Friday, June 27, 2008

Billion-Dollar Babies

Five Stealth Pentagon Contractors Reaping Billions of Tax Dollars

By Nick Turse

The top Pentagon contractors, like death and taxes, almost never change. ..... massive arms dealers Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman ranked one, two, and three among Department of Defense contractors......Other regulars receiving mega-tax-funded payouts in a similarly clockwork-like manner include defense giants General Dynamics, Raytheon, the British weapons maker BAE Systems, and former Halliburton subsidiary KBR, as well as BP, Shell, and other power players from the military-petroleum complex

......Then there's a select group that are masters of the universe in the ever-expanding military-corporate complex, regularly scoring more than a billion tax dollars a year from the Department of Defense.

Unlike Lockheed, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman, however, most of these billion-dollar babies manage to fly beneath the radar of media (not to mention public) attention. If appearing at all, they generally do so innocuously in the business pages of newspapers.

When it comes to their support for the Pentagon's wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, they are, in media terms, missing in action.

So, who are some of these mystery defense contractors you've probably never heard of? ...........

When the history of the Iraq War is finally written, chances are that these five billion-dollar babies, and most of the other defense contractors involved in making the U.S. occupation possible, will be left out.

Until we begin coming to grips with the role of such corporations in creating the material basis for an imperial foreign policy, we'll never be able to grasp fully how the Pentagon works and why we so regularly make war in, and carry out occupations of, distant lands.

Nick Turse is the associate editor and research director of

He has written for the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Adbusters, the Nation, and regularly for

His first book, The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives, an exploration of the new military-corporate complex in America, was recently published by Metropolitan Books.

His website, Nick has been newly revamped and expanded.


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