It looks as though this stuff got set up back during the "Old Europe" administration. I'm not sure I'd call Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the rest of the Freedom Fries contingent "our friends."
I don't know how much of this has gone on during the Obama administration, but naturally once this kind of thing is in place it may be hard to rein in even if you want to.
I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1816