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The Revolving Door from the Pentagon to the Private Sector

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I learned about this video from a BNF email newsletter this morning and am presently half-way through viewing the video.  It's already shocking.  But I'll quote the body of the BNF newsletter, below, because it provides a couple of resource links.


Dear Friend --

War Costs is pleased to present a short video to accompany a new report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called Strategic Maneuvers on the revolving door between the government and war profiteering defense contractors.

(Join the dialogue on these war profiteers via the hashtag #4stars4profit on Twitter. Find us on Twitter at @warcosts.)

The revolving door phenomenon is not new, yet it continues to play an integral part in the insane money flow from the taxpayer to the Pentagon and into defense contractors' pockets. Strategic Maneuvers (read the report here) finds that from 2009 to 2011, 70 percent of retiring three- and four-star generals and admirals left the Pentagon to cash in off jobs with contractors and consulting firms, using their knowledge of the Pentagon and Capitol Hill to reap their own immense profits from public coffers. The report includes much more on this age-old process that ultimately perverts public trust in officials holding important positions in the government.

The revolving door is a racket, and it's a crime that laws erected in a supposed effort to avoid these conflicts of interest are littered with loopholes. How can the American public be expected to trust any official who is likely looking to use his knowledge of our government -- and how it uses our money -- for their own financial windfall? This process needs more scrutiny, and that pressure must start with us. Demand loopholes in revolving door laws end immediately. Together, we can make a difference.

I'll just note some, if not all, of the examples provided in the video beginning at 3:05.

The numbers are separated by a '/' and the number to the left is the amount the company spent on lobbyists in millions of dollars since 2007, while the number on the right is the amount the Pentagon spent in billions of dollars in 2011, alone, on contracts with the company.

Lockheed Martin, $74.23 (million) / $35.76 (billion)

Boeing, $86.93 / $20.49

General Dynamics, $53.08 / $17.98

Raytheon, $36.84 / $13.57

Northrop Grumman, $83.85 / $11.8

So, Northrop Grumman is lagging behind the other "boys", its competitors, for it only got a 141-fold rate of return, if my calculation is correct anyway.  $11.8mn split between all 5 of these companies would've surely sufficed. After all, the USA doesn't need to war, since it has no real enemies, at least not foreign ones, though Israel is considerable in the latter respect, for the populations of the Middle East and of the USA anyway.  The USA has no justification to wage wars and needs to withdraw from its hundreds of hegemonically imposed military bases around this planet, so there's no need to spend a lot of money on MIC manufacturing and other "services". 

"War is a Racket" (Smedley Butler) and the USA has no real democracy.  It's nothing to be surprised about, since rackets don't usually operate democratically anyway.  And that's nothing to worry about having for government, right? Are you feeling queasy yet?

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