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William Hartung on Lockheed Martin, Your #1 Defense Contractor; Filmmaker Ken Boswer on New Phil Ochs Doc

Bill Hartung’s new book about Lockheed Martin details the company’s dominance of the military-industrial complex and its outsized influence on US policy; Kenneth Bowser talks about his new documentary, Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune. Hartung is Director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation, and his new book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military Industrial Complex. We start at the present: Lockheed Martin will take in $30 billion in federal contracts this fiscal year, from contracts with the Pentagon, Postal Service, IRS, Homeland Security and NASA. He details the bungled contract for new Coast Guard cutters, how Lockheed Martin continues to profit from sales of Patriot missiles and the phony “Star Wars” missile defense system, and its sale to Israel of the cluster bombs used in Lebanon and Gaza in violation of US law. He describes how the Rumsfeld Commission and Project for a New American Century in the late 1990’s helped set the stage for doubling the Pentagon budget and massive war profiteering under Bush. And he gives the history of Lockheed’s ups and downs–and how a government bailout and Reagan’s military buildup saved the company. At 54:15, film director Ken Bowser talks about his new film about Phil Ochs, the folk singer who wrote some of the anthems for protests in the 1960’s. We compare Ochs to Dylan, and recap the desegregation and anti-war protests. Bowser talks about the way Ochs wrote songs about politics and current events, producing many versions of some of his songs, and Ochs’ leadership of the satirical “war is over” pronouncements, which were copied by John Lennon. PBC talks about a flashback from seeing Ed Sanders in the film, and references his song “The Iliad” (available at iTunes), a red-neck gem that will never be politically correct. Full info on the film is here.