Stephen Hadley and the Ministry of Peace

by kevin July 22, 2014
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Stephen Hadley has made a career of promoting, overseeing, and profiting from war. He was the Bush White House official responsible for inserting faulty intelligence about Iraq's nuclear capabilities (the "yellowcake forgery") in Bush's State of the Union in 2003. He offered his resignation, but was instead later promoted to national security advisor. Since leaving the White House, he has co-founded an international consulting firm and joined the board of weapons manufacturer Raytheon, where he raked in a healthy $253,482 in 2013. Raytheon stock has surged over 30% during the past year, far outpacing the Dow. 

Hadley also chairs Raytheon's public affairs committee. This is especially notable because he is a war pundit, issuing regular calls for military intervention in op-eds in the Washington Post and other media outlets. We noted Hadley's saber-rattling around Syria last year and called out his clear conflict of interest; Raytheon, in addition to having a clear financial stake in war more generally, makes the Tomahawk missiles that were said to be the weapon of choice for an attack on Syria. Our report,"Conflicts of Interest in the Syria Debate," was covered by the Washington Post, and forced editorial chair Fred Hiatt to defend the non-disclosure of Hadley's defense ties.

That policy of non-disclosure continues. Hadley just authored another Washington Post op-ed on how the US should punish Russia for its handling of Ukraine. Before that, he also testified on the same issue before the Senate Foreign Relations committee. In both cases, he called for the US to provide military support, including "equipment," to "nations under pressure from Russia" (the op-ed lifts entire sentences from the testimony, with some minor tweaks). 

It is not hard to see how Hadley's argument might align with Raytheon's interests in the region. In fact, it has been quite explicitly reported on in the media – last April, the Wall Street Journal ran an article headlined "Raytheon executive sees Ukraine threat boosting defense budgets" and noted that Raytheon has reported higher-than-expected profits on surging global defense spending.

Raytheon's interest in Gaza/Israel is also clear. A Raytheon contract with Israel for part of the country's "Iron Dome" missile defense system is currently pending. So far, however, Hadley has not weighed in on Gaza.

Considering Hadley's record of warmongering and war profiteering, he is uniquely qualified to chair the board of the United States Institute of Peace, a position he was awarded in January of 2014. The Institute of Peace was ostensibly created by Congress to "increase the nation's capacity to manage international conflict without violence." Its interpretation of this agenda can best be described as Orwellian, as should be evident from Hadley's chairmanship of the organization. This interpretation is highly appropriate, given the year in which the organization was founded – 1984.

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