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The F-35 Folly: How Our Own Fighter Jets Are Killing Us

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, corruption, cover-up, elections, economy, ethics, government, media, Govtfearmongering, lies, military, propaganda, politics, republicans, usa, u.s., dishonesty )

- 1883 days ago -
When you combine the price tag of the program with Government Accountability Office estimated operating and maintenance costs of the planes- the total cost of the program reaches over $1 trillion.

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JL A (281)
Monday February 25, 2013, 9:30 am
The F-35 Folly: How Our Own Fighter Jets Are Killing Us
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 15:08 By Thom Hartmann, The Daily Take | Op-Ed

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An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. (Photo: dmansouri)This is a story about political dysfunction in Washington.

Say hello to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

The F-35 joint strike jet fighter is one of the costliest weapons programs in human history, with each plane costing $90 million and the project taking more than a decade to complete.

The price tag of the entire program has nearly doubled since 2001, coming in at a staggering $396 billion dollars. And, thanks to a number of production delays and safety concerns, that price tag is still rising.

When you combine the price tag of the program with Government Accountability Office estimated operating and maintenance costs of the planes– the total cost of the program reaches over $1 trillion.

And here's the really tragic and absurd part of this story. Thanks to the decade of delays, the technology in the F-35, once thought to be the best of the best, is now outdated.

The F-35 program is one of several in the current Pentagon budget that is stuck in the last century, and has failed to adapt to changes in modern day warfare.

Yet, Pentagon officials, like current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, are still pressing for nearly 2,500 of these absurdly expensive and already-obsolete F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

At a press conference in Ottawa, Canada last Spring, Panetta told reporters that, “As part of the defense strategy that the United States went through and has put in place, we have made very clear that we are 100 percent committed to the development of the F-35. It’s a fifth-generation fighter, [and] we absolutely need it for the future.”

What Panetta didn't point out is that over the course of the F-35 program, the world has changed. The F-35 is supposed to be the future of U.S. tactical airpower, but the fact is the entire program is a relic of the Cold War. Rather than face the current threats of today, like cyber warfare, we continue to pour billions, and potentially trillions, into the bottomless pits of projects like the F-35.

On March 1st, if lawmakers fail to reach a new federal budget deal, the automatic sequester cuts will go into effect. Under these cuts, a variety of federal agencies and programs will lose funding, including the Pentagon. If those sequester cuts go into effect, the Pentagon will face more than $500 billion in spending cuts.

Cue Republican war hawks like Sen. Lindsey Graham. Appearing on Fox News Sunday over the weekend, Graham said that, in order to avoid the looming sequester budget cuts that would, he said, "destroy" the military , we should instead eliminate healthcare to the 30 million Americans who are covered under Obamacare.

Instead of taking healthcare away from millions of Americans, lawmakers in Washington should kill the zombie of the F-35.

The Pentagon is facingt $500 billion in budget cuts if the sequester goes into effect. And, amazingly, that's about the amount left in the Pentagon budget for the F-35.

The fact of the matter is eliminating the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program really won’t put a dent in America’s military power.

As Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan, one of the few Republicans in favor of defense cuts, put it, quote, “We are spending maybe 45% of the world's budget on defense. If we drop to 42% or 43%, would we be suddenly in danger of some kind of invasion?”

No. We wouldn’t be.

But it would put a dent in the wallets of America’s war profiteers, which really concerns Republicans who are heavily funded by them, people like Senator Lindsey Graham.

And they sure can afford to fund Graham and his congressional buddies. In the past ten years, the defense industry has seen record profits.

In 2011, the combined profits of the five largest U.S.-based contractors were a staggering $13.4 billion. And, despite going through a recession that devastated both families and business across the country, the defense industry is still making record profits.

FDR said during World War II that, "I don't want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster.”

But, in this new age of never-ending war, war profiteers are cashing in like never before. Glance across the Potomac from our nation’s capital, and you'll see virtual castles – thirty and forty room mansions in secure, gated communities - all belonging to the executives and lobbyists of today's war profiteers.

And thanks to these war profiteers and the Republican war hawks they own, it’s ingrained in the American psyche that any decrease in military spending means an automatic increase in the danger that Americans face in their everyday lives.

America has finally fulfilled President Eisenhower's warning in his famous 1961 farewell address.

America is the strongest military power in the world. And that’s not going to change anytime soon.

But while our defense contractors are prospering, working people across America are hurting. Schools and infrastructure are in shambles. We're slipping behind the rest of the developed world in virtually every available measure of national health and wealth.

It’s time to ground the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and other wasteful defense spending projects for good, and use that money to rebuild our economy, and to rebuild the middle class.

Which is the true investment in our future security.

Mitchell D (104)
Monday February 25, 2013, 6:43 pm
The issue with this F-35, is related to the issues pointed out in Gigerich's (not Newt) book, the title of which, I think, is "the American Love Affair with War," in which he points out that, for the sake of our imperialist politics, we spend vastly more on military things than neede.

John B (185)
Monday February 25, 2013, 10:20 pm
Thanks J.L. for the excellent post. This program should have been scraped years ago. Just think what programs that wasted money could have funded. Sad. read and noted.

JL A (281)
Monday February 25, 2013, 10:38 pm
You are welcome John and I agree.You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:04 am
It actually never ends, each time a more destructive and sofisticated weapon or aircraft is developed and then other countries follow suite and in the end the power is equal and the money goes to the wrong places instead of for the good of the citizens and animals of these countries!

Robert K (31)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 5:50 am
It was a 5 star general and Republican president who warned us about the military industrial coplex. Boy, have times chaged!

. (0)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 10:01 am
I wonder if Peter McKay still thinks they're a good idea. I guess the helicopter wasn't fast enough for his next fishing junket. Here Pete, have a F35 on me and take it out for a spin.

Arielle S (313)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 10:06 am
We absolutely need it??? More than health care, more than firemen or police or good schools or healthy food or fresh air or decent water?

JL A (281)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 1:26 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Giana because you have done so within the last week
You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week
You cannot currently send a star to Robert because you have done so within the last week (a GOP president).
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week

Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 1:36 pm
Wasn't this the plane that 60 Minutes focused on that was making the pilots sick? They had to stop production and fix the problem....which was never completely fixed. So, they've invested so much money in it already, have paid off the proper would make them look like fools now to just stop it? I think it would be better if the media and public made the politicians look like fools for continuing production of this folly.

Tamara Hayes (185)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 2:17 pm
This is so completely asinine and typical it's sad. You know, if our government wasn't so smart, they would be really f#@&%^g stupid. Every time I think about how much money has been wasted and how much the war lovers have profited, I just want to blow up the whole damn system. Meanwhile, we have children starving, folks without a home, schools that are sub-par, violence multiplying, an environment that is under a major attack, air that is almost un-breathable, GMO's, and a million other problems. Makes me wish we had stuck to wampum. Thanks J.L.

James Maynard (84)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 2:46 pm
" would make them look like fools now to just stop it?"
Lois Jordan
Lois, they already look like fools for insisting on this
relic. Worse yet, they spent additional millions for an
alternate engine that nobody wanted.

JL A (281)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 3:03 pm
Excellent points Lois, Tamara and James! Unfortunately the computer tells me it is too soon to send any of you green stars!

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:00 pm

Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:07 pm
Could there be a better argument for cutting military spending? The military didn't even want this high-tech albatross, it has only been promoted to serve the congressional constituencies of specific congressmen who happen to be tied the the military industrial complex.

Now I'm an aviation enthusiast but I'm also a proponent of responsible govt. and spending, this thing has got to go.

JL A (281)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:31 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Prof Hubert J because you have done so within the last week.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 6:15 pm
Good thing Harper et al saw the light in time. Chretien's nuclear sub fiasco was embarrassment enough.

JL A (281)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 6:52 pm
Yes indeed Theodore--it seems embarrassing when the US exports mistakes. You cannot currently send a star to Theodore because you have done so within the last week.

Cary Vizzutti (8)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 7:00 pm
Breaking ~ Iran Already Has Free Energy That Could Render Military Industrial Complex Obsolete

video credits:
21st Century Wire reporter Patrick Henningsen investigates the groundbreaking free energy science and advanced space ship technology brought forward by Iranian nuclear physicist, M.T. Keshe, head of the Keshe Foundation in Belgium.
Keshe's recent lecture on Jan. 30, 2013 at Imperial College in London, revealed some incredible information about Iran's space ship program, and also about a Peace Treaty which is currently in the hands of the world's super powers, as we wait to see if the the world's 'super-powers' will continue to cover-up these new breakthroughs that allowed Iran to apprehend two US drones, applications in faster than light travel, nuclear gravity-magnetic field plasma science and advanced medical treatment for the terminally ill.
The implications of what Keshe has revealed is potentially world changing.


Keshe's Message to the US President

savior or faker ? (Free Energy)

Keshe Offers New Free Energy Knowledge to the Planet.

Keshe Homepage:

Cary Vizzutti (8)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 7:03 pm


JL A (281)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 7:10 pm
Thanks for sharing Cary--how about posting it as a news post so people can find it?

Cary Vizzutti (8)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 7:19 pm
Keshe's Message to the US President

Cary Vizzutti (8)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 7:53 pm
Go4't we don't need a false flag war with Iran.
Those Nsearch links above explain it well.

or here

it needs to be posted everywhere

R T (14)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 5:18 am
America has a history of involvement in other countries that has required a power full war machine such as Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. In all these cases the only real beneficiaries have been the US arms suppliers In spite of the so called humanitarian nature of the American interventions nothing much has changed for the so called beneficiaries in those lands apart from the death of innocent people and the destruction that always accompanies aggressive bombings etc. Lets also not forget the pain and suffering of US soldiers and families.
Why are we complaining the US Govt knows what is best and making sure that the arms suppliers keep making profits is paramount.

Klaus Peters (14)
Saturday March 2, 2013, 9:31 am
I must say the US are spending money on useless items like the obsolete F-35. Money would be better spent to get the US out of dept instead of punishing the middle class, the backbone of the USA.
Wars like Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan cannot be won with this type of weapon, the cold war is over. Now what, how to fight terrorism with an F-35, it only fills the pockets of the manufacturers and politicians.
In WW2 British rallied German occupied countries to form resistance or partisan civilians to shoot German soldiers in the back. No ME109 could combat that. Carma, the F-35 is just as useless to prevent resistance or partisan attacks, now suddenly called terrorism. Take a nuclear bomb to kill a flea and miss.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 2, 2013, 6:40 pm
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