Defense Secretary Robert Gates' decision announced Wednesday to order a review of the Pentagon's payments to retired senior officers for their advice was prompted in part by how much these "mentors" get paid.
Other than the Marines, which contract with mentors directly, the services have declined to release complete data on how much mentors have been paid, arguing that such information is not public because the retired officers were not hired directly by the government. Retired officers who serve as mentors also collect their pension, which in some cases can pay up to $220,000, according to the Pentagon.
A USA TODAY investigation published last month found that 80% of 158 mentors the newspaper could identify had ties to defense contractors. The mentors are not required to disclose those affiliations because they are hired as contractors, not temporary federal employees.
At least one small portion of the Military-Industrial-[think tank]-Complex will be investigated...to what avail we may never know. These incestuous relationships seldom come to light, are seldom accountable to the taxpayer, and are seldom eliminated.