Corruption and Rot Continues Under the Military-Industrial-Congressional Congress

The indictment of four-star Navy Admiral Robert Burke on bribery charges late last month raised eyebrows about the extent of corruption in the Navy and beyond. The scheme was simple. Burke allegedly steered a $355,000 Pentagon contract to a small workforce training firm — described unhelpfully in the Justice Department’s description as “Company A." Less than a year later he took a job at Company A in exchange for a $500,000 annual salary and 100,000 stock options.

The Burke indictment comes on the heels of Washington Post writer Craig Whitlock’s illuminating book on the Fat Leonard Scandal, the biggest, most embarrassing corruption scheme in the history of the U.S. Navy. In the words of his publisher, Simon Schuster, Whitlock’s book reveals “how a charismatic Malaysian defense contractor bribed scores of high-ranking military officers, defrauded the US Navy of tens of millions of dollars, and jeopardized our nation’s security.”

Obviously, the Navy needs to clean up its act

But this is just part of a pernicious system of corrupt dealings and profiteering in Pentagon procurement practices, and much of it is completely legal. It involves campaign contributions from major weapons contractors to key members of Congress with the most power to determine the size and shape of the Pentagon budget, and job blackmail, in which companies place facilities in as many congressional districts as possible and then stand ready to accuse members of cutting local jobs if they vote against a weapons program, no matter how misguided or dysfunctional it may be.

It also involves the revolving door, in which arms industry executives often do stints in top national security posts, even serving as secretary of defense, or, on the other side of the revolving door, when high ranking Pentagon and military officials go to work for weapons makers when they leave government service.

In 1995 the Boston Globe exposed that 80-90% flag officers go on the work for defense industry corporations.

The US defense department is about money and jobs, not crafting an effective defense strategy or buying weapons systems that are appropriate for carrying out that strategy.

Yet the hue and cry from Congress is to throw more money into the defense budget from which Congress benefits financially. And to encourage foreign adventures throughout the world.

It is long past time to revamp how our department of defense and Congress operates. The question is how to do it. Most congressional members are in cahoots with the defense industry.

And the cleaning up of this mess still leaves another big problem. The pharmaceutical industry and Congressional co-conspirators.

The United States government is not much different from other third world corrupt governments just the means to control their respective citizenry. The third world uses jail and murder. The United States uses conspicuous consumption to detract the citizenry from the government & corporate looting and offering up political candidates that will not reform the existing system.


Sure it is.

If it wasn’t, not only would this guy avoid prosecution, but you would not be reading a news article about it.

That is the difference. Not that no corruption exists (not a realistic expectation), but when it uncovered, you are informed about it and the accused are charged with a crime.


I have a friend who spent a few years in Iraq as a civilian contractor, then several years living in Argentina. His POV is that, as corrupt as American politicians can be, they are amateurs on a world stage. We are different.


That is assuming the rhetoric about “fake news” and the media being “the enemy of the people”, doesn’t go beyond talk. Of course, even talk may make the media pull back.


One other thing I will point out is if this was a country like say North Korea or Russia, TJ would be sitting in a re-education facility or falling from a sky scraper because he is obviously clumsy when he drinks beer.


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Absolutely! During the Abscam Investigation in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, lobbyists for South Korea and Japan were astonished at how cheap you buy a Member of Congress. In Korea and Japan at the time, it cost over $1 MM to buy a politician. You could buy a corrupt US Senator for only $50,000.

Abscam - Wikipedia



The guy is simply the cost of doing business.
He like like the “rogue employee” tossed to the legal system so the JC continues on his merry way.
The corrupt system continues and remains that is what is important to those that benefit from it.

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Nah I have no significant power or money to change the system. I am less than a gnat to them.

Notice that, in spite of the overwhelming approval of “We The People”, when that operation became known, it has not been repeated since?


Well there was the Keating 5 scandal.

The core allegation of the Keating Five affair is that Keating had made contributions of about $1.3 million to various U.S. Senators, and he called on those senators to help him resist U.S. federal regulators. The regulators did back off, to later disastrous consequences.

Edwin J. Gray, chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB)

Keating applied a lot pressure via campaign contribution to have Gray removed from FHLBB. Keating couldn’t get it done though.

Gray did offer to set up a meeting between those regulators and the senators.[7]

On April 9, 1987, a two-hour meeting[4] with three members of the FHLBB San Francisco branch was held, again in DeConcini’s office, to discuss the government’s investigation of Lincoln.[7][11] Present were Cranston, DeConcini, Glenn, McCain, and additionally Riegle.[7] The regulators felt that the meeting was very unusual and that they were being pressured by a united front

The 5 senators ended up being tainted but kept their seats and avoided any prosecution though did not run for re-election.


umm…Glen continued in the Senate until 1999, McCain until his death in 2018. Cranston left office in 93, Riegle and DeConcini 95, at the end of their terms.

Of the ABSCAM perps:

Harrison A. Williams served 2 years of a 3 year sentence in the Federal jug.

Frank Thompson served 2 years of a 3 year sentence in the Big House.

John Jenrette served 18 months of a 2 year sentence in the slammer.

Raymond Lederer served 10 months in prison.

Michael Myers sentenced to 3 years in prison.

John M. Murphy served 18 months in prison.

Richard Kelly served 13 months in prison.

There was a distinct difference in consequences, for the same crime, ten years apart.


Not surprised are you?

You can still buy a US Senator very cheap. Menendez only got $100,000 worth of gold bars in his most recent bribery scandal. {{ LOL }}


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SCOTUS judges apparently aren’t cheap.


Yep. One of the lawyers on MSNBC pointed out that if a Member of Congress took a $250,000 motor home from a campaign donor he’d surely be indicted.



Yeah, but I bet they make it up on volume. :slight_smile:



The question is - is that just what they found or is it the total take for the senator? Could be he got millions but was only “convicted” for $100k of it.

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Menendez got another stash of cash from a different foreign agent. I believe the total is now up to $486,000.

As they say, “The investigation is ongoing, and there may be a superseding indictment.” {{ LOL }}



Thanks for the confirmation. As I said above, US Pols may be cheap to buy, but they make it up on volume. :slight_smile:


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That is not black and white.