A powerful financial dynamic

Remember all those “military analysts” that CNN, Fox, NBC and other news outlets interviewed for expert opinions on the Iraq War? It turns out they were on the take. Over the weekend the NY Times reported that, although the analysts were presented as disinterested retired military folks, they were in fact part of a “Pentagon information apparatus”. Why would they allow themselves to be exploited like that?

“The effort… sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.”

Yep. Eisenhower was right. Beware the Military Industrial Complex.

Given the massive conflicts of interest and the massive amount of money involved in the defense budget doesn’t it seem like there should at least be a debate about it? Won’t happen. As Fred Kaplan explained a few months ago:

Congress exposes this budget to virtually no scrutiny, fearing that any major cuts—any serious questions—will incite charges of being “soft on terror” and “soft on defense.” But $536 billion of this budget—the Pentagon’s base line plus the discretionary items for the Department of Energy and other agencies—has nothing to do with the war on terror. And it’s safe to assume that a fair amount has little to do with defense. How much it does and doesn’t is a matter of debate. Right now, nobody’s even debating.

Exactly. Anytime the phrase “budget cuts” comes up, the next word is entitlements.


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