Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Prophets of War | William Hartung

Enthralling and explosive, Prophets of War is an exposé of America's largest military contractor, Lockheed Martin. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his famous warning about the dangers of the military industrial complex, he never would have dreamed that a company could accumulate the kind of power and influence now wielded by this behemoth company.

As a full-service weapons maker, Lockheed Martin receives over $29 billion per year in Pentagon contracts. The company has produced spy satellites; helped the Pentagon collect personal data on U.S. citizens; provided interrogators for employment at Guantanamo Bay; manufactured our highest-tech aircraft; and more. Lockheed Martin’s reach into all areas of US defense and American life is staggering. William Hartung's meticulously researched history follows the company's meteoric growth and explains how this arms industry giant has shaped US foreign policy for decades.

William Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation. He is the author of "How Much are You Making on the War Daddy?" and "And Weapons for All." He's written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Nation magazine.


“The author explores how deeply Lockheed's tentacles have penetrated American economic and political life, pulling the curtain back on decades of unsavory dealings… and echoes President Eisenhower's argument that the only way to ensure against 'military-industrial' abuses is to have 'an alert and engaged citizenry.' This book is a fine step in that direction.”

—Publishers Weekly

Excerpt from Democracy Now interview.

AMY GOODMAN: The significance of this massive weapons manufacturer in the United States and why you chose to write a book on it?

WILLIAM HARTUNG: Well, I think they’re the largest, they’re the most corrupt, and they have the most political influence. So, for example, they make cluster bombs, which are used in the Middle East. They design nuclear weapons. They make fighter planes. They make combat ships. So they have the full gamut of weapons. But they also have branched out. They work for the CIA, the FBI. They work for the IRS, the Census Bureau. So they’ve become this full-service government contractor, which really is involved in every aspect of our lives. Every time we interact with the government, Lockheed Martin is likely to be there.

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