US Republican senator calls Trump “dangerous to a democracy”: here.
US Republican senator calls Trump “dangerous to a democracy”: here.
This video from the USA says about itself:
US Government Wasting BILLIONS On Fighter Jets & Nobody Cares
11 July 2017
They have caused financial scandals before, in the USA and in other countries.
This video from the USA says about itself:
The US may be aiding war crimes in Yemen
12 December 2016
By Steve Sweeney in Britain:
Activists target Saudi arms profiteers
Friday 28th April 2017
The arms giant produces many of the weapons and war machines sold by Britain and the US to Saudi Arabia, which is waging a brutal war on Yemen.
The government has granted export licences for weapons worth a staggering £3.3 billion since the start of the conflict.
And the arms trade is so lucrative for Lockheed Martin that it has set up a subsidiary company in Saudi Arabia to increase profiteering from the sale of arms, including Hellfire missiles and F-16 fighter jets.
According to Amnesty International three million people have fled their homes with almost 19 million people — 70 per cent of the population — requiring urgent humanitarian aid and assistance as a result of the war.
A UN report released earlier this year showed that at least 10,000 people have been killed by indiscriminate bombing.
London CAAT spokesman Ian Pocock said: “As the world’s largest arms company, Lockheed Martin is responsible for untold harm and profits from conflict around the world.
“The bombing of Yemen has created a humanitarian catastrophe and Lockheed has profited every step of the way.”
CAAT has lodged a judicial review to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia with the verdict expected later this month.
This video from the USA says about itself:
7 August 2016
Despite Obama’s cuts to the military’s weapons budget, top US military contractors’ such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northop Grumman are still raking in growing profits. These multi-billion dollar merchants of death have turned to other markets to make up the difference and more. The results are disastrous for the world and the American people. Naomi Karavani reports on this and more on Redacted Tonight.
By Eric Ludlow and Will Morrow in Australia:
30 December 2016
Behind the backs of the student body, the University of Melbourne has agreed to host a leading new research centre for the American arms manufacturing giant Lockheed Martin.
The decision represents a further step in Australia’s integration into the US global military build-up and Washington’s preparations for war against Russia and China.
The $13-million Science, Technology, Engineering Leadership and Research Laboratory (STELaR Lab) will open its doors in 2017 at the university’s Parkville campus. According to Lockheed Martin Australia, it will be the first “multi-disciplinary R&D (research and development) facility” established outside the US.
It is inconceivable that such a decision could be made without the active involvement of the highest levels of the American and Australian states, in tandem with the university chancellor. Lockheed Martin (LM) is the largest arms maker in the world. It is responsible for developing some of the latest, and most highly-coveted, American war technology, the secrecy of which underpins Washington’s ability to remain militarily in advance of its geo-political rivals. LM’s designs include the next generation of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter combat aircraft, as well as Hellfire-II missiles, the signature weapons of Washington’s fleet of Predator and Reaper drones, which have become synonymous with the Obama administration’s criminal wars in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen.
STELaR Lab will play a major role in advancing this technology. According to an August 1 report in the Age, one of its goals will be “developing sophisticated computer software to help direct attacks” on targets. LM Australia and New Zealand chief executive Raydon Gates said it would develop “the ability in a conflict situation to analyse that data and then make the correct decision.” This technology is crucial for waging war against a major adversary, which involves attacking targets from multiple positions at once.
The lab will develop on “autonomous systems, robotics, command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance,” according to the arms maker’s web site. It will also focus on development of hypersonic aircraft, which travel at more than five times the speed of sound. The US already conducts hypersonic aircraft tests at the Woomera testing range in South Australia.
In other words, unbeknownst to students and staff, the University of Melbourne is being made into a central node for Washington’s preparations for new wars.
STELaR Lab’s inaugural director is Dr. Tony Lindsay. Linday’s role underscores the central involvement of the US and Australian governments. From 2005–2008, Lindsay worked in Washington as the Department of Defence’s top science diplomat at the Australian Embassy. His last position was at the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group), the Australian government’s lead agency for developing military technology. DST Group is the second largest publicly-funded research institute in the country, with an annual budget of over $400 million and a staff of 2,300, mainly scientists and engineers. Lindsay headed DST Group’s National Security and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance division.
Less than two months before announcing the new centre, Lockheed Martin Australia placed former Australian Labor Party leader Kim Beazley on its board. Beazley was ambassador to the US from 2010 until February 2016 and is highly connected and trusted among the upper echelons of the American state. He earned the nickname “bomber Beazley” for his enthusiastic support for military spending and US-led wars, and is being rewarded with a seat on the board of the Australian branch of the largest US arms manufacturer, where he will help oversee its direction.
Liberal-National Coalition Defence Minister Christopher Pyne, as well as Stephen Conroy, then Labor’s shadow minister for defence, and Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews, all attended STELaR Lab’s launch on August 2. Pyne made clear that the centre’s establishment was part of a broader effort to integrate the universities into the military-intelligence apparatus. The government was committed to “build the innovation capabilities of Australian industry, academia and research institutions and to deliver innovative solutions for Defence capability,” he said.
Professor Iven Mereels, Dean of the Melbourne School of Engineering, has stated that the faculty is “looking forward to joining with Lockheed Martin to pursue training opportunities in systems engineering in support of the significant defence effort presently underway in Australia.”
According to the Australian on August 5, LM’s regional head Raydon Gates said the site selection for STELaR Lab followed a rigorous internal evaluation process. He noted that Melbourne was one of the strongest performing university cities in the world, behind Boston and London. In recent years, however, Melbourne has been made a regional hub for US and Australian military research and development. This has taken place alongside Australia’s growing integration into the Obama administration’s military-build up throughout the region as part of the preparations for war against China, under the “pivot” to Asia.
In 2010, the DST Group—then under Kevin Rudd’s Labor government—together with the Victorian state government and the University of Melbourne, established the Defence Science Institute (DSI) on the university’s Parkville campus. DSI’s stated purpose is to “build defence science research networks” and “assemble disciplinary teams including defence scientists and engineers.” It hosts regular symposiums where researchers present before other teams and representatives of giant arms corporations.
DSI also funds specific research projects. One of those publicly acknowledged is led by RMIT University into “unmanned aircraft systems” that can fly and harvest their own energy in “urban environments.” Yet another, which has “significant contributions from the DSI and US army,” involves development of artificial enzymes which may “decontaminate nerve agents … offering protection to war fighters and civilians in a range of chemical and biological threats.” In other words: research for urban conflicts and chemical-biological warfare.
In October 2014, LM established its Asia Pacific Information and Communication Technology (ICT) engineering hub at Clayton in Melbourne, which is also the location of Monash University. There is little information available about its operations. LM says the centre would “secure Commonwealth government and international contracts, particularly in South Asia and the Middle East.” It would “expand existing local skills in online security, data management, applications development, and larger-scale IT services,” expanding the “local skills base” for LM’s cyber centre in Canberra.
In 2015, Oxford University announced a Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre—the first of its kind outside the UK—in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong. The Andrews state Labor government concurrently announced a new Oceania Cyber Security Centre: a collaboration of eight Victorian universities, including the University of Melbourne, “with the broad aim of engaging industry to develop research and training opportunities for dealing with cyber security issues.” It is located alongside the Oxford University centre.
These announcements followed the formation of a national Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) by the Rudd government in May 2008. It is located at Swinburne University in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn. It received $30 million from the federal government and another $52 million from industry and state governments.
DTMC’s website states that it targets “areas of defence priority where an Australian industrial capability footprint already exists.” Its research is focussed on advanced materials for armoury, watercraft and aircraft. DTMC comprises a core staff of 60 full-time equivalent employees, mainly scientists, in industry, research centres and universities. “Core participants” include RMIT University, Swinburne University and the University of Melbourne. It also networks with smaller-scale advanced manufacturing companies.
Because of its history as a centre of manufacturing, Victoria also has a broader community of small-scale advanced manufacturing companies that can be integrated into war production. The state is contributing 70 percent of Australia’s input into LM’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Students and staff at the University of Melbourne should oppose the establishment of the latest centre and the broader effort to transform the university into a bastion of military research. The US military build-up is part of Washington’s preparations for a new war that threatens mankind with nuclear catastrophe.
On December 22, the Australian, Rupert Murdoch’s national flagship, reported: “Fears are mounting within the Liberal Party that maverick South Australian senator Cory Bernardi is set to split from the Coalition to spearhead the new Australian Conservatives party, with an announcement expected in the new year. The conservative firebrand and his ‘very close friend’ Gina Rinehart met key members of US president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign team, including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, in Washington last month, fuelling fears the senator might have the support of Australia’s richest woman to bankroll the party and dilute the Liberals’ support base”: here.
This video says about itself:
7 December 2012
Three days after the United Nations climate change conference began here in Doha, a Qatari court sentenced a local poet to life in prison, a move that shocked many activists in the Gulf region and human rights observers. The sentencing of Muhammad Ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami came nearly two years after he wrote a poem titled, “Tunisian Jasmine,” supporting the uprisings in the Arab world. “We are all Tunisia in the face of repressive elites!” al-Ajami wrote. “The Arab governments and who rules them are without exception thieves, thieves!” We speak to his attorney and a member of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee.
By Solomon Hughes and Conrad Landin in Britain:
Tories Back Tank Parts for Qatar
Friday 26th February 2016
TORY MINISTERS will “strongly support” the sale of tank parts to the despotic Qatari regime, the Morning Star can exclusively reveal.
Papers disclosed under freedom of information laws reveal that arms firm Lockheed Martin UK met Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood when the company was seeking to sell its turrets, carrying guns or missiles, “which can fit on most [armoured] vehicles, to the Qatari government.”
The Foreign Office responded in official documents that it wanted to “strongly support Lockheed Martin UK in their [redacted] bid” to make the sale.
Campaigners said the allegations show the Tories value arms firms’ profits above human rights in the abusive state.
The revelations also risk painting David Cameron as a hypocrite, as he recently promised to take Qatar’s emir to task over allegations that the Middle Eastern country has supported Islamic extremism.
The papers show an additional Lockheed bid to replace turrets on British-made “Warrior” armoured vehicles sold to Kuwait in the 1990s. A third bid was discussed at the meeting, but the details are blacked out on the disclosed documents. The documents further suggest the British government is interested in supporting Qatari military training — apparently in part to assist the arms trade.
Campaign Against Arms Trade said Britain has licensed an eye-watering £176 million of arms to Qatar since Mr Cameron took office in 2010.
Campaign spokesman Andrew Smith said the new revelations were “yet another reminder of the politically intimate and morally compromising relationship” between weapons executives and ministers.
“The government has consistently pulled out all stops to maximize arms sales, with a particular focus on the Middle East,” he said.
“This doesn’t just put arms into the hands of human rights abusers, like the Qatari government, it also sends the message that the human rights of Qatari people are of less concern than profits for Lockheed Martin.”
The meeting, in which Lockheed was represented by former Whitehall private secretary Christopher Williams, took place in January 2015.
Before his own talks with Qatar’s Emir three months before, Mr Cameron was grilled by Labour MP Steve Rotheram.
The country has also been in the spotlight for the slave-like conditions in which workers constructing venues for the 2022 World Cup have been living and working.
“There are accusations that some British companies are being short-changed on contracts associated with the construction of World Cup venues in Qatar and even claims that some monies unpaid are being siphoned off to Syria and into the hands of Isis,” Mr Rotheram charged at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Cameron replied: “I will be talking to the Emir very shortly, and of course we will discuss all these issues, particularly how we can work together to combat extremism.”
In the same month, former British defence staff assistant chief General Jonathan Shaw said that the Wahhabi Salafism fuelling the rise of Isis was “funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop.”
Human rights groups condemn UK security trade fair. Britain should not be selling ‘non-lethal’ arms to oppressive regimes, say campaigners: here.
Why the U.S. can’t make up its mind on a major fighter jet sale to Qatar: here.
This video says about itself:
11 August 2014
5. General Dynamics, America: $20.94 billion
This list was compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. General Dynamics pockets over 20 billion a year. This Virginia based company can trace its history back to the Holland Torpedo Boat Company, which made American’s first submarine boat back in 1900. The modern business is split into four sections: Marine Systems, Combat Systems, Information Systems and Technology, and Aerospace.
4. Raytheon, America : $22.5 billion
Raytheon is the world’s largest producer of guided missiles. The various names of the company’s missiles (Patriot, Tomahawk, and Javelin) are familiar among the masses in the gaming and action film worlds. They also produced the controversial Rapid Information Overlay Technology (RIOT) system which harvests data from social media sites in order to track individuals.
3. BAE Systems, England : $26.85 billion
British Aerospace Marconi Electronic Systems is one of a few non-American companies on this list, and it’s a result of a 1999 £7.7bn merger of several predecessor companies which include the makers of the Harrier Jump Jet (the world’s first Vertical Take Off and Landing Aircraft), the comet (the world’s first commercial jet), and Concorde. The company is the producer of the Typhoon and Tornado Jets, which are used by the British RAF in their front-line defence of British airspace.
2. Boeing, America: $27.61 billion
In 2013, Boeing took $86.6bn in sales – around a third of which was arms sales. The sections primarily responsible for these arms sales is made up of the former “Military Aircraft and Missile Systems” and “Space and Communications” divisions. The company makes use of its aerospace expertise in its production of bombers, fighter aircraft, and UAVs.
1. Lockheed Martin, America: $36 billion
In 2012 Lockheed Martin made just under $4 billion profit(!). the majority of which comes from the American government (in 2009 it received just over 7% of all of the funds from the Pentagon). The enormous company employs 120,000 of the world’s brightest scientists, engineers, and lobbyists. The company is responsible for the world’s most advanced tactical fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor.
By Evan Blake:
Global economic impact of violence reached $14.3 trillion in 2014
23 June 2015
The economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2014 measured a staggering $14.3 trillion, or 13.4 percent of world gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to the combined economic output of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.
This represents a spending increase of $1.9 trillion, or 15.3 percent, since 2008, according to the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) report, compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) think tank. The report defines the economic impact of violence as the “flow on effects on the world economy and the opportunity cost due to the misallocation of resources into non-productive areas associated with violence.”
Most of the total expenditure stems from deaths and displacement due to internal conflict, military spending, GDP losses from conflict, increasing homicide and violent crime rates, and spending on internal security officers, including police.
In total, more than $3 trillion was poured into military spending in 2014, with the US accounting for over $1.3 trillion alone. The study found that expenses related to the military, internal police forces and homicides combined to have the highest impact on costs, accounting for 68.3 percent of the total.
The costs needed to support refugees and internally displaced people have increased by 267 percent since 2008, to $128 billion, as the total number of displaced people reached 59.5 million in 2014, the highest level since World War II. Still, UN peacekeeping costs account for less than 0.17 percent of total violence containment expenditure.
The three most prominent targets of American imperialism in the recent period, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, have seen a substantial portion of their resources squandered on war. The US-stoked civil war in Syria, which has ravaged the country for four years, is estimated to have absorbed 42 percent of the country’s GDP in 2014, while Afghanistan spent 31 percent of its GDP on military and police expenditures, and Iraq spent 30 percent in 2014.
The GPI report ranks the nations of the world according to their “level of peacefulness,” based on 23 different qualitative and quantitative measurements from 162 states, covering 99.6 percent of the world’s population. Since the first report in 2008, the divide between the most and least “peaceful” countries and regions has steadily deepened, as US-led imperialism has plunged large parts of the world into deepening violence.
Syria again ranked on these terms as the least peaceful country in the world, while Libya experienced the most severe decline, according to the ranking system. Ukraine saw the second biggest decline, due to the eruption of fighting between pro-Russian separatist forces and NATO-backed fascist militias in east Ukraine.
The Middle East and North Africa region saw the most marked decline in average rankings, while Europe as a whole continued to see increases in peacefulness, as Iceland was again ranked the most peaceful, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Japan, Australia and the Czech Republic.
Significantly, the report found that deaths caused by terrorism increased by 61 percent from 2012-13 and have more than doubled since 2008, resulting in 17,958 people being killed in terrorist attacks in 2013. Of those deaths, 82 percent occurred in just five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.
These figures once again expose the essential truth that the so-called War on Terror has in fact empowered terrorist organizations in those countries that have been targeted by American imperialism. Despite the constant invocation of “national security” as the centerpiece of the war, the vast majority of terrorist attacks take place outside the advanced capitalist countries.
While much of the data compiled in the report is useful in portraying the immense scale of the costs of imperialist war and internal political repression, the GPI rankings system is flawed and the authors themselves present a rose-tinted view of the current geopolitical situation. At one point, the report declares that, “Over the last sixty years, the world has become more peaceful. There has been a marked and consistent downturn in levels of violence and conflict since the end of the Second World War.”
Later, however, the report notes that the intensity of military conflict has increased dramatically in recent years, with 180,000 people killed in 2014 alone, a nearly fourfold increase from 49,000 in 2010. However, it glosses over the present threat of a major conflict between nuclear-armed powers and covers up of the machinations of the US-led imperialist order, effectively playing into the hands of the forces spearheading the drive to war.
Regarding the potential for such a global conflict arising from the ongoing disputes in the South China Sea, which are being driven through the US “pivot to Asia” directed against China, the authors write: “Although the likelihood of further military skirmishes in the disputed waters is high, a large-scale military engagement remains unlikely.”
In their overview of the crisis in Ukraine, the line of the US State Department comes through clearly …
There is no mention whatsoever of the role played by the US, which backed far-right nationalist and outright fascistic organizations such as Svoboda and the Right Sector to overthrow Yanukovych, and hand-picked the emergent government with puppets like Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and billionaire oligarch President Petro Poroshenko.
Above all, the worldwide escalation in military spending and domestic policing indicate the advanced stage of the buildup to a new world war involving the major imperialist powers.
This video from the USA says about itself:
Taxpayers Fund Broken Planes from Lockheed Martin
The Air Force is about to give Lockheed Martin $24 million to fix a major issue in Lockheed’s F-22 Raptors. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur on why this is absurd.
By Solomon Hughes in Britain:
Friday 5th December 2014
With Lockheed Martin eyeing up contracts in our health service, Solomon Hughes charts its history of influence-peddling and bribery
The announcement that Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s biggest arms firms, is looking to bid for one of our biggest NHS contracts caused widespread dismay. Disgust really.
Thanks to the government’s NHS privatisation programme, a firm that profits by creating killing machines might run the health service.
People are right to be worried, but this isn’t completely new. Lockheed has been trying to get into social services — in a weird, corporate version of the old slogan “Welfare not warfare” — for years.
It has brought all the values of the arms industry with it — especially the values of waste and influence-peddling.
Lockheed was invited by the Department of Health to a meeting about bidding for a contract for “GP support services” worth £1 billion over 10 years.
NHS England, run by arch-privatiser Simon Stevens, decided “to go to open procurement” for this deal. It didn’t think anyone in the NHS could look after doctors. NHS England thinks a firm like Lockheed will do better.
There is obviously a growing love between Lockheed and the Department of Health.
In June 2013, according to official “transparency” information, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had an “introductory meeting” with Lockheed Martin’s vice-president of technology.
I asked about this meeting under freedom of information laws, but the Department of Health told me there were no records of Hunt’s Lockheed chat.
It said Hunt’s meeting with Lockheed was part of “an informal lunch during his appearance at the Healthdatapalooza event in Washington DC.” Hunt’s unrecorded Healthdatapalooza chat doesn’t seem to have done the firm any harm.
For Lockheed’s part, it got very anxious about the end of the cold war. The firm was genuinely worried that arms sales would fall with the end of the Soviet Union.
As it turns out this was a misplaced concern. The West has had loads more wars even without the Soviet threat. But it was a real concern in the ’90s. So Lockheed tried to get from warfare into welfare in the US.
Lockheed kept some of its hard militaristic edge by emphasising the tight control and even punitive nature of welfare work.
It moved into non-military contracts first by collecting parking fines.
It used the relationships it had founded with state officials over parking fines to branch into “caring” services.
Lockheed said it would chase “deadbeat dads” who were not supporting their families on welfare.
It was fitting in with president Bill Clinton’s “tough-minded” approach to welfare, promising a mix of authoritarian, business-minded and cost-cutting methods.
Lockheed’s lobbyists told senators that the arms firm had now “become the premier provider of child support services,” offering “technology and management techniques” to transform delivery.
However its welfare work didn’t always deliver. In 1997 the state of California dropped its “deadbeat dads” contract with Lockheed because its system had failed, after $111 million of expenditure.
In Florida a Lockheed system to hunt “deadbeat dads” spent $5.4m to collect just $162,000 in child support payments from the errant fathers — in effect spending $25 dollars for each three cents collected.
This kind of waste is common in the arms industry — Lockheed gave one of the most famous examples of military waste in the 1980s when it charged the army $640 per toilet seat. Lockheed’s most famous current programme is the Joint Strike Fighter, a super-advanced jet plane which has rising prices, late delivery and question marks over performance.
Lockheed hasn’t yet got into welfare work in Britain on any great scale, but it has branched beyond just selling planes and rockets into “service” contracts which work like the NHS contracts it is chasing — which isn’t reassuring.
Lockheed’s main British “service” contract is running the Aldermaston atom bomb factory in a consortium with other companies.
Last year Lockheed’s consortium was fined £280,000 for a dangerous fire at Aldermaston.
The Health and Safety Executive’s inspector said a “collection of shortcomings’’ demonstrated by the consortium showed failures of “supervision, monitoring and auditing over time.” This year the Independent reported the Ministry of Defence was worried about “spiralling costs” and late delivery by Lockheed and its partners at Aldermaston.
So just the people we want running the NHS.
This is where the second arms industry value might come in — influence peddling.
This Dutch video is about the 1976 Lockheed scandal in the Netherlands. They bribed Prince Consort Bernhard, also Inspector General of the armed forces. The government did not dare to jail Prince Bernhard for this; though they did sack him as Inspector General.
Lockheed was at the centre of the biggest bribery scandal of the post-war years — the “Lockheed bribery scandal” was one of the outstanding international events of the 1970s.
The revelation of Lockheed’s widespread bribery, revealed as a by-product of the fall of president Richard Nixon, brought down politicians throughout Europe.
This is another video about the Lockheed bribery scandal in the Netherlands.
The firm hasn’t been caught in such outright bribery since, but it does hire lots of ex-politicians. Lockheed has not one but three British lords on its board.
Lord John Patten was one of the most ineffective ever Tory education ministers.
He was sacked by John Major for making a huge mess of schools — but he is good enough to be a Lockheed director.
Former head of the navy Sir Jonathan Band is also a director, as is Sir David Manning.
Lockheed was so excited about the Iraq war that it put out a special sales brochure on its contribution to “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” which says it was “at the forefront contributing weapon systems” to the Iraq war — so it might have recruited Manning out of gratitude for helping sell so many of its products.
But the real point is that these lords give Lockheed a lot of political influence. Hiring insiders is a Lockheed style. So Christopher Williams, Lockheed’s British head of government affairs, was until 2013 a private secretary in the Cabinet Office.
Insiders and waste. It’s easy to see how Lockheed could get NHS contracts.
But it’s equally easy to see why it shouldn’t.
A THIRD of NHS contracts have been awarded to private sector providers since the Health and Social Care Act came into force, finds an investigation by the BMJ today (Wednesday 10 December): here.
A third of NHS contracts have been handed to private companies since the government’s hated health reforms were introduced, figures published yesterday showed : here.