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imax2268 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:05 PM
Original message
defense and intel spending...is it worth it...?
I'm curious to know how people feel about the wasteful spending going on with intel and defense departments.

I am currently involved in a discussion with some rethugs whe are hell bent on using rnc info about Kerry's proposed bills in the past to gut intel spending and defense spending...that's not the point of this post...

My point is...why are we throwing money to the pentagon to build all this high tech equipment when the people we are fighting are using donkey carts, and improvised explosives...does that make sense...it doesn't make sense to me anymore...most of that money...we have learned has simply vanished and cannot be accounted for...

and what about cutting a few billion dollars from the budgets of the intel communities...will they miss it...I mean from what we are being told(well...buy BushCo anyway)that our intel is flawed...so why do they insist on thowing billions and billions of dollars for intel communities that are not doing the job...???


I am not trying to disrespect the military or anything like that but wouldn't at least some of that money be of much better value to go to military families and not defense contractors for equipment that obviously isn't working in this new era of warfare...?

I don't know...it just get my going when I hear rethugs going after Democrats for trying to take money from flawed systems and put it to good use...

am I wrong...???
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. How much of that missing money
is going to that guy behind the curtain? You know, that guy with the battery powered heart.
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imax2268 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I don't know...
quite a bit I'm sure...I wonder where The Carlyle Group figures into that...???

My thing is I can't see why it's necessary to throw billions and billions of dollars on missile defense shields, or spy satellites and the like when the people that we are fighting can make a lethal weapon out of a donkey cart, or a homemade missile launcher out of stuff that you can find at Home Depot, or bombs on the side of the roads that can be detonated by using a cell phone...

Look at the WMD issue...they presented all these satellite pictures of supposed trucks moving this stuff around Iraq...well...why then couldn't they find where those trucks went...if they were moved out of the country I'm sure they could have taken pictures of these trucks or what have you moving them out of the country...

something isn't working and they are wasting taxpayers money...

Like I said I'm not trying to disrespect the military but wouldn't that money be better used for military families, or better equipment like armored hummers, better Kevlar, better rifles...etc etc...?

Where is this stuff...these kids are being slaughtered over there with weapons that these people are making in their back yards...


I found this pretty interesting...
http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=4010&sequence=1


this kind of stuff just get's me steamed...
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fleetus Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think you are right on.
Edited on Sat Feb-21-04 03:37 PM by fleetus
I have been working hard for some time to educate people in the military that the Republican party is not looking out for them.

This administration has made my argument much easier. People in the military are much less impressed than the general public by President* Bush's publicity stunts where he embraces the plight of those in the service. And those public appearances are about all he's done for the people doing his dirty work besides token pay raises. When compared to downsizing, privatizing base housing, longer deployments, shady at best justification for invading Iraq, a grossly disproportionate amount of military spending going to contractors instead of the people actually doing the job, ETC ETC ETC, the idea of voting for Bush really starts to look like a bad idea.

Convincing people of this is still tricky because it has somehow been touted as fact that if you're in the military you are biting the hand that feeds you by voting Democrat. But I must say, many people in the military DO listen to reason and the laundry list grows almost daily. Having positive role models "coming out" (if you will) as openly Democrat (Wes Clark, John Kerry, etc) is also a big plus.

Taping into this voting block is very important (and a much easier sell as of late) in my opinion, and I appreciate your interest in the subject.

On Edit: Gramer and Speling :)
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buycitgo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. only one word for the amount of money being spent on JUST the black budget
obscene

long, OLD!!!, article, with reference to an excellent book
by Tim Weiner, Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget, based on his series in the Philadelphia Inquirer

t's the world's wildest high-tech toy catalog, the Pentagon's annual Dear Santa letter. It includes secret weapons programs with baffiing code names such as Elegant Lady, Tractor Rose, Forest Green, Senior Citizen, Island Sun and Black Light, White Cloud and Classic Wizard. These are the "black budget" programs that pay for spy satellites, invent stealth cruise missiles, tinker with Ladar - laser radar - and experiment on aircraft that change color and helicopters that evade tracking systems. Covering expenditures for intelligence and weapons research, the Pentagon's black budget is the most titillating portion of the massive classification program that has swelled almost unabated since World War II.

The black budget is the government's illusory and tangled accounting of what it spends on intelligence gathering, covert operations, and - less noticeably - secret military research and weapons programs. It admits to no easy calculation, but by estimates of those who watch it, the black budget may hit US$30 billion a year - a figure larger than current federal expenditures for education. It includes spending by the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and military R&D.

Documented - vaguely - in funding requests and authorizations voted on by select committees of the US Congress, the black budget is published with omitted dollar amounts and blacked-out passages. It hides all sorts of strange projects, not just from enemies, foreign and domestic, but from the public and elected officials as well. Last year, for instance, it was revealed that the National Reconnaissance Office had for several years used the black budget to hide from Congress the cost and ownership of a $300 million office building, even though the structure was plainly visible from Route 28 west of Washington, DC.

With "program element" numbers, obscured figures, and code names that read like dadaist poetry, the details of the black budget are revealed to only a few select Congressional committee members - and sometimes not even to them. There are several different types of black budgets buried, for example, within the Pentagon's procurement budget and Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation budget - the tab for the toy testers. Others cover defense intelligence and research. An internal Pentagon memo from August 1994, which was accidentally leaked and showed up in Defense Week, revealed some hard numbers: the National Security Agency spends $3.5 billion a year; the Defense Intelligence Agency $621 million; and the Central Imagery Office $122 million for spy-satellite work.

A code name not mentioned in black budgets but well known to those who watch them is Trader. It is familiar to readers of such Net mailing lists as the skunk-works digest (majordomo@mail.orst.edu, subscribe: skunk-works in message body) or the newsgroup alt.conspiracy.area51. The code name Trader belongs to Paul McGinnis, who assembles and correlates public information to create a detailed estimate of items in the real budget. Several years ago, McGinnis became fascinated with all the code names and turned himself into a one-man truth squad: collector, interpreter, collator, and online publicizer of the black budget and its associated "special access programs."


http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.11/patton.html?topic=&topic_set=
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DuctapeFatwa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. to the rich men it makers richer, it's worth it

and making rich men richer is what it's all about.
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. you spend the money to insure that the others choose not to fight
specifically China and even Russia is trying to get back into the game.
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imax2268 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. can you provide
me with some examples of how they are trying to get back into the game...not trying to start anything...I'm just curious as to why you say that...
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. sure
Among others...

"Moscow Russia has successfully tested a hypersonic anti-Star Wars weapon capable of penetrating any prospective missile shield, a senior general said Thursday.

The prototype weapon proved it could manoeuvre so quickly as to make any missile defence useless, Colonel-General Yuri Baluyevsky, the first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, told a news conference."

Drudge is helpful at times
http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/goto/?getPage=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Etheglobeandmail%2Ecom%2Fservlet%2Fstory%2FRTGAM%2E20040219%2Ewruss0219%2FBNPrint%2FInternational%2F&return=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Edrudgereportarchives%2Ecom%2Fdsp%2Flinks%5Frecap%2Ehtm
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buycitgo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. you serious?
why do you think they're re-arming?

didn't we drive the soviet union out of existence preCISELY because they couldn't afford the arms race?

we're doing the exact same thing to our own economy, our own society, our own culture, to the WORLD, with these criminally insane expenditures

the black budget is conservatively estimated to be in the neighborhood of forty billion (not part of the obsdcenely bloated, unaccountable Pentago budget), and nobody knows what the real numbers are.

and what about the TRILLION dollars in defense spending that they've GIVEN up accounting for?

that alone calls for IMMEDIATE action on the part of congress (ha) to do something! dunno what they can do, but so far, they've done nothing about this truly amazing fact of life

and of course, the media leaves the subject completely alone

just think what could be done with a FRACTION of the money being flushed down the toilet in the name of jingoistic paranoia

can anyone say "single pay health insurance for EVERYBODY?"
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imax2268 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. nice...
good point...
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #8
15.  didn't say it made sense
but to them it does
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. The argument is waste
And it's a tricky one. Because I have little doubt that some of the money spent by people in the military or the intelligence agencies is wasted. I also have little doubt that some of the money is not waste; although it would look that way to a casual observer. Who do you want deciding? The military? A Congressional body (all of which want to cut waste in other people's districts)? A bearucrat? The President?

Who makes the call?

Also doesn't this move further drive the military into the republican camp?

Just some concerns.

Bryant
Check it out --> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com
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buycitgo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. the argument is NOT waste....that's a red herring of the first order
Edited on Sat Feb-21-04 07:20 PM by buycitgo
we live in a state of perpetual war....war on drugs

war on porn, war on terra, war on the gays, war on choice

etc

we live in a national security state, in the words of Dwight Eisenhower, via Gore Vidal

our national wealth is largely predicated, dedicated to design and maintain systems designed purely to fricking KILL large numbers of innocent people!

just think what could be accomplished with a tiny fraction of the amount pigeonholed for this lunatic search for/creation of enemies, particularly since the end of the cold war.

that's what it's all about: finding and keeping enemies (without, and now, most conveniently, and FRIGHTENINGLY for you and me, within), so that we can justify the obscene amounts of money that, if spent elsewhere, would go infinitely farther toward eliminating said enemies than in trying in abject futility, to stamp them out.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Good luck with this argument
I don't find it persuasive. We are not at war on porn or gays or choice; some religious conservatives are of course, but they do not have total control of the government. But even if the nation had as a priority defeating Gays or Porn or Choice, well, that would be a law enforcement question which is another question.

The War on Drugs does overlap with the CIA to a certain extent and in Panama with the military, but as a rule it is also generally a law enforcement problem. You do understand the differences between law enforcement, the military, and the intelligence apparatus, no?

That brings us back to the war on terror, or as you like to call it, taking the opportunity to mock your fellow citizens or, as I like to call them, the voters, the war on terra. I don't like the way the Bush Administration has pursued this goal, or the language they have adopted to discuss it. But I don't like our side pretending like the problem doesn't exist. The truth is that we do have enemies abroad, and while I agree that our foreign policy should be more humane, it's not like we are going to elect a President and overnight they will abandon all their plans.

Bryant
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BillZBubb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
11. No, it's not worth it
If people were serious about finding "waste and abuse" in government, the Dept. of Defense would be ground zero.

We are a rich nation and we need a strong military. But we are spending much more than is necessary--We could safely protect our country and deter potential adversaries spending 25% less than we do now.
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imax2268 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. I don't think so bryant
it's not that it drives the military to the republicans it's just the government needs to cut back on some of it's programs that will never see the light of day and give that money to the ground troops where I think it's more needed...

BushCo is talking tax cuts but yet the spending is out of control...where is that money going to come from...us that's who...cut back government waste and put the money where it belongs...
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
13. We've made our government a corporate takeover target...
by building the most powerful military on earth. Now international capital can enforce it's "property rights" worldwide.
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