US High Brass: Beautiful Life At Taxpayers’ Expense – OpEd


By Ilya Kharlamov

For many days now both media people and the public have been focusing their attention on the corruption scandal that broke out in the Russian Defence Ministry and that has led to the dismissal of the Defence Minister and to a number of arrests. However, events as stormy as those in Russia are occurring in the USA now. It may happen that a series of scandals that has recently occurred in both the CIA and the Pentagon will force the White House to radically change its personnel policy regarding special state structures.

For decades the U.S. propaganda worked to form the image of a military and a representative of special services, showing a given person as a loyal and ascetic servant. However, the recent revelations make everyone to call into question this image. After the high-profile scandal concerning the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus died away, new information came from Washington – this time, about the candidate for the post of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) John Allen, who till recently was the head of the NATO forces in Afghanistan.

However, as it seems, Allen will not be appointed to this post. And the reason for this is his dubious correspondence with a certain Jill Kelley, who was involved in a scandal with the former CIA head. Dozens of emails of Allen and Kelley during a lapse of several years not only became of interests for the FBI but also urged the FBI officials to file a request to the U.S. Defence Secretary for conducting a functional check. For his turn, the latter asked U.S. President Barack Obama to delay the appointment.

Irreproachable military are non-existent in the USA, Director of the Centre for Political Analysis Sergei Mikheyev says.

“There is an advertisement image which Americans are selling all over the world but everyone is well aware of the fact that the military are no different than all others. Various scandals occur among them regularly. Some of them are easily hushed up and some others – not. Especially those that accompany military operations – in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries.”

The situation around Petraeus and Allen has forced the U.S. authorities to start a large-scale check of the personal life and preferences of the Pentagon top brass and of a number of other departments. And the first results were not long in coming. Thus, there appeared information saying that the former CIA head once visited the home of Jill Kelley escorted by dozens of motorcyclists.

There are also others who would like to live in clover at the expense of other people. For example, the annual salaries of the U.S. generals reach several hundred thousand dollars, they have housing free of charge, servicing personnel, and other privileges. Some of them even have personal planes. There are even cases when military commanders paid for apartments in luxurious hotels that were used by their wives. As we know, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe James Stavridis used a military plane to arrive at a dinner organized by the Club of the Burgundy Wine Lovers in France. At the moment an investigation is being conducted into the matter but according to some sources in the USA, his further career has no future.

Director of the Institute of Strategic Planning Alexander Gusev has something to say on that score.

“It would be good to mention here the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, where cases of the abuse of prisoners were registered, the brazen violations of human rights and freedoms in Afghanistan. Similar things occurred in Iraq as well. Such cases are either hushed up or retouched but after the presidential elections in the USA information about sexual and corruption scandals infiltrated into the press. Probably, this is linked to the election of President Obama who promised that he would pay paramount attention to big bugs.”

Judging by the facts, the White House wants to restore the tarnished reputation of all those belonging to the highest echelons of power. Which means that there will be more dismissals in the USA.


VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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