“Our Man from Boeing” as Acting US Secretary of Defense: Has the Arms Industry Captured Trump’s Pentagon? – Global Research

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01-02-19 09:26:00,

The way personnel spin through Washington’s infamous revolving door between the Pentagon and the arms industry is nothing new. That door, however, is moving ever faster with the appointment of Patrick Shanahan, who spent 30 years at Boeing, the Pentagon’s second largest contractor, as the Trump administration’s acting secretary of defense.

Shanahan had previously been deputy secretary of defense, a typical position in recent years for someone with a significant arms industry background. William Lynn, President Obama’s first deputy secretary of defense, had been a Raytheon lobbyist. Ashton Carter, his successor, was a consultant for the same company. One of President George W. Bush’s deputies, Gordon England, had been president of the General Dynamics Fort Worth Aircraft Company (later sold to Lockheed Martin).

But Shanahan is unique. No secretary of defense in recent memory has had such a long career in the arms industry and so little experience in government or the military. For most of that career, in fact, his main focus was winning defense contracts for Boeing, not crafting effective defense policies. While the Pentagon should be focused on protecting the country, the arms industry operates in the pursuit of profit, even when that means selling weapons systems to countries working against American national security interests.

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The closest analogues to Shanahan were Charlie Wilson, head of General Motors, whom President Dwight Eisenhower appointed to lead the Department of Defense (DoD) more than 60 years ago, and John F. Kennedy’s first defense secretary, Robert McNamara, who ran the Ford Motor Company before joining the administration. Eisenhower’s choice of Wilson, whose firm manufactured military vehicles, raised concerns at the time about conflicts of interest — but not in Wilson’s mind. He famously claimed that “for years I thought what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa.”

Shanahan’s new role raises questions about whether what is in the best interest of Boeing — bigger defense budgets and giant contracts for unaffordable and ineffective weaponry or aircraft — is what’s in the best interest of the public.

Rampant Conflicts of Interest

Unlike Wilson,

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Trump’s Acting Pentagon Chief Reportedly Said The $1 Trillion F-35 Is ‘F*cked’ And Never Should Have Been Made

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10-01-19 08:01:00,

The new defense chief, a former Boeing employee, has reportedly been extremely critical Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter in private meetings, raising questions about whether he is bias in overseeing the largest weapons program in history.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who took over in the wake of former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ resignation, spent more than 30 years at Boeing before he joined the Department of Defense in 2017 as the deputy secretary of defense.

Although he signed an ethics agreement recusing himself from participating in matters involving Boeing, the new defense chief has continuously bashed a key program for one of Boeing’s top competitors in high-level meetings at the Pentagon and other private gatherings, Politico reports, citing former government officials who personally heard Shanahan make critical comments.

Shanahan reportedly called the F-35 stealth fighter “f—ed up,’ saying that Lockheed “doesn’t know how to run a program.”

“‘If it had gone to Boeing, it would be done much better,’” a former official recalled Shanahan saying, Politico reported.

He is said to have “dumped” on the aircraft regularly, with a former Trump administration official noting that he kind of “went off” on the program last year. “He would complain about Lockheed’s timing and their inability to deliver, and from a Boeing point of view, say things like, ‘We would never do that,’” the former official revealed.

U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter crew chief, Tech. Sgt. Brian West, watches his aircraft approach for the first time at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., July 14, 2011. Aircraft 0747 is the Department of Defense’s newest aircraft. (U.S. Air Force/Samuel King Jr.)

In other private meetings, Shanahan has reportedly called the program “unsustainable,” complaining about the cost in particular of the stealth fighters, with separate versions built for the Navy, Marines and Air Force. The F-35 is expected to cost more than $1 trillion over the life of the program, making it the most expensive weapon in US military history.

Current administration officials, however, told Politico that Shanahan’s comments are being taken out of context, stressing that he is not advocating for Boeing. “I don’t believe that’s the case at all.

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‘It’s all acting’: NGO exposed teaching migrants how to trick ‘f***ing stupid’ EU border guards

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13-11-18 08:41:00,

A group that helped over 15,000 refugees and migrants to get into Europe has been caught on tape admitting to systematically training asylum seekers to exploit screening interviews by feigning trauma and persecution.

Ariel Ricker, the executive director of Advocates Abroad, a major non-profit NGO which provides legal aid to migrants, has been caught on tape openly discussing how she teaches refugees to lie to border agents. The video was released by Canadian right-wing activist, author and internet personality, Lauren Southern, and will be a part of her new documentary film project ‘Borderless,’ which takes on the European migration crisis.

Director of a major NGO in Europe tells our undercover team how she teaches migrants to lie & pretend to be persecuted Christians to border police. Last year they worked w/ 15,000 migrants. The UN has responded to our investigation calling it ‘alarming’ – https://t.co/O88y5BiuPDpic.twitter.com/uzj5INVdam

— Lauren Southern (@Lauren_Southern) November 12, 2018

On its website, Advocates Abroad claims to have helped as many as 15,000 migrants cross the Greek border, and 2,500 more outside of Greece. The organization is massive, taking volunteers from major universities, and was even featured in a documentary film by the International Bar Association.

In the footage, Ricker describes how the organization provides training sessions for migrants seeking entry into Europe, in which they are taught how to act during interviews with border agents:

I tell them this is acting, all of this is acting… for them to get through, they must act their part in the theater.

She also calls EASO (European Asylum Support Office) personnel tasked with screening the migrants “f***ing stupid,” and describes a formula that the organization has created to exploit them in screening interviews.

One method she teaches migrants is to exploit the presumed Christian sympathies of the predominantly Eastern Orthodox Greece by pretending to have been persecuted for being Christian. She even describes telling them how to pray during interviews, ironically because doing so reflects “honesty.

At first, the organization responded to the initial release of the video, tweeting: 

Since then, however, the group’s Twitter and Facebook page with over 140,000 followers have both been deleted in the wake of the revelations.

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