Monday, January 17, 2011

Fifty Years Ago

On January 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his final speech from the White House after two terms in office. In his farewell address, the retired five-star general who served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II warned against military expansion. Here is an excerpt: 
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
The entire speech merits attention on the fiftieth anniversary of its delivery. Click here to read or listen to the text; click here to watch the video.

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