Today's Chicago Sun-Times celebrates Independence Day with "Boeing as amoral as firms that aided Hitler," written by columnist Dick Simpson.
Simpson tells us:
Boeing pretends to be a good corporate citizen supporting Chicago arts groups and community organizations with grants. The company is listed prominently in playbills and annual reports.
But Boeing also abets torture. It is, after all, a defense contractor as well as a provider of civilian passenger jets. It is locked at the hip and the bottom line with the U.S. government.
Despite our pride in Boeing as a global corporation, it is as amoral as the German corporations that aided Hitler. Only money and contracts count with Boeing.
And what has Boeing done to warrant such withering criticism? Why, a Boeing subsidiary "since 2001 has provided flight and logistical support for at least 15 aircraft making 70 clandestine flights for the CIA. Jeppesen allows the CIA to transport prisoners such as ACLU plaintiffs Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, and Ahmed Agiza to secret locations where they were tortured as part of our government's 'war on terror.'"
Oh, the horror of it all. Can you imagine, an average of less than one flight a month since 9/11 to transport individuals our government believes have terrorist ties. Outrageous.
Transporting a relatively small number of people for the U.S. government is comparable to the Nazi extermination of millions in the eyes of liberals like Simpson. He hasn't changed much since the 1970s when, as a Chicago alderman he backed resolutions calling for withdrawal from Vietnam. He also enjoyed - if that's the right word- a connection with the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee of Chicago. By the 1980s, he was demanding Chicago be deemed a nuclear weapons free zone. At that time he was the executive director of Clergy and Laity Concerned; Simpson is a United Church of Christ minister.
Maybe if Boeing and its subsidiary would just agree to assignments such as removing our troops from Iraq or assisting Fidel Castro or something along those lines, Simpson could approve. But aiding the U.S. government is simply beyond the pale. It's. . . it's. . . just like what the companies that helped Hitler did.
Happy July 4th, Dick.