The first thought many of us have when receiving such calls comes in the form of a question:
“Where did the $1.2 trillion per year the taxpayers shell out to the Pentagon and its related departments and agencies of the federal government go?”
Of course, the answer is that much of it is lost to military-industrial complex corruption. This complex lobbies to start new wars or preparations for war, usually successfully. The wars themselves are rarely successful for anyone but the complex, which always profits greatly from them. The wars never actually end. They just morph into permanent military occupations all over the world.
And they are devastatingly unsuccessful for the “wounded warriors,” on whose behalf so many telemarketers call us day after day soliciting contributions.
Relatively few Americans have died in the wars of this century. However, tens of thousands have been physically wounded and many more than that have been mentally damaged. You would be wrong if you thought Uncle Sam had any real commitment to caring for these people with tax dollars for the next 50 years.
The first and greatest priority of the money allocated to the trillion-dollar-plus “national security state” is to satisfy the desires of the weapons contractors to build new weapons systems, some of which the Pentagon doesn’t even want anymore.
Now it has a new “black hole” in which to shovel taxpayers’ dollars — the creation and maintenance of a worldwide cybersystem of “total information awareness” of everything any of us has ever said or done, in flagrant violation of Americans’ inalienable rights under the Fourth Amendment.
The system now works exactly as the military general who was the allied commander during World War II and later became President of the United States for eight years, the late Dwight D. Eisenhower (R-Kansas), predicted it would if we took our liberty for granted (and obviously we did).
On Jan. 17, 1961, the President known informally by his nickname, “Ike,” said the following in his nationally-televised Farewell Address to the nation:
“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Monday announced new proposed cuts to programs which benefit the actual human beings who volunteer or have volunteered for the military. Now you know why this occurs. The actual human beings have no lobbyists. They were naive enough to volunteer to serve the “machine” and failed to read the fine print. They will always be waiting at the back of the line while the civilian billionaires in front of them feed at the military-industrial complex trough.
Often there is not enough left over for the actual human beings who volunteered. Billionaires’ appetites are rarely sated. That’s why they’re billionaires. Thus, the charitable organizations will continue to call and beg us to give more money to the troops, past and present, even after we thought we’d already done so on April 15.