How many American soldiers died to make Barry McCaffrey rich? That is the question invited by David Barstow's New York Times expose on the activities of NBC military analyst and retired four star General Barry McCaffrey. It is a long article, but Steve Benen picks out a particularly devastating sentence:
. As Barstow explained, "On NBC and in other public forums, General McCaffrey has consistently advocated wartime policies and spending priorities that are in line with his corporate interests. But those interests are not described to NBC's viewers. He is held out as a dispassionate expert, not someone who helps companies win contracts related to the wars he discusses on television."
Benen also quotes Spencer Ackermans "Get Rich or Die Trying:
If this mammoth New York Times piece is wrong, Barry McCaffrey really ought to sue, because if it isn't, he has no reputation for integrity left. [...]
[T]he scope of McCaffrey's hustle is really breathtaking. Barstow demonstrates that many, if not most, of the pronouncements he made on TV about the wars benefited one or another defense contractor who employed him. That's the way the scheme worked: Company hires retired general to use his connections to its benefit. Retired general accepts special grants of access from the office of the secretary of defense that benefit both his TV career and his consulting career. Retired general proclaims on TV things that benefit both the secretary and the company -- or, when circumstances necessitate, the company at the expense of the secretary. TV viewer, looking for informed analysis of confusing wars, is unaware of any of this. Welcome to the new military-media-industrial complex.
McCaffrey's reply, as quoted by Ackerman:
Thirty-seven years of public service. Four combat tours. Wounded three times. The country knows me as a nonpartisan and objective national security expert with solid integrity
Too bad he had to finish by selling out his country and fellow soldiers.