Defense Funding

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  • Fox Civil War: Defense Department budget edition

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Today, Mike Huckabee voiced support for certain Defense Department cuts proposed by the co-chairmen of the White House National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform on Fox & Friends, while Sarah Palin urged Republicans to oppose defense cuts.

    Palin wrote "An Open Letter to Republican Freshmen Members of Congress" on her Facebook page today:

    You need to say no to cutting the necessities in our defense budget when we are engaged in two wars and face so many threats - from Islamic extremists to a nuclear Iran to a rising China. As Ronald Reagan said, "We will always be prepared, so we may always be free."

    Fox News' America's Election HQ, Foxnews.com, and Fox Nation highlighted Palin's letter.

    Palin letter on Fox Nation

    By contrast, on Fox & Friends today, Huckabee argued in favor of the defense cuts proposed by the White House commission:

    DAVE BRIGGS: I was surprised, though, that the right wasn't as outspoken about some of the defense cuts that we need to make. A hundred billion dollars slashed out of that beast of a defense budget. It's unpatriotic to come out and talk about the defense budget, but their Pentagon is accepting airplanes that they don't even need.

    HUCKABEE: They don't need and that they don't want. And what happens is, we're still designing a lot of military hardware for a war that we don't plan to fight. And, Robert Gates the Defense Department secretary, who I think has done an excellent job, and he has been one of those willing to grind sacred cows into hamburger and serve it rare, has really helped to identify ways in which we can keep ourselves strong, not cutting the military strength and not hurting veterans. There are two things Americans don't want to do, number one, get weak and, number two, hurt the veterans who kept us free. But those priorities don't have to be bloated with a lot of stuff that really is not about keeping us safe and protecting and caring for veterans. So yes, there are areas of the defense budget that need to be looked at honestly.

    This isn't the first time that Palin has been at odds with another GOP official and Fox News contributor. We've noted the charges lobbed between Palin and Fox News contributor Karl Rove and their allies as a prelude to the 2012 Republican presidential primary.

  • Drudge tries to create Obama scandal with 2003-2007 Iraq reconstruction funds

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    The Drudge Report is attempting to link $8.7 billion in Iraq reconstruction money that the DOD reportedly cannot account for to the Obama administration by blaring the headline "Defense Dept. can't account for $8.7 billion" under an image of President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. But the Associated Press article Drudge linked to reported that the funds in question predate the Obama administration.

    From the Drudge Report, accessed July 27:

    Drudge screen shot

    In fact, the Associated Press article Drudge links to makes clear that the funds in question were "withdrawn" from the U.N. Security Council's Development Fund for Iraq "between 2004 and 2007."

    From the July 27 AP article:

    A U.S. audit has found that the Pentagon cannot account for over 95 percent of $9.1 billion in Iraq reconstruction money, spotlighting Iraqi complaints that there is little to show for the massive funds pumped into their cash-strapped, war-ravaged nation.

    [...]

    The $9.1 billion in question came from the Development Fund for Iraq, which was set up by the U.N. Security Council in 2003. The DFI includes revenues from Iraq's oil and gas exports, as well as frozen Iraqi assets and surplus funds from the defunct, Saddam Hussein-era U.N. oil-for-food program.

    Iraq had given the U.S. authorization to tap into the fund, which is held in New York, for humanitarian and reconstruction efforts, withdrawing that approval in December 2007.

    With the establishment of the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq shortly after the start of the U.S. invasion in 2003 until mid-2004, about $20 billion was placed into the account. The $9.1 billion audited by the Iraq reconstruction inspector general were funds withdrawn from that account between 2004 and 2007.

  • Heritage's Carafano falsely claims Obama is "refusing to modernize" nuclear arsenal and "cutting back on defense"

    ››› ››› TOM ALLISON

    In a Washington Examiner column, the Heritage Foundation's James Carafano falsely claimed that the Obama administration is "refusing to modernize the U.S. [nuclear] arsenal" and is "cutting back on defense." In fact, the administration's Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) includes "significantly increased investments" to modernize America's nuclear weapons infrastructure, and each of Obama's two defense budget requests have increased the budget by billions of dollars.

  • Varney's claim that Obama inflated deployment costs undermined by Pentagon assessment that is reportedly in line with White House

    ››› ››› TOM ALLISON

    Fox Business' Stuart Varney baselessly claimed that the Obama administration was using inflated cost estimates of $1 million per year per soldier to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan in order to "introduce the pressure to leave" and that the Pentagon's estimate for cost per additional soldier deployed to Afghanistan is "closer to $600,000." However, the Pentagon reportedly acknowledged that the lower estimate does not include additional essential costs such as constructing additional facilities, providing support forces, intelligence assets, weapons, and other equipment, and one Pentagon comptroller memo that did include such costs reportedly estimated the cost to be between $750,000 to $1,250,000 per soldier per year, placing the White House estimate in line with the Pentagon.

  • FBN's Payne invokes "Pirate Problem" to repeat Obama defense cut falsehood

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Fox Business' Charles Payne asked whether the "piracy situation" and other recent foreign policy events will make President Obama reconsider "cutting the [military] budget," and on-screen text read: "Pirate Problem: Will President Obama Rethink Military Cuts?" In fact, the Obama administration has proposed increasing defense spending by billions of dollars.