Retired general had no conflict of interest, Panetta says
Robertson had been the top officer at U.S. Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command before retiring in 2001. He went to work for Boeing, retiring as a vice president in 2010. He did not respond to a request for comment.
A USA TODAY investigation in 2009 found that 80% of 158 mentors, retired officers hired as advisers, had ties to the defense industry, including Roberson. Panetta assured McCain the Pentagon has taken "many steps" since then to "impose controls on senior mentors." Among them: They must disclose business ties and have had their pay capped, and they are subject to confict-of-interest rules. Those restrictions were not in place in 2008, when Robertson participated in the war game.