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Defense Contractors' Lobbyists and the Pentagon

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posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:35 AM
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Surfin and saw this...

by Bryann Alexandros

Global Research, January 31, 2009


President Obama uttered some hallowed words in his quest for change that lobbyists "won't find a job in my White House." Contrary to his short-lived slew of vows and various murmurs, William J. Lynn III, a recent lobbyist and former top executive for defense contractor Raytheon, was nominated to be deputy defense secretary, the second most powerful official in the Pentagon and a decision led by both Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The news was nothing new but its arrival was as sure as screeching bullet piercing the hearts of hope-enthusiasts as they braced themselves, once again, for more broken promises.

Even if Lynn has agreed to sell his stock and undergo an ethics review for 1 year, it's short of assuring others that his previous stint with Raytheon would hinder his objectivism as the Pentagon's 2nd top official. Nothing would restrict the deputy secretary of defense from doing business from his former employer, as reported by the Associated Press, lampooning Obama's lobbying ethics rule. Public Citizen's Craig Holman, in a report from thehill.com, rejected the waiver as "inappropriate," and that there were plenty of capable and qualified people "who don't work for major defense contractors."

In March 2008, The Boston Globe reported that the 10 interceptor missiles planned to be used in the missile shield in Poland would feature Raytheon technology. This is not a surprise since Raytheon reigns amongst the top 5 U.S. defense contractors, scoring $18.3 billion with the U.S. government in 2007 in lucrative contracts, and is a key supplier of missiles and radar equipment. Raytheon currently provides weapons and artillery research, advanced technology platforms, and the development of space and ground missile defense systems.

Should Lynn be officially tapped as deputy defense secretary, it would grant him some oversight and involvement with the controversial missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, a situation which has strained relations between Moscow and Washington. With Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon as main contractors, dismantling the missile shield seems unlikely, with both Gates and Lynn only pushing forward with the venture.

Part of the alarming upswell included this once unfathomed ability of Obama and his team relenting on their own ethics rule, where a good segment of top staff are former lobbyists. Mark Patterson, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's choice for his chief of staff, was a former lobbyist from financial giant Goldman Sachs; both Patterson and Lynn were but a few of the later questionable nominations to raise many arched brows in Washington.

Looks like it's the same old, same old in DC, just as most of us expected.






 
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