Corrupt Admiral Arrested Over Bribery

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A former US Navy admiral was arrested over bribery charges. He allegedly steered the Navy towards purchasing the services of a company called Next Jump, which he later joined following his retirement from government service.

Burke held some of the highest commands within the United States Navy. He was vice chief of naval operations, the second highest position in the Navy, and commander of US Naval Forces in Europe and Africa. CNN reports:

A former vice chief of naval operations was arrested Friday for allegedly steering government contracts towards a company in exchange for a lucrative job offer while commanding US naval forces in Europe and Africa and the Allied Joint Forces Command.

Robert Burke, a retired four-star Admiral, and the company’s co-CEOs Yongchul “Charlie” Kim and Meghan Messenger are facing bribery and conspiracy charges, according to the Justice Department. Burke is also charged with performing acts affecting a personal financial interest and concealing material facts from the United States.

Burke’s corruption is all too common in the military. Senior military officers enter in close ties with private companies who wish to contract for the government. While they hold vast amounts of power and spending capabilities, their salary is comparatively lower at around $200,000 per year. Many general will later join the boards of defense contractors. The Washington Post continues:

Before retiring in 2022, Burke oversaw naval operations in Europe, Russia and most of Africa. A native of Portage, Mich., Burke served from June 2019 until June 2020 as the 40th vice chief of naval operations, the service’s No. 2-ranking officer. He succeeded retired Adm. William Moran, who was set to take over as the Navy’s top officer in August 2019 before unexpectedly retiring, citing his interactions with a subordinate accused of acting inappropriately toward female officers.

According to Burke’s Navy biography, he is a trained electrical engineer and submariner who served in numerous postings around the world. He was chief of naval personnel, with responsibility for manpower, personnel, training and education, when the events described in the indictment began.

If the charges are true, Burke has dishonored his service and country. The fact that a man with intimate knowledge of nuclear submarines could be so easily corrupted is terrifying.

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