Former CIA Officer Michael Scheuer on the Economics of War with Iran

­Does the US imperial machine manufacture weapons in order to confront new threats, or does it manufacture threats in order to sell new weapons? We try to answer these questions and more on today's Capital Account with ex-CIA agent Michael Scheuer. As the UN security council votes to extend its mission in Libya, and as America's oldest active duty warship leaves for its last deployment to Iran and Syria, we'll look at the economics of war and ask Michael Scheuer what he thinks is at stake for America if it were to attack Iran.  We'll also discuss what he thinks is really driving the policy to bomb that country, what are the malign interests at work here, and who really stands to benefit from an attack on Iran. What is Israel's role in all of this, and what is the likelihood that a strike would put the US at greater risk of a terrorist attack?

And as the US budget deficit is released for february at close to 232 billion dollars – reportedly the highest ever – how can anyone with half a brain separate America's growing indebtedness from a bloated military budget that takes up more than 50% of discretionary spending? We'll look at the defense drain on the American economy. Could this money be better spent elsewhere, and who really benefits from our military and oil subsidies?

And though few may be aware of it, today is reportedly the 10th anniversary of the US anti-terror color-coding system. Remember that? It was phased out last year, but now there's a new warning system that is being tried out. We dub it "Terror Warning System 2.0," and it features a very special actor – Nicholas Cage – who the government thinks could help raise the bar when it comes to "fear and loathing" in the heartland. We cover this with Demetri, Lauren and Shannon in our "Loose Change" segment.

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