Thursday, November 10, 2011

Idiocracy in Action: Pentagon Using Fake Weapons Parts Made in China

It's a sad feature of the American Empire that when all of our insane direct and indirect military spending is added up, it roughly equals the total amount spent by the rest of the world combined. And yet, as I reported July 30th in my post, "Top Military Brass Cry Like Spoiled Children Over Proposed Cuts," the Pentagon has laughably been warning that ANY cuts in defense spending in an effort to reduce the federal budget deficit will leave America vulnerable to attack.

Even if you buy their absurd argument, the next question which should logically be asked is: attacked by whom, exactly? There are only two nations in the word not currently aligned with the United States whose conventional forces could conceivably pose even a mild military threat--Russia and China. Of the two, China is the sexy pick to displace America as the most powerful nation in the world when we do finally get knocked off of our perch. Personally, I don't happen to subscribe to the theory that China, given all of its significant handicaps, is destined to become a globe-dominating superpower, but that is the conventional logic and for purposes of this blog post I will entertain the notion momentarily.

Okay, so China represents the biggest geopolitical threat--one that supposedly will only grow as time passes. If that's the case, then logic would dictate that we should be VERY CAREFUL in our dealings with them, right? Am I right?

Well, then perhaps the Pentagon and its apologists would care to explain this:
"Sprinkling" sounds like a fairly harmless practice, but in the hands of sophisticated counterfeiters it could deceive a major weapons manufacturer and possibly endanger the lives of U.S. troops.

It's a process of mixing authentic electronic parts with fake ones in hopes that the counterfeits will not be detected when companies test the components for multimillion-dollar missile systems, helicopters and aircraft. It was just one of the brazen steps described Tuesday at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing examining the national security and economic implications of suspect counterfeit electronics -- mostly from China -- inundating the Pentagon's supply chain. America wastes spends countless billions of taxpayer dollars on high tech weapons systems ever year, and yet those very same weapons systems are potentially being compromised because electronic parts are being manufactured in the very country that the Pentagon claims is the biggest military threat we face in the world?

It's official folks, the movie Idiocracy is no longer a fictional comedy but a documentary.

Actually, that's not really true. We all know, or should know, why this is happening. Because the profits of the corporations who produce the weapons systems for the Pentagon are more important than ANYTHING else, including the lives of the soldiers who use those weapons and even the very security of the United States itself.

Think I'm overstating the case? Here's another blurb from the same article:
Officials from Raytheon, L-3 Communications and Boeing said they took the problem of counterfeits seriously and were working to address the problem.
If these assholes really took this problem seriously, they wouldn't be using parts made anywhere but here in the United States. But of course, that's more expensive and would cut into their profit margins. So, do you supposed any of our so-called "leaders" in Congress asked any of these companies to explain themselves? Don't be so silly:
(Democratic Senator Carl) Levin made it clear that the companies and agencies cooperated with the committee's inquiry.

"We're all on the same side of the battle," he said.
You are right about that, Senator Levin. You, the Pentagon and the defense contractors ARE all on the same side...and that would be the side that is utterly fucking over the American people.


  1. Brondo and Starbucks baby!

  2. Unbelievable, the USA spends that vast sum of money on "defense" and compromises it all by using cheap Chinese made electronics in their weapons systems. Wasn't there a story recently about a virus infecting their drones and that they couldn't work out where it came from, this might be a good place to start looking. As an old cynic I like to think I understand how stupid people can be, but people can always go dumber that you think they can.

  3. @iwe - if the Chinese are NOT compromising our weapons systems by planting viruses in those electronics, or whatever else might sabotage them, then they are an even bigger Idiocracy than we are.

  4. Carl Levin is one of "my" senators, but I'll never vote for him again. Usually sided with the car companies, too, when it came to emission standards. Now that I think of it, I was just out of HIGH SCHOOL when he first won his senate seat, and I am now past the half-century mark! Jeezus Carl -- don't you have anything else to do with your life???

    As for the billions we give the Pentagon every year, they couldn't even protect their own friggin' building on 9/11! Oh man, you got me started here, Bill.

  5. @Patrick - that's okay, I constantly have to battle to keep myself from GETTING started.

  6. During my military service I used to repair communications electronics to the circuit-component level on sensitive equipment, this was in the mid to late 1980s and most of the equipment was either retreaded junk from as far back as pre-WW2 to hand-crafted prototypes from silicon valley.

    I didn't stay in for the great digital revolution, but of my former cohorts and buddies I heard enough to make me glad of my decision: Incorrect, damaged and nefarious chips on nearly every circuit board costing delays of a few months for each piece of equipment.