Media and Government

"Military commentators on most U.S. corporate broadcasting networks are mostly propagandists. On the whole, ex-U.S. military personnel with contacts with the administration and Pentagon who serve as broadcasting commentators are largely uncritical and parrot current U.S. military policy and the Pentagon spin of the day. In order to keep their lines of communication to the administration or Pentagon open, they need to transmit the official line of the moment. Most television commentators tend to uncritically support and legitimize U.S. military actions." (Kellner 2008)

"Analysis of news reports and advertisements suggests that popular culture and mass media depictions of fear, patriotism, consumption, and victimization contributed to the emergence of a national identity and collective action that transformed the meaning of terrorism from a strategy to a condition: terrorism world. Initial declarations about recovery and retaliation to promote patriotism became a “war on terrorism” with no end in sight. In this process, global policing that would justify a “first strike” against sovereign governments was socially constructed as commensurate with personal caring and national identity. These findings are organized around three points: (1) fear supported consumption as a meaningful way for audiences to sustain an identity of substance and character; (2) consumption and giving were joined symbolically as government and business propaganda emphasized common themes of spending and buying to help the country get back on track; (3) the absence of a clear target for reprisals contributed to the construction of broad symbolic enemies and goals." (Altheide 2004)

"The mass media play an integral part in the support of war. The mass media did not start the war with Iraq, but they shaped the context, the audience expectations, the discourse, and the production of symbolic meanings. We live in a postjournalism era, when there is no longer separation between event makers, event promoters, and event chroniclers. All rely on media logic and the sense about what will look good to relevant audiences, how to promote appropriate meanings, and above all, how to market and sell it all as something desirable. We have seen that War Programming is now a package; propaganda is joined to the news process when journalists and news sources operate with media logic, share in the construction and emotional performance of events, and limit the public forums for discussion, especially dissent." (Altheide 2005, footnotes omitted).

The editor of a Korean-language newspaper in San Francisco says that the symbolism of the Cold War hangs over media coverage of the North Korean nuclear situation, blinding journalists to important new perspectives. Young Kee Ju is editor of the Korea Daily. (http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=3cba62077da228b95031823eb037753d)

"As scholars of mass communication pondered over the last 40 years why American news coverage of foreign policy took the form it did, one clear point of consensus emerged: Journalists were heavily dependent on public officials to supply the raw material for the news, and this dependency transferred a large amount of control over news framing to the very officials that journalists sought to hold accountable. Two main theories were developed to account for this apparent lack of journalistic autonomy. The first explained that elites tended to express solidarity over first principles in matters of foreign policy regardless of minor disagreements over how those principles should be acted upon (the hegemony model, associated with the work of Hallin and Chomsky, among others). The second proposed that critical news coverage of governmental actions would tend to appear only in those rare moments when officials in Washington were publicly and vocally divided on core issues (the indexing model, associated with the work of Bennett and others). However, the world in which these standard theories were developed has undergone dramatic change, and the assumptions on which they were premised no longer can be taken for granted. With the demise of the Cold War paradigm for interpreting U.S. actions abroad, officials and citizens today are more divided on first principles than they used to be. Iournalists have become more critical in their reporting of foreign policy, and elite dissensus is no longer required for triggering oppositional framings of American actions overseas. Moreover, neither the hegemony nor the indexing account leave much room for independent influence by public opinion, which seems today an important resource for silencing elite opposition to the president's use of American power abroad." (Althaus 04)

"Results show that the worlds created by ABC and CCTV apparently were molded according to the logic of views from 'here and there' that are bound up with the social location of the respective news organization. The social construction of reality perspective suggests that the selection and presentation of news on the two networks depend not so much on the properties of the event or issue itself, but rather on its position in the broader social structure relative to its external context." (Chang 98)

Issues in dissemination of political views by media (page 96)

Journalists feel that they have journalistic autonomy (Gans 1980)

"Media organizations are both pol itical and economic actors. They have the ability to influence public opinion, voting behavior, and government policy. At the same time, they tend to be motivated primarily by profit-maximizing goals. Agency theory (also called the principal– agent approach) has been useful for understanding the behavior of individuals in profit-seeking organizations as well as individuals in political organi zations such as legislatures and regulatory agencies. Applying principles from the agency theory framework to the behavior of individuals at various hierarchical levels of the mass media fi rm reveals important variables, such as monitoring costs, individual motivations, and implicit organi z ational control mechanisms that may significantly impact media content. Focusing on these variables can help explain variability in media content across di fferent media organizations." (Napoli 97)

Government and Defense Contractors

"The results once again confirm the powerful effects of ideology on defense voting but also indicate that PAC contributions exert a statistically significant (though marginal) impact even when ideological predisposition is controlled. In addition, the results support the argument that those members with weaker ideological predispositions are more responsive to the effects of PAC money. Finally, the results indicate that, even at the margins, PAC contributions from defense contractors can influence the outcome of legislative deliberations, especially when the vote margin is not very large." (Fleisher 1993) "Unranked contractors are penalized heavily for procurement frauds, experiencing both a decline in market value and a subsequent loss in government-derived revenues; Influential contractors, in contrast, are penalized lightly, experiencing negligible changes in share value and government contract revenue." (Karpoff 1999).

"A longtime rule forbade retired military officers from lobbying the Pentagon on behalf of a private contractor for two years. That rule was repealed in 1996 because it singled out retired military officers while civilian Pentagon employees had to wait only a year." (Merle 2004)

"Growing privatization in the US, intense competition and the weakening of rules governing the relationship between contractors and the government have contributed to the “revolving door” phenomenon, which consists of the movement of former federal officials to the private sector, and through their connections and inside knowledge, exerting political influence over the government decision-making process as lobbyists, consultants and board members on behalf of the contractors for whom they work. The revolving door also involves the naming of executives from government contractors to senior positions within the state administration. Spurred by the move to streamline government and involve industry in procurement decisions, contractors and government have developed a symbiotic relationship in the US that is reflected in the fluid movement of key individuals between government and industry. Both Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney – when he held this job before becoming CEO of Halliburton and its subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root – have tried their utmost to privatize the American military. For Rumsfeld, following corporate strategy, downsizing means moving to “just in time” hiring, using private firms to provide what the military formerly did for itself. He has insisted that it makes no sense to keep and pay for a well-trained standing army, when the US can purchase every sort of service on an “open market” whenever there is a need for military action. Cheney and other proponents of outsourcing ask why should soldiers cook for themselves, move their trash, provide supplies, run and maintain their technology – why not privatize these activities and free the military to concentrate on core tasks only? Even in the case of actual military duty – guarding public officials from hostile attack, fighting terrorist and guerrilla assaults – much of what soldiers traditionally do can be performed by PMCs. All of these services can be hired only when needed, and the army can be kept small, and hence inexpensive in terms of manpower. Thus, on taking office, Cheney named executives from leading military contractors as heads of the three services. James Roche, the secretary of the Air Force, is a former vice president of Northrop Grumman; Gordon England, the secretary of the Navy, is a former executive at General Dynamics; and Thomas P. White, a former secretary of the Army, came from Enron. A recent study of defense contracting in the US identified 224 high-ranking government officials over the past seven years who moved into the private sector to work as lobbyists, board members or executives of contractors. Moreover, at least one-third of these former high-ranking former government employees had held positions that allowed them to influence government contracting decisions. A survey of the revolving door phenomenon concluded that “the revolving door has become such an accepted part of federal contracting in recent years that it is frequently difficult to determine where the government stops and the private sector begins.” (Schreier 2005, pg. 90. footnotes omitted).

"The domestic politics of American military spending during the Cold War confronts scholars with an important but often overlooked puzzle: the two major parties appear to have switched positions on the issue. During the early Cold War era, Democrats were generally supportive of increased military spending while Republicans were critical. After the mid-1960s, Democrats increasingly tended to oppose larger military budgets, while Republicans more often favored them. This paper presents evidence about the process through which this change took place. It identifies several developments in the domestic and international environment that may have contributed to this party switch, and evaluates preliminary evidence about each of them." (Fordham 07)

Defense Contractors and Media

"Defense spending on research and development has sparked much innovation. Microchips, radar, lasers, satellite communications, cell phones, GPS, and the Internet all came out of Defense Dept. funding for basic research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and national laboratories. There were breakthroughs at IBM and Bell Laboratories, and all were commercialized by Intel Corp., Motorola Inc., and other corporations. The same is true of artificial intelligence, supercomputers, high-speed fiber optics, and many other breakthroughs. The bulk of information technologies, in fact, were developed through massive R&D investments in military technology." (Cypher 2002)

"Much of today’s infrastructure for communications and information resulted from spin-offs of spending on military technology... Similar government involvement led to the creation of the Internet by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (now ARPA)." (Lehman 1996 at 11)

Defense Procurement

"[G]overnment support was an important,possibly essential, force in the evolution of the electronics sector. The influence of the federal government on the development of the industry has been attributed to a variety of mechanisms from antitrust to intellectual property policies but prominence is usually assigned to the funds that the US government provided to the business sector in the form of R&D funding and procurement contracts. As Mowery and Nelson (1999) put it: “[v]irtually all accounts of the rise to dominance of the American semiconductor and computer industries … emphasize the procurement and R&D policies of the U.S. Department of Defense.” Of the two policies, procurement arises as the more influential factor." (Ran 2007)

[On October 14, 2008], President Bush signed into law the Fiscal Year 2009 National Defense Authorization Act (S. 3001), which includes a provision to establish a database of information regarding the integrity and performance of federal contractors and grantees... The government database is modeled after POGO’s database, which was originally released in 2002. However, the new government database will not be accessible to the public. POGO’s updated FCMD... includes the top 100 federal contractors. The FCMD now includes over 750 instances of misconduct including fraud, antitrust, environmental, securities and labor law violations since 1995. With 47 instances, Lockheed Martin remains the company with the most instances of misconduct. Exxon Mobil and General Electric leapt to the 2nd and 3rd slots, with 32 and 30 instances respectively, beating out Boeing and Northrop Grumman, which held those positions in POGO’s FCMD last year... Equally important to note in the FCMD is that 25 of the top 100 contractors do not have any known instances of misconduct in the database. The fact that one quarter of the government’s top 100 contractors have no known instances of misconduct belies the myth that any company big enough to do business with the government will inevitably have multiple instances of wrongdoing. Additionally, 14 of the contractors only have one instance in the database, which means that 39 of the top 100 government contractors do not show a pattern of misconduct... The National Defense Authorization Act mandates that within the next year, the Office of Management and Budget and General Services Administration design and maintain a federal contractor responsibility database for recipients of federal contracts and grants of over $500,000. The government-wide database will include civil, criminal, and administrative misconduct pertaining to the award or performance of a state or federal contract or grant for the most recent five-year period. Federal acquisition rules require that the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars awarded every year in contracts go to companies that are presently “responsible.” Currently, the government does not adequately define “responsibility” to include a company’s total record of responsibility, integrity, and performance. Government contracting officers must have at their disposal as much information as possible about the backgrounds of prospective vendors in order to make decisions that are in the best interest of the public to curb waste, fraud, and abuse. Some disturbing examples from POGO’s new FCMD include: KBR -- An audit report by the Department of Defense Inspector General found that the Navy paid approximately $4.1 million for meals and services that should have cost $1.7 million, and inappropriately paid a markup on material and equipment that cost an additional $7.2 million. The report recommended the Navy seek a $1.4 million refund from KBR for the inappropriate payments. United Technologies Corporation -- Pratt & Whitney (a division of UTC) and its subcontractor,PCC Airfoils LLC, agreed to pay $52.3 million to the federal government to resolve False Claims Act allegations that they knowingly sold defective turbine blade replacements for engines used in F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft. (http://www.pogo.org/p/contracts/ca-081015-fcmd.html)

"For the period 1970-89 as a whole, by every measure, the top defense firms outperformed the market by a huge margin." (Higgs 2006: 192).

Arming the Future (1999)

"As military procurement fell by more than 50 percent in the 1990s, mergers and Pentagon policies altered the defense industry in unexpected ways. More than forty firms were joined to form the big four--Lockheed Martin, Boeing McDonnell? Douglas, Raytheon Hughes, and Northtop Grunmman--and a new round of transnational mergers may be on the horizon." (Markusen and Costigen 1999: back cover).

"Efforts to buy 'off-the-shelf' commercial components and encourage the integration of civilian and military research and development (R&D) and production activities, right down to the shop floor, have two great payoffs: better electronic, communications, and guidance capabilities for the armed forces, and a defense industrial base that is less dependent on government contracts, ameliorating pork-barreling activities that distort military priorities. But the inclusion of more commercial components raises the potential for more rapid diffusion of the sophisticated weapons that are at the heart of America's security strategy" (Markusen and Costigen 1999: 5) More...Close

But Kolko (2007) says that America doesn't have a coherent security strategy.

"Liberalizing and promoting arms exports for economic reasons increases the risk of conflict elsewhere in the world, possibly drawing in the United States. It also accelerates pressures for costly next-generation weapons investments." (Markusen and Costigen 1999: 5)

"American-designed arms will be bought and used by more nations in the future, and we may rely more heavily on foreign suppliers for components if not entire weapons systems. Our leaders have no alternative but to explore with our allies international agreements and machinery to streamline the defense industrial base, share its output, and control access globally. Otherwise, large private-sector corporations will be shaping our security strategy." (6) More...Close

Hasn't this latter scenario actually happened?

"Large-scale mergers were not anticipated [after the Cold War]. The more innovative thinkers were prescribing civil/military integration and dual-use technology development to enhance the quality of military equipment and quicken the pace of civilian technology spin-offs... [A]fter 50 years of relative stasis in the ranks of the largest defense contractors, a rash of defense mergers reduced the major competitors to a small number of relatively heavily defense-dedicated companies: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman... Defense contractors also are becoming increasingly international in orientation, selling larger shares of their output to foreign governments and engaging in strategic alliances, joint ventures, and even mergers with overseas counterparts." (7)

"[F]irms and governments in leading arms-producing countries have become more rather than less rivalrous in arms export markets, hampering progress toward controlling conventional arms proliferation. The U.S. share of world arms exports has risen dramatically, even in a shrinking world market. While American exports have fallen by more than 10 percent in real terms since 1989, the U.S. share has increased from 30 percent to 45 percent... Traditionally viewed as a foreign policy tool, new weapons sales now are frequently approved and defended for economic reasons: to keep production lines 'hot' and lower the cost of weapons to American armed forces by achieving economies of scale. As highly sophisticated weapons are more freely shipped to problematic governments in politically unstable regions, calls have arisen for expensive new weapons research, especially in the United States. To some critics, this process amounts to America engaged in an arms race with itself." (7)

Ari Adut, On Scandal (2008)o pro

"Scandals will also have acute polluting powers in groups with strong emotional solidarity and collective liability. Military organizations have both of these characteristics, which explains why they will be so wary of scandals and why court-martials are not open to the public." (30)

"... journalists, at least partially, respond to social demand, and they are constricted by social and legal norms determining what news is publishable -- such as standards of decency and good taste, privacy and defamation laws, as well as notions of public interest and newsworthiness." (78)

"... the American media reflect already-existing political and cultural rifts in society, and decades of communications research have found that people are not passive recipients of the information relayed by journalists and that to a large extent they use it to confirm their beliefs and not to acquire new ones. Besides, although 'what the public wants' cannot be objectively determined, it is nevertheless the case that, in many instances, media follow public opinion rather than lead it." (78, citations omitted).

John R. MacArthur? , Second Front (1992)

"If the quantity of visas, rather than liberties, was their greatest concern, the cynic might conclude that they were motivated principally by economic needs imposed on them by their corporate masters. But such analogies between the rigid world of the corporation and the workings of the news media are dangerous. Old-fashioned ideals and practices that would never be tolerated in a company that was operated solely for profit do exist in the media. (The three major television networks lost money on the war.) Some measure of pride in the news trade does manage to survive within the corridors of CBS (controlled by Loews Corporation chairman Laurence Tish), NBC (owned by General Electric), and ABC (a subsidiary of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.)." (20)

The war was popular (21)

Newsmen were "unconcerned with the Pentagon press restrictions." (21-22)

"in the end Ober decided CBS could not afford to opt out of the pools for commercial and competitive reasons." (23)

Institutional Agency

Preferences and strategies of institutional agents (Frieden 1999)

"... where actors are strategic, we cannot infer the cause of their behavior directly from their behavior" (Friedenn 1999: 48)

"The first, sins of confusion, mixes preferences and the strategic setting in ways that do not allow their independent effects to be examined" (49)

"...sins of commission[] is to assert that variation in outcome is solely owing to variation in preferences... sins of omission... assert that variation in outcomes has nothing to do with variation in preferences" (51).

Limits of determining preferences of state actors compared to economic actors (56-57)

Assuming preferences based on actor's characteristics (61) (i.e., countries with relatively large vaults of intellectual property will favor strong international intellectual property protection regimes)


Boeing: Boeing is one of the largest U.S. federal defense contractors. Its has traditionally also been willing to make huge gambles on developing new generations of planes--seen most recently in the 777 series that will become available in the mid-1990s... corporate misbehavior highlighted by the jailing of Boeing's former CFO, for holding illegal job negotiations with Darlene Druyun, a senior Pentagon official... Boeing's position as a military contractor was tarnished in 1989, when it pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $5 million in connection with charges that it illegally obtained classified Pentagon planning documents... When wartime mobilization began, Boeing began producing hundreds of B-17 Flying Fortresses for the army. A later model, the B-29, was the plane used in the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The company also produced a series of bombers, including the renowned B-52... Once Boeing introduced its new narrow-body 757 and wide-body 767 in the early 1980s, the Seattle company once again took command of the market. As a result the teetering Lockheed, which in the 1970s had been rescued by a federal government bailout program, abandoned the commercial aircraft business in 1981... The Reagan administration's escalation of defense spending fattened the military side of Boeing's operations. In addition to getting more money to build its AWACS airborne command posts, the company began to get more involved in military electronics--though not as much as it hoped to when making a $5 billion bid in 1985 for Hughes Aircraft. Hughes ended up with General Motors instead... In 1991 a team headed by Boeing and the Sikorsky Aircraft division of United Technologies was chosen to build a new generation of combat helicopters for the U.S. Army. The contract could eventually be worth $34 billion. Boeing was also part of a team (along with Lockheed and General Dynamics) chosen to supply 650 Advanced Tactical Fights to the U.S. Air Force--a deal that could be worth $90 billion to the three companies. The Seattle company joined yet another team (including Grumman and Lockheed) to compete for the contract on the U.S. Navy's new A-X attack plane. In 1991 Boeing formed an alliance with the Thomson-CSF subsidiary of Thomson S.A. to pursue opportunities in global military markets. In May 2005, Boeing announced its intent to form a joint venture, United Launch Alliance with its competitor Lockheed Martin. The new venture will be the largest provider of rocket launch services to the US government. The joint venture gained regulatory approval and completed the formation on December 1, 2006.

Finmeccanica As Finmeccanica has gotten more involved in the U.S. market, it has also found itself linked to controversy over corporate influence in American policymaking. On October 31, 2006 the New York Times published a front page story about then-Rep. Curt Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican serving on the House Armed Services Committee. The piece focused on Weldon’s enthusiastic advocacy on behalf of Italian weapons companies, especially Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries, suggesting that extensive campaign contributions to Weldon from individuals linked to Finmeccanica had something to do with that enthusiasm. The Finmeccanica tie was only one of several controversies regarding Weldon, who was defeated for reelection in November 2006. It appears that Weldon is currently being investigated for influence-peddling on behalf of Finmeccanica and other companies. In July 2008 Cecelia Grimes, a close friend of Weldon who was hired as a federal lobbyist by Finmeccanica subsidiary Oto Melara in 2005, pleaded guilty to destroying records soon after the FBI interviewed her about Weldon in 2006. Finmeccanica got a boost in 2005 when the Pentagon awarded a prestigious contract to produce the next generation helicopter used by the U.S. President to Lockheed Martin, which planned to use a design from Finmeccanica’s Agusta Westland. That year Finmeccanica also merged its space operations with those of Alcatel to form Alcatel Alenia Space (Thales later purchased Alcatel’s interest) and formed a partnership with L-3 Communications (and later Boeing as well) to market the C-27J tactical transport plane to the Pentagon. Having become a major player in the UK military business through its alliances and acquisitions, Finmeccanica may be seeking a similar role in the United States. In May 2008 it announced plans to acquire DRS Technologies—a fast-growing electronics contractor serving the U.S. military—for more than $5 billion. That deal is awaiting regulatory approval.

BAE Systems: In 2000 BAe spent some $13 billion to acquire Marconi Electric Systems, the military portion of Britain’s General Electric Co., thereby propelling itself to the top ranks of the world’s aerospace/military companies. In the wake of that move, the company changed its name to BAE Systems. The next year it merged its missile operations with those of EADS and Finmeccanica to form the joint venture MBDA. In 2000 BAE purchased the Sanders military electronics unit of Lockheed Martin. In 2005 BAE sold its UK-based avionics unit to Finmeccanica. That same year it completed the largest foreign acquisition of a U.S. defense company when it paid $4 billion to purchase U.S. armored-vehicle producer United Defense Industries, maker of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BAE had acquired a similar UK company called Alvis in 2004). The following year, BAE sold its interest in Airbus to EADS. In 2007 BAE increased its U.S. presence by agreeing to acquire Armor Holdings Inc. for about $4 billion.

General Electric: On July 23, 1992, GE pled guilty in federal court to civil and criminal charges of defrauding the Pentagon and agreed to pay $69 million to the U.S. government in fines — one of the largest defense contracting fines ever. The company said in a statement that it took responsibility for the actions of a former marketing employee who, along with an Israeli Air Force General, diverted Pentagon funds to their own bank accounts and to fund Israeli military programs not authorized by the United States. Under the settlement with the Justice Department over violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, GE paid $59.5 million in civil fraud claims and $9.5 million in criminal fines... When the Project on Government Oversight surveyed defense contractors, it found that General Electric was responsible for 15 instances of fraudulent activity in just a four year period (1990-1994) — more than any other defense contractor... On January 10, 1997, the U.S. Department of Justice announced (# 97-012) that GE would pay $950,000 to settle allegations that it fraudulently misrepresented that it had conducted certain test procedures on circuit boards for hundreds of aircraft engine controls when in fact the tests were not conducted... GE paid fines between 1990 and 1994 ranging from a $20,000 criminal fine to a $24.6 million civil fine for a variety of defense contracting frauds, including: misrepresentation, money laundering, defective pricing (2 incidents), cost mischarging (3 incidents), false claims, product substitution, conspiracy/conversion of classified documents, procurement fraud and mail fraud... On July 22, 1992, GE "... [pled] guilty to diverting some $26.5 million from the U.S. foreign military aid program used to finance General Electric's sale of F-16 jet engines and support equipment to Israel ." (United States v General Electric, Docket #90-CV-792, US DC SD OH, Cincinnati) (See: Defense Contracting: Contractor Claims for Legal Costs Associated with Stockholder Lawsuits, GAO/NSIAD-95-66 (July 1995) GE was convicted on February 3, 1990 in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia of defrauding the government out of $10 million for a battlefield computer system. GE pled guilty on May 19, 1985 to charges of fraud and falsifying 108 claims on a missile contract. GE was convicted of defrauding the Air Force out of $800,000 on the Minuteman Missile Project... Before long GE was dominating virtually all aspects of electrification in the United States--from generating and transmitting power to making the trolleys, motors (including large ones for industry), elevators, fans, and bulbs that used it... While GE's appliance business was blossoming, government concern about the company's market dominance was growing. In 1924 GE and Westinghouse were forced out of the power generating business, and a later antitrust action forced GE to make its light bulb patent available to competitors. Meanwhile, GE was boldly entering new lines of business, most notably the young field of broadcasting... RCA, essentially a subsidiary of GE with a large minority interest owned by AT&T, was the vehicle by which a small group of companies attempted to dominate the new industry through the pooling of patents--so much so that soon after Westinghouse Electric entered the arena, it was invited to join the combine, as was United Fruit, which made use of radio to communicate with its banana boats going to and from Central America... In 1926 AT&T decided to quit broadcasting in exchange for a monopoly on wire connections between stations. That same year a new entity called National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was formed to operate AT&T's former stations and RCA's outlets. It was agreed that NBC--50 percent owned by RCA, 30 percent by GE and 20 percent by Westinghouse--would pay AT&T generous rates for guaranteed access to land-line connections... In 1930 the Justice Department brought antitrust charges against RCA, GE and Westinghouse. The industry was stunned but worked out a consent decree they could live with... with the onset of the Second World War, the company shifted its focus to military needs. GE produced radar systems and power plants for ships while also building some of the first jet engines for airplanes... GE produced the first nuclear reactors for submarines and, after the federal government opened up atomic energy to civilian purposes, nuclear reactors for power plants... GE's promoted the slogan "Progress is Our Most Important Product" and sent Ronald Reagan around the country as a good-will ambassador. Yet the old bugaboo of the company--antitrust--returned to torment it. In 1961 the Justice Department indicted several dozen companies, GE among them, for criminal price fixing in the electrical equipment business.

Lockheed Martin: ..the company receives some 84 percent of its revenue from the U.S. government, mostly the Pentagon. It is the largest federal contractor and the largest weapons producer in the world. It trails Boeing, United Technologies and EADS in total revenues, but those companies, unlike Lockheed Martin, have substantial revenue from civilian products. Most of the 16 percent of Lockheed’s revenues that doesn’t come from Uncle Sam comes from foreign governments. Formed by the 1995 “merger of equals” of two long-time military contractors—Lockheed Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp.—Lockheed Martin produces a wide range of combat aircraft (F-16, F-22, F-35 fighters, C-130 transports, etc.), combat ships, missiles (Hellfire, Javelin, Patriot, etc.), space systems (Hubble Space Telescope, Mars Reconaissance Orbiter, etc.), military electronics and even the new Presidential helicopter. Lockheed has been involved in numerous controversies involving questionable foreign payments, overbilling of the federal government, race and age discrimination, and environmental racism. Yet it continues to receive a steady stream of new contracts and has made itself indispensable to the U.S. military establishment. The Project On Government Oversight’s Federal Contractor Misconduct Database lists more instances (42) of misconduct for Lockheed Martin than for any of the other 50 largest federal contractors. Here are some examples from POGO’s list: * In June 2000 the State Department fined Lockheed Martin $13 million ($5 million of which was to pay for remedial measures) for violations of the Arms Control Export Act in connection with the transfer of information about space launches to China. * In August 2002 Lockheed Martin’s Tactical Systems Division agreed to pay the federal government $2.1 million to settle charges that it submitted fraudulent bills to the Navy for work on Trident Missiles. * In January 2003 Lockheed Martin agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle allegations that Loral Corp., which it acquired in 1996, had overbilled the Air Force on the F-15E Weapon System Trainer. * In June 2003 Lockheed Martin paid $7.1 million to settle charges that one of its units submitted fraudulent lease cost claims to NASA, for which it was doing work on the space shuttle program. * In January 2005 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control agreed to pay $1.4 million to resolve allegations of mischarging the U.S. Army in connection with its production and support contracts for the Multiple Launch Rocket System. * In 2007 Lockheed agreed to repay the federal government $265 million plus interest in connection with overbilling for work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The company called the overbilling “inadvertent.” In June 2008 the Project On Government Oversight made public a 2007 report by the Defense Contract Management Agency that found Lockheed failed to follow 19 of 32 Pentagon guidelines on tracking and managing costs on major weapons programs. In August 2008 Lockheed agreed to pay $4 million to settle charges that it failed to get permission to sell missiles to the United Arab Emirates and that the company revealed classified information during negotiations with the Persian Gulf nation... Lockheed, which produced the first U.S. jet fighter (the P-80 used in the Korean War) and later the U-2 spy plane, made a new foray into commercial jets in the 1960s with the introduction of its L-1011 TriStar? , a rival to Douglas’s DC-10. Problems with that project and the C-5A transport it was building for the U.S. Air Force nearly put the company under in the early 1970s. Lockheed had to be rescued by a $250 million federal government loan guarantee, which passed the Senate by only a one-vote margin. Despite the rescue, Lockheed’s commercial aircraft operation continued to struggle, so management put an end to it in 1981. The company later averted a takeover by corporate raider Harold Simmons by forming an employee stock ownership plan... Lockheed’s F-117 Stealth fighters played a major role during the 1991 Persian Gulf War (and later during the initial invasion of Iraq), and the company’s role as a producer of military aircraft was enhanced when it agreed in 1992 to purchased the fighter plane unit of General Dynamics... During this period Lockheed Martin supplemented its military work with another form of government contracting: it got into the business of doing outsourced administrative work for state social-service agencies. One of its major customers was Florida, which aggressively privatized its public-assistance programs. In 1997 Lockheed Martin announced its intention to acquire Northrop Grumman, but after federal regulators balked the plan was dropped. Lockheed did acquire the satellite company Comsat Corp. in 1998 but sold it in 2004. In 2000 Lockheed sold its Sanders military electronics business to BAE Systems. Amid the U.S. military buildup of the past decade, Lockheed has fared well. In October 2001 it was awarded the Pentagon’s largest contract ever—a deal worth at least $200 billion over several decades to produce the Joint Strike Fighter for the Air Force. Shortly after that, Lockheed and TRW were given a $2.6 billion contract to create the next generation of military satellites, also for the Air Force. In 2007 the U.S. Navy cancelled Lockheed Martin’s contract to build the second of two coastal combat vessels because of large cost overruns. The company has also been facing criticism over rising costs on the new Marine One Presidential helicopter it is building using a design from Italy’s Finmeccanica. A March 2008 Government Accountability Office estimated that the cost of the Joint Strike Fighter program led by Lockheed Martin was expected to rise to $337 billion, a 45 percent jump from what was estimated in 2001. Problems such as these did not stop the company from getting more contracts, such as a May 2008 award worth $1.5 billion to building the next generation of navigation satellites.

DynCorp: DynCorp? then largely disappeared from the public eye until the early 2000s, when it began to be receive attention for its expanded role in providing security services for the U.S. government in places such as Colombia, Afghanistan and Iraq. That attention was often negative, as in the scandal over allegations that DynCorp? workers in Bosnia had purchased young women from brothels and kept them as sex slaves. A DynCorp? employee who revealed the practice and was terminated from her job later won a $173,000 judgment from an employment tribunal in Britain... Despite its controversial role of providing services in war zones, the company tried to avoid scrutiny. An in-depth look at DynCorp? by the Dallas Morning News in December 2006 stated that “there’s little public accounting of what DynCorp? does or whether tax dollars are being well spent.”... Robberson also examined the role of prominent retired military officers on DynCorp? ’s board of directors. These included Gen. Richard E. Hawley (former head of the U.S. Air Combat Command), Gen. Barry McCaffrey? (former head of the U.S. Southern Command), Gen. Anthony Zinni (former head of the U.S. Central Command) and Adm. Joseph W. Prueher (former head of the U.S. Pacific Command). Also covered by Robberson were criticisms that DynCorp? paid little attention to employee safety considerations in its war-zone operations as well as charges by a former company accountant that she was terminated for raising question about what she said were billing practices that cheated the federal government of millions of dollars. A false claims lawsuit initiated by the former employee is pending in federal court. In October 2007 DynCorp? was at the center of controversy when the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart W. Bowen Jr., issued a report charging that the State Department was unable to specify what had been accomplished under a $1.2 billion contract awarded to the company for Iraqi police training. The Washington Post subsequently reported that the company had refunded $14 million to the State Department in the course of cleaning up its records... In the summer of 2006, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) controlled most of Somalia, taking power from the warlords who had controlled Somali's capital for the past 15 years. While International news outlets reported that the ICU's rise to popular power promoted peace within Somalia that could be a turning point for lasting peace in the region, the U.S. was training Ethiopian troops. In late December of the same year, Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia, followed by air raids by the U.S. (ostensibly to fight Al Queda suspects of a 1998 bombing) and put the U.S.-backed interim government back in power. The following March (2007), Dyncorp was awarded a $10 million contract for logistics support for "peace-keeping", "giving the United States a significant role in the critical mission without assigning combat forces," according to Forbes... The new DynCorp? , which receives almost 100 percent of its revenue from the federal government, wasted no time getting new contracts. It was hired by the State Department to train a new army for Liberia and got another contract for additional work on narcotics eradication and interdiction. In December 2006 the company won a huge prize when its joint venture with McNeil? Technology was awarded a five-year Army contract worth up to $4.6 billion to provide linguists in Iraq. Six months later, DynCorp? was chosen along with KBR and Fluor for a 10-year contract worth up to $150 billion to provide an array of support services for the Army

KBR: KBR is the largest US private employer in Iraq with roughly 20,000 employees and 40,000 subcontractors... Although KBR/Halliburton probably have the longest rap sheet of any government contractor, leading members of Congress to call for the companies' suspension and/or debarment from taxpayer-funded federal contracts, the military has refused to suspend or debar the recidivist companies from federal contracts... KBR/Halliburton remains under investigation in numerous countries for a massive (est'd $180 million) bribery scheme related to the Bonny Island, Nigeria natural gas consortium that the company coordinated. For a chronology of the bribery scandal see Halliburton Watch's detailed timeline. The Army's top civilian contracting official, Bunnatine Greenhouse, blew the whistle on the preferential treatment received by KBR/Halliburton in Iraq in late 2004. Greenhouse was demoted in August, 2005 after testifying before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee about what she called a "clubby" relationship between Halliburton's KBR subsidiary and the Army Corps of Engineers. "I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career," Greenhouse told Congress. Although a criminal probe of Greenhouse's allegations was referred to the Department of Justice in November 2005, nearly three years later, no action has been taken.

ManTech International: ManTech? , which had a contract backlog of $3.2 billion at the end of 2007, has cemented its ties to the Washington establishment by naming to its board of directors the likes of retired admiral David E. Jeremiah, former vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. One of the company’s top officers has been Eugene Renzi, a retired Army general and father of Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona.

URS: At the end of 2007, URS (including Washington Group) had a contract backlog worth $19 billion... When URS started receiving hefty reconstruction contracts after the invasion of Iraq, the fact that the company was controlled at the time by Richard Blum, an investment banker married to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), made the awards among the more controversial deals given out by the federal government. An article by Peter Byrne laid out these issues in detail. Washington Group International, acquired by URS in 2007, had also received contracts related to the disastrous Iraq reconstruction effort. In March 2008 the Pentagon revealed that parts for Minuteman nuclear missiles had been mistakenly shipped to Taiwan from Hill Air Force Base in Utah. In 2002, a contract to manage inventory and distribution activities at Hill had been given to EG&G Technical Services, now a division of URS. The 10-K report filed by URS in early 2008 noted that the acquisition of Washington Group brought with it dozens of civil lawsuits pending against a subsidiary of the company that had worked on levees in New Orleans that failed during the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The report also noted that URS itself is being sued by the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority in Florida breach of contract and professional negligence in a roadway project. In 2003 Washington Group was hit with a fine of $55,000 by the Department of Energy, which accused the company of falsifying quality control inspection records at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

CACI: CACI, founded in the early 1960s as California Analysis Center Inc., is almost entirely a Beltway Bandit—some 94 percent of its revenue is derived from contracts with the U.S. government. About two-thirds of that revenue comes from the Pentagon, but CACI also enjoys the patronage of the Departments of Homeland Security, State, Commerce, Justice and Transportation. At the end of its last fiscal year, CACI had a contract backlog worth some $6.4 billion... One of those acquisitions made CACI somewhat less cocky. When reports of inmate torture and abuse at the U.S-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq came to light in 2004, there were charges that civilian interrogators employed by a recently acquired CACI subsidiary were involved. CACI managed to avoid prosecution by the federal government, but it is facing civil litigation brought in U.S. courts on behalf of the Iraqi victims... CACI found itself being investigated by the General Services Administration and facing the possibility of being barred from doing business with the federal government. With the help of some high-powered Washington lobbyists, CACI warded off that threat. For good measure, the company announced that its own investigation of the matter found no “credible or tangible evidence” that its employees were involved in abuses at Abu Ghraib. A Pentagon report released in August 2004 concluded that six civilian employees of CACI and Titan (now part of L-3 Communications) had either participated in the abuse or failed to report it. Led by Maj. Gen. George Fay, the generals who wrote the report recommended that the six be prosecuted by the Justice Department, but no charges were ever filed.

IAP: IAP was founded by a former Army logistics officer and has filled its executive ranks with numerous high-ranking military officers passing through the revolving door into the private sector. It has also benefited from the political connections of its majority owner, the Cerberus hedge fund, which is now chaired by former U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow. Former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle sits on IAP’s board as a representative of Cerberus, where he heads the firm’s international business. IAP has been associated with scandals such as the mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina relief work and the deterioration of conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

United Technologies: Like other major U.S. military contractors, United Technologies has at times been accused of cheating the federal government. In 1992 the company pleaded guilty to four felony charges and agreed to pay $6 million in penalties in connection with an admitted conspiracy by Pratt & Whitney to defraud the Pentagon by using insider information when bidding on contracts. In 1994 UTC was forced to pay $150 million to settle claims that Sikorsky had submitted inflated bills in connection with its production of helicopters for the Pentagon. The amount was then the largest amount ever in a federal whistleblower suit. In 1997 Pratt & Whitney agreed to pay $14.8 million to settle charges that it took part in a scheme to divert $10 million in U.S. military aid to a slush fund under the control of an officer of the Israeli Air Force. In 2005 the Presbyterian Church USA called on UTC to stop providing military equipment and technology to Israel for use in the occupation of the Palestinian territories. For the past decade, other religious groups have been filing shareholder resolutions at each of the company’s annual meetings raising questions about UTC’s foreign military sales. In 2006 Norway’s government pension fund announced that UTC was one of the companies it was banning from its investment portfolio because of its assumed involvement in nuclear weapons.

L3: The company receives 74 percent of its revenues from Pentagon and another 6 percent from other parts of federal government, including intelligence agencies. The rest comes from foreign governments (7 percent) and commercial customers (13 percent)... In 2004, prior to L-3’s purchase of Titan, an Army investigation of the Abu Ghraib abuses—first reported by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker the year before—cited employees of Titan (as well as another contractor, CACI, which provided interrogators ) as being involved in the interrogations. The Justice Department did not prosecute the company or the employees, but civil lawsuits were brought against Titan and CACI. In November 2007, a federal judge dismissed the case against L-3 and Titan, but allowed it to proceed against CACI. In 2008 several new lawsuits were filed in U.S. federal courts against L-3 and CACI by Iraqi civilians with the assistance of the Center on Constitutional Rights.

General Dynamics: Given its overwhelming dependence on military contracts, the company was hard hit by the decline in U.S. military spending after the end of the Cold War. It sold off many of its operations and considered disposing of the rest and shutting itself down. But the comeback of military spending via the Gulf War encouraged General Dynamics to hang on. Before long, it was buying new assets, focusing its military operations on shipbuilding (in part through the purchase of the historic Bath Iron Works) and armored vehicles such as the Strykers widely used in the war in Iraq. It also increased its commercial work through the purchase of corporate jet maker Gulfstream Aerospace. At the end of 2007, General Dynamics had a total contract backlog worth $47 billion... In 1990 the U.S. Justice Department sued General Dynamics, charging that the company defrauded the Army on contracts for M-1 tanks. The company paid $8 million to settle the case... In April 2008 a Congressional committee blamed poor management by the Defense Department and General Dynamics for billions of dollars in cost overruns and delays in a Marine Corps tank program.

Raytheon: ...now focuses virtually all its attention on serving military customers. Thanks to a series of acquisitions in the 1990s and a steady stream of new contracts, it is now one of the largest Pentagon contractors. At the end of 2007 it had a $30 billion federal contract backlog... One of the biggest controversies concerning Raytheon has been its production of the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), which was used as a delivery vehicle for cluster bombs, the weapon widely condemned because of its devastating impact on civilians. In the late 1980s Raytheon was one of numerous military contractors targeted in the wide-ranging corruption probe by Henry Hudson, a U.S. Attorney in Virginia. In March 1990 the company pleaded guilty to trafficking in classified Pentagon budget documents and paid civil and criminal fines of $1 million. In 1994 Raytheon paid $4 million to settle charges that it overbilled the Pentagon for an early-warning radar system... In 1998 Raytheon paid $2.7 million settle allegations that it improperly charged the Defense Department for expenses incurred in marketing products to foreign governments. In 1999 Raytheon paid $400,000 to settle claims that it overcharged the Defense Department on an aircraft maintenance contract. In 2002 Raytheon was one of three companies that settled charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for violating a new rule prohibiting the release of financial information to large investors or security analysts without making the same information available to the public. In 2003 Raytheon agreed to pay $3.9 million to settle charges that its aircraft division overbilled the Defense Department when invoicing the cost of liability insurance. At the same time, the company disclosed that the SEC was investigating fraudulent accounting practices at the aircraft unit. More than three years later, the company finally settled the matter by agreeing to pay a penalty of $12 million. Also in 2003, Raytheon agreed to pay a $25 million civil penalty to resolve State Department charges that the company violated export controls by selling military communications equipment to Pakistan through its Canadian subsidiary. In a rare rebuke by a company to its chief executive, Raytheon announced in 2006 that it was denying William Swanson an annual raise and reducing his stock award. The move, which reportedly cost the CEO about $1 million, came after it was discovered that Swanson had apparently engaged in plagiarism in the preparation of his book Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management... In his book The Great American Jobs Scam, Greg LeRoy? describes how in the mid-1990s Raytheon threatened to move its extensive operations out of Massachusetts unless the state provided substantial tax breaks. The state caved in, and Raytheon ended up saving about $21 million a year. During this time, Raytheon did not neglect its military businesses, which consisted mainly of radar systems, communications equipment and missiles, including its Patriot missile, which would be celebrated during the Persian Gulf War of 1991, though later evaluations were a lot less positive. When the end of the Cold War put pressure on military contractors to consolidate, Raytheon took steps to ensure it would be a survivor. In 1995 it acquired the secretive company E-Systems, giving it an important foothold in military intelligence communications. The following year it purchased two defense businesses from Chrysler, and the year after that it bought the military operations of Texas Instruments. But its biggest move was the 1997 purchase of the military business of Hughes Electronics from General Motors for more than $9 billion. All this propelled Raytheon to the top tier of military electronics suppliers. It also brought some antitrust concern, but the Justice Department and the Pentagon supported the consolidation.

Northrop Grumman: Northrop Grumman, the third largest U.S. military contractor behind Lockheed Martin and Boeing, is best known as the producer of the hugely expensive B-2 Stealth bomber, fighter jets such as the F-14 Tomcat featured in the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun, and nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. In 2008 it scored a coup when it was chosen—along with its European partner EADS—to supply the U.S. Air Force with aerial refueling tankers worth some $35 billion. Rival bidder Boeing successfully challenged the huge award, and the competition is being run all over again. Northrop was nearly gobbled up by Lockheed Martin during defense-sector consolidation in the 1990s, but antitrust issues undermined the deal. Northrop went on to carry out some major acquisitions itself, including the Litton and TRW conglomerates and Newport News Shipbuilding. Northrop has been involved in a series of false claims cases that the company has had to spend tens of millions of dollars to settle... The first major scandals in Northrop Grumman’s history came in the early 1970s, when the company, then known as Northrop Corp., was embroiled in controversies over illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign by company chairman Thomas Jones as well as some $30 million in bribes paid to foreign governments to win orders for fighter jets. A few years later, there were revelations that the company regularly entertained Pentagon officials and members of Congress at a hunting lodge on the eastern shore of Maryland. During the 1980s, Northrop was the subject of numerous investigations relating to alleged mismanagement during its work on the MX Missile and the B-2 Stealth bomber. In 1989, Northrop was indicted on criminal charges of falsifying test results on cruise missiles for the Air Force and Harrier jets for the Marine Corps. Just as the trial in the case was about to begin in 1990, the company agreed to plead guilty to 34 fraud charges and pay a fine of $17 million. Under the plea agreement, federal prosecutors agreed to end the investigations relating to the MX and the B-2. However, the company agreed in 1992 to pay $4.2 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit—*brought without the involvement of the Justice Department*—alleging that the company padded its invoices on MX missile guidance system work. In 2000 Northrop Grumman paid $1.4 million to settle a whistleblower case alleging that the company overcharged the Air Force for B-2 bomber instruction and repair manuals. In a case inherited through the acquisition of TRW, Northrop Grumman agreed in 2003 to pay $111 million to settle claims that TRW overcharged the Pentagon for work on several space electronics programs in the early 1990s. Also in 2003, Northrop Grumman agreed to pay a total of $80 million to settle two False Claims Act cases, one involving work by Newport News Shipbuilding before Northrop acquired it in 2001 and the other involving the delivery of allegedly defective aerial target drones. In 2004, Northrop settled for $1.8 million the remaining individual whistleblower case from the late 1980s involving cruise missiles. The following year it paid $62 million to settle the remaining claims relating to overcharging on the B-2 bomber program. The false claims allegations continue. In March 2008 a whistleblower brought a lawsuit charging that Northrop Grumman’s Melbourne division with hundreds of millions of dollars of overcharges relating to the Joint STARS radar aircraft program. Not all of Northrop’s performance problems have been related to overcharging. Soon after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the company’s Vinnell Corp. subsidiary (acquired as part of the purchase of TRW in 2002) was awarded a $48 million contract “to train the nucleus of a new Iraqi army.” It botched the job so badly that the Jordanian Army had to be brought in to take over.

Blackwater: Blackwater USA is a private military company and security firm founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark. It is based in the U.S. state of North Carolina, where it operates a tactical training facility that it claims is the world's largest. The company trains more than 40,000 people a year, from all the military services and a variety of other agencies. The company markets itself as being "The most comprehensive professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations company in the world". At least 90% of its revenue comes from government contracts, two-thirds of which are no-bid contracts... Cofer Black, the company's current vice chairman, was the Bush administration's top counter terrorism official when 9/11 occurred... Blackwater has become home to a significant number of former senior CIA and Pentagon officials. Robert Richer became the firm's Vice President of Intelligence immediately after he resigned his position as Associate Deputy Director of Operations in fall 2005. He is formerly the head of the CIA's Near East Division... In 2003, Blackwater landed its first truly high-profile contract: guarding civilian Administrator L. Paul Bremer in Iraq, at the cost of $21 million for 11 months. Since June 2004, Blackwater has been paid more than $320 million out of a $1 billion, five-year State Department budget for the Worldwide Personal Protective Service, which protects U.S. officials and some foreign officials in conflict zones. In 2006, Blackwater won the remunerative contract to protect the U.S. embassy in Iraq, which is the largest American embassy in the world... On March 31, 2004, Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah attacked a convoy containing four American private military contractors from Blackwater USA who were conducting delivery for food caterers ESS. The four armed contractors Scott Helvenston, Jerko Zovko, Wesley Batalona and Michael Teague, were attacked and killed with grenades and small arms fire. Their bodies were hung over a bridge crossing the Euphrates. In the fall of 2007, a congressional report found that Blackwater intentionally "delayed and impeded" investigations into the contractors' deaths... According to the State Department, on December 24, 2006, a Blackwater employee shot and killed a security guard working for the Iraqi vice-president. In late May 2007, Blackwater contractors, "opened fire on the streets of Baghdad twice in two days... and one of the incidents provoked a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi Interior Ministry commandos, U.S. and Iraqi officials said." And on May 30, 2007, Blackwater employees shot an Iraqi civilian deemed to have been "driving too close" to a State Department convoy being escorted by Blackwater contractors... After a group of Iraqi ministers backed the Iraqi Interior Ministry's decision to shut down Blackwater USA's operations in Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called on the U.S. government to end its contract with Blackwater USA as well... On September 24, the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior announced it would file criminal charges against the Blackwater staff involved in the shooting, although it is unclear how some of them will be brought to trial.


This spring, PBS’s distinguished Frontline series aired a mildly critical account of the lead-up to the Iraq War entitled “Bush’s War.” As the airing of the program was announced, the Bush Administration proposed to slash public funding for PBS by roughly half for 2009, by 56% for 2010 and eliminating funding entirely for 2011. (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-10-14/did-pbs-bury-a-frontline-episode-on-torture/) (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/05/bushs-2009-budget-calls-_n_85132.html)


As part of the BBC Charter, the Corporation cannot show commercial advertising on any services in the United Kingdom (television, radio, or internet). (http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/policies/charter/) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC)