Fortune magazine recently spent six weeks investigating the Carlyle Group, the secretive investment firm with ties to the Bush administration that invests heavily in military contracting. Carlyle employs a raft of former government officials, including the Bush the senior as well as former Secretary of State Jim Baker, former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci and former British Prime Minister John Major. "While most of the conspiracy theories are amusingly overblown, this is a firm that's been built on the backs of Bush and other big shots who have lent Carlyle their names, their golden networks of friends in high places, and their insights into how government works," writes Melanie Warner. "The revolving door has long been a fact of life in Washington, but Carlyle has given it a new spin. Instead of toiling away for a trade organization or consulting firm for a measly $250,000 a year, former government officials can rake in serious cash by getting equity cuts on corporate deals. Several of the onetime government officials who have hooked up with Carlyle--Carlucci, Baker, and Darman, in particular--have made millions."
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