Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The brass cashes in

"Six months after Marine Lt. Gen. Gary McKissock retired in 2002, he did what many other ex-military leaders do: He joined the board of directors of a defense contractor, a company doing business with his former service. McKissock also had a second job. The Marines brought him back as an adviser, at double the rate of pay he made on active duty. Since 2005, the Marines have awarded McKissock contracts worth $1.2 million, in addition to his military pension of about $119,000 a year. McKissock is one of at least 158 retired admirals and generals the Pentagon has hired to offer advice under an unusual arrangement. Most of the retired officers, one to four stars in rank, have been paid hundreds of dollars an hour by the military even as they worked for companies seeking Defense Department contracts, a USA TODAY investigation found. That's in addition to pensions of $100,000 to $200,000 a year for officers with 30 or more years of service."

As usual nowadays, the big shots are cashing in, and their conflicts of interest are ignored. Meanwhile, the families of troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are forced to file for food stamps.

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