O’Malley Acknowledges Military Industrial Complex; Calls for Transparency

Kathleen McQuillen on September 05, 2015
O'Malley calls for more openness and transparency in our Defense budget when asked about the Obama's administration $1 trillion nuclear weapons plan and how to stop governing under the influence of the weapons industry for private profit.

Speaking to an overflow crowd at a brewery on the south side of Des Moines, O’Malley touched on some of his favorite topics: immigration, education cost relief, wind energy, and even on gun control.

Questions from the audience focused on domestic policy.

After about an hour his staff dutifully pressed him to leave but he allowed “one more question.” That worked well for me as it was the only military related question of the evening so having relocated myself to a position right in front of him, I was able to call for a follow up question which he accepted. I then asked him about the new nuclear weapons that President Obama is supporting at a cost of $1 trillion. Noting that the top 10 manufacturers of nuclear weapons spent $24 million in congressional campaigns and another $71 million in lobbying, I asked O’Malley “what will you do as president to make sure that we are governing for the public interest and not governing under the influence of the weapons industry for private profit?”

O’Malley repeated the question to the audience and said “that’s an important question. It has to do with the military industrial complex. What we need to do to solve that problem is to listen to military leaders...We need to invest in the things that actually work. And I think we need a lot more openness and transparency, frankly in our Defense budget than we’ve been demanding, since it’s up to us.  So we need to demand that openness, that transparency, and that clarity of purpose.”

It was good to hear O’Malley lift the up military industrial complex and call for more openness and transparency. Still his response fell short as he offered no specifics of what he would “do as president” to solve the problem. It’s simply not enough for a president to “call for something. The ball is in his court and he needs to offer a vision of how to get to the point of “openness and transparency.”

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