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Juventud Rebelde, Cuba

Rent-a-General



By Juana Carrasco Martín

And people still ask, why is the United States at war?

Translated By Kate Wheeler

27 November 2012

Edited by Tom Proctor


Cuba - Juventud Rebelde - Original Article (Spanish)

Nothing new under the sun in the United States, but updated information points toward the conspiracy that Dwight Eisenhower in his moment warned against, which labeled the industrial-military complex as a protagonist in the next century under the name “military-industrial-media complex.”

Without further elaboration, a report released a few days ago by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Brave New Foundation found that from 2009-2011, 76 of the 108 retired American generals with three- or four-star rankings went on to work for companies contracted by the Pentagon or as consultants for these companies.

This falls on the heels of a report published in December 2010 by The Boston Globe disclosing that 88 percent of the generals who retired between 2004 and 2008 were directly linked to these companies.

The topic gets more complicated and constitutes an obvious conflict of interest that violates any type of public ethics. As in the majority of cases, this relationship begins when the generals are part of the armed forces as public employees who decide about strategies, weapons and contracts. In the end, they exemplify legalized corruption.

Many examples are cited by name, including Gen. James Cartwright, who, while serving on the Defense Policy Board, was elected to be part of the board of directors of Raytheon, or Adm. Gary Roughead, who also was on the [Defense Policy] board while simultaneously being paid $115,000 a year by Northrop Grumman.

In 2010, The Globe report cited the example of Lt. Gen. William H. Campbell, who reviewed the Army’s information system before leaving the service in the year 2000 and in 2002 had been employed as the senior vice president of BAE systems, one of the more important suppliers of arms and the highest bidder for a new ground-combat vehicle. The cynicism arrived to the point that Campbell pleaded “not guilty” to a conflict of interest, remarking that he worked for the electronic division of BAE, not in the division of ground combat. Of course, ground combat vehicles have electronic commands. ...

Another embodiment of this union are the dozens of old military chiefs employed by the industry who are maintained as advisers to the Pentagon, with the information and ability to influence defense plans and national security — a dirty business where it doesn’t matter if you start a war, send thousands to kill and die, and ideologically or ethnically cleanse any dark area of this suffering planet, simply because it fattens the pockets of capitalists.

This particular Boston Globe article also revealed that the system is so well oiled that successive generations of commanders have been employed by the same companies or in the identical field of expertise. The Boston Globe cited the following vulgar maneuver: The last seven generals and admirals that worked as guardians of the sale of international arms now work with the military contractors to sell weapons and defense technology abroad.

As expected, this causes doubt that a correct and impartial judgment can be made when deciding the county’s defense policy and the business that surrounds this belligerent industry. Commentary on antiwar.com rightly calls the situation “rent-a-general,” as they are very useful tools that can open the doors to multimillion-dollar contracts.

And people still ask, why is the United States at war?



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