National Security Beast + Outsourcing the War on Terror
First program: Pratap Chatterjee - Outsourcing the War on Terror
When the U.S. goes to war, private contractors salivate. When it comes to making money, there is no business like war business. Control or oversight? Not much. There is a feeding frenzy at the troughs of public money accompanied by the almost inevitable cost overruns, waste, fraud and theft. The corruption is fueled by the revolving door syndrome between corporations and the Pentagon. Almost seamlessly, today’s assistant secretary of defense becomes tomorrow’s vice-president of Raytheon. An April 2014 report from the Pentagon’s own Inspector General says the Defense Department isn’t properly keeping track of senior officials who leave the government to take jobs with defense contractors. Among the problems the report identified, records are kept in different locations and many are missing, particularly at the Defense Logistics Agency and the National Security Agency — “organizations with substantial contracting activity.”
Second program: Jeremy Scahill - The National Security Beast
The national security beast is a terrifying behemoth that extends its tentacles across the globe. Like a many-headed hydra it grows and grows. It has an insatiable appetite for weaponry. For example, in late 2013, the navy launched the Zumwalt, the largest destroyer ever built. It came in for a cool $3 billion. But that’s a bargain compared to the new Ford-class aircraft carrier. Price tag? $13 billion. The beast has a life of its own. Presidents come and go but the war machine just chugs along. The “military-industrial complex” is always manufacturing new enemies to justify itself. The most urgent threat we face is climate change. Why not slash the Pentagon budget? For starters, cut the nuclear arsenal and mothball half the Trident submarines and use the money to protect the environment.
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