Questioning John McCain on the ‘Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex’

Yesterday, I was afforded the opportunity to ask Sen. John McCain a few questions on the collusion between politicians and the defense companies that manufacture weapons.

McCain came to Tampa, FL to protest the $500 billion in sequestration cuts slated for the military budget over the next 10 years—less than $50 billion per year.

What made McCain’s claims about the need to avoid cuts so interesting is that he has often warned about what he calls the “Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex," the intricate association between military contractors and lawmakers who pursue an agenda of war for lucrative contracts instead of actual threats to national security.

McCain took to the Senate floor on December 15, 2011 to attack this relationship, and I was driven to write about it on Liberty In Exile.

More than 7 months later, I was able to question the Senator on his very valid theme of avoiding collusion between war makers and weapon makers.

Here is the video, with a transcript provided below:

FY: Sen. McCain, in times during your career, you’ve talked a great deal about the Military-Industrial-Complex—-

McCain: Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex, yeah.

FY: You mentioned it in a Senate floor speech on Dec 15 2011. Why is it that you’re not running on this theme now?

McCain: I go to the floor every week or two, I fought for hearings and I’ve attacked over legislative leaders. I fight it everyday. 

FY: Do you believe that with all the hands that have in on the budget now–and that are threatened by sequestration–they’re going get upset and use their influence to stop it? That’s what you’ve been warning about, right?

McCain: What I’ve been warning about is a program like the F-35 has turned into a trillion dollar weapon system. It should have never happened.

McCain: But as you said, members of Congress have the incentive to continue that.

The article describing the entire event, also with Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Kelly Ayotte can be found here.

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, writer, and consumer advocate. His writings and interviews have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and online outlets across the world in multiple languages. He is the founder and editor of Devolution Review and deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center. He was previously a national investigative reporter at He has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) from the CEVRO Institute in Prague, and a Bachelor's in Political Science from Concordia University, Montreal. He currently splits his time between Vienna, Austria and Charlotte, North Carolina.
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