Should have heeded Eisenhower

To the Editor:

Recently I watched the documentary, “Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers,” on Current TV (it can also be viewed online). It is an eye-opening account of the Iraq war from 2001-2005, which delves into the massive amounts of our tax dollars that wound up in the pockets of private industry (40 cents of every war tax dollar!).

Many of the companies like Haliburton, Titan, Blackwater, etc., saw their profits quadruple during this period while their CEOs raked in as much as $45 million a year. How’s that possible, you ask. Well, when you get no-bid, cost-plus government contracts that, for example, pay $7,000 a month for a three-year lease on tricked-out SUVs (for use by the private contractors, not the soldiers!) for a grand total of $250,000, or a soldier’s clothes laundered to the tune of $100 per bag, it adds up pretty quickly. When you see the political connections the CEOs of these corporations have it becomes all too clear!

Perhaps the worst part of this legalized corruption is the heavy toll it takes on morale and retention of our young servicemen and women who put their lives on the line for us every day; some even have families back home who qualify for welfare assistance. Imagine what they feel when all around them are private contractors doing what was once done by the military itself, e.g., preparing and serving food or washing their clothes, while “earning” six-figure incomes.

Unfortunately, our government seems to have paid little heed to President Eisenhower who, more than 50 years ago, warned of the dire consequences of the melding of the industrial-military complex. Ike is most certainly spinning in his grave!

Robert McDiarmid

Story First Published: 2012-11-21