John, a few yrs back you were posting doubts about the official explanations (both Norad and Nist have changed their stories) of 9/11, but not in a long time. I can imagine many reasons to abandon the discussion, like not upsetting some of your readers, but I just wanted to point out that back then the debate was dominated by speculation, but that in recent years the Truth movement has been professionalized by such orgs as Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (some 1500 members risking their careers), Pilots for 9/11 Truth, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, etc., as well as peer-reviewed scientific articles. I’d be interested in your thoughts on the subject nowadays.
Andrew Cockburn’s essay in The Pentagon Labyrinth is titled “Follow the Money.” There are a lot of people who will say that is an undignified way to assess America’s national security apparatus; they might even say that Cockburn’s focus is cynical. I would personally venture to guess that a disproportionate number of those saying so are doing rather well – thank you very much – in that same national security apparatus. Or, they plan to do so in the foreseeable future.
Cockburn summarizes his argument in a interview in the ongoing series conducted by Federal News Radio. Chris Dorobek of the DorobekInsider Show interviews Andrew Cockburn.
Following the money and understanding why that is important is key to comprehending why the Pentagon, Congress, the manufacturers, and the think-tanks behave the way they do. After all, as Cockburn says in the DorobekInsider interview, why do you think the manufacturers put all those ads in the Washington Metro system. They’re not there for the area’s teachers or the local sports teams’ fans.
But there is much more to following the money than just that. Cockburn explains fully in his essay in The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It. He addresses perhaps the most powerful and recurrent theme underlying contemporary defense community behavior. Read Cockburn’s essay. Download the book free.
Have a comment? Pro or con? We welcome a public debate. _____________________________ Winslow T. Wheeler Director Straus Military Reform Project Center for Defense Information
Phi Beta Iota: INTEGRITY. One word. The one word not spoken at the Pentagon by anyone above the rank of Major. You don’t make Colonel, and you do not advance as a General, without drinking the kool-aid and “going along” with systemic corruption. Our shame–our continuing shame–is a burden on the Republic.
Robyn shares her personal story and how it inspired her current path as a “Real Food” evangelist. Grounded in a successful Wall Street career that was more interested in food as good business than good-for-you, this mother of four was shaken awake by the dangerous allergic reaction of one of her children to a “typical” breakfast. Her mission to unearth the cause revealed more about the food industry than she could stomach, and impelled her to share her findings with others. Informative and inspiring.
Robyn authored The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It. A former Wall Street food industry analyst, Robyn brings insight, compassion and detailed analysis to her research into the impact that the global food system is having on the health of our children. She founded allergykidsfoundation.org and was named by Forbes as one of “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter.” The New York Times has passionately
described her as “Food’s Erin Brockovich.”
Phi Beta Iota: Across all twelve “policy” domains from agriculture to water, with food cutting across all domains ans especially Family, Health, and Society, we are seeing the emergence of public intelligence in the public interest. What we are not seeing (yet), is the integration of “true cost” information as a core element that must be available to the public; and the integration of all that we can know about each domain in isolation, into a larger “360 degree” strategic analytic model for getting a grip on how we live and how we spend.
What Colombian laborers have to do with American foreign policy and the history of soda.
Labor rights are among the most pressing human rights issues in industrialized nations. But what makes the subject most devastating is how remote it feels to most of us yet how deeply infused our everyday lives are with its enablers, from the inhuman factory conditions in the Chinese factories that churn out our favorite shoes to the impossibly low wages of the Indian farmers who grow our afternoon tea. The Coca-Cola Case is an unsettling feature-length documentary by directors German Gutierrez and Carmen Garcia exploring the subject through the lens of America’s favorite soft drink, investigating the allegations that Coke orchestrated the kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders trying to improve working conditions in Colombia, Guatemala and Turkey.
After months of investigation into Coca-Cola, all evidence shows that the Coca-Cola system is ripe with immorality, corruption and complicity in gross human rights violations, including murder and torture.”
Phi Beta Iota: Home and host country issues with multinational corporations were deeply studied in the 1970’s, and then the universities were commercialized, distracted, bought off, you name it, they did everything except think holistically. The fragmentation of knowledge is the equivalent of mass human insanity. Coca Cola is representative of the broader issues, but like Nestle and others that sell “liquid,” it is particularly evil with respect to draining public water aquifers without regard to the “true cost” of that untaxed and unregulated behavior.
Salem, Ore. EIGHT years ago I was sentenced to death for the murders of my wife and three children. I am guilty. I once thought that I could fool others into believing this was not true. Failing that, I tried to convince myself that it didn’t matter. But gradually, the enormity of what I did seeped in; that was followed by remorse and then a wish to make amends. I spend 22 hours a day locked in a 6 foot by 8 foot box on Oregon’s death row. There is no way to atone for my crimes, but I believe that a profound benefit to society can come from my circumstances. I have asked to end my remaining appeals, and then donate my organs after my execution to those who need them. But my request has been rejected by the prison authorities. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there are more than 110,000 Americans on organ waiting lists. Around 19 of them die each day.
There is no doubt that, Pentagon Labyrinth is a first rate piece of work. However it did fail to mention an additional factor in defense procurement costs that is often overlooked and that is the need to subsidize U.S. defense industry giants such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop-Grumman and General Dynamics. This also explains the over elaborate use of sub-contracting since the boutique sub-contractors used by the defense giants often produce key components for weapon systems so also must be given a portion of the subsidies. Boeing is the only major defense contractor that even makes a pretense of also dealing in commercial aircraft. Lockheed, Northrop, and General Dynamics along with their networks of sub-contractors are virtually entirely dependent on government contracts or contracts from the government’s foreign clients for their continued existence.
Phi Beta Iota: Highlights include extimate that US is 44 trillion in debt; that nothing and Administration does will stop Wall Street–this is now so bad the author believes a revolution (as in swarming homes and offices and demanding the return of ill-gotten wealth) will do. We do not agree. Yes, it is bad. No, recovering the stolen money will not do. The silver lining in all this is the obvious decrepitude of governments and corporations; the now obvious toxic nature of information asymmetries and data pathologies; and the less obvious but emergent need for a) restoring the integrity of the US Electoral process through Electoral Reform 2.2 ; and b) creating the Autonomous Internet so as to achieve Panarchy and create a prosperous world at peace in which transparency eliminates corruption, fraud, waste, and abuse, starting in the USA.