The Voter Quoter
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How Much Are You Making on the War Daddy? A Quick and Dirty Guide to War Profiteering in the Bush Administration - by William D. Hartung , Nation Books, 2004|
IN THE SUMMER of 2003, Chuck Spinney, a professional gadfly and true American patriot who has spent thirty years
exposing waste, fraud, and abuse while working as a program analyst at the Pentagon, retired. To mark the occasion, Bill Moyers had Spinney on his PBS program NOW with Bill Movers, to provide his distilled wisdom from thirty years of fighting the good fight, trying to rein in the military-industrial complex. One term leapt off the TV screen that evening. When Moyers asked about the skyrocketing salaries of military industry CEOs,
Spinney described the concept of the "self-licking ice cream cone."
The "self-licking ice cream cone" was a term that Spinney and his fellow critics of Pentagon waste had coined to describe not only the lavish pay schemes of military industry CEOs, but all the other sneaky ways in which weapons contractors, members of key congressional cornmittees, Pentagon bureaucrats, and key decision makers in the White House and the military services conspire to throw money at weapons programs that may or may not be needed to defend the country, but which certainly are needed to keep the jobs, contracts, and campaign contributions flowing in key states and districts in what has become a virtual political protection racket. The political engineering that goes into weapons contracting, and the movement of top management personnel back and forth between positions in government and industry as part of the infamous "revolving door" syndrome, has created a situation in which high military budgets, exaggerated or distorted estimates of foreign threats, and overpriced, under-performing weapons systems have become the rule rather than the exception.
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