Enlarge / SpaceX has launched 16 rockets this year, including two national security missions for the US military. (credit: SpaceX)
The articles began appearing in late August, mostly in conservative publications such as Town Hall, Breitbart, and the Daily Caller and have since continued to trickle out through October. All of the dozen or so web commentaries, variously styled as op-eds or contributions, have made the same essential point—that Elon Musk is benefiting from crony capitalism and must be stopped.
This is not a particularly new line of attack against Musk, especially among some conservatives who decry the public money his companies have received to build solar power facilities, electric cars, and low-cost rockets. Yet most of these articles have been quite specific in their attacks, pinpointing a single section in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act as particularly troublesome to the republic.
The articles, several of which are written by former US Rep. Ron Paul or his associates, have the same general theme: Musk has given lavishly to politicians, especially Arizona senator John McCain (R). In return, McCain added Section 1615 to this year’s defense authorization bill, which includes language to restrict the military from investing in new launch systems. With this language, the articles assert, Musk seeks a monopoly on the US national security launch market. In addition to fleecing taxpayers, some of the more overdone authors assert this could kill Americans.
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