How Newt Gingrich Saved the Military Industrial Complex


“The allegations [by the wealthy DOD-addicted contractors],” Sullivan wrote, “had little substance, but Newt Gingrich, representing a headquarters district of Lockheed Martin, led the Republican attack.

How Newt Gingrich Saved the Military Industrial Complex

By David Swanson

The idea of economic conversion, of retooling and retraining pieces of the military industrial complex to build what other wealthy nations have (infrastructure, energy, education, etc.) converged with the end of the Cold War two decades back.

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The idea of economic conversion, of retooling and retraining pieces of the military industrial complex to build what other wealthy nations have (infrastructure, energy, education, etc.) converged with the end of the Cold War two decades back. It was time for a peace dividend as well as a little sanity in public spending. Among the cosponsors of a bill to begin economic conversion in the late 1980s was a guy by the name of Leon Panetta.

Standing in the way was Congressman Newt Gingrich (Republican, Lockheed Martin).

As Mary Beth Sullivan recounts ( http://MIC50.org ),

“On the first day of the opening of the 101st Congress, Speaker [Jim] Wright convened a meeting of members who had proposed economic conversion legislation, and their aids. The purpose was to ensure that all proposals be joined into one, and that this legislation be given priority. To dramatize the importance of this bill, it would be given number H.R. 101.”

Seymour Melman, a leading proponent of the bill recounts what happened:

“Supporters of such an initiative did not reckon with the enormous power of those opposed to any such move toward economic conversion. In the weeks that followed, these vested interests waged a concerted and aggressive campaign in Congress and the national media to bring down Jim Wright over allegations of financial misconduct.”

“The allegations,” Sullivan writes, “had little substance, but Newt Gingrich, representing a headquarters district of Lockheed Martin, led the Republican attack. Sadly, they won. According to Melman, ‘Their media campaign drowned out any further discussion of economic conversion ” A historic opportunity had been destroyed.”

The military industrial complex survived and thrived and is growing even to this moment with plans to grow on into the foreseeable future, even as we’re falsely told it’s being cut back. Our nation trails others in the areas of education, health, retirement security, life expectancy, infant mortality, environmental sustainability, poverty, and — in so far as anyone has measured it — happiness. Instead we have a military that costs as much as the rest of the world’s put together, and much of the rest of the world’s is purchased from our weapons makers. We have aircraft carriers, bombs, missiles, helicopters, bases, drones, and billionaires to make up for our crappy schools and lousy trains.

While I understand how exciting Newt Gingrich’s sex life may be, there may be other things he has to answer for as well.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/How-Newt-Gingrich-Saved-th-by-David-Swanson-120121-870.html

Submitters Website: http://davidswanson.org

Submitters Bio:

David Swanson is the author of “When the World Outlawed War,” “War Is A Lie” and “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.” He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org

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About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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One Response to How Newt Gingrich Saved the Military Industrial Complex

  1. eslkevin says:

    Dear Kevin,

    The average TV viewer in South Carolina’s capital saw 182 political ads before today’s primary. But how much election coverage did local stations provide? Broadcasters don’t want to say.

    Demand to know how much election coverage you’re really getting from your local news station.

    http://act2.freepress.net/letter/election_coverage/?akid=3221.9894938.o0GT78&rd=1&t=3

    TV stations in South Carolina pocketed $11.3 million in political-ad money — and subjected viewers to an unrelenting barrage of attack ads. Media corporations profited while using our public airwaves — for free — and we have a right to know what we are getting in return. But broadcasters are fighting hard against a Federal Communications Commission proposal to create a publicly searchable database documenting all of the electoral, local and civic programming our stations air.

    Why? Maybe because they don’t want the public and the FCC to know what they’re up to. After nearly two decades of rampant media consolidation, stations are interested only in the bottom line. Real election reporting costs money, so stations tend to favor cheap, easy-to-produce segments (like coverage of sports and celebrity gossip) instead.

    We must hold our broadcasters accountable.

    http://act2.freepress.net/letter/election_coverage/?akid=3221.9894938.o0GT78&rd=1&t=3

    After today, the political-money machine will leave South Carolina and head to Florida for the next primary. By the summer, everyone in the country will have experienced a heavy dose of political attack ads.

    The question is, will we also get the election news we need to make informed choices at the polls?

    Sincerely,

    Libby Reinish
    Free Press

    In this election year, we are counting on our broadcasters to provide the election coverage we need to make informed decisions at the polls. This election coverage is one of the most important ways for broadcasters to serve the public in exchange for their free use of the airwaves.

    But real election reporting costs money, so stations tend to favor cheap, easy-to-produce segments like coverage of celebrity gossip to make ends meet.

    The FCC should require broadcasters to document their public service programming, including election coverage, in a searchable online database.

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