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Truthout: Binders Full of Generals

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As I wrote in a past column, it was considered unseemly and unethical for generals after World War II to take a job at a defense contractor after they retired. It is now commonplace. Take a look at some of the generals on Romney’s list and their post-retirement employment, as compiled by boldprogressives.org:

  • Retired General James Conway: Conway is a retired four-star general. Last year, he was named to the Board of Directors of Textron, which manufactures helicopters and other aircraft and products for the military.
  • Retired Navy Admiral James B. Busey: Busey served in the Navy until 1989. After leaving the federal government in 1992, he joined the board of directors of defense contractor Curtiss-Wright and left in 2008.
  • Retired former commander of United States Strategic Command James O. Ellis: After serving his country, Ellis decided to make a fortune by working for the defense industry. He serves in the leadership of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and also has a board position at Lockheed Martin.
  • Retired Air Force General Ronald Fogleman: Fogleman serves on the boards of Alliant TechsystemsAAR CorporationMesa Air Group, Inc., and World Air Holdings.
  • Retired General Tommy Franks: Franks, who led the disastrous invasion of Iraq, has his own consultancy called Franks & Associates LLC that specializes in “disaster recovery.” He also works for a private firm that pitches itself as able to respond to a viral pandemic.
  • Retired Air Force Commander William R. Looney III: Looney actually campaigns on behalf of for-profit colleges that are under fire for abusing military veterans. Those colleges actually are a huge beneficiary of dollars from the Veterans Administration, and thus represent an often under-looked form of defense contractor welfare.
  • Retired Navy Admiral Henry Mauz: Mauz is on the Advisory Council of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems.
  • Retired Navy Vice Admiral Mike Bucchi: Bucchi was named president of homeland security contractor Ocean Systems Engineering Corporation in 2005.

Just to be sure that these generals and admirals were not just cherry-picked out of the list of 359, I dart-boarded some names and found that these generals had also done the lucrative swing through the revolving door:

  • Rear Admiral Patrick David Moneymaker, USN, (Ret.):

According to Forbes,

Patrick D. Moneymaker, 64, has served as a director of Kforce since July 2008. Currently a consultant, he previously served as president and CEO of Proxy Aviation Systems from July 2008 to August 2010. He served as the CEO of Kforce Government Holdings, Inc. (“KGH”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kforce Inc., from September 2006 to July 2008, and also served as a director of Kforce from June 2005 to September 2006. Prior to his role as CEO of KGH, Mr. Moneymaker served as the CEO, operating officer and president of Ocean Systems Engineering Corporation (“OSEC”), a privately held company, from October 1998 until OSEC’s sale in May 2006.

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  1. Comment by Duck:

    Give up their military retirement to participate in the political process by endorsing a candidate or go to work for private industry? Aren’t you just a liberal key board Gestapo commando tart, coat tailing on the military industrial complex democrat paranoia!

    You apparently forget, or have no idea, that military personnel are people, and even better, Americans (well, most of them are). Are you an American? Do you by chance also rail against the Patriot Act?

    You suggest we silence and restrict civilians who, by the way, were gagged and restricted by requirement for 20-30 years of their military lives to begin with.

    I don’t recall any statement nearly 30 years ago when I signed my military entrance documents, saying that if I chose to stay in 20 ~ 30 years and earn a retirement, that the constitutional, personal freedoms I gave up (knowingly) by joining the military, would be on my back for the rest of my life. I do know I can still be held to account under military justice by the mere fact I draw a pension, but that is so obscure and reserved for heinous crimes against America itself, not some whimsical act. How about you though, any such restrictions in your life?

    Would you further suggest any military flag officer or just any well known former military person, be restricted from running for political office? Seems that’s not a far leap. Any former presidents spring to mind? Google it, I know you know how to do that.

  2. Comment by Hamlin Tallent:

    So, It is interesting to me that you can print my name and opine that it is the money that causes me to support Romney. You have never met me or talked with me. You don’t know me. It is even more interesting that you believe retired military should take no public stance on the future of the country. Does that also mean Admiral Nathman and General Powell should not support Obama, or is supporting Democrats okay with you? You are something of an idiot aren’t you?

    • Comment by Forseti:

      It is not that we believe retired military personnel should not take a stance on the future of our country. A citizen of the US is free to take any stance they so chose. Retired and active duty military are subject to UCMJ, regarding politics:

      Article 2 of the UCMJ, retired members of the military drawing pay, as well as active-duty service members, are subject to UCMJ provisions.


      This site supports everyone and anyone who has served our country honorably. However, anyone- especially retired senior officers who put career advancement and cold hard cash before the safety of our troops on the ground should be held accountable. As a taxpayer I am fed up with the fraud waste and abuse of funds that goes unabated at the Pentagon. I am also disgusted at the thought that I am supporting six digit retirement salaries for retired flag officers who have been in charge at defense contractors, while soldiers have died.

      Maybe you should use your soapbox and MAN UP to supporting the men and women currently serving in the military and keep them out of harms way from preventable dangers, while they are serving our country.

      And finally, this article was written by Dana Rasor and published by TruthOut. Ms Rasor founded the Project on Military Procurement (now called the Project on Government Oversight, or POGO) and I doubt she would appreciate being referred to as an idiot.

      • Comment by Hamlin Tallent:

        i do not see how you link the fact i supported Governor Romney to career advancement and cold hard cash. BTW i did MAN UP for 32 years and while doing so every thing i ate, drank, flew, sailed in, wore, shot, dropped, etc. was made by a defense contractor. The uniformed military actually “makes” nothing. It consumes. So your demonization of defense contractors without the benefit of citing any specific crime is a bit astonishing.

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