Ralph Peters comments
on the Times
piece on military analysts being fed Pentagon talking points
Officers who trade on their former service and knowingly deceive the American people to increase their chances of winning defense contracts for the firms they represent disgrace the uniforms they wore. Period.
Ken Allard, a retired Army colonel and a good man I'll vouch for, pointed out in the Times article that it was sometimes enough just for the Pentagon's cynical commissars to make retirees feel important, to give them a sense that they were still players. For other talking heads, pleasing the Pentagon is strictly mercenary.
Does a retired general or admiral with a pension of over $100k a year really need to sell himself as a huckster for the wares of Daddy Warbucks? Isn't that 5,500-square-foot house enough, General? Do you really need the 9,000-square-foot house?
As I've argued in past columns, whenever any military retiree appears as a TV talking head, the crawl at the bottom of the screen should list his corporate affiliations. Viewers need to know who's really paying the "expert's" bills, since a retired officer cashing checks from a corporation profiting from Iraq or Afghanistan is hardly an objective observer - even if he thinks he is.
And any talking head who relies on Pentagon talking points should have to disclose it. Besides, any analyst who needs Pentagon coaching is worthless - the way you get real information is by going out to see things first-hand (not on Pentagon-organized junkets, either), or through trusted friends and acquaintances in uniform.
I would add that any general who has opposed Jim Webb's modernization of the G.I. Bill
while spewing DoD talking points for the purposes of gaining business contacts should be shunned.