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Truthout: Binders Full of Generals

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)

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. Read the remainder of this entry »

$40 Billion in Contracts Tied to Republican Security Advisers

Roxana Tiron – (Bloomberg) – December 22, 2011 – National security advisers to the Republican presidential candidates have links to defense, homeland security and energy companies that have received at least $40 billion in federal contracts since 2008.

Five of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s 41 national security and foreign policy advisers have ties to companies that last year alone received at least $7.9 billion in federal contracts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Government analyst Christopher Flavelle. Of that, $7.3 billion came from the Department of Defense.

Romney and Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker from Georgia, who are leading in the polls, have advisers who sit on the board of directors of BAE Systems, Inc., which has received at least $37 billion in U.S. government contracts since 2008, the most of all the companies with ties to Republican national security advisers.

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Operation impunity & other news

House approves $649b defense budget bill
WASHINGTON – The House overwhelmingly passed a $649 billion defense spending bill yesterday that boosts the Pentagon budget by $17 billion and covers the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…

…While House Republican leaders slashed billions from all other government agencies, the Defense Department is the only one that will see a double-digit increase in its budget beginning Oct. 1. ~Donna Cassata -Associated Press

Defense cuts?
Underwhelming fiscal discipline at the Pentagon
Steve Chapman – (Chicago Tribune) – July 10, 2011 – Politicians often rail against government spending, except when it goes to the military. Conservatives believe there is no such thing as too much defense spending, and liberals don’t argue, for fear of being labeled appeasers. So when there is talk of the two parties agreeing to cut the Pentagon budget, it sounds like a monumental change.

But probably not. It’s a good thing that defense, which accounts for roughly a fifth of all federal outlays, is no longer considered immune to the need for frugality. But both supporters and opponents have a stake in portraying any trims as far more significant than they really are.

The Obama administration reportedly has decided to boost its planned defense cuts to as much as $700 billion from $400 billion over the next 12 years. That sounds like a lot — considering that the earlier, smaller figure had sparked furious objections.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned it would be “a grievous mistake” that would someday “be measured in American lives lost.” Mitt Romney, in line with most other presidential candidates, insisted “we should not reduce our commitment to national security.”

Some Republicans in Congress may be prepared to subject defense spending to the sort of scrutiny applied elsewhere. But if you think the tea party favorites will demand serious fiscal discipline, you are in for a disappointment. (Click HERE for article)

Amid raft of changes to defense leadership, Pentagon’s No. 2 plans to exit
(AP) – WASHINGTON – July 8, 2011 – In a further shake-up of defense leaders, the Pentagon’s second-ranking official said yesterday he intends to resign but has agreed to stay on until Defense Secretary Leon Panetta chooses a successor.

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