By John Glaser
November 20, 2012

About 70 percent of retired three-and-four star generals took jobs with defense contractors or consultants, according to a report released Monday by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Brave New Foundation. Huffington Post:

The report found that 76 out of 108 top generals took such jobs from 2009 to 2011, and a few continued to advise the Department of Defense while on the payroll of contractors. The report cited Gen. James Cartwright, who was elected to a paid position on Raytheon’s board of directors while serving on the Defense Policy Board. Adm. Gary Roughead also served on the board while joining the board of Northrop Grumman, earning $115,000 per year.

While this kind of legalized corruption is the essence of the revolving door associated with the military-industrial complex in the United States, this number has actually declined slightly in recent years.

In a Boston Globe review conducted in 2010, it was found that “750 of the highest ranking generals and admirals who retired during the last two decades” moved “into what many in Washington call the ‘rent-a-general’ business.” “From 2004-2008,” the report found, “80 percent of retiring three- and four-star officers went to work as consultants or defense executives” in our massive military-industrial complex. Among the Globe findings:

Dozens of retired generals employed by defense firms maintain Pentagon advisory roles, giving them unparalleled levels of influence and access to inside information on Department of Defense procurement plans.

The generals are, in many cases, recruited for private sector roles well before they retire, raising questions about their independence and judgment while still in uniform. The Pentagon is aware and even supports this practice.

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