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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 01:19 PM

U.S. generals enjoy a lifestyle befitting a billionaire (WP)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/petraeus-scandal-puts-four-star-general-lifestyle-under-scrutiny/2012/11/17/33a14f48-3043-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story.html

Petraeus scandal puts four-star general lifestyle under scrutiny
By Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Greg Jaffe, Published: November 17, 2012

Then-defense secretary Robert M. Gates stopped bagging his leaves when he moved into a small Washington military enclave in 2007. His next-door neighbor was Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, who had a chef, a personal valet and ó not lost on Gates ó troops to tend his property....

Of the many facts that have come to light in the scandal involving former CIA director David H. Petraeus, among the most curious was that during his days as a four-star general, he was once escorted by 28 police motorcycles as he traveled from his Central Command headquarters in Tampa to socialite Jill Kelleyís mansion. Although most of his trips did not involve a presidential-size convoy, the scandal has prompted new scrutiny of the imperial trappings that come with a senior generalís lifestyle.

The commanders who lead the nationís military services and those who oversee troops around the world enjoy an array of perquisites befitting a billionaire, including executive jets, palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments. Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.

The elite regional commanders who preside over large swaths of the planet donít have to settle for Gulfstream V jets. They each have a C-40, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737, some of which are configured with beds. ...

41 replies, 3958 views

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Arrow 41 replies Author Time Post
Reply U.S. generals enjoy a lifestyle befitting a billionaire (WP) (Original post)
jsr Nov 2012 OP
Tierra_y_Libertad Nov 2012 #1
Baitball Blogger Nov 2012 #7
heaven05 Nov 2012 #11
roguevalley Nov 2012 #41
Horse with no Name Nov 2012 #2
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #9
CrispyQ Nov 2012 #10
LiberalAndProud Nov 2012 #25
byeya Nov 2012 #3
heaven05 Nov 2012 #15
Joey Liberal Nov 2012 #35
Rex Nov 2012 #4
lunatica Nov 2012 #5
Care Acutely Nov 2012 #8
Overseas Nov 2012 #19
barbtries Nov 2012 #31
GeorgeGist Nov 2012 #37
LibGranny Nov 2012 #6
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #13
bupkus Nov 2012 #12
Wilms Nov 2012 #14
Overseas Nov 2012 #16
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #17
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #18
zentrum Nov 2012 #20
go west young man Nov 2012 #21
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #22
SammyWinstonJack Nov 2012 #23
loudsue Nov 2012 #24
butterfly77 Nov 2012 #26
Cleita Nov 2012 #27
GeorgeGist Nov 2012 #38
rhett o rick Nov 2012 #28
Kaleva Nov 2012 #29
JEB Nov 2012 #30
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #32
ellisonz Nov 2012 #33
Joey Liberal Nov 2012 #34
Tierra_y_Libertad Nov 2012 #36
donco Nov 2012 #39
byeya Nov 2012 #40

Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 01:57 PM

1. RHIP - Rank Has Its Privileges

As we working class GIs would say...bitterly.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:20 PM

7. You just don't live in the right communities.

To my sadness, Admirals, captains and the like think they should be treated as if they still live on a military base. They are above the law.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:27 PM

11. yep

just a fact of military life. somewhat bitterly. They do need to tone it down some. That could be seen as opulent weakness by enemies.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:24 PM

41. viet nam had a word for these punks

Rear echelon motherfuckers

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:02 PM

2. So I am guessing this is ONE reason for the defense budget bloat?

I understand that as you move up, the trappings and digs are a little nicer--but they shouldn't be THAT much nicer than the enlisted men and women who also sacrifice.

And why the fuck can't these asshats fly on military aircraft? WHY their own jets?

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:24 PM

9. They are part of the fleet

Operated by a specific command in the Air Force.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:25 PM

10. "...they shouldn't be THAT much nicer than the enlisted men and women who also sacrifice."

Not much different than CEO's making 400 times what their lowest employees make. War is just a business now, a way to siphon the Treasury to the top 1%.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:46 PM

25. Maybe it's the other way around?

Maybe the budget bloat encourages immodest expenditures. I have long thought that $10,000 toilet seats were a product of the military having too much money to spend. When one has more money than one needs, and renewal of funds is requisite on spending everything budgeted, wouldn't that be an incentive to spend frivolously?

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:03 PM

3. I don't think anyone should be allowed to attend West Point or the other service academies until

 

and unless that person has served at least one full year as an enlisted man or enlisted woman.
I don't think servants should be supplied to any military person and no officer can use an enlisted person for personal tasks.
The practice of giving a military person an extra rank at retirement to boost his/her retirement pay should end.

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Response to byeya (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:29 PM

15. not

an over the top suggestion, i would say. But that is just me.

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Response to byeya (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:17 PM

35. I think we should close down the military academies

I tend to feel that we spend far too much on the military academies. I don't think we need them. Also feel that the Army in particular has wasted a lot of tax payer dollars on needless uniform changes. And why is it necessary to maintain golf courses on military bases? Most of the troops don't play golf.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:05 PM

4. Funny, I thought everyone knew that a major general

is just another term for CEO. When will people wake up and finally smell the plutocracy that came and killed off our democracy? Well, not entirely killed off...we still have President Obama for another 4 years...that is a silver lining imb.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:15 PM

5. Although I think some of it is too much, I don't have a problem

with generals having a more lavish lifestyle. Would people have them be poor and scrapping while supposedly commanding troops in wars?

I don't get the generalized bitterness shown against all people who are rich or get privileges because of their rank. Fuck if we have to have a bloated military why the hell should higher ranking officers not have more privileges and percs and salary? Why not have incentives to attract officers?

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Response to lunatica (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:22 PM

8. They should pay for those privlidges out of pocket, like any citizen

They are soldiers, not nobility.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:32 PM

19. It may inflate their sense of invulnerability and prompt them to careless actions.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:37 PM

31. i don't either

but 28 motorcycles escorting?! three personal servants?! are they all on the taxpayer's dime? cause that is too much. sure they've earned a certain lifestyle but it need not be THAT much of a departure from normal life.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:46 PM

37. There use to be something iN between.

It was called middle class.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:16 PM

6. When they have a "party", there are also

enlisted personnel to take people(s) coats and hang them and civilians (who are paid overtime) to help as hostesses! I speak from experience!

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Response to LibGranny (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:29 PM

13. Yup. I tended bar for such gatherings when I was enlisted.

It's normal.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:28 PM

12. Military leaders are as bad as religious leaders. nt

 

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:29 PM

14. More reasons to go to war and keep them going.

Travel to exotic places, cheat on your wife and get treated like a king.

:grunt:

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:30 PM

16. K&R. Glad this is getting attention.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:31 PM

17. These are the same imperial satraps who lost 2 wars in ten years. (That has to

 

be some kind of record.) No one can say with certainty that their perks are why we lost the war(s) - I see them more as symptomatic than causal.

Al Quaida doesn't even really need to attack us any more, as we have pretty much done ourselves in (or allowed the 1% to do us in).

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:32 PM

18. The is Empire at it's best.

Though a few things should be clarified.

1. The panes are operated by the Air Force. Gates knew they are also command centers, airborne. What I object is how they are outfitted...but sensors, communications and sat links sure...

2.- The life style bonus reflects a corrupt organization where rank has become ridiculous in the benefits they get.

3- what practice of giving a rank increase at retirement? Personnel need to serve a minimum to retire at a certain rank.

4- Generals have had aides, both enlisted and JOs like forever, this is not new...what is new is the size of the detail. Oh and chefs are part of the security (food poisoning) that has gone on for decades.

The problem we have are not these benefits, but how extensive they are...and chiefly one more...there is little accountability of generals anymore...if they fail, they rarely face dismissal anymore. In WWII they did, regularly. We have social generals anymore. That is the heart of the problem.

For the record, I would like to see these flag officers eat with low EM at least once a month.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:33 PM

20. Clearly, it's just as important to be...

....a War General as a War President, if you want all the perks militaristic "glory" can buy.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:36 PM

21. What do we expect in an imperialist nation that idolizes war?

For a decade you couldn't go shopping without hearing dedications to the troops over the PA. If only we held the same high regard for our teachers, artists (creators), and scientists. Then we would be something worthy of praise.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:37 PM

22. I don't see a problem with them being able to summon a string quartet or a choir

If the military is a way to subsidize music and art without Republicans bitching about it, then that's fine by me.

The thing I found most fascinating about the article was that the Generals get these perks and their civilian superiors don't (other than the President and VP, of course).

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:37 PM

23. Disgusting and undeserved!

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:40 PM

24. And THAT, my dear friends, is where the military budget can be cut to the bone.

This has got to stop. It is repulsive, unwarranted, destructive to a free country. This kind of "free" costs way too much.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:51 PM

26. K&R...

this is why they always shout so loud about why we can't cut military spending. They want to tell us our tax dollars should be used for this but not for us especially when we need it. Whose money is it???

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:51 PM

27. That's not unusual anywhere in the world.

Until modern times generals and officers were kings and nobles, so they lived like it. Apparently the tradition was passed down to our modern military organizations. Maybe it's time to take a closer look and do some reforms.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #27)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:48 PM

38. Yah think ...

Maybe?

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:51 PM

28. Why is it just now "coming to light". Are they that good at keeping their lifestyle secret?

What else is going on that we should know about but the media "journalists" are too lazy or complicit to expose?

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:07 PM

29. Ike had a soldier who powdered his underwear, dressed him and shaved him.

5 star generals and admirals kept their perks till their death.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:12 PM

30. The vets I know

are one bit of bad luck or one bad decision from living under the bridge. And most of them actually did the dirty work asked of them by the oligarchs that run the show.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:03 PM

32. The top brass are part of the "White Male Christian Power Structure".

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:08 PM

33. Starve the Beast

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:11 PM

34. We also have way too many generals

Senior military officers have long been over paid and pampered. I question the need for so many flag officers in our military.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:28 PM

36. "Soldiers usually win battles and generals get the credit for them." Napoleon Bonaparte

Who was no stranger to tinware on his chest.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:39 PM

39. what!!

not chow lines?

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:39 PM

40. I Googled and found this from firedoglake:

 

I just ran some quick math on those figures. In WWII, there was roughly one general officer for every 14,545 troops. Today there is roughly one general officer for every 1,557 troops. According to the Times article

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