More Presidential Candidates: NH Warned about Excessive Political Influence
DURHAM, N.H. - The ranks of declared presidential candidates keeps growing and today a foreign policy expert is warning Granite Staters about what he calls wasteful military spending. Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired colonel who served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Wilkerson says New Hampshire still plays an important role as the first primary state, but big interests such as Pentagon contractors have too much say when it comes to candidates from both parties.
"It's getting to the point where going to the ballot box for a general election for president and vice president is a meaningless thing," he says. "Both parties are owned by similar people."
Wilkerson will speak at UNH Durham and the Portsmouth Public Library. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio this week in the race for the White House.
Wilkerson says since World War Two, the United States has been building what he calls a national security state that caters to the interests of the ultra-rich.
"It's a state dependent on, first and foremost, the military arm, big banks that are too big to fail, big real estate, big finance, big pharmacy, big oil and energy in general," he says. "It's a state that is increasingly run by a very isolated, less than 00.1 percent, of what is really a plutocracy."
Wilkerson says locals would do well to live by the state motto, "Live Free or Die," because he says big interests are making America less free.
"The American people have to wake up," says Wilkerson. "What we are seeing with the NSA, what we are seeing with the CIA, what are seeing with government in general who are intruding on our civil liberties, filling our prisons with prisoners who shouldn't be there."
Wilkerson also will speak in Concord and Nashua on Friday and will give the keynote address on the "excessive influence of corporations" in securing government contracts on Saturday at the Boyd Science Center at Plymouth State University.