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With the predictable failure of the “Super Committee,” Washington is now coasting toward mandatory cuts to the holiest of holies within the Beltway: the defense budget. Against this backdrop, David Trilling’s excellent investigative piece in Foreign Policy, entitled “Propagandastan,” uncovers one of the most ridiculous wastes of taxpayer funds ever: the payment of tens of millions of dollars to a subsidiary of the massive defense contractor General Dynamics for the purpose of whitewashing the human rights records of dictators in Central Asia. How does this advance America’s national security? Presumably the Pentagon will get around to explaining that, someday.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Jobs created by every billion dollars of U.S. government defense spending:
Artists tend to have twice as many sexual partners as noncreative people.
Swiss retailer Migros cut off ties with a collectible-creamer company following the distribution of 2,000 creamers whose lids bore images of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. “You cannot put Pol Pot or a terrorist on a milk creamer,” said a Migros spokesman.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”