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CHAPTER 15

THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX; FROM REAGAN TO CLINTON

 

 

CONTENTS

THE SECRECY BEHIND NUCLEAR WEAPONS

THE CRUMBLING OF COMMUNISM IN EUROPE

THE REAGAN-BUSH YEARS

MILITARY SPENDING UNDER CLINTON

MILITARY INCOMPETENCE, FRAUD, AND WASTE

THE "BLACK BUDGET"

LICENSE TO DEAL ARMS

COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN TREATY

THE NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY

CHEMICAL WEAPONS

LAND MINES

WEAPONS OF TORTURE

WAR AS PORTRAYED BY THE MOTION PICTURE MEDIUM

 

 

"We must remain aware of the growing danger of the military-

industrial complex."

- President Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell address, 1961

THE SECRECY BEHIND NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Senior government officials had optimistically and perhaps naively estimated in May 1942 that it would cost about $148 million (about $1.7 billion in adjusted dollars) to construct and operate the facilities necessary to build "a few atomic bombs by July 1, 1944, and about twice as many each year thereafter." By mid-December 1942, that figure had more than doubled, to $4.6 billion in adjusted dollars. Congress was not informed.

The Manhattan Project's total cost through August 1945 was $20 billion, or about $6.7 billion each for the Trinity device and the two bombs, "Little Boy" and "Fat Man," which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. Nearly three-quarters of this amount was spent on processing or enriching uranium and producing plutonium.

Between 1951 to 1963, 100 nuclear bombs were detonated on or above the desert floor in Nevada. Fallout clouds drifted largely eastward, often depositing radioactive particles as far away as Canada and the East Coast. Among the hardest hit were inhabitants of northern Nevada and Utah. Although the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) knew that fallout was dangerous, the agency consistently deceived "down-winders," assuring them that they were safe, even as it undertook secret studies of fallout in milk, water, and foodstuffs to better track the path of the clouds. The AEC also engaged in self-described "body-snatching" to study fallout on exposed people.

In the 1950s, American soldiers were lined up in the Nevada desert, while atomic bombs were detonated. The government was attempting to gauge the effects of radiation on military personnel and then paid research institutes for information about the heavy doses of radiation on the human body.

The DOE blatantly lied to the American public by stating that Navajos, working in western uranium mines, sustained no health damage in the 1940s and 1950s. Additionally, the government denied that people living down-wind from open-air nuclear explosions in Nevada were not exposed to radioactive fallout. And the military denied that "atomic soldiers," positioned near nuclear detonations, were not affected by radiation. Later in 1994 full details of 250 intentional radiation which was released near Pueblo Indian lands, were declassified.

The rate of cancer among people living near the Nevada test site and down-wind in St. George, Utah is much higher than the norm. In the years after the filming of "The Conqueror" near St. George, 100 of the 200 people involved contacted cancer. Fifty people involved in the film-making, including John Wayne, subsequently died of cancer.

NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS. American soldiers were used in atomic bomb tests for several purposes. First, studies were conducted on them to aid the government in their reaction to "troop indoctrination at atomic detonations." Second, the troops were analyzed to determine if they encountered any psychological changes. Third, a five year study was approved to study the effects of flash blindness. And fourth, the soldiers were used to study the impact of radiation on protective clothing.

By 1952, Pentagon officials became discouraged when they concluded that there was no correlation among atomic soldiers, with knowledge of radiation, and their emotional reactions to the blasts. Yet the Army pushed to continue this psychological study of servicemen after they had been exposed to the explosions.

Only months after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, the United States began testing atomic weapons in the Pacific. The first of several underwater tests, known as Crossroads, were conducted in the Marshall Islands. Next, the Bikini Atoll was named as the site for underwater testing, and AEC director Carroll Wilson was given the task of overseeing the implementation of the tests. Carroll had been an assistant to Karl Compton, who was director of the Manhatten Project in the early 1940s. Carroll named Stafford Warren to head the portion of the program which dealt with the impact of radiation on humans. Warren's role was to assure that the servicemen, who were sent in after the explosions to analyze the effect of radiation on target ships which were positioned at the epicenter, would not be harmed. Officials refused to acknowledge that the radioactive waves were a threat to humans, and consequently servicemen were ordered aboard the target ships to access the damage.

The 1951 Nevada nuclear explosions were coined Operation Greenhouse, and these were followed by Operation Windstorm. Servicemen were told that atomic testing posed no health problems. The DOD's Research and Development Board recommended that the radiation tests be expanded to include the study of the effect of radiation on servicemen in the vicinity of the explosions.

This was followed by months of debate by various AEC and DOD committees and agencies which included the Armed Forces Medical Council, the Research and Development Board, and the Committee on Chemical Warfare. They also discussed human experiments involving chemical and biological weapons. There were mixed views as to whether human subjects should be told that they were guinea pigs in various tests and experiments which involved radiation. For example conservative Pentagon officials lobbied for the absence of a written policy. And their opponents opted to restrict human experiments for national security needs and questioned the morality of such experiments.

One stumbling block for the advocates of continuing to use humans in the experiments was the Nuremberg decision. The judges at the 1947 Nuremberg medical trial set an international precedent when they wrote: "The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential." The judges continued by listing other requirements which included the avoidance of undo risk to human subjects and the right of those participating in experiments to terminate them at any time.

Ultimately, Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson decreed that the human subjects had to consent to radiation testing. But the policy was murky and vague, since it was never clear what authorities told the subjects. There were no guidelines which spelled out what experiments endangered human subjects and which ones the Pentagon may have deemed harmless. It also appeared that very few if any consent forms were ever used. Additionally, most of the DOD's memos were classified, and so it was not known what was known by the subordinates who were given the task of implementing Wilson's policy.

In 1952, the AEC policy was to place atomic soldiers no closer than seven miles from the epicenter of the explosions. The agency recommended moving up the troops to just four miles from the blasts. When some insisted that this was still too far away, AEC Chairman Gordon Dean approved the distance of 7,000 yards. The AEC also set a limit of exposure to radiation at six roentgens and allowed only volunteers to expose themselves to 10 roentgens. In 1955, the AEC increased the dosage of radiation, which soldiers could absorb, to 15 roentgens.

On December 3, 1949, radio-iodine 131 and xenon 133 were deliberately emitted from the Hanford nuclear plant in Washington. The radioactive cloud remained there for several days before proceeding to the south. The most serious repercussion were in agricultural fields where edible crops were grown and where cows grazed on the vegetation. When tests of the area were conducted, it was determined that the vegetation absorbed 400 times more radiation than was allowed and that animals received radiation doses 80 times higher than normal. Radioactive iodine found its way into clouds and proceeded hundreds of miles southward to the California-Nevada border.

At Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah in the fall of 1949, the United States Army dropped radiation cluster bombs from an altitude of 15,000 feet over an area of 0.06 miles. The radiation spread faster than expected and reached 1,500 curies, a level which would cause death within one hour. At the same time in 1986, the DOE claimed that this was the only abuse which was made public. However, three years later the new DOE secretary, James Watkins, admitted to more radiation leakage which occurred in the 1950s. Then five years later in 1994 another report was declassified. The DOE stated that 800 people were actually victims of secret government testing.

The United States always maintained a double standard regarding the international community. In the early 1950s, the Eisenhower administration offered nuclear weapons to the French before Dienbienphu. Additionally, nothing was ever stated about Israel or South Africa conducting research and attempting to purchase technology and materials with which to build nuclear weapons. All the White House administrations condoned British, French, and Indian testing of nuclear warheads, while castigating China and the Soviet Union. Even the five nuclear tests conducted in the Pacific by France under conservative President Pierre Chirac were ignored by the Clinton administration.

Radiation also affected thousands of Marshall Islanders, where the United States tested 67 nuclear bombs from 1946 until 1958. In the process, their way of life was destroyed and several islands, including Bikini, were left uninhabitable. A 1952 test of the first thermonuclear H-bomb vaporized the island of Elugelab.

Between 1951 and the 1963, the year that the Test Ban Treaty was signed, the United States conducted over 200 tests in the atmosphere and underground. It was not until 1997 that the National Cancer Institute concluded that 10,000 to 75,000 additional thyroid cancers in the United States were a direct result of increased radiation from atomic testing. Estimates were that 48,000 atomic soldiers were used in the tests. The National Cancer Institute found that millions of Americans had been exposed to high levels of radioactive iodine, enough to cause 50,000 thyroid cancers. Additionally, between 1951 and 1962 fallout from atomic testing contaminated tens of thousands of cows.

Until 1993, 20 percent of these tests were kept concealed. On December 14, 1970 the Baneberry test at Yucca Flat resulted in a radioactive mushroom cloud some 10,000 feet into the air and 6.7 curies of radiation were emitted into the atmosphere. As a point of comparison 50 to 200 million curies were released at Chernobyl in April 1986. The 1984 Myth/Milagro test led to a surface collapse which killed one person and injured 13 others. The Mighty Oak test in 1986 damaged $32 million in equipment. Two of the three doors designed to prevent the release of radiation failed, and radiation was emitted into the atmosphere. The October 1980 Miners Iron test led to a "fault/crack zone" and also allowed for the emission of radiation. The United States Geological Survey in California estimated that more than 50 tests at Rainier Mesa led to radioactive leakage.

The United States government acknowledged that it conducted 204 underground nuclear tests until the mid-1990s. In December 1993, the DOE declassified information which revealed that 204 underground tests were conducted at the Nevada Test Site since 1957. However, throughout this time period, the government stated that the atmospheric releases were confined to the test site area alone. The last secret blast occurred in May 1990, one of 18 tests during the Reagan-Bush era. The DOE operates on an annual budget of nearly $20 billion, over half of which goes only for the nuclear weapons program.

In 1986, the DOE declassified documents about Operation Green Run. Between 1948 and 1952 the Green Run experiment in New Mexico, Utah, and Tennessee was conducted to determine the effect of radiation. Radiation clouds were emitted into the atmosphere and were tracked to observe their speed and direction as well as the area where most of the fallout was dispersed. A 1993 General Accounting Office report found that there were 13 such incidents nation-wide. Two years later new evidence suggested that there were actually 50 to 60 releases of radiation into the atmosphere. Additionally there were 250 incidents of releases of radiation from New Mexico's Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory alone.

SECRET DEPLOYMENT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS OVERSEAS. It was revealed in October 1999 that during the height of the Cold War, the United States had deployed nuclear bombs in 15 foreign countries. According to a study published today in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the list of countries was compiled by the Pentagon between 1945 to 1977. Then the data was partially declassified in 1999 under the Freedom of Information Act when the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private research group in Washington, made the request.

The Pentagon blacked out the names of all but three countries: Cuba, West Germany, and Great Britain. However, because the locations were listed in alphabetical order and the authors of the study had an enormous amount of information, they believed that the other 12 countries could be easily identified.

The study revealed that nuclear bombs were stored from 1956 to 1959 at an American base in Iceland which has a strong non-nuclear tradition and publicly opposed many of NATO's nuclear policies. Iceland political leaders were not aware that the United States had stored nuclear weapons in their country. Fridrick Jonsson, first secretary at the Embassy of Iceland in Washington D.C., said that his government had previously been asked about American nuclear weapons and had always said it "had not been aware of the presence of nuclear weapons in Iceland."

From December 1961 until mid-1963 -- during the Cuban missile crisis -- the United States kept "nuclear-capable" depth charges at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. These anti-submarine weapons technically were not nuclear bombs, because their plutonium parts which were stored nearby in Florida.

In January 1952, President Truman authorized the storage of nuclear bombs at Strategic Air Command bases in Morocco without consent of the Algiers' government. The weapons were deployed in Morocco from 1954 to 1963. They only needed to be equipped with the fissile component before American warplanes could drop atomic bombs on the Soviet Union. According to a document obtained by Robert Norris of the Natural Resources Defense Council, France "should not be informed" about the weapons in Morocco, which was a French and Spanish protectorate at the time. The Moroccan government apparently was informed after it gained independence in 1956. Norris contended that American nuclear weapons were deployed in Morocco even before they were placed in Britain.

The Eisenhower administration also deployed nuclear bombs during the United States-China crisis over the Taiwan straits in 1954-55 They needed to be equipped with uranium or plutonium before they could have been used against the Soviet union or China. Eisenhower also approved the storage of complete nuclear bombs, artillery shells, and missile warheads in Alaska, Hawaii, and Okinawa, Japan. Later in his administration, nuclear weapons were deployed in South Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan. It was not clear whether these countries were aware that nuclear weapons were placed on American bases in their countries. Approximately 1,000 American nuclear weapons were stored on American bases in Okinawa between 1954 and 1972. By the end of the 1970s, the only American nuclear weapons left in the Far East were in South Korea, and they were withdrawn in 1991. In 1994 the United States acknowledged that it had secretly stored nuclear weapons from 1958 to 1965 at Thule Air Base in Greenland, a part of Denmark which is an ardent anti-nuclear country.

Norris said that he was unable to identify only one location where nuclear weapons were deployed outside the continental United States. According to the declassified study, the site falls alphabetically between Canada and Cuba, and American nuclear weapons were deployed in that country from 1956 to 1965.

Most of the nuclear weapons stored overseas were intended for use by the American military. But 40 percent of the weapons deployed in Europe were for NATO allies which included West Germany, Britain, Turkey, and Greece. The actual bombs remained under American custody and could not have been armed without the participation of the American military. At the peak in the late 1960s, more than half of the 7,000 American nuclear weapons in Europe were stored in West Germany. By 1999 the United States had fewer than 150 nuclear bombs at 10 air bases in seven NATO countries.

MANAGERIAL BURDENS. Managerial burdens, such as export controls to prevent nuclear proliferation, are frequently overlooked. This includes United States payments to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as the cost of arms control negotiation and implementation. Another hidden cost involves the executive and legislative branches which oversee a multitude of nuclear weapons activities. No fewer than 25 cabinet and sub-cabinet agencies oversee the nuclear weapons program. In Congress nearly 30 committees and subcommittees allocate funds, write laws and, to varying degrees, oversee the performance of the nuclear enterprise. Perhaps the largest of all management costs, and one of the hardest to pin down, is the cost of the elaborate secrecy and security measures used to prevent the dissemination of information about nuclear weapons and to protect the weapons themselves. These measures have direct and indirect costs, many of which may be immune to measurement in terms of dollars and cents.

PRODUCING THE NUCLEAR ARSENAL. The nuclear weapons production complex consists of 19 sites occupying more than 3,900 square miles. The sites have involved several hundred facilities, most of them relatively small, and more than 900 uranium mines and mills. The complex includes 14 production reactors (in Washington and South Carolina), eight separation and reprocessing plants, and 239 underground storage tanks for high-level waste (in Washington, Idaho, and South Carolina). Poor record-keeping practices by the AEC and the Energy Department prevent a tabulation of total expenditures by site.

From 1951 to 1955, the AEC obligated $34 billion to refurbish and enlarge weapons complex facilities, principally to expand production of plutonium, highly enriched uranium, and other nuclear materials. In 1953 the AEC obligated $19 billion, only a little less than the entire Manhattan Project had cost. The size of the weapons production complex remained more or less stable from the mid-1960s until the early 1980s, although costs increased by $14 billion under a Reagan administration plan to produce thousands of new weapons.

The last new nuclear weapon was assembled at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, five years ago. Military production reactors for plutonium and tritium have not operated since mid-1988, and the last U.S. nuclear test was conducted in September 1992.

Ironically, production costs increased as the size of the stockpile declined. In 1967 the arsenal peaked at 32,500 weapons and production spending, not including materials production, was $3.6 billion. Just two years later, the arsenal had declined to an estimated 26,600 weapons, but spending had reached more than $4 billion.

As a result of the Reagan administration's renewed emphasis on nuclear weapons, annual spending on bomb and warhead research, development, and production reached an all-time high of $5.7 billion in 1985, but the size of the arsenal had dropped to 23,500 weapons. Today, with 14,000 warheads in the active and inactive stockpile, annual spending for research, development, testing, and production totals $3.3 billion-higher in real terms than 20 years ago when the arsenal was nearly twice as large and bombs were still being built.

THE MISSING TWO AND ONE-HALF TONS. In 1997, the DOE conceded that it could not locate the records which allegedly proved that it had disposed of 30,000 nuclear warheads in a 30 year span between 1945 and 1975. The DOE never disclosed how many nuclear bombs which it had produced. Estimates are that 70,000 warheads were assembled since World War II. It is estimated that 11,000 warheads still exist today. Available DOE records indicate that 26,735 bombs were destroyed at weapons' sites in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Amarillo, Texas. This leaves another 30,000 warheads unaccounted.

Since 1945, the United States government produced 95.5 tons of fissionable plutonium -- and the DOE can only account for 2.8 tons of that plutonium today. According to the DOE's own figures, at Rocky Flats alone, 2,400 pounds of plutonium was unaccounted for. One security official stated that Rocky Flats security was so lax in the past that "it (was) like having a window in a bank vault."

In 1999, the DOE declassified a report that rated security at three large sites as "marginal," providing only "questionable assurance" that the material was safeguarded closely enough. These plants were Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Oak Ridge. The DOE emphatically insisted that none of the had been stolen, suggesting that the "inventory differences" were the result of plutonium materials becoming stuck in pipes and manufacturing tools.

In April 1999 DOE Secretary Bill Richardson suspended Edward McCallum, chief security agent for the DOE, after allegations arose that he divulged sensitive information to a security agent at Rocky Flats, and he in turn posted it on the Internet.

SECRET TESTING. The United States government acknowledged that it conducted 204 underground nuclear tests until the mid-1990s. In December 1993 the DOE declassified information which revealed that 204 underground tests were conducted at the Nevada Test Site since 1957. However, throughout this time period, the government stated that the atmospheric releases were confined to the test site area alone. The last secret blast occurred in May 1990, one of 18 tests during the Reagan-Bush era. The DOE operates on an annual budget of nearly $20 billion, over half of which goes only for the nuclear weapons program.

Until 1993, 20 percent of these tests were kept concealed. On December 14, 1970 the Baneberry test at Yucca Flat resulted in a radioactive mushroom clod some 10,000 feet into the air and 6.7 curies of radiation were emitted into the atmosphere. As a point of comparison 50 to 200 million curies were released at Chernobyl in April 1986. The 1984 Myth/Milagro test led to a surface collapse which killed one person and injured 13 others. The Mighty Oak test in 1986 damaged $32 million in equipment. Two of the three doors designed to prevent the release of radiation failed, and radiation was emitted into the atmosphere. The October 1980 Miners Iron test led to a "fault/crack zone" and also allowed for the emission of radiation. The United States Geological Survey in California estimated that more than 50 tests at Rainier Mesa led to radioactive leakage.

In 1986, the DOE declassified documents about Operation Green Run. Between 1948 and 1952 the Green Run experiment in New Mexico, Utah, and Tennessee was conducted to determine the effect of radiation. Radiation clouds were emitted into the atmosphere and were tracked to observe their speed and direction as well as the area where most of the fallout was dispersed. A 1993 General Accounting Office report found that there were 13 such incidents nationwide. Two years later new evidence suggested that there were actually 50 to 60 releases of radiation into the atmosphere. Additionally, there were 250 incidents of releases of radiation from New Mexico's Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory alone.

On December 3, 1949, radio-iodine 131 and xenon 133 were deliberately emitted from the Hanford nuclear plant in Washington. The radioactive cloud remained there for several days before proceeding to the south. The most serious repercussion were in agricultural fields where edible crops were grown and where cows grazed on the vegetation. When tests of the area were conducted, it was determined that the vegetation absorbed 400 times more radiation than was allowed and that animals received radiation doses 80 times higher than normal. Radioactive iodine found its way into clouds and proceeded hundreds of miles southward to the California-Nevada border.

At Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah in the fall of 1949, the United States Army dropped radiation cluster bombs from an altitude of 15,000 feet over an area of 0.06 miles. The radiation spread faster than expected and reached 1,500 curies, a level which would cause death within one hour. At the same time in 1986 the DOE claimed that this was the only abuse which was made public. However, three years later the new DOE secretary, James Watkins, admitted to more radiation leakage which occurred in the 1950s. Then five years later in 1994 another report was declassified. The DOE stated that 800 people were actually victims of secret government testing.

The United States always maintained a double standard regarding the international community. In the early 1950s, the Eisenhower administration offered nuclear weapons to the French before Dienbienphu. Additionally, nothing was ever stated about Israel or South Africa conducting research and attempting to purchase technology and materials with which to build nuclear weapons. All the White House administrations condoned British, French, and Indian testing of nuclear warheads, while castigating China and the Soviet Union. Even the five nuclear tests conducted in the Pacific by France under conservative President Pierre Chirac were ignored by the Clinton administration.

The nuclear arms race cost the United States $4 trillion. This was never disclosed to the American public until 1995. An estimated $375 billion was spent on bombs; $25 billion on secrecy, security, and arms control; $2 trillion on delivery systems; and $1.1 trillion on command systems and air defenses. $75 billion was spent to develop new technologies and programs which subsequently were abandoned. Reagan's star wars program drained nearly $40 billion from the Treasury. $6 billion was spent on the development of a nuclear-powered aircraft engine for bombers, and $700 million on "peaceful research" for nuclear explosions. Additionally, $89 million was consumed in legal fees to fight plaintiffs in lawsuits involving nuclear testing and contamination; $15 million was paid to the Japanese, who were contaminated with fallout from nuclear testing in the Pacific; and $172 million was paid out to Americans in compensation for exposure to radiation. Finally, $385 billion was spent on cleaning up radioactive waste. Yet this is a small amount that would be required to effectively erase all radioactive materials from the United States. At its peak, the United States was manufacturing 25 nuclear weapons daily and by 1967 had stockpiled 32,500 bombs. To meet this quota, 925 uranium mines were being operated.

Today, government warehouses in six states house 33.5 metric tons of plutonium. Another 55.5 metric tons is currently contained in nuclear weapons which are held in storage in a weapons plant in Texas, or dispersed in small quantities in containers on military bases throughout the United States. Ten tons of plutonium, enough for 1,660 nuclear warheads, could be carried on an 18 wheel tractor- trailer. The DOE's complexes cover 4,000 square miles in 13 states.

In 1997, the DOE conceded that it could not locate the records which allegedly proved that it had disposed of 30,000 nuclear warheads in a 30 year span between 1945 and 1975. The DOE never disclosed how many nuclear bombs which it had produced. Estimates are that 70,000 warheads were assembled since World War II. It is estimated that 11,000 warheads still exist today. Available DOE records indicate that 26,735 bombs were destroyed at weapons' sites in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Amarillo, Texas. This leaves another 30,000 warheads unaccounted for. Since 1945 the United States government produced 95.5 tons of fissionable plutonium -- and the DOE can only account for 2.8 tons of that plutonium today.

THE POST-COLD WAR ERA. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the United States was confronted with the dilemma of how to dismantle delivery vehicles and disassemble and store warheads and bombs. Thus, the government was faced with another tremendous financial burden. The nuclear weapons program inflicted casualties, often on the very people the government sought to protect. A combination of secrecy, lax enforcement, neglect, and an overriding emphasis on production at all costs created an unprecedented legacy of toxic and radioactive pollution at dozens of sites and thousands of facilities around the country. It will take decades and cost hundreds of billions of dollars to clean up the mess at American nuclear weapons production facilities where it can be cleaned up at all.

Since 1995, Congress was at an impasse on choosing a nuclear dump site. The government proposed that the spent nuclear fuel be deposited in a facility to be built at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, 237 miles northeast of Los Angeles, but the White House and Republicans were at odds over how to go about it.

By the end of 1999, about 40,000 tons of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel was piled up in about 80 separate storage areas in 40 states. Some of the facilities are almost filled to capacity. The government was supposed to have taken custody of the spent fuel by 1998, but Congress and the White House have been unable to agree on how to do it. Republicans tried for six years to push their own plan through Congress. The Senate postponed action on the bill in 1998 after Democrats mounted a filibuster.

In March 2000, the Senate finally passed legislation that provided a permanent site for disposal of the nation's nuclear waste, but the 64-34 vote fell short of the two- thirds majority that Republicans needed to override a veto.

Clinton opposed a GOP provision to the bill that limited the role of the EPA in setting standards for how much radiation the waste facility could emit and threatened to veto the legislation if the House approved similar language. The provision required the EPA to consult with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the National Academy of Sciences which favored less stringent standards, if it wanted to issue such regulations before June 1, 2001. After that, however, the EPA could act entirely on its own.

Republican Senator Frank Murkowski tried to win more Democratic votes by abandoning a provision to require the DOE to take title to the spent fuel while it is in state storage areas -- a plan some governors feared would jeopardize its removal. But Democrats remained firmly opposed on a variety of other issue.

Today, government warehouses in six states house 33.5 metric tons of plutonium. Another 55.5 metric tons is currently contained in nuclear weapons which are held in storage in a weapons plant in Texas, or dispersed in small quantities in containers on military bases throughout the United States. Ten tons of plutonium, enough for 1,660 nuclear warheads, could be carried on an 18 wheel tractor- trailer. The DOE's complexes cover 4,000 square miles in 13 states.

In 1997, the DOE conceded that it could not locate the records which allegedly proved that it had disposed of 30,000 nuclear warheads in a 30 year span between 1945 and 1975. The DOE never disclosed how many nuclear bombs which it had produced. Estimates are that 70,000 warheads were assembled since World War II. It is estimated that 11,000 warheads still exist today. Available DOE records indicate that 26,735 bombs were destroyed at weapons' sites in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Amarillo, Texas. This leaves another 30,000 warheads unaccounted for. Since 1945, the United States government produced 95.5 tons of fissionable plutonium -- and the DOE can only account for 2.8 tons of that plutonium today.

THE COST OF THE NUCLEAR ARMS RACE. The nuclear arms race cost the United States $4 trillion. This was never disclosed to the American public until 1995. An estimated $375 billion was spent on bombs; $25 billion on secrecy, security, and arms control; $2 trillion on delivery systems; and $1.1 trillion on command systems and air defenses. $75 billion was spent to develop new technologies and programs which subsequently were abandoned. Reagan's Star Wars program drained nearly $40 billion from the Treasury. $6 billion was spent on the development of a nuclear-powered aircraft engine for bombers, and $700 million on "peaceful research" for nuclear explosions. Additionally, $89 million was consumed in legal fees to fight plaintiffs in lawsuits involving nuclear testing and contamination; $15 million was paid to the Japanese, who were contaminated with fallout from nuclear testing in the Pacific; and $172 million was paid out to Americans in compensation for exposure to radiation. Finally, $385 billion was spent on cleaning up radioactive waste. Yet this is a small amount that would be required to effectively erase all radioactive materials from the United States. At its peak, the United States was manufacturing 25 nuclear weapons daily and by 1967 had stockpiled 32,500 bombs. To meet this quota, 925 uranium mines were being operated.

During the arms race, the United States poured in $400 billion a year, while the Soviets coughed up $300 billion annually. After the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites crumbled in the early 1990s, American arms sales actually increased. By 1995 the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency reported that the Pentagon accounted for 49 percent of all global arms exports. The United States shipped military weapons to 140 countries, 90 percent of which were undemocratic regimes.

According to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the world spent $864 billion in 1995 on military hardware. Of this amount, the United States accounted for $278 billion or 32 percent -- 3.7 times more than the second ranking country which was Russia.

In 1997, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported that the United States exported $740 billion in military equipment to countries, most of which were right wing dictatorships, throughout the world. As a result, the United States accounted for 43 percent of all arms sales across the globe, while Russia's share was 14 percent. As American exports increased, total world-wide military and arms spending was about 33 percent lower than it was at the end of the Cold War in 1991.

The SIPRI also reported that the United States military's research and development (R&D) budget was seven times higher than that of second place France in 1997. That year, the United States funneled $38 billion into R&D projects, and the entire world spent $58 billion. According to the May 1997 issue of the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review, the Pentagon's projected budget for the future was $250 billion to $260 billion.

The United States, NATO, Japan, South Korea, and Israel account for 80 percent of the world's total military spending. In 1995 alone, the United States outspent Russia, China, Iraq, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Libya, and Cuba combined -- and by a ratio of two- to-one.

The United States spends $50 billion annually in the Persian Gulf region, maintaining a carrier fleet and air force bases in order to protect shipping lanes.

Since the government first began work on the atomic bomb in 1940, the U.S. nuclear arsenal has cost between $5.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in 1995 dollars. This is approximately 300 percent more, in 1995 dollars, than was spent on procurement for all of World War II. This equates to everyone American receiving a check from the federal government for $21,646. By the latter part of the twentieth century, the United States still maintained an arsenal of 8,000 strategic weapons, capable of reaching any area in the world. The United States has the distinction of being the only global nation which has ever used these weapons as an instrument of war and has continued to deny other nations the opportunity to "defend" themselves as well. Nearly ten world countries are nuclear capable, but the United States continues to either press for the removal of their arsenals or to closely monitor their nuclear programs.

This $5.8 trillion include most of the entire cost to develop, produce, deploy, operate, support, and control American nuclear forces since the 1940s. If all costs were known, another $500 billion to $1 trillion could be added to this total. By way of comparison the total figure will likely be approximately equal to the $5 trillion national debt. In short approximately 30 percent of all military spending since World War II has been devoted to nuclear weapons and their infrastructure. This is far more than the government has ever officially acknowledged.

When the arms race began in the mid-1950s, American intelligence warned of the "bomber gap." At that time, the United States had over 1,000 intercontinental bombers, while the Soviet Union had fewer than 40. The intelligence community warned that the Soviets would have between 500 and 800 ICBMs within five years. As it turned out, the Soviets never had more than 200 bombers. Then in 1957 American intelligence warned of the "missile gap," declaring that the Soviet Union would have 3,000 ICBMs by 1960. By 1960 the Soviets had five ICBMs.

Since 1962, The DOD's total expenditures for nuclear weapons has been known as Major Force Program 1 (MFP 1). This is a major portion of all nuclear weapons spending and has amounted to approximately $1 trillion. First, The overall program costs are much more, since many other areas are not included. For example, the DOD pays for nuclear delivery vehicles, such as bombers and ballistic missiles, but the DOE researches, develops, tests, and produces the warheads and bombs these planes and missiles carry.

Second, funds had been allocated for some programs which were virtual failures, and many have been either discarded or funds for them have since diminished. Therefore, these dollar amounts are no longer reflected in the military budget. For example, between the 1950s and the 1980s, the United States maintained an enormous air defense network with hundreds of radars and thousands of aircraft and anti-aircraft missiles, many armed with nuclear weapons. In addition, ballistic missile defenses were widely researched, and a limited ABM system was briefly deployed in North Dakota in the mid-1970s. President Reagan called for Star Wars in March 1983 led to increased spending for space-based defenses but produced no deployable systems. Additionally, millions of dollars had been appropriated for civil defense in the 1960s, but funding in this area was relatively modest. After a flurry of interest in bomb shelters in the early 1960s, interest declined and funding dropped after the Cuban missile crisis.

 

THE DOE FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGES WORK-RELATED ILLNESSES For decades, the federal government continued to deny that workers involved in the production of nuclear weapons inside DOE facilities were linked to occupational illnesses. The DOE conducted dozens of epidemiological studies since the 1960s, and the agency conceded that there were elevated cancer rates among workers exposed to radiation on the job. By acknowledging on-the-job illnesses at its plants, the government opened itself up to tens of millions of dollars in compensation costs. This preliminary report, which concluded that illnesses resulted from working at DOE sites, was based on medical data for an estimated 600,000 workers at federal nuclear sites across the country. The DOE concluded that workers suffered higher-than-normal rates of a wide range of cancers and that those illnesses clearly can be associated with exposure in the workplace. However, the DOE never acknowledged that its nuclear weapons workers may have been put at risk.

 

In the summer of 1999, Clinton ordered the White House National Economic Council (NEC) to review the scientific evidence of unusual illnesses among the more than 600,000 men and women who have worked in the DOE's 14 largest nuclear weapons facilities since World War II. Finally, on January 14, 2000 the federal government did admit that bomb-factory workers "may be at increased risk of illness" from radiation and toxic chemicals. Researchers found elevated rates of at least one type of malignancy, including leukemia and lung cancer. Some of the studies also showed a correlation between disease rates and higher levels of radiation exposure. In addition to the epidemiological studies, the report cited data from years of government-ordered medical screenings of former workers which pointed to higher rates of lung disease and other ailments.

 

According to the Washington Post (January 30, 2000), Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said, "The Department of Energy is coming clean with its workers." He added that the panel's findings removed "a major roadblock" to providing compensation for employees who may have been wrongfully exposed to hazards. The NEC's report had numerous inconsistencies in the scientific record. For example, some studies showed no unusual disease rates among workers who were exposed to some of the highest levels of radiation. Yet overall, the study concluded that there was "credible evidence" of increased health risks due to "ionizing radiation and chemical and physical hazards."

 

In late 1999, Richardson announced pilot programs to compensate two small groups of uranium workers who were exposed to radioactive plutonium at the DOE's diffusion plant in Paducah, Kentucky. Richardson also announced that several hundred others who were exposed to beryllium -- a highly toxic metal used in weapons production -- would also be compensated.

 

A safety manager informed regulators in February 2000 that over 1,600 tons of nuclear weapons parts were scattered around the Paducah uranium plant. Paducah began producing enriched uranium for nuclear bombs and power plants in 1952. The official reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that some of the bomb parts were stored in above-ground shelters and posed a risk of exposure or even an accidental nuclear reaction at the plant, if the components were contaminated with radioactive substances such as enriched uranium and plutonium.

 

The United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), the government-chartered private company that operates the Paducah plant acknowledged that its senior officials recently discussed the issue with the Department of Energy. DOE officials apparently were aware of the shipment of bomb components to Paducah over many years, but the department did not until recently inform the plant's civilian overseers and safety officials who were in charge of evaluating threats to workers.

 

Raymond Carroll, a senior manager of health and safety programs at Paducah since 1992, quoted a conversation with another senior civilian plant official who reportedly told Carroll he was worried about the bomb parts after hearing of their existence from a DOE official. Carroll also said he was told that DOE officials recently began hauling away documents related to weapons dismantlement. The Washington Post (February 11, 2000) reported Carroll's statement, as the government was making its most detailed acknowledgment to date of historically unsafe practices at the Paducah plant.

 

The DOE report faulted a "climate of secrecy" for keeping workers and neighbors uninformed and unprotected while radioactive contaminants spread through factory buildings and surrounding areas. The report said that a few volunteers were deliberately exposed to uranium in a series of previously undisclosed human experiments. However, the DOE report did not mention nuclear bomb parts. A worker lawsuit against plant contractors last summer revealed that some weapons parts had been melted down at the plant to recover gold and other metals.

 

Carroll's report mentioned the possibility that the bomb program may have introduced another unknown hazard at a facility where workers were told that the conditions under which they worked were risk-free. He said that the plants employees could have been exposed to uranium, plutonium, or tritium without even knowing it.

 

Carroll said that he learned about the bomb parts from a senior USEC supervisor, Orville Cypret. Carroll wrote that Cypret said he learned about the bomb parts from Dale Jackson, the former DOE manager of the Paducah site. Carroll said that Cypret told him that 1,600 tons of weapons components had been shipped to Paducah since the 1950s. Although some parts were buried, Carroll wrote that others were dispersed in various storage areas across the sprawling complex.

 

Carroll said that he was told that "large quantities" of plutonium and highly enriched uranium had been brought into the plant, and "not just in reactor tails." The DOE acknowledged for the first time in mid-1999 that radioactive plutonium and neptunium had entered the plant in uranium "tails," recycled uranium metal from military reactors that produced plutonium. According to Carroll's statement, Cypret said that a team of DOE officials had been assembled to investigate the matter but their findings "would not be voluntarily shared" with the plant's civilian managers. Instead, they were held in a special vault for classified material.

 

The DOE held a series of meetings in Rocky Flats, Colorado; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Paducah, Kentucky; and Hanford Washington to discuss workplace illnesses. The hearings were intended to gather evidence about whether workers who have radiation-induced cancer or lung disease caused by asbestos or silica dust should be compensated as well. The draft report indicated that there was scientific data to conclude they have been harmed by the exposure.

 

The sixth meeting at the Hanford plant to elicit stories from DOE employees took place on February 3, 2000. Five hundred and thirty people working at Hanford or living in the area told stories of illnesses incurred due to chemical and radioactive contamination at Hanford. They told stories of prostate surgeries, cancerous thyroid removals, lung growths, skin cancers, leukemias. Some testified about gloves that got punctured, setting off plutonium-alert bells all over a laboratory. Some spoke of running to escape from radioactive plumes, then losing all the feeling in their fingers and finding themselves next to a fine mist leaking from a barrel where they vomited and passed out. Many of them coughed constantly during their speeches. One man, with his larynx removed, spoke with the aid of a voice amplifying device.

 

Charles Moore worked at Hanford until his lungs, covered with fibrous white plaque, left him unable to work without running out of breath. Then he was fired for "lack of production." He testified, "My uncle worked at the T-plant. He died of cancer. My foreman died of cancer. My mother, who worked at Hanford, died at the age of 42 of cancer. My father died of emphysema, which I believe was because of his exposure to radiation. I've worked in areas where the people -- I can't find a one of them alive today -- they're all dead of cancer." Moore added, "In my estimation, the government has spent millions and millions of dollars on studies, and they haven't helped one soul."

 

C.F. Foster testified that on December 29, 1952 he was pricked with a plutonium-contaminated wire brush. When he was examined, the radiation measured "a million count" -- all over his sleeve and gloves. Foster said, "They scrubbed me up, and they basically told me it'll be 10 years before anything turns up. They said it'll be either leukemia or cancer of the bone. And I said, ‘Well, that's something to look forward to.' " Foster eventually had a total of three prostate operations for cancer.

 

Virginia Knirck, a long time employee whose family had had five Hanford workers over three generations, testified that her father died of cancer at age 55. Then her first husband, a Hanford lab employee, fell to the floor and died two days before Christmas. Knirck said that she was three months' pregnant at the time and had since been diagnosed with lymphoma, colon cancer, and renal cell cancer. She added, "My son, at the age of 10, had to have his parotid gland removed, and now he has leukemia. My sister has lymphoma, and her husband has had two cancers. I'm living in Richland. Is this causing my son and my sister and my father and myself to get sick?"

 

Thad Coleman worked most of his life at Hanford. He had to have surgery on his throat. He was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas, and his lungs were filled with asbestosis. Eustolio Salinas Jr. started work at Hanford in the late 1980s in the old plutonium processing plant and then was transferred to the tank farm where some of Hanford's deadliest wastes lie were buried in shallow storage vessels. He was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent debilitating chemotherapy in 1999. Kay Sutherland lost four of her five family members to disease as well as suffering four miscarriages herself. She has an enlarged liver and multiple tumors.

 

Workers also told of spending years trying to get compensation payments from the state; of having to hire attorneys to get disability pay; and of going to clinics that forced them to sign away rights to a portion of any future disability payments before they could be treated. Those with enough seniority were able to transfer out of high radiation zones to safer jobs. But the government terminated giving them annual physicals because they were no longer working in dangerous areas, even though their worst medical problems began to surface years later.

 

The DOE also acknowledged that workers at its Paducah, Kentucky plant participated in experiments in the 1950s. The Louisville Courier-Journal disclosed in February 2000 that some employees participants at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant volunteered for tests and that others were not informed of the dangers, according to a draft report by the DOE. In one experiment, staff members volunteered to breathe a radioactive gas to see how quickly uranium was excreted in their urine, according to the report. In some tests, a senior staffer drank a solution containing uranium, and at least 14 workers tested the effectiveness of respirators against radioactive dust, gas, and smoke, according to the report.

 

A year after the government apologized to these Cold War-era workers, Congress in October 2000 overwhelmingly approved a defense bill that contained a provision granting thousands of eligible workers or their heirs $150,000 each. The House vote was 382 to 31. And he Senate followed by approving the legislation.

 

Surviving workers would also be eligible for government-paid health care for life. The legislation meant more than money for people affected by radiation-related sickness. More important, it was the first time that many workers risked their lives -- or lost them -- received national attention. The legislation provided relief for 3,000 to 4,000 of those who worked at nuclear weapon facilities or their heirs. Additionally, approximately 10,000 miners who contracted cancer or other illnesses after exposure to radiation or toxins such as beryllium and silica were eligible for assistance.

THE CRUMBLING OF COMMUNISM IN EUROPE During the arms race, the United States poured in $400 billion a year, while the Soviets coughed up $300 billion annually. After the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites crumbled in the early 1990s, American arms sales actually increased. By 1995, the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency reported that the Pentagon accounted for 49 percent of all global arms exports. The United States shipped military weapons to 140 countries, 90 percent of which were undemocratic regimes.

Since the demise of communism in Europe in 1991, the conservative right has boasted that it was a result of the proliferation of the military by Reagan. They have claimed that communism crumbled because of Star Wars, the deployment of missiles in Western Europe, and the increased production of nuclear warheads and ICBMs and SLBMs. Moscow's leaders -- as well as most Americans -- realized that Star Wars was a boondoggle since its inception. Finally, the right has said that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a result of Reagan fighting leftist regimes in Africa, Central America, and Afghanistan.

However, the Cold War came to a close because of bipartisan support among Democrats and Republicans. It also was a result of the pressure put on the Reagan administration by the American public, clamoring for an end to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The policy of containment was conceived under the Democratic Truman administration which contained conservatives such as George Kennan and Paul Nitze. Truman's Democratic successors, Kennedy and Johnson -- along with the Republican Nixon -- initiated the first dialogues with Moscow, leading to a series of strategic weapons' treaties. It was a Democratic Congress which approved both treaties and the allocation of military funds. Democratic President Carter ordered construction of the neutron bomb, the MX missile, Euromissiles, and various anti- communist actions in the Third World. Carter was also the first to make human rights an important factor in American foreign policy -- only to be castigated by the conservative right.

Finally, it was Reagan who offered a blank check to the Pentagon to increase defense spending. It was also Reagan who cozied up to right wing repressive regimes -- South Africa, Turkey, El Salvador, Argentina, and Chile. Reagan also created and funded programs, most of which were meant to topple democratic governments and to replace them with right wing capitalistic regimes. Reagan supplied guerrillas in Angola, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan to battle alleged communist states. He created the UNITA rebels in Angola, the Contras in Nicaragua, and the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan.

By the time that Reagan finished his first term, hopes for an arms control agreement between the superpowers nearly vanished. As Reagan pushed for more funding to build more nuclear weapons, the peace movement in Europe and the United States gained momentum, demanding an end to the nuclear madness. The movement's largest demonstration was the June 12, 1982 rally in Central Park which was attended by 750,000 people who protested the arms race. The peace movement was supported by clergy -- from Roman Catholic bishops to Protestant ministers -- who made a moral appeal to end the construction of nuclear weapons. Thirty-six nuclear freeze referendums were passed in eight states November 1982. In 1992, forty-four percent of Americans opposed taking a tough stance against the Soviet Union. Two years before, 77 percent of Americans had backed Reagan's policies that threatened detente as the superpowers regressed into a chilly cold war era.

When Reagan entered his second year in office, 67 percent of Americans opposed the deployment of American missiles in Europe. The support for a nuclear weapons freeze hit an all-time high of 86 percent in 1983. The Reagan administration quietly dropped its harsh rhetoric of Moscow and proposed START.

Gorbachev consolidated his power in Moscow in 1985, the same year that leading American scientists announced that Star Wars was not a plausible concept. In addition public sentiment for the reduction of nuclear weapons continued to soar. In 1986, 80 percent of Americans favored an underground nuclear test ban; 82 percent were against weapons in space; and 84 percent were in favor of reducing Soviet and American warheads by 50 percent. As if Reagan was led by the polls, his summits with Gorbachev focused on cutting nuclear weapons, eliminating Star Wars tests, and reducing conventional forces in Europe. Indeed, Reagan's agenda had substantially changed from what it had been when he took office four years earlier.

Initially, Gorbachev felt threatened by the billions of dollars poured into Star Wars by the Reagan administration. But Soviet diplomats and scientists convinced Gorbachev to abandon the Soviet position of demanding that the United States halt Star Wars before reductions in nuclear missiles could be negotiated. Andrei Sakharov had informed Soviet officials of the need to separate SDI from arms-reduction talks as early as 1986, and he gave a speech asserting that position to a huge East-West peace forum in Moscow in February 1987. Soon afterward, Gorbachev announced that the abandonment of Star Wars was not a criterion for discussing arms reductions. This eventually led to two arms treaties -- Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) treaty.

The 1986 summit took place the next year in Reykjavik. Reagan was left virtually speechless when Gorbachev proposed nuclear disarmament. Iran-Contra broke in 1987, and Reagan's credibility, as well as his popularity, quickly plummeted. The Reagan administration began to negotiate the INF treaty whereby the two superpowers agreed to scale down their nuclear forces in Europe.

Public support for the INF treaty was 80 percent, and the INF agreement was ratified by the Senate in 1988. Then Reagan and Gorbachev opened discussions on what eventually led to the two START treaties, aimed at slashing their strategic nuclear arsenals. This, too, was overwhelmingly supported by the American public as well as by Soviet citizens.

THE REAGAN-BUSH YEARS

The Department of Defense is the richest unit in the government. In the 1980s it grew by 50 percent above inflation This translates into a rate of 100 percent after inflation. The United States ranks number one in the world for military expenditures and military aid and number two in arms exports. Yet the United States ranks a lowly number five in literacy, number eight in life expectancy, number seven in education expenditures, and number eighteen in infant mortality rate.

"We're in greater danger today than we were the day after Pearl Harbor. Our military is absolutely incapable of defending this country." - Ronald Reagan, March 1980

In the 1980s, President Reagan was able to increase his military outlays to $2.5 trillion, 80 times the cost of the Vietnam War and more than what was expended since World War II. Defense production grew 300 percent faster than the entire American industry as a whole. When he entered the White House, the national debt was $900 billion. By the time he left office, it had escalated to $2.7 trillion, a tripling of the debt in only eight years. The 1987 military budget of $930 billion amounted to $1.8 million per minute, an increase of $50 billion over the year before. The conservative Rockefeller Foundation put American defense spending in 1987 at $293 billion which was an annual average increase of $15 billion. The United States and the Soviet Union accounted for 59 percent of the entire world's military spending.

"On balance, the Soviet Union does have a definite margin of superiority in nuclear arms." - President Ronald Reagan, March 1982

"The United States spends more on arms annually, $275 billion presently, than the rest of the Security Council combined. U.S. arms expenditures are approximately 25 times the gross national product of Iraq. The U.S. has in its stockpiles more nuclear bombs, chemical and biological weapons, more aircraft, rockets and delivery systems in number and sophistication than the rest of the world combined. Included are twenty commissioned Trident II nuclear submarines any one of which could destroy Europe." - Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark in a letter to the UN, November 1998

"Today, the United States spends more on military arms and other forms of ‘national security' than the rest of the world combined. U.S. leaders preside over a global military apparatus of a magnitude never before seen in human history. In 1993 it included almost a half-million troops stationed at over 395 major military bases and hundreds of minor installations in thirty-five foreign countries, and a fleet larger in total tonnage and firepower than all the other navies of the world combined, consisting of missile cruisers, nuclear submarines, nuclear aircraft carriers, destroyers, and spy ships that sail every ocean and make port on every continent. U.S. bomber squadrons and long-range missiles can reach any target, carrying enough explosive force to destroy entire continents with an overkill capacity of more than 8,000 strategic nuclear weapons and 22,000 tactical ones." - Michael Parenti, 1995, Against Empire

One of Reagan's goals was to build a 600 fleet Navy but fell short at 580. However, after his Presidency, many of these ships were mothballed. Reagan pushed for 50 MX missiles at a cost of $4.54 million each. This amount could have provided a year of health programs for one million chronically ill children in the United States. $3.9 billion was allocated in 1988 alone for Reagan's "Star Wars" research. This dollar amount would have provided free elementary education for 1.4 million children in Latin America. The cost of one Nimitz aircraft carrier was placed at $3.9 billion.

Instead, this could have been spent to provide one solid meal each day for six months for 20 million Americans who are undernourished.

With the spiraling cost of military weapons, the purchasing power greatly diminished by the 1980s. These are the costs during the Reagan years as compared to during World War II:

--Bombers - 200 times more expensive

--Fighters - 20 times more expensive

--Carriers - 20 times more expensive

--Tanks - 15 times more expensive

--Submarines - $5,500 per ton in 1945 compared to $1.6 million per ton in 1990.

Reagan justified his spending spree on the basis that he had a "mandate" of the people. Yet, 72 percent believed that too much was being spent on defense. Seventy-five percent of Americans supported a nuclear freeze and supported a 50 percent reduction in arms. The threat of communism declined from 29 percent (1964) to 13 percent (1974) to 8 percent (1981). Yet, during the Reagan years, defense production increased to $1.8 million, growing at a rate three times higher than that of American industry as a whole. In 1987, defense spending was equivalent to $1.8 million per minute, an increase of $50 billion from the preceding year.

Instead of pushing for a nuclear freeze with the Soviets, Reagan described the United States nuclear freeze movement as "inspired by not the sincere, honest people who want peace, but by some who want a weakening of America." At a November 11, 1982 press conference, Reagan was asked if he had any evidence of foreign involvement in the peace movement. He answered: "Plenty."

Reagan frequently was mistaken when he spoke about his Defense Department. Prior to 1983, Reagan believed that the United States had more land-based missiles than the Soviet Union. On another occasion, he stated that "SLBMs can be recalled." Reagan went through six national security advisers. For example, he met with Admiral John Poindexter for a total of 90 minutes.

The media seldom commented on the role of PACs and the money which they pour into the bank accounts of congressmen. Five percent of United States senators made money every time the defense budget increased. Common Cause reported:

Aerojet General: 1982 contracts: $ 677 million 1979-84 PAC contributions: $64,911

Boeing: 1982 contracts: $586 million 1979-84 PAC contributions: $300,312

GTE: 1982 contracts: $496 million 1979-84 PAC contributions: $539,272

Honeywell: 1982 contracts: $10 million 1979-84 PAC contributions: $296,105

Martin Marietta: 1982 contracts: $1,860 million 1979-84 PAC contributions: $379,700

Northrop: 1982 contracts: $886 million 1979-84 PAC contributions: $402,051

Rockwell: 1982 contracts: $1,914 million 1979-84 PAC contributions: $583,570

Westinghouse: 1982 contracts: $252 million 1979-84 PAC contributions: $474,552

FRANKLIN SPINNEY SPEAKS OUT AGAINST REAGAN. Franklin C. Spinney worked at the Department of Defense since 1977 where was assigned to the Pentagon's Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation. The office was first conceived by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1961 to provide relatively independent assessments. Spinney's own career began in the military where he spent eight years in the Air Force after graduating from Lehigh University in 1967 with a degree in engineering.

In the 1980s, he gained notoriety with this jolting argument: All the money President Ronald Reagan was pouring into defense would not make the military any stronger. At the peak of Reagan's buildup, he argued that the Pentagon underestimated the future costs of weapons, thus escalating the ever-growing defense budgets as well as the national debt. After appearing before the House and Senate, he lost his parking permit and, for a time, access to budget figures, but his notoriety and civil-service rules protected his job.

Spinney's bosses made him a celebrity by trying to quash his views. Time magazine called him a "Pentagon Maverick" on a cover in 1983. Still, Reagan's military spending spree went on.

MILITARY SPENDING UNDER CLINTON

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, military spending began to decrease but only slightly. Since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Pentagon spent 400 percent more than Russia, the next largest military spender. The Department of Defense (DOD) outspent Japan five times, France by six times, and Britain and Germany by seven times.

Yet, the United States seemed to be unphased by the fall of the Soviet Union. The $40 million American F-15 fighter in both the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the 1999 Yugoslavia war proved superior to any enemy's warplanes. Even though no other world nation was producing more advanced warplanes, the DOD lobbied to replace the F-15 with the F-22 which costs $188-million each -- nearly five times more. The Defense Department planned to spend $329 billion on a fleet of new warplanes.

Since 1991, Russian military spending plummeted from over $250 billion a year to less than $65 billion a year. The United States submarine fleet was by far the most superior, and it was followed by the Russians. However, the Russian Bear dry-docked most of their submarines, and no other global power had a substantial fleet. Nevertheless, the Pentagon hoped to mothball many of its current submarines, even though they had many years of useful service ahead. The DOD hoped to replace them with 30 new ones at a cost of $64 billion. American aircraft carriers no longer became threatened, but the Pentagon still hoped to build two new carriers at a cost of more than $10 billion.

The Pentagon's budget has been misleading since many of its expenditures have fallen under other government agencies. The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for the production of fuel for the military's nuclear weapons, for the military portion of NASA's budget, and for the Veterans Administration's costs. The Center for Defense Information (CDI), a conservative think tank composed of ex-military brass, estimates real military expenditures to be $327 billion per year, $62 billion higher than that which is budgeted to the DOD.

According to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the world spent $864 billion in 1995 on military hardware. Of this amount, the United States accounted for $278 billion or 32 percent -- 3.7 times more than the second ranking country which was Russia.

In 1997, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported that the United States exported $740 billion in military equipment to countries, most of which were right wing dictatorships, throughout the world. As a result, the United States accounted for 43 percent of all arms sales across the globe, while Russia's share was 14 percent. As American exports increased, total world-wide military and arms spending was about 33 percent lower than it was at the end of the Cold War in 1991.

The SIPRI also reported that the United States military's research and development (R&D) budget was seven times higher than that of second place France in 1997. That year, the United States funneled $38 billion into R&D projects, and the entire world spent $58 billion. According to the May 1997 issue of the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review, the Pentagon's projected budget for the future was $250 billion to $260 billion.

The United States, NATO, Japan, South Korea, and Israel accounted for 80 percent of the world's total military spending. In 1995 alone, the United States outspent Russia, China, Iraq, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Libya, and Cuba combined -- and by a ratio of two- to-one. The United States spent $50 billion annually in the Persian Gulf region, maintaining a carrier fleet and air force bases in order to protect shipping lanes.

THE FISCAL 1996 BUDGET. The DOD accounted for 37 percent of all military spending on the planet in 1996. The Pentagon's budget for fiscal year 1996 was $265 billion. That was $7 billion more than it requested. However, in reality it was much higher. According to the Center for Defense Information (CDI), additional funding came out of other areas. For example, federal money was funneled into the Department of Energy which makes nuclear fuel, into NASA which places military satellites into space, and into the Veterans Administration. Then the CDI added another $167 billion for the interest paid on past military spending, increasing military spending to $494 billion. Of that $494 billion, the CDI gave estimates which were made by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and former Reagan military planner Lawrence Korb. These estimates averaged out to $155 billion a year to finance the military. Finally, military fraud was estimated at $172 billion per year. For example Grumman paid the government $20 million to escape criminal liability for pressuring subcontractors into making political contributions. Northrop was fined $17 million for falsifying test data about its cruise missiles and fighter jets. Teledyne paid $5 million in a civil settlement for false testing, plus $5 million for repairs.

In reality, the 1996 DOD budget amounted to approximately $494 billion, $229 billion higher than that which was officially earmarked for the Defense Department. This translated to $9.5 billion per week, or $55 million per hour, or over $916,666 every minute.

The CDI estimated that the military portion of the national debt and its share of the interest payment on that debt amounted to an additional $167 billion annually. That made a total annual outlay of $494 billion which was earmarked for defense. This translates to $9.5 billion per week, or $55 million per hour, or over $916,666 every minute.

Each year, the State Department allocated over $20 billion in foreign aid. A large chunk of that money was earmarked for right wing brutal dictatorships such as Latin American, Asian, and Middle Eastern governments. In turn, these countries purchased weapons from American defense contractors. For example, in 1994 General Dynamics and Lockheed brought in $1.9 billion in arms sales.

THE FISCAL 1999 BUDGET. In fiscal year 1999, it took an upward move once again. Congressional Republicans, led by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, pushed a multi-billion dollar budget through Congress. Of that amount $271 billion was funneled to the DOD, marking an increase of $8.4 billion from the previous year.

This package included $1 billion for missile defense projects, $1.3 billion for military readiness, $1 billion to resolve the Pentagon's Year 2000 computer problems, $1.86 billion to deploy troops to Bosnia, and $1.5 billion for the black budget -- the secret programs of the intelligence agencies. These enormous increases opened the way for the services to seek increases of as much as $25 billion or 10 percent for each year in the future. The budget package was a significant victory for Gingrich who vowed that the budget deal needed to include one dollar in defense spending for each dollar in non-defense spending.

The Pentagon attempted to justify the increase in military spending. The DOD maintained that overseas deployments strained military units and families. They cited shortages of parts and the understaffing of some Navy ships. They pointed to deteriorating pay and health and retirement benefits which made it more difficult to recruit and keep quality troops.

However, this windfall came with little national debate and at a time when most Americans believe the United States faced no major national security threat. The federal government spent about 3 percent of its gross domestic product on the military, compared with 6 percent during the Reagan administration buildup of the 1980s.

The Clinton administration held off on its decision on whether to try to deploy a national missile defense shield in 2000. Surprisingly, Pentagon officials did not push for more appropriations on the program, arguing that they had about as much money as they could use in developing the complex technology.

Many Republicans still hoped to obtain more funding for Reagan-era "Star Wars" technology. John Pike, and analyst for the Federation of American Scientists, said, "It’s beginning to look like a done deal." The $1 billion, which was earmarked for missile defense projects, included $125 million for THAAD and $135 million for the Navy's Theater Wide missile defense program. This portion of the budget was also used to replace the inventory of older missiles that have been used in the THAAD development program. A portion of the Pentagon's budget was written hastily and in secret.

THE FISCAL 2000 BUDGET. President Clinton proposed the largest increase in the Pentagon's budget in nearly a decade and the largest since the Cold War buildup of the mid-1980s. His proposal reversed years of dwindling resources. In the 1990s there were growing complaints about military readiness, both from within the military and from Republicans who claimed that the president allowed the military to erode. Clinton acquiesced to their demands and proposed an increase of more than $4 billion in the military budget for the fiscal year 2000 and about $100 billion over the next six years. That was the first increase, discounting inflation, since 1991, when spending was slightly for the Persian Gulf War.

Clinton proposed increasing spending for the Pentagon to nearly $269 billion which was just under 2 percent after inflation. The president also agreed to let the DOD keep another $8 billion which resulted from lower-than-expected inflation and fuel prices, money that would normally be returned to the Treasury. Altogether, the Pentagon netted $12 billion in new money to spend on new equipment, spare parts, and raises for the nation's military. Over the next six years, Clinton's budget proposed additional spending of just above $100 billion. That would represent the most significant rise in military spending since the buildup by President Reagan in the early 1980s.

Of the $12 billion, about $2.5 billion went for raises and improved retirement benefits. They have called for an across-the-board 4.4 percent raise for each of the nation's nearly 1.4 million troops. They also proposed giving targeted raises for thousands of mid-career officers and noncommissioned officers. Another $2 billion was earmarked for peacekeeping force in Bosnia where 6,900 American troops were deployed in early 1999. The rest of increase was divided among the four services and pay for a variety of things, including increased maintenance on bases, spare parts for aging trucks, ships and airplanes, and more fuel and munitions to use in training. Some funds were left over for recruiting and still more bonuses for Air Force and Navy pilots since many retired to fly for commercial airlines. Clinton also proposed $8 billion over six years for a national missile system, the Theater High-altitude Missile Defense System (THADD).

Only a small bit of the proposed increase in was designated for expensive new weapons. However, future budgets would provide funds for such things as the Air Force to purchase more new F-22 fighters, for the Navy to build new ships, and for the Army to buy new Comanche attack helicopters.

In January 1999, Chairman Henry Shelton of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the chiefs of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps appeared before the Senate Committee on Armed Services. A year ago when they appeared, they were very evasive in answering questions from the panel. Secretary of Defense William Cohen asked the chiefs to list their budget priorities. They had requests for personnel and equipment that totaled $148 billion over the next six years. Cohen cut that amount back to $112 billion.

Despite strict spending caps set by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, many Republicans called for much larger increases in the Pentagon's budget, accusing Clinton of having let the military become "hollow." Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, head of the Senate's subcommittee on military readiness, said that Clinton was belatedly trying to head off Republican criticism that he had neglected the military. He said, "He's personally responsible for the defamation of our defense system and our hollow forces. The President is going to try to make it look like he's a pro-defense President. It's an outrage."

Clinton officials did not say he proposed paying for the increase in military spending. Clinton already vowed not to spend the federal surplus until he and Congress agreed on a way to resolve the Social Security system. Also the Balanced Budget Act placed strict caps on total discretionary spending, requiring that any increases be offset by reductions elsewhere.

In June 1999, the Navy came under fire on two occasions. First, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee complained that the Pentagon leased six new business jets for top admirals and generals at a cost of $50 million annually. Second, the Appropriations Committee revealed that the Navy had spent $5.5 million to refurbish the homes of three Navy admirals. The Navy attempted to justify their actions by claiming that the residences are also used for official government functions such as receptions. The committee report said that the "operation and maintenance" funds to renovate family housing was "totally inappropriate" irrespective of the rank of the individual who occupies the quarters. The report continued: "The Navy has systematically failed to notify the Congress that these renovations and family housing improvements were planned and ongoing."

Congress cut $1.8 billion from the F-22 fighter program in 1999. However, the Pentagon continued funding two other advanced fighter programs: the Joint Strike fighter -- which Lockheed Martin and Boeing competed for -- and the Boeing F/A-18E/F. These three programs combined are expected to cost the U.S. taxpayers more than $340 billion.

The $67 billion F-22 project -- at a cost of $200 million per fighter -- presented problems since Congress allocated funds in 1991. The Air Force repeatedly underestimated the costs for the F-22 while minimizing its problems. Additionally, the Air Force juggled statistics to assure that the fighter would meet testing requirements.

John Isaacs of the Council for a Liveable World said that the F-22 program was not following the "fly before you buy" policy with "the Air Force requesting to begin production even though the test planes have flown only about 200 of the 4,337 hours of scheduled flight tests."

In July 1999, the F-22 ran into danger when House appropriators dropped $1.8 billion which was earmarked for the initial production of the F-22. But the fighter plane was issued a reprieve three months later in October when the House passed a $278 billion defense bill, a portion of which went for the procurement of six test planes and further testing.

After funds were cut, Lockheed Martin immediately lobbied Congress to allocate funds to restore the F-22. Lobbyists for Lockheed Martin attempted to justify the F- 22 by emphasizing that 24 of the 48 "dangerous" world countries had advanced fighters. They were purchased from American aerospace corporations: Lockheed F-16s and Boeing/McDonnell Douglas F-15s and F-18s. In 1999, Lockheed Martin landed an $8 billion contract to build 80 F- 16s for the United Arab Emirates. It was the first country which may be provided with software source codes which would enable them to upgrade the aircraft attack capabilities. If the United Arab Emirates are given transfer codes, they will have the capability to upgrade the F-16's radar which would increase its targeting capabilities far beyond what other countries in the region possess. The source codes would allow the United Arab Emirates to jam radar frequencies on other nations' fighters, including those of the United States. Additionally, the United Nations Arabs could easily sell their fighters along with transfer codes to another country. To counter the United Arab Emirates' contract, Israel purchased 50 of the same fighters from Lockheed Martin.

In 1999, $3.6 billion was allocated for a missile defense system. $37 billion was funneled into research and development, including the Army's Comanche helicopter; the Air Force's space-based laser; and $1.5 billion for the Navy's "mini-carrier."

THE FISCAL 2001 BUDGET. The Pentagon announced rising costs in several of its programs in April 2000. The New York Times (April 14, 2000) reported the spiraling costs.

The price of a Patriot PAC-3 missile increased 30 percent to a total of $10.1 billion. This was $2.3 billion more than previously estimated. About half of the added cost reflected an increase from 560 to 1,012 in the number of missiles the Army planned to purchase. The other part of the extra cost was attributed to higher engineering costs and a decision to buy the new missiles over a longer period of time. Some manufacturing efficiencies were lost in a longer buy period. The new PAC-3 system upgraded its radar and the firing station in which troops operate the system. It also had a newly designed missile that could destroy its target by hitting it at high speed.

The cost of the Crusader artillery system increased by nearly $1.4 billion, to $4.3 billion. This was attributed mainly to changes in the program resulting from the Army's decision in 1999 to become a lighter, more mobile, and more easily deployable force for war as well as peacekeeping.

The Navy's DD-21 destroyer jumped by $2 billion, to $5.2 billion. The Navy estimated the cost of building 32 of these destroyers was $25 billion.

The Pentagon's national missile defense project increased by $1.5 billion to a total of $20.2 billion. The increase reflected the decision made in 1999 to buy 100 missile interceptors instead of 20.

In July 2000, the House and Senate negotiating conference approved a $288 billion defense bill for fiscal 2001, an increase of $18 billion from the year before. The legislation included boosting military pay by 3.7 percent and an increase of $963 million to improve military health care. It also provided for more funds to recruit and retain troops by boosting reenlistment bonuses and enlistment incentives. The bill also provided for $60 billion for the procurement of new weapons. $1.9 billion was set aside for the development of the National Missile Defense system, although several of its tests in New Mexico as well as two of the first three tests over the Pacific ended in failure.

FRANKLIN SPINNEY SPEAKS OUT AGAIN. The same Pentagon's Franklin Spinney, who earlier had challenged Reagan on his spending spree. Spinney spoke out against Clinton's proposed hike of $12 billion for the Pentagon's budget: "This is a horrible thing that's going on. All it's going to do is reward the pathological behavior that's creating the problem." He argued that boosting defense was unnecessary since no new threat like the Soviet Union had emerged. He claimed that increased spending would only lead to more inefficiencies and waste. Spinney maintained that the Pentagon planned to spend billions of dollars to build new weapons that have become so complicated and costly that it cannot buy enough of them to replace the present arsenal. According to Spinney, that means tomorrow's military would have to get by with fewer new weapons, while relying on older weapons to last longer. He called this the "defense death spiral." In 1999, Spinney was joined by the Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities which broadcasted 30-second television commercials calling for cutbacks in military spending.

THE FISCAL 2003 BUDGET -- THE LARGEST MILITARY BUDGET IN 20 YEARS. In June 2002, the House approved $355 billion in defense spending, the largest military funding increase in two decades. The House spending plan, sponsored by Armed Services Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis, fully funded Bush’s $7.6-billion proposal to create a system to defend the nation against long-range missile attacks. But Democratic leaders in the Senate, arguing that a foreign missile attack was less likely than a nuclear or chemical terrorist attack, successfully diverted $878 million from the program to shipbuilding and other programs. (Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2002)

Meanwhile, in a 97-to-2 vote, the Senate authorized an overall military funding outline of $393.3 billion for Fiscal 2003. The bill included a 4.1 percent raise for military personnel as well as funding for new weapons and the next phase of the war on terrorism. (Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2002)

The two houses clashed over abortion at overseas military clinics and compromised on the Crusader cannon and missile defense programs. And the number two Pentagon official threatened to recommend a veto over red tape in the Senate's proposal for funding a missile defense system.

DESTROYING PENTAGON DOCUMENTS. According to an internal investigation, the Pentagon destroyed documents and replaced them with fakes to avoid embarrassment when its own operations were audited in 2000. The incident cost the government thousands of dollars and "could adversely affect the confidence of the public" in Defense Department audits, according to the report. The destruction of the records occurred as the Pentagon inspector general's work was about to be reviewed by Internal Revenue Service auditors. The report said the 983 hours spent creating the fake documents cost taxpayers $63,000. The IRS auditors had selected eight Defense Department audits for review, and senior Pentagon auditors realized that working papers for a 1988 audit report would never get a passing grade. (Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2001)

MILITARY INCOMPETENCY, FRAUD, AND WASTE

"They're multipurpose. Not only do they put the clips on, but they take them off." - Pratt & Whitney spokesperson explaining why the company charged the Air Force nearly $1,000 for an ordinary pair of pliers.

This military waste, overpricing scandals, and fraud in the 1980s and 1990s were only occasionally printed by the media. Corporations gouged the taxpayer by cheating in testing of equipment, cost over-runs, and waste. Yet defense corporations have been able to hoodwink the majority of Americans by concocting slogans. Rockwell, which makes plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons, advertised: "Where science gets down to business." General Electric, which manufactures neutron generators that activated thermonuclear devices, advertises: "We bring good things to life." Honeywell, which made electronic components which get missiles more accurately to their targets, advertised: "We'll show you a better way."

Corporate fraud has been carried out in the testing of equipment, cost over-runs, and waste. According to the Senate, $13 billion, which was dished out to defense contractors between 1985 and 1995, were "lost." Another $15 billion were unaccounted for due to "financial management troubles." These figures total $28 billion, which simply disappeared.

In 1994, the GAO determined that 36 Pentagon departments, which were audited, used "records in such terrible condition" that they were worthless. The GAO could not account for $14.7 billion. As an example, no one could determine what actually was spent on building F-16 fighters, because purchase orders did not match the amount written on checks to aerospace firms. Between 1988 and 1985, the GAO determined that $7 billion in excess of what was allocated by Congress was spent on military hardware. Finally, the GAO was told by the Pentagon that $500 million is paid to the private contractors, an amount which the GAO believes is closer to $750 million. In 1994, the Defense Department paid $3.5 million in interest alone to private contractors.

Most of the Pentagon's waste comes from overpaying contractors. Each year, the DOD pays contractors millions of dollars which it does not owe them, and on most occasions none of the money was returned. Since the 1980s, the Pentagon was unable to account for $7 billion in payment for military hardware. The military has over 300 department heads such as the Air Force F-16 fighter program director. Each has a separate checkbook and is free to write checks with no regard to the balance in the Pentagon's registry. This problem, created since World War II, greatly increased during the Reagan-Bush years.

The GAO estimated that 80 percent of the Navy's purchase orders are inaccurate. For example, in 1992 the Air Force purchased $888 million in ammunition, and this was listed at $333 million. In 1992, the Army Corps of Engineers could not account for $1.3 billion in equipment.

The GAO stated that the Pentagon overstated ammunition needs by 20 percent, and the Army's request to improve ammunition production was overstated by 35 percent. In 1981 and 1982, the Navy sold 11 destroyers to foreign countries at a cost of $5.1 million. The GAO stated that their value was $36.4 million. In 1981 and 1982 the Navy sold 11 destroyers to foreign countries for a total of $5.1 million. The GAO maintained that their value was $36.4 million. The GAO also stated that the Pentagon overstated ammunition needs by 20 percent, and the Army's request to improve ammunition production was overstated by 35 percent.

According to a Senate hearing, "$13 billion (that) the Pentagon handed to weapons contractors between 1985 and 1995 was simply ‘lost.' Another $15 billion remains unaccounted for because of ‘financial management troubles.' " Together, that amounts to $28 billion. According to the GAO, 80 percent of the Navy's purchase orders are inaccurate.

--The DOD provides $100 million each year to Sematech Corporation which is a consortium of the nation's largest computer microchip producers. General Electric made $6.5 billion in 1981, 1982 and 1983 in composite profits, but paid no income tax.

--In 1993, Martin Marietta Corporation charged the Pentagon $263,000 for a Smokey Robinson concert,$20,000 for the purchase of golf balls, and $7,500 for an office Christmas party. Ecology and Environment Corporation of Lancaster, New York, spent $243,000 of funds designated for environmental cleanup on "employee morale" and $37,000 on tennis lessons, bike races, golf tournaments, and other entertainment. Over $490 million was allocated for the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), the Clinton administration's high-tech version of the Small Business Administration. The administration provided grant funds to such industry giants as General Electric, United Airlines, Xerox, Dupont, and Caterpillar. The GAO audits found many ATP grantees whose overhead costs exceed actual research expenses.

--In the 1980s, 45 of the top military contractors were under investigation for fraud. In 1985, the House Armed Services Committee stated that "millions of dollars in absolutely unexcusable claims" were made against seven giant defense firms: General Dynamics, Sperry, Newport News Shipbuilding, Bell Helicopters, McDonnell Douglas, Rockwell, and Boeing. Even a handful of Air Force management specialists charged that the Pentagon could save 30 percent of its weapons procurements if defense contractors were more efficient, but their charges were met by deaf ears.

--In 1959, Northrop's sales were $263 million and by 1988 had risen to $9.8 billion. Under Reagan's administration Northrop's sales totaled $36 billion. In February 1990 Northrop pleaded guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying test results on the cruise missile and the AV-SB Harrier jet. The Justice Department agreed to a plea bargain, and Northrop was fined a mere $17 million. In 1990 Northrop pleaded guilty to 141 criminal counts of falsifying test results on the MX missile guidance system relating to the B-2 stealth bomber.

--In 1989, McDonnell Douglas plead guilty to falsifying sensor systems tests for the AV-8B Harrier jet for the Marine Corps. In January 1991, the Pentagon canceled the company's contract for the $57 billion A-12 Navy attack jet after $5 billion had been spent in 42 states by 10,000 workers.

--In 1994, $500 million was given to the Technology Reinvestment Project, a newly created military defense conversion program that subsidizes the development of civilian technologies. In that year award recipients included such Fortune 500 companies as Texas Instruments ($13 million), 3M Corporation ($6 million), Chrysler Corporation ($6 million), Hewlett Packard ($10 million), Boeing Corporation. ($7 million), and Rockwell International Corporation ($7 million).

--Grumman Aerospace charged the Pentagon for $898 for a plain metal bolt. Grumman also charged the DOD $504 for a half-inch socket and $660 for an ashtray.

--Weber Aircraft received $7,622 for a coffee-maker. However, it was especially designed to handle a 100 degree drop in room temperature or 40 g's of acceleration.

--Burns Aerostat netted $670 for an armrest pad.

--Grimes Manufacturing received $214 from the Pentagon for a flashlight.

--$544.09 was spent for a spark plug connector which was available at hardware stores for $10.77, tax included.

--$999.20 was paid out for a pair of pliers for the Air Force. $699 went for the cost of making the pliers, and $330.20 was added on for labor by Pratt & Whitney Company.

--108 electrical bells, priced at $7 apiece, were inflated to a cost of $714 each.

--187 set screws, individually priced at 57 cents, were purchased by the DOD for $75.60 each.

--Lockheed charged $640 for a toilet seat.

--$403 was spent by the Pentagon for actuator sleeves which were actually $24.72 each.

--In a contract with Sundstrand Corporation of Illinois, the Pentagon handed over $6.1 million instead of the fair price of $1.6 million. This was a mark-up of 280 percent.

--At first Boeing charged the DOD $2,548 for a pair of duckbill pliers, and later it dropped the price to $748. Boeing also designed a plastic cap which can be fastened to a stool leg, at a price of $1,118.

--Gould Simulation Systems netted $469 for a box wrench, $437 for a tape measure, $269 for a set of screwdrivers, and $243 for a pair of vise-grip pliers.

--In 1988, the Air Force spent $7.4 million for synthetic leather jackets. The last issued were actual leather jackets in 1940.

--While touring an Army depot in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1984, investigators found 200 cartons labeled "Electronic Scrap." Inside the cartons were 300 new electronic circuit boards. Meanwhile, the Navy purchased new ones for $125 each. More than 60 periscopes were sold as surplus in California at $6.31 each. The Pentagon purchased them for $64. They were coded "F", meaning that they were repairable, but the ones sold were really new. In 1983, the Pentagon sold $1.6 billion worth of surplus for $89 million. In 1984, the Navy described the $2.5 million engine for the Navy's F-14A Tomcat as "terrible" and that it accounted for 28. percent of all F-14 crashes.

--Manufacturing problems included "loose screws, exposed wire, and improper soldering." The missiles ranged in cost from $13,000 to $1 million each. The Pentagon was improperly inflating their prices according to Senator Charles Percy of Illinois. In September 1984, Texas Instruments revealed that millions of computer chips were installed in a number of major weapon systems and that they were inadequately tested.

--In 1985, General Dynamics charged the Pentagon $9,609 for 12 cent hex wrenches. Then in 1985, three Lockheed employees were fired for raising questions about the C-5B cargo jet and were awarded $45.3 million in civil court. The plane was worth three times its weight in gold.

--The Navy has more Tridents than they need. $787 million a year was funneled into the Department of the Navy for new submarines despite the fact that the START III agreement would require that the United States eliminate some of the Tridents.

--The Pentagon pushed for 120 new C-17 transport planes. The 121 C- 5 and 265 C-144 transport planes operated adequately.

--The Air Force asked for $7.2 billion to build 442 F-22 fighters. The plane was originally designed to achieve air superiority over the former Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the F-22 was not needed, and the Air Force still had 900 F-15s which the GAO called the best tactical aircraft in the world.

--In 1988, the M-1 Abrams battle tank, built by General Dynamics, failed five of six standards for reliability, durability, and time out of the repair shop. According to the June 1990 report of the Project of Government Procurement, a Pentagon watchdog, the M-1 failed to fire its guns on the average of once every 152 miles. Minor failures occurred once every 21 miles. The M-1 consumed a mere 6.6 gallons per mile.

--The Advanced Medium Range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) was manufactured by Hughes Aircraft and Ratheon. Built jointly by the Air Force and the Navy at a cost of $15 billion, the missile system was to track and destroy four planes at one time. In 1987 and 1988, the GAO reported that the Air Force rushed the new missile into production before conducting crucial tests under mock conditions. In 1989, the Air Force requested $1 billion to build 1,600 missiles before it proved its performance and reliability. In May 1990, the Pentagon approved $2.4 billion to begin producing 1,480 missiles. According to the GAO, the missile failed every 90 minutes on the test range. Yet the AMRAAM was supposed to average 450 hours between repairs.

--McDonnell Douglas manufactured the AH-64 Apache helicopter which had severe aviation problems. In 1982, the Army admitted that this heavily armed helicopter would have maintenance problems but when ahead with production. In 1980, the Army identified 100 key design and manufacturing problems: excess water leaks and accuracy problems with its 30 millimeter cannons, as well as it being randomly jerked off course by its low level electromagnetic radio waves. In 1986 and 1987, the entire fleet was grounded four times to fix rotary blades, wire harnesses, and faulty bolts, in order to determine why three crashes occurred in one year.

--The Bradley fighting Vehicle (FMC) was designed to drop off troops behind enemy lines, the Bradley was slower, carried half the troops of its predecessor, and weighed twice as much. It could be blown up by antitank missiles and was considered a rolling death trap since exploding fragments could kill the entire crew. The new model became known as the "Survivable Bradley."

--The A-6 Intruder attack bomber, manufactured by Grumman and a carrier-based attack jet, had a good record in Vietnam. According to both the GAO and the Pentagon, it could not operate safely with new anti-aircraft technology. However, the A-12 stealth jet was ultimately canceled. It originally was overpriced at over $2.7 billion above its original cost, and as a result three top ranking officers in the Navy were fired for price- fixing.

--McDonnell Douglas and Raytheon built the Dragon Antitank missile, a mobile antitank guided missile to defend against desert attacks. The Army disclosed that over half the time its gunners could not defend against desert attacks. An Army report disclosed that only half the time its gunners could distinguish if its target was a Soviet or an American tank. Gunners had to remain in place at the time of the firing until after the target was hit or was missed. This made the personnel sitting ducks. A 1987 GAO report stated that one in four soldiers firing the Dragon would be killed. A 1990 Congressional study reported that about 17 shots would be required to destroy a Soviet tank and that one in three soldiers would be killed by the enemy after firing. The Army conceded that it has trouble hitting targets.

--RCA and Litton produced the Aegis Radar-equipped Navy ships. Navy cruisers and destroyers equipped with this system could be able to identify, track, and shoot down numerous enemy aircraft and missiles with its sensors and computers. In 1978, the Pentagon approved production of the system in spite of substantive evidence of inadequate test and evaluation data. There was evidence that the Aegis would not function in a high threat environment. In the mid-1980s, the Aegis missed on 15 of 22 targets when tested. It also failed to identify a target seen visibly by people on a ship. In July 1988, the Aegis system was used on the Vincennes to shoot down the Iranian airliner with 290 passengers. The Pentagon blamed the mistake on human error and insisted that the system worked.

--The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was a Sikorsky product. It was built in the early 1980s to replace the Huey transport helicopter. It carried three crew members and 11 combat troops. In 1986, a Black Hawk crashed and the family of the deceased claimed that it was a result of EMI radio waves. Some Pentagon officials stated that this was possible in 5 crashes which killed 22 people. In 1987, a former top level Sikorsky official stated that the rotor blades were defective, dangerous, and inadequate. This lawsuit was settled out of court. An Army spokesman was unsure if this problem had been resolved. In 1988, the Night Hawk made a five second turn in an unmanned flight, and the tail rotor failed while flying near a radio antenna complex. The Army conceded that this did raise safety of flight concerns with respect to the Night Hawk. In October 1990, an Army engineer claimed that two-thirds of the Night Hawks in Saudi Arabia were vulnerable to heat-seeking missiles, so the Army began installing $100,000 heat shields. Three crashed in the Saudi desert in November 1990.

--In July 1984, the Navy stopped taking delivery of the F-18 fighter jet because of cracks in the Tailfin supports. In August 1984, the Pentagon stopped payments to Hughes Aircraft for three of the military's top missile systems: the Maverick, TOW anti-tank missiles, and Phoenix air-to-air missiles.

-- In addition to the procurement of unneeded weapons at inflated prices, the United States maintained 100,000 troops in Europe and 70,000 in South Korea and Japan. The United States also spent $80 billion on NATO, $59 billion a year in South Korea, and $48 billion in the Persian Gulf.

-- In June 1999, the Navy came under fire on two occasions. First, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee complained that the Pentagon leased six new business jets for top admirals and generals at a cost of $50 million annually. Second, the Appropriations Committee revealed that the Navy had spent $5.5 million to refurbish the homes of three Navy admirals. The Navy attempted to justify their actions by claiming that the residences are also used for official government functions such as receptions. The committee report said that the "operation and maintenance" funds to renovate family housing was "totally inappropriate" irrespective of the rank of the individual who occupies the quarters. The report continued: "The Navy has systematically failed to notify the Congress that these renovations and family housing improvements were planned and ongoing."

--After the Gulf War, President Bush claimed that the Patriot destroyed 41 Iraqi missiles in 42 tries in the war. After the war, the Army began a redesign that has resulted in a rebuilt alignment for all the Patriot's principal parts. Critics soon offered evidence that the Patriots had actually hit metal debris broken loose by the Scuds' atmospheric reentry, not warheads. A decade later in January 2001, Defense Secretary Cohen said flatly that in 1991 the earlier Patriot "didn't work."

In 1993, the Clinton administration slowed plans for a national missile defense while pouring billions in new money into the Patriot and other short-range anti-missile programs. The Patriot's mission was to protect against enemy aircraft, low-flying cruise missiles and short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. The system consisted of a launcher that sat on a truck bed and carried up to 56 missiles; a ground radar that located and tracked threatening missiles and planes; and an "engagement control station" where operators sat.

Lockheed Martin began improving the Patriot system, adding a more fine-grained radar that would enable operators to distinguish enemy warheads from other flying objects. The missile was made more maneuverable than its predecessor, in part, because of the addition of 180 tiny rocket thrusters embedded near its nose. The earlier Patriot missile was designed to destroy the enemy projectile by exploding within several yards of the warhead and releasing a hail of metal fragments. But the new system was designed to strike the target directly, making it more likely that the metal-encased warhead will be destroyed.

Critics pointed out that the Patriot was designed to deal with missiles that traveled at one-third the speed and about one-tenth the range of an ICBM. They also charged that the PAC-3s development began in 1965 and that the program encountered repeated delays and cost overruns. According to a 2000 study by the General Accounting Office, the Patriot program cost $6.9 billion from 1994 to 2000, jumping 77 percent during that period. Even a spokesman for the conservative Brookings Institute said that there was a tremendous jump from the PAC-3 to a more modern system which could knock out high-speed, long-range missiles. (Los Angeles Times, September 9, 2001)

In 2000, the Pentagon made $615 million in illegal and improper accounting entries to pay its contractor bills, despite a 1990 law designed to prohibit the practice. The congressional report, released in July 2001, had been commissioned from the General Accounting Office by Republican Congressmen Stephen Horn of California and Jim Nussle of Iowa.

Before 1991, the government could use leftover money indefinitely to pay bills. But concerned that the Department of Defense was abusing this authority, Congress passed a law in 1990 that put a five-year spending window on any one appropriation. After five years, the account was considered "canceled," and no further money was allocated for that particular project. From 1994 to 1999, for example, defense contractors returned more than $5.3 billion to the Pentagon because of payment errors made by contract administrators. (Washington Post, July 26, 2001)

But the law allowed "adjustments" in the records of canceled accounts. According to the congressional report, Pentagon officials learned to use that provision to tap the old accounts. If a current-year account was exhausted, the Pentagon would find unused money by "adjusting" an older account that was technically closed. That would free up money in other accounts to pay bills. For example, GAO investigators found that the Defense Department covered a $79 million bill for research and development costs in 1999 by drawing on a canceled 1992 spending account. To do that, first it shifted money from that account to newer accounts that fell within the five-year window. (Washington Post, July 26, 2001)

The GAO concluded that the Pentagon's use of old appropriation balances was excessive and abusive. Overall, the watchdog agency found that the Pentagon "had not established the requisite systems, controls and managerial attention required" to properly account for its payments. (Washington Post, July 26, 2001)

The GAO concluded that other bookkeeping problems included a variety of irrational accounting codes that invited errors and the accumulation of useless information. In a $1,200 Navy contract for a holiday party at a child care center, the Pentagon used separate accounting codes for bubble gum, Tootsie Rolls, and balloons. The GAO said that all this information was fed into a system that could not match payment dates with the dates of appropriations. (Washington Post, July 26, 2001)

In the spring of 2001, allegations were made that eight Marine officers had falsified records. In June, the Pentagon's chief investigator confirmed an accusation that the commander of the Osprey squadron, Lieutenant Colonel Odin Fred Leberman, falsified maintenance documents to exaggerate the aircraft's performance record. The investigator, the Pentagon inspector general, also concluded that other marines knew of the deception but failed to report it. Two months later, eight Marine officers were accused of falsifying maintenance records on the Osprey. The highest ranking officer, Major General Dennis Krupp -- commanding general of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing -- was charged with dereliction of duty on the grounds that he knew or should have known that the records were altered. (New York Times, August 10, 2001; Washington Post, August 18, 2001)

CHARGES OF CREDIT CARD FRAUD. Evidence of unauthorized personal purchases was uncovered in the summer of 2001 by Government Accounting Office investigators auditing the Navy Publics Works Department in San Diego. Approximately 1.7 million Pentagon employees had government charge cards. The case was also referred to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, but an assistant United States attorney in San Diego declined to prosecute. (Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2002)

David H. Hackworth was one of the most decorated soldiers in the United States Army. His career spanned nearly a dozen wars and conflicts, from the end of World War II to the Kosovo war. The Pentagon got into a credit-card giveaway program without even a minimal credit check for its cardholders because, so they thought, the cards would reduce paperwork and thus save money. On August 7, 2001, Hackworth wrote about the stealing that occurred as a result of the mass issue of Pentagon credit cards:

** A Marine sergeant ran up a $20,000 bill on clothes and other personal goodies. He even made cash withdrawals totaling $8,500. Then he left the service, leaving Uncle Sam holding his overdrawn sea bag.

** An Army soldier blew $3,100 in a nightclub. A champagne-and- caviar night for the perp and pals on the taxpayers.

** A dead sailor somehow spent $3,565.

** A soldier's wife spent $13,053 during a shopping spree and a holiday in Puerto Rico.

* * Other scams include a $13,000 Nordstorm designer briefcase, expensive computer monitors, Palm Pilots, cosmetics and gift certificates.

Tanya Mays, a Navy employee, who allegedly charged nearly $12,000 in personal expenses on her government credit card, was promoted to a key Army financial management office at the Pentagon and placed in charge of “cash integration.” According to testimony given before the House Government Reform subcommittee, Tanya Mays was never disciplined and was never been asked to repay the government for any of the purchases. They included a computer, a kitchen appliance, clothing, and groceries. (Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2002)

More than 46,000 Defense Department employees had defaulted on $62 million in official travel expenses charged to the government cards as of November 2001, according to the panel. Banks were forced to write off the bad debts at a rate of $1 million a month.

Investigating the fraud, the House Government Reform subcommittee was given a confidential list of the 713 officers who had been unpaid for seven months or more and included individual balances of up to $8,000. Officers ranged from junior lieutenants to senior colonels and a Navy captain. (Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2002)

THE OSPREY HELICOPTER. In 2000, the $40 million Osprey program ran into numerous roadblocks, as the Marine Corp's tilt-rotor plane headed for the last stage of development. Relying on huge rotors that tilt between horizontal and vertical positions, the Osprey can take off and land like a helicopter but cruise at the speed of an airplane. These capabilities enable the aircraft to lift off from carrier decks and crude landing zones, and to carry troops from coastal areas hundreds of miles into the interior. After several cutbacks and delays.

When the Cold War came to a conclusion during the administration of George H. Bush, the Pentagon began making plans to downsize the military by about one-third. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney decided that the Osprey's cost was simply too high for its intended job of transporting 24 Marines per plane. Over the course of the next four years, the Pentagon put no money into the budget for the Osprey. Yet the Marine Corps pushed to continue plans to build the Osprey. During most of the Clinton administration, the program encountered little opposition.

However, four Marines were killed in a crash in December 2000. It came at a time when a number of major weapon programs were up for review, and when the Pentagon was looking for ways to cut back a procurement program that was tens of billions of dollars larger than what it believed it would be able to spend. The crash called attention to critical government reports about the Osprey prepared by the General Accounting Office and by Philip Coyle, who was the Pentagon's chief weapon tester.

Four months later, it was revealed that the crash of the Osprey was caused by a design flaw that had been known for months but went largely uncorrected, according to pilots who participated in an official investigation of the accident. (Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2001) The pilots said the design flaw in the aircraft's hydraulic system was compounded by a software glitch that could have been detected by more rigorous testing. But they said they believe both problems slipped by because the Marine Corps wanted to win Pentagon funding for full production of the plane. That approval, they said, would have freed up money to go back to the drawing board and re-engineer the hydraulics and software. The production decision was postponed after two Osprey crashes in 2000 killed 23 Marines, raising questions about the safety of the aircraft.

In its final report, the Marine Corps said that malfunctioning software had caused the aircraft to swerve wildly out of control before plummeting to the ground and bursting into flames, killing all four marines on board. The report recommended a battery of new tests, improved inspection regimens, and the redesign of aspects of the problem-plagued aircraft's hydraulic system before the $40 billion Osprey program would be allowed to proceed. But the report, whose specific conclusions about the causes of the crash had been expected, did not call for any fundamental changes to the aircraft. (New York Times, April 6, 2001)

Loren Thompson, a defense analyst and Osprey supporter, claimed that cancellation of the Osprey project "would be crippled for a generation" Other proponents of the program maintained that a decision to kill the program could make the military services skeptical of pursuing future weapon technologies. (Los Angeles Times, March 9, 2001)

MISHAPS IN THE B-52 BOMBER. Since the 1960s, several accidents involving the B-52 have occurred. In January 1961, a B-52 was flying on airborne alert, and it developed structural failure of its right wing over North Carolina. Two weapons were separated and one was accidentally released from the plane. They were both 24 megaton bombs. When it crashed to earth, and five of its six safety catches were triggered.

In March 1961, a B-52 failed near Yuba City, California, and the crew bailed out at 10,000 feet. The plane crashed, carrying two nuclear bombs. In December 1964, another plane crashed on an icy runway at an Indiana airbase. The plane caught fire, and portions of five nuclear weapons were partially burned. The Air Force reported that contamination by radioactive material was limited to the area of the crash.

In January 1966, a B-52 collided with a KC-135 refueling plane over Spain, and both aircraft crashed. High explosive materials from two of the weapons exploded, and large quantities of uranium were released. It resulted in 1,400 tons of plutonium contaminated soil and vegetation over 640 acres. The Air Force placed these materials in 4,827 steel drums and returned them to the United States where they were buried at Savannah River plant.

In January 1968, a B-52 crashed over Greenland. It was carrying four nuclear weapons, all of which were destroyed by fire. Radioactive contamination spread over 237,000 cubic feet of ice, snow, and water. Eventually, the United States removed as much radioactive material as possible and brought it back to a storage facility in the United States.

PAC MONEY TALKS. The Federation of American Scientists estimated that the 1996 secret "black budget" allocated as additional $3 billion in "stealth" projects for a total of $31 billion. Other than providing funds for the B-2, the black budget also has poured in up to $12 billion for MILSTAR which was designed to "fight and win a six month nuclear war ... long after the White House and the Pentagon are reduced to rubble." Ironically, the Air Force has fought to terminate this project, but Congress has continued to keep it afloat. MILSTAR has continued to be pushed by members of Congress who receive PAC money from corporations which profit from this project.

In addition to MILSTAR the Pentagon has insisted that it has not sought funds for other projects. $4.5 billion in Pentagon funds in 1996 were allocated for weapons which have been opposed by the DOD. 74 percent of this money was spent in or near the districts of members of Congress who sit on the House National Security Committee. $290 million alone was allocated to be spent on weapons which are produced in and around the Cobb county, Georgia district of Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Even though the Pentagon did not push for more B-2 bombers, more funding was pushed by various Congress people. Norman Dicks, a Democrat from Washington, and Ted Stevens, a Republican from Alaska, were the largest recipients of military PAC money in the House. Dicks received over $10,000 in just four months from nine major B-2 contractors. Stevens got $37,000 from these same defense contractors from 1989 to 1994. Even liberal Democrat Maxine Waters of Southcentral Los Angeles voted to continue funding for the B-2, because she knew that this was a certain way to bring federal funds to her district.

Additionally, the Pentagon was ready to scrub the Seawolf submarine at a cost of $2.4 billion each. The Seawolf is constructed in several New England states, so even liberal Senators Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and George Mitchell supported continued funding just prior to the 1992 federal election. So, too, did Democratic Presidential nominee Bill Clinton.

Neither the Air Force nor the Navy supported the V-22 Osprey assault plane. Since nearly all of the plane's contractors were in Texas and Pennsylvania, those states' legislators supported more funding for the V-22. So, too, did Bill Clinton.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that over $1 billion a year on weapons create 25,000 jobs -- and a lot of votes for legislators who support them. Instead this same billion dollars could create 30,000 jobs if spent on mass transit; 36,000 jobs if spent on housing projects; 41,000 jobs if spent on education; and 47,000 jobs if spent on health care.

HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? The United States presently dumps $327 billion a year into the Pentagon. Liberals as well as many conservatives acknowledged that much of this was waste and that the Pentagon's budget could be drastically reduced.

Lawrence Korb, a military planner under Reagan and now with the conservative Brookings Institute, concluded that this $327 billion budget could be easily scaled down to $150 billion. According to the conservative Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the defense budget could be significantly reduced to $115 billion by the year 2000. According to the Center for Defense Information, another conservative think tank composed of retired generals and admirals, the United States could comfortably get by with a million person military -- instead of 1.4 million -- and operate on a budget of "about $200 billion" a year.

FRAUD BRINGS A MERE SLAP ON THE WRIST. According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists each of the top ten military contractors was convicted of or admitted fraud for the government between 1980 and 1992. Grumman paid the government $20 million for coercing subcontractors into making donations to politicians. Lockheed was convicted of millions of dollars in bribes to obtain planning documents. Northrop was fined $17 million for falsifying test data on the cruise missile and fighter jets. Rockwell was fined $5.5 million for committing fraud against the Air Force.

Between 1989 and 1994, there were 85 instances of fraud and waste by various contractors. Boeing, Grumman, Hughes, Raytheon, and RCA pleaded guilty to illegal trafficking in classified documents and paid fines of nearly $15 million. Hughes, McDonnel Douglas, and General Motors pleaded guilty to procurement fraud and settled out of court for more than $1 million. Teledyne paid $5 million in a civil settlement for falsifying tests, and $5 million for repairs. McDonnell Douglas settled for a total of $22 million for "defecting prices."

General Electric was the worst cheater. GE paid a $10 million fine for a conviction for mail and procurement fraud and an additional $2.2 million in restitution. In other cases GE was fined $372,500 in 1961 for price-fixing; in 1977 for price-fixing again; in 1979 for dumping hazardous PCBs into the Savannah River; in 1981 for setting up an illegal $1.25 million slush fund to bribe Puerto Rican officials; in 1985 for 108 counts of fraud on a Minuteman missile contract and a $1 million fine for perjury; in 1985 for falsifying time cards; in 1989 a $3.5 million settlement for contractor fraud to inflate Pentagon billings at a jet engine plant; and in 1990 for criminal fraud for cheating on battlefield computers for which it paid $16 million in fines.

The largest investigation of Pentagon fraud involved Operation III Wind between 1986 and 1990. The investigation was launched when John Marlowe, a Pentagon official, was arrested for child molestation. More than 90 companies and individuals were convicted of felonies, including eight of the military's 15 largest suppliers which are Boeing, GE, and United Technologies. Hughes, Unisys, Raytheon, Loral, Litton, Teledyne, Cubic, Hazeltine, Whittaker, and LTV admitted they violated law. Unisys signed the largest fraud settlement for $190 million.

By the end of the 1990s, 70 of the Pentagon's 100 largest contractors were under investigation. In 1994 alone, they were fined a total of $1.2 billion. This amount is less than 2 percent of the entire weapons industry's net income, which averages $64 billion annually.

In April 2000, the State Department brought civil charges against Lockheed Martin, claiming that it violated the Arms Export Control Act by providing a scientific assessment of a Chinese-made satellite motor to a state-owned Chinese conglomerate. The State Department charged Lockheed Martin with 30 separate violations of federal export controls when the aerospace firm sent the unedited version to AsiaSat before the Defense Department had blacked out all but five of the 50 pages. The civil charges could result in a fine of as much as $15 million and bar Lockheed Martin from exporting satellites or satellite technology for up to three years.

According to the Los Angeles Times (April 6, 2000), Lockheed Martin claimed that it sent a team of scientists to China in 1994 at the request of Hong Kong- based Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company (AsiaSat), partially owned by China International Trust & Investment Corporation. The chairman of AsiaSat, Wang Jun, attended a 1996 White House coffee for political contributors hosted by President Clinton. AsiaSat assessed the "kick motor" that it planned to use in launching a communications satellite. After Lockheed Martin completed its study, the company forwarded 10 copies of the 50-page document to AsiaSat which successfully launched the commercial TV and telephone satellite the following year.

Lockheed officials said that the company performed the technical assessment under a strict confidentiality agreement with AsiaSat that prohibited dissemination to firms or government entities in China. Before sending AsiaSat copies of the report, Lockheed said that it also sent its study for review by the Defense Department where export control officials removed what they considered sensitive information that could have helped China to improve its military rocket capabilities. Following the Pentagon review, Lockheed said it shared the edited document with China Great Wall Industries, a state-owned company involved in solid rocket motor development.

The State Department said Lockheed did not tell the Pentagon that it had provided 10 unedited copies of the report to AsiaSat until the existence of those reports was recently discovered by the United States Customs Service. The State Department said that Lockheed Martin violated American export regulations that prohibited any technical assistance that might enhance China's space launch program.

THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. Between 1980 and 1985, the number of military retirees, who received benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA), declined from 28 million to 23 million. Yet, the VA is currently spending $560 million to construct new hospitals. New hospitals were built in northern California for $211 million and in Honolulu for $104 million. A Los Angeles VA hospital has over 500 more surgeons than needed. This amounts to annual salaries of $67 million. 13 of these physicians have not performed surgery for over three months.

THE GOOD OLD BOYS CLUB. Only eight defense contractors -- McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, Martin Marietta, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumann, Raytheon, and Hughes -- were responsible for 50 percent of layoffs which involved all the workers in military production plants in 1993. After the layoffs, the stocks in these companies soared by 20 percent to 140 percent, and CEO salaries also skyrocketed.

Several of the executives of these contracting firms later held high government positions. Casper Weinberger was a top executive at Bechtel, which receives numerous contracts from the Pentagon to do engineering projects in the Middle East. Later Weinberger became Reagan's Secretary of Defense. George Shultz also was a Bechtel executive, and later Reagan appointed him Secretary of State. Melvyn Paisley worked for Martin Marietta. Later he became Navy Secretary and was subsequently convicted of a felony. In addition, William Perry and John Deutch held high positions at Martin Marietta, and in the 1990s President Clinton appointed them Secretary of Defense and CIA director respectively.

THE "BLACK BUDGET"

Since the early 1940s, the black budget has funded every program which the president, secretary of defense, and CIA director want to keep hidden from the public. Each year, approximately $28 billion in tax revenues, which are unaccountable, are funneled into various clandestine programs and projects. In adjusted dollars this figure is 50 percent higher than black budget levels of 1980, at a time when Cold War hysteria was in full swing. The money is kept off the books, and controversial weapons and programs are shielded from public debate. It is a slush fund that provides financial support for secret government programs under the guise of "national security."

The black budget began with the Manhatten project, the clandestine program to build the atomic bomb during World War II. Since the project demanded a large amount of money, the government feared public outrage and decided to establish in order to hide the atomic bomb's astronomical price tag. $2.19 billion was spent to construct the atomic bomb. Most of these funds were disguised under two items in the military budget: "Engineer Service: Army" and "Expediting Production."

When World War II concluded, there was not a need for secrecy. But the war never did end. As soon as victory came, the military began planning for the next war. With the communist trials of the 1950s, Washington began to perceive its own citizens as the biggest threat against democracy. Thus, the black budget was maintained. Money was appropriated for high tech weapons and new planes. In the years to follow, funding went for clandestine operations such as "guns for drugs" and "guns for the Contras" in the 1980s. Wiretaps, assassinations, and projects to destabilize third world governments were frequently partially funded by the black budget. During the Reagan years, the black budget doubled to roughly $300 billion. The black budget increased 1,600 percent in the 1980s. In fiscal 1981, it stood at $626 million. By 1988 and 1989, it peaked at about $36 billion a year. By 1991, it slid back to about $34 billion. Over $14 billion is still spent for research, development and production.

The black budget was used to fund clandestine projects from Latin America to the Middle East. In April 1980 secret funds were used to attempt to rescue the 52 Americans held hostage at the Teheran embassy. However, the Desert One rescue attempt ended in tragedy when one of the American helicopters collided with a transport plane in the Iranian desert. Eight Americans were killed.

Months later, when Reagan was inaugurated, the new president allocated additional billions of dollars for commando units, vowing that Americans would never again be humiliated. Reagan said, "Let terrorists beware that when the rules of international behavior are violated, our policy will be one of swift and effective retribution." That never happened. That same day Colonel James Longhofer began work in the basement of the Pentagon to fulfill Reagan's pledge. He began to put together a secret army which needed funding that were off the books and could not be traced. However, the money had to come from the nation's Treasury. Longhofer looked to Larry Keenan, a deputy comptroller of the Army who began to secretly divert millions of dollars of Congressional funds which had been allocated for other projects.

By October 1981, Congress openly appropriated $20 million for the black budget. These funds created the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA). Their purpose was to gather intelligence for covert activities throughout the world. This was the Army's secret espionage brigade, and it was hidden from most members of Congress who had financed it. The ISA quickly expanded from a force of 50 military personnel to almost 300 men. They infiltrated Central America during the Contra war and created fronts for espionage, secret airfields, weapons, and cash. In January 1982, ISA authorized the secret Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), a unit which commanded all the Army's intelligence activities.

Longhofer also created a secret aviation unit known as Seaspray which was hidden in a CIA operated front. Its first operation in 1982 was to intercept government communications within the Nicaraguan government. These memos were then sent to the CIA and eventually on to the Contra in order to coordinate their attacks. Then Longhofer devised Yellow Fruit which set up dummy companies which could hide CIA funding for the Contra war.

Eventually Longhofer was court martialed in 1986. He was charged with dereliction of duty for secretly controlling the Special Operations Division after his transfer to the CIA. He was also charged with disobeying orders to relinquish his command of the division. Finally he was charged with conduct unbecoming of an officer for covering up the crimes of Yellow Fruit. He was convicted on all counts and was sentenced to two years in the stockade.

In Clinton's first year as president, the funding of black projects was again increased according to the Pentagon budget for fiscal year 1993. Then for fiscal year 1997 the Pentagon appropriated 67 percent more funds than what was allocated for President Bush's last term. In 1997, Clinton earmarked an extra $5.9 billion for the Air Force for the development of secret weapons. Almost 41 percent of all Air Force procurement dollars are now spent on classified programs, while non-classified weapons projects were cut back.

Classified Pentagon documents are called "special access programs." Eight nuclear war programs are secretly hidden in these files. Four of them are called Special Analysis Activities, Special Applications Program, Special Evaluation Program, and Advanced Strategic Programs. These are uncountable programs for World War III. The other three programs are the Stealth bomber, MILSTAR, and the Advanced Cruise Missile.

THE STEALTH BOMBER. The stealth bomber went through research and development in complete secrecy in the 1980s and early 1990s. During the Reagan and Bush administrations, $64.8 billion was allocated to build the top secret stealth bomber. It was so highly classified that Congress never debated it. The curvature of the body of the plane was meant to deflect enemy radar, and its hidden engines in the wings were designed to mix the hot exhaust fumes with cold air so that it could not be picked up by infrared detectors.

In 1981, the Air Force planned to build 132 B-2 stealth bombers. It anticipated that the cost of one B-2 bomber would be approximately $250 million. The first sign of trouble came from Northrop's accountants. In 1986 and 1987, they wrote off $214 million against profits for reasons which were never explained. Northrop purchased most of the plane's components from subcontractors. In 1987 the aerospace giant failed an Air Force review, and some Pentagon payments were suspended because of its inept quality control department. For example titanium fasteners were purchased from Voi-Shan Corporation in California. A federal fraud task force investigated the company, and found that many of these components were defective; yet they were stamped with approval and then sent on to Boeing Advanced Systems. Boeing managers were told that if only a handful of fasteners were inspected, their corporation could save nearly $9,000 a month.

In 1988, the Air Force secretly canceled the first test flight of the Stealth. For each month that the flight was delayed, it cost taxpayers over $100 million. In February 1989, four Northrop employees filed a lawsuit against the company. They charged that Northrop was charging the government for the time that employees were not at work. It was also alleged that there had been over $400 million in overcharges on the bomber and that Northrop's mangers had burned and shredded the audit. Even though the lawsuit never continued to the courtroom, the corrupt practices of Northrop began to leak out.

By 1989, not a single B-2 bomber had been built. In June 1989 Congress for the first time passed legislation which required the cost of the stealth program to be released. The price tag had now jumped to $70.2 billion for 132 planes, and $23 billion had already been spent. To help counter adverse public opinion, Northrop started a series of television advertisements which promoted the bomber. In addition, the Air Force threatened Congress' Armed Services Committee that if they did not receive more funding, they would oppose the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) with the Soviet Union. The Pentagon wanted $40 billion of that sum immediately, so that they could continue the project. Several bills found their way through Congress and all were soundly defeated. First, the Skelton bill provided $3.9 billion and did not require any accountability on behalf of the Pentagon. Then the second bill required the DOD to account for its spending. Finally, the Dellums bill, which would have limited the number of planes to 13, also was defeated. In the end Congress allocated only $4.3 billion to build two more planes. By 1991 the price of a single plane had skyrocketed to $864 million. Finally, after pouring in $30 billion to the program, the Pentagon's first B-2 bomber came off the assembly line.

In 1991, the Pentagon reversed its position on the effectiveness of the stealth when it disclosed that it failed many tests to operate undetected by radar. The radar system weighs no more than a small car and is capable of picking up targets more than 50 miles away. However, in July 1995, the GAO disclosed that the bomber had glitches in its radar system when it would attempt to fly in rain and follow terrain at low altitudes. Yet, in late 1995, Congress approved more funds to build 20 additional bombers.

In August 1997, the GAO exposed numerous inefficiencies in the B-2 stealth bomber. In August 1997, it was finally reported that numerous deficiencies have existed. Tests on the B-2 revealed that the bomber was sensitive to extreme climates and moisture which could cause damage to the "stealth" surfaces on the aircraft. According to the August 1997 GAO report entitled "B-2 Bomber: Costs and Operational Issues," exposure to water, or moisture that causes water to accumulate in aircraft compartments, ducts, and valves can cause system malfunction. If accumulated water freezes, it can take up to 24 hours to thaw.

The GAO report also stated that the Air Force had concluded that it could not effectively deploy B-2s to foreign bases without buying special shelters in order to protect the B-2s sensitive "stealthy" outer material. These special shelters would add significant expense to a program already costing $45 billion.

The B-2 requires 119 man-hours of maintenance for every flight hour -- about a third of which is dedicated to fixing "stealth" problems. The Air Force requirement is 56 hours of maintenance for every flight hour. Air Force Secretary Donald Rice stated that it did not meet the desired levels of performance. With hopes that the Pentagon would continue the program, Rice stated that the bomber could be 80 percent invisible to radar: "I'd put it around an eight (on a scale of one to ten)...on terms of what we're trying to achieve."

According to a June 5, 1999 Newsweek story, Stealth warplanes have become increasingly more vulnerable to new anti-aircraft technology. Doppler radar can detect Stealth planes, and infrared technology can pick up their heat emissions. In addition Stealth planes must be accompanied by planes which can jam enemy radar. Chuck Myers, a former Stealth pilot, conceded that the B-2 and F-117 are "not stealthy at all. They have to fly at night; they can't fly during the day. We never produced a stealthy airplane."

However, the Pentagon refused to make any concessions as to the vulnerability of the Stealth. The DOD did not downplay any of the Stealth's technological problems. Such an acknowledgment would only have made it more difficult to receive congressional funding. Yet the Pentagon continued to disseminate information which indicated that a few Stealth planes could do the same job as a large fleet of conventional aircraft. However, some Air Force officials conceded that the Stealth was never as "stealthy" as the Pentagon had said it was.

By the turn of the century, the United States had 94 B-52 bombers which can carry more bombs and missiles further than the B-2 can. Also, there were 95 B-1B bombers which can carry more bombs faster and just as far as the B-2. These planes remained combat ready for another 40 years. That provided a total of 189 perfectly good bombers to meet the Pentagon's stated requirement for 187 long range bombers in the twentieth century without any B-2s at all.

MILSTAR. In July 1980, President Carter -- who once vowed to abolish all nuclear warheads on the planet -- signed Presidential Directive 59, requiring the United States to develop the capability to fight a protracted nuclear war which would drag on for several months. During his presidential election campaign against Reagan, Carter leaked the goals of the program to the media. When Reagan moved into the White House the following year, both he and Bush were talking about winning a prolonged nuclear war.

Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 13 which demanded that the United States could both fight and win a nuclear war which was fought for at least one- half a year. The decision was made to seek funding for a complex satellite network known as the Strategic Satellite System (STRATSAT). This was to put four satellites into space at a cost of $3 billion, but it was rejected by Congress three times.

Then the Pentagon hoped to create a new computer program to run a nuclear war. The DOD devised the Military Strategic Tactical and Relay System (MILSTAR), and subsequently funding for this program was appropriated by Congress. It was contrived for being the central nervous system for nuclear war. It was supposed to broadcast the launch orders and coordinate battle plans to presumably fragmented American troops.

The Pentagon began writing tens of millions of lines of debugged and error-free computer codes at a cost of over $100 per line. In Colorado Springs, the control center of MILSTAR, orders would be given for launching nuclear weapons once communications in Washington D.C. were wiped out. The DOD began blueprints on satellites which, once in orbit, would link up electronically with one another, with intelligence satellites and sensors, and with computer terminals on earth. The Pentagon began building 3,000 to 4,000 MILSTAR terminals at a cost of approximately $1 million each. It was estimated that the cost of each satellite was over $1 billion.

By 1982, funds for ground terminals and hookups for most of the war planes in the Air Force began to flow in. By 1990, about $5 billion had been spent on MILSTAR, and the total cost was estimated at approximately $20 billion, making it the most expensive space-satellite program in history. However, there were severe flaws. MILSTAR had to cope with the electromagnetic pulse. Scientists knew that an enemy nuclear explosion a couple hundred miles above the surface of the United States would instantly create an intense surge of approximately 50,000 volts through the circuitry which wires the entire country. However, they did not know what impact this would have on MILSTAR. Perhaps every computer chip in the system would be affected, and the entire systems would cease to function It was this "known unknown" which perplexed the architects of MILSTAR.

Additionally, the Pentagon knew that computers at the Strategic Air Command (SAC) had acted erroneously in the past. In 1980, a 46 cent faulty computer chip caused SAC computers to mistakingly report on incoming attack by thousands of Soviet missiles. In addition radars had picked up the rising moon and a flock of geese and had interpreted them as incoming missiles.

OTHER PROJECTS. Thirty percent of the Navy's $6.1 billion research budget was designated for tactical warfare and comes from the black budget. Forty-five percent of the Army's tactical weapons research was black. And 95 percent of the Air Force's budget for intelligence and communications research went to secret programs. The majority of these funds went to "Program Element Number 0304111F - Special Activities" which revealed the amount black money and finances research for the National Reconnaissance Office. (NRO). The NRO, which officially did not exist, operated under the cover of the Air Force Office of Space Systems. It built and operated spy satellites which provided instantaneous pictures of every part of the planet. In the event of World War III the NRO could submit photographic data through MILSTAR and to Stealth pilots.

More than 100 multimillion and multibillion dollar weapon systems continue to be built in secrecy with black budget funding. The Navy lobbied for funds to build 620 A-12 attack planes at a cost of $75 billion. The Army's ground-to-air missile, code-named Grass Blade, was designed to hunt and kill aircraft and missiles with radar and infrared homing devices. It never functioned properly after 12 years of tests and $150 million funneled into the program. A radar plane coined "Tacit Blue" was built in a secret environment and in 1982 made its first flight. Its last flight came three years after it became a secret project. One of the latest secret projects involved the development of the Aurora, a $15 billion spy plane which flies at four to eight times the speed of sound.

 

LICENSE TO DEAL ARMS

 

In June 1997, the Arms Transfer Code of Conduct was approved by the House of Representatives. This prohibited commercial arms sales or military aid and training to countries which are undemocratic, engage in aggression with neighboring states, or are in violation of human rights. This law has virtually been ignored by the Clinton administration. American arms merchants continue to sell $10 billion in weapons to undemocratic countries.

 

The last five times that American troops became involved in foreign wars or skirmishes, they were adversaries of countries which had been the recipient of American weapons, military technology, or training. Therefore, the Pentagon has used the presence of American weapons in the arsenals of "enemy" countries to justify its arms sales to "friendly" nations regardless of their ideology or human rights records.

 

From handguns to sophisticated military hardware, American corporations have been the beneficiary. Fewer than 500 of the Customs Service's 18,000 employees are assigned to monitoring American exports, while over 4,000 Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agents patrol the borders looking for undocumented immigrants. Each year the government issues more than 75,000 licenses for weapons, weapon parts, and military equipment which range from complicated computers to ballistic missiles. The licensing is required for corporations to stay in compliance with the Export Administration Act which prevents the sale of arms to terrorist countries, and the Arms Export Control Act, which controls the sale of weapons in general. These acts were violated during Iran-Contra; however, no indictments were handed down by the President of the United States who directly authorized the sale of arms to Iran, an official "terrorist nation."

 

Yet, more than 9 percent of all American exports require no licenses. Less than one per cent of one percent of every weapons sale is blocked by the government. In 1993 American corporations exported a record-high $34 billion in weapons. The same year military contractors made $4 million in contributions to members of Congress.

 

One of the most famous cases of diversion occurred in the 1980s when Associated Industries of Los Angeles sold 87 Hughes helicopters to North Korea. Ronald and Barry Semler, the company's owners, falsified the documents, stating that they were being sold to Nigeria. They were first shipped to Antwerp, trucked to Rotterdam, loaded onto Soviet ships for Hong Kong, and arrived in North Korea.

 

Any high technology military equipment may be legally sent to Rome, where it can be relabeled and sold to nearly any country in the world. Under the Bush administration, less authority was given to both the State and the Commerce Departments in monitoring arms sales. In 1989 the Commerce Department issued 65,658 dual-licenses, and three years later that number dropped to 18,839. The rationale was simple: too many federal regulations led to lower profits for American corporations.

 

In 1992, one of the most flagrant lobbying efforts occurred at McDonnell Douglas, which hoped to sell $9 billion worth of F-15 fighters to Saudi Arabia. McDonnell Douglas personnel wrote 20,000 letters to 345 members of Congress in 46 states. By approving the sale of F-15 fighters, the aerospace giant promised 40,000 high skilled jobs.

 

At the same time, the State Department knew that several countries violated American laws but still continued to issue licenses. The 1990 Blue Lantern program was meant to conduct pre-license and post-shipment checks on exports of weapons, but the "type of activities required to define the responsibilities of these (State Department) personnel" was not clarified. As it turned out, Blue Lantern made no inspections, and its duties were passed on to the Customs Service.

 

Every year $2 billion to $10 billion in illegal arms is sold by American dealers to buyers throughout the world. Each year, the Justice Department does obtain some convictions, but most of the illicit arms dealers are never detected. In 1992, $727 billion of total goods were exported from the United States. There were only 21 convictions for violations of the Arms Export Control Act.

 

The proliferation of the arms industry has had an adverse reaction on employment. The Pentagon has admitted that for every 100 jobs which are created by exporting weapons overseas, 41 jobs are lost in non-military companies.

 

Each year, the issue of "most favored nation" (MFN) trade status is debated in Congress. American corporate executives, who historically have viewed communism as a severe threat to the United States, have continued to provide the impetus to push for MFN so they can pump up their provides by exporting more products to China. The Hill & Knowlton public relations firm has been a strong lobby for corporate interests. They are subsidized by Boeing, AT&T, General Motors, Allied Signal, General Electric, and Ford Motor Company. Each year these corporations spend over $1 million to attempt to convince the public and legislators that communist China is deserving of greater sympathy. They argue that by denying China MFN status, human rights would decline.

 

Over the years, the United States has had a trade deficit with China, even exporting high technology products, some of which can be converted into military equipment. Needless to say, the motivating factor for corporate interests are not human rights but rather the cheap labor pool of 1.2 billion factory workers who take home approximately $50 a month.

 

During Clinton's watch, 85 percent of all arms exports went to repressive Third World countries. In 1998, both Lockheed Martin and Textron Bell bid on a $4 billion contract to sell 145 attack helicopters to Turkey. Originally, the State Department had denied licenses to Textron Bell and Boeing. After Boeing, Textron Bell, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, and Northrop Grumman executives met with Clinton in November 1997 and perhaps as a result of major campaign donations to the DNC, the administration reversed itself.

 

CLINTON LOBBIES TO EXPORT WEAPONS. The United States has not only armed itself with military weapons, but it has exported arms to capitalist countries throughout the world. Approximately 85 percent of all American military exports go to undemocratic countries in the developing world. In Clinton's first term the White House handed over $35.9 billion to the militaries of nondemocratic nations for arms and training. Early in Clinton’s administration, he encouraged the sale of American arms to foreign countries. The results were immediate. During Clinton's first year in office, United States arms sales more than doubled. From 1993 to 1997, the American. government sold, approved, or gave away $190 billion in weapons to numerous countries. At the same time, the arms industry pumped in nearly $2 million to the DNC coffers in the 1998 election cycle.

 

A high percentage of arms sales were conducted with NATO countries. Very few sales were conducted with democratic allies such as Japan. And the bulk of sales were with countries tilted far to the right with dismal human rights records. These included South Korea, Indonesia, Colombia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

 

According to the Pentagon, the defense industry laid off 795,000 American workers between 1992 and 1997. At the same time, many of these corporations were increasing their profits by selling weapons abroad. The American corporations offered "offsets;" that is, incentives provided to foreign countries in exchange for the purchase of military goods and services. The programs often include agreements to manufacture some or all of the products in the purchasing country. During Clinton's watch, 85 percent of all arms exports went to repressive Third World countries.

 

Both Greece and Turkey have staked claim to Cyprus, and over one-third has been occupied by Turkish forces since 1974. The two countries have clashed hundreds of times in the 25 years since. Turkey has deployed 30,000 troops to Northern Cyprus. Both Greece and Turkey have been recipients of advanced F-15 and F-16 American combat planes. The White House has remained silent on Turkey's refusal to attempt to resolve the conflict. The White House could have attempted to arbitrate the Cyprus conflict between Greece and Turkey, but instead Washington sparked the regional arms race by continuing to supply advanced military weapons to both sides.

 

Turkey's other conflict has continued with the Kurds with whom Ankara has refused to negotiate. Since the 1984 Turkey's war against the PKK guerrillas, 30,000 have been killed, 2 million people have been displaced, and 3,000 Kurdish villages have been destroyed. In 1999 the PKK asked for a cease-fire and troop withdrawal, but the Turks continued their aggressive policy of pursuing an all- out military victory. Ankara's civil war against the Kurds for 15 years has been carried out with the help of American-supplied armored personnel carriers, fighter planes, and attack helicopters. Eighty percent of Turkey's weapons come from the United States for use against the Kurds.

 

Turkey received 160 F-16s from General Dynamics in 1987 -- for delivery through 1994 -- for an estimated $4 billion as long as the planes were built in Turkey. This offset resulted in 1,500 jobs going to Turkey. The Clinton administration said the Turks must abide by strict regulations in its use of the attack helicopters. For example Washington said that Turkey could only use American-made aircraft in combat if it would make headway for democracy and if Ankara terminated its military state of emergency in Kurdish areas where numerous killings and tortured have continued.

 

Though barred by Congress from selling offensive weapons to Cyprus itself, the American government in 1997 allowed weapons manufacturers to sell more than $270 million worth of weapons to Greece and nearly $750 million worth to Turkey.

 

In 1998, both Lockheed Martin and Textron Bell bid on a $4 billion contract to sell 145 attack helicopters to Turkey. Originally, the State Department had denied licenses to Textron Bell and Boeing. Executives from Boeing, Textron Bell, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, and Northrop Grumman met with Clinton in November 1997 after making heavy campaign donations to the DNC. The White House then reversed itself and approved export licenses to Turkey.

 

In December 1997, the Ankara regime signed contracts with Boeing and Textron to purchase $4 billion worth of American attack helicopters. This came after the State Department approved marketing licenses to both Boeing and Bell Textron. Secretary of State Madeline Albright said that the final export license was conditional upon "significant progress" in human rights, which was expected to be approved in 2000. Since the State Department had approved all previous arms contracts with Turkey, Secretary of Defense William Cohen said that he saw "no impediments whatsoever" to the arms deal.

 

Turkey anticipated more defense contracts in the early twenty-first century. The Ankara regime planned to spend an estimated $31 billion between 2000 and 2008 and another $150 billion through 2030 on its armed forces. The military's planned arsenal included 145 attack helicopters, 90 utility and heavy lift helicopters, 1,000 main battle tanks, four submarines, and four airborne early warning aircraft. Turkey received 80 percent of its military weapons from the United States, and American defense contractors hoped to increase their profit margin by providing these weapons to them.

 

In 1992, General Dynamics entered into a similar F-16 offset deal with South Korea and brought 400 Koreans to its Fort Worth, Texas, plant for training. General Dynamics laid off 10,000 workers in the previous two years. Lockheed Martin bought General Dynamics' F-16 program in 1993 and then began the policy of off-setting by offering to build an assembly plant there for all future F-16 sales to Central Europe in Poland.

 

In the summer of 1998, India and Pakistan came upon the brink of war when both countries tested nuclear weapons. Their atomic weapons were ostensibly built with American technology which continued to flow into their countries. In a series of closed meetings American experts identified nearly 200 Indian and Pakistani organizations that are key to bomb and missile making, but the Clinton administration still waffled over the issue of whether to continue weapons' sales or to terminate them..

 

THE UNITED STATES LEADS THE WORLD IN EXPORTING WEAPONS. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, total arms exports amounted to more than $58 billion in 1999, with the United States accounting for nearly half. Britain sold 20 percent, while France sold 12.4 percent of weapons..

 

In 2000, world arms sales to developing countries rose by 8 percent with the United States dominating the market. According to the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, total weapons sales to developing countries amounted to nearly $36.9 billion, with American companies accounting for about half -- $18.6 billion -- of the contracts. Russia accounted for more than a fifth of the trade, with $7.7 billion in sales -- nearly double its 1999 figure of $4 billion. France sold $4.1 billion in weapons; Germany, $1.1 billion; Britain, $600 million; China, $400 million; and Italy, $100 million.

 

Iraq was once a major purchaser of advanced weaponry from Russia. Baghdad bought significant quantities of western arms too, including from Britain, before the 1991 Gulf war. The congressional report added: "Russia would clearly pursue new major weapons deals with Iraq if current United Nations sanctions on Iraq that ban Iraqi arms purchases are lifted." .

 

The report also warned of China's role in the world arms market, saying that Beijing could hurt efforts to stem sales of advanced missile systems in unstable regions. Chinese arms sales peaked in 1999 at $2.7 billion, but dropped to $400 million in 2000, with Pakistan a major buyer. .

 

The big jump in American arms exports was partly due to the $6.4 billion sale of 80 F-16 fighters to the United Arab Emirates, a third of its export total. The UAE, which also bought a significant number of arms from Britain, led the developing world last year in signing arms deals worth $7.4 billion. India, which began establishing closer ties with Russia, was the second-largest arms buyer in the developing world with $4.8 billion. (The Guardian, August 21, 2001)

 

THE MERGERS. Under a DOD policy initiated in 1993, American taxpayers pay for a large percentage of the cost of defense-corporation mergers. By early 1999, merging weapons manufacturers wrote off $856.2 million in legal tax deductions. The Lockheed/Martin Marietta merger netted $405 million in legal write-offs. Lockheed billed the Pentagon for $2.4 million of CEO Norman Augustine's salary.

 

In 1996, Congress created the Defense Export Loan Guarantee program to finance American weapons sales to foreign countries. The first sale involved a United Industrial sale of pilotless aircraft and training systems to Romania. If Romania defaulted on its payments, American taxpayers would have to pay the $16.7 million price tag.

 

DELIVERING NUCLEAR WEAPONS. Over the past 50 years, the United States has purchased and fielded 10 distinct types of nuclear-capable bomber aircraft. Excluding B-29s most of which were built and used as conventional bombers during World War II-the United States built more than 4,000 nuclear bombers at a cost of more than $200 billion. About 67,500 nuclear-tipped missiles of 50 types were procured, at a cost of about $371 billion. These included approximately 6,135 ballistic missiles -- 3,160 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and 2,975 sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

 

The most expensive nuclear bomber is the relatively new "stealth" or B-2A Spirit, which, including research and development, cost $2.7 billion per plane. The most expensive ballistic missile is the MX or Peacekeeper, at $207 million a copy. The least expensive was the Minuteman missile, at $33-37 million each. The Trident II SLBM, the only ballistic missile still in production, costs $61 million a copy.

 

Over the years, about 116 weapon systems were built to deliver a total of about 70,000 warheads and bombs. The Air Force had 42 types of nuclear weapons, the Navy and Marines, 34, and the Army, 21. Twenty-five others were developed but canceled before production began. Abandoned programs include the PLUTO, a nuclear-powered cruise missile ($600 million); the Navaho cruise missile ($4 billion); a nuclear-powered strategic aircraft ($3 billion); Skybolt, an air-launched ballistic missile ($2 billion); the Midgetman or small ICBM ($4 billion); the MX rail-garrison basing plan ($2 billion); and the SRAM II ($826 million). Two bombers were developed but never fielded-the B-70 Valkyrie ($9 billion) and the B-1A ($12 billion).

 

Since 1959, theNnavy has fielded three classes of ballistic missile submarines: Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident. In early 1958 some naval officers envisioned a fleet of 100 Polaris submarines, but the navy eventually purchased 41. The total cost of the Polaris program from 1956 to 1967, including nearly 1,300 missiles, has been estimated at $63 billion.(5) In 1969, a decision was made to convert 31 of the 41 Polaris subs to carry the larger and more accurate Poseidon SLBMs. In 1973, Congress authorized funds for the first Ohio-class submarine to carry the Trident SLBMs. Eighteen were eventually purchased at a cost of about $31 billion (not including the cost of the 24 missiles each submarine carried, or the approximately 192 warheads per submarine).

 

Enormous numbers of nuclear weapons were advocated by the military during the Eisenhower presidency. General James M. Gavin, deputy chief of staff for army research and development, told the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy in 1956 and 1957 that the army alone needed 151,000 nuclear weapons-106,000 for battlefield use, 25,000 for air defense, and 20,000 to support allies. He estimated that a typical field army might use a total of 423 atomic warheads-not including surface-to-air weapons-in one day of intense combat. At the time he testified the total American stockpile of nuclear weapons numbered between 3,692 and 5,543, with the AEC building between 1,200 and 1,900 new weapons per year. The production rate jumped to 7,000 per year in 1959 and 1960.

 

The Air Force had no exact numerical goal for ICBMs. General Thomas Power, commander in chief of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) from 1957 to 1964, spoke of a requirement for 10,000 ICBMs and is known to have personally suggested that figure to President. Although some within the air force were initially unenthusiastic about ICBMs because they siphon funds away from manned bombers, the service nevertheless procured 3,160 Atlas, Titan, Minuteman, and MX ICBMs at a cost of more than $180 billion. This did not include an estimated $24 billion for nearly 4,800 warheads.

 

TRACKING INCOMING MISSILES. The most important element of the nuclear weapons establishment is command, control, communications, and intelligence. Only some of command and control's demanding goals could be met. Successes included the development of spy satellites, at a cost of some $270 billion, to identify the locations of all Soviet missile launch pads, bomber bases, and submarines, as well as most other major military installations. In the mid-1960s satellites managed by the National Reconnaissance Office provided timely intelligence on the strength of enemy nuclear forces, debunking fears of a "missile gap." As satellites became more sophisticated, they employed new types of sensors-including cloud-piercing radar and the capacity to eavesdrop on Soviet military communications.

 

During the cold war the United States depended heavily on "launch on warning" which authorized and implemented the launch of forces immediately after detecting the launch of enemy missiles. It also led to the delegation of launch authority to senior military commanders in the nuclear chain of command. This increased the risk of unauthorized launch or a launch on false warning.

 

In the Kennedy administration, the main command posts for the president, Congress, senior political leaders, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and senior military commanders in the nuclear chain of command were surface and underground facilities that lacked adequate protection from a near nuclear hit. The main posts in the Washington area for the president and his top military advisers were the Pentagon war room, the alternate war room in an underground complex near Fort Ritchie which is near Camp David, Maryland. These facilities were not secret and stood little chance of surviving a near hit. There were also vast underground complexes at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and at Mount Weather in Berryville, Virginia. The construction costs for the latter facility alone was estimated to have exceeded $1 billion. Their existence was officially secret, but the Soviets were believed to have targeted them, in which case they also had little chance of survival.

 

Since these sites were presumably targeted by the former Soviet Union, in the 1960s Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara implemented an airborne command network from a fleet of militarized Boeing 707 aircraft. The centerpiece of this network was the SAC Airborne Command Post (nicknamed "Looking Glass"). Until 1991 at least one aircraft was kept aloft at all times, and other command aircraft were placed on 15 minute ground alert for various nuclear commanders and for the president, whose doomsday plane was called the National Emergency Airborne Command Post ("Kneecap"). Some aircraft in the so-called Post Attack Command Control System (PACS) were equipped to launch Minuteman ICBMs by remote radio communications. They could also transmit the "go-code" to Minuteman emergency communications rockets that were deployed in 1967 at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. These rockets could broadcast the go-code to bombers in flight and other strategic nuclear units. Other specially equipped aircraft flown by the Navy, nicknamed TACAMO, could send out a five mile long antenna to radio the code to submerged ballistic missile submarines.

 

In addition, the president's plane on ground alert at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C. was also vulnerable to sudden attack by Soviet submarine missiles deployed off the East and West coasts. Also, there was the threat that a electromagnetic pulse, caused by the detonation of nuclear weapons at high altitude, would knock out communications equipment. Thus, the Pentagon proposed a policy of launching strategic forces after detecting incoming missiles, but before those missiles arrived at their targets. Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) radars deployed in the early 1960s in Alaska, Greenland, and Britain supported this option, although the system's feasibility was doubtful. The radars covered all the attack corridors, but provided only 15 minutes advance warning before impact. In this brief period, a sequence of steps had to have been taken in order to launch on warning: The radars had to report the attack to the headquarters of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. NORAD had to notify and brief the president and others; the national authorities had to reach a decision; the war room had to transmit the authorizing codes to the strategic forces; and the individual weapons commanders had to fire their weapons. Under the best of circumstances these steps would have taken longer than 15 minutes.

 

Early warning satellites purchased an additional 10 or 15 minutes of warning against a Soviet ICBM attack. These Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites carried infra-red sensors to detect the exhaust plume of Soviet missiles during the early boost phase of flight. In the early 1970s the United States placed several satellites in orbit to continuously monitor Soviet missile fields. Warning reports could be flashed quickly to the Pentagon and other nuclear command posts without stopping at NORAD headquarters. This new warning capability significantly increased the feasibility of "launch on warning," and the United States came to rely heavily on this option.

 

In 1979, NORAD came under full-alert status when computerized training tape was mistakenly mounted on the "live" early-warning system. Between January 1979 and June 1980 there were 3,703 alarms. Most of these were routinely dismissed. Fifty-two alarms were considered extreme, a result of misleading or ambiguous information from infrared sensors on satellites or radar. Five of these were serious enough for B-52 bombers and ICBM crews to be placed on alert. Three alerts were a result of a war game being fed into a computer in November 1979. Two others resulted from a defective silicon chip in June 1980. The computer sent messages to SAC, reporting large numbers of Soviet ICBMs and SLBMs were had been launched towards the United States. The messages were received in Omaha, and lights immediately began to flash on an electronic map of SAC. Shortly afterwards, ranking officers in Omaha held a brief conference by telephone with those at Cheyenne Mountain and at the Pentagon Command Center. One hundred B-52s armed with nuclear bombs and several FB-111 airplanes were poised to take off. The crews were ordered to start their engines. One plane did take off for Hawaii. ICBM sites were brought close to a firing stage when crews were placed in a higher state of alert. At Andrews Air Force Base near Washington D.C., the president's plane was also prepared for takeoff. It took approximately three minutes to make the determination that these were false alerts and that they were caused by a 46-cent computer chip which was the size of a dime.

 

In 1995, the Russians came ominously close to "launch on warning" when the United States lofted a satellite on a rocket launched from an island off Norway. Because of the rocket's unusual launch site and its trajectory, the Soviets at first thought it was a United States Trident missile fired from a submarine. They went to full nuclear alert even activating the nuclear "briefcase" that accompanied President Boris Yeltsin. Eight minutes later the mistake was rectified.

 

In these cases, and others, the time pressures on military decision makers have been intense. The Strategic Threat Assessment Team at NORAD, and its complementary Tactical Threat Assessment Team, had three minutes to decide if an attack warning is genuine. The Soviet Union -- and Russia since 1991 -- had 10 minutes before they need to make a decision.

 

The "launch-on-warning" policy was dangerous for yet another reason. Its feasibility was questionable in the event of a submarine attack. Although satellites continuously monitored ocean areas from which Soviet submarine missiles might have been fired, the flight time of these missiles was substantially shorter. SLBMs could hit United States soil within 14 minutes compared to a 30 minute flight time for ICBMs. Under optimum conditions, a president would have had only three or four minutes to be briefed and reach a retaliatory decision before Washington, D.C., disintegrated. The danger of inadvertent war caused by a false warning was as great as the risk that retaliation could not be authorized during an actual attack.

 

In the late 1970s, locking devices were installed on bomber and ICBM forces that physically prevented their use; individual crews needed unlocking codes from higher authority in order to fire. Yet the vulnerability of higher authorities cast doubt on their ability to disseminate launch codes. The earlier doubts -- whether codes authorizing launch could be disseminated -- were now compounded by the doubt that the codes that unlocked the missiles for launch could be distributed. However, similar locks were never installed on ballistic missile submarines because of fears that they would jeopardize the ability of submarine crews to carry out authorized launches. Because of these problems, the Carter administration further decentralized launch authority and widely distributed the unlocking or enabling codes.

 

A decade later, the Reagan administration dipped into the black budget and funneled in the first over $12 billion into a super-secret Project 908. This program attempted to develop MILSTAR, a more sophisticated satellite system, which was intended to be able to coordinate and fight a protracted nuclear war for six months. When the cold war ended, MILSTAR funding continued, but President Bush lowered the alert status of all bombers, 450 older Minuteman missiles, the tactical nuclear arsenal, and parts of the nuclear command.

 

The Clinton administration went further, canceling or mothballing major pieces of the "continuity-of-government program" after it had reportedly cost some $8 billion. Nonetheless, the Clinton administration reaffirmed the basic nuclear strategy of previous administrations. A comprehensive review of the American nuclear posture, completed in September 1994, made no major departures from past targeting principles or alert requirements. The Trident submarine fleet was equipped with locking devices which physically impeded the launch of Trident missiles unless an unlocking code was received from higher authority. However, the United States policy was not to retreat from the rapid reaction posture of the past.

 

THE COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN TREATY

 

Since 1968, most of the world agreed never to acquire nuclear weapons, and the five nuclear states agreed to pursue disarmament negotiations aimed at ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons. One of the Clinton administration's priorities was to win a permanent extension of the nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty while pushing for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

 

In 1992, the United States unilaterally terminated nuclear testing. Since that time, the United States has maintained its weapons with a $4.5 billion annual program that uses non-nuclear explosive experiments which include sophisticated computer models. In September 1997 Clinton sent the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to the Senate, but it was stalled there for two years. Two years later -- in the fall of 1999 -- Clinton pushed for ratification of the treaty which already had been signed by 152 nations, although it was ratified by only 48 of them. Of the major nuclear powers, only Great Britain and France ratified the pact.

 

The treaty called for "the cessation of all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions, by constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, constitutes an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in all its aspects."

 

THE CONSERVATIVES MOVE TO BLOCK RATIFICATION. In October, the debate emerged in the Senate where a two-thirds majority was required for ratification. One group of conservative Republicans pushed to delay the vote. They lobbied Clinton to promise -- in writing -- not to seek to revive the treaty during the 2000 presidential election year, but that condition was immediately rejected by the White House. Other conservatives, led by Senator Jesse Helms, put pressure on proceeding with the vote, since they were confidant that the treaty was headed for defeat. Helms felt that not enough Republicans would switch over and vote alongside Democrats to pass the treaty. The opponents of the test ban treaty claimed that it would block the creation of new kinds of nuclear weapons and that it would prevent the start of new global arms races. They also thought that the ban may undermine the soundness of the nation's own nuclear stockpile.

 

Treaty opponents also included arms control experts from the CIA and Department of Energy who testified in a Senate closed session in October. They contended that one problem with the treaty was that the verification of low level nuclear explosions would be difficult. Deputy CIA Director General John Gordon of the Air Force gave a classified briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee on similar issues. In addition military officials testified that the test ban treaty could not be adequately verified and that it would undermine the nation's ability to insure the reliability of its nuclear arsenal. Other opponents of the treaty included former Defense Secretaries Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld; a former national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft; and James Woolsey and John Deutch who were CIA directors in the Clinton administration.

 

LOBBYING TO RATIFY THE TEST BAN TREATY. Clinton's lead man in pushing for ratification was Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson. He testified to the Armed Services Committee that the nation's nuclear stockpile safe and reliable -- and that future testing was not needed to make sure that the weapons were operable. Richardson said that the stockpile was "safe, secure and reliable."

 

In order the attempt to garner more support for the treaty, the White House also turned to 32 Nobel laureates in physics who ranged from hawks to doves. They made a wide and deep appeal to the Senators to approve the treaty.. A few of the physicists were former designers of nuclear arms. They called the treaty "central to future efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons" and said that it would mark "an important advance in uniting the world in an effort to contain and reduce the dangers of nuclear arms.

 

The American Physical Society, comprised of the world's top 40,000 physicists, sent letters to every senator urging them to ratify the treaty. Dr. Robert L. Park, a physicist at the University of Maryland who directs the group's Washington office, said "To line up this many physics Nobel laureates is unprecedented." Jerome Friedman, the president of the physics group and a Nobel laureate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the test ban "is important for the future of humankind, and therefore has to be taken extremely seriously." He criticized the Senate's moving to vote on the ban next week without carefully weighing the treaty's merits. Friedman said, "It's very disturbing that something so important won't have extensive hearings. I have the impression that things are being rushed through so people can't make informed decisions."

 

Just prior to the debate in the Senate, several major global countries warned that failure to ratify the treaty would send a dangerous signal that could encourage other countries to ignore arms control commitments. Diplomats from nearly 100 nations, including Russia, China, Britain, and Germany, expressed concern that most Senate Republicans opposed the test ban treaty. Most of these countries were surprised by the Senate's hesitation to approve the test ban treaty, in part because the accord was widely regarded abroad as maintaining in American nuclear superiority. Russia and China said that the United States should take the lead in signing the treaty and that they would follow. Even India and Pakistan pledged to sign the test ban treaty under enormous international pressure, but they waited for the United States to first ratify the pact.

 

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac appealed personally to the United States to approve the treaty. They urged that opponents set aside partisan politics and that they weigh the damaging impact a negative vote would have on American leadership throughout the world. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said the rest of the world would be watching the Senate test ban vote closely because of its possible effect in losing support for the non-proliferation treaty. Fischer said, "What is at stake is not just the pros and cons of the test ban treaty, but the future of multilateral arms control."

 

Foreign diplomats also voiced a concern that the United States was making overtures that it wanted to escape the constraints imposed by the 1972 SALT I Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty which limited the ability of the United States to build systems to defend against missile attack. Sha Zukang, China's top arms control official, said that his country's was more alarmed by American efforts to develop a missile defense system than by the Senate's reluctance to approve the test ban treaty. A Russian envoy also said that the international relations would be damaged if the United States built a missile defense system, since Washington could be tempted to attack others if it felt invulnerable to retaliation. Then that could trigger a new arms race as other nations sought ways to overcome the American missile defense system.

 

Additionally, there was concern that some non-nuclear countries would regard failure to ratify the treaty as a broken promise that would not require them to comply with key parts of another accord -- the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty. That pact was considered pivotal to limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. Jayantha Dhanapala, the United Nations undersecretary for disarmament affairs, said that many countries agreed to a permanent inspection regime four years ago only on the basis of a written guarantee by the nuclear powers to negotiate and ratify a test ban as one of several key steps toward nuclear disarmament. In 1995 the inspection program was made permanent for some 175 nations which promised to renounce nuclear weapons. In exchange, the world's five declared nuclear powers -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China -- pledged to reduce nuclear arsenals and approve a treaty that would ban test explosions that help upgrade their weapons.

 

THE GOP-DOMINATED SENATE DEFEATS THE TEST BAN TREATY. Despite a last hour appeal by Clinton to postpone the vote, Republican senators called for the vote, partly to embarrass the president. The vote went largely along party lines, losing 51 to 48 -- 19 votes shy of ratification. Only four Republicans -- Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, John Chafee of Rhode Island, James Jeffords of Vermont, and Gordon Smith of Oregon -- voted to support the treaty. Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia voted present.

 

Rejection of the treaty sent shock waves around the world. The defeat of the treaty had broad ramifications for both American diplomatic initiatives and global efforts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons. The Republican Party succeeded in shattering Clinton's arms control strategy. World diplomats and arms experts warned that the worldwide fallout could be severe and long-lasting. The initial impact was felt in India and Pakistan whose relations began to deteriorate after the October Islamabad coup. The defeat of the treaty undermined the ability of the United States to persuade India and Pakistan to sign the pact.

 

The refusal of Senate Republicans to ratify the treaty also had a negative long term effect. The United States lost an important bargaining chip, no longer capable of persuading non-nuclear powers from developing weapons. Countries such as Iran and North Korea were given the defacto approval to go ahead and build nuclear arsenals. And Russia and China could proliferate their nuclear weapons.

 

Rebecca Johnson, editor of Disarmament Diplomacy, said that "the impact will be catastrophic in terms of the United States ability to be taken seriously in international efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons. The signal the rest of world gets is that the United States prefers to engage in playground partisan politics rather than working with its allies on collective efforts at international security." Even opponents of the treaty conceded that the immediate effect of its defeat would be negative. Henry Kissinger said, "When we have staked so much on such a treaty, it reflects badly on our leadership. On the other hand, I think it's a bad treaty."

 

Some of the United States' strongest allies castigated the Senate for rejecting the treaty. They warned that the treaty's defeat could undermine the fragile structure of arms control and that it could lead to a new nuclear weapons race among developing nations and rogue states. Vladimir Rakhmanin, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said, "This decision delivers a serious blow to the entire system of agreements in the field of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation." The speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, Gennady Seleznyov, accused the United States of operating by a double standard: "talking about cutting the number of nuclear warheads and banning nuclear tests and at the same time refusing to ratify the fundamental document."

 

Outgoing NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana said that "it (was) very sad for the future, very sad for peace, very sad for proliferation." United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced his regret over the decision. Shen Guofang, China's deputy representative to the United Nations, said, "A certain country is pursuing its nuclear deterrence policy based on first use of nuclear weapons while vigorously developing its missile defense systems to the detriment of the strategic balance. It also wantonly resorts to threats to use force in international relations."

 

According to Andrew Brooks, a defense analyst at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies, "The perception here is one of disbelief. This is the chance for the biggest superpower to freeze the nuclear mechanisms, and (it is) behaving like a small child." Pavel Felgenhauer, an influential military analyst for the Sevodnya newspaper in Moscow, warned that the Senate played into the hands of "military hawks and advocates of reviving Russia's nuclear might." He said that it gave potential nuclear countries such as Iraq, Iran, and North Korea a "green light" to move ahead with weapons programs. Felgenhauser said, "In a few more years, the number of nuclear powers will exceed a dozen. If that happens, no one should have any doubt that the decision of the U.S. Senate was a direct cause."

 

At the time of the Senate's vote, there were five major nuclear countries: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France. India and Pakistan both conducted nuclear tests demonstrating that they had the ability to make weapons. Israel was widely suspected to possess nuclear arms. Russia, China, and India said that they would continue to abide by their pledges to maintain a moratorium on testing. However, any of those nations could resume nuclear testing at any moment.

 

THE NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY

 

For the first time, the Security Council agreed to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, as part of a new disarmament agenda approved by 187 countries to strengthen the 1970 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). This came after at a four week conference in the spring 2000. The Big Five -- the United States, Russia, France, Britain, and China -- approved stronger language than usual to reduce their arsenals during a review of the 1970 NPT.

 

However, several influential group of moderate states -- Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and Sweden -- said that the total elimination of nuclear weapons was an obligation under the treaty and not an "ultimate goal." In addition China criticized the document, citing several factors could lead to the failure of the agreement. The expansion of NATO, the absence of commitments to use nuclear weapons first, and the planned American anti-missile defense program threatened the success of the pact.

 

For the first time, Israel was singled out in the agreement for not signing the treaty and for not placing its nuclear materials under comprehensive international safeguards. Cuba was castigated for not being a part of the pact. India and Pakistan were criticized for their nuclear tests. The 187 countries urged both countries to become parties to the treaty "as non- nuclear weapon states." Finally, an issue centered around Iraq and its nuclear weapons-related materials. A Security Council resolution had placed sanctions on Baghdad until it eliminated all weapons of mass destruction. Iraq argued this should not be included in the treaty conference, since it had allowed an inspection of its nuclear reactors by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in January 2000.

 

The 187 United Nations members agreed on several other measures: to further reduce tactical nuclear weapon; to publicly report information about their nuclear arsenals; to reduce the "operational status" of nuclear weapons; to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in national security policies to minimize the possibility of their use; to permanently and irreversibly remove plutonium and uranium from nuclear warheads; to negotiate within the next five years a treaty banning production of these fissile materials for weapons; and to place a moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions pending the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The agreement set an arms agenda for five years but failed to set a timetable on when they would do this at a key review

 

THE COST TO SUBSIDIZE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

 

Nuclear energy is subsidized at a rate of $7.1 billion each year. The government spends $468 million in the area of research and development; the industry's insurance subsidy is $3 billion; privatizing uranium fuel enrichment costs between $1.7 billion and $2.9 billion; reprocessing spent fuel amounts to $390 million; planning long term storage of nuclear waste is $250 million; estimates of the shortfall in the Nuclear Waste Fund is as high as $8 billion; closing nuclear power plants amounts to $15 million; the failure of companies to set aside money to close plants in the future is about $30 billion; fusion research totals $244 million; and development of nuclear power plants in the next century is about $40 million.

 

Since 1959 the government has limited the liability of nuclear utilities for damage caused by accidents. Until 1988, private utility companies were liable for a maximum of $560 million. Since then, the government has raised the figure to $7 billion. To put this figure in perspective, the Chernobyl disaster, which caused an estimated 125,000 deaths, cost approximately $358 billion. If nuclear energy companies needed to purchase liability insurance above the ceiling of $7 billion, they would be paying another $7 billion a year in premiums.

 

Before 1993, the DOE was responsible for all domestic production of uranium fuel for nuclear power plants. Then this responsibility was turned over to the United States Enrichment Corporation (USIC). Today, it is $10 billion in debt. The federal government plans to privatize the USIC at an estimated annual cost of $1.1 billion to taxpayers.

 

In 1994, Congress cut funding for Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. Yet Argonne still continues to receive that amount to terminate its program. South Carolina's Savannah River Plant, which used to manufacture nuclear weapons, is presently used for reprocessing spent and corroded fuel rods at a cost of $340 million annually. Nevada's Yucca Mountain Plant, with 33 known earthquake faults in the area, is in the blueprint stage and originally was planned to open in 1998. However, the date was pushed back to 2015, and taxpayers are spending $250 million each year to study the situation. If it does open, it will be at a cost of nearly $50 billion to taxpayers.

 

Then there is the immense cost of shutting down nuclear power plants. Of the nation's 110 reactors only three have been commissioned to close, but an additional 25 others need to be terminated in the near future. It will cost between $375 million and $500 million to close Yankee Rowe Plant in Massachusetts. At that expense it will cost these corporations approximately $10 billion to shut down another two dozen plants. However, they do not have the reserves to do this alone. For example Chicago's Commonwealth Edison owns six older plants which will cost about $2 billion to close. To encourage nuclear power plants to build up their reserves, Congress dropped the corporate tax rate on trust funds designated to pay for the decommissioning of plants from 34 percent to 20 percent. This cost taxpayers $76 million between 1992 and 1996.

 

CHEMICAL WEAPONS

 

The United States military produced hundreds of thousands of tons of nerve and mustard agents over the past 80 years. Most of it was quietly dumped into the ocean after World War II. Yet, over 31,000 tons of these chemical agents remained. They were loaded into 3.3 million rockets, artillery shells, bombs, and tanks at eight army installations throughout the United States.

 

Chemical agents had important wartime advantages. They were effective over wide areas. They were odorless and colorless. They were effective even when they did not kill. And they did not destroy physical property.

 

Chemical weapons included:

 

--Blood agents, hydrogen cyanide and cyanogen chloride, which could block the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity and couldcause tearing, choking, and sometimes death.

 

--Choking agents, chlorine, phosgene, and chlopicrin, which could sear the linings of air passages, and victims drown in their own fluids.

 

--Blistering agents, sulfur mustard, nitrogen mustard, and lewisite, which could lead to blindness, respiratory problems, and eventually death.

 

--Nerve agents, talbun, sarin, soman, and VX, which could disrupt the functions of the nervous system and could kill within 15 minutes.

 

Chemical agents were rampantly used during World War I. It was estimated that there were a total of 1,297,000 total casualties of which 91,000 resulted in fatalities. As a result, in 1925 a Geneva protocol placed the first ban on the use of chemical weapons in warfare, but ironically it did not prohibit the construction and stockpiling of chemical agents. In 1984, the first breach of the ban against wartime use of weapons took place when chemical agents were used by Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War and later against the Kurds in northern Iraq. However, there was also evidence to indicate that the United States used chemicals in the mid-1960s to flush out Viet Cong from their tunnel networks.

 

American policy was merely to dump the hazardous materials into the ocean. Until the 1970s, chemical agents were haphazardly dumped at sea. The largest single incident occurred outside of San Francisco Bay when the Navy scuttled 1,478 tons of bulk mustard gas and 301,000 mustard gas bombs.

 

In 1986, Congress ordered the aging poisonous chemical agents destroyed at an estimated cost of $1.8 million. At first, the completion date was set for 1994, but when virtually nothing had been done by that time, the target date was pushed forward to 2004, a full decade later. By 1996, it was estimated that the cost to incinerate the weapons stockpile would jump from $1.8 million to $12 million. Then it was assumed that the removal of the chemical agents from the 215 burial sites throughout the country would not represent a problem. No schedule was devised for digging up the chemical agents from pits. In 1996, the Army reported that the removal alone would be an additional $19 billion.

 

The process of destroying chemical agents was tedious. The highly inflammable agents needed to be burned in separate furnaces at 2,700 degrees. Then only water vapor, brine, and some other hazardous materials still could not be totally eliminated, so these still had to be buried in landfills. At one Army facility on Johnston atoll, 800 miles southeast of Hawaii. A small amount of this massive arsenal was destroyed. However, the incineration of some agents resulted in safety violations in 1994. The EPA fined the Army $50,000 for one of the incidents and $72,300 for other safety violations. On one occasion, a weapon exploded inside the furnace, forcing a shutdown for several months.

 

In 1996, environmentalists in Tooele County, Oregon protested the construction of another incinerator. The Army contracted EGG Corporation to seek alternative methods to neutralize the chemical agents. EGG's chief engineer, Steven Jones, found numerous safety hazards in the new plant's design, especially in its unpacking area where the munitions were taken and loaded onto conveyor belts by workers. Jones concluded that an explosion in that area would trigger a poison gas release which would create a hazard 40 miles downwind from the plant. After making these statements, EGG promptly fired him. The Army quickly noted that there were no circumstances under which poison gas could possible escape from the plant. In 1996, residents of Tooele county, County spent $11 million to construct an emergency communications center as well as purchasing two portable contamination units which could be quickly used by nearby residents in an emergency. In addition, they purchased 37 sirens to alert residents in the event of a toxic release.

 

Evidence has indicated that incinerators are the worst way to destroy the nation's obsolete chemical stockpiles. Nevertheless, in 1997, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission gave permission to the Army and the Raytheon Corporation to spend $1.3 billion to construct five chemical weapons incinerators. Nerve gas, mustard agents, and toxins were on the list to be destroyed.

 

Very few corporations were prosecuted for violating environmental laws. State laws gave companies immunity to corporations which reported violations of such laws. They became law in 21 states and are pending in 14 other states. According to these "audit privilege" laws corporations which reported violations could not be fined or punished as long as they reported these violations immediately to the government. Company officials who were involved in an environmental audit could not be compelled to testify in the court of law. Also, if the corporation conducted its own independent audit, information could not be disclosed to the public. The Clinton administration accepted this price of self-auditing by saying that companies could audit themselves better than the government could.

 

THE INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION. An international chemical weapons treaty, ratified by the United States in April 1997, required that weapons stockpiles be destroyed by 2007. However, it provided a five- year extension for countries that could not finish on time. Despite this monumental arsenal of chemical weapons, the United States Senate barely ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention. Nearly every world country -- 161 nations -- was a signee to this treaty. Libya, North Korea, Syria, and Iraq were among those which refused. The treaty bans production, possession, and use of all nerve and mustard gases and requires member nations to destroy their stockpiles within 10 years. Furthermore, the treaty establishes an international verification which is empowered to conduct inspections in countries which have verified the pact.

 

Even though it passed the Senate by a 75-25 vote, approximately one- half of the Republican rejected the treaty. They claimed that the elimination of American chemical weapons would undermine the deterrent effect and that it would increase the likelihood that chemical weapons be used in future wars. They further claimed that chemical weapons could still be produced by terrorists and that the United Nations would be unlikely to invoke sanctions.

 

By the end of 2001, millions of rockets, bombs, and projectiles -- along with drums of nerve and blistering agents -- still had not been destroyed. Stored in eight states, the weapons were stored in igloo-like concrete bunkers, covered by earthen mounds and surrounded by barbed wire, and surrounded by armed guards.

 

The Army already destroyed more than 23 percent of its chemical weapons at incinerators in Tooele, Utah, and at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific. The Army was constructing additional incinerators at weapons sites in Anniston, Alabama, and near Umatilla, Oregon, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Chemical neutralization plants were also being built to destroy liquid agent stockpiles at Newport, Indiana, and Aberdeen, Maryland.

 

In September 2001, Pentagon officials conceded that it would cost billions of dollars more and take more years to destroy the nation's chemical weapons stockpiles which numbered 31,496 tons. After insisting that the Army was on schedule with the destruction of the weapons, defense officials finally acknowledged in the fall of 2001 that significant delays and dramatic overruns would raise the price of the program by about $9 billion and push its completion well past an international treaty deadline of 2007. According to the Los Angeles Times, senior officials concluded that costs would ultimately rise to about $24 billion, up from an earlier estimate of $15 billion. Pentagon sources said the revised timetables were expected to show that work would not be completed at some of the sites until between 2008 and 2012. (Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2001)

 

The $24 billion represented a 14-fold increase from an original estimate of $1.7 billion when the program began in 1985. At the time, the Army said it would complete destruction by 1994 of the stockpiles of mustard gas, sarin, and VX nerve agent, along with rockets, land mines, and other delivery systems. (Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2001)

 

After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, officials speculated that a chemical attack on the United States was more of probability than previously. The attacks raised concerns that the chemical weapons could be targeted by terrorists seeking to steal some of the munitions or blow up them up by hitting them with a hijacked airplane. As a precaution, the Army assigned 100 to 200 troops to each of the chemical weapons depots on September 25 to reinforce already beefed-up security.

 

An international chemical weapons treaty, ratified by the United States in 1997, required that weapons stockpiles be destroyed by 2007. However, it provided a five- year extension for countries that could not finish on time.

 

By the end of 2001, millions of rockets, bombs, and projectiles -- along with drums of nerve and blistering agents -- still had not been destroyed. Stored in eight states, the weapons were stored in igloo-like concrete bunkers, covered by earthen mounds and surrounded by barbed wire, and surrounded by armed guards.

 

By 2001, the Army had destroyed 31, 496 tons -- more than 23 percent of its chemical weapons -- at incinerators in Tooele, Utah, and at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific. That included munitions and bulk quantities of the nerve agents sarin and VX and mustard blistering agents. The Army burned about 5,000 tons at its incinerator at the Utah site which had the largest of the weapons stockpiles. Additional incinerators were planned at weapons sites in Anniston, Alabama, and near Umatilla, Oregon, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Chemical neutralization plants were also being built to destroy liquid agent stockpiles at Newport, Indiana, and Aberdeen, Maryland. (Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2001)

 

In September 2001, Pentagon officials conceded that it would cost billions of dollars more and take more years to destroy the nation's chemical weapons stockpiles which numbered 31,496 tons. After insisting that the Army was on schedule with the destruction of the weapons, defense officials finally acknowledged in the fall of 2001 that significant delays and dramatic overruns would raise the price of the program by about $9 billion and push its completion well past an international treaty deadline of 2007. According to the Los Angeles Times, senior officials concluded that costs would ultimately rise to about $24 billion, up from an earlier estimate of $15 billion. Pentagon sources said the revised timetables were expected to show that work would not be completed at some of the sites until between 2008 and 2012. (Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2001)

 

The $24 billion represented a 14-fold increase from an original estimate of $1.7 billion when the program began in 1985. At the time, the Army said it would complete destruction by 1994 of the stockpiles of mustard gas, sarin, and VX nerve agent, along with rockets, land mines, and other delivery systems. (Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2001)

 

After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, officials speculated that a chemical attack on the United States was more of probability than previously. The attacks raised concerns that the chemical weapons could be targeted by terrorists seeking to steal some of the munitions or blow up them up by hitting them with a hijacked airplane. As a precaution, the Army assigned 100 to 200 troops to each of the chemical weapons depots on September 25 to reinforce already beefed-up security.

 

An international chemical weapons treaty, ratified by the United States in 1997, required that weapons stockpiles be destroyed by 2007. However, it provided a five- year extension for countries that could not finish on time.

 

By the end of 2001, millions of rockets, bombs, and projectiles -- along with drums of nerve and blistering agents -- still had not been destroyed. Stored in eight states, the weapons were stored in igloo-like concrete bunkers, covered by earthen mounds and surrounded by barbed wire, and surrounded by armed guards.

 

By 2000, the Army already destroyed more than 23 percent of its chemical weapons at incinerators in Tooele, Utah, and at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific. The Army was constructing additional incinerators at weapons sites in Anniston, Alabama, and near Umatilla, Oregon, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Chemical neutralization plants were also being built to destroy liquid agent stockpiles at Newport, Indiana, and Aberdeen, Maryland.

 

In September 2001, Pentagon officials conceded that it would cost billions of dollars more and take more years to destroy the nation's chemical weapons stockpiles which numbered 31,496 tons. After insisting that the Army was on schedule with the destruction of the weapons, defense officials finally acknowledged in the fall of 2001 that significant delays and dramatic overruns would raise the price of the program by about $9 billion and push its completion well past an international treaty deadline of 2007. Edward Aldrich Jr., undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, confirmed that the cost of destroying chemical weapons stockpiles had increased risen by about $9 billion to $24 billion. That was up from an earlier estimate of $15 billion. Pentagon sources said the revised timetables were expected to show that work would not be completed at some of the sites until between 2008 and 2012. (Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2001; October 3, 2001)

 

The $24 billion represented a 14-fold increase from an original estimate of $1.7 billion when the program began in 1985. At the time, the Army said it would complete destruction by 1994 of the stockpiles of mustard gas, sarin, and VX nerve agent, along with rockets, land mines, and other delivery systems. (Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2001)

 

After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, officials speculated that a chemical attack on the United States was more of probability than previously. The attacks raised concerns that the chemical weapons could be targeted by terrorists seeking to steal some of the munitions or blow up them up by hitting them with a hijacked airplane. As a precaution, the Army assigned 100 to 200 troops to each of the chemical weapons depots on September 25 to reinforce already beefed-up security at eight chemical weapons sites, where millions of rockets, bombs, and mines were stored, were put on high alert. Authorities also requested additional sirens, tone-alert radios, protection of hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities, and an emergency response plan that would protect all residents likely to be affected by a chemical release. Also under consideration were protective hoods for those near the incinerator who would need to take shelter in their homes. (Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2001)

 

Weapons disposal was expected to be completed in 2007 at Tooele, Utah and Aberdeen, Maryland; in 2010 at Pine Bluff, Arkansas and Newport, Indiana; and 2011 at Anniston and Umatilla, Oregon. At the other two sites -- Pueblo, Colorado and Blue Grass, Kentucky -- a disposal method would be decided in 2002 and there was no estimated dates for completion. (Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2001)

 

LAND MINES

 

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, over 100 million uncleared land mines existed in the world. Five million more land mines were being produced each year. Land mines claimed over 500 victims every week. There were millions of American- manufactured land mines in the ground worldwide. Over 26,000 people were killed or maimed by land mines every year. More civilians died from landmine injuries after a war than soldiers during a war. Land mines were usually used to terrorize, kill, and maim civilian populations.

 

Most of the world's 100 million land mines were planted in such places as Afghanistan, Angola, and Cambodia. For example, between 1975 and 1979, Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, a nation of 9 million people, buried 6 million land mines.

 

The United States Campaign to Ban Land Mines, a coalition of over 175 American organization across the country, expressed its disappointment at the Clinton Administration's statement that it will turn to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament (CD) to negotiate an antipersonnel land mines. Supporters of the land mine ban included 15 retired American generals, including commanders from Korea, Vietnam, NATO, and the Persian Gulf, and Senator James McGovern of Massachusetts who nominated the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines for the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. Others included Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who, while pleased that the government is pursuing a ban, believed the Canadian Initiative "establishes a moral and tactical imperative for bringing holdout nations aboard." Leahy created the Leahy War Victims Fund to provide artificial limbs to landmine victims after meeting land mine victims in Central America. He wrote the legislation that stopped American exports of antipersonnel mines and the legislation that stopped the United States use of antipersonnel mines for at least a year.

 

In December 1997, in Ottawa, Clinton took the lead in refusing to sign an international agreement which banned all land mines. But Clinton did promise to begin to phase out land mines by 2004. In opposing the treaty, he pointed to the heavily mined areas between North and South Korea and stated that this was the most effective way to stop Chinese aggression.

 

One hundred and forty nations signed the land mine ban treaty, and it was ratified by 117 of them. However, the largest manufacturers of land mines -- the United States, Canada, India, and Pakistan -- refused to sign the pact.

 

The Bush administration backed away from a promise made by the Clinton White House that the United States would eventually comply with an international treaty banning land mines. The White House maintained that American forces may need to use land mines. Secretary of State Powell insisted that the Bush administration was not turning its back on international cooperation, although it had serious objections to some treaties. He said, "Just because they are multilateral, that doesn't mean they are good."

 

In a letter to Democratic Congressman James McGovern, a leading congressional critic of land mines, the State Department's chief lobbyist said that the administration was reviewing "the need for land mines on the modern battlefields of the future." Paul Kelly, head of the State Department's legislative affairs bureau, added that the department believes that land mine policy should be left "to our colleagues in the Department of Defense for their determination and judgment." (Los Angeles Times, August 3, 2001)

WEAPONS OF TORTURE

 

In 1997, Amnesty International listed 100 world-wide companies which manufactured instruments of torture. Forty-two of these corporations were in the United States. They manufactured stun guns, stun belts, cattle probe devices, and other equipment which were meant to cause devastating pain.

 

These American companies included Arianne International Imports in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; B-west Imports in Tucson, Arizona; and Taserton in Corona, California. Arianne manufactures Myotron which was a compact version of a stun gun. B-west produced shock batons which could deliver charges between 80,000 and 120,000 volts. Taserton manufactures the taser which would shoot two wires attached to darts with metal hooks into a person's skin or clothing, resulting in a debilitating shock.

 

These corporations denied allegations that their devices constituted a violation of human rights. Instead, they were doing just the opposite: inventing new devices such as the electroshock razor wire which were designed for demonstrators who could not be contained.

 

WAR AS PORTRAYED BY THE MOTION PICTURE MEDIUM

 

The motion picture industry has portrayed America as a self-righteous wholesome country through-out the years. Whenever the United States went to war, it was only because of fear of invasion by some ruthless imperialistic country.

 

According to author Michael Parenti, racism is made clear in numerous Hollywood productions:

 

--In "The Halls of Montezuma" (1950), a Japanese officer stated that "depth is the basis of our strength" and then commits hara-kiri.

 

--In "The Searchers" (1956), John Wayne said: "There's humans and there's Comanches."

 

--In "Guadalcanal Diary" (1943), an American marine said that "they (Japanese) live in trees like apes."

 

American colonialism is shown in many Hollywood films. "Real Glory" (1939) is about the Spanish-American War in the Philippines. Nothing is said about why the United States invaded the Far East and about the Filipino resistance movement. The film is also silent about the thousands of Filipinos who were slaughtered. Just prior to the Gulf War in October 1990, there was a re-run on television of this relatively unknown film. It came at a time when Bush was attempting to rally the American people behind the country's war machine in the Gulf.

The motion picture industry has always been hostile to communists and the Soviet Union. Communists were looked upon as grim, unsmiling, liars; they were cruel to animals and preyed upon America's impressionable youth. They were atheists and not shown as good Christian Americans. Communists would "bring America to its knees," and their goal was "to control everything."

 

-- "Hunt for Red October" was approved by the military only when high technology weapons were used and the United States military -- not that of the Soviet Union -- is glorified. The story revolves around a diabolic Soviet submarine.

-- "Mission to Moscow" (1943) is about an American ambassador and only shows the negative side of the Soviet Union.

 

--In "Rocky IV" (1985), the American boxer wears an American flag in an arena filled with bellicose Soviet fans. In the film the crowd and politburo, including Gorbachev, changed their ideology by denouncing communism. They applaud Rocky who instructs them on the meaning of world peace.

 

--In "Rambo III" (1988) the same hero was in Afghanistan where he kills dozens of Soviet soldiers who were portrayed as rapists, sadists, and murderers of little children. None of this was proved true of the Soviets between 1979 and 1989. The movie ends with Rambo moving to Texas and opens a gun shop.

 

--"Red Dawn" (1984), "Invasion USA" (1985), and "Amerika" (1987) are about Soviet invasions of the United States. "Red Dawn"is a story of an American crop failure and food riots which were invitations to a Soviet invasion. The Soviets, along with the mighty Cubans and Nicaraguans, are finally defeated by a group of youngsters in Colorado. "Invasion USA" is about a Soviet and Cuban invasion of Florida. And "Amerika" is about a Soviet- dominated United Nations which invades the United States. In the film the Soviets use sports and other propaganda to distract the American people.

 

During the McCarthy era of the early 1950s, Hollywood's goals included: exposing any film which was even slightly sympathetic to communism; preventing the further production of such films by blackballing such producers, directors, and actors; and terminating the role of labor in the film industry. Films of this era, which were ideological stereotypes, include "The Red Menace" (1949), "I Married a Communist" (1950), and "I Was a Communist for the FBI" (1951).

 

Most Hollywood films do not depict the true violence of war. Since the 1960s numerous films have been made on the Vietnam War, and all represent the Americans as the patriots and the victims. On the other hand, the North Vietnamese are depicted as the aggressors and the savages. Americans and the thousands of innocent victims of this violence. The My Lai massacre, for example, wiped out 400 to 500 innocent women and children. Operation Phoenix was a CIA venture which systematically led to the murder of over 20,000 civilians suspected of being Viet Cong sympathizers.

 

--"Platoon" (1986) includes a scene where Americans burned a Vietnamese village, and children are carried away by the Americans. Yet nothing showed the numerous villages torched and destroyed by Americans.

 

--In "Steel Helmet" a scene was omitted because the American Army objected to an unarmed North Vietnamese prisoner of war being killed by American soldiers.

 

-- "Missing in Action" (1984), starring Chuck Norris, is about an ex-soldier who returns to Vietnam and frees several POWs. The nomadic Vietnamese cannot shoot straight, so all the Americans are liberated. However, if that is the case, one does wonder how the Americans lost the war.

 

-- "Missing in Action II: The Beginning" (1985) stars the same super-patriot Chuck Norris. He escapes from a POW camp, kills communists, and wins the war single-handedly.

 

--In "Braddock: Missing in Action III" (1988), Norris returned to Vietnam and freed his wife and won the Vietnam War.

 

--"Rambo, First Blood II" (1985) was about the hero making a deal. By going to Vietnam, the criminal is given a Presidential pardon. He frees some American POWs but is captured. However, he luckily escapes by shooting his way to freedom, killing all the Vietnamese and Soviet soldiers. He dodges thousands of rounds of enemy bullets. Surprisingly, he does not run into Chuck Norris.

 

Since the inception of Israel as a nation in 1948, movies have almost entirely depicted Jewish people with positive virtues. On the other hand the dark-skinned Arabs have frequently been seen as uncivilized, imperialistic savages. All these films portray the more intelligent Americans threatened by Arab savages.

-- "Network" (1977) is a story of a group of Arabs trying to take control of the United States.

 

-- "Black Sunday" (1977) is about an Arab plot to blow up the Super Bowl.

 

-- "Rollover" (1981) centers around Arabs attempting to destroy the world's financial system.

-- "Iron Eagle" (1986) is about a teenager who flies a fighter from the United States to the Middle East and kills dozens of Arabs who are holding his father captive.

 

--In "Delta Force," stars Chuck Norris who is an American platoon leader and kills hundreds of Arabs in order to free American prisoners.

 

--In "Death before Dishonor" (1987), American marines stop Arab terrorists who are sent to Beirut by Gaddafi. An American marine is taken hostage and just before the Arabs drill a hole in his heart, he escapes. Almost every Arab in the film is killed by the Marines.

 

-- "The Soldier" (1982) centers around a KGB which threatens to blow up the Middle East unless Israel withdraws from the West Bank. The CIA counter-terrorist team is able to infiltrate the Soviet network, and the Middle East is barely saved.

 

Monster movies have also shown aliens from outer space invading the United States.

 

--In "King Kong" (1933 and 1976), the gorilla pursues a beautiful woman, but he is finally captured by the United States military.

 

-- "Invaders from Mars" (1953) is about outer space aliens who try to "take us all over from within."

 

--In "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956 and 1978), plant pods gain control of people's bodies.

 

Hollywood has taught the American people that: capitalism is the best economic system in the world; wealth is one's basic goal in life; the United States military stands ready to defend the country and never invades other nations; Western industrial and military power are civilizing forces; and the United States and other Western powers have been threatened by imperialistic advances by the horrid Soviet Union.