Saturday, April 21, 2007

News - Lockheed Martin loses LCS 3 contract

Lockheed Martin's money grab has gotten a little smaller this year as the Navy first issued a stop work order for LCS 3 and last week cancelled the contract for the ship. Work continues on LCS 1 (Lockheed Martin) and LCS 2 &4 (General Dynamics). The loss of LCS 3 combined with the deepening, but virtually off the corporate news radar, Deepwater Program and the VH-71 Presidential helicopter program scandals give us another look at the massive amounts of power and money that flow to the coffers of defense contractors.

The Deepwater Program has resulted in a DoJ investigation (Go Gonzo), 8 cracked and warped hulls which have resulted in the decommissioning of all 8 boats, a loss of hundreds of millions of tax-payers dollars and a severely reduced Coast Guard capability that may take decades to recover from. "We never forget who we're working for." is the new motto of Lockheed Martin. Oh yeah? Just who are you working for if this is a sign of your work?

I wish I had the time and resources to add up the total profit that Lockheed Martin and all the companies that it has bought over the years, have made from the US taxpayer since WWII. I'm sure it would reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars and I'm not talking about net income, I'm referring to pure profit. The talking point that politicians love to use that covers the ass of the defense contractor is the lie that we are providing the best equipment available to our troops. The Senators and Congress critters love to go tromping back to the district with money in their fists for the contractors, promising jobs for the locals and a sense of helping to protect the nation, right there in your own back yard.

As General Smedley Butler so famously said, "War is a racket." and it doesn't take a lot of work to find examples of how much cash being thrown around today. For all the change in this world some things never change and some things change only on the surface as the war profiteer learns and adapts to the environment to maximize profit.

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