Follow us on social


Lockheed Martin ads resurface on Politico foreign policy newsletter

The promotions were removed for about a month after the internet mocked the clear appearance of a conflict of interest.

Reporting | Media

Weapons industry giant Lockheed Martin is once again advertising in Politico’s daily foreign policy newsletter, after taking a brief, unexplained hiatus last month. 

On August 16, after the sponsorship was the subject of widespread mockery on the internet, Lockheed’s ads were not only scrubbed from the following editions of the National Security Daily, but they also disappeared from all previous editions. 

But during Lockheed’s advertising hiatus, Politico ran a puff piece about one of its weapons research and development facilities, which the author described as akin to visiting Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. 

Meanwhile, the September 3 edition of Politico’s paid subscription newsletter Morning Defense ran a blurb touting how many jobs Lockheed Martin would be bringing to Johnstown, Pa. “for F-16 manufacturing work.”


Indeed, those opposing cuts to the Pentagon’s budget or promoting increases in defense spending often claim (however dubious) that taxpayer dollars going to weapons firms creates jobs. In fact, it’s part of Lockheed Martin’s self-promotional material

Responsible Statecraft asked Politico whether Lockheed Martin paid for that blurb, why the ads disappeared and then resurfaced, and about the more general optics of the weapons industry giant’s sponsorship.

"There is a strong firewall between POLITICO’s newsroom and business teams," a Politico spokesperson said, adding that the outlet's sales team "has no influence whatsoever on editorial content and does not share client information with reporters and editors. Advertisements are plainly visible and demarcated in our newsletters and across our platforms."

Regarding Lockheed Martin advertising on Politico’s foreign policy newsletter, Mandy Smithberger, director of the Center for Defense Information at the Project on Government Oversight, said “it obviously creates the appearance of a conflict of interest.” 

POGO’s weekly newsletter, the Bunker, actually derides the practice of these kinds of corporate sponsorships, noting that it’s not funded by the likes of Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grumman.

“There is, at least, the benefit of some transparency so that the public can judge whether advertisers are exercising undue influence over content,” she said, adding, “I'm more concerned by those publications including more sponsored content, which is much less clear to readers about what is news and what's a paid ad.”

Reporting | Media
US flouts international law with Pacific military claims
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) transits the Pacific Ocean Jan. 25, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alexander Williams)

US flouts international law with Pacific military claims


In defiance of international norms and rules, U.S. officials are laying claim to the large oceanic area in the central Pacific Ocean that is home to the compact states.

Now that they are renewing the economic provisions of the compacts of free association with Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia, U.S. officials are insisting that the compacts provide the United States with exclusive control over an area of the central Pacific Ocean that is comparable in size to the United States.

keep readingShow less
Not leaving empty handed: Zelensky gets his ATACMs
President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden greet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Mrs. Olena Zelenska of Ukraine at the South Portico of the White House. (Photo by Allison Bailey/NurPhoto)

Not leaving empty handed: Zelensky gets his ATACMs


So it looks like Ukrainian President Zelensky did not leave Washington empty handed this week after all. According to reports this afternoon, the Biden administration has relented and will transfer long range ATACMs, long considered too escalatory for the conflict, to Ukraine in the “upcoming weeks,” according to POLITICO.

The ATACMs variant that the U.S. is reportedly considering, according to the Washington Post (which, unlike POLITICO says the administration is "nearing an announcement") uses controversial cluster munitions, another old "red line" for the administration in this war, instead of a single warhead. This is not exactly what the Ukrainians had hoped for.

keep readingShow less
Wall Street Journal

Editorial credit: monticello /

WSJ conceals Saudi funding of pro-Saudi nuke deal source


The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that “Israeli officials are quietly working with the Biden administration on a polarizing proposal to set up a U.S.-run uranium-enrichment operation in Saudi Arabia as part of a complex three-way deal to establish official diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern countries,” according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

The article, authored by Dion Nissenbaum and Dov Lieber, largely showcases Israeli opposition to the deal. Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a group whose mission includes providing “education to enhance Israel’s image in North America…” was quoted opposing a uranium enrichment program on Saudi soil. He warned that “we’re one bullet away from a disaster in Saudi Arabia,” adding, “What happens if, God forbid, a radical Islamist leader takes control?”

keep readingShow less

Ukraine War Crisis