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A deadly monster: Part 1. An overview of the military-national security, industrial, political triumvirate

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"---on tables around the room sat some very fancy, very tiny flying things. A bunch of beefy guys in suits or polo shirts or military garb were gathered around tables. The toys were mostly military devices that the company representatives said they're now marketing to cops and civilians. Table hands from companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and RP Flight Systems told me they'd come to show the hottest new drones, robots and mini blimps to House members and staffers. They were there at the invitation of the U.S. House Unmanned Systems Caucus. A rep from RP Flight Systems explained that his companies drones helped put out fires. But across the room a man in camo (sic) who looked just out of combat showed me his drone for cops. 

---the  Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) -- which doubled its lobbying expenditures from 2010 to 2011, spending nearly $300,000. In the process, the defense industry's man on Capitol Hill Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) was convinced to start an Unmanned Systems Caucus in the U.S. House, as industry showered the caucus members with cash. 

---there isn't much difference between the two entities' missions [and] AUVSI's values are the Unmanned System Caucus members' values. This, of course, is no mistake. The Obama administration wants drones to continue its shadow wars, from Africa to Pakistan, that have yielded hundreds of drone strikes -- and the deaths of hundreds of civilians, with many more than that injured, according to data meticulously collected by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. There is little public debate over these strikes, largely because the administration, while publicly talking about the CIA's drone policy, will not officially acknowledge it exists, ----. There is little if any mention of this aspect of drone usage on the Unmamned Systems Caucus website. 

When the line between industry profit motives and public officials' priorities is beyond the point of blurry to the extent of being non-existent, there is a problem for true representative democracy, to say the least. When Congress is beholden to its donors and not voters or the public citizenry, the system is broken. And there is no better way to illustrate the corrosive impact of money's effect on American politics than this system of defense spending and the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex. The toy du jour for this system is the drone. New technology, same game." [10]

End of story. It's just one of countless examples of the incestuous marriage made in Hell. Who is getting the more screwed than the marriage partners that never get out of bed? You got it, the taxpayer who's not even in the house, let alone the bedroom.

Supporters of the triumvirate: Accessories, accomplices, allies, and standbys

 

This triumvirate is so powerful one could rightly wonder why supporters outside the triumvirate are needed. Clout it has, but stupid it is not. It will always take support solicited and unsolicited. Moreover, it wouldn't dare alienate millions of supporters.

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They come in four shades of difference. Accessories give aid to the triumvirate as necessary. Accomplices are partners of the triumvirate in some endeavor, usually one involving wrongdoing. Allies help or cooperate with the triumvirate. Standbys, the largest group by far, are witnesses giving unwitting, inactive support by not actively opposing the triumvirate. No attempt will be made here to distinguish supporters by the first three shades. 

 

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The tangential insiders

 

Tangential insiders are the some one million civilian employees in the Federal government that do not work in the triumvirate itself. Some tangentials are less tangential than others because they work in agencies or entities that have varying kinds of direct contact with the military-national security sector (e.g., The State Department is a foil for the sector;  the U.S. Peace Corps with volunteers scattered in distant lands accomplishing very little besides PR and no peace; the U.S. Institute of Peace for more PR and accomplishing no peace; the FBI "focusing on terrorist organizations, foreign intelligence services, weapons proliferators, and criminal enterprises;" etc., etc.). But no tangentials could very likely be expected to risk their careers by actively protesting the triumvirate's existence or activities.

 

Science, engineering and the professions

 

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This category of supporters could just as well be titled "science nonfiction." Its members by and large have been lured to, and their professed "academic freedom," "professional calling," codes of ethics, and work all corrupted by contract money from the triumvirate. It could not exist as we know, fear and suffer from it without the nonfictional support of science, engineering and the professions.

 

Some scientists and engineers are "weaponeers." Some professionals help train the military to use the weapons, to be ready for combat, to help torture prisoners, and the like. It would take volumes to detail the symbiosis from WWII forward between the "Dr. Strangelove's and this sector. Just a few files from the records of science nonfiction ought to suffice, though.

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http://democracyorcorpocracy.blogspot.com/

Retired organizational psychologist.

Author of The Devil's Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch; America's Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying; and Corporate Reckoning Ahead.

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