Congress to Flush $365 Million Down the Toilet For Soviet-Era Fighter Jets

Let me get this straight. The latest polls say three-quarters of the American people want a public option in health care, yet it's in question. But, Congress is about to throw $369 million (on a down-payment of $2 billion) for a dozen F-22 fighter jets that even the Pentagon doesn't want. Oh, and the money for it? It's coming out of funds that were set aside to clean up dangerous nuclear waste in the U.S.

Only in Washington.

For those not familiar with the F-22 and why it's a waste, let me explain. It's one of the most -- if not the most advanced air-to-air fighters in the world ... To fight the Soviet Union's next generation fighters. That's right, that's why it was developed. The fighter has limited air-to-ground capabilities, which renders it pretty much useless in the wars we're fighting right now, and might be fighting well into the future. President Obama and Secretary Gates have rightly decided to shift our procurement to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which we could actually use, because of its air-to-ground and stealth capabilities.

Nevertheless, to play it safe, we've got 187 of the obsolete F-22s on-hand or in the pipeline already, just in case the Soviet Union ever comes through with their next-generation fighters. Secretary Gates asked for only four more, to complete what the Pentagon said it could use. After that, the military doesn't want any more of them. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz have publicly withdrawn support for it saying, "The time has come to move on."

Apparently not those looking out for defense contractors, though.

And so, Congress is about to use the Defense Authorization Bill to pay for fighters we don't need from Lockheed-Martin, while taking money from cleaning up nuclear waste. Six decades of U.S. nuclear weapons research, testing, and production activities have left dozens of Department of Energy sites contaminated by radioactive and hazardous waste. The contamination threatens workers, communities, and the environment, including major water supplies.


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.