Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Troops are dying while Bush sells out the fight against terrorism

The biggest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, announced first quarter profits rose 27% to $369 million on sales of $8.5 billion, compared to a $291 million profit in the first quarter last year.

Lockheed Martin makes the F-16 fighter, C-130 transport plane, electronics systems, and has satellite investments.

The profit announcement was made just a week after President Bush announced he would be buying a fleet of new F-16's for Pakistan, at a cost of $3 billion on the U.S. taxpayers' tab. The NY Times reported that President Bush was giving Pakistan the F-16's as a reward for that country's aid in the war on terror.


Abdul Qadeer Khan, who stole centrifuge blueprints from Norway, and later became the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, secretly sold nuclear material, designs, and possibly centrifuges to North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Libya. General Mushareff chafed at a request by intelligence analysts to hand over A.Q. Khan so they could determine more precisely the extent of damage, including the possibility that nuclear material and expertise may have been traded with Al Qaida terrorist cells. Bush crawled back to his corner, tail between his legs, let Khan off the hook, claimed the Khan network was dismantled, then rewarded Mushareff for his cooperation by donating two dozen F-16's.

A former Pakistani army chief suggested that Khan couldn't be prosecuted, because Mushareff would be implicated in the nuclear proliferation scheme: "If [Dr] Khan had appeared in a court of law many things would have come out. That is very dangerous for President Musharraf."

After the announcement of F-16's donated to Pakistan, Bush appeased India by saying that it too could buy F-16's, opening up the possibility of Lockheed Martin selling another 126 fighter jets.

Hey, what do these countries need with F-16's? They'd just hurtle them at each other, in which case, India would win because it has ten times as many jets as Pakistan. So what's the point? Why throw away the taxpayers' $3 billion on a guy who won't open up his border with Afghanistan so U.S. troops can find Osama bin Laden, and who scoffs at U.S. attempts to clean up the nuclear mess created by A.Q. Khan.

Better yet, why not put that $3 billion into some freakin' armor for troops in Iraq:

In returning home, the leaders and Marine infantrymen have chosen to break an institutional code of silence and tell their story, one they say was punctuated not only by a lack of armor, but also by a shortage of men and planning that further hampered their efforts in battle, destroyed morale and ruined the careers of some of their fiercest warriors.

The Army's procurement system, which also supplies the Marines, has come under fierce criticism for underperforming in the war, and to this day it has only one small contractor in Ohio armoring new Humvees.

Marine Corps officials disclosed last month in Congressional hearings that they were now going their own way and had undertaken a crash program to equip all of their more than 2,800 Humvees in Iraq with stronger armor. The effort went into production in November and is to be completed at the end of this year.

Why is Bush still f***ing up on this critical issue while troops are getting slaughtered?

Is vacation on the ranch in Crawford more important? Or "town hall" propaganda meetings to privatize Social Security? Or selling F-16's to Pakistan and India?

Meanwhile, business is good for the world's biggest weapons manufacturer, and monkey boy remains the worst president ever!


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