The Shock Doctrine

Disaster Capitalism in Action: defense industry

Defense Industry, Agribusiness Lobbyists Boost Efforts to Defeat Obama's Agenda

Brody Mullins and Scott Kilman, Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2009

"Industries from health care to agribusiness to mining that stand to lose under President Barack Obama's policy agenda are ramping up lobbying campaigns to derail or modify his plans....

"The agriculture lobby quickly recoiled Wednesday against President Obama's vow to 'end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them,' though industry leaders and farm-state legislators weren't sure which government payments they'll have to defend....

"Even before Mr. Obama's speech, the defense industry had stepped up its advertising and lobbying efforts this week in response to the president's vow to crack down on defense-project cost overruns, and to separate proposals in Congress to cut off certain expensive weapons programs. Mr. Obama's criticism, industry officials fear, is a foreshadowing of deep cuts to come. The Aerospace Industries Association of America has spent $2 million so far on an ad campaign urging that defense spending shouldn't be slashed to offset shortfalls in other areas."

Defense Contractor Lockheed Martin Unhurt by Economic Crisis; Earnings Up 13%

Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, July 23, 2008

"Not all sectors of the economy are suffering these days. Lockheed Martin, the world's biggest defense contractor, reported a strong second quarter yesterday, with profit up 13 percent compared with the corresponding period last year. The Bethesda company said its net earnings were $882 million ($2.15 per share) for the period ended June 29, up from $778 million ($1.82) in the second quarter of 2007. Revenue rose 3.6 percent, to $11.04 billion....

"The defense sector has suffered little in the economic downturn, instead benefiting from government spending on the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan."

151 Congress Members Invest up to $196 Million in Defense Contractors

Center for Responsive Politics,, April 3, 2008

"According to the most recent reports of their personal finances, 151 current members of Congress had between $78.7 million and $195.5 million invested in companies that received defense contracts of at least $5 million in 2006. In all, these companies received more than $275.6 billion from the government in 2006, or $755 million per day....

"While Democrats are more likely to advocate for ending the Iraq war sooner than Republicans, as a group they have more of their own money invested in America's military efforts. In 2006 Democrats had at least $3.7 million invested in the defense sector alone, compared to Republicans' $577,500. More Republicans, however, held stock in defense companies in 2006—28 of them, compared to 19 Democrats."

Former Rumsfeld Aide Secures Contracts for Qinetiq

Tim Shorrock, CorpWatch, January 15, 2008

"A Pentagon office that claims to monitor terrorist threats to U.S. military bases in North America -- and was once reprimanded by the U.S. Congress for spying on antiwar activists -- has just awarded a multi-million dollar contract to a company that employs one of Donald Rumsfeld’s former aides. That aide, Stephen Cambone, helped create the very office that issued the contract."

Jacket Cover