General Robert Hallo was the head of Military Development for the United States Army, who first plotted to control the Transformers, and then to destroy them.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Robert Hallo joined the Marines as a boy, where he was taught to never surrender. Eventually, he rose to the rank of General, and was put in charge of Military Development at the US Defense Ministry. In 1997, he hired engineer Adam Rook to spearhead Project Lazarus, a program designed to create intelligent robot soldiers. After every prototype failed, Hallo changed tactics, and took advantage of the recent Autobot/Human defeat of the Decepticons to experiment upon the deactivated Decepticons. Eventually, Rook succeeded in creating a program to control Transformers - the program allowed specific objectives to be input into the Transformer's central intelligence, suppressing their free will but retaining a level of intelligence sufficient to make independent decisions while carrying out the mission.
In order to acquire the Autobots, Hallo plotted to destroy the Ark II, a ship carrying the victorious Autobots, their Decepticon prisoners, and several humans back to Cybertron. An engineer attached to Project Lazarus tried to reveal Hallo's plan to the authorities, but Hallo had him killed before he could blow the whistle. The plan initially went off without a hitch - the Ark II exploded on June 24th of 1998, killing its human passengers and depositing the Transformers into the Arctic Ocean, but Rook disappeared and took the control program with him.
Three years later, Hallo became aware that Rook, now calling himself 'Lazarus', had recovered and reactivated several Transformers, including Megatron, using his control program. To combat Lazarus' robots, Hallo covertly recovered Optimus Prime, but was unable to reactivate him. To do so, Hallo and his bodyguard Lou plucked Spike Witwicky from his Cleveland home and brought him to the Pentagon. Spike, who had been given a fragment of the Matrix of Leadership for safekeeping prior to the launch of the Ark II, reluctantly used it to awaken Prime.
Hallo accompanied Prime and Spike to the Arctic with a company of soldiers, and watched as Prime used the Matrix to revive a number of his soldiers. Along with the Autobots, Hallo surveyed the ruins of a SmitCo oil refinery, the latest victim of Lazarus' Transformers. As Spike angrily confronted Prime about the attack, Hallo consoled the Autobot leader, suggesting that Spike simply didn't understand the nature of power. Disturbed by this, Prime violently extracted the location of Lazarus' base from Hallo and left him behind as he took his Autobots to attack it. Undaunted, Hallo revealed his true colors by ordering a missile strike on the battling Autobots and Decepticons.
Flying back to the Pentagon, Hallo imprisoned a furious Spike and erased all records of the missile strike. The Transformers managed to survive the attack, however, and were soon rampaging through San Francisco. Deciding that an air strike would be insufficient, Hallo initiated a nuclear missile launch. As the missile streaked towards the city, Spike burst into the command room, brandishing information on Project Lazarus acquired from Larry (the brother of the Project Lazarus engineer Hallo murdered). Unimpressed, Hallo pulled a gun on him and forced him to watch the imminent destruction of San Francisco and the Transformers.
As the seconds passed, Spike accused Hallo of being a lunatic—of being more concerned about power and control than saving lives. Hallo agreed with him, screaming that freedom stems from power, and that power is the only thing keeping Spike and his family safe. He was interrupted in mid-rant by the arrival of the President of the United States and the Secret Service, who ordered Hallo to surrender. Confronted with the unraveling of his plans and unprepared to go to jail, Hallo pulled his weapon and was gunned down.
- In War and Peace, the sequel to Prime Directive, Shockwave told Optimus Prime that he was responsible for the destruction of the Ark II, hoping to prevent Optimus Prime and Megatron from returning to Cybertron before he wanted them to. Considering that Shockwave had a hand in pretty much everything in the Dreamwave continuity, this claim is plausible, but it was never explained how Shockwave was able to manipulate Hallo.
- As two operators are required to authorize a nuclear launch, it is unknown how Hallo managed to launch a nuclear missile at San Francisco.
- Also, there is no US "Defense Ministry".