Lawrence Wilkerson, retired U.S. Army colonel and former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, was on a speaking tour with AFSC's GUI project in Iowa to educate first-in-the-nation caucus goers about the excessive political influence from private weapons manufacturers in the decision making process. These manufacturers earn tremendous profits from multi-billion dollar contracts for seemingly interminable war.
I asked Gov. Bobby Jindal about the $1 trillion plan on a new generation of nuclear weapons and how to limit the military-industrial complex from setting our nuclear priorities. Although he supports increasing military spending, “I think right now there is too much influence in Congress, and Congress won’t like giving up that power. Because you’re right, a lot of them get donations, or they’re trying to protect pork barrel project in districts.”
Senator Rand Paul was asked about the Justice is Not For Sale Act which calls an end to the 34,000 immigrant detention mandate and private prisons at Drake University. Senator Rand Paul responded by stating he was unfamiliar with both the legislation and the immigrant detention mandate.
On Dwight Eisenhower's birthday, Rev. Dwight Haynes asked Jeb Bush if he is heeding the former president's warning about the "military industrial complex." Bush expressed concern about wasteful spending, but as the Concord Monitor reported, that didn't go far enough for Dwight Haynes.
John Kasich says he probably won't increase waiting period for retired military officers to become lobbyists. He also says he's not influenced by lobbyists. What I wonder is, if public officials are immune from lobbying, why did the defense sector spent $128 million on it in 2014? And why do Pentagon contractors go to such lengths to hire retired generals?
Neither Senator Lindsey Graham nor his friend, Senator John McCain, are aware of a budget provision that requires 34,000 "detention beds" for incarcerated immigrants. Senator McCain also professed no knowledge of for-profit immigrant detention centers in his home state, Arizona.
Scott Walker faced questions on nuclear weapons, the influence of the military industrial complex, and for-profit incarceration of immigrants outside a country store in a rural New Hampshire town. His answers left a bit to be desired.
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.