IT'S AN ILL WIND THAT BLOWS
Defense procurement scandals appear to be recurring phenomena, almost as regular as the disappointments of new administrations. It should therefore be little surprise that the American public views its defense industry as thoroughly populated with greedy contractors and ready succumbers. It should be even less of a surprise when, after a history of convicting a few individuals, penalizing mildly a few companies, and adding another layer of regulations and oversight officials, analogous cases of abuse and corruption in the Pentagon and its contractors are discovered anew.
In mid-summer 1988, the Justice Department announced what must have seemed like yet another in an endless stream of investigations of corruption in the Department of Defense (DoD). To be more specific, numerous indictments were handed up regarding the way in which weapons contractors developed and delivered weapons and their supporting systems to the three armed services within the Department of Defense. Code-named "Operation Ill Wind," the Justice Department investigation resulted in convictions or guilty pleas of fifty defense officials, executives, and consultants, as well as seven major defense contractors. In the wake of 400-dollar hammers and the infamous 700- dollar toilet seats, revived charges of governmental "waste, fraud, and abuse" reverberated in the press and Congress. 1
By now we can see that the predictable failure of the conventional remedies is due to the fact that they are largely addressing the obvious manifestations as practiced by a very few people and corporations, acting in an undeniably corrupt manner, who pocket public moneys for
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Publication information: Book title: Thinking about Political Corruption. Contributors: Peter DeLeon - Author. Publisher: M. E. Sharpe. Place of publication: Armonk, NY. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 113.
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