||Monday, March 31, 2003
QUOTE OF THE DAY
All the euphemisms of 21st century combat cannot hide the ancient reality of war. In the end, it is human beings killing other human beings. In the end, it is a father clutching a photograph of a now-dead Marine, sending a heart-chilling message to President Bush to look hard at the image of "my only son."
- - Joan Vennochi (Boston Globe columnist)
Last Thursday's Rhino's Blog featured, "Another episode of "Know Your Enemy" - Richard N. Perle".
Turns out the infamous pocket lining bureaucrat chicken hawk resigned his chairmanship Friday of the Defense Policy Board. No change really. He's still on the board & he's still buddy buddy with Rumsfeld.
This weekend Bill Moyers focused his "NOW" TV show on Pearle & other members of the Defense Policy Board who advise Rummie on anything they want to while many of them get their pockets lined by military manufacturing companies like Boeing, TRW, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin & Booz Allen Hamilton.
Apparently their meetings don't cover business ethics.
THE BOTTOM LINE today is a report by The Center For Public Integrity which details the tip of the iceberg of the money the members of the Defense Policy Board are making by advocating sending our American youth to war. I say tip of the iceberg because these guys only report their business activities to the Pentagon who doesn't release it to the public nor apparently do they oversee it for conflicts of interest.
Before THE BOTTOM LINE is a bit of Bill Moyers "NOW" website where additional difficultly procured info is posted. Fair warning. These guys are so blatant & seemingly untouchable, it's a very frustrating read.
What's a Rhino to do except blow his whistle (or horn), loud as he can.
Conflict of Interest? by Bill Moyers
No one has been more vigorous or vocal in advocating a war against Iraq than Richard Perle. Once an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Ronald Reagan, he left the administration in 1987. In 1996, Perle helped write a study for an Israeli think tank calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein and has since been a major architect of the war now taking place against Iraq.
Richard Perle has been a lobbyist for a foreign arms merchant and other governments. His venture capital firm invests in businesses related to national security. Recently the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported in the NEW YORKER that Perle has used his proximity to Donald Rumsfeld to solicit investments for his firm. Perle responded with a libel suit against Hersh.
Then a few days ago, it was learned that the bankrupt telecommunications company Global Crossing has offered Richard Perle over half a million dollars to get defense department approval for its takeover by a foreign corporation. The person who would make that decision is none other than Richard Perle's close friend, the man he regularly advises, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Yesterday, Richard Perle resigned the chairmanship of the Defense Policy Board.
Perle's questioned relationship with Global Crossing is only one of the allegedly suspicious relationships administration officials have had with corporate America. Also in the news right now, the Bush administration asked five large U.S. companies to bid on a contract for the reconstruction of Iraq. One of these companies was the Houston-based energy and construction firm Halliburton, once managed by Vice President Dick Cheney.
MOYERS' STAFF HAS COMPILED MANY RELATED STORIES & LINKS AT:
16 Billion Dollars To Be Taken From Military Vet Benefits To Give To The Rich
Meanwhile, the fine Congress people, representatives of all American citizens, are busy working to appease the shrub gang by passing the first major tax cut to be passed in U.S. history during wartime. Shrub claims 6 months of war will cost 75 BILLION, not including any additional months of war should that be needed, nor budget for any U.S. contribution to the rebuilding of Iraq.
Shrub told the Governors across the U.S. that the fed has no funds to assist them with their ailing public services. But somehow, the Republicans & all their pom pom girls (Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and most of the Clear Channel human mike stands) all think giving large tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans is a good idea.
Even if it means cutting military veterans benefits! Have they no shame?
TIME FOR A CALL TO YOUR SENATOR. JOIN ME TODAY.
David Broder writes in the Washington Post, "...Rather than throw a lifeline to the states and these people, the House budget would cut federal funding for Medicaid by $92 billion and also reduce other vital programs. Veterans' benefits are slated to take a $14 billion hit. A similar cut is required for the earned-income tax credit, a subsidy for the working poor. Food stamps would be reduced by $13 billion, school lunch and other child nutrition programs by $6 billion. There are also multibillion-dollar reductions in store for such programs as foster care and adoption assistance and child support enforcement..."
A Budget of Dire Consequences
by David Broder, Washington Post, 3/30/03
Advisors of Influence:
Nine Members of the Defense Policy Board Have Ties to Defense Contractors
The Center For Public Integrity, By André Verlöy and Daniel Politi, Data by Aron Pilhofer
Of the 30 members of the Defense Policy Board, the government-appointed group that advises the Pentagon, at least nine have ties to companies that have won more than $76 billion in defense contracts in 2001 and 2002. Four members are registered lobbyists, one of whom represents two of the three largest defense contractors.
The board's chairman, Richard Perle, resigned yesterday, March 27, 2003, amid allegations of conflicts of interest for his representation of companies with business before the Defense Department, although he will remain a member of the board. Eight of Perle's colleagues on the board have ties to companies with significant contracts from the Pentagon.
Members of the board disclose their business interests annually to the Pentagon, but the disclosures are not available to the public. "The forms are filed with the Standards of Conduct Office which review the filings to make sure they are in compliance with government ethics," Pentagon spokesman Maj. Ted Wadsworth told the Center for Public Integrity.
The companies with ties to Defense Policy Board members include prominent firms like Boeing, TRW, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Booz Allen Hamilton and smaller players like Symantec Corp., Technology Strategies and Alliance Corp., and Polycom Inc...
READ THE FULL REPORT AT:
Special Report: Advisors of Influence
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