend to corrupt business. The most important historical fact is that before 1940, except during wartime, such dealings amounted to very little. The United States had only a tiny standing army and no standing munitions industry worthy of the name. When wars occurred, the government supplemented the products of its own arsenals and navy yards with goods and services purchased from private contractors, but most such items were off-the-shelf civilian goods, such as boots, clothing, food, and transportation services.

To be sure, plenty of occasions arose for garden-variety corruption in these dealings — bribes, kickbacks, provision of shoddy goods, and so forth (Brandes 1997) – but such malfeasances were usually one-shot or fleeting transgressions, because the demobilizations that followed the conclusion of each war removed the opportunity for such corruption to become institutionalized to a significant degree in law, persistent organizations, or ongoing practice.

Like gaudy fireworks, these sporadic outbursts of corruption flared brightly and then turned to dead cinders. No substantial peacetime contracting existed to fuel enduring corruption of the military's private suppliers, and much of the contracting that did take place occurred within the constraints of rigid solicitations and sealed-bid offers, which made cozy deals between a military buyer and a private seller difficult to arrange. At late as fiscal year 1940, the War Department made 87 percent of its purchases through advertising and invitations to bid (Higgs 2006a, 39).

..> ..>
"The Pentagon has never managed to put its accounts into a form that can even be audited."

All this changed abruptly and forever in 1940, and the situation that existed during the so-called defense period of 1940–41, before the United States became a declared belligerent in World War II, and the manner in which it was resolved had an enduring effect in shaping the contours of the MICC and hence in establishing its characteristic corruption of business.

The Roosevelt administration, desperate to build up the nation's capacity for war after the breathtaking German triumphs in the spring of 1940, made an abrupt about-face, abandoning its relentless flagellation of businessmen and investors and instead courting their favor as prime movers in the buildup of the munitions industries. Most businessmen, however, having been anathematized and legislatively pummeled for the past six years, were reluctant to enter into such deals, for a variety of reasons, chief among them being their fear and distrust of the federal government (Higgs 2006a, 36–38).

To placate the leery businessmen by shifting the risks from them onto the taxpayers, the government adopted several important changes in its procurement laws and regulations. These included negotiated cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts, instead of contracts arrived at within the solicitation-and-sealed-bid system; various forms of tax breaks; government loan guarantees; direct government funding of plants, equipment, and materials; and provision of advance and progress payments, sparing the contractors the need to obtain and pay interest on bank loans.

All of these arrangements, with greater or lesser variations in their details from time to time, became permanent features of the MICC (US Senate, Committee on Armed Services 1985, 35, 42, 553–67).

Even more important, as the new system operated on a vast scale during World War II, the dealings between the military purchasers and the private suppliers took on a fundamentally new style. As described by Wilberton Smith, the official historian of the Army's economic mobilization during the war:

The relationship between the government and its contractors was gradually transformed from an "arm's length" relationship between two more or less equal parties in a business transaction into an undefined but intimate relationship — partly business, partly fiduciary, and partly unilateral — in which the financial, contractual, statutory, and other instruments and assumptions of economic activity were reshaped to meet the ultimate requirements of victory in war. Under the new conditions, contracts ceased to be completely binding; fixed prices in contracts often became only tentative and provisional prices; excessive profits received by contractors were recoverable by the government; and potential losses resulting from many causes — including errors, poor judgments, and performance failures on the part of contractors — were averted by modification and amendment of contracts, with or without legal "consideration," whenever required by the exigencies of the war effort. (1959, 312, emphasis added)

Although Smith was describing the system as it came to operate during World War II, almost everything he said fits the postwar MICC as well (Higgs 2006a, 31–33), especially his depiction of the buyer-seller dealings as constituting "an undefined but intimate relationship" and his recognition that "contracts ceased to be completely binding."

Thus, the institutional changes made in 1940–41 and the wartime operation of the military-industrial complex in the context of these new rules put permanently in place the essential features of the modern procurement system, which has repeatedly demonstrated its imperviousness to reform for the past sixty years — it was too good a deal to give up even after the demise of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, and with breathtaking chutzpah, the system's kingpins parlayed the box-cutter attacks of 9/11 into an excuse to pour hundreds of billions of additional dollars into purchases of Cold War weaponry (Sapolsky and Gholz 2001, Isenberg and Eland 2002, Higgs 2004, Makinson 2004).

Under the old, pre-1940 system, a private business rarely had anything to gain by wining and dining military buyers or congressmen. Unless a firm made the lowest-priced sealed-bid offer to supply a carefully specified good, it would not get the contract. The military buyer knew what he needed, and he had a tightly limited budget with which to get it. After 1940, however, the newly established "intimate relationship" opened up a whole new world for wheeling and dealing on both sides of the deal — often it was difficult to say whether the government agent was shaking down the businessman or the businessman was bribing the government agent.

..> ..>
"In Iraq since the US invasion in 2003, billions of dollars have simply disappeared without leaving a trace."

In fact, until the military purchasing agency certified a company as qualified, the firm could not make a valid offer, even in the context of competitive bidding. In the post-1940 era, only a small fraction of all contracts emerged from formally advertised, sealed-bid competition, and most contracts were negotiated without any kind of price competition (Higgs 2006a, 39; Stubbing 1986, 226, 411).

Deals came to turn not on price, but on technical and scientific capabilities, size, experience, and established reputation as a military supplier — vaguer attributes that are easier to fudge for one's friends. From time to time, deals also turned on the perceived need to keep a big firm from going under. For example, Fen Hampson observes that in the early 1970s, "The bidding [for production of the C-4 (Trident I) missile] was not opened to other companies because Lockheed was encountering financial difficulties at the time and desperately needed the business" (1989, 92).

Indeed, scholars have identified an extensive pattern of rotating major contracts that has been dubbed a "follow-on imperative" or a "bailout imperative," a virtual guarantee against bankruptcy, regardless of mismanagement or other corporate ineptitude (Nieburg 1966, 201, 269; Kurth 1973, 142–44; Kaufman 1972, 289; Dumas 1977, 458; Gansler 1980, 49, 172, 227; Stubbing 1986, 185–89, 200–04).

Subcontracts could also be used to prop up failing firms, and in nearly every large-scale project they served as the principal means of spreading the political patronage across many congressional districts (Kotz 1988, 128–29; Mayer 1990, 218–31). In truth, deals — especially the many important changes introduced into them after their initial formulation ("contract nourishment"), permitting contractors to "buy in now, get well later" (Stubbing 1986, 179–84) — came to turn in substantial part on "who you know." In Richard Stubbing's words, "Often it is raw politics, not military considerations, which ultimately determines the winner" (1986, 165).

All the successful major prime contractorssuch as Lockheed Martin (see Cummings 2007), General Dynamics (see Franklin 1986), Rockwell (see Kotz 1988), Bechtel (see McCartney 1988), and Halliburton (see Briody 2004), for exampledemonstrated beyond any doubt that in the MICC, cultivating friends in high places yields a high rate of return. Indeed, without such friends, a firm may be hard pressed to survive in this sector at all.

The tight budget constraints of the pre-1940 peacetime periods became vastly looser as trillions of dollars poured out of the congressional appropriations process during the endless national emergency of the Cold War and its sequel, the so-called war on terror. As Nick Kotz observed, "Now that the stakes in profits and jobs were far higher than those of any government program in history, dividing the spoils ensured that the game of politics would be played on a grand scale" (1988, 50). (Of course, the game of politics in reality, as distinct from the high-school-civics idealization, is essentially the game of corruption.) In fiscal year 2007, for example, the Department of Defense anticipates outlays of approximately $90 billion for procurement, $162 billion for operations and maintenance, $72 billion for research, development, testing, and evaluation, and $8 billion for military construction — components that sum to $332 billion (US Department of Defense, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense 2006, 15). Nearly all of this loot will end up in the pockets of private contractors; military personnel costs are separate from these accounts.

With plenty of money to go around, all that a would-be contractor needs is an old buddy in the upper reaches of a military bureaucracy or a friend on the House military appropriations subcommittee or in the Senate. (Nowadays, more than ever before, a single member of Congress can create magnificent gifts for his friends by making "earmarks," furtive amendments to an appropriations bill that everyone understands to be nothing but an individual legislator's pound of flesh taken out of the taxpayer's unfortunate corpus.)

..> ..>
"If a public corporation kept its accounts this atrociously, the SEC would shut it down overnight."

If one does not have such a friend in high places, one can acquire him (or her, as the infamous Darleen Druyun illustrates [see Colarusso 2004]) by ponying up the various forms of bribes to which many Pentagon officials and members of Congress have shown themselves to be highly receptive. After all, it's not as if the bureaucrat or the member of Congress is giving away his own money.

To keep this gravy train on the track, contractors and their trade associations, as well as the armed forces themselves, devote great efforts to increasing the amount of money Congress appropriates in total for "defense," and now also for "homeland security." Their campaign contributions and other favors go predominantly to the incumbent barons — congressional leaders and committee chairmen — and to the "hawks" who've never met a defense budget big enough to please them. As Fitzgerald notes, "In Washington you can get away with anything as long as you have the high moguls of Congress as accessories before and after the fact" (1989, 91).

Furthermore, as Kotz observes, "[t]here is a multiplier effect as the different military services, members of Congress, presidential administrations, and defense industries trade support for each other's projects" (1989, 235). In other words, the defense budget is not simply the biggest logroll in Congress (Stubbing 1986, 98), but the biggest logroll in Washington, DC. Fen Hampson remarks: "bureaucratic and political interests approach weapons acquisition and defense budget issues as non-zero-sum games; that is, as games where there are rewards and payoffs to all parties from cooperation or collusion" (1989, 282). Only the taxpayers lose, but their interests don't count: they are not "players" in this game, but victims.

To give the public a seeming interest in the whole wretched racket, the contractors also spend substantial amounts of money cultivating the public's yearning to have the military dish out death and destruction to designated human quarry around the world — commies, gooks, ragheads, Islamo-fascists, narco-terrorists, and so forth — who are said to threaten the precious "American way of life."

For example, Rockwell, a military contractor whose massive secret contributions helped to reelect Richard Nixon in 1972 (Kotz 1988, 103–04, Fitzgerald 1989, 84), once mounted "a secret grass-roots campaign code-named Operation Common Sense" that included "a massive letter-writing campaign … solicitation of support from national organizations … and production of films and advertisements as well as prepared articles, columns, and editorials that willing editors could print in newspapers and magazines" (Kotz 1988, 134–35) — all the news that's fit to print, so to speak.

Much money goes into producing glorification of the armed forces, and reports of those forces' stupidities and brutalities in exotic climes are dismissed as nothing but the fabrications of leftists and appeasers or, if they cannot plausibly be denied, alleged to be nothing more than the isolated misbehavior of a few "bad apples" (Higgs 2006b).

Lest the armed forces themselves prove insufficiently imaginative in conceiving of new and even more expensive projects for the lucky suppliers to carry out, the contractors hire battalions of mad geniuses to design the superweapons of the future and regiments of former generals and admirals to market these magnificent creations to their old friends and subordinates currently holding down desks at the Pentagon.

..> ..>
"With breathtaking chutzpah, the system's kingpins parlayed the box-cutter attacks of 9/11 into an excuse to pour hundreds of billions of additional dollars into purchases of Cold War weaponry."

Thus, as General James P. Mullins, former commander of the Air Force Logistics Command, has written, "the prime contractors are where the babies really come from." He explains: "[T]he contractor has already often determined what it wants to produce before the formal acquisition process begins…. The contractor validates the design through the process of marketing it to one of the services. If successful, the contractor gets a contract. Thus, to a substantial degree, the weapon capabilities devised by contractors create military requirements" (1986, 91; see also Stubbing 1986, 174).

In sum, the military-supply firms exemplify a fundamentally corrupt type of organization. Their income comes to them only after it has first been extorted from the taxpayers at gunpoint — hence their compensation amounts to receiving stolen property. They are hardly unwitting or unwilling recipients, however, because they are not drafted to do what they do. No wallflowers at this dance of death, they eagerly devote strenuous efforts to encouraging government officials to wring ever greater amounts from the taxpayers and to distribute the loot in ways that enrich the contractors, their suppliers, and their employees.

These efforts include both the licit and the illicit measures I have described, spanning the full range from making a legal campaign contribution to providing prostitutes to serve the congressman or the Pentagon bigwig after he has become bored with playing poker in the contractor's suite at a plush DC hotel.

(Note well: such "entertainment" expenses are likely to be accounted "allowable costs" by the defense contractor who bears them, and with only routine audacity he may add to them an "overhead" charge — the entire sum to be reimbursed ultimately by the taxpayers. [In general, "overhead proves to be a huge moneymaker for defense firms" (Stubbing 1986, 205).] Kotz [1988, 137], describes Rockwell's billing for entertainment, public relations, and lobbying in connection with its contract to build the B-1 bomber. Fitzgerald [1989, 197, 198–99] describes similar charges by General Dynamics, as well as boarding expenses for an executive's dog, and by Pratt and Whitney, including $7,085 for hors d'oeuvres at a Palm Beach golf resort and $2,735 for strolling musicians at another bash. Sometimes the contractors billed the government twice for the same outrageous expenses.)

Can Anything Be Done?

The short answer is "probably not." The MICC is deeply entrenched in the US political economy, which itself has been moving steadily closer to complete economic fascism for more than a century (Higgs 1987, 2007). Decades of studies, investigations, blue ribbon commission reports, congressional hearings and staff studies, and news media exposés detailing its workings from A to Z have scarcely dented it (Higgs 2004). For the most part, the official scrutiny is just for show, whereas the unofficial scrutiny is easily dismissed as the work of outsiders who don't know what they are talking about, not to mention that they are "America haters."

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"If people with the power to change an arrangement refrain from doing so for decades on end, the most reasonable conclusion is that they prefer things as they are."

Official evaluations, at their frankest, conclude that "[p]ast mistakes — whether in the procurement of a weapon system or in the employment of forces during a crisis — do not receive the critical review that would prevent them from recurring…. The lessons go unlearned, and the mistakes are repeated" (US Senate, Committee on Armed Services 1985, 8). Such evaluations, though seemingly forthright and penetrating, strike me as far-fetched. Of course, people sometimes makes mistakes, but if people with the power to change an arrangement refrain from doing so for decades on end, the most reasonable conclusion is that they prefer things as they are — that is, as a rule, there are no long-lasting "failed policies," properly speaking.

To apply here what I wrote twelve years ago in regard to several other kinds of policies: "Government policies succeed in doing exactly what they are supposed to do: channeling resources bilked from the general public to politically organized and influential interest groups" (Higgs 1995; see also Kotz 1989, 242–45).

Therefore, one must conclude that the MICC serves its intended purposes well, however much its chronic crimes and intrinsic corruption sully its self-proclaimed nobility. What you and I call corruption is, after all, precisely what the military-economic movers and shakers call the good life.

Ultimately, the most significant factor is that the post-World War II US foreign policy of global hegemony and recurrent military intervention places a strong floor beneath the MICC and serves as an all-purpose excuse for its many malfeasances (Eland 2004, Johnson 2004).

As Ludwig von Mises observed, "The root of the evil is not the construction of new, more dreadful weapons. It is the spirit of conquest…. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war" (1966, 832; see also Higgs and Close 2007). Until the scope of the US government's geopolitical ambitions and hence the scale of its military activities are drastically reduced, not much opportunity will exist for making its system of military-economic fascism less rapacious and corrupt.

Robert Higgs is editor of the Independent Review. See his book titles in the Mises Store and his archive in Mises Media. Send him mail. Comment on the blog.


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RE: A Fair Article About Ron Paul From

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Leo/FightNWO-Resisting World Government
Date: May 26, 2007 1:24 PM

Thanks:Puck Bunny



James P. Pinkerton James P. Pinkerton

Ron Paul rocks Republican bigwigs

May 24, 2007

One assumes that Ron Paul knows he is not going to be the next president of the United States - or even the next Republican nominee. Yet the Texas congressman is campaigning hard, aiming particular ire and fire at Rudy Giuliani.

Paul is commonly regarded - by those who have heard of him - as more of a Libertarian than a Republican. That is, he believes in minimal regulation at home and minimal intervention abroad. Indeed, Paul took a detour out of the Grand Old Party back in 1988, when he ran on the Libertarian Party ticket for president; he received less than half of 1 percent of the nationwide vote.

So it's little wonder, then, that Paul is viewed dimly by top Republicans - the party loyalists, social-issue-regulators and neoconservative militarists who have come to dominate the GOP.

And while his campaign staff finds imaginative ways to measure his momentum - one recent release reported that Paul had become "the third most-mentioned person in the blogosphere, beating out Paris Hilton" - more conventional measures show him way back in the pack. He stands at 1 percent, or less, in polls of Republican presidential preference.

But there's something liberating, for Paul, about being at asterisk-levels of support. There's also something inspiring in Paul's long-shot candidacy - to Republicans who think their party has lost its way during the White House tenure of George W. Bush. At a recent press breakfast organized by The American Spectator, Paul got right to the point: He wants to take the party back from those who would "spend more money, run bigger deficits and police the world."

Indeed, the Texan is blunt about his own party's electoral prospects: "The Republicans cannot win next year with a pro-war position." He cites, as proof-parallels, the 1952 and 1968 presidential elections, in which the voters tossed out the party presiding over unpopular foreign wars - Korea and Vietnam, respectively.

But, of course, before the general election comes the nomination. And for now all the other Republican presidential hopefuls - those who yearn to bask in honored glory at next year's national convention in Minneapolis - are mostly keeping faith with the Bush administration's Iraq war policies, still popular with the nominating cadres inside the party.

And central to the Bush-centric worldview, of course, is the idea that our enemies in the Middle East are motivated by hatred - hatred of freedom. Paul has a different view, which he expressed at the May 15 South Carolina Republican debate: They don't hate us for who we are; they hate us for what we do, politically and militarily, around the Middle East. "Blowback," as it's called, is a controversial thesis, but it does explain why Osama bin Laden goes after America and not, say, Switzerland.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani reacted energetically to Paul in that South Carolina debate, scoring pro-Bush-brownie points on national TV. But Paul is unbowed; he cites, as supporting evidence, the 9/11 Commission report, and calls upon the expertise of friendly foreign policy experts, including former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, author of the 2004 book, "Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror."

Yet, for all his antipathy to Bush and the neoconservatives, Paul is no fan of the Democrats - regarding them as slaves to the same interventionist ideology. But he does cite one exception to the rule: Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio - the hard-core "peace" candidate who opposed not only the Iraq war but the Clinton administration's military campaigns in the Balkans. Like Paul the Republican, Kucinich the Democrat is at the bottom of his party's presidential rankings.

And that's why, Paul says, the wars are likely to continue, no matter who next wins the White House. But in the meantime Paul campaigns on with his idiosyncratic message, inspired by motives that look a lot like altruism and genuine belief.


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