Letter: Candidates tied to defense spending
Published 10:01 am, Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Everyone's heard this: "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."
Remember that the next time you hear or read about the neoconservative, bomb-bomb Iran, hawkish tone in the campaign rhetoric coming from the GOP presidential contenders. And, remember the heavy neoconservative influence in the George W. Bush administration that put us into an unnecessary nine-year war in Iraq. No need to name names and reiterate the damage that the Iraq war caused in terms of human tragedy, wreckage to our economy, and cost to our national treasury to the tune of one trillion dollars.
That's why a recent report from Bloomberg News should be troubling to most Americans. Bloomberg revealed that foreign policy and national security advisors to the Republican presidential candidates, particularly Romney and Gingrich, have strong ties to defense, homeland security and energy companies that have received at least $40 billion in federal contracts since 2008. Most troubling, Bloomberg reported that Romney and Gingrich have advisors who sit on the board of directors of the U.S. subsidiary of BAE Systems Inc., Europe's largest defense contractor, which has received at least $37 billion in U.S. government contracts since 2008.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in the Bloomberg report. The report revealed a tangled inter-connected web of Republican foreign-policy advisors linked to military contractors.
So, before you pull that lever for a GOP presidential candidate next November, it's worth remembering President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address to the nation in which he said: "We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex." If Ike was talking today, he might change his speech to say, "the military, industrial, GOP complex."