Obama and the military-industrial-scientific complex.

Author:Grossman, Karl
Position:Less Energy - Barack Obama

Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address as president 48 years ago is famous for his warning of the rise of a "military-industrial complex" in the United States. In fact, the original draft of the speech warned not only of a "military-industrial complex" but of the "military-industrial-scientific complex." Only because of the plea of Eisenhower's science advisor, James Killian, was the word "scientific" eliminated.

The "military-industrial-scientific complex" was the far more accurate description of the complex of vested interests manipulating the US then--and now. Obama has named as his secretary of energy Dr. Steven Chu, a physicist and director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a staunch advocate of nuclear power--typical of the sentiment of those in the national nuclear laboratory system. At his confirmation hearing before the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Dr. Chu declared that nuclear power "is going to be an important part of our energy mix." He also spoke for an $18.5 billion loan guarantee program for new nuclear power plants.

As his science advisor, Obama appointed physicist John Holdren, who in 1970 "started my career working on nuclear fusion" at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he noted in a speech last year. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is where the hydrogen bomb, based on fusion, was developed. But, said Dr. Holdren in his January 17, 2008 talk on "Meeting the Climate-Change Challenge," he "decided" that fusion "was not going to work by the time I died" in terms of non-military use. So he "started looking at approaches to meet our energy needs that could help more quickly." He has long considered fission, how atomic bombs and nuclear power plants work, as a source of energy particularly to deal with global warming. This despite the overall "nuclear cycle"--which includes uranium mining and milling, enrichment, fuel fabrication and disposal of radioactive waste--having significant greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming.

Eisenhower in the January 17, 1961 address declared: "In the council 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."

Eisenhower warned: "Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposing danger that public...

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