May 30, 2016

Outnumbered is a Fox 'News' talk show featuring four women, (one liberal-ish and three Republicans) and a male guest who is labeled #OneLuckyGuy. Today's guy is the Iran-Contra's scandal's leading man, Lt. Col. Oliver North, who gets a pass on his crimes simply because he is a Republican.

Twenty-seven years have passed since a court ruled on Oliver North's crimes, which were committed at the behest of the Reagan Administration. The Lt. Colonel sold weapons to Iran to help fund rebels fighting Nicaragua’s Socialist government, miring us in a foreign drug-based conflict that was forbidden by Congress.

North was convicted of altering and destroying National Security Council documents, aiding and abetting the obstruction of a November 1986 congressional inquiry into the Iran-contra affair, and of illegally accepting a home security system as a gift.

One might think that this dubious distinction is enough to discredit Ollie North for the rest of his life. Just the opposite, Fox 'News' is happy to cart him out any time they want to terrify their audience into believing that the big bad Democrat in the White House is savagely slashing our nation's military. In fact, any time a Democrat is POTUS, they will whine about how our military is dangerously and insufficiently funded.

The right also has their think tank apparatus, primarily The Heritage Foundation and The American Enterprise Institute, but also the Committee on the Present Danger, which seem to exist solely to pronounce on the doom of the American military.

It’s a well-known fact that the $596 billion the US spent on defense in 2015 is more than the next seven countries combined (four of whom are allies, by the way), but the rhetoric of decline aims to obscure that fact and make it seem like we teeter on the edge of disaster and are about to be overtaken by any number of well-financed, ruthless enemies. It’s not true. It’s a dishonest show designed to scare us for political purposes.

North was on air to do the job of any Republican in the military and conclude that we are in imminent danger due to our 'feckless' leader.

NORTH: There's no doubt that the U.S. Military is not in the kind of shape it needs to be in... our military is the smallest it's been since before World War II. (an oft repeated GOP lie).

He asserts that all branches of our military, save the Marine Corps, have suffered drastic budget reductions. But this next statement is perhaps the most hyperbolic claim ever.

NORTH: Our Air Force is TINY. We've invested in a lot of the wrong things, this last seven and a half years have been a DISASTER!

What is Col. North alluding to with his comment about the wrong things that we've invested in? He definitely doesn't mean that we should divest ourselves of many of our ridiculously expensive and often obsolete weapons. The GOP is all about awarding industry leaders, like Lockheed Martin, obscenely exorbitant defense contracts and won't trim this sort of profligate spending. Ollie North is merely a profiteer of the defense industry and nothing this man says should be taken as anything but a grift.

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