Truthout: Binders Full of Generals
But Obama prevailed despite the leaks, most likely helped by his firing of McChrystal and overruling his generals on the Bin Laden raid by insisting that there were backup helicopters.
How to Fix This
In a past column, I made a bold suggestion about what generals should be required to do to stop the insidious corruption of our top officers from going through the revolving door to lucrative defense company jobs and disillusioning our junior officers:
So, my reform solution for the general officer corps requires them to make a choice. If they want to go work for or invest money in a defense contractor, they must give up their title of general and lose their military retirement pay and perks. If they think it is unfair because they earned the retirement and the military rank, they can keep to a higher calling and work in some other civilian industry, as many generals did after World War II. (See my January article on the corruption of the general officer corps.) If the generals still want to work on military issues and strategy, they can go work for one of the myriad of nonprofit organizations that look at military issues or oversight, as long as they strictly stay away from any lobbying efforts with the DoD or the Congress. They also cannot go work for a nonprofit organization that accepts contributions from defense contractors unless they give up their rank and pensions. They should also not be allowed to fill a civilian political office in the DoD because of the necessary authority of civilian rule and they are still considered military. These rules would not be subject to any type of executive or Congressional waivers.
Now we have 359 retired generals and admirals corrupting our political process by using their rank instead of just their name to endorse a political candidate. Romney uses a fig leaf to pretend that people will understand that these are retired military by saying at the bottom of the list of his “military advisory council”:
“Use of Military Branch and/or Rank does not imply endorsement by the service branch or the Dept. of Defense”
If that phrase was really true, why put their rank down at all? I am not the only one concerned with what this mixing of rank and politics might do. According to the Army Times:
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, has repeatedly urged retired officers to stay out of the political fray.