While Eisenhower was certainly dead-on about the big picture of the military-industrial complex, we can imagine even he might be surprised by the dirty details of how that "complex" has evolved since his farewell speech in 1961.
In the shadow elite age, when power brokers can have a dozen roles of influence, criss-crossing and sometimes overlapping, sorting through them to pick the most telling ones is both more difficult -- and more imperative -- than ever before.
Ever heard of a private security contractor name Paravant? XPG? No? Well, that's just as Blackwater, the parent company of Paravant, XPG and dozens of other "subsidiaries", would have it.
When government contractors hire former directors of intelligence and defense-related government agencies, they are banking on coincidences of interest between their hires and their hires' former (government) employers.
How far does the crisis of government contracting oversight go? Apparently, it extends deep into some of America's most hallowed ground: Arlington National Cemetery.
Corporations can now directly intervene in campaigns with candidate-specific ads. The only requirement remaining is that they not be coordinated with a campaign. But that's a requirement more of form than substance.
How many more stories must appear before Rep. Murtha is forced from his perch as chairman of Defense Appropriations and denied further opportunity to feather his own nest?
It's not as sexy as trying to save Chrysler, but the government is trying to save defense contractors from a peril as great as lousy car sales -- slimeball computer hackers.