Old Pentagon and CIA officials never die, they just go to work for Defense contractors.

That fact is one of the components of the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address. And it’s one of the reasons we may never get to the bottom of the scandals involving sensitive technology leaked by aerospace companies to countries that would like to destroy America.

Simple greed. Self-interest over national interest. Dollars over patriotism. A quick buck rather than loyalty.

The latest example is the sham “investigation” being conducted by the Justice Department of the Central Intelligence Agency to determine whether the CIA obstructed justice when it provided information to Hughes Electronics Corp. about the scope of a congressional probe into the transfer of technology to China.

You can rest assured this is one investigation going nowhere fast. Can you imagine Janet Reno’s Justice Department investigating the scandals of another executive branch agency and finding any wrongdoing? It would be a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. It will not happen. Not in the Clinton era. No sir.

But that’s what Congress is asking, if you can believe it. Haven’t these guys learned anything? Or is this another case of Congress not really wanting to get to the bottom of a scandal that could well cut in two directions politically?

Nevertheless, beginning this week, a federal grand jury will be convened to investigate what Hughes learned from the CIA and when it learned it. Remember, Hughes supplies the CIA with satellites and sophisticated communications equipment and has for decades. In other words, they are as inseparable as the Loral Corp. and their Chinese investors. There’s a partnership here. To expect them not to tell each other secrets is to expect the improbable — to expect people to act against their own human nature.

The Justice Department is going to put its crack investigators on the case to find out if CIA officials gave Hughes officials enough info to tip them off on the moves of congressional probers.

We’re told the agency is fully cooperating. We’re told the Justice Department is taking this matter seriously. Blah, blah, blah, blah. We’ve heard this story before. Criminals aren’t capable of investigating other criminals. Foxes aren’t capable of guarding henhouses.

Can I save the taxpayers some money here? Of course they did. The U.S. has been sold out by the Clinton administration, time and time again. We have countless examples — Loral’s cozy deals with China, Clinton’s cozy deals with Riady, Gore’s cozy deals with the Buddhist nuns. … What will it take to wake up Congress to the biggest scandal of our lifetimes? What will it take to awaken Americans from their stupor? How much evidence do you need that your national security has been breached by those entrusted to maintain it?

The real question is, what are Congress and the American people going to do about it?

The answer appears to be nothing. The whole question of campaign financing abuses, an integral part of the scandal, has been dropped by the House Judiciary Committee in the rush to end the impeachment inquiry.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for impeaching the president tomorrow. But I want a conviction that’s going to stick. I want him removed from office where he can do no more harm to the republic. Disgracing him as the second president in U.S. history to be impeached is not enough.

Congress is simply not interested in getting to the truth. If it were, we would be hearing a lot more from a committee already assigned months ago to investigating some of these issues. I refer to Rep. Chris Cox’s committee, named by Speaker Newt Gingrich, to probe the Chinagate conspiracy.

Where is Cox? Why isn’t his committee interviewing key witnesses? Why are they working a 9-to-5 shift when the issue of impeachment is going to be decided this month?

The answer to those rhetorical questions can be found in the prophetic warning from a former president intimately familiar with the problem — then in its infancy — of the military-industrial complex.

There’s another name for this problem, by the way, though none dare speak its name. But when key industries and corporations are singled out for special treatment by the government, that’s called fascism.

Is that where we want to go, America?

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