Journalist Robert Scheer on his new book "The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America"
From a rough transcript of an interview on Democracy Now :
AMY GOODMAN: The Pornography of Power—why pornography?
ROBERT SCHEER: Because it’s not the real thing. It’s a trick. It’s like—I liken it to a lap dance. You know, you’re promising something that doesn’t exist. They’re promising security. These defense contractors, lobbyists, politicians, they pretend they’re dealing with real issues in the world, and they’re not. They’re just getting your money, and they’re deceiving you."
"I say, we had a situation where Bush vetoed an extension of child healthcare that would have involved $7 billion, OK? That’s two subs that we don’t need that are built every year. Alright? We have the F-35, an airplane that’s a $300 billion program. Why do we need new planes? The F-22, a $65 billion program. So we are wasting trillions of dollars on this old-fashioned defense budget that benefits Boeing, benefits Lockheed. Everyone knows it’s a scam. Everyone knows there is no military function for this, there’s no national security. And what happened is they got a license to steal. 9/11 was their license to steal."
"The irony now is that when these defense hawks—when they challenge my book and they say, "Well, of course, we don’t need these submarines to fight al-Qaeda. They don’t even have a rowboat. And of course we don’t need, you, now, new stealth bombers to fight al-Qaeda. But there’s the China menace."
The irony is here, China is financing our arms development. They are charging us interest to lend us money to build weapons ostensibly to attack them, and they’re laughing up their sleeve. They know this is a joke."
"Imperialism doesn’t pay. You know, here in California, I’m paying, what, $4.40 for gas, and we have seized the second-biggest pool of oil in the world? And we’re now paying—you know, the price of oil has gone up six-fold since George Bush has been president, and you want to tell me imperialism pays?
So I think the failure of the neoconservatives really is the failure of the imperial model. The Germans learned that. The French learned it, the English. Everybody in the world knows old-fashioned imperialism does not pay for the average person. It pays for Halliburton. It pays for, you know, Exxon. But it doesn’t pay for the taxpayer."
Interesting that Scheer nearly dedicated his book to Richard Nixon, who, he said, "was a horrible man, and he killed a lot of people and should have been tried for war crimes. But the fact is that Richard Nixon was the enemy of the neoconservatives."