CNN Interviews Stephen Hadley On Israel, Fails To Disclose Raytheon Ties

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It's bad enough that CNN is bringing on former Bush administration officials to weigh in on matters of war and peace after their part in leading the debacle known as the invasion of Iraq, but it seems it's also asking to much to disclose their conflicts of interest as well.

Jake Tapper brought on former Bushie Stephen Hadley to carry water for Israel and to pretend that they're taking any care whatsoever not to target civilians in Gaza, and he was only introduced as "a former national security adviser to President George W. Bush" and "now a principal at Rice Hadley Gates, which is an international consulting firm."

They somehow forgot to mention he's also a board member at the defense contractor Raytheon.

Here's more on his ties from LittleSis: Stephen Hadley and the Ministry of Peace:


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.

Well, he has now. Thanks CNN. And as Amy Goodman discussed this week, there are questions as to whether the Iron Dome, which Raytheon is set to get more of our tax dollars to build shortly, even works as well as the Israeli's are claiming it does.

Somehow none of that came up during his interview this Thursday on CNN:

TAPPER: Let's talk about the U.S. role in Israel and the Middle East at large with Stephen Hadley. He's a former national security adviser to President George W. Bush and is now a principal at Rice Hadley Gates, which is an international consulting firm.

Mr. Hadley, good to see you, as always.

So, let's talk about these rounds that the U.S. is supplying Israel. The latest shipment was tank rounds and illumination rounds. This delivery comes at the same time that both the Pentagon and the White House have expressed concern that Israel could be doing more to alleviate all the civilian casualties in Gaza.

Explain to us, translate for us, if you will, what it means when the Pentagon and the White House say they're very concerned about this, here's some more ammunition.

STEPHEN HADLEY, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The White House is trying to walk a line between making it clear that it supports Israel and supports Israel's right to defend itself against terrorist groups like Hamas, but at the same time, it expresses concern for the humanitarian cost of what Israel is having to do to defend itself. And it's this difficult road that the White House is trying to walk,

both supporting Israel, but at the same time urging it to do something to limit the humanitarian fallout.

TAPPER: It sure seems odd, the connection there.

Let me ask you. As a former national security adviser, explain to me and my viewers, if you will, what is the military campaign doing? I think everybody can understand or most people can understand destroying the tunnels from Gaza into Israel. Sure, there's a clear security imperative there. What about all this bombing? Is this -- what is it achieving?

HADLEY: It's not clear.

I think what Israel's trying to do, if you look at historically, we have been through this in 2008. We have been through this again with 2012. It's now 2014. Israel does not want to have to keep going through this, Hamas being able to be rocket Israel territory, make Israelis live in bomb shelters.

They want some relief. And I think the model they're taking was the model in 2006, when they went after Hezbollah in Lebanon. A lot of criticism about it, a lot of loss of life, a lot of destruction. But what Israelis would tell you is that the result of that operation in 2006 was that it reestablished deterrents. And the northern border of Israel with Lebanon has been quiet for the eight years since. I think that's what they're trying to do in -- with Hamas in Gaza.

TAPPER: But, obviously, most of the people that have been killed, according to the United Nations, most of them are civilians. Most of them are not members of Hamas.

Israel says they're not trying to kill civilians, they're not trying to target civilians, but so many people who are innocent civilians are being killed. Do you believe that Israel is trying to do, as its critics allege, collective punishment, make it so horrible, that Hamas will be forced by its own people to acquiesce to, for instance, the Egyptian cease-fire proposal, or do you think this is just the imprecision of warfare in an urban environment?

HADLEY: I think it's a third thing.

I do not think that this is anything like collective punishment. Israel knows that this is Hamas' game, to hold up the killing and the deaths of innocent civilians, particularly children, in order to put pressure on Israel to stop. So Israel has every incentive to minimize collateral damage.

But it's hard when you have Hamas doing what it's clear that they're doing, putting their missile launchers and their storage facilities and their command-control facilities right in the middle of civilian areas, under mosques, and other targets, precisely so if it the Israelis go after them, as precisely as they can militarily, they will inevitably result in damage to facilities and loss of civilian life.

And that's then what Hamas uses to try to put pressure on Israel to stop.

TAPPER: Even granting all of those points you made, it does seem as though not every time that a family is killed in Gaza, there was necessarily a Hamas target in that building or even nearby.

HADLEY: It's very hard to know.

I mean, we don't have our own resources there to do the bomb damage assessment. You cannot trust what Hamas says, because this is part of the propaganda campaign. The Israelis are making an effort to try to minimize civilian casualties, for the reasons I say. But this is warfare. Even though they have admitted in a couple instances, even over they did not target something, if there is fire coming at Israeli troops from a particular location, to defend their troops, they are going to shoot back.

And if that location has been put by Hamas in the context of innocent civilians, it means innocent civilians are going to be killed. It's not because of Israel's response. It is because of Hamas' attack. That's the dilemma they're dealing with.

TAPPER: It is horrifying, obviously, in so many ways.

HADLEY: It is horrible.

TAPPER: Stephen Hadley, thank you so much.

HADLEY: Thank you.


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