Truthout: Binders Full of Generals
Dina Rasor - ( Truthout | Solutions) – October 25, 2012 - Longtime military watchdog and Truthout editor Dina Rasor paints a well-informed picture of what might be motivating the 359 retired senior military officers endorsing the GOP presidential candidate, and asks: if we continue to allow them and their peers to throw their rank around in the political arena, what message does that send to more junior members of the military, not to mention the public?
On October 17, Mitt Romney’s campaign announced that he had received the endorsement of 359 retired generals and admirals in the form of a “military advisory council,” thus furthering the corruption of former military members through politics and defense money. There may be many personal reasons that these retired military would want to endorse Mr. Romney – based on my past 30 years’ experience investigating the military, I can think of a few reasons.
Money, Money, Money
Mr. Romney has promised to shoot the defense budget into the stratosphere at levels that have been unseen since the height of the Korean War. As in a past column, I have inserted here a chart that I think is one of the most significant of the presidential campaign, and it should be passed around to as many people possible before the election.
Source: Foreign Policy
According to most sources, Romney wants to raise the defense budget to $2 trillion above what the military has asked for and what Obama plans to spend in the next decade. The Romney campaign, in a defense spending Etch a Sketch moment, has partially walked back this figure slightly, saying that it might not make it that much until a second term, which would still put it at a mind-boggling $1.75 trillion.
In the presidential debate on October 22, President Obama tried to pin down what Romney wanted to spend money on – and then ridiculed him when Romney mentioned weapons that were suited for the cold war era rather than to the newest threats to our national security.
Did these 359 generals and admirals throw in their lot with Romney because they thought that this money could be spent wisely and was absolutely necessary to defend our country? I cannot read the minds of these top officers but, based on years of revolving door practices and other types of abuses, maybe many of these officers were motivated by the fact that they had lucrative post-retirement jobs with defense contractors who promise to become even more flush with money if a budget of this size passes. The lure of money for the revolving door might have clouded their judgment.