Pentagon Spending Spree

Despite repeated assertions by President Bush and his top advisers that their global campaign against terrorism will be a "new kind of war," the biggest recipients of the new weapons spending sparked by the September 11 attacks will be the usual suspects: big defense contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The "wartime opportunists" are "on high alert," writes William Hartung. "Most of this new funding will be used to bankroll longstanding pet projects of the military-industrial lobby, not to finance equipment or techniques designed for the fight against terrorism. ... While missile defense critics in Congress have been holding their fire, the missile defense lobby continues its efforts unabated. The corporate-backed SAFE Foundation (Safeguarding America For Everyone) has accelerated its National Missile Defense education campaign in the wake of September 11, even going so far as to put a picture of the charred ruins of the World Trade Center front and center on its web site as an attention-getter for its pro-missile defense propaganda. ... The National Defense University Foundation and the National Defense Industrial Association are continuing their ongoing series of missile defense 'breakfast briefings' on Capitol Hill. ... Raytheon has hired former House Appropriations Committee Chair Bob Livingston, R-Louisiana, to make the case for missile defense on Capitol Hill, while Boeing has hired top-flight lobbying firms Bonner and Associates and Powell Tate for its missile defense push."