The defence secretary from Boeing

merchantsofdeath.Lithograph by Mabel Dwight

Merchants of Death – Lithograph by Mabel Dwight

Boeing vice-president Patrick Shanahan, who formerly led the company’s missile defence subsidiary, became Deputy Defense Secretary – the second highest position in the Pentagon – and now replaces Gen. James Mattis as Acting US Defense Secretary in the Trump administration, effective January 1st. [1]

Former Boeing CEO and chairman Jim McNerney netted a spot on Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum in December 2016, an advisory body to the president of corporate executives. John C. Rood, Senior Vice President for Lockheed Martin International, is the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the third highest position in the U.S. Defense Department. The revolving door between major arms monopolies, the White House and the Pentagon spins ever more rapidly.

Despite the loss of its Iranian contract due to Trump’s sanctions, Boeing seems to have passed seamlessly from the Obama to the Trump presidency. For example, in 2016, the Washington Post and other media reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary “Clinton functioned as a powerful ally for Boeing’s business interests at home and abroad, while Boeing has invested resources in causes beneficial to Clinton’s public and political image.”

Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a division of The Boeing Company. It is responsible for defence and aerospace products and services and had revenue of 21.06B US in 2017 with 50,699 employees as of 2015. It makes Boeing the second-largest arms company in the world and was responsible for 45 per cent of the company’s income in 2011. Boeing was one of the big winners from Trump’s $109.7 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia that was formally signed on May 20, 2017.

Boeing was a major sponsor of the 2018 Halifax International Security Forum. It is committed to the wrecking of the Canadian aerospace industry such as Bombardier not under its control. [2]

Who owns Boeing?

Institutional holdings of the parasitic financial oligarchy represent ownership of 70.013 per cent of shares, which are held by just 2,039 concerns. The top five institutional shareholders are:

(1) VANGUARD GROUP INC. – 41,624,852 shares. It invests in mutual funds and has over $5.1 trillion in assets under management;

(2) BLACKROCK INC. – 33,934,494. An American global investment management corporation founded in 1988 based in New York City, it is the world’s largest asset manager with $6.29 trillion in assets under management. Barclays has a near-20 per cent stake in BlackRock. BlackRock Solutions was retained by the US Treasury Department in May 2009 to manage the toxic mortgage assets (i.e. to analyze, unwind, and price) that were owned by Bear Stearns, AIG, Inc., Freddie Mac, Morgan Stanley, and other financial firms that were affected in the 2008 financial crisis.

(3) NEWPORT TRUST CO – 32,128,350 shares;

(4) PRICE T ROWE ASSOCIATES INC /MD/ – 31,278,626 shares;

(5) STATE STREET CORP – 26,445,183 shares.

As for the Trump announcement of a so-called U.S. withdrawal from Syria that prompted Mattis’s resignation, don’t hold your breath.


1. President Obama had earlier fired Mattis as Central Command chief for urging a more aggressive Iran policy. Moon of Alabama points out that one of Mattis’ little noticed acts as Defense Secretary was a unannounced change in the mission of the Pentagon:

For at least two decades, the Department of Defense has explicitly defined its mission on its website as providing “the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.” But earlier this year, it quietly changed that statement, perhaps suggesting a more ominous approach to national security.

The Pentagon’s official website now defines its mission this way: “The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide a lethal Joint Force to defend the security of our country and sustain American influence abroad.”

The Pentagon no longer “deters war” but provides “lethal force” to “sustain American influence abroad.”

Mattis, a Marine Corps general and former NATO supreme allied commander, was a war criminal. Journalist Dahr Jamail wrote of the April 2004 US siege of Fallujah:

More importantly, Mattis, known to some by the nickname of “Mad Dog,” has shown a callous disregard for human life, particularly civilians, as evidenced by his behavior leading marines in Iraq, comments he made about enjoying fighting in Afghanistan because “it’s fun to shoot some people. You know, it’s a hell of a hoot,” and myriad other problems.

While reporting from inside Fallujah during that siege, I personally witnessed women, children, elderly people and ambulances being targeted by US snipers under Mattis’ command. Needless to say, all of these are war crimes.

James Mattis Is a War Criminal: I Experienced His Attack on Fallujah Firsthand

2. For a discussion of Boeing and nation-wrecking, see “Bombardier’s attempt to enter US market: Boeing uses US state to crush its competitor,” Workers’ Forum, October 17, 2017; K.C. Adams, “Bombardier Economy in Turmoil,” Workers’ Forum, November 15, 2018,; K.C. Adams, “Bombardier Debacle Shows What It Means for Quebec to Be ‘Open for Business’”, TML Weekly, November 24, 2018 – No. 41.

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