Classified Pentagon spending is the fastest-growing part of the US military budget, rising to 11% of the total $716b proposed for 2020; this spending is not subject to oversight and House Armed Services Committee Chair Adam Smith [D-WA] says it leads to waste.
Unsurprisingly, these black budgets are solid gold for defense contractors and other beltway bandits, whose shareholder disclosures include chortling celebrations of the record profits they're receiving for classified projects, with classified divisions growing than any other part of their businesses.
Raytheon boasts of "record classified bookings of nearly $7 billion" (up 46% in one year!). Northrop Grumman says its extra $1b in profit this year is largely due to its contributions to secret weapons programs.
But Lockheed is doing best of all, with its $600b "hypersonic weapon technology" contract mushrooming to $1b next year, and more in the pipeline.
For example, an uptick in classified deals have Lockheed Martin’s missiles and Skunk Works Advanced Development Programs divisions “growing faster than the corporation,” CFO Ken Possenriede said on a Tuesday conference call with Wall Street analysts.
This year, Lockheed received about $600 million for secret work to develop hypersonic weapon technology and prototypes. Next year, that’s expected to grow to “about $1 billion,” Possenriede said. And that’s just for weapons under development and not yet in serial production.
Possenriede also touted the potential for counter-hypersonic weapon work.
As Secret Pentagon Spending Rises, Defense Firms Cash in [Marcus Weisgerber/Defenseone]
(via Naked Capitalism)
(Image: Tracy O, CC BY-SA, modified)
Last September, Jessica Lundquist passed through a body-scanner at Burbank airport and was told by a TSA screener that they wanted to conduct a "groin search" on her.
For years, rogue archivist Carl Malamud (previously) has been scanning and posting proprietary elements of the law, such as standard annotations or building and safety codes developed by outside parties and then incorporated into legislation, on the theory that if you are expected to follow the law, you must be able to read, write and […]
Last week, just before everything shut down for Thanksgiving, the Republican-appointed Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina handed $2.5m to the white nationalist Sons of Confederate Veterans, claiming it would settle a lawsuit over the removal of a Confederate "Silent Sam" statue from campus -- but as local litigator T Greg Doucette […]
With all the revolutionary tech that’s out there, it’s pretty sad that finding a simple stud in your wall can feel like dowsing for water. This can be equally true whether you’re using a magnetic finder and it’s reliance on “feel,” or an electronic unit that can give fuzzy readings (especially when the batteries are […]
Do you have any Star Wars fans on your list? Given the reach and output of its new corporate masters these days, it might be easier to ask if there’s anyone out there who isn’t a Star Wars fan. So let’s narrow it down further: Do you know a Star Wars fan who likes to […]
There’s much ado about coffee brewing methods these days, but most of us – at least on the busy weekdays – just want our morning joe to be consistent, easy, and most of all, fast. If that sounds like anyone on your Christmas list, they’re going to get a lot of mileage out of the […]