Friday, July 12, 2013

Military Industrial Complex

Looks like the Air Force has exonerated Booz Allen of any fault on the Snowden issue.

We'd expect nothing less from the Air Force hierarchy, many of whom have lined up positions with Booz, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, etc. 

Walking the halls of these companies is like walking the halls of the Pentagon, except the only uniforms you see are senior military officers on the verge of retirement signing on at nice salaries and bonuses -- to ensure their Pentagon projects are assigned to the companies hiring them.  The younger officers are brought on as "Business Development" executives, while the generals are designated "Vice Presidents" or appointed to the Boards of Directors.  The objective, of course, is to lock in lucrative contracts via these officers as they retire.

Some may remember that old "Military-Industrial Complex" thing General/President Eisenhower warned us about.

Ike watched the Defense Industry burgeon in the post-WW2/Korean War days and recognized the threat when he saw it. 

It culminated in the Vietnam War, based on a North Vietnamese attack on US warships which had violated North Vietnamese territorial waters.

Westmoreland led the campaign to increase the war and to maximize profits for the Military Industrial Complex.

The Vietnam wartime contracts/profiteering built the Defense giants of today.

Among the many contracts benefiting US politicians was one that awarded Lady Bird Johnson's shipping company the sole-source contract for all logistics shipments to Vietnam.


Just for grins, check out how many of these companies have had Jim Clapper on their payroll as an executive, board member, or consultant.

Government positions:
USAF Lt General
Director: Defense Intelligence
DOD Undersecretary of National Intelligence
Director: National Geospatial Intelligence
Director: National Intelligence

Private Sector:
Booz Allen
SRA International
Sierra Nevada

[He sat on the boards of directors of a number of Defense contractors, but those references are no longer publicly available. Mr Clapper's private sector affiliations have been purged from the Wikipedia web page, and it seems the Internet has been scoured clean as well.  Amazing what you can do when you have the full resources of the Intelligence Community to clean up your personal history.]

It's probably time for Congress to create an effective barrier between the revolving door at the Pentagon and the major contractors.

Actually, there might be merit in reviewing the entire federal contracting process. 


But, given the campaign contributions these companies make to our politicians, that likely won't happen.