>The documentary Why We Fight is fascinating. It points out the connection between the Defense Department, corporate defense contractors, Congress, and even think tanks. There’s good money to be made in the military industrial complex. For example:
(MSNBC.com, 30 August 2006)
“The study, conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy, found that, on average, CEOs of corporations with extensive defense contracts are getting paid about double what they made before Sept. 11, 2001.
“CEOs of other large corporations — without big stakes in the war — have averaged pay gains of 6 percent during the same period, the study said.
“Halliburton Co.’s CEO, David Lesar, saw his compensation more than double last year to $26.6 million. Halliburton has been the top provider of logistical services in Iraq such as transportation and feeding U.S. troops but has come under fire for no-bid contracts and allegations it overcharged the government.
“The two groups calculated the CEOs’ pay packages based on salary, bonuses, stock awards, long-term incentives and the value of stock options exercised in any given year. The information is publicly available from Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
“Between 2001 and 2005, the profits for the 34 companies have climbed 189 percent. Profits for U.S. corporations as a whole rose 76 percent.
“Why not say that if it’s a contract with taxpayer dollars, they can’t go to excessive CEO pay,” said Betsy Leondar-Wright of United for a Fair Economy. “In past wars, there were efforts to limit war profiteering. We’re having the reverse here. We’re having people treating it as their own little bonanza.”