- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Retired Gen. Peter Pace, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has begun a second career at the BGR Group, a prominent consultant and lobbying firm in Washington.

An announcement from the firm, founded in 1991 by Republican strategists Haley Barbour and Ed Rogers, said Mr. Pace will work on defense and national security issues with an emphasis on cybersecurity and “transactions impacted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.” The committee is an interagency group that reviews the national security implications of deals that could result in foreign control of U.S. businesses.

The move to BGR, which has expanded its practice to include investment banking and strategic communications, is unusual for a retired general. Retired senior military officers typically take jobs with defense contractors.

Mr. Pace, however, breaks a lot of molds. In 2005, President Bush made him the first Marine to hold the highest uniformed rank in the military as chairman of the Joint Chiefs. From 2005 until 2007, when Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates did not reappoint him to a second term, Mr. Pace contended with the rise of al Qaeda in Iraq and oversaw the surge strategy that curtailed the group’s violent activities.

Mr. Pace was also an early voice within the military against torture. At a press conference in 2005 with then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, he said, “It is the absolute responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it.”

Mr. Rumsfeld had suggested that it was not the job of U.S. soldiers to stop Iraqi officers from engaging in such treatment.

Mr. Rogers, the chairman of BGR, welcomed the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A company press release quoted him as saying: “We are honored that Pete Pace has chosen to work with BGR. His accomplishments and distinguished service give him unique expertise and insight.”

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