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Half the Foreign Policy Experts Behind Clinton’s Anti-Sanders Letter Have Military Industry Ties

Posted on Jan 22, 2016

    Hillary Clinton, speaking as secretary of state at a 2011 press conference in Geneva. (United States Mission Geneva / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Earlier this week, the media reported on a letter by 10 foreign policy experts claiming that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had “not thought through … critical national security issues”—without telling readers that fully half of the signers—former State Department officials and ambassadors who are now backing Clinton—have strong connections to military contractors.

Sanders has called for a closer diplomatic engagement with Iran.

Lee Fang reports at The Intercept:

Here are some of the letter signatories’ current employment positions that were not disclosed in the reporting of the letter:

• Former Assistant Defense Secretary Derek Chollet, former Pentagon and CIA Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash, and former Deputy National Security Adviser Julianne Smith are now employed by the consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies, a firm we profiled last year. Beacon Global Strategies’ staff advises both Clinton and Republican candidates for president, including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. The firm makes money by providing advice to a clientele that is primarily military contractors. Beacon Global Strategies, however, has refused to disclose the identity of its clients.

• Former Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns is a senior counselor at the Cohen Group, a consulting firm founded by former Defense Secretary William Cohen. The firm “assists aerospace and defense firms on policy, business development, and transactions,” including deals in the U.S., Turkey, Israel, and the Middle East.

• Former Undersecretary of Defense Jim Miller is an advisory board member to Endgame Systems, a start-up that has been called the “Blackwater of Hacking.” Miller is also on the board of BEI Precision Systems & Space, a military contractor.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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