A h alf century ago, President Dwight Eisenhower, who had led Allied forces in Europe during World War II, warned the American people about a growing alliance between members of the military and US defense contractors. After the appearance of a study by USA Today, Senator John McCain, called for new rules regarding connections between retired officers and military contractors. “The important thing is that they avoid the appearance of conflict.” The newspaper story reported that many retired officers collect their annual pensions, work for defense firms and draw government consulting fees as “senior mentors.” These retired officers work as independent contractors as mentors which allows them to avoid being subject to ethics rules. Rep. John Murtha, a former military officer, was surprised to learn about the mentor program noting, ‘the committee was not aware of this program and we have told the Defense Department to immediately provide us with the justification and criteria for this kind of work.
The only surprise is why anyone is surprised. Former members of Congress, whether liberal, conservative, Democrat or Republican work anyone for the right price.