Officially, the recent airstrikes in Syria were a matter of retaliation for the use of chemical weapons. But were they really?
- The airfield attacked with those 59 Tomahawk missles was once more functional, and in use, only days later.
- President Trump may well have made a tidy profit off the use of those missiles, given his connections to the manufacturer, Raytheon.
According to Raytheon’s website: “Today’s Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile can circle for hours, shift course instantly on command and beam a picture of its target to controllers halfway around the world before striking with pinpoint accuracy.
Tomahawk can be launched from a ship or submarine and can fly into heavily defended airspace more than 1,000 miles away to conduct precise strikes on high-value targets with minimal collateral damage.
Launching the weapon from such a long distance helps to keep sailors out of harm’s way.”
Conspicuously absent from that website? The many ways in which Trump and Raytheon have supported each other. According to the most recent disclosure, the Trumps actually own or have owned stock in Raytheon.
That’s right, the 59 missiles, that Trump hurled at Syria — which cost taxpayers somewhere between $47 million and $82 million — could’ve actually turned a profit for the president.
Also conveniently ignored in all of this talk about the missiles and the strike is that Raytheon contributed, significantly, to the Trump campaign – and this strike helped raise the value of the company somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion. That’s not pocket change.
Of course, because Trump refuses to release his taxes or be in any way transparent with his finances, it’s impossible to know just how tangled he and Raytheon are.
“We need to know, has he put them in conflict free assets … or has he bought other stocks or assets that would create new conflicts?” Norm Eisen, who served as ethics counselor to President Obama asked. “It’s all the more reason that we need a prompt and full financial disclosure. If he did liquidate all his stocks, what did he do with the money? What bank is the money in? What did he buy? It’s a lot of money.”
Besides the extra $1.5 billion that Raytheon gained as a result of the strike, Lockheed Martin and Boeing saw similar gains. Both of those companies also contributed to Trump’s campaign, as most of the big defense contractors were also giving to him – all of those are companies that gained from the most recent military actions.
Because the disclosure listings from the FEC are structured in a way that only requires presidential candidates to list their holdings in broad ranges, it’s impossible to know just how much money Trump made on the strike, because we don’t know how large of a stake he had in these companies, it doesn’t seem right that taxpayers paid for the strike – at an expense of $60 million dollars – so that Trump can make himself money off military action.
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