Phi Beta Iota: Notes summarizing the 59 minute video are below the line.
….Watch this!!!!! My good friend Pierre Sprey interviews Bill Hartung on Book TV about Hartung’s new book, Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.
Mr. Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation. He is the author of How Much are You Making on the War Daddy? and And Weapons for All. He’s written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Nation magazine.
Summary of the 59 minute back and forth CSPAN BookTV Interview:
Flaw or Feature? This is 65% Pierre doing the talking. I consider that a feature if you are planning to read the book, a flaw if not.
Pierre opens with parallel between big banking and big defense, one wrecking our economy, the other wrecking our security
Lockheed tone set in 40’s through 60’s by Bob Gross, young millionaire who knew nothing of airplanes. Depression made government an attractive client previously dismissed.
Pierre jumps in on first bomber sale, Lockheed tried to sell to Germans and Japanese, then to England, all in violation of the Neutrality Act. Sold 1700 to the UK, were “dogmeat” for the German fighters, bombers ended up doing non-hostile patrols.
Second airplane, sold 10,000 to the government, same issues, airplanes sidelined.
Lockheed created an Aircraft Policy Board within the industry, to press for aircraft procurement as a stable element of national security.
Pierre speaking: Lochheed used 1947-1948 to create the Soviet threat, make it appear that US Air Force needed. Cites Truman and the War Scare, created slush fund for president and others. Pierre says Korean War was the one war, of any, that was fought strictly to bail out the defense industry–budget used for nuclear bombers and cargo airplanes, not for cold weather gear or anything for the troops.
Lockheed pioneered bribery of international defenses and cabinet officials, with Japan, this came out in the Church Committee hearings. Author speaking, outlines how Lockheed hooked up with a major organized crime leader who created a political party.
PBI OBSERVATION: CIA has not been mentioned yet–there is a strong coincidence of interest in Germany and Japan between the CIA using Black Lily funds, and Lockheed using taxpayer “retained profits.”
Author recommends this book, Lockheed sales mission: 70 days in Tokyo (1976).
Pierre jumps in on USG complicity and the depth of involvement by US political, appointed, and uniformed officials.
Next phrase (25 minute mark) moves to Norm Augustine, Bill Perry, and John Deutch. Augustine’s mark was in both getting government orders and in ultimately getting the government to subsidize a consolidation of the industry, killing competition.
Huge conflicts of interest throughout. Taxpayer monies used to pay golden parachutes to managers while workers laid off.
Lockheed merges with Martin, then buys Norell, then the Gingrich Revolution happens, and they get US government to create a $15 billion loan guarantee program along with tax breaks for arms exporters, this did not go well, they moved on to the expansion of NATO and the broadening of the Cold War.
Another core reference, The Conservative Case for NATO.(North Atlantic Treaty Organization): An article from: Policy Review, the whole idea being that expanding NATO expanded client base.
Author: the next big leap was the subcontractor spreading, putting sub-contracts into countries that placed the large order. The whole notion of “off-sets” arose and USG decided to turn a blind eye.
Author: next front Project for a New American Century, with a focus on regime change in Iraq (1997)–huge manifesto, same key players. Author observes that Lockheed on a scale of its own–helped start Cold War, got Korean War, then got Iraq War.
PBI Observation: No real mention of Viet-Nam to this point.
Star Wars and Lockheed faking of results under Reagan are next up. They heated the warheads, ran them in at an easy to detect angle–this came out, was investigated by Congress ten years later–but kept Star Wars going.
Pierre: comments that a great deal of fraud and fakery going on today.
Author: Bush nuclear policy was the next big deal. “Usable” nuclear weapons, (“bunker buster”), Iran, North Korea, Cuba brought into play to justify a pro-Lockheed nuclear policy.
Author: the deficit and the economic hard times are causing Lockheed and Boeing and others to “gear up” for a major lobbying and propaganda campaign to exempt defense from the cuts.
Pierre: almost a replay of the 47-48 propaganda after WWII.
Concluding minutes: how many Members from both parties does Lockheed “own?” Georgia delegation featured. Jobs propaganda (outright lies and a great deal of exaggeration). Expansion into all other government areas including checks for veterans.
Pierre: “Political engineering” is a means of gaining votes, destroys the quality of the product.
Author: even worse is the horse trading, such that Members support bills for all weapons possible, because votes are traded.
Author: privatizing of government taxation, welfare, homeland security, Lockheed is using this to spread into rest of government. They have not been as effective at the local and state levels, but still expanding (and making mistakes that harm people).
Pierre: strong monologue on shabby products that kill people coming from Lockheed, this is why the book is such a valuable contribution and so timely.
Arthur quotes Eisenhower on need for an alert and informed citizenry if we are to deal with the military-industrial complex. It is really going to take a major public education campaign.