The Ukraine War Is a Sales-promotion Campaign for Lockheed and Other U.S. ‘Defense’ Contractors

On 3 December 2021, a year ago, Lockheed Martin shares cost $333.81. On 23 November 2022, they cost cost $481.07. That’s a 44% gain during this year-long period.

$4,027.26 is the S&P on 23 November 2022, and it was $4,701.46 on 24 November 2021. That’s a 14% decline during this year-long period.

A dollar invested in the S&P became $0.86, but in Lockheed became $1.44, and that is 68% more than the S&P market-average performance.

That’s the benefit of owning a controlling interest in a mega-corporation whose market is the Government in which you have purchased a controlling interest (by political donations and lobbyists), as compared to not.

And you will see there that though the stock-price of Lockheed soared after Russia’s 24 February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the rise in its stock-price actually started on 3 December 2021. Perhaps that was when U.S.-Government insiders got their first clear indications that the U.S. Government was going to force Russia to invade Ukraine in order to prevent Ukraine from ever being able to join NATO so as for the U.S. to place its missiles only 317 miles away from The Kremlin.

Here are all of the headlined news-stories at the New York Times site on 3 December 2021, all 45 of them, and here are all 3 of the ones there featuring national defense or international relations:

  • “Shell pulls out of a U.K. oil field targeted by climate activists”
  • “With No Resources, Authority or Country, Afghan Ambassador Presses On”
  • “Why Peng Shuai Has China’s Leaders Spooked”

NONE has to do with national defense or international relations at all, but 100% of the news-stories are instead domestic-affairs articles, even the ones on global warming and on the former Afghan Ambassador, and on the Chinese tennis star. This fact (0 out of 45 being ‘defense’ or international-relations) goes to exemplify that if anyone is interested in warfare or other international-relations topics, it’s NOT the general public. Who might it be, then? Perhaps it’s the types of people who control firms such as Lockheed and other ‘Defense’-contractors — firms that sell onlyto the U.S. Government and to its allied (or vassal) Governments such as in NATO, and so these firms need to control their own Government in order to control their sales-volumes and their profits — which they manifestly do (the U.S. Government is bipartisanly neoconservative — pro-increasing the U.S. empire).

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Palmer Luckey Made a VR Headset That Kills the User If They Die in the Game

Palmer Luckey, defense contractor and the father of modern virtual reality, has created a VR headset that will kill the user if they die in the game they’re playing. He did this to commemorate the anime, Sword Art Online. Luckey is the founder of Oculus, a company he sold to Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion. This is the technology that Mark Zuckerberg rebranded as the foundation for Meta. 

Luckey’s killer headset looks like a Meta Quest Pro hooked up with three explosive charge modules that sit above the screen. The charges are aimed directly at the user’s forebrain and, should they go off, would obliterate the head of the user.

“The idea of tying your real life to your virtual avatar has always fascinated me—you instantly raise the stakes to the maximum level and force people to fundamentally rethink how they interact with the virtual world and the players inside it,” Luckey wrote in a blog post explaining the project. “Pumped up graphics might make a game look more real, but only the threat of serious consequences can make a game feel real to you and every other person in the game.”

According to Luckey, the anime and light novel series Sword Art Online made people interested in virtual reality, especially in Japan. In SAO, players put on a NeveGear virtual reality headset and log into a new game called Sword Art Online only to discover a mad scientist has trapped them in a virtual world. The players have to fight their way through a 100 floor dungeon to escape. If they die in the game, they die in real life. Luckey published his post about the killer headset on November 6, the day that Sword Art Online went live in the world of the game’s fiction. 

“The good news is that we are halfway to making a true NerveGear. The bad news is that so far, I have only figured out the half that kills you,” Luckey said. In SAO, the NerveGear kills players with a microwave emitter. According to Luckey, the device’s creator  “was able to hide from his employees, regulators, and contract manufacturing partners. I am a pretty smart guy, but I couldn’t come up with any way to make anything like this work, not without attaching the headset to gigantic pieces of equipment.”

Unable to make the perfect recreation, Luckey opted for explosive modular charges. He tied them to a narrow-band photo sensor that detects the headset views a specific red screen that flashes at a specific frequency. “When an appropriate game-over screen is displayed, the charges fire, instantly destroying the brain of the user,” Luckey said. 

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US defense contractor and his wife who lived for decades using the stolen IDs of dead Texas babies are charged with identity theft but deny claims they are spies after photos of them in KGB uniforms are found

Walter Glenn Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison, both in their 60s, allegedly lived for decades under the names Bobby Edward Fort and Julie Lyn Montague – the stolen names of infants who died decades ago – according to federal court records unsealed in Honolulu.

The couple face charges of aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit an offense against the US and false statement in an application for a passport after they were arrested Friday in Kapolei on the island of Oahu.

Prosecutors are seeking to have the couple held without bail, which could indicate the case is about more than fraudulently obtaining drivers’ licenses, passports and Defense Department credentials.

Those documents helped Primrose get secret security clearance with the US Coast Guard and as a defense contractor and old photos show the couple wearing uniforms of the KGB, the former Russian spy agency, Assistant US Attorney Thomas Muehleck said in court papers.

Faded Polaroids of each in uniform were included in the motion to have them held.

A ‘close associate’ said Morrison lived in Romania while it was a Soviet bloc country, Muehleck said.

Morrison’s attorney said her client never lived in Romania and that she and Primrose tried the same jacket on as a joke and posed for photos in it.

Even if the couple used new identities, attorney Megan Kau told The Associated Press, they have lived law-abiding lives for three decades.

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Raytheon says it can’t keep up with Biden’s demand for Stinger missiles being sent to Ukraine: Arms company may not be able to replenish stock until 2023 as US keeps shipping weapons packages to Kyiv

The company producing the Stinger anti-aircraft missiles that have proved so effective in Ukraine said on Tuesday it will not be able to immediately resume production once existing stockpiles are depleted.

The news will be a blow to Ukraine‘s armed forces, which say they need hundreds every day to repel Russian invasion. 

But Raytheon Technologies, which makes the shoulder-fired weapons, wound down production in recent years – as the Pentagon looked to more modern systems – and faces hurdles in ramping it back up.

On a conference call with analysts, chief executive Greg Hayes said: ‘We have a very limited stock of material for Stinger production.’

The company may not be able to ramp up production until next year, following a surge in demand. 

‘We’ve been working with the Department of Defense for the last couple of weeks,’ he said.

‘Some of the components are no longer commercially available, and so we’re going to have to go out and redesign some of the electronics in the missile of the seeker head. That’s going to take us a little bit of time.’

The U.S. has shipped more than 1,400 Stingers to Ukraine.

The FIM-92 Stinger Man Portable Air Defense System entered service in 1981 and is used by the United States and 29 other countries. 

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The Ukraine War is a Racket

“War is a racket,” wrote US Maj. General Smedley Butler in 1935. He explained: “A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

Gen. Butler’s observation describes the US/NATO response to the Ukraine war perfectly.

The propaganda continues to portray the war in Ukraine as that of an unprovoked Goliath out to decimate an innocent David unless we in the US and NATO contribute massive amounts of military equipment to Ukraine to defeat Russia. As is always the case with propaganda, this version of events is manipulated to bring an emotional response to the benefit of special interests.

One group of special interests profiting massively on the war is the US military-industrial complex. Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes recently told a meeting of shareholders that, “Everything that’s being shipped into Ukraine today, of course, is coming out of stockpiles, either at DOD or from our NATO allies, and that’s all great news. Eventually we’ll have to replenish it and we will see a benefit to the business.”

He wasn’t lying. Raytheon, along with Lockheed Martin and countless other weapons manufacturers are enjoying a windfall they have not seen in years. The US has committed more than three billion dollars in military aid to Ukraine. They call it aid, but it is actually corporate welfare: Washington sending billions to arms manufacturers for weapons sent overseas.

By many accounts these shipments of weapons like the Javelin anti-tank missile (jointly manufactured by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin) are getting blown up as soon as they arrive in Ukraine. This doesn’t bother Raytheon at all. The more weapons blown up by Russia in Ukraine, the more new orders come from the Pentagon.

Former Warsaw Pact countries now members of NATO are in on the scam as well. They’ve discovered how to dispose of their 30-year-old Soviet-made weapons and receive modern replacements from the US and other western NATO countries.

While many who sympathize with Ukraine are cheering, this multi-billion dollar weapons package will make little difference. As former US Marine intelligence officer Scott Ritter said on the Ron Paul Liberty Report last week, “I can say with absolute certainty that even if this aid makes it to the battlefield, it will have zero impact on the battle. And Joe Biden knows it.”

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Calling all weapons makers: Pentagon seeks new ideas to arm Ukraine

In its effort to quickly arm Ukraine against Russia, the Pentagon has announced the equivalent of an open casting call for companies to offer weapons and commercial systems that can be rushed to the fight.

The Defense Department on Friday posted a broad request for information from industry on the federal contracting website sam.gov. The move is part of a stepped-up dialogue between the Pentagon and industry, and a sign of the challenge of boosting arms production in response to the ongoing conflict.

The RFI, on behalf of the new undersecretary of defense for acquisitions and sustainment, Bill LaPlante, is seeking input “from across industry” about air defense, anti-armor, anti-personnel, coastal defense, counter battery, unmanned aerial systems, and communications equipment, such as secure radios and satellite internet gear.

To that end, the DoD asks that responding companies describe their weapon, product or system in 100 words or less, and ― in the case of munitions ― check off “appropriate target type(s),” such as area, fixed, airborne/missile, maritime, mine, moving, hard or soft. The RFI says information received will be used to develop requirements for an actual solicitation at a later date.

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Banning lawmakers from owning stocks would stymie war profiteering

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter to the chairs of the Committee on House Administration urging them to advance legislation banning members of Congress from directly owning or trading stocks while in office.

The letter, sent by 19 lawmakers ranging from Mark Pocan (D-WI) to Matt Gaetz (R-FL) outlined three key provisions: preventing family members and children from owning stock, banning exceptions for stock owned prior to entering office, and backing up any legislation with effective enforcement. 

Congressional stock trading restrictions would disproportionately impact the national security space; A Sludge 2021 analysis of financial holdings found that “The maximum value of the investments held by federal lawmakers in the ‘Big Five’ contractors — Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics — is over $2.6 million, making up nearly 39% of the total stock holdings identified.” 

Several members of Congress snapped up new shares of defense company stock just before the invasion of Ukraine. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) bought shares of Lockheed Martin the day before the invasion, while John Rutherford (R-FL) secured valuable Raytheon stock the day of the invasion itself. Between December 1, 2021, and April 13, 2022, the stock price of Lockheed Martin skyrocketed by 42.8 percent while Raytheon increased by over 24 percent, both well out-pacing the S&P 500 which actually decreased in the same time period.

Some of those lawmakers even have an outsized role in creating national security policy itself. A recent Business Insider analysis found that 15 members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee Congress who own stock in defense giants Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

Another analysis found that four members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which oversees arms control, had at least four members invested in defense companies. One member of the Committee, Gerry Connolly (D-VA), alone owned $498,000 worth of stock of Leidos — a military contractor that merged with Lockheed Martin in 2016 — as of last year. Leidos’ stock jumped over 27 percent from mid-February to early March. 

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US TAX DAY: Americans Send Average of $2K to Military

Most of us want our tax dollars to be wisely used — especially around tax time.

You’ve probably heard a lot about corporations not paying taxes. Last year, individual Americans contributed six times more in income tax than corporations did.

But have you heard about how many of citizens’ tax dollars then end up in corporate pockets? It’s a lot — especially for corporations that contract with the Pentagon. They collect nearly half of all military spending.

The average U.S. taxpayer contributed about $2,000 to the military last year, according to a breakdown my colleagues and I prepared for the Institute for Policy Studies. More than $900 of that went to corporate military contractors.

In 2020, the largest Pentagon contractor, Lockheed Martin, took in $75 billion from taxpayers — and paid its CEO more than $23 million.

Unfortunately, this spending isn’t buying us a more secure world.

Last year, Congress added $25 billion the Pentagon didn’t ask for to its already gargantuan budget. Lawmakers even refused to let military leaders retire weapons systems they couldn’t use anymore. The extra money favored top military contractors that gave campaign money to a group of lawmakers, who refused to comment on it.

Then there’s simple price-gouging.

There’s the infamous case of TransDigm, a Pentagon contractor that charged the government $4,361 for a metal pin that should’ve cost $46 — and then refused to share cost data. Congress recently asked TransDigm to repay some of its misbegotten profits, but the Pentagon hasn’t cut off its business.

Somewhere between price-gouging and incompetence lies the F-35 jet fighter, an embarrassment the late Sen. John McCain, a Pentagon booster, called “a scandal and a tragedy.”

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‘War is a Racket’: Biden Using Ukraine Crisis to Ram Through Record-Breaking Military Budget

Rebuffing progressive lawmakers’ calls for Pentagon spending cuts, President Joe Biden on Monday is set to unveil a budget blueprint for the next fiscal year that includes a record $813.3 billion in funds for the U.S. military apparatus, a $31 billion increase from the current level.

“We’re being robbed of resources to feed the endless hunger of the military-industrial complex.”

The president’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request, which must be approved by Congress, is expected to contain $773 billion for the Pentagon alone as well as billions in funding for the Energy Department’s maintenance of the country’s nuclear arsenal.

The New York Times reported Monday that Biden’s funding request for the Pentagon—the only federal agency that has not passed an independent audit—will “include $4.1 billion to conduct research and develop defense capabilities, nearly $5 billion for a space-based missile warning system to detect global threats, and nearly $2 billion for a missile defense interceptor.”

According to Bloomberg, the White House is urging Congress to approve $145.9 billion for procurement, funding that will allow the military to purchase “61 F-35 jet fighters from Lockheed Martin Corp., fewer than previously planned, as well as… the B-21 bomber from Northrop Grumman Corp. and two Virginia-class submarines from General Dynamics Corp. and Huntington Ingalls Industries Corp.”

The president’s latest budget proposal will land on Capitol Hill amid Russia’s deadly invasion of Ukraine, which has thus far proven to be a major boon for the U.S. weapons industry as the Biden administration pours arms into the besieged country.

“The hawks in Washington want to jack up the military budget and use Ukraine as an excuse,” William Hartung, a senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, argued in a recent interview on Democracy Now!, noting that Biden’s new military budget request amounts to $100 billion more than was spent at the height of the Cold War.

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