The wastrels of defense: how Congress sabotages U.S. security.



Transcription of Annotations

Extensive notes on front and back end papers concerning the author's work on Capital Hill, pork: the “project specific spending that members of Congress add to spending bills for their home states and congressional districts,” Senate votes on defense, House resolutions, John McCain as a “pork” enabler, incautious defense spending, the War Powers Act, John Warner, Jacob Javits, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Iraq, and budget gimmicks. Annotations by Brian Lamb in the margins and underlining of pertinent phrases throughout the book.


Wheeler, Winslow T, “The wastrels of defense: how Congress sabotages U.S. security.,” One Book. One Author. One Hour., accessed October 7, 2022,


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The wastrels of defense: how Congress sabotages U.S. security.


Wheeler, Winslow T


Program air date: November 7, 2004


In this expose, a veteran Senate defense adviser argues that since September 11, 2001, the conduct of the U.S. Congress has sunk to new depths and endangered the nation's security. Winslow T. Wheeler draws on three decades of work with four prominent senators to tell in detail how members of Congress divert money from essential war-fighting accounts to pay for pork in their home states and then run for cover when confronted with tough defense issues. With meticulous documentation to support his claims, Wheeler contends that this behavior is not confined to one party or one political philosophy. He also argues that the senators who promote themselves as reformers are not effective in their efforts to stop the pork and that journalists gloss over the damage.."Wheeler has filled this book with evidence of congressional wrongdoing, naming names and citing examples. Pointing to the extremes that have become routine in the legislative process, he focuses on defense appropriations and the willingness of those on Capitol Hill to load down defense bills with pork, in some cases with the Pentagon's help. On the question of deciding war, he accuses today's senators and representatives of lacking the character of their predecessors by positioning themselves on both sides of difficult questions, including the war against Iraq."."Wheeler concludes with a model for reform in which he proposes "twelve not-so-easy steps to a sober Congress," including his ideas for restoring both houses to their original roles and responsibilities."--BOOK JACKET.


"United States. Congress--Appropriations and expenditures."
"United States. Dept. of Defense--Appropriations and expenditures."
"Waste in government spending--United States."
"Patronage, Political--United States."


Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection
Gift of Brian Lamb, 2011.


Naval Institute Press
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives


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