The Jet that Ate the Pentagon

According to the Project on Government Oversight, “The U.S. is going to spend $1.5 trillion on the F-35, and it still isn’t meeting its goals. Watch the video and find out how this happened.” Several commentators including Winslow Wheeler and William Hartung discuss this flying monuments to government waste.

44 thoughts on “The Jet that Ate the Pentagon”

  1. $1.5 trillion can be used to stuff a lot of plain brown envelopes for distribution among those in Congress who refuse to let this boondoggle die.

    1. Right, except that it was probably a miniscule fraction of the $1.5 trillion that was enough to buy off Congress. After all, the company needs to show windfall profits off of which the execs can pull in their obscene compensation.

  2. Chinese and russian fighter jockeys are laughing in their ejection seats when talking about the – ummm – capabilities of the up and coming – Or is that "down and crashing"? – F-35…

  3. This "monorail to nowhere" problem (see also, The Simpsons, s04e012) is not that unique in terms of underlying ideologies in terms of technocracy and bureaucracy which made it possible. Smaller versions can be found in many governmental programs, especially when they meet aerospace or information technology. The visionaries can become suddenly the natural ally of the political animals and money starts flowing around like some life blood: to fuel but also to protect.

    The underlying causes are not just in the Pentagon or Lockheed here but I believe we're looking at yet another symptom of a bankrupt set of ideologies teaming up. It's therefore a clear "sign" of the times. And a bizarre one for that.

  4. The F 35 is meeting its real goals…keeping the MIC alive. Tactical warplanes have no reason for existence in a "defense" posture, but when has the US been anything but offensive ( note to 3rd grade elementary school readers; the War of 1812 was fought to conquer and annex Canada)? What were the real reasons for the 1ST Gulf War? Well, to find another enemy to replace the curiously evaporated Soviet threat (keeping the MIC alive), and to establish a permanent US military presence in the Mid-East to both protect and threaten the Saudis on whose shoulders rest the petro dollar and a good portion of our perceived wealth.

  5. The Pentagon should just cut its losses and sell the remaining F-35s to Israel.

    "OK, Hymie, I'm taking off now…what the f—??'"

    *loud crashing sound*

  6. The technological debacle called the F-35 was predictable. The Pentagon, Congress, and the MIC didn't do their homework. The first failed attempt at a tri-service airplane was the F-111. The lesson: It's impossible to meet all three services requirements in one design as well as be optimized for air superiority, long-range airspace control, and close air support in one package. If it meets Air Force requirements, it is typically too heavy for Navy carriers and does not have enough loiter time for the Marines. The list goes on and on. So, the F-35 will try to be everything to everyone and end up doing nothing particularly well, which appears to be the case.

  7. The F-35 is starting to remind me of another Pentagon boondoggle, the B-1 bomber. I was in the USAF when that plane debuted, and it quickly became known as the "Flying Edsel." It had so many design flaws that someone suggested it be painted yellow with a big "Sunkist" stamped on the side.

    1. Yes, and isn't it amazing that 1950s-vintage B-52s might still be flying even after the B-1 and probably the F-35 are consigned to the boneyard? Especially when you consider the newest BUFF was rolled out of the Boeing factory the same year I was born (1962). No doubt because they weren't built with Chinese-made parts (and numerous rebuild and life-extension programs, too over the past 50+ years, too).

  8. The Pentagon's got by for 60 yr on the generous belief in Dr. Johnson's comment about a dog walking on its hind legs: it's not done especially well, but we're always amazed that it's done at all.

  9. Feinstein’s powerful service to Big Brother, reaching new heights in recent months, is just getting started. She’s hard at work to muddy all the waters of public discourse she can – striving to protect the NSA from real legislative remedies while serving as a key political enabler for President Obama’s shameless abuse of the First,

  10. Feinsteina??s powerful service to Big Brother, reaching new heights in recent months, is just getting started. Shea??s hard at work to muddy all the waters of public discourse she can a?? striving to protect the NSA from real legislative remedies while serving as a key political enabler for President Obamaa??s shameless abuse of the First,

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