GE- War Profiteer and Silencer of Dissenting Voices

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Offline Dig

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GE- War Profiteer and Silencer of Dissenting Voices
« on: August 23, 2007, 11:05:38 am »
Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.
-Benito Mussolini (father of fascism)

General Electric
Run until 2001 by “Neutron” Jack Welch, who made it a matter of principle to lay off 10% of his workers per year, the world’s biggest company churns out plastics, aircraft engines and nuclear reactors and media spin through NBC, CNBC, Telemundo, and msnbc.com.

CEO: Jeffrey R. Immelt
Military contracts 2005: $2.2 billion
Defense-related contributions in the 2004 election cycle: $220,950*

The world’s largest company by market share, General Electric’s revenues in 2003 totaled $134.2 billion. GE was run until 2001 by “Neutron” Jack Welch, who made it a matter of principle to lay off 10% of his workers per year.

General Electric makes household appliances, plastics, water treatment systems, lighting, medical equipment, and commercial financial services. It also makes aircraft engines and nuclear reactors, and keeps criticism at bay with its ownership of media giants NBC, CNBC, Telemundo, Bravo, and, in partnership with Microsoft, msnbc.com. GE’s recent partnership with Vivendi added Universal Studios, USA, Trio and Sci-fi cable channels to its $43 billion media empire.

General Electric is one of the world’s top three producers of jet engines, supplying Boeing, Lockheed Martin and other military aircraft makers for the powering of airplanes and helicopters. The “war on terrorism” has seen GE’s military contracts rise substantially. But the company’s “defense” side has been doing well for a while. GE and other military contractors got a big boost under the Clinton administration from Presidential Directive 41 which stated that it was the job of US diplomats to promote arms sales abroad in order to safeguard American jobs; this directive tied the promotions of diplomats to how effectively they hocked US armaments.

GE has designed 91 nuclear power plants in 11 countries, yet its nuclear reactors around the world have a fatal flaw. In the event of a nuclear meltdown, there is a 90 percent chance that radiation from GE-designed reactors would be discharged directly into the atmosphere. While the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is aware of the problem, it continues to license GE nuclear reactors. GE’s history with nuclear power is an ugly one. In the 1940s-1960s the company ran experiments on humans with radiation, including irradiating the reproductive organs of prison inmates in Walla Walla, Washington, without warning them of the risk of cancer. Other tests were run on the elderly and hospital patients. General Electric intentionally released large amounts of radiation into the air from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, in order to see the distance it would travel. These atrocities were revealed in hearings in 1986 held by Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts. The company has also been accused of knowingly poisoning its workers at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady, New York with radiation and asbestos. General Electric is currently attempting to overturn the US Superfund Law of 1980, which allows the government to hold polluters responsible for cleaning up their toxic chemicals. GE argues that it is “unconstitutional” for the Environmental Protection Agency to force the company to pay $500 million for the cleanup of the Hudson River, where GE dumped carcinogenic PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, over three decades. In March 2004, a federal appeals court has revived GE’s lawsuit. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that GE is trying to change the Superfund Law: the company is responsible for 78 Superfund sites around the US. It’s clearly not safe to be a worker for GE either. The US government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has cited the company for 858 workplace safety violations from 1990-2001.

General Electric has been involved in so many cases of fraud that in the 1990s the Pentagon's Defense Contract Management Agency created a special investigations office specifically for the company, which indicted GE on 22 criminal counts and recovered $221.7 million. In one case, in 1992, GE entered a guilty plea to criminal and civil charges for defrauding the Pentagon in a case where money was funneled to the Israeli military. GE was fined $69 million for violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.GE’s financial division has been another area ripe for fraud. GE was fined $100 million for trying to get bankrupt creditors to pay without informing the bankruptcy courts, in effect paying debts that they no longer legally owed. Not surprisingly, General Electric is the financial backer of WorldCom, the telecom company whose massive fraud and creative accounting led to the largest bankruptcy in US history.The company has been involved in countless scandals, but strangely enough, they don’t seem to affect General Electric’s ability to win government contracts – but then, this is typical of all military contractors. According to a survey by the Center for Public Integrity, from 1990-2002, 30 of the US government’s top contractors were found guilty of fraud in 400 cases, leading to settlements and fines amounting to at least $3.4 billion. General Electric paid $982.9 million for 63 cases in this period.

Such repeated behavior and continued contracts wouldn’t be possible without friends in high places, of which General Electric. GE spent more than $31 million in 2001 and 2002 lobbying lawmakers; in 2000 it spent $16 million. Reigning CEO Jack Welch had enormous influence and was consistently ranked CEO of the Year by the slavish business press; he was major Republican donor as well. GE director Sam Nunn was senator for Georgia for 27 years, and also sits on the boards of ChevronTexaco. GE’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel and Secretary, Benjamin W. Heineman, used to work for the US government’s Department of Health, Education and Welfare. General Electric's defense sector gave $221,200 to political campaigns in the 2004 election cycle, with 50 percent going to Democrats and 50 percent to Republicans. *Source: opensecrets.org

General Electric
Fair Finance Watch
United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)
GE Workers United
EnviroHealthAction

US: Energy Group Plans to Build Nuclear Plants in Gulf States
by Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times
September 23rd, 2005
A consortium of eight companies said on Thursday that it would spend about $100 million to prepare applications to build two nuclear reactors, in Mississippi and Alabama, a step that seems to move the industry closer to its first new reactor order since the 1970's.

US: Court Revives GE Challenge of Superfund Law
by Devlin Barrett, Associated Press
March 4th, 2004
A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the 1980 Superfund law that allows the government to assess polluters for cleaning up toxic waste sites.

US: Big Media Gets Bigger
by Bill Moyers, NOW with Bill Moyers on PBS
October 10th, 2003
Big media companies keep getting bigger – with more and more power over our lives. This week's deal between General Electric (GE) and Vivendi means that GE'S NBC, which helped elect Arnold Schwarzenegger Governor of California, has just picked up not only Universal Studios, but the USA, Trio and Sci-fi cable channels, to go with CNBC and MSNBC, all now part of a $43 billion dollar empire.

US: The Case Against General Electric
Multinational Monitor
August 1st, 2001
General Electric has a lengthy record of criminal, civil, political and ethical transgressions, some of them shocking in disregard for the integrity of human beings. This article will list a few examples.

World: General Electric's Global Assault
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, Mother Jones
May 26th, 2000
While the 20-reign of General Electric's CEO has been a golden era for shareholders - the company's stock value has risen three time more than the Dow Jones average, leading Forbes magazine to name Welch the "Most Admired CEO of the Century" - it has been a disaster for employees.

US: General Electric Expose Garners an Oscar
by Megan Rosenfeld, Washington Post
April 23rd, 1992
Chasnoff's film indicts the multi-billion-dollar corporation on two counts: failing to clean up the site of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, and knowingly poisoning workers with asbestos and radiation at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady, N.Y. Scenes of Hanford area residents who have had or know of birth defects and cancer are juxtaposed with the familiar jingle: "GE: We bring good things to life."
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Re: GE- War Profiteer and Silencer of Dissenting Voices
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2007, 11:18:25 am »
General Electric Makes it to the top war profiteers list:
Top Military Contractors/War Profiteers
 
The following companies are the top 10 recipients of U.S. military dollars.

David J. Lesar, CEO, Kellogg, Brown & Root (subsidiary of Halliburton )
2003 military contracts revenue: $3.9 billion
Runs US military bases in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Djibouti, Georgia, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey and Uzbekistan, built Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prisons, South Vietnam & Diego Garcia military bases
 
Vance D. Coffman, CEO, Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Maryland.
2002 Salary: $25.3 million
Campaign Contributions in 2002: $9.7 million, Military Contracts 2000-2003: $69.1 billion,
Products: F-16, F/A-22 jet fighters, C-130J air transport, Hellfire, Javelin missiles

Philip M. Condit, CEO, Boeing of Chicago, Illinois
2002 Salary: $4.1 million
Campaign Contributions in 2002: $1.6 million, Military Contracts 2000-2003: $60 billion
Products: F-15 fighter, C-17 air transport, Apache Helicopter, JDAM "smart" bombs

William H. Swanson, CEO, Raytheon of Lexington, Massachusetts.
2002 Salary: $8.9 million, Military contracts 2000-2002: $27.5 billion
Products: Patriot & Tomahawk missiles, "Bunker Buster" bomb

Ronald Sugar, CEO, Northrop Grumman of Los Angeles, CA
2002 Salary: $1.5 million, military contracts 2000-2002: $34.6 billion (including TRW)
Products: B-2 stealth bomber, amphibious assault ships

Nicholas D Chabraja, CEO, General Dynamics of Fall Church, Virginia
2002 Salary: $15.2 million
Campaign Contributions in 2002: $1.64 million, Military Contracts 2000-2002: $25 billion
Products: Abrams M1 tanks, Trident submarines

George David, CEO, United Technologies of Hartford, Connecticut
2002 Salary: $9.7 million, Military contracts 2000-2002: $9.8 billion
Products: Black Hawk, Sea Hawk, Comanche helicopters

John F. Welch, Jr., CEO, General Electric of Fairfield. Connecticut
2002 Salary: $15.1 million
Campaign Contributions in 2002: $221,350, Military Contracts 2000-2003: $7.7 billion
Products: Aircraft engines, nuclear reactors, NBC news, msnbc.com

 
Paul V. Lombardi, CEO, DynCorp
Owned by Computer Sciences Corporation of El Segundo, California
Campaign Contributions in 2002: $221,350, Military Contracts 2000-2003: $5.5 billion
Products: Rent-a-cops in Afghanistan, Bosnia & Iraq, US-Mexico border, defoliation missions in Colombia.

For more information go to www.warprofiteers.com or www.corpwatch.org
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately