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WPA War Poster: Let Me Do the Talking
9.03.04
Politics and Economy:
Election 2004
More on This Story:
Defense Web Sites

BILL MOYERS: Many of you have written to ask what you can do about the stories we report that arouse your own outrage. The stock and worthy answer is to find out who represents you in Washington and let them hear about you. There's even a Defense Department hotline where you can report suspicions of fraud or mismanagement. We've posted a lot of useful information on our own site at pbs.org and can link you to other relevant sites as well.

For example, if you want to know how your tax dollars are being spent right now, check out the National Priorities Project. You can enter the amount of income tax you paid last year and receive a line accounting of how the government spends it. Although he's retired, Chuck Spinney has updated his own Web site called Defense and the National Interest.

And the non-partisan Center for Defense Information, started by retired senior military officers as a watchdog on wasteful Pentagon spending, has a Web site crammed with useful information about Pentagon policy and defense programs.

Finally, here's a Web site that has become even more pertinent since reports a couple of weeks ago that the cost of the war and occupation of Iraq may be as much as one hundred billion dollars by the end of next year...double what we were told before the invasion. You're looking at it right now...clocking the cost of the war.


Web Sites of Interest

Below are some additional sites about defense spending, the missile defense debate, and the history of the military industrial complex.

Defense Spending

Center for Defense Information (CDI)
The CDI is a non-partisan think tank conducting security-related research on topics such as weapons systems to military expenditure. The Center was founded in 1972 by recently retired, senior U.S. military officers.

Congressional Budget Office
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was created in 1974. CBO's mission is to provide Congress with objective, timely, nonpartisan analyses needed for economic and budget decisions and with the information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process. In July 2003 the CBO published "The Long-Term Implications of Current Defense Plans: Summary Update for Fiscal Year 2004".

Department of Defense Inspector General Hotline
The Defense Hotline is designed to enable individuals to report fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in the defense industry. To date, the Defense Hotline received more than 228,000 calls and letters. The Department of Defense estimates that Hotline investigations have saved or recovered $425 million.

Federal Procurement Data Center
The Federal Procurement Data Center (FPDC)'s Web site keeps track of federal contracts over $25,000. The Executive departments and agencies award over $200 billion annually for goods and services. The site has a function which enables visitors to search by federal agency, product and service, state or contractor.

National Priorities Organization
The National Priorities Project is a not-for-profit advocacy group which focuses on the impacts of federal tax and spending policies at the community level. The group's Web site has several interactive features that propose alternatives to federal defense spending.

Office of Management and Budget
The Office of Management and Budget is the federal entity charged with assisting the President in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and to supervising its administration in Executive Branch agencies. The OMB evaluates the effectiveness of agency programs, policies, and procedures, assesses competing funding demands among agencies, and sets funding priorities. The homepage of OMB's Web site features a "The Wastebasket," where people can report government waste. The OMB's site provides detailed statistical information on the federal budget.

United States Senate Office of Public Records
This site provides access to filings by all federal lobbyists. You can search by Congressional session and by lobbyist name to find amounts spent.

U.S. Department of Defense
The official site of the Department of Defense provides a wealth of information on defense agencies and programs. The site offers a daily defense press briefing.


Missile Defense Debate

FRONTLINE: Missile Wars
This extensive companion site to a late 2002 FRONTLINE program provides a good introduction to the intricacies of the missile defense debate. Resources include an interactive timeline, a "missile threat" map, and interviews with experts. The site also provides primers which cover all sides of the debate over the practicality of the technology, the reality of the missile threat, and the validity of the defense strategy.

Heritage Foundation
The think tanks presents research and policy papers supporting the missile defense program.

National Missile Defense: An Online NewsHour Focus
This comprehensive site from the NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER provides audio, video and text resources on the missile defense program. The frequently updated site has followed the topic since 1999, and offers online extended interviews with experts on both sides of the issue.

Missile Defense: The Center for Defense Information
A collection of research, opinion and analysis on the topic of missile defense.

Missile Defense Agency
The official site of the federal defense missile features an animation of the system itself and information on recent tests.

History

The Cold War from CNN
This companion site to the CNN series offers a wealth of historical information and analysis on the Cold War. Highlights include details of Cold War weapons systems and an intriguing debate on where technology would be today without the impetus of the Cold War.

President Eisenhower's Farewell Address
Full text of President Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the nation delivered on January 17, 1961. It was in this speech that Eisenhower coined the term, military-industrial complex. "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

Audio Version
Listen to President Eisenhower's speech.

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