Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Remember the lobbyist-free administration we were promised?

70% of retired generals go to work for the defense industry, often using clearances and briefings to which they are still entitled to gain contracts for their new employers:

  • Dozens of retired generals employed by defense firms maintain Pentagon advisory roles, giving them unparalleled levels of influence and access to inside information on Department of Defense procurement plans.
  • The generals are, in many cases, recruited for private sector roles well before they retire, raising questions about their independence and judgment while still in uniform. The Pentagon is aware and even supports this practice.
  • The feeder system from some commands to certain defense firms is so powerful that successive generations of commanders have been hired by the same firms or into the same field. For example, the last seven generals and admirals who worked as Department of Defense gatekeepers for international arms sales are now helping military contractors sell weapons and defense technology overseas.
I once asked Senator Tom Carper about the broken Obama administration promise to curtail the impact of lobbyists on the Federal government.  I will always treasure his answer that it was unwise to lose the expertise of these people just because they had left direct government service, and that he saw no inherent conflict of interest in the revolving door between corporate America and governmental Washington.

That defense/industrial complex President Eisenhower warned us about?

Shame on us for not listening.

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