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Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's
war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars"
defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make
the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an
application of science be successful? Is a militarized space
inevitable, necessary or impossible?
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- 02:54pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#158
That logic was very well illustrated in
Bush 2000 Adviser Offered To Use Clout to Help Enron By
Joe Stephens Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, February 17, 2002
" Just before the last presidential election, Bush
campaign adviser Ralph Reed offered to help Enron Corp. deregulate
the electricity industry by working his "good friends" in
Washington and by mobilizing religious leaders and pro-family
groups . . . http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22380-2002Feb16.html
From Stephens' article:
"Reed's memo stresses that his firm's "long
history of organizing these groups makes us ideally situated to
build a broad coalition" benefiting Enron. He said Enron's
arguments for deregulation were less important than commanding
attention by enlisting the aid of elected officials' friends and
" "There are certain people -- a friend or family
member, key party person, civic or business leader, or major donor
-- whose correspondence must be presented to the [elected]
official for his personal reading and response," Reed wrote.
"Such prominent figures could act as surrogates
for Enron while pressing lawmakers to rewrite statutes, Reed said.
""We have the capacity to generate dozens of
high-touch letters from an elected official's strongest supporters
and the most influential opinion leaders in his district," he
wrote. "Elected officials and regulators will be predisposed to
favor greater market-oriented solutions if they hear from
business, civic, and religious leaders in their communities."
" Reed's memo said his organization had a record
of harnessing the "minority community" and the "faith community"
to support his clients.
" "Reed proposed two lobbying strategies, one
costing $177,000 and the other $386,500.
" "I will assume personal responsibility for the
overall vision and strategy of the project," he wrote. "I have
long-term friendships with many members of Congress."
" Reed proposed sending 20 "facilitating letters"
to each of 17 members of the congressional commerce committees
that handle deregulation. Under the proposal, Enron would pay
Reed's firm $170,000 for generating the letters, each signed by a
"Reed asked Enron to pay his firm $25,000 to
generate letters to the editors of newspapers, each signed by a
prominent figure. "These op-eds and letters are then blast faxed
to elected officials, opinion leaders and civic activists for use
in their own letters and public statements." He said his firm had
recently "placed" opinion pieces in The Washington Post and the
New York Times.
"A $79,500 telemarketing campaign would have
cold-called citizens and offered to immediately patch them through
" "For one recent client, we generated more calls
to a U.S. Senate office than had been received since impeachment"
of President Bill Clinton, he wrote. "The result was a major
victory for the client."
" Finally, Reed said he had enjoyed "great
success" in using conservative news-talk programs to spread his
clients' message to "faith-based activists."
" "Our public relations team has extensive
experience booking guests on talk radio shows, and has excellent
working relationships with many hosts," he wrote, proposing a
" We look forward to working with Enron," he said.
These tactics have long been used, to enormous effect, by people
involved in military contracting and the "military industrial
complex" -- and the incentives to bias action from the rational
interest of the United States are great, with military expenditure
amounting to about half a billion dollars per congressman and
senator every year.
- 03:02pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#159
We should also understand that, to an important degree - - they
are doing what most of their constituents want them to do --
according to patterns that have evolved since Truman's time. The
"military industrial complex" is powerful, it has interests and
patterns much different from the ones American usually express --
and it can go beyond the power of presidents.
An important fact about the military-industrial complex is its
political history -- where, from Truman's time, and still
significantly today, military affairs have been especially important
to the politics and the economy of the American South -- and have
been dominated by Southerners in the House and Senate.
Senator Zell Miller's The Democratic Party's Southern Problem
makes interesting points about the South -- but one major point he
does not make is the connection of the South to military interests
that have been championed by the Republican party.
In important parts of the South, military interests have powerful
backing - - and military expenditures - including "missile defense"
expenditures in Newt Gingrich's district -- are politically very
important. The political power is not only widespread -- it is also
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