Report: Military Spent Over $10 Million on ‘Paid Patriotism’

You know when you go to a baseball game and invariably during some inning break the team points out a group of soldiers or national guard members in the stands and tries to get a big round of applause going? That doesn’t just happen.

A new report from Sens. John McCain (R – AZ) and Jeff Flake (R – AZ) revealed that the Pentagon has spent over $10 million in recent years to keep those “shows of patriotism” active across sporting events.

Whether it’s paying for special VIP parking for generals or for some team to show the military’s logo on their jumbotron, these programs are overwhelmingly pay-to-play sponsorship schemes. If 20 members of the military are getting the “Richard Petty ride-along experience,” it comes as part of a $1.5 million annual expenditure.

Interestingly, Congressional leaders seem to be of two minds about this heavily subsidized pretense of a pro-military environment, insisting it is a waste of money but largely expecting the teams to continue the programs irrespective of whether they pay for them.

That’s probably not going to be realistic, particularly in the long run, and while it’s certainly a waste of taxpayer money to have the National Guard buying a block of Red Sox tickets, Congress may be about to learn that in the absence of “paid patriotism” there’s going to be a lot less VIP treatment coming the military’s way.

24 thoughts on “Report: Military Spent Over $10 Million on ‘Paid Patriotism’”

      1. Remember the opening ceremony in Sochi? A pseudo-historical pageant of Russian history with Stalin in a prominent place.

    1. at least in the later roman empire(Byzantium) the circus was not just entertainment but a highly politicized event, with the Greens (monophosites, populists) and the Blues (orthodox, elitist) where not just passive consumers of entertainment, but where highly active in politics and religion, over throwing emperors, change state policies, and generally being a nuisance to the the state by making their will known through collective violence and intrigue .

    2. It's hard to believe war-monger, ISIS promoter, leader of the military-industrial complex, McCain was one of those issuing the report!!

  1. By the same token why does every NFL football helmet have an American flag stuck on it? Since the NFL is an American institution, the flags on helmets seems to be a bit redundant.

  2. And in some news segments the individual sports are somehow presented as the bad guys, as if they should do this stuff for free. Clearly the Pentagon sees a need for this buffoonery to stay relevant in the minds of the American people. Because they for sure don't have any successes to show for all the money they steal from the taxpayer.

  3. Keeping (us) masses distracted with blind patriotism is a powerful
    tool of war profiteers and criminals in control of this country.

    I wouldn't be surprised if these same criminals are behind most of
    the garbage we see on television and in the movies.

    10 million sounds like a bargain, compared to the 43 million
    the Pentagon squandered to build one gas station in Afghanistan.

  4. Remember, the jet flyovers are written off as "training exercises". You know that if they can FIND $10M on the books the actual expenditure has go to be on the order of ten fold more…that would be TWO and a THIRD Afghan Exxons…

    And let's not forget the flap over the NASCAR sponsorships a while back. And about those flyovers… from Hardly a "Liberal Rag"

  5. I wonder if the military has considered pro wrestling – sponsoring real buffoonery – e.g. The Mad Russkie vs G I Joe, or the Masked Terrorist vs. Little David, the Israeli. Plus the target audience would be golden – genuine idiots, full of patriotism and aggression screaming for blood. However; FOX has developed this audience and may need to be compensated.

    1. Eventually Tom Brady and the "Patriots" are going to play the "Islamic Jihad" in the Super Bowl every year. It will resemble the Harlem Globe Trotters versus the Washington Generals.

  6. Is this really so odd? Americans are given to sloppy, hand-on-the-heart and tear-in-the-eye patriotsim. In most countries, sport and nationalism (and more boradly, right-wing politics) go hand in hand. It's just expressed differently.

  7. Include this as well. November 5, 2015 Pentagon Farmed Out It's Coding to Russia

    The Pentagon was tipped off in 2011 by a longtime Army contractor that Russian computer programmers were helping to write computer software for sensitive U.S. military communications systems, setting in motion a four-year federal investigation that ended this week with a multimillion-dollar fine against two firms involved in the work.

    1. Russian coders are pretty good though.

      "If you can't run your military by buying the services of your potential rival (with fake money to boot), maybe you are going a bit too far with your imperial wish-list"

  8. Thank you for whomever is reporting the spam. I am starting to miss the racists and the creeps. They at least were entertaining.

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