Dwight D. Eisenhower’s most famous address was his last one to the nation in January of 1961, when he warned America of what he termed “the military-industrial complex.”
It was a warning as powerful as it was prescient, and though Ike achieved much in life, surely this speech and the meaning of his warning deserve to be captured in the boldest terms in the memorial to Ike in Washington, DC.
In Part 5, “Leader of the Free World,” the narrator speaks of Ike’s “farewell address,” not his address on the military-industrial complex, and that it included a “caution” (not a “warning”) to the nation. Ike is allowed a few sentences on the military-industrial complex, but the narrator provides no additional context or commentary. The narrator then ends by saying this was Ike’s goodbye speech; again, no mention of how powerful Ike’s speech was in its criticism of a force that Ike declared threatened America’s democracy and our personal liberties.
And then the kicker: at the end of the narration, we’re told the audio commentary was made possible by “a generous donation” by Boeing!
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